News Archive - May 14, 2013

Member Of Fort Hood Sexual Assault Response Team Accused Of Abuse

The Army sergeant, who faces accusations of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates, was suspended from all duties, but hasn't been charged. The accusations come just days after a similar case involving an officer in the Air Force's sexual assault response office.

Silver Spring Metro Station Evacuated After Fire On Empty Train

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Red Line service will likely be disrupted this evening after reports of smoke and fire department activity on an empty Metro car at the Silver Spring Metro.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger Retiring

The embattled president of Virginia Tech has announced Tuesday that he is retiring.

October Trial Date Set For Virginia Executive Chef Case

The embezzlement case againt a former Virginia Executive Mansion chef now has an October trial date.

AP Phone Record Seizure Could Chill Area Journalism

The Associated Press has found its phone records were collected as part of a sweeping Justice Department investigation into leaks, which could prove a problem for local journalists.

Benghazi Review Board Chair Asks Issa For Chance To Testify

Former Ambassador Thomas Pickering says he and Adm. Michael Mullen should be allowed to clear up 'unfounded' criticisms against the investigative board.

Ambulance Fees Get Go-Ahead In Montgomery County

After years of controversy and several compromises, a provision enforcing fees for ambulance rides in Montgomery County is set to go into effect.

Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington, his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.

Drivers Urged To Put Down Phones During Construction On I-95 Express Lane


More than half of drivers on I-95 admit to using their phones behind the wheel — a potentially dangerous combination with thousands of construction workers on the roads this summer.

Road Crew In Belize Destroys Ancient Pyramid

Only a small core of the 2,300-year-old Mayan structure remains after earth-moving equipment destroyed the rest, archaeologists say.

Convicted Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Gets Life In Prison

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was spared the death penalty after he agreed to give up his right to an appeal. Gosnell, 72, was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in three illegally performed late-term abortions.

Transit-Less Terps: Metro Closes College Park Station On Graduation Weekend

It's commencement weekend at the University of Maryland, but graduates-to-be and their families won't be getting there via Metro.

Maryland Delegate Gets 30 Days For Drunken Boating

After pleading guilty to operating a boat drunk during a collision last year that injured five people, Maryland Del. Don Dwyer has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Experts Say Prize-Winning Photo Of Gaza Funeral Is Authentic

The striking image of grief-stricken men carrying two boys to a mosque for their funeral was named the World Press Photo of the Year in February. Recently, critics have questioned the photo's authenticity. The photographer says he did nothing out of the ordinary with the image.

Huge Boost In U.S. Oil Output Set To Transform Global Market

The International Energy Agency says U.S. shale output and petroleum from Canada's tar sands are transforming global energy markets.

New Task Force To Study Whether To Let D.C. Buildings Grow Taller

D.C. and federal officials are studying whether or not to amend the legislation that restricts the height limit of buildings in the District.

After A Mass Shooting, New Orleanians Rally Around A Local Tradition

Second-lines — jazzy, rolling dance parties — are a staple in the black neighborhoods of the Big Easy. But on Mother's Day, a second-line parade was marred by a mass shooting that left 19 people injured. The violence has sparked questions of whether the events should be shut down, but those in "the culture" say linking violence to second-lines is unfair.

Controversies Risk Starving Obama's Agenda Of Air

This was the critical moment, the brief time between his inaugural and when the nation's collective focus turns to whom his successor will be, when President Obama had to make real progress on his second-term agenda. Instead, controversies have intruded, eating up precious time.

Holder Defends Subpoena Of Journalists' Phone Logs

The attorney general says the time and scope covered by the subpoena of Associated Press phone logs fell within Justice Department guidelines.

Feds Push For Lower Alcohol Limits For Drivers

The National Transportation Safety Board wants the blood alcohol limit to be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05, in line with the limits in countries such as Denmark, the Philippines and Switzerland. But it may be tough sell in states across the country.

Justice Department To Open Probe Of IRS's Actions

Echoing comments made Monday by President Obama, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder also said that even if no laws were broken it was "outrageous" for the IRS to focus on groups who identified themselves as "patriots" or "tea party" supporters when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Chris Hadfield: Space Chef In Chief

The Canadian astronaut didn't just tweet and sing his heart out during his five months as commander of the International Space Station. He also took time out to show the world what it's like to eat up there.

It's True: 'Mistakes Were Made' Is The King Of Non-Apologies

As the head of the IRS turns to this classic "past exonerative," we look at the history of an oft-used phrase. It came up in the Nixon era, again during the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and now in the Obama years. It goes back much further, though.

Manassas Votes For Higher Property Taxes

A seven-percent increase in residential property taxes will help pay for a new elementary school and improvements to the city's historic downtown.

Is The FDA's Caution Hazardous To Our Health?

Some argue that the FDA's approval process — required before new treatments can be sold on the market — takes too much time and money. A group of experts face off over the balance between safety and urgency in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

Funeral Home Director Speaks Out On Boston Bomber Burial Controversy

The director of the Massachusetts funeral home where Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's  body was held, is speaking out against controversy surrounding Tsarnev's Virginia burial location.

On Way To Prom, Teens Pile Out Of Limo To Aid Flipped Van

A limousine filled with students headed to prom night at Western High in Davie, Fla., stopped for a detour Saturday, after a Honda van hit a concrete wall and flipped in front of the limo. The van's seven passengers had trouble getting out — until the limo's driver and the students helped.

Whatever Happened To The Economy?

Jobs and the economy dominated political discussion during the election year, but have since been forgotten. Even before the current outbreak of scandals, it was clear Washington preferred to talk about other issues.

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

Angelina Jolie's surgery perhaps shouldn't matter, but it will to someone.

D.C. Could Expand No-Smoking Areas To Parks, Playgrounds And Bus Stops

One D.C. legislator says that she's looking to introduce a bill that would increase the number of places where smoking would be prohibited.

A Sharper Abortion Debate After Gosnell Verdict

Abortion rights backers insist that Dr. Kermit Gosnell is an outlier. Opponents of abortion say Gosnell is anything but an exception. Congress is gearing up to investigate how states regulate abortion in the wake of the verdict.

Please Welcome The Parallels Blog: 'Many Stories, One World'

NPR has launched a blog that looks to tell stories from around the world that connect us all.

Virginia Pushes For 'Outer Beltway' That Critics Say Isn't Needed

While Virginia officials say that a new north-south highway connecting I-95 to Route 7 would help ease traffic congestion, critics contend that the commonwealth's own numbers show that no significant congestion is expected without it.

Is Nintendo Fixing A Gay Marriage 'Bug' In New Video Game?

Days after the gaming world began to buzz with reports that Nintendo's new life simulation game allows men to marry other men, it now seems that Nintendo is removing that possibility, which by all accounts was unintended.

IRS Chief Says 'Mistakes Were Made' But Weren't Partisan

The extra scrutiny given to some conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status has sparked outrage. Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller blames "shortcuts," not politics. He and other IRS officials didn't alert Congress to what was happening when they could have last year.

Maybe It's Time To Swap Burgers For Bugs, Says U.N.

A new report makes the case that insects may be essential to feeding a planet of 7 billion people. Why? They're nutritious, better for the environment than other protein sources and can generate jobs, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Angelina Jolie And The Rise Of Preventive Mastectomies

Doctors have seen a sharp increase in the number of women choosing breast surgery to prevent cancer. But the genetic mutation that contributed to Angelina Jolie's decision is relatively rare, and the vast majority of women who choose prophylactic mastectomy don't face the same level of risk.

As Gamblers Gather, Thailand's Child Boxers Slug It Out

Child boxing in Thailand is denounced by human rights groups, but it remains popular in some rural areas where it attracts large crowds betting large sums on the young fighters. For fighters like 9-year-old Chai Lorlam, the pressure to win is intense.

Alexandria Poised To Fight Norfolk Southern Again

Officials in Alexandria are taking a stand against expansion of a hazardous materials facility on the city's border with Fairfax County.

She's No Diva: Unruly Flier Sings 'I Will Always Love You'

VIDEO: A would-be Whitney Houston wouldn't stop singing on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. So, the pilot made an unscheduled stop in Kansas City. As she was led off, the woman serenaded everyone.

Even After Overhaul, Gaps In Coverage For Young, Pregnant Women

A baby's delivery may not be covered for women insured as dependents on their parents' plans, even though office visits and prenatal care would be. Although the health care overhaul mostly improves coverage for young adults, it also leaves some odd holes in coverage.

Top Stories: Jolie's Mastectomy; IRS's Targeting Of Groups

Also: Russian security service says it uncovered a CIA agent; the AP blasts Justice Department's search of reporters' phone records; New Orleans police identify a suspect in the city's Mother's Day shooting.

Russian Security Service Claims To Have Uncovered CIA Agent

The alleged agent was held overnight and then turned over to U.S. officials. Russian security services say he was trying to recruit one of their officers.

Actress Angelina Jolie Shares Story Of Her Double Masectomy

Jolie, 37, wants other women to hear of her decision. She chose to have the surgery after learning that she carries the BRCA1 gene. Studies show women with that gene have a much greater chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer.