It’s hump day, which means you just have to get to lunch and you’re on the back half of the week. Kill a few minutes with a cup of coffee and these news headlines.
1. How we doin’?
In the State of the Union address last night, President Obama laid out his vision for the future of the country, an ambitious one, but noted that political infighting still divided the country. He also highlighted his successes — e.g., a better economy since he took office — but acknowledged that many citizens feel alienated from a political and economical process that they believe is “rigged.” The president didn’t miss a chance to call out his Republican opponents, saying that challenges like terrorism require more than turning against Muslims or “carpet bombing” the Middle East. The president left an empty seat next to the first lady to symbolize the victims of gun violence. — The New York Times
2. Wrong turn
Iran has released 10 American sailors who were captured Tuesday after their boats entered Iranian waters. It appeared that the sailors would be released Wednesday morning, but Iranian officials interrogated them and insisted on an apology from the United States. After the interrogation, the officials concluded the sailors entered accidently, a failure of the navigation system. Maybe time for a new Garmin. — CNN
3. Go home
The armed group of men occupying the wildlife preserve in Oregon will hold a community meeting on Friday night to explain to the community why they took over the wildlife center and when they plan to leave. At other recent meetings, the community has implored the protestors to give up and go home. A 15-year-old girl, weeping at a meeting on Monday, asked the self-styled militia to leave, saying that she just wanted to feel safe again. Jeez, some people don’t know when you’re trying to help them. — NBC News
4. Another child gun death
A cop accidently shot and killed a 12-year-old girl while serving the family an eviction notice on Monday. Donald Bartho Meyer Jr., the girl’s father, pointed a rifle at the constable who arrived to serve the notice. The officer fired a single shot at the father; the bullet passed through his arm and killed Ciara Meyer. The landlord-tenant dispute was over $1,780.85. What’s that again about people being more safe with guns in the house? — NBC News
5. A-list guest list?
Kim Davis, the county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, who was jailed last year for refusing to certify same-sex marriages, extended her 15 minutes of fame yesterday by attending the State of the Union address. Davis, who attended as a guest of Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, said that she wanted to “encourage Christians” with her presence. Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff whose Supreme Court case made same-sex marriage the law of the land, also attended, as a guest of the White House. Now that would be a tense dinner party. — CNN
6. Kind gesture
President Obama offered to help the Biden family financially when the vice president’s son Beau was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Joe Biden told CNN that he mentioned that he and his wife were considering selling their house to help Beau’s family with expenses in case he was unable to work while being treated, and the president offered to help out. Beau Biden was able to serve the rest of his term before he died, and the offer was refused. — Mother Jones
7. Terror attack
A bomb went off at a polio center in southwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing 14 and injuring 25. The attack occurred just before teams were to arrive in neighborhoods in the city of Quetta for a three-day vaccination campaign. Twelve of the 14 killed were police officers, who were present to provide security to the vaccination teams. The Taliban and conservative clerics are against the vaccinations. — NBC News