News Archive - September 5, 2013

Mayor To Gay Couples: 'I Want To Marry You In Minneapolis'

Weddings are big business, and the mayor of Minneapolis is targeting a lucrative new market, asking gay couples from across the Midwest to take advantage of Minnesota's month-old same-sex marriage law and hold nuptials in his city.

U.N. Ambassador: No Syria Option Through Security Council

Samantha Power said as long as Russia has veto power a resolution on Syria has no chance of passing.

O'Malley Hears Calls For Justice From Family Of Ethan Saylor

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley met with the family of Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome from Frederick, Md., who died in police custody.

The Other G-20 Drama: Obama And Brazilian President Rousseff

President Dilma Rousseff has been irritated by reports that the U.S. spied on emails, phone calls and text messages from her and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. President Obama tried to smooth relations.

Higher Education Pays Dividends In Virginia

Education doesn't just help students — a new report shows that results in positive tax residents for the Commonwealth of Virginia as well.

Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It'll Soon Be Hard To Know

The USDA has quietly ended a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The products won't require a country-of-origin label — which means there's no way to know whether those chicken nuggets in the freezer aisle came from a country with a spotty food safety reputation.

German Police Raid Christian Sect For Alleged Child Abuse

The two communities in Bavaria belonging to the Twelve Tribes sect were raided by authorities who said they had evidence that children were being harmed.

Even In An Obama Stronghold, Voters Saying 'No' On Syria

Rep. Elijah Cummings, who represents a district in Maryland that gave the president landslide victories, reports deep resistance among his constituents. He says nearly all of the people contacting his office urge him to vote against U.S. military action.

Japanese Whiskey Teases U.S. Consumers By Playing Hard To Get

Japanese whiskey-makers are protective of their product and want the prized spirit to be consumed a certain way. In Japan, that means serving it with particular foods and diluting it with pure water.

Reports: NSA Has Keys To Most Internet Encryption

The U.S. spy agency breaks codes but also lobbies private IT companies to leave backdoors into their products. The revelations are the latest from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Ad Campaign Calls On Redskins To Change Name

An American Indian tribe is launching a radio ad campaign to put pressure on the Washington Redskins organization to change its name.

Virginia Maker Of Fake IDs Shut Down

In Virginia, federal investigators have closed the book on what could be the nation's largest maker of fake ID's.

California Rim Fire Was Started By Hunter's 'Illegal' Fire

At its peak, the Rim Fire threatened San Francisco's water supply and Yosemite's ancient sequoias.

How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight

Mice that got microbe transplants from obese humans gained more weight and accumulated more fat than mice that received microbes from lean humans. The findings, though preliminary, suggest a future path for obesity treatment.

California Inmates Suspend Two-Month-Long Hunger Strike

The inmates said their protest was "far from over," because all of their demands had not been met. California lawmakers, however, have called for hearings on the conditions of maximum security prisons.

More Tourists Visiting Virginia, Bringing In Additional Revenue

Tourism in Virginia hit a record high in 2012, bringing in $21 billion and helping sustain some 200,000 jobs.

The Senator Who Dodged The Syria Vote

When it came time to cast the most important vote of his brief Senate career, Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey avoided taking a position. And his vote was all the more puzzling given the circumstances of his election.

Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

It's been widely reported that President Hassan Rouhani issued the felicitation via Twitter, but an Iranian adviser pours cold water on the authenticity of the message.

Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.78 million students in the U.S. have tried electronic cigarettes. Their use has risen dramatically in just one year.

It's A Girl! National Zoo's Panda Cub's Gender Revealed

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The news you've been waiting for on the National Zoo's newest panda cub: it's a girl, and its father is Tian Tian!

D.C. Campaign Officials Investigating Evans' Constituent Services Fund

District of Columbia campaign finance officials are looking into whether D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate Jack Evans received improper contributions to his constituent service fund. 

Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa

Tuberculosis is one of the oldest diseases in human history. Signs of the bacteria have even been seen in Egyptian mummies. Now scientists find evidence that TB is much more ancient than we thought. The bacteria may have started infecting people more than 70,000 years ago, long before farming began.

The World Capital Of Counterfeit Dollars

Making fake dollars is big business in Peru, where counterfeiters hire people to finish each bill by hand.

Dancing With The Dictators: Kanye West Joins The Club

There's a long history of American artists traveling the globe and collecting huge checks to appear at private events for dictators. Kanye West spent last weekend at a wedding in Kazakhstan.

Fad Diets Will Seem Even Crazier After You See This

Fad diets seem that much more absurd when you can visualize exactly what they require you to eat. A photo series helps reinforce what medical researchers are saying: that the best diet is the one you actually stick with.

Few Virginia Police Departments Adopting New Eye Witness Identification Procedures

Two years after Virginia rolled out new procedures for police departments to use when asking eye witnesses to identify criminal suspects, only six percent of departments have actually implemented them.

Our Cultural Addiction To Phones, In One Disconcerting Video

A funny and disconcerting short film, I Forgot My Phone, gives us a sense of just how much our smartphones have changed life experiences — and probably not for the better.

Yah-New! Did Yahoo Hit The Mark With Its Logo Change?

The goal was to create something whimsical, sophisticated and fresh, CEO Marissa Mayer says. Is it an improvement, something worse or not that much different?

Fog Blamed For 100-Plus Vehicle Pileup In U.K.

The accident on the A249 bridge in east Kent injured perhaps as many as 200 people and caused the closure of a major traffic artery.

D.C. To Create Nine Career Academies

As part of the city's ongoing education reform efforts, Mayor Vince Gray announced that nine career academies will be created to train students for careers in information technology, hospitality and engineering.

Arlington Voters To Consider Whether To Create Housing Authority

Come November, Arlington residents won't only be voting for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, but also on a ballot initiative callng for the creation of a housing authority.

Lions, Leaders And Lingerie: 5 Great Reads From Syria

Do recent events have you wishing for more insight into Syria? critic Marcela Valdes — with some help from experts on the region — recommends five great reads. From the diaries of a threatened novelist to a study of Syrian lingerie, these books reveal new facets of a complex country.

MARC Trains To Start Weekend Service In December

Come December you'll be able to ride the rails on a MARC train from Baltimore to D.C. on the weekend.

Parents' Harsh Words Might Make Teen Behaviors Worse

Lots of parents yell at their teenagers, but harsh verbal punishment is associated with more bad behavior on the part of the kid. Research shows that yelling is ineffective for changing behavior. A step back and a deep breath may be better options.

It's A Girl! New Panda Is Doing Fine, National Zoo Says

It's taken about two weeks for tests to confirm the cub's gender. She was born Aug. 23 had is said to have a healthy, "fat little belly." As for her name, that won't be chosen until around Thanksgiving.

Did You See A Flash In The Sky? You Just Might On Friday

A "fireball" was seen by many along the East Coast of the U.S. late Wednesday night. Officials believe it was a meteor. Late Friday night, a rocket is due to lift off from NASA's spaceport in Virginia. That you can plan for.

Job Growth Cooled A Bit In August, Report Signals

An employment survey shows 176,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls. The increase was less than July's estimated 198,000 gain. Meanwhile, the number of first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped last week and remain near a five-year low.

Wild Things Hanging From Spruce Trees

There was a spruce tree in Stanley's garden, and when September rolled around, a family of garden snakes used it to sunbathe. They'd squiggle out on a branch, flop down and warm themselves in the sunshine — sometimes dangling in braided pairs. Stanley, envious, decided to join in ... and here's what happened next.

Egyptian Official Survives Attack As 'Remarkable Calm' Broken

A bomb destroyed some vehicles in the interior minister's convoy. It was the first such attack on a member of Egypt's interim government. Still, after the deadly violence of last month, some sense of normalcy has returned to Egypt, according to news reports.

Book News: Did A Missing Testicle Make J.D. Salinger A Recluse?

Also: Ladbrokes breaks down the favorites to win the Nobel Prize; Edward Albee on character; poet Natasha Trethewey on meeting Seamus Heaney.

Presidential Hopefuls Stake Out Syria Positions

Voting for or against military action has proven to have long-lasting political consequences for politicians angling for the highest office in the land. Here's what potential 2016 presidential candidates have had to say on Syria.

Even Their Seats Are To Be Separated When Putin And Obama Meet

"Awkward" is the word being used to describe the upcoming encounters between the two leaders at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Thanks to a shuffling of the seats, news outlets report, the Russian and U.S. leaders won't be sitting near each other during group meetings.

Which Bad Syria Option Do You Prefer?

President Obama has kept his distance from the Syrian civil war for the last two years. Now a major debate is under way and none of the choices looks appealing. So you decide.

The Syria Vote: A Guide To The Congressional Factions

When it comes to military action against Syria, members of Congress are divided by factions rather than party lines. That means the president still has a long way to go to assemble enough votes for a majority.