News Archive - December 20, 2012

DC Vote Calls For 'No Taxation' License Plate On Presidential Limo

D.C. voting rights activists are renewing their push to have President Obama add the "No taxation without representation" slogan that represents the District's lack of state's rights to the license plates of the presidential limousine.

Instagram Reverts To Original Ad Terms After Uproar

The company released plans for updates to its terms of service and privacy policy earlier this week, only to face a barrage of criticism. One of the main concerns was over advertisers' rights to users' photos.

Mikulski Becomes First Woman To Chair Appropriations Committee

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski has been confirmed as the chair of the prestigious Senate Appropriations Committee, making her the first woman ever to service in that role.

Perdue Victorious In Eastern Shore Pollution Case

A judge sided with Perdue in a controversial case where environmentalists tried to pin run-off from chicken waste on the poultry supplier.

House Backs Off Boehner's 'Plan B'

House Speaker John Boehner said the bill, which would have raised taxes on income above $1 million a year, did not have enough support to pass Thursday. In a statement, he said, "now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff."

Georgetown Raises Money For Sandy Hook Victim

The mother of a student at Georgetown University was among those killed in the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the Georgetown University Law Center is raising funds in her name.

Maryland And Virginia Going In Opposite Directions On Gun Control

Maryland lawmakers are lining up a slate of new laws aimed at gun control, but some say Virginia's shift in the opposite directions may result in negligible effects for the region.

House Punts Tax Bill Vote And Goes Into Recess

House Speaker John Boehner said the House did not have enough support for the bill, which deals with the tax portion of the fiscal cliff.

YouTube-Inspired Food Dares: Don't Try This At Home, Kids

A string of recent ER cases in which 9-year-olds were treated for cinnamon exposure has toxicologists once again warning parents about risky food games like the "cinnamon challenge" and "chubby bunny."

In Christmas Message, Queen Elizabeth Returns To 3-D After 59 Years

It's been 80 years since Britain's royal family began broadcasting a Christmas message. Now, the monarch will deliver her holiday address in 3-D. It's a medium in which she's been filmed before — 59 years ago, her coronation and other events were captured by 3-D cameras.

Local Faith Leaders Weigh In On Fiscal Cliff

A group of interfaith leaders met with lawmakers on Thursday to press what they say are the "moral priorities" involved in the on-going fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill.

House, Senate Agree On Language For D.C. Flags At Military Services

The ranks of D.C. natives who have served in the military are a step closer to receiving an honor currently denied them: having the D.C. flag flown at their military ceremonies.

Cory Booker Eyes (Chris Christie-Free) Path To His Political Future

The mayor of Newark, N.J., ended whatever suspense existed by saying he will "explore" a run for the U.S. Senate, not governor. He thereby averts a clash with the very popular Gov. Chris Christie.

Virginia Hasn't Spent $38M In DHS Grants, Audit Finds

Virginia is getting a bad review from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for failing to spend more than $38 million in federal homeland security grand funding it received between 2008 and 2010.

Social Services Center In Arlington To Close

Services for people with mental disabilities and substance abuse problems in Arlington are about to say goodbye to a neighborhood center that has offered services for the last four years.

At Benghazi Hearing, Sen. Kerry Urges More Diplomatic Resources

State Department officials, testifying before Congress, acknowledge that security was inadequate in Benghazi before the deadly Sept. 11 attacks. Sen. John Kerry, who chaired the Senate hearing, says the diplomatic corps need more resources.

Merck Undercuts Popular Notion That Niacin Prevents Heart Attacks

A large niacin-plus-simvistatin study by the drug maker Merck may have far-reaching implications, since millions of people take niacin every day to prevent heart attacks and strokes. One doctor says "phones will ring off the hook in cardiology practices throughout America" because of the news.

UDC Fires President Allen Sessoms

After serving for four years, the University of the District of Columbia has fired Allen Sessoms as president.

Newtown Shootings Inspire '26 Acts Of Kindness' Campaign

After NBC News' Ann Curry tweeted the idea — to do one act of kindness in memory of each person murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School — it took off. You can see what others are doing, and share your story, by following #26Acts.

MWAA Looks At Developing More Land At Dulles Airport

Plans for a new north-south highway in Northern Virginia could make way for an expansion of the freight capacity of Dulles Airport; studies of both projects are now underway.

Elixirs Made To Fight Malaria Still Shine On The Modern Bar

Many modern day liqueurs, like Campari and Pimm's, started off as 19th century medicinal tonics made to cure an array of ailments, including malaria. So if you're sipping a French aperitif or an absinth cocktail this holiday season, chances are you're also imbibing a bit of malaria history.

The Gun Lobby's Favorite Part Of The Health Law

One section of the health law says its wellness programs can't require participants to give information about guns in their homes. But public health scholars criticize the measure because they say it keeps doctors and nurses from doing their jobs.

Armored Backpacks, Volunteer Guards Among Responses To School Shootings

The mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., has prompted a variety of responses. Along with reports about soaring sales of backpacks designed to protect against bullets, there's word of volunteers — such as one Marine in California — who are standing watch outside schools.

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit Three-Year High

The housing sector continues to recover. Sales rose 5.9 percent last month. It's the second new piece of positive news about the economy. Earlier, gross domestic product growth for the third quarter was revised upward.

NYSE Being Bought For $8.2B By Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange

The deal would end the New York Stock Exchange's independence and seems to underscore its diminishing influence. Other exchanges, such as ICE, have pioneered futures trading. Regulators are expected to OK the acquisition.

Third Quarter Economic Growth Revised Up Again

Gross domestic product grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate, well above earlier estimates. But, claims for jobless benefits rose last week — another sign that while the economy may be on the mend, there are still problems.

Blizzard Warnings In Upper Midwest; Possible Tornado In Alabama

Heavy snow and strong winds are making travel tough from Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin. As the storm moves east, it's expected to bring rain and lake-effect snow to parts of the East.

Today's 'Plan B' Vote: Part Of Posturing Or A Push Over The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

As the outlines of a deal have taken shape, both sides have been trying to show supporters that they're hanging tough. So today's vote on a GOP plan could be a bit of political theater that helps push the federal government over that so-called cliff and an important step toward compromise.