President Barack Obama on Monday awarded the country's highest honor for valor to Navy SEAL Edward Byers, who used his body to shield an American hostage from gunfire during a rescue operation in Afghanistan. Byers, 36, was the sixth Navy SEAL to receive the Medal of Honor and 11th living service member to be awarded the honor for actions in Afghanistan. Obama said the White House ceremony for Byers offered a rare public opportunity to acknowledge the work of the military's special operations forces, who often serve in the shadows.
Rarely are Supreme Court proceedings rocked by such astonishment. On Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas broke a years-long habit of silence by asking a question during a hearing on gun rights -- his first in a decade. An arch-conservative who was ideologically aligned to his friend on the court, the late -- and voluble -- Justice Antonin Scalia, Thomas has become known as the only justice never to open his mouth during oral arguments.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke a decade-long silence from the bench on Monday, provoking audible gasps in the chamber and, perhaps, indicating that he may be more willing to speak up in the future following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this month. Justice Thomas's remarks came near the end of oral arguments in a case regarding a federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning guns. Ten minutes from the end of the hourlong session, Thomas asked Justice Department lawyer Ilana Eisenstein whether a misdemeanor conviction of any other law "suspends a constitutional right," prompting gasps from lawyers and journalists in the chamber.
Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev passed the US citizenship test just a few months before he helped carry out the Boston Marathon bombings that killed thee people and injured over 260, according to heavily redacted Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by the Boston Globe. The documents, released to the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Mr. Tsarnaev, passed the test with only one incorrect answer, and that he also swore his allegiance to the United States and denied any links to terrorism. Tsarnaev was killed in a firefight with law enforcement days after the April 15, 2013 bombings.