The Obama Administration defends NSA’s collection of phone records; Tropical Storm Andrea brings rain to Florida’s west cost; search ends for Philly building collapse; Allen West deems Eric Holder a greater threat than Al-Qaeda; the U.S. condemns Syria’s siege of Qusair; Massachusetts residents sue the New York Post for false accusations; North and South Korea agree to talk about reopening a shared industrial zone; 10-year-old gets the ok to receive adult lung transplant; and the U.S. Senate is set to vote on student loan interest rates today. Meanwhile, Jefferson Airplane Drummer Joey Covington dies, and George R.R. Martin makes no apologies for GoT ‘Red Wedding.’
Maura + Alexis
US Government Collecting Huge Number of Phone Records, http://bit.ly/185X6QJ
The Obama Administration defended the National Security Agency’s need to collect telephone records of U.S. citizens on Thursday, but the move is heavily criticized. No immediate on-the-record comment has been issued. According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the order was granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and will stand until July 19. The Associated Press cannot authenticate the order because of the classified status of the court documents.
Tropical Storm Andrea drenches Florida’s west coast, http://bit.ly/15DWflf
Hurricane season is here, and our first storm has touched down on land – Tropical Storm Andrea. This morning, heavy rains and 60 mph winds reached the west coast of south Florida from the Keys to Tampa. According to forecasters, the system does not look like it will have enough time to reach hurricane strength before it reaches the coast north of Tampa. A tornado watch was in effect for central and south Florida until 11 a.m. but is no longer in effect.
Search halts after 14th survivor found in Philly building collapse, http://cbsn.ws/19KDzDZ
Rescue workers have ended their search in a Philly building collapse. Fourteen survivors have now been confirmed while 6 have been confirmed dead as a result of the collapse. While under demolition, the building collapsed onto a thrift store next-door Wednesday morning. It is still unsure how many people had been in the thrift store or walking on the sidewalk when the accident occurred.
Allen West compares Eric Holder to Al Qaeda, http://politi.co/11im8Tq
Former Representative Allen West has deemed Eric Holder a greater threat to the U.S. than Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda. In an email, West wrote that he trusts the U.S. military to protect us from Al-Qaeda but that he does not trust that we will be protected against President Obama and his Justice Department. West outright accused Holder of abusing his power as attorney general and trying to radically transform America. He cited scandals involving the IRS, AP, Fox News, and Benghazi as evidence.
Syria conflict: US condemns siege of Qusair, http://bbc.in/17pxcXb
The U.S. has condemned Syria’s siege of Qusair. The U.S. has also called upon allies Iran and Hezbollah to take out their fighters who have been assisting government troops. In the meantime, Golan Heights has been taken over by rebels from Syrian forces, and Israeli officials are scared that the civil war that was once confined to Syria’s borders may spill over into Israel.
Mass. pair sues New York Post over Marathon bombing portrayal, http://b.globe.com/13bCekh
A 16-year-old and a 24-year-old from Massachusetts have filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Post Wednesday in Boston. They have accused the tabloid of falsely depicting them as the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings. The newspaper produced a giant headline “Bag Men” with their picture behind it in an effort to bring attention to yet another story, but as these boys say, one that is not farther from the truth. They are accusing the New York Post of “libel negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
North and South Korea tentatively agree to talks on shuttered industrial zone, http://bit.ly/13mWi4P
North and South Korea tentatively agreed Thursday to discuss reopening the shared manufacturing zone where Pyongyang stopped activity in April. The Kaesong Industrial Zone is a major symbol of cooperation and teamwork between the two rival countries. The venue and date for the talk will be set by the convenience of the south side.
Sarah Murnaghan’s mother on adult lung transplant for her 10-year-old daughter: “Now we have hope. We have a lot of hope.”, http://bit.ly/Zu7dc9
A Federal judge in Philadelphia decided today to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan to receive an adult lung transplant. Usually, children under the age of 12 must wait for a pediatric lung, but due to the serious circumstances, a special exception was made for Sarah.
Student loan fight set in Senate, http://politi.co/11iruxS
The Senate is set to vote Thursday on two different bills to keep student loan interest rates low. If Congress does not take any action, interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. With immigration on the agenda for next week, action needs to be taken soon with regard to student debt or nothing will get done.
Jefferson Airplane Drummer Joey Covington Dies in Car Crash, http://eonli.ne/15EbMSi
Today Show: Man With Knife Cuts Himself on Program’s Rockefeller Plaza Set, http://eonli.ne/19LA0NP
Justin Bieber Books Trip to Space on Virgin Galactic, Says Richard Branson, http://eonli.ne/19Loli0
Paris Jackson’s Alleged Suicide Attempt: Teen Felt “Bullied” at School, Says Source, http://eonli.ne/15DMBz7
George R.R. Martin Makes No Apologies For The ‘Red Wedding’ Massacre On ‘Game Of Thrones’ (VIDEO), http://huff.to/185IqRG