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Council Takes Up Bill To Speed FOIA Requests, Appeals

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By Peter Granitz

The D.C. Council is set to take up a measure that could make it easier for the public to access government information. Open government advocates hope the bill will speed up a process that can take years.

Councilmember Mary Cheh, the bill’s sponsor, says the District has failed to carry out existing freedom of information laws, so she wants to create an entirely new government agency to enforce them.

William Mulhauser is with the local ACLU and supports the plan. He wants to ensure the new agency will have the authority to force compliance. He says, under the current system, you can win an appeal and still not get what you want.

"That’s another problem with the process," says Mulhauser, "that the mayor’s office then directs the agency to comply, and that can take months or years too."

The bill is called the Open Government Act, which might explain why no one spoke out against it at today’s public hearing.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
WAMU 88.5

Turmoil At D.C. Agency Linked To Contract Disputes With Top Campaign Contributor

The head of the D.C. Department of General Services has resigned and two top staffers are being forced out after a company that has been a key contributor to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s campaigns lost out on two major city construction contracts, sources tell WAMU 88.5.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

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