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The Edge

How to Un-break a Reporter in Half, and What You Need to Know About Black Holes — THE EDGE

January 29, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: U.S. Intelligence Director James Clapper worries that Syria has become a magnet for terrorists. Rep. Michael Grimm apologized to a New York reporter for threatening to break him in half. The House passed the five-year farm bill, which could pass the Senate as early as Thursday. Two inches of snow essentially shut down the entire city of Atlanta. Stephen Hawking doubts black holes exist as we imagined. And the polar vortex looks really cool when it's illustrated in a moving graphic.

NJ'S TECH EDGE: President Obama outlined his idea to improve Internet access in schools, Jay Rockefeller wants to know why Target didn't tell the SEC about its recent data breach, and Rand Paul says Hillary Clinton is a "big proponent of the surveillance state." Tech Edge, National Journal's new morning tipsheet, rounds up the best coverage of technology policy.Sign up here, and view today's issue here.



CLAPPER FEARS SYRIA'S VIOLENCE WILL SPREAD TO WEST: The committee hearing covered terrorist activity in the Middle East, with Clapper saying Syria has become a "huge magnet" for extremists as the country's civil war creates chaos. (Sara Sorcher, NJ)

GRIMM APOLOGIZES FOR 'I'LL BREAK YOU IN HALF' THREAT: The Staten Island Republican apologized to Michael Scotto of NY1 for threatening to throw him off a balcony or break him in half after the president's State of the Union speech. Scotto had asked Grimm about a federal investigation into Grimm's campaign fundraising, which Grimm said was off topic. (Wheaton/Santora, NYT)

FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL FINALLY PASSES THE HOUSE: Two days after the bill was introduced, it passed the House Wednesday morning by a 251-166 vote. It now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass as early as Thursday. (Mimms/Koren, NJ)

BACHMANN WANTS TO SUE OBAMA: Michele Bachmann was not happy with Obama's speech Tuesday, saying, "If he wants to move forward with this unilateral activity, he better be prepared for the lawsuit that the United States Congress will bring to him." (Sarah Mimms, NJ)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The president will speak at 11:20 a.m. about the economy in Waukesha, Wis., and again at 3:50 p.m. in McGavock Pike, Tenn. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will meet workers at an Ace Hardware store about the need to raise the federal minimum wage at 11:30 a.m. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will deliver the keynote address at the National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment at 8:45 a.m. The House and Senate are in session.


THE TIME MICHAEL GRIMM YELLED AT ME: Those familiar with Grimm's personality shouldn't be surprised by his threats toward a New York reporter on Tuesday. (Marin Cogan, NJ)

WHAT OBAMA AND SNOWDEN HAVE IN COMMON: Snowden has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, although he wouldn't be able to travel to receive the award if he won. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

SCIENTIST SAYS HE STILL WOULDN'T DRINK THE WATER IN WEST VIRGINIA: An environmental scientist told state lawmakers he wasn't sure it was safe to drink the water, even weeks after a chemical spill. (Eyder Peralta, NPR)

OBAMA'S SIX BIGGEST POINTS ON FOREIGN POLICY: Obama seemed to talk around the toughest foreign policy challenges in his speech Tuesday, but he did address some major points. (Max Fisher, WaPo)

WHO SAT ON WHOSE LAP AT SOTU? Roll Call's Matt Fuller reported on Twitter that Rep. Jim Himes sat on Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's lap before the State of the Union Speech. Except it turned out not to be Jim Hines. (Sarah Mimms, NJ)


HOW 2 INCHES OF SNOW SHUT DOWN ATLANTA: Southern drivers might not be used to snow, but it goes beyond that. (Conor Sen, The Atlantic)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF IDEAS ON BLACK HOLES: Stephen Hawking recently said in a study that black holes may not exist as we once thought. But to understand Hawking's point, we need to know a bit about the history of black holes. (Adam Mann, Wired)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: Obama didn't necessarily need to give his State of the Union speech Tuesday. He had pretty much covered everything in a Vine video. (Reena Flores, NJ)

THE POLAR VORTEX IS MESMERIZING: A colorful, moving visualization of the polar vortex shows how it works. (Brian Resnick, NJ)
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