At approximately 7:50 pm on April 17, a massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in the small town of West, Texas, left an estimated five to 15 people dead, injured at least 160 others, and destroyed many buildings in the surrounding vicinity. A 50-unit apartment complex near the plant was reduced to "a skeleton," a state police officer told the media.
During a visit to South Korea on April 12, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States will conduct talks with North Korea only if Pyongyang demonstrates a serious effort to negotiate ending its nuclear weapons program.
Thousands of supporters of immigration reform gathered in Washington, D.C., on April 10, with the main event of the day being the Citizenship for 11 Million rally held on the West Lawn of the Capitol. The Washington Post reported that the rally was co-sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and CASA of Maryland, identified as an “immigrant advocacy group.”
Hundreds of Christians were under siege inside St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo on the night of April 8, as security forces and local residents launched a prolonged and unprecedented attack on the cathedral.
Alastair Beach, a correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, witnessed the exchange of gunfire as armed gangs descended on the funeral of four Coptic Christians who had been killed during violent confrontations that erupted in the area two days earlier. A Muslim man was also killed in the clashes.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has predicted that the large number of immigrants taking up residency in Arizona will change the traditionally Republican stronghold into a Democrat-majority state.
U.S. senators have come to a “bipartisan agreement” to allow comprehensive immigration reform — amnesty. But the price of amnesty literally could mean the end of the country.
In a story reported by Russia Today on March 28, Sergey Koshelev, identified as head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s department of international cooperation, said that his ministry will soon begin discussions with NATO representatives to seek an arrangement allowing Russia to establish new bases in Afghanistan to repair military hardware.
In an Easter Sunday interview with Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union program, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said an agreement on an immigration reform plan has been reached by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators.
Speaking at an event held at the Brookings Institution’s Falk Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on March 26, Gen. John Allen, the former commander of international forces in Afghanistan, said that the United States would retain a troop presence in Afghanistan sufficiently large to support Afghan forces after the withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014.
In interviews with two Spanish-language television networks on March 27, President Obama expressed optimism that immigration reform legislation being drafted by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” group of senators will be passed this summer.