Boston Terror News No. 2:


[The remains of the fertilizer plant smolder in the rain on Thursday, April 18, 2013, in West, Texas. A massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160, officials said overnight. US Senate members struggled Thursday to come to terms with a tragic and tense week that included the nation’s first major terror attack since 9/11, intercepted poison packages and the deadly Texas explosion. AP PHOTO/TONY GUTIERREZ]

WASHINGTON, APRIL 19, 2013 (INQUIRER) Agence France-Presse - US Senate members struggled Thursday to come to terms with a tragic and tense week that included the nation’s first major terror attack since 9/11, intercepted poison packages and a deadly Texas explosion.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and top Republican Mitch McConnell opened their chamber remarks by offering prayers to the victims of a devastating blast at a fertilizer factory the previous evening that rocked the small town of West, Texas near the city of Waco.

They noted the extraordinary series of events, including the twin bombs in Boston that killed three people and wounded 176, that left many on Capitol Hill recalling the September 11 attacks and the anthrax poisonings, both from 2011.

“Given the horrendous event of the Boston Marathon on Monday, followed by the event near Waco last night it’s been a very difficult week for all of us,” a somber McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“Our hearts are a little bit heavier.”

Tucked between those two tragedies was perhaps the most immediate threat to the US Capitol complex in a dozen years—an attempt by a Mississippi man to send a letter laced with the deadly poison ricin to Senator Roger Wicker.

“Americans should understand that this incident does not appear in any way to be related to the tragedy in Boston,” said Reid, who called the crime “deeply disturbing.”

“Nevertheless, it is a reminder to the Senate community, and to all Americans, to remain vigilant during these unsettling times.”

The envelope was intercepted at an off-site Senate mail facility, and the Department of Justice announced an arrest in the case.

But on Wednesday, after calls by the Senate Sergeant at Arms to be extra-vigilant, two Senate office buildings were placed on lockdown after suspicious packages were detected.

Two senators also announced there were suspicious packages found at offices in their home states. Those and the ones in the Senate office buildings all tested negative for poisonous material.

“It is perhaps an understatement to say it’s been a difficult week for our country,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Adding to the emotional quotient on Capitol Hill, relatives of the 20 children and six adults slaughtered in the Newtown school shooting spent much of the week making tearful pleas to senators to pass landmark gun legislation that would expand background checks for gun buyers.

The measure failed.


Watch: Obama Speaks at Boston Memorial Service



President Barack Obama onThursday at an interfaith memorial service honoring the victims of Monday's attack at the Boston Marathon. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a briefing Wednesday Obama's message would be one of "resolve."

"It will be one of the commonality that we all feel as Americans with the people of Boston and those who were visiting Boston for the marathon, and who both endured this horrific event and then demonstrated their bravery in its immediate aftermath," said Carney.

'Sports Illustrated' Cover Honors Boston Marathon First Responders

When a tragedy like the Boston Marathon bombing happens, it can be tough to define the line between sports news and hard news. This week, one of America's most iconic magazines gets it right. Above is the cover for April 22 issue of Sports Illlustrated, unveiled online Tuesday. It's some powerful stuff and no wonder the image has been shared far and wide on the social web since. [FROM MASHABLE.COM]

Yankees, Red Sox Make Poignant Statement After Boston Bombings

Sam Laird/2 days ago

Tragedies such as the Boston Marathon bombings can make sports seem meaningless. But they can also remind us of the powerful role sports play in society, as both communal escapes from stress and symbolic rallying points in times of crisis.

Major League Baseball's New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox provided powerful examples of that on Tuesday, 24 hours after the explosions that killed three people and injured well over 100 more at Monday's race.

Typically bitter rivals on the field, the Yankees and Red Sox engaged in some digital conversation that inspired sports fans across the country and became widely shared on the social web.

Image via Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi carried a woman from the scene of the blast. He later released a statement that read:

"Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today's bombings irrevocably changed that. While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today's horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals — first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy."


Boston blasts: Boston pays tearful tribute to marathon victims

Mourners gather on the edge of the pond in the Boston Public Gardens for a candlelight vigil in Boston on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Boston paid a tearful tribute on Tuesday night to eight-year-old Martin Richard, a restaurant manager and a Chinese graduate student, all killed in an attack on the US city's marathon. -- PHOTO: AFP

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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