News Archive - March 18, 2013

Syrian Opposition Elects Interim Prime Minister

Ghassan Hitto is a naturalized U.S. citizen who until recently lived in Texas. He's expected to pick a Cabinet in the next two to four weeks.

Montgomery County Council To Examine School Budget

A recent report focuses even more scrutiny on the money that goes to the public school system, which takes up more than half of the county budget.

CEO Of Electronic Arts, World's Third-Largest Gaming Company, Resigns

John Riccitiello, whose rocky six-year tenure saw a 60 percent drop in Electronic Art's stock price, said in his resignation letter that he leaves feeling that EA "has never been in a better position as a company."

Maker Of 3-D Printer Guns Now Has Federal Firearms License

A group advocating open-sourced 3-D printing of guns says its founder is now a federally licensed gun manufacturer and dealer. Back in February, the organization released a video displaying the success of a new magazine that holds 30 bullets for an AR-15 rifle.

Bloomberg Wants Retailers To Keep Tobacco Products Out Of Sight

The proposal unveiled Monday comes a week after a judge blocked the New York mayor's effort to limit large sugary drinks. Its aim, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, is to curb the rate of youth smoking.

Marriott Cutting IT Employees From Bethesda Headquarters

The international hotel chain says it will be contracting with other companies for IT services to create efficiencies for the company.

29 States Get F On Disclosure Laws For Health Care Prices

Nearly three-quarters of states get poor grades when it comes to laws about the making available prices for health care. Most consumers are unaware of the tremendous variation in price for health care services.

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

A Cypriot banking crisis has the potential to disrupt global financial systems, which are still trying to recover from the crisis of 2008-2009. The proposed tax on deposits in Cyprus could shake the trust in banks in Europe, and that could end up threatening the tenuous U.S. economic recovery.

Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?

Is a strong dollar good or overrated as a policy goal? Financial experts face off over what's in your wallet, in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

Tiger Woods, Lindsay Vonn Make It Official: 'We Are Now Dating'

The sports icons have been rumored to be in a relationship for a while. Woods split with is ex-wife in 2009 amid a cheating scandal. Vonn's divorce became official in January.

Doctors: Bench Athletes At First Concussion Sign

Athletes who have headaches or any other concussion symptoms should be removed from play immediately, according to tougher standards just issued by neurologists. The move comes in response to research showing short- and long-term damage from head injuries.

Analysis: Lawmakers Continue Working On Spending Bill To Fund Government

David Hawkings, columnist at Hawkings Here, talks about the latest in lawmakers' efforts to avert a government shutdown.

Indonesian Zoo Breeds Rare Komodo Dragons

Seven baby Komodo dragons emerged from their shells at a zoo in Indonesia's East Java province.

Republicans' Secret To Success? Sound And Act More Like Democrats

The Republican National Committee report offers the party a way forward after its 2012 failure to defeat President Obama, who was long seen as vulnerable because of a relatively high jobless rate and uninspiring economic growth.

Steve Davis, Oklahoma Star QB In The '70s, Killed In Crash Of Small Plane

As the Sooners' quarterback in the early and mid-'70s, Davis was part of two national championship teams. He was MVP of the 1976 Orange Bowl. After his playing career, he went on to be a football broadcaster. Another man also died in Sunday's crash in Indiana.

Some People Really Can Taste The Rainbow

Some people with a rare neurological condition known as synesthesia can taste shapes or smell color. And when these people work in the food industry, it can radically redefine flavor profiles. (Blue wine? Moss-flavored cotton candy?)

Worried Parents Balk At HPV Vaccine For Daughters

Parents frequently fret about risks to their daughters from vaccination against cervical cancer, even though the vaccines are safe. Parents who don't plan to have their daughter get the shots often say they don't know enough about the vaccine or that their child doesn't need it anyway.

Supreme Court Lets $222,000 Verdict In File-Sharing Case Stand

Jammie Thomas-Rasset was the first to challenge a lawsuit from the Recording Industry Association. A jury awarded Capitol Records $222,000 in damages for the 24 songs that Thomas-Rasset shared.

10 Years Ago, A Night Vision Of The Iraq Invasion

NPR's David Gilkey was on the ground the night U.S. troops invaded Iraq 10 years ago this week. He describes a photograph he made that first night — one of the first photos of the invasion to come out of Iraq.

Prince George's Rushern Baker Seeks More Control Over Public Schools

County Executive Rushern Baker wants to take over the school system's $1.7 billion budget while reducing the power of the Board of Education.

Bill Ending Jail Time For Pot Possession Expected To Pass Maryland Senate

A bill before the Maryland Senate today will eliminate jail time and reduce fines for small quantities of marijuana, though its prospects in the state House are less clear.

Syrian Opposition Poised To Vote On Interim Government

Syria's political opposition is meeting in Istanbul this week to choose a rebel government, despite opposition from the Obama administration. The vote has been postponed twice because of internal tensions over naming a rival government to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

Obama Nominates Thomas Perez For Labor Secretary

Perez would replace Hilda Solis and if confirmed, become President Obama's only Hispanic cabinet member. He is currently in charge of civil rights at the Justice Department.

Hillary Clinton Announces Her Support Of Gay Marriage

The move is seen by many as aimed at bolstering a key constituency ahead of a run for the White House in 2016.

Sterling Homeowner Fatally Shoots Teenaged Intruder

Police say a teenager in Sterling, Va., was fatally shot in the early morning hours Sunday, after mistakenly breaking and entering into the home of a neighbor.

D.C. Fire Department Inventory List Overstated

A D.C. Fire Department report shows as many as six vehicles now out of service erroneously listed in inventory, raising questions about recent vehicle shortages.

China Edges Out U.K. As World's Fifth-Largest Arms Supplier

While Beijing is still far behind the U.S. and Russia in arms sales, a new report shows that China is beginning to catch up — thanks to Pakistan.

Weapons, Explosives Found In Florida Dorm After Student's Death

The University of Central Florida in Orlando closed down its main campus until midday. Authorities are investigating. The incident began with a fire alarm at a dormitory. As police responded, a student apparently killed himself with a gun. Then other weapons and IEDs were discovered.

Top Stories: Labor Nominee Coming; Cyprus Bailout Shakes Markets

Also: Convicts who made dramatic escape captured in Canada; University of Central Florida locked down after apparent student suicide and discovery of weapons, explosive devices.

After Helicopter Jail Break, Two Cons Recaptured In Canada

The chopper swooped down. Ropes were dropped to the ground. Two prisoners clambered up and got away. But within hours, Canadian authorities had tracked them down. Just like in the movies, the bad guys were brought to justice.

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, March 18

One of mankind's greatest attributes is the ability to create. This week you can see three exhibits that speak to human ingenuity and artistry.

After Steubenville Guilty Verdicts, Grand Jury To Weigh More Charges

Shocking photos and text messages sent by high school students the night a girl was attacked in the Ohio city turned the crime into an international story. Two high school football players were convicted of rape on Sunday. Now a grand jury will consider whether others should be charged.

Book News: Anger After Chicago School District Removes 'Persepolis'

The graphic memoir about growing up in revolutionary Iran has been pulled from 7th grade classrooms. Also: An "obituary" for Philip Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman; the resurgence of independent bookstores; and the best books coming out this week.