The Obama admin disputes a statement on Middle East protests; Romney down 6; and other top Wednesday stories
Diplomats killed: President Obama confirmed this morning that Ambassador Chris Stevens was among four Americans killed in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The Americans were killed in a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film apparently produced in the U.S. Riots also broke out at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where protesters scaled the walls and replaced the American flag with an Islamist one. The filmmaker has gone into hiding.
Statement disavowed: The Obama administration disavowed a statement issued by the embassy in Cairo before the demonstrations had turned violent, which seemed to apologize for the anti-Muslim film. “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” the statement published online read. “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” an administration official told Politico. The embassy also deleted tweets expressing similar concern about the film.
Undocumented immigrants legalized: The first round of young undocumented immigrants applying for legal status under President Obama’s new deportation policy have been approved. Three months after Obama announced the program and one month after the department began accepting applications, more than 72,000 young immigrants who meet certain requirements have made requests. The federal government wouldn’t say how many requests have been approved thus far, just that the process of examining and finalizing the applications has begun.
Obama bounced: A new Gallup poll out yesterday afternoon shows President Obama beating Mitt Romney by 6 points, one of the widest margins yet in the otherwise tight presidential race, and finds that the Democrat got a 3 point bounce from his nominating convention, while Romney got no bounce at all. The poll confirms what many pundits have been seeing — Obama is pulling away from Romney in a meaningful way for the first time. While Obama has been slightly ahead of Romney for months, it was too close to be definitive until now. Of course, with just under two months to go, plenty could change.
Fundraising is king: The New York Times’ Nick Confessore and Ashley Parker report that because of the demise of public financing, Romney and Obama will spend a good chunk of the next two months fundraising instead of meeting with voters. “Say goodbye to the traditional fall fund-raising slowdown, when big-dollar bundlers could go back to their day jobs, major donors could put away their wallets and candidates could focus on shaking hands and kissing babies on the campaign trail. For the first time since the inception of public financing, each party’s candidate is declining the money for the general election,” they write. Indeed, Romney has barely been campaigning, between fundraisers and debate preperation.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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Alex Seitz-Wald sorts through the crush of early morning news and picks the top political stories for Salon readers, posted by 8:30 on weekdays. Follow @aseitzwald on Twitter