News Archive - February 22, 2012

Amendment To Virginia Ultrasound Bill Passed

After a national outcry over a Virginia bill that would have requirde that women to have invasive ultrasounds prior to an abortion, legislators in Virginia's House struck the controversial provision.

Huguely Found Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury found former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely V guilty of second-degree murder for the violent slaying of his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in 2010. The jury also recommended a sentence of 26 years.

Virginia Legislature Approves 'Conscience Clause' On Gay Adoption

Virginia's state senate has approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples if it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.

National Cathedral Repairs Now Estimated At $20 Million

Officials with the National Cathedral now say that repair costs are expected to exceed initial projections -- totalling in the area of $20 million.

Radioactive Isotope Found In North Anna Groundwater

Officials with Dominion Power say they have found evidence of double the amount of a radioactive isotope allowed by federal regulations in the groundwater at the North Anna nuclear powerplant.

Baltimore County Enacts Transgender Protection Measure

After a transgender woman was beaten in a McDonalds last year for trying to use the women's bathroom, Baltimore County has passed a law expressly prohibiting transgender discrimination.

Brazen Alexandria Con Man Pleads Guilty

An Alexandria man who stands accused of a perpetrating a number of fraudulent schemes that defrauded would-be employers, investors and family alike has pleaded guilty.

Alleged Capitol Bomb Plotter Waives Hearings

The 29-year-old Moroccan man who allegedly plotted to perform a suicide bombing on the U.S. Capitol before being arrested by the FBI has reportedly waived his rights to preliminary and detention hearings Wednesday.

Metro Surveys Customers On Budget, Fares

As part of a program to increase public input into Metro programs and policies, WMATA has posted another survey -- this one asking commuters their priorities on fare and budget issues.

Join Us For Tonight's Republican Presidential Debate

Join us at It's All Politics for live coverage of tonight's Republican presidential debate.

Santorum Spends Debate Fighting Off Attacks From Romney, Paul

Romney was successful in painting Santorum as an intimate part of an unpopular Congress. The former Pennsylvania senator, who found himself center stage for the first time, was on the defensive all night.

Baltimore County Investigated For Hiring Discrimination

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is investigating accusations of discrimination in the hiring practices of police and fire departments in Baltimore County.

GovExec: The Shrinking Federal Workforce In D.C. And Nationwide

More than a quarter of workers in the D.C. area work for some branch of government. What would it mean if the federal workforce continues to shrink as it has recently?

12.76-Carat Pink Diamond Unearthed In Australia Could Be Worth Millions

The diamond will be cut, polished, sent on a worldwide tour and then sold later this year.

A Puff Of Controversy Over Inhalable Caffeine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has questions about the safety and legality of AeroShot, the inhalable caffeine product released last month. So does the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Virginia Paper Company Linked To Rainforest Destruction

Mercury Paper in Virginia is under fire from environmental groups alleging that the company cuts down precious rainforest habitats to provide the raw materials for its paper products.

High Court Punts On California Medicaid Ruling

California patients and doctors had sued to block the state's decision to cut Medicaid payment rates. But instead of ruling on the matter, the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court, saying "changed circumstances" in the case warrant a different process for deciding it.

A Long Time Coming: Glimpse Inside The Upcoming African American Museum

At the groundbreaking on the National Mall on Wednesday, President Obama said the newest Smithsonian museum has been has "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life." The National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in 2015.

Mail Containing Harmless Powdery Substance Sent To Congressional Offices

The mailings follow letters to comedians Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart that warned of the mailings.

Virginia Lawmakers Divided On Obama's 2013 Budget

Responses to President Obama's 2013 budget proposal in Virginia were predictably divided along party lines, but closer analysis shows that it presents a mixed bag for the commonwealth.

Is Einstein Right? Error Could Account For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

A GPS error could have affected an Italian team's observations that neutrinos moved faster than light. It was a finding that threatened the very basics of physics.

In Speech, Top Pentagon Lawyer Defends Targeted Killing Program

Jeh Johnson said there's no difference between today's high-tech strikes and past actions like targeting an airplane carrying the commander of the Japanese Navy in 1943.

Whooping Cough Vaccine Recommended For Seniors

An expert panel is expanding an earlier recommendation that seniors be vaccinated if they have contact with very young infants. Now just about all seniors will be candidates for vaccination. Adults and teens have been on the recommended list for years already.

Pro-Obama SuperPAC Hits Romney On Auto Bailout

Priorities USA Action has unveiled a new ad in Michigan in advance of that state's GOP primary next week. It takes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to task for opposing the auto industry bailout.

IAEA Team Returns From Iran Empty-Handed

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran refused its team access to a military site at Parchin.

'Pepper Spray Cop' Suit Filed

Some of the Occupy protesters who famously got face fulls of pepper spray last November on the campus of University of California Davis have taken their case against the school to federal court.

Then There Were ... Still Four: Buddy Roemer Leaves GOP Presidential Race

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer seems to have hit on how to get noticed in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination: drop out of the race. Or, more specifically, redouble his efforts by switching to the nascent "Americans Elect" movement while seeking the Reform Party nomination.

Gov. Christie To Warren Buffett: 'Write A Check And Shut Up'

The New Jersey governor said he was tired of hearing about the rate of taxes for the very rich.

Smithsonian Breaks Ground On African American History Museum

President Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will help break ground on the African American history museum today.

FDA Says Brazil's Orange Juice Is Safe, But Still Illegal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to block imports of Brazilian orange juice for the next 18 months could drive wholesale prices of concentrated orange juice up by 20 to 45 percent. The industry agrees that higher prices are indeed likely because orange juice already is in short supply.

Occupy Movement Plans National Conference In Philadelphia

The group plans to draft and ratify a set of grievances, which will then be presented to the U.S. government. The group warns if politicians don't act, they will reconvene to run a set of candidates who pledge to redress those grievances.

'A Long Time Coming,' Obama Says Of African-American Museum

A museum first proposed in 1915 by black veterans from the Civil War is finally under construction on the National Mall in Washington. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to open in 2015.

What's Driving The Backlash Against Traffic Cameras

Red-light and speed cameras are now used in 24 states. But angry drivers are fighting back with lawsuits, vandalism and a raft of ballot initiatives.

Jury Deliberations Continue In Huguely Trial

The jury in the George Huguely trial began deliberating Wednesday, asking several clarifying questions of the judge. Huguely, a former UVA lacrosse player, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, in May of 2010.

Dealing With Dictators, The U.S. Playbook Varies

The U.S. has used military force to help oust three dictatorial regimes since 2001. But other autocrats have good relations with the U.S., and some even get the red-carpet treatment. What factors account for the different responses around the world?

Mubarak Verdict Due On June 2

If he's found guilty of ordering the deaths of protesters last year, Egypt's former president could be put to death.

Can Gardening Help Troubled Minds Heal?

Psychiatrists have long claimed that gardens hold healing powers for mental illness. Now, scientists are exploring a new field called horticultural therapy for everyone from troubled youth to veterans. But just how gardens affect the brain remains mainly a mystery.

D.C. Youth Job Training Contract Plagued With Problems

Questions surround the D.C. youth job training program after the nonprofit hired to provide the training had its contract revoked by the Contract Appeals Board earlier this month.

In Women, Heart Attacks Often Strike Without Chest Pain

Women are more likely to have heart attacks that don't announce themselves with crushing chest pain. And women having heart attacks like those are more likely to die than men.

Sales Of Existing Homes At Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

The news is being seen as another sign that the housing sector is getting healthier.

Marie Colvin Died In Syria While Exposing 'The Horrors Of War'

One of two journalists killed today, she spent her life reporting from war zones across the world to illuminate the tragedies and perils that ordinary people caught in extraordinary events face.

Top Stories: More Killing In Syria; Nuclear Inspectors' Mission Fails In Iran

Also: More protests in Afghanistan over burning of Qurans; Greek lawmakers rush to enact austerity measures; GOP presidential candidates gather for another debate.

As Polls Tighten, Michigan Voters Weigh Importance Of Social Issues

Mitt Romney has cut deeply into the substantial lead Rick Santorum held earlier this month. Romney's campaign and superPAC are flooding the airwaves with attacks on Rick Santorum.

So Pinterest Is A Woman's World. Does That Matter?

Pinterest, which has drawn lots of media interest and millions of users, has been tagged "digital crack for women." But while most users are female, men are finding ways to use the social media site, like Drew Hawkins' "Board of Man."

Obama Sings Again: Belts A Bit Of 'Sweet Home Chicago'

During an In Performance at the White House concert featuring B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and other blues greats, the president sang along briefly. Catch the video.

Obama Administration Proposes Cut In Corporate Tax Rate

Meanwhile, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is also said to be about to unveil a new tax-cut plan.

6 Reasons We're Feeling Debate Fatigue

We say we want to get to know our choices. So why do we still whine and whinny about too many debates? Rude audiences, a lack of spontaneity and the boring, lecture-style presentation are taking their toll on viewers.

Protests Continue In Afghanistan Over Quran Burnings; Some Killed

The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan has apologized. But the anger remains.

Killing Continues In Syria, Two Western Journalists Among Victims

Troops loyal to President Bashar Assad reportedly executed nearly 30 young men in one incident. In the city of Homs, two journalists reportedly died when the building they were in was hit by shells.

Activist: 2 Foreign Journalists Killed In Syria

A Syrian activist said two foreign journalists were killed Wednesday by Syrian government forces shelling the restive central city of Homs. The report could not be immediately confirmed.