Boston Marathon bombings, 'American Idol,' Margaret Thatcher: Top 5 stories for April 17, 2013

advertisement | advertise on newsday

1) The bombs used at Monday's Boston Marathon may have been created with pressure cookers, law enforcement officials said Tuesday as a wide-ranging manhunt was under way. The bombs, investigators said, were filled with nails and scraps of metal. That information is important because it could help authorities narrow the search to specific groups or cells. In the meantime, as the list of fatalities and injuries grows, memorials and vigils were already getting under way.

2) A ceremonial funeral with full military honors will take place in London at 6 a.m. Wednesday for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The funeral, to take place at St. Paul's Cathedral, will be attended by Queen Elizabeth -- the first time the monarch has attended the funeral of a prime minister since Winston Churchill's in 1965.

3) Senate debate continued Tuesday on a gun control bill that included a controversial deal on expanding background checks. It was unclear whether the bill, which is weaker than what President Barack Obama wanted, would muster enough votes. A modified version of the bill could come later this week.

4) Girl power on "American Idol": For this first time in the show's history, "American Idol" has an all-female final five, guaranteeing that a woman will win the hit reality competition series for the first time since 2006. Candice Glover is the front-runner after her showstopping cover of The Cure's "Lovesong" last week, but she still faces stiff competition from the remaining contestants: Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb and Janelle Arthur.

5) The NBA wraps up its regular season with a full slate of 15 games. All but one of the 16 playoff spots have been secured. The Los Angeles Lakers can claim the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a win over Houston. The Utah Jazz, however, can earn a postseason berth with a win over Memphis and a loss by the Lakers.

You also may be interested in: