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Whatever happened to last year's breakout stars?
UPDATE 4/17 12:20 p.m.
In his press conference, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that a letter with a suspicious substance had been sent to President Obama but referred further questions to the FBI. He also referred questions about the Boston attack investigation to the FBI.
UPDATE 4/17 11:36 a.m.
The AP is reporting that authorities have a suspect in mind but didn’t say much more:
Police have a suspect in mind as they investigate a letter mailed to Sen. Roger Wicker that tested positive for poisonous ricin, a Senate colleague said.
“The person that is a suspect writes a lot of letters to members,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Tuesday as she emerged from a classified briefing.
UPDATE: 4/17 11:28 a.m.
The president may have received one as well:
Secret Service say a suspicious letter addressed to President Obama was found at an offsite mail facility. Details on @CNN TV now.— CNN (@CNN) April 17, 2013
UPDATE: 4/17 10:50 a.m.
ABC News’ Terry Moran tweeted:
BREAKING: @ABC has learned a SECOND letter sent to the US Senate has tested positive for the poison ricin.— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) April 17, 2013
UPDATE No. 2: Politico is now reporting that a suspect in the case has been identified.
From Glenn Thrush:
Suspect in Wicker ricin letter ID'd; someone who frequently badgers legislators reports @BresPolitico, citing Sen. McCaskill— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) April 16, 2013
UPDATE: CNN is reporting that Harry Reid was told the poisoned letter was addressed to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi. The package has been sent to a Maryland lab for further testing.
Politico and CNN are reporting that the deadly poison ricin has been detected in congressional mail:
An envelope sent to an office of Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) included a substance that has tested positive for Ricin, two sources say.
It was not immediately clear when the envelope was received or whether it was sent to his Washington, D.C., office or a field office.
A breaking news email from CNN read:
An envelope that tested positive for the deadly poison ricin was intercepted Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol’s off-site mail facility in Washington, congressional and law enforcement sources tell CNN.
After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said.
The envelope was addressed to a U.S. senator, though the sources would not say which one.
Following the 9/11 attacks, a powder identified as anthrax appeared in envelopes mailed to government and media sources.
Jacob Sugarman is Salon's cover editor and the editor of Open Salon. You can follow him on twitter @jakesugarman. More Jacob Sugarman.
The star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” charmed practically everyone at the Oscars, where she was the youngest best actress nominee ever; she went on to film a remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen, who had 2012’s song of the summer with “Call Me Maybe,” released the fifth and final single from her debut album in January 2013. She toured the U.S. in mid-2013 -- just as Daft Punk and Robin Thicke battled to succeed her as icons of the summer.
Honey Boo Boo
2012’s biggest reality star, the young pageant contestant Alana Thompson, had a quieter time this year, with a second season whose ratings were strong but whose buzz was a bit muted. America was, by now, accustomed to young Thompson, and outraged or scandalized reactions were reserved for other TLC programming, like “The Man With the 132-Pound Scrotum.”
Ocean missed out on the top Grammys for which he was nominated in early 2013; he bounced back quickly with featured appearances on albums by Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and is at work on a new album. Things are looking up!
The “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” star had a marginally less charmed 2013, with “White House Down” failing to connect with moviegoers and “Foxcatcher” delayed until next year. It may get worse before it gets better: His big 2014 sci-fi flick, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks … well, a little weird!
With their third album in 21 months hitting No. 1 immediately upon its fall 2013 release, the boy band that broke into America in 2012 would seem to be here to stay for a while. Still, they looked a bit nervous in their reaction shots during the Video Music Awards’ ‘N Sync reunion; maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually, the Justin of One Direction is going to break out. For now, though, things look good!
Lana Del Rey
The famously uncomfortable “Saturday Night Live” musical guest overcame endless mockery from 2012 to land her first top-10 hit in the summer of 2013 -- a remix of a year-old song, “Summertime Sadness.” As the co-writer of “Young and Beautiful,” the love theme from “The Great Gatsby,” Del Rey is such a front-runner for the best original song Oscar (last won by Adele) that there has been a direct-mail campaign to academy voters against her. The song was also played at the most romantic event of the year: Kanye West’s stadium marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
Wilson, who charmed fans of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” had a rockier 2013, with her sitcom “Super Fun Night” struggling creatively and in the ratings. Her next planned movies are both sequels, to “Kung Fu Panda” and -- hoping lightning will strike twice -- to “Pitch Perfect.”
Another 2012 music icon, Gotye won the record of the year trophy at the 2013 Grammys for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” He released no new singles in 2013, and has told the press he has been struggling to complete new material. Good luck, Gotye!
The golden boy of the 2012 Olympics, without feats of aquatic derring-do to distract the public this year, saw his always-tenuous persona completely shift from “amiable jock” into “utter dolt” with his E! reality series. Worst of all, the series was canceled.
In 2012, the young actress -- best known for her role in the indie “Winter’s Bone” and a supporting part in the “X-Men” franchise -- had marquee roles in the first “Hunger Games” film and in David O. Russell’s comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second “Hunger Games” movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, “American Hustle,” for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
The breakout bikini model of 2012 made a repeat appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue -- and got to do high-fashion spreads in Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was cast in a Cameron Diaz comedy, too. Some types of appeal are eternal!
E. L. James
The “50 Shades” novelist now gets to help share some input into a movie adaptation set for release in 2015. She probably never needs to work again! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that … just … great?
The “Gangnam Style” phenom performed at New Year’s 2013, but will spend New Year’s 2014 flipping channels to find his pistachio ad, his goofy antics having been outdone in the past year by “The Fox” singers Ylvis. Nothing meme can stay.
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