RSS
10 things you need to know today: April 10, 2013
Senators reach background-check deal, a suspect is arrested after a stabbing spree, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
A woman holds up a sign during a Feb. 14 rally at the Connecticut State Capital to promote gun-control legislation.
A woman holds up a sign during a Feb. 14 rally at the Connecticut State Capital to promote gun-control legislation. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1. SENATORS NEAR A DEAL ON BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN BUYERS
Senators have reportedly reached a bipartisan deal to expand federal background checks on gun buyers to cover weapons bought at gun shows and online, sources close to the negotiations said early Wednesday. Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) is scheduled to announce the agreement in an 11 a.m. news conference with Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has an A rating from the National Rifle Association. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he would force a Thursday vote to start debate on toughening the nation's gun laws, so having a compromise package in place could help him avoid a filibuster by Republicans. President Obama and other Democrats have pushed for tightening gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre in December. [NBC News, CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. STUDENT ARRESTED IN LONE STAR COLLEGE STABBINGS
Texas police have arrested a 20-year-old student, Dylan Quick, and charged him with stabbing and wounding 14 people, two of them critically, on Lone Star College's campus in Cypress, Texas, 25 miles northwest of Houston. Quick was detained after two students tackled him near a parking lot near the buildings where the attacks occurred. Quick told investigators "he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," the Harris County sheriff's department said in a statement. A former student who was briefly detained with Quick told the Houston Chronicle that the suspect said "he was trying to go on a killing spree but the (expletive) blade broke." [USA Today, Houston Chronicle]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. FBI LOOKS INTO MCCONNELL'S CLAIM HIS OFFICE WAS BUGGED
The FBI is investigating whether someone bugged the campaign offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The move came after the website of the liberal magazine Mother Jones posted a recording made in February in which McConnell, the highest ranking Republican in the Senate, and aides discuss strategies to use against actress Ashley Judd, who was considering challenging McConnell when he runs for re-election in 2014 (Judd has since said she won't run). McConnell blamed a group on the "political left" for the anonymously leaked recording. "They were bugging our headquarters, quite a Nixonian move," McConnell said Tuesday at a news conference. A Democratic official said the tape could have come from a "disgruntled Senate staffer" who didn't like being forced to dig up dirt. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. OBAMA RELEASES BUDGET PROPOSAL
President Obama on Wednesday proposed a budget aiming to slash the federal deficit by making millionaires pay more in taxes. The $3.77 trillion spending plan also would impose new spending cuts to replace the across-the-board "sequester" reductions that began taking effect last month. Under the plan, people making $1 million a year or more would pay at least 30 percent of their income, after deductions for charitable gifts, in taxes, and their deductions would be capped at 28 percent of what they make. Obama is scheduled to formally release the budget at 11:15 a.m. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. PARENTS JAILED AFTER FLEEING WITH KIDS TO CUBA
A Florida couple was jailed early Wednesday after allegedly kidnapping their two young sons and fleeing by boat to Cuba. Cuban authorities handed over the parents — Sharyn and Joshua Michael Hakken — and their children — Cole, 4, and Chase, 2 — who are now "safely on their way home," U.S. diplomats in Havana said. Hakken lost custody of the boys last year after he was arrested for drug possession in Louisiana. Authorities say he once tried to take them from a foster home at gunpoint. Last week, he allegedly took them from the house of his mother-in-law, after the maternal grandparents were granted permanent custody. [CBS News]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. DEADLY QUAKE STRIKES IRAN
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Iran on Tuesday, killing at least 37 people and injuring an estimated 850 others. The area that was hit hardest is home to about 10,000 people in 50 villages, two of which were reportedly flattened. Most of the injuries were minor — only about 100 people were hurt so badly they had to be hospitalized. The quake's epicenter was about 60 miles away from Iran's only nuclear power plant in the Persian Gulf port city of Bushehr. [BBC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. UCONN BEATS LOUISVILLE IN WOMEN'S NCAA BASKETBALL FINALS
The University of Connecticut Huskies won their program's eighth women's basketball championship on Tuesday, defeating Louisville 93-60 in the NCAA title game. The loss prevented Louisville from becoming only the second school in history to win both the men's and women's national basketball championships in the same season. Connecticut was the first to pull off the feat, in 2004. The win marked the 12th straight time UConn has beaten Louisville since 1993. It was also the biggest margin of victory ever in a women's championship game. [Yahoo Sports]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. SOUTH KOREA BRACES FOR NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST
South Korea has raised its alert level to "vital threat" as surveillance suggests North Korea is on the verge of launching a missile test. Pyongyang has at least one ballistic missile fueled and ready to fire. A U.S. official said Tuesday that a launch from one of North Korea's mobile missile batteries, which the country has moved to its east coast, could be "imminent," although the U.S. "simply doesn't know" what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to do next. He has reacted to tough U.N. sanctions imposed last month after his country's third missile test by threatening to launch nuclear strikes against South Korea and the U.S. [BBC News, CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. KELLY WINS JESSE JACKSON JR.'S FORMER CONGRESSIONAL SEAT
Democrat Robin Kelly easily won the vacant seat of disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in a special election in Illinois Tuesday night, defeating Republican community activist Paul McKinley. The result came as no surprise. The district, which includes part of Chicago's South Side, is heavily Democratic, and Kelly raised about 80 times more than McKinley, who was once convicted of robbery. Kelly won a primary victory over former Rep. Debbie Halvorson — who had received high ratings from the National Rifle Association — after pledging to take a firm stand for tougher gun-control laws. [NBC Chicago]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. MET RECEIVES $1 BILLION ART DONATION
Leonard Lauder, heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, has pledged a $1 billion donation of Cubist art to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 78 works, including 33 Picassos, are considered one of the world's most important collections of Cubism. The Met had been lacking in early-20th-century art, and Lauder's gift will fill the gap with some of the era's greatest masterpieces. Lauder, 80, said the donation was a gift for "the people who live and work in New York and those from around the world who come to visit our great arts institutions." [BBC News]

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week