News Archive - January 9, 2013

Planners: Regional Job Growth Should Focus On 'Activity Centers'

As the D.C. region continues to expand by leaps and bounds, urban planners are pushing for a focus on areas that mix transportation with living spaces, office buildings and retail.

D.C. Reinforces Drunk Driving Laws

The District suspended its breathalyzer program two years ago after finding some machines were improperly calibrated, but Mayor Gray just signed two laws aimed at cracking down on drunk driving.

2013 Inauguration Map

Vehicle Restrictions [PDF] Includes road closures Pedestrian Walking Map [PDF] Includes the parade route and National Mall access points General Map of Mall Area [PDF] Temporary Metrobus pick-up/drop-off locations near the National Mall [PDF] Map LegendDotted gray line = Closed to Vehi...

Virginia General Assembly Gavels Into Session

The contentious issues are numerous as Virginia's General Assembly starts its 2013 session on Wednesday, with abortion activists stealing the show on Wednesday.

Supreme Court: D.C. Defendant Had To Prove He Abandoned Conspiracy

The nation's high court ruled against D.C. defendant Calvin Smith, who tried to argue that he shouldn't have been convicted for being part of a drug organization necause he was in prison for another crime.

WikiLeaks: Manning Motive Central To Pretrial Hearing

As a pretrial hearing for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning continues, attorneys debate the accused's alleged motive for leaking the documents.

Group In China Rescues Bears From 'Bile Farm' Abuses

In China, the animal welfare group Animal Asia took custody of six bears today, after the Sichuan Forestry Department removed the animals from bear bile farms. The two agencies teamed up to rescue the bears, which are kept in strict captivity in order to harvest their bile, an ingredient used in traditional medicine.

In Talking To Their States, Governors Keep An Eye On Washington

From Superstorm Sandy to gun laws to the fiscal cliff, national issues are on the minds and the lips of the nation's governors setting their state agendas this week. Some want Congress and President Obama to act; others are urging state legislators to do what Congress hasn't.

WAMU's 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award Nominees

Breaking News Hurricane Sandy Coverage Hard News Arlington Parents Concerned Over Concentration Of Poverty In Schools D.C. Area Braces For Impacts Of Federal Cuts Virginia Seeks Evidence To Right Wrongful Convictions Investigative Reporting Suspicious Money Orders Tied To D.C. Lawmakers News D...

Sebelius, Holder, And Shinseki Will Stay Put When Obama's Second Term Begins

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official.

Analysis: Sequester Delay Causes More Uncertainty For Feds

Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief of Government Executive, discusses the ongoing uncertainty caused by budget negotiations and why federal employees are starting to view the threat of a shutdown as the status quo.

Virginia Gubernatorial Race Neck And Neck

Virginia's gubernatorial race is a dead heat, even factoring in a potential independent run by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, according to the latest poll by Quinnipiac University.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Announces Her Resignation

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is resigning, opening up one more slot in President Obama's second-term administration. Solis was the first Hispanic woman to head a Cabinet-level agency in the U.S. government.

Invasive Zebra Mussels Found In Susquehanna River

Biologists have found invasive zebra mussels in the Susquehanna River and are now urging boaters to take precautions against bringing the species into new, untainted waterways. 

Northern Virginia Contractor Pays $5.2M Abu Ghraib Settlement

A Virginia-based defense contractor has paid more than $5 million to 71 Iraqis who were held at Abu Ghraib and other U.S.-run prisons in Iraq. 

Attacks On U.S. Banks' Websites Seen As Work Of Iran

Sophisticated hacking attacks on U.S. banks in recent months have distinctive qualities that are leading investigators to believe another nation may be behind the assault. The likely suspect is Iran, which security experts believe may be trying to even the score for American hacking of its nuclear program.

Culpeper Man Sues Sheriff After His Murder Conviction Is Overturned

A man who served 12 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned is suing the Culpeper sheriff, a former prosecutor and several other officers.

How Google Earth Revealed Chicago's Hidden Farms

When scientists scoured lists of the city's community gardens, they discovered they didn't tell the whole story of where food was being grown. Satellite images instead show the city's food-producing gardens tucked away in backyards, on roofs and thriving in vacant lots.

Montgomery County To Cull Deer In Rock Creek Park

Montgomery County will close part of Rock Creek Park next month so hunters can cull the deer population in the area. 

Signature? Doodle? Check How A Treasury Secretary Lew Might Sign Your Dollars

The man said to be President Obama's choice to be the next Treasury secretary has a very loopy, quite unusual signature. If he's confirmed, his John Hancock goes on U.S. currency. See what that might look like.

Baseball Hall Of Fame Voters Pick 'None Of The Above' For 2013

The Baseball Writers' Association of America's ballot for this year listed 37 players. None of them will be going to the Hall of Fame this year, despite a class of candidates that included Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Craig Biggio led the voting.

Montgomery County Elem. Schools May Get Security Upgrade

Montgomery County school officials voted unanimously last night to increase security measures at the county's elementary schools; now it's up to the County Council to approve the $364,000 needed to finance the improvements.

D.C. Budget Autonomy Amendment Will Go On April Ballot

An amendment that would give the District of Columbia full control over its own municipal budget will be placed on the ballot for voters in April, the D.C. board of Elections ruled Tuesday.

National Cathedral To Perform Same-Sex Marriages

The Washington National Cathedral will become one of the first Episcopal congregations to perform same-sex marriages, according to cathedral officials. 

Gun Show Will Go On In N.Y. Town Despite Post-Sandy Hook Opposition

Several gun shows in the Northeast have been canceled since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Some residents wanted the show in Saratoga Springs to be canceled as well. But local authorities say it will be held this weekend as scheduled.

Kickstarter Pledges Topped $320 Million In 2012; Site Names Year's Top Projects

Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site that pairs indie-minded entrepreneurs with online investors, funded more than 18,000 projects in 2012, according to its end-of-year analysis. The site says more than 2.2 million people pledged nearly $320 million, with 17 projects raising more than $1 million.

The Second Amendment: 27 Words, Endless Interpretations

After more than 200 years of intense scrutiny, the meaning of the Second Amendment continues to baffle and elude. Maybe it would help to think about this complicated dictum in a more slant way, like a poet — through simile and metaphor.

Kids Who Play Food Product Games May Eat More Junk Food

Kids who play "advergames", created by food manufacturers to market their products, may eat more, and eat more junk food. In a study by Dutch researchers, the kids chose junk food even when the game featured fruit or other healthful choices.

Caffeine In Supplements Varies Widely

A chemical analysis funded by the Defense Department finds that some dietary supplements contain far more caffeine than the amount listed on their labels. Other energy-boosting supplements contain less caffeine than the labels claim.

Reports: Obama Has Settled On Jack Lew, His Chief Of Staff, For Treasury

Lew, who earlier was budget director in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, has long been thought to be the leading candidate to replace Timothy Geithner.

Many Injured When Ferry Hits Pier In Lower Manhattan

The ferry was arriving from New Jersey when it hit hard, causing a large hole in its hull. There are reports that more than 300 people were on board and that more than 50 were injured, some seriously.

'Zorbing' Death Brings Call For Safety Rules; Fatal Ride Captured On Video

For a little less than $10 each, two tourists paid for a ride down a Russian mountain in an inflatable ball. It went off course, into a ravine and ended up on a frozen lake. One of the men died after his neck was broken. The inventors of the sport want safety rules to be enforced.

India, Pakistan Trade Accusations Over Border Killings

Along the de facto border in contested Kashmir, a Pakistani soldier was killed Sunday. On Tuesday, two Indian soldiers were killed and there are reports that one was beheaded.

REPORTS: AIG Will Not Join Lawsuit Over Its Federal Bailout

With the economy on the brink of disaster, American taxpayers bailed out the insurance giant. Now, its former CEO is leading a lawsuit that claims shareholders didn't get fair compensation. But the threat of a public backlash may have kept AIG from joining the suit.

Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

Republican senators have said they may try to hold up John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director until they hear more about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi and more about his views on "enhanced interrogation."