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D.C. Murder Rate For 2012 At 50-Year Low

Mayor says he'll continue to focus on reducing crime

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The District of Columbia's 2012 murder statistics are in and the city had its lowest number of homicides in half a century. It's a statistic politicians are eager to publicize.

"We are on course now to have the lowest number of homicides since 1960," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said at a press conference this week. 

Reducing violent crime will continue to be one of his administration's top priorities in 2013, Gray said. There were 82 homicides in the district this year.

"We certainly had some issues that were challenging, and we continue to," Gray added. Police Chief Cathy Lanier credited the department's strict enforcement of gun control laws, the work of its gang intelligence unit and greater cooperation with communities where violence is a problem during an interview with Homicide Watch DC.

Fewer fights are ending in fatalities because the District has made it harder for residents to carry illegal guns, Lanier added. When Lanier started as a patrol officers in 1990 there were 479 murders in the District, but 82 is still too many, she said.

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Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
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Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

Google's already tested three of the pollution-sensor equipped cars in Denver, and is currently trying them out in the Bay Area.

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