Beltway Insider: Boston Investigation Nets Three; President Travels to Latin America; April Job Numbers; Kent State Marks 43rd Anniversary

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President Obama spent the week meeting with foreign leaders from Mexico and Costa Rica as he traveled to both countries in an effort to encourage common objectives, strengthen relations and solidify ties.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, dropped a single percentage point to 51% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President rose three percentage points to 43%.

President Obama Travels to Mexico, Costa Rico

President Obama, in his second foreign trip of his new term, traveled to Mexico and Costa Rico to engage both leaders in dialogue designed to encourage cooperation as the United States seeks to develop strategic alliances, improve the global economy and build on mutual interests.

The three day trip began in Mexico City with the president participating in a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Pena Nieto where issues affecting both nations including economic growth, immigration, education and security, were presented. In a joint Press Conference both leaders expressed appreciation over the progress.

President Obama then participated in a bilateral meeting and a working dinner with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, his first trip to the country, where the two leaders also discussed issues that affect both nations. Madam President Chinchilla expanded the needs to include security, energy, education, entrepreneurship, health and welfare of the people. Both leaders, again, expressed their gratitude over the progress of the talks.

All three leaders expressed concern over the issue of security, which includes more than national security and defense but more important the issue of the illegal trafficking of weapons, arms dealing, and the pressing issue of gun control.

Both leaders and President Obama agreed the talks produced a solid foundation and a working plan to reinforce the ties that bind our nations.

Boston Bombing Investigation Nets Three Accomplishes

Investigators in the Boston Marathon Bombings arrested three additional individuals in connection with the April 15 twin blasts that left four dead and over 260 injured.

The three students, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both 19 and in the United States on student visas from Kazakhstan, have been accused of conspiring to conceal evidence and obstruction of justice.  Robel Phillipos, also 19, of Cambridge, Mass., has been charged with making false and misleading statements to authorities.

The friends contacted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, through text, after recognizing his picture from the released FBI images and asked if he committed the bombings. His text reply, “lol” he then explained the friends could take anything they wanted from his dorm room. The three proceeded to take a computer and fireworks which were destroyed and taken to a local landfill.

All three are being held without bail and if convicted on the obstruction of justice charges alone could face fines up to 250,000 and five years in prison.

As authorities continue to search for additional suspects they have concluded the female DNA found on one of the bombs is not that of the suspect’s wife.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in serious but stable condition in a prison hospital. The remains of his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in an attempted escape, were released from the medical examiner to his family.

April Job Numbers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released April Job Numbers this week giving a much need boast to the psyche of the American people.

According to the BLS, the economy added 165,000 jobs and still remains classified as little changed. Although job growth since January has increased by 673,000, the economy continues to limp along with little month-to-month change. A .01% drop from March 2013 to April 2013 in unemployment has resulted in a cumulative 5% drop, to 7.5%, since September of 2012 when unemployment dropped to 7.9% from 8.0% where it had been stubbornly cemented for over 40 months.

A bright spot in April for the long term unemployed, classified as those who have been without work for 27 weeks, with 258,000 returning to the ranks of the employed. Additionally, the long term unemployed have decreased, over the past year, by 678,000.

The total number of unemployed Americans stands at 11.7 million and has not changed significantly over the past month. However, since January the total number of long term unemployed has dropped by 673,000.

In April employment increased in professional and business services, temporary services, food service industries and health care.

Kent State Shooting Marks 43rd Anniversary

Ken State University, in Kent, Ohio, marked the 43rd anniversary of the 1970 campus shooting with a weekend of commemorative events that culminated with the dedication of the May 4th Visitors Center and included a talk by, Oscar winning director, Oliver Stone.

On May 4th, 1970, 1500 students protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the expanding war in Southeast Asia were met by armed Ohio National Guardsmen who responded to the peaceful demonstration by firing tear gas into the crowd and then opened fire. At the end four students died, Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, and several more were injured. 

Kent State will, this year, honor the memory and the time period by opening the long awaited May 4th Visitors Center, located in Taylor Hall on the university campus. The center is full of memorabilia and transports visitors to the volatile days as students from around the country took to the streets in the protests over the Vietnam War. The Center includes newspapers clippings from the tragic day as well as videos and other interactive displays.

A decorated Vietnam Veteran, Stone was asked to attend as he is considered of the same mind set as the message of the Visitors Center. Stone served in the U.S. Army and received a bronze star for valor. An award winning, conspiracy theorist, director Stone has chronicled his experiences and beliefs through such films as “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “JFK” and “Nixon.”

For more information on President Obama: 


Sources; Gallup, Wikipedia,, FBI Blog, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,


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