News & Politics

Gabrielle Giffords Opens Eyes; 46% of Students Attended School Yesterday; and More A.M. Links

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• President Obama addressed the nation in a memorial event for the Tucson shooting victims last night with a speech promoting discourse that heals, not wounds. He also announced that he’d just been to the hospital with Michelle to see Congresswoman Giffords, and that minutes after he left, “Gabby opened her eyes for the first time.” New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was still in the room, as was Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. Giffords remains in critical condition, but doctors are optimistic as to her recovery. Read Obama’s speech here. [NPR, Slate]

• New England is still digging out from the snowstorm that fairly gently passed us by (with just 9 inches) in New York. [CNN]

• Public schools in New York City were open yesterday, despite the snow, but more than half a million students failed to show, for an attendance rate of 46%. In high schools, more than 75 percent of kids were absent. As for those who attended, some of them are a bit angry. [NYP, NYT]

• A fire broke out yesterday in a building on East 10th Street between Avenues B and C. As firefighters combatted the fire, they discovered an unidentified man with a gunshot wound to the head in the bathroom of a fourth-floor apartment. A revolver was found near him. He was declared dead; cause of death is to be determined. [DNAInfo]

• The Spider-Man musical, for all its problems, has managed to beat the top-grossing Broadway show, Wicked, at the box office last week, but only by $58. [ABC]

Mars Bars toilets have made the list of the world’s worst bathrooms, at least according to one Canadian publication. [EV Grieve]