VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
POLICE: PROGRESS IN MOTHER'S DAY SHOOTING PROBE
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- New Orleans police hope a $10,000 reward and blurry surveillance camera images will lead to arrests in a Mother's Day shooting that wounded 19 people and showed again how far the city has to go to shake a persistent culture of violence that belies the city's festive image.
Angry residents said gun violence - which has flared at two other city celebrations this year - goes hand-in-hand with the city's other deeply rooted problems such as poverty and urban blight. The investigators tasked with solving Sunday's shooting work within an agency that's had its own troubles rebounding from years of corruption while trying to halt violent crime.
"The old people are scared to walk the streets. The children can't even play outside," Ronald Lewis, 61, said Monday as he sat on the front stoop of his house, about a half a block from the shooting site. His window sill has a hole from a bullet that hit it last year. Across the street sits a house marked by bullets he said were fired two weeks ago.
"The youngsters are doing all this," said Jones, who was away from home when the latest shooting broke out.
Video released early Monday shows a crowd gathered for a boisterous second-line parade suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man in a white T-shirt and dark pants who turns and runs out of the picture. The image isn't clear, but police say they hope someone will recognize him and notify investigators.
Police were working to determine whether there was more than one gunman, though they initially said three people were spotted fleeing from the scene. Whoever was responsible escaped despite the presence of officers who were interspersed through the crowd as part of routine precautions for such an event.
No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon, but Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said investigators were making significant progress. Ballistic evidence gathered at the scene was giving them "very good leads to work on," he said.
OBAMA SAYS HE WON'T TOLERATE POLITICAL BIAS AT IRS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When members of Congress repeatedly raised concerns with the Internal Revenue Service about complaints that Tea Party groups were being harassed last year, a deputy IRS commissioner took the lead in assuring lawmakers that the additional scrutiny was a legitimate part of the screening process.
That deputy commissioner was Steven T. Miller, who is now the acting head of the agency.
In several letters to members of Congress, Miller went into painstaking detail about how applications for tax-exempt status were screened. But he never mentioned that conservative groups were being targeted, a fact that was known to people he oversaw, according to an upcoming report by the agency's inspector general.
In one 10-page response, Miller said a revenue agent uses "sound reasoning based on tax law training" to determine which applications for tax-exempt status need additional scrutiny.
"We are going to need to find out how much he knew," said Rep. Dave Camp, R- Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Camp is holding a hearing on the issue Friday and Miller is scheduled to testify.
Camp and other members of his committee sent at least four inquiries to the IRS, starting in June 2011. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, sent three inquiries. And Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House oversight committee, sent at least one.
None of the responses they received from the IRS acknowledged that conservative groups had ever been targeted.
GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said.
The government would not say why it sought the records. U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.
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