GOP blocks Student loan bill in Senate
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation aimed at letting people refinance their student loans at lower rates, a pre-ordained outcome that gave Democrats a fresh election-year talking point against the GOP. The 56-38 vote fell short of the 60 needed to advance to debate on the measure by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Her bill would have let millions of borrowers, some with years-old debt and interest rates topping 7 percent or more, refinance at today's lower rates. Republicans said the bill wouldn't have done anything to lower education costs or reduce borrowing.
School shooter had assault rifle: police
A 15-year-old boy accused of killing a fellow freshman in a high school locker room was heavily armed with an assault rifle, nine magazines of ammunition, handgun and knife that police said Wednesday were taken from a secured area at his family home. The information came as police provided a more detailed account of the violence Tuesday at Reynolds High School and a portrait emerged of 15-year-old suspect Jared Michael Padgett as a devout Mormon and aspiring serviceman. Authorities said an autopsy confirmed Padgett died in a school bathroom of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But no link has been discovered between Padgett and 14-year-old victim Emilio Hoffman.
Pakistan officials report drone strike
A U.S. drone aircraft struck suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal areas Wednesday, breaking a five-month pause in the attacks, Pakistani security officials said. Officials said the unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a car and a house in the North Waziristan tribal area. It marked the first strike by the CIA-run U.S. drone program in Pakistan since Christmas, according to the independent New America Foundation, which tracks the incidents.
Egyptian president offers apology
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi apologized Wednesday to the victim of a mass sexual assault that took place in a crowd celebrating his election, declaring in a televised visit to her hospital bed that he urged every soldier, police officer and "chivalrous man" to eradicate such abuse. "I apologize to you and as a state we will not allow this to happen again," el-Sissi said. "I am here to tell you and every Egyptian woman I apologize to all of you." El-Sissi's visit and apology, on his third day in office, was orchestrated to convey his determination to combat sexual violence against women. It was a far more forceful expression of personal commitment than was ever made by his predecessors.
John Glenn has heart procedure
Former astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn has had a heart valve replacement as he nears his 93rd birthday. Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, was recuperating, a spokesman at Ohio State University said Wednesday. Glenn is strong and healthy ahead of his birthday July 18, said John Glenn School of Public Affairs spokesman Hank Wilson. He said Glenn had a minimally invasive version of the valve replacement procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in May and is recovering well.