Trending In Our News Feeds – Boston suspect charged with setting off WMD. Yesterday, a judge conducted the first hearing in Dhokhar Tsarnaev’s criminal trial from the wounded suspect’s hospital room. Tsarnaev is accused of attacking American citizens with a weapon of mass destruction. If he is convicted, he will face the death penalty or life in prison. The state of Massachusetts will file charges against Tsarnaev as well. BBC answers all your questions about the legal proceedings in the Boston bombing case.
Government sources have revealed new information on the Boston bombing suspects, following an FBI interrogation of Dhokzar Tsarnaev on Sunday. Specially trained FBI agents learned that the two suspects acted alone, with the goal of enacting jihad against the U.S. Dhokar confirmed that his brother Tamerlan was the driving force behind the attack. Reuters has a special report describing how Tamerlan became a radical jihadist. Find out how North Korea responded to the Boston Marathon bombing.
France expected to legalize gay marriage. France will likely become the 14th country to legalize gay marriage this afternoon when the French government takes a final vote on the measure. The bill is expected to pass quickly, thanks to the majority of President François Hollande’s Socialist government. In recent weeks, violent protests have erupted in response to the bill, even though the majority of French citizens support marriage equality. Opponents of the bill beat a Dutch man on vacation with his partner in Paris. He posted a photo of himself to Facebook, calling it “the face of Homophobia.”
Immigration bill poised for progress. Even as several high-profile politicians raised concerns about moving ahead with immigration reform in light of the Boston bombings (see: Chuck Grassley, Rand Paul), the Gang of Eight’s much-hyped reform bill appeared ready for progress on Monday. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Obama administration, as well as key members of the Gang of Eight, believe that immigration will strengthen American national security. Paul Ryan echoed that message after an appearance in Chicago. Look for a third Senate Judiciary committee hearing on immigration reform tomorrow, featuring testimony from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
NYC unveils anti-smoking bill. City officials have unveiled a measure that would raise the legal age for buying cigarettes in New York from 18 to 21. New York Health Commissioner Christine Quinn said the bill aims to lower the number of lifetime smokers in the city by making it harder for young adults to get their hands on cigarettes. Experts speculate the bill may be, in part, a political move to position Quinn as the successor to outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Book yourself a one-way ticket to Mars. At a press conference in New York, the CEO of the Dutch non-profit “Mars One” announced that his company has begun accepting applications for a one-way trip to Mars. Mars One will train successful applicants for seven years before sending them to the Red Planet to establish a permanent human colony. They plan on sending their first four astronauts to Space in 2023, with additional launches every two years. Think you’ve got what it takes to become a Mars colonist? Fill out an application, here. And in case you were curious, find out what happens when you wring out a towel in zero gravity.
Status Updates – Meet the PolicyMic pundit who’s fighting against prison atrocities. Maribel Valdez Hermosillo is making a documentary film about racial prejudice in the American justice system. With her project, she hopes to empower those who feel marginalized and help begin reforming our broken prison system. Learn about Maribel’s film in pundit Justine Gonzalez’s insightful interview.
PolicyMic interviews a Tribeca director. As part of our ongoing going coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival, we feature an interview with Rodrigo Prieto, the director of a Tribeca film about eating disorders, Likeness. Read Prieto’s insightful responses to questions about the history of eating disorders, and how he hopes the film will raise awareness about the seriousness of this issue.
Are you active in politics, art, or business? Let us know what you’re up to and we’ll feature you in this section!
Must Reads From PolicyMic – An Eighth Grader Was Jailed For Wearing This T-Shirt to School (Areej Elahi-Siddiqui, @andareejsays) – A 14-year-old boy was suspended and sent to jail for refusing to remove his NRA t-shirt. However, the school’s actions may have been a horrible violation of the student’s rights.
[23 Mics, 51 Comments, 27 Shares]
A Politician Embraces Torture: "It Would Have Been Me, Bin Laden and a Baseball Bat" (Elizabeth Plank, @feministabulous) – New York State Senator Greg Ball doesn't just defend torture. He wants to do it himself.
[6 Mics, 5 Comments, 12 Shares]
Henry the VIII Had More Wives Than There Are Female Governors in the U.S. (Amy Link) – While the number of women serving in Congress has reached an all-time high, the number of female governors is dwindling. Independent voters could change all that.
[14 Mics, 6 Comments, 22 Shares]
Millennials Will Be 40 Percent Of the Electorate By 2020 (Chad Kolinsky, @chadkolinsky) – There will be 103 million millennials by 2020 in the U.S., 90 million of whom will be eligible to vote. Politicians better start listening.
[9 Mics, 4 Comments, 3 Shares]
5 Modern Composers All Music Junkies Should Have On Their Playlists (Daniel Waugh, @DanGuyWaugh) – Music is an important element of any creative work, and the position of “Composer” has a special place in the entertainment industry. Here are some of the all-time greats.
[5 Mics, 4 Comments, 1 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – Rand Paul got into politics because he hates water-saving toilets (WSJ).
12 ways to lower crime rates without pissing off the NRA (Wonk Blog).
The year in hacking, by the numbers (Bits).
In 2050, you’ll be able to see through the ceiling of your plane (BBC).
What’s the secret to becoming super wealthy? (Businessweek)
Maybe you shouldn’t be jealous, after all: being famous may shorten your life (TIME).
How much food will $5 get you around the world? (BuzzFeed)
What your go-to drink says about you (Thought Catalog).
Dessert – This 14-year-old basketball phenom’s highlights reel will leave your jaw on the floor.
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