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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

**FILE** A woman smokes a cigarette at her home in Alabama on March 2, 2013. (Associated Press)

Smokers cloud states' rollout of 'Obamacare'

States are wrestling with how to treat smokers under the new health care law as they navigate the thorny issue of providing coverage for those who knowingly engage in harmful behavior and how much taxpayers should pay for those folks' choices. Published April 22, 2013

Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, speaks with the media outside his home in Montgomery Village, Md., on April, 19, 2013. (Associated Press)

Ruslan Tsarni says nephews Dzhokhar and Tamerlan are 'losers'

The Maryland uncle for the two brothers suspected in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing angrily denounced his nephews as "losers" who failed to assimilate into American society, while saying it was a "fraud" to suggest their Islamic faith was to blame the attack. Published April 19, 2013

This image released by the FBI on Thursday, April 18, 2013, shows in a image from video what the FBI are calling suspect number 1, front, in black cap, and suspect number 2, in white cap, back right, walking near each other through the crowd in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013, before the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/FBI)

Deceased suspect had studied at Bunker Hill Community College

A suspect tied to the Boston Marathon bombings who was killed overnight in a shootout with police attended a community college and posted an online message about Americans ahead of Monday's attack, according to CNN. Published April 19, 2013

Authorities search a storage unit at Gibson Self Storage as they continue to investigate the slayings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife and a top prosecutor, Saturday, April 13, 2013, in Seagoville, Texas. Authorities investigating the death of a Texas district attorney arrested Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace and charged him Saturday with making a "terroristic threat" after searching his home. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Michael Ainsworth)

Ex-justice's wife arrested in Texas prosecutor murders

The wife of a former justice of the peace in Texas has been arrested on accusations linked to the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and an assistant prosecutor, the Dallas Morning News reported this morning. Published April 17, 2013

** FILE ** In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV)

Video shows Boston bomb suspect; FBI criticizes media for days of inaccurate reports

After an afternoon in which many in the media incorrectly reported an arrest in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon bombing, investigators acknowledged Wednesday that authorities have captured a video image of a possible suspect from a surveillance camera at a Lord & Taylor department store and TV footage. Published April 17, 2013

** FILE ** Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, Wash., was running his third Boston Marathon and near the finish line when he was knocked down by one of two bomb blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)

Stunned Americans grieve as portraits of Boston Marathon bombing victims emerge

The Neighborhood House Charter School has to bring in counselors for children who will never again see their 8-year-old classmate Martin Richard. The mother of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, said it "doesn't make any sense" that she is gone. And 27-year-old Jeff Bauman Jr. — the man in a widely distributed photo — had to have both lower limbs removed at Boston Medical Center because of extensive vascular and bone damage. Published April 16, 2013

Photo of the aftermath of a suspected explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Twitter photo/Tyler Wakstein)

Terror strikes Boston Marathon; twin blasts turn finish line into scene of carnage

With a flash of fire and a pair of deafening blasts, the Boston Marathon disintegrated Monday into a bloody scene of chaos and terror after two bombs went off near the finish line of the iconic race, killing at least three, severing limbs, injuring more than 130 and setting the country on high alert. Published April 15, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, April 12, 2013, before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Obama's budget proposal for the HHS for fiscal 2014. (Associated Press)

On Hill, Sebelius faces GOP doubts over health law

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told skeptical House Republicans on Friday that President Obama's health care law will roll out on time and improve health outcomes, despite limited resources and fears about the overhaul's impact on small businesses. Published April 12, 2013

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 11, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing to defend President Obama's budget proposal for fiscal 2014. (Associated Press)

Treasury chief, House GOP struggle to find common ground

Two top Obama administration officials told Congress on Thursday that the president made significant concessions to Republicans when drafting the budget proposal he released this week, hoping to set the groundwork for a grand bargain. Published April 11, 2013