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News Archive - March 15, 2012

Petition Calls On McDonnell To Veto Voter ID Bill

Opponents of the Virginia bill that would require voters to present identification at the polls have collected more than 6,000 signatures calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto the bill, saying its intention is to disenfranchise certain voters.

Commentary: D.C. Students Need International Perspectives

Conversations about education these days often focus on test scores -- in math and reading in particular. But Commentator Eddie Mandhry says students in D.C. need more engagement with international affairs.

Budget Picture Rosier In Montgomery County, At Least For Now

Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett released an ambitious budget for the next year that includes dozens of new positions and bonuses for county workers without raising taxes -- but things could change if Maryland foists teacher pension costs on counties.

Judge Orders Release Of D.C. Police Policies

The D.C. Police Department took pains to conceal documents outlining policies for emergency response, but a judge has ordered their release.

Embattled Alexandria Superintendent To Face School Board

A recent auditor's report about dysfunction on the books of Alexandria's school system has put school Superintendent Morton Sherman on notice -- tonight the school board will meet to decide his fate.

Biden Calls Out Romney, Gingrich By Name For Opposing Auto Bailout

Vice President Biden took on the traditional role that has been reserved to those who have previously served in his position as the political wing man for a president seeking re-election: he went on the attack.

D.C. Tests Out Polling Equipment Ahead Of Primary

With a Democratic primary on our doorstep, the District Board of Elections and Ethics is testing the equipment and software that will be used by area polling places.

Viewing Social Injustice Through Virginia's Living History

Instead of deferring to the history books on the issue of Virginia's segregationist past, several groups are calling for a renewed focus on building a living history from those who were actually there.

First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

Researchers pushed a short message through nearly 800 feet of solid stone. In theory, some day we may be able to send a message to the other side of the world through the world.

Blagojevich Arrives In Colorado, Reports To Prison

The disgraced former Illinois governor began serving his 14-year sentence today.

Blackouts Predict Which Binge-Drinking Students Will End Up In ERs

About half of college students who drink say they have blackouts. They're much more likely to end up in the emergency room, according to a new study, and cost a college about $500,000 a year in medical expenses.

Romney's Wins In Obama Country May Not Mean Much

Some observers think it could be bode well for Romney that he has done well in 2012 in some of the same metro area counties in Ohio and Michigan Obama won in 2008. But it's risky to read too much into that, a political science warns.

NAACP Takes Voter I.D. Laws To U.N. Rights Council

The organization is hoping public pressure could sway states considering the laws.

Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Moved Up To Next Week

Cherry blossom experts have moved up the expected peak bloom time for the District's signature trees due to the warm weather.

Emails Reveal Syria's Assad Was Shopping, While Directing Bloody Crackdown

Amidst the biggest challenge to his rule and a bloody crackdown that's killed thousands, Bashar Assad's wife spent more than $15,000 on furniture from Paris.

Maryland Student Facing Deportation Is Released From Custody

A grassroots movement to stop the deportation of a local college student and his family appears to have paid off, as young Jorge Steven Acuna and his family were released from a detention center on Tuesday.

Teen Comes To D.C. To Fight R Rating On 'Bully'

Students in the District were at the premiere of one bullying film this week, although an R rating may keep them from seeing another. One Michigan teenager came to D.C. this week to argue the case for a lower rating for the film with the Motion Picture Association of America.

U.S. Downplays Karzai's Call To Pull Back Troops By Next Year

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai said he wanted U.S. troops confined to major bases by next year, a plan at odds with the United States' exit strategy.

On 'Decorah Eagle Cam:' This Year's Hatchings Likely Next Week

Millions clicked last spring to watch as a webcam in Iowa showed a pair of bald eagles, their three eggs and as the eaglets that eventually hatched. The parents are back again and three more eggs are in the nest.

Feds To Pay For Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads

These aren't the usual public service announcements. The $54 million "Tips from Smokers" campaign marks the first time the federal government plans to pay to run anti-smoking ads nationwide,

1940s Celebrities In Full Color

It's like arriving in Oz: A D.C. exhibit features richly colored photographs of people who were typically rendered in black and white.

'Star Rabbit' Dies When Photographer Takes Wrong Step

Three-week-old Til, a cute little bunny with no ears, was being introduced to the news media at a German zoo when things went bad.

Gray's Campaign Records Show Links To Suspicious Money Orders

Some of the same donors who contributed suspicious money orders to Council member Vincent Orange also show up in the campaign finance records of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

Report Slams Sen. Stevens' Prosecutors

In a blistering 500-page report released today a special prosecutor concludes that Justice Department lawyers "intentionally withheld" information that could have bolstered the Alaska Republican's defense during his 2008 trial on corruption charges.

Thursday Political Grab Bag: Obama And UK's Cameron Showcase Unity

Obama hosted British Prime Minister Cameron... Santorum trails Romney in money as well as delegates... Romney is looking to swing states and districts to boost his claim on the nomination.

Obama's Unofficial Ambassador To The Middle Class — V.P. Biden — Hits Ohio

On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden will give the first in a series of campaign speeches designed to frame the debate for the November election. He's speaking in Ohio, where the Obama campaign notes that 120,000 people are directly employed by the auto industry.

Jobless Claims Fell By 14,000 Last Week

At 351,000, they remain near a four-year low. The day's other economic news: wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in February.

Priest Defends Denying Communion To Lesbian Mourner

"I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass," Rev. Marcel Guarnizo says of the much-discussed incident. The woman's family is said to be "livid."

Afghans Object, U.S. Officials Defend Decision To Move Massacre Suspect

The Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 civilians has been moved to a detention facility in Kuwait. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta continues his visit to Afghanistan. And the Taliban says it is supspending talks with the U.S.