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    Guest list highlights gun control, economy, health care

    Joining Michelle Obama were guests linked to such issues as gun control, education, the economy, and health care.
    Joining Michelle Obama were guests linked to such issues as gun control, education, the economy, and health care.

    WASHINGTON — A police lieutenant wounded last summer during a deadly mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., was among two dozen guests the White House invited to sit with Michelle Obama during President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

    The White House historically extends invitations to special guests to join the first lady in the public gallery of the House chamber during the speech, believing they can help put a human face on an issue or proposal the president will discuss during his annual address.

    This year’s guest list included people linked to such issues as gun control, education, immigration, jobs, and the economy, health care, and voting rights. The list included Kaitlin Roig, of Greenwich, Conn., a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


    Also joining Michelle Obama in her box: Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr., parents of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed near the Obamas’ Chicago home days after she returned from performing during inauguration festivities in Washington.

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    Oak Creek, Wis., police officer Brian Murphy was shot multiple times by a gunman who killed six worshipers in Wisconsin before taking his own life. The veteran policeman is on medical leavewhile recovering from wounds to his head, neck, and body, the White House said.

    Other guests included:

      Marine Sergeant Sheena Adams of Vista, Calif., team adviser and lead instructor of the Female Engagement Team.

      Alan Aleman of Las Vegas, a Mexican immigrant and one of the first people in Nevada allowed to stay in the country under an administration initiative for immigrant children of parents in the United States without legal permission.


      Susan Bumgarner of Norman, Okla., an early childhood educator.

      Deb Carey of New Glarus, Wis., owner of New Glarus Brewing Co.

      Marine Sergeant Carlos Evans of Fayetteville, N.C., who lost both legs and his left hand during service that included three deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. The president signed his prosthetic arm during a visit to the White House.

      Tim Cook of Cupertino, Calif., chief executive of Apple Inc.

      Menchu de Luna Sanchez of Secaucus, N.J., a nurse at NYU Langone Medical Center who helped transfer at-risk patients during Hurricane Sandy.


      Bobak Ferdowsi of Pasadena, Calif., flight director of the Mars Curiosity rover.

      Bradley Henning of Louisville, Ky., a machinist at Atlas Machine and Supply.

      Tracey Hepner of Arlington, Va., cofounder of Military Partners and Families Coalition, which provides support, resources, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military partners and their families.

      Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers of Avondale, Ariz., the city’s first Latina mayor and current president of the National League of Cities.

      Amanda E. McMillan of Jackson, Miss., a victim of pay discrimination.

      Lisa Richards of Arlington, Va., a participant in a White House effort in which people were asked to share stories about what paying $2,200 more in taxes would mean for them and their families.

      Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis, a beneficiary of Obama’s health care overhaul.

      Desiline Victor of Miami, who, at age 102, made two trips and waited several hours to vote for Obama in November.

    Associated Press


    Senate votes for stronger bill for attacks on gays, Indians

    WASHINGTON — The Senate, with broad bipartisan support, voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to expand the reach of 1994’s landmark Violence Against Women Act by fortifying the power of Native American courts and explicitly protecting gay victims of abuse.

    The 78 to 22 vote raised the pressure on the House to act and expanded by 10 votes the margin of approval that a nearly identical bill garnered in the Senate in April. Twenty-three Republicans backed the measure, up from 15 previously.

    The vote came after 17 House Republicans wrote on Monday to Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, demanding immediate action on an anti-domestic violence bill that can get bipartisan support.

    The law, reauthorized twice before with almost no controversy, has been stuck this time in the broader fight over the size and scope of government, and a more specific battle over the powers that Congress should afford tribal courts.


    New York Times