News Archive - January 17, 2012

More Fallout From Harry Thomas Jr. Embezzlement Case

James Garvin, another associate of former D.C. council member Harry Thomas Jr., has pleaded guilty for his role in the embezzlement.

The Hill: New Tone In 2012, Occupy Congress, State Of The Union

Coming back from the winter recess, the House and Senate appear to have struck contradictory tones on partisanship, while the Occupy Congress protesters take a different tack in the capitol.

GWU Students Compete To Collect Cell Phones

George Washington University students have been mobilized to collect 20,000 used cell phones, which the school plans to recycle to pay for charity projects in Africa.

Virginia Presidential Ballot Challenge Tossed

A suit by Rick Perry and three other GOP candidates who did not make the Virginia presidential primary ballot has been thrown out by an appeals court, who say the candidates waited too long to make a challenge.

Alleged White House Shooter Facing Additional Charges

The man accused of firing an assault rifle at the White House in November was formally charged Tuesday, and now faces 17 counts, including attempting to assassinate President Obama.

Cigarette Tax Increase Proposed To Lower Va. Car Tax


A Virginia delegate has proposed a four-fold increase in the cigarette tax to fund anti-smoking programs as well as to significantly lower the local car tax.

Metro Delays Expected Through Friday

It may only be a four-day work week for some, but it could be a long one for frequent Metro riders, as delays are expected to continue through the end of the week.

Facing Disaster, What Is A Ship's Captain Expected To Do?

A maritime lawyer says while the romantic notion is that a captain doesn't jump ship until all hope is lost, the law doesn't require a captain to commit suicide.

Indian Lit Festival Invitation To Author Salman Rushdie Stirs Controversy

Muslim groups want the Indian-born author of Satanic Verses to be denied entry into the country. Rushdie is due to attend the Jaipur Literary Festival there later this week.

The Social Reference Desk: A Band-Aid For The Wikipedia Blackout

Could Twitter, along with NPR, The Guardian and The Washington Post answer some of the questions Wikipedia answers daily? They're trying it tomorrow during the great Wikipedia blackout of 2012.

PHOTOS: Images From The Disaster

Images from Italian luxury cruise ship accident.

'Occupy Congress' Protesters Gather At Capitol

As Congress reconvenes from their winter recess Tuesday, Occupy protesters from around the country have descended on the west lawn of the Capitol in one of the largest gatherings of Occupy activists.

Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang Resigns

Yang is leaving at a time when the Internet behemoth has struggled to remain relevant. Yahoo!'s stock price rallied on the news.

Wisconsin Democrats Exceed Million-Signature Mark For Walker Recall

How badly do Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's opponents want him out of office? So badly they collected significantly more signatures than they needed to ensure a recall election for the governor. We're talking more than a million signatures, according to the Democrats who, to meet the Tuesday deadline, were hauling boxes of documents to the state office responsible for reviewing them.

World's Timekeepers Will Decide The Fate Of The Leap Second

Proponents of keeping the leap second say it's a philosophical question, about whether we want to stay in tune with the Earth's orbit.

Listen Up, Walkers: Watch Out For Traffic When Wearing Headphones

A study of accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones suggests a real risk from the audio distraction. Fumbling with or listening to music players can divert attention from dangers. The audio can also drown out sounds of trouble.

High Court Lets Stand Trio Of First Amendment Cases

The Supreme Court has declined to hear three cases involving free speech and religion. Two cases involved what powers school officials have to censor students for social media activities conducted from home. A third involved local government meetings that usually begin with Christian prayers.

McDonnell Proposes Removing 20 Unfunded Mandates

Virginia's governor is proposing to get rid of 20 of the unfunded mandates the state currently imposes on local governments -- everything from removing requirements for contract bid advertisements in newspapers to lengthening the time for FOIA request responses. 

Morgan Stanley Will Limit Cash Bonuses To $125,000

That's a small check for an industry accustomed to seven-figure pay days and it reflects the toll the European debt crisis and new financial regulations have taken on the industry.

Does The Queen of Unhealthy Eating Have To Eat Her Words?

Paula Deen became rich and beloved by selling greasy, sugary Southern comfort food. Now she's got Type 2 diabetes. Can the queen of indulgence promote excess while also promoting a healthy lifestyle? Heaven knows, she's trying.

Cuccinelli Urges Rejection Of Perry's Bid For Virginia Ballot

Virginia's attorney general is urging a federal judge to reject Texas Gov. Rick Perry's appeal to get on the state's primary ballot.

One Of World's Oldest Cypress Trees, 'The Senator,' Burns In Florida

Investigators are now saying arson was not the likely cause of Monday's fire that brought down the 3,500-year-old tree. It's possible a lightning strike a week ago started smoldering inside the giant.

Los Angeles Approves Condom Requirement In Porn Shoots

The porn industry opposes condom use, saying it hurts video sales, but advocates of the new ordinance say the current once-a-month testing requirement is insufficient to keep performers safe.

Should The U.N. Grant Palestine Full Membership?

In the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate held Jan. 10, four experts on the Middle East face off on the motion "The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State." Could this approach help resolve or exacerbate the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Video Trains Teachers To Talk LGBT Issues In Grammar School

The D.C. Council is taking up the issue of bullying in the coming weeks, and a new training video being offered to D.C. Public Schools aims to help grammar school teachers speak frankly to their students about gay and lesbian issues.

Canada's Harper Says His Country Is 'Held Hostage' By U.S. In Pipeline Debate

The prime minister said the fact that some Americans would like to see Canada as a "giant national park" should not affect his country's debate on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Romney Says He's Taxed At 15 Percent Rate

His confirmation that he pays at a much lower rate than many much less well-off Americans, is likely to reignite a debate over whether the wealthy should be asked to pay a greater share of federal taxes.

Maryland Senate Building Floods After Burst Pipe

A pipe that burst in a state senat building in Annapolis has caused some damage and require quite a bit of cleanup. 

D.C. Ranks High Among States With Charter Schools

The District ranks near the top of a list of states with charter schools, according to an annual report released this week.

Seeing Doctors' Notes Could Help Patients Change Ways

For patients, the effect of seeing their doctors' notes in black and white can be huge. A note labeling a patient as obese, for example, may be much more effective than a physician's advice to lose weight.

Drink Coffee? Off With Your Head!

By now, many New Year's resolvers are finding out how difficult it is to give up caffeine. History brims over with coffee-lovers who couldn't bring themselves to quit the bean — even when they faced decapitation.

$45 Million Hospital Bill: It's Enough To Really Make You Sick

Unemployed doorman Alexis Rodriguez, New York's Daily News reports, got a $44,776,587 bill for his recent three-week stay at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. Needless to say, a mistake was made.

'Get On Board!' Coast Guard Officer Rages At Italian Cruise Ship Captain

The death toll from Friday's crash off the coast of Tuscany has risen to at least 11. The ship's captain is accused of manslaughter. He allegedly abandoned the ship before some passengers were off. You can hear him be ordered to get back on board.

Top Stories: Wikipedia's 'Blackout,' Hopes Fading For Survivors In Italy

Also: Republican rivals take aim at Romney in debate; stock market continues to rise; much-needed fuel arrives in Nome, Alaska.

Is Obama Really The 'Food Stamp President'? Fact-checking The S.C. Debate

Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for the growth in food stamps, calling him "the best food stamp president in American history." He later said that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history." We check it out.

Fuel Is Flowing To Nome Through Half-Mile Hose Laid Over Ice

After a struggle, a Coast Guard icebreaker was able to help get a Russian tanker close enough to be able to offload the cargo. Without it, the Alaskan city's 3,500 people were going to soon run out of gasoline and diesel fuel.

Egypt's Wael Ghonim: 'Revolutions Are Processes ... It Will Take Time'

The young Egyptian who became one of the faces of the Arab Spring says much more needs to be done to bring democracy to his country, but much has also already been achieved.

Hopes Are Fading For Missing In Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

Divers and rescue personnel are still trying to reach areas of the cruise ship Costa Concordia that haven't yet been explored in a bid to see if any of the 29 people who remain unaccounted for after Friday's crash off the Italian coast are alive.

The Huntsman Saga: Another Media Favorite Takes The Fall

The former Utah governor had a bankable blend of looks, charm, money, conservative karma and international street cred. Best of all, perhaps, was his ability to sit down with a big-time journalist and talk a good game.