Dzhokar Is Up and Walking: Associated Press: "The remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough to walk and assured his parents in a phone conversation that he and his slain brother were innocent, their mother told The Associated Press on Thursday. ... Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, walked without a wheelchair to speak to his mother last week for the first and only phone conversation they have had since he has been in custody, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the AP."
Mother Remains in Denial: "In a rare glimpse at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s state of mind, he told her he was getting better and that he had a very good doctor, but was struggling to understand what happened, she said. 'He didn’t hold back his emotions either, as if he were screaming to the whole world: What is this? What’s happening?,' she said. The April 15 bombings killed three people and wounded more than 260 .... Dzhokhar remains in a prison hospital after being badly wounded. 'I could just feel that he was being driven crazy by the unfairness that happened to us, that they killed our innocent Tamerlan,' their mother said, standing by the family’s insistent belief that their children are innocent."
Not The Only Parent Crying Foul: CBS News: "The father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect said Thursday that the U.S. agents killed his son 'execution-style.' At news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed journalists 16 photographs that he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue. He said his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head and the pictures were taken by his son's friend, Khusen Taramov. ... The FBI says 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Ibragim Todashev was killed last week during a violent confrontation in his Orlando home while an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers questioned him about his ties to slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as about a 2011 triple slaying in Massachusetts."
Happy Thursday, and welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest. A quick programming note: I'm taking off a bit early tomorrow afternoon, so there won't be a traditional PM post leading tomorrow's afternoon newsletter. Things will return to normal on Monday.
Great Question: Did Hitler Invent the Hitler Mustache?
Washington Has Another Ricin Scare On Its Hands: Reuters: "Authorities intercepted a threatening letter addressed to President Barack Obama that was similar to ones sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Secret Service said on Thursday. Letters sent to Bloomberg and his gun control group contained material believed to be the deadly poison ricin and contained a reference to gun control, New York police said on Wednesday. A Secret Service official said the White House letter was similar but did not elaborate. ... Authorities have stopped several ricin-laced letters in recent weeks. A Tupelo, Mississippi, man was charged last month with sending poison-laced letters to Obama and two other public officials. Everett Dutschke was being held on charges of developing and possessing ricin and attempting to use it as a weapon, according to the Justice Department."
Must-Read from @SlateCrime: Another “Accidental” Child Shooting Death Shows that Child Shooting Deaths Are Not Accidental
Assad Says Russia's Sending Him Missiles: Washington Post: "Syria has received its first shipment of long-range S-300 air defense missiles from Russia, President Bashar al-Assad was quoted as saying Thursday, raising the specter of further Israeli intervention in the two-year conflict. ... Assad added that more missiles are due to arrive soon. ... The Israeli government had no comment Thursday on Assad’s claim, but military experts were skeptical. ... Israeli officials have indicated that they would take action to ensure that the missile system, which has a range of 130 miles — roughly the distance from Damascus to Tel Aviv — does not become operational. The presence of the surface-to-air missiles in the region also would raise fears in Tel Aviv that the technology could be passed to Hezbollah, a longstanding enemy of Israel."
Rob Ford's Running Out of Staff: USA Today: "Two more staffers have left the offices of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in the wake of bizarre scandal over a purported cellphone video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. Brian Johnston, Ford's adviser on council relations, was escorted out of City Hall by security officers on Thursday, the Toronto Star reported. Kia Nejatian, Ford's executive assistant, quit early Thursday, according to the CBC. Ford's chief of staff, Mark Towhey, was fired last week and escorted from the building and two press secretaries have quietly resigned. ... The departures on Thursday also came as the Star reported that unidentified sources said Ford told senior aides in a meeting not to worry about the video because he knew where it was. He then allegedly blurted out the address, including street and unit number to the shock of staffers at a City Hall meeting, the newspaper reported."
Petraeus's New Gig: Reuters: "Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co said it appointed former CIA Director David Petraeus as chairman of the newly created KKR Global Institute, which will study the investment implications of global macroeconomic, social and geopolitical issues. Petraeus will also support KKR's investment teams in the diligence process, particularly in considering investments in new geographies, KKR said on Thursday."
Recalling Sheriff Joe: Associated Press: "A group trying to oust the polarizing sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix faces a Thursday deadline for handing in voter signatures in an uphill battle to force a recall election against the lawman. Organizers of the recall effort against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio face long odds in turning in the more than 335,000 valid voter signatures required by the 4 p.m. deadline. They have struggled to raise funds, have had to rely on a mostly volunteer workforce to collect signatures and are mounting a campaign against a politician who has a base of devoted supporters. ... Arpaio should be booted, they say, because his office has failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases, has cost the county $25 million in legal settlements over treatment in county jails and his office was found by a federal judge to have systematically racially profiled Latinos in his signature immigration patrols. ... Arpaio supporters say the sheriff won re-election fair and square and that recall organizers shouldn't be allowed to contest the election simply because they don't like the outcome."
A French, French Kiss: CBS News: "For centuries, there's been no official French word for what may be the country's most popular export – the 'French kiss' – but that's finally been rectified. The one-word verb 'galocher' — to kiss with tongues — is among new entries added to the Petit Robert 2014 French dictionary, which hit the shops Thursday."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate's Blogs—
- The Slatest: Obama Taps a Rare Ex-Bush Official Democrats Have a Reason to Love (Or At Least Like
- XX Factor: Facebook Should Not be in the Business of Censoring Speech, Even Hate Speech
- Atlas Obscura: This Abandoned Island was Once the Most Densely Populated Place on Earth
- Future Tense: Do Police Really Use Aircraft to Enforce Speed Limits?
- TNC: True Believers Clamor for “Mars Rat” Spotted by Curiosity Rover (VIDEO)
- Crime: Dumb Criminal of the Week: The Florida Man Who Allegedly Had Marijuana in His Pubic Hair
- Moneybox: Tesla Prepares Massive Expansion of Supercharger Network
See you back here Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.