Charged. The lawyer for the 16-year-old charged with stabbing more than 20 classmates at a Pennsylvania high school said he doesn’t know the teen’s motive. Alex Hribal did not have a history of mental illness, defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said. “He’s not a loner. He wouldn’t be described by other students as a weirdo or anything like that. He’s well liked. He’s a B student. He comes from a great family,” Thomassey told Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV. Hribal was charged Wednesday night and jailed without bail. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult. Hribal stabbed and slashed students with two kitchen knives Wednesday morning as he ran down a hallway at Franklin Regional High School, authorities said. Some students have speculated that bullying might have prompted the boy’s actions, but local police Chief Thomas Seefeld has said he knows of no evidence to support that idea at this point.
Accused. A congressional committee has asked the U.S. attorney general to do something about the alleged crimes of ex-Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS division that oversees non-profit organizations. Congressional Republicans have accused her of using IRS operations to attack conservative groups. Yesterday, the House Ways and Means committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder accusing Lerner of violating multiple federal criminal statutes. The letter details how Lerner went above and beyond IRS procedures to investigate conservative groups such as Crossroads GPS, a political non-profit founded by Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush. “The committee asks you to pursue this evidence and ensure the victims of IRS abuse do not also suffer neglect from the criminal justice system,” the letter stated.
Supported. Mayor Bill de Blasio is giving a boost to more than 60 New York City churches that meet in public schools. A federal court recently ruled a city statute allowing churches to use the buildings is unconstitutional. Instead of simply throwing the churches out, De Blasio on Tuesday said, “We’re going to take this court decision, work with it, upgrade the rules, but continue to give opportunities to faith organizations.” Pastor Dimas Salaberrios of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx said de Blasio has been on the churches’ side. “He has fought with us, he has marched with us, so I’m happy that he’s taking a stance with us,” Salaberrios said. In 2012, de Blasio marched with about 3,500 New Yorkers to support the churches.
Super-sized. Walmart is teaming up with the health brand Wild Oats to stock shelves at its megastores with more organic products, Forbes reports. The 100 or so new products will cost an average of 25 percent less than foods at competing stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. While lower prices are good news for customers, they could be bad news for the organics industry overall. Writer Tim Worstall suggests that people buy organic as a “social signaling function.” “People buy organic foods simply because this demonstrates that they’re the type of people that buy organic foods,” Worstall wrote. Walmart’s selling organic foods is like when your mom starts singing along to your favorite song—it just isn’t cool anymore.