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Top Stories With Washington Post Columnist Robert McCartney

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Testimony Begins On Gray Administration's Hiring Practices

Hearings on the hiring practices in the Gray administration started this week in the D.C. Three officials said Gerri Mason Hall, Gray's former chief of staff,, was determined to get a job for former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown. The officials' statements tend to support Brown's allegations that he was promised a job in 2010 in return for attacking then incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty.

McCartney said Brown's own credibility suffered as details emerged about why he was fired, including poor performance and erratic behavior.

On the question of nepotism, "it was clear...the mayor's office ignored concerns that were raised about actual or apparent nepotism and that they were concerned about getting maximum pay for political supporters rather than trying to save taxpayers' money," McCartney said.

Hall, who will testify about Brown's hiring, is also a part of the council's probe on nepotism. Hall's son, Nicholas, was hired as a writer/editor in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

"To the extent that there was any good news," he said, "all but one of the offspring of Gray officials or supporters has already been pushed out."

There will be another hearing on April 7 and possibly a third on April 11. Still to testify are Brown himself, Hall and Lorraine Green, chair of the campaign and transition.

Virginia Governor Vetoes, Amends A Number Of Bills

McCartney says McDonnell may be getting ready for running for national office by visibly enforcing conservative principles: The governor has vetoed four bills this year, when he didn't veto any his first year in office. McDonnell has made amendments to several other bills, including the recent [autism insurance legislation]http://wamu.org/news/11/03/30/virginiagovernorsignsautisminsurancebillproposes_changes.php).

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Berlin Wall Brought To University Of Virginia With 'Kings Of Freedom'

A massive piece of the Berlin Wall was recently delivered to the campus of the University of Virginia, adorned with a famous mural by German graffiti artist Dennis Kaun.


Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.

Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While

Fans and foes want to know whether the Affordable Care Act is meeting its goals. But, for good reasons, there are no clear answers yet.
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Capital Bikeshare Supplier Bought, Reopening Door To Expansion

Bixi, the company that supplies bicycles and bike stations to the Capital Bikeshare program, has been rescued from bankruptcy. But does that mean the bike sharing will resume expansion in our area?

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