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Watch: Country singer Toby Keith vows Oklahoma will 'bounce back'

05/22/13 01:47PM

Country music legend and Oklahoma-native Toby Keith called his home state “resilient” in an interview with msnbc’s Thomas Roberts on Tuesday, as the pair toured the devastation wreaked by Monday’s massive tornado. Homes were flattened, buildings were ripped to shreds, and dozens of lives were lost, but Keith vowed Oklahoma would bounce back even stronger than before. “Come back a year from now, and this place will be vibrant,” said Keith. “The spirit of this place is amazing.” Watch the full interview with country singer Toby Keith above. read more

Sarah Wudyka's first grade class in Tampa, Florida.

Share your #MessageForMoore

05/22/13 10:46AM

After one of the deadliest tornadoes in history tore through the Oklahoma town of Moore on Monday, millions of people from all over the world sent messages of love and support. "Heal. Rebuild. Come together," said the first graders in Ms. Sarah Wudyka's class. Got a message for Moore? Share it here, on Facebook, or on Twitter with the hashtag #MessageForMoore. read more

Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Okla, Monday, May 20, 2013. Near SW 149th and Hudson. (AP Photo/ The Oklahoman,  Paul Hellstern)

'I love you. Please don't die with me,' - Heroes emerge in Oklahoma

05/21/13 03:32PM

In the chaotic and terrifying 40 minutes it took for a powerful tornado to tear through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, ordinary people reacted to the horror with extraordinary acts of heroism. Plaza Towers Elementary sixth-grade teacher Rhonda Crosswhite never thought of her own life, she told NBC News, even as the twister decimated the building around her. Crosswhite huddled with several students in a bathroom stall, later covering them with her own body as debris began to fly. read more

A photograph of the late Mark Carson, a 32-year-old gay man who was shot and killed on May 17 at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 8th Street, sits amid flowers in a makeshift memorial at the site of his murder in New York City May 20, 2013. Greenwich...

NYC hate crime rocks LGBT community

05/20/13 05:28PM

In a year when LGBT advocates stand to make the most significant strides for equality since the birth of the modern gay rights movement, an apparent hate crime just blocks away from where the struggle began serves as a stark reminder that the battle is not over. 
 Mark Carson, a 32-year-old gay man, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Greenwich Village near the legendary Stonewall Inn, a popular establishment among the gay community where patrons famously clashed with police during a 1969 riot. 
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This digital composite shows (L-R): Family members of the four Americans killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's hearing on May 8, 2013 in...

Poll: Americans lack attention to IRS, Benghazi hearings

05/17/13 10:25AM

Americans' focus on the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi stories is below average, according to a new poll. The Gallup poll found that 54% of Americans are following the IRS scandal and 53% of the country's citizens are paying attention to the congressional hearings on the Benghazi, Libya, attack. The data is low based on historical measures of other news stories during the last two decades, the survey out Friday found. read more

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) arrive at a news conference to introduce the new House Republican leadership for the next Congress November 14, 2012 on Capitol Hill in...

Heritage to Republicans: Don't rain on the parade

05/17/13 10:20AM

Tell us how you really feel, Heritage Action for America. 
 The lobbying arm of the conservative group that scores Republican lawmakers on the their votes, made it very clear that its members are enjoying the negative attention President Obama has received this week. In a letter addressed to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the group’s CEO discouraged the Republican leaders from bringing any legislation to the floor that could distract from Obama’s scandal trifecta. read more

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. March 14, 2013. (Photo by Cliff Owen/AP)

Harry Reid says his niece is gay, raising hopes for ENDA

05/16/13 06:19PM

LGBT advocates got some encouragement from Sen. Harry Reid on Wednesday about the prospects of a bill designed to protect gay and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. Reid didn’t exactly guarantee that he would put the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to a Senate vote this year, but he did disclose in an interview with the Huffington Post that his niece is gay--a potential sign, advocates hope, that the majority leader will take a more aggressive approach to passing ENDA as soon as possible. 
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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Watch: Holder smacks down Gohmert over Boston bombings--'You cannot know what I know'

05/15/13 06:40PM

An already-ugly House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday turned even nastier when Texas Republican Louie Gohmert took the wheel on questions related to last month’s Boston Marathon bombing--specifically, about what the FBI did and did not do after receiving information from Russian intelligence that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized. 
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Former RNC state director Pablo Pantoja says he switched from Republican to Democrat because of “culture of intolerance.” (Photo courtesy Pablo Pantoja)

'Culture of intolerance?' More like 'sour grapes,' says RNC

05/15/13 02:59PM

The Republican National Committee is pushing back against flak it received after the committee’s former Florida director in charge of Latino outreach said he was leaving the GOP because of its “culture of intolerance.” 
 RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer on Wednesday called the incident a case of “sour grapes.” 
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**FILE** This July 8, 2007 file photo shows NAACP Chairman Julian Bond addressing the civil rights organization's annual convention in Detroit. Bond says he will not seek re-election as chairman, a post he has held since 1998. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

Watch: Fmr. NAACP chair calls Tea Party groups 'Taliban wing of American politics'

05/14/13 04:15PM

Despite maintaining that the NAACP was unfairly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service in 2004, the civil rights organization’s former chairman now finds the IRS’s special scrutiny of Tea Party groups “entirely legitimate.” 
 “I don’t think there are any parallels to what we’re seeing today,” said NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond on msnbc Tuesday. “Here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political, who’ve tried as best as they can to harm President Obama in every way they can,” Bond said of Tea Party loyalists. 
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Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, left, sponsor of the gay marriage bill in the Minnesota Senate, and his partner Richard Leyva greet a large, joyous crowd as the arrive at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday, May 13, 2013. The...

Marriage equality in Minnesota: A gay-rights victory in the Midwest

05/13/13 05:20PM

Updated, May 14, 7:30 p.m. 
 Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill Tuesday that legalizes gay marriage, making the state the 12th to do so. 
 Marriage equality gained an important foothold in the Midwest on Monday, as the Minnesota Senate voted to approve a historic measure extending marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. 
 Hundreds of supporters at the Capitol erupted in cheers as lawmakers passed the bill by a vote of 37-30 in the state Senate, where Democrats hold a 39-28 majority. 
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In this May 30, 2012 photo, Stanford engineering graduate student Serena Yeung, right, meets with male engineering students Jeff Piersol, center, and David Liu, left, on a project they are working on together on the Stanford University campus in...

Show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for women in technology

05/10/13 02:29PM

Nerd. Dork. Loser. Lesbian. 
 Those are just a few of the mean-spirited put-downs some of the world’s most successful tech entrepreneurs said they heard growing up—simply because they were girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. 
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