News Archive | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

News Archive - September 19, 2013

12, Including 3-Year-Old, shot In Chicago Park

Twelve people, including a 3-year-old child, were injured late Thursday when someone opened fire on people in a park located in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Lawmakers Look Into Tactical Response To Navy Yard Shooting

Officers with a specialized unit trained to respond to mass shooting events are asking why they were told to stand down during Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard.

Floyd Corkins Sentenced To 25 Years For Family Research Council Shooting

The man who attacked the offices of the Family Research Council armed with a pistol and a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches was sentenced in court on Thursday.

One Sure Outcome Of Navy Shootings: A Lot Of Recommendations

No fewer than five panels and review boards have been announced by the Executive to look at everything from physical security to the granting of security clearances.

As Government Shutdown Looms, Benghazi Hearings Resume

On a day when most in Congress were obsessed with an increasingly likely government shutdown, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a marathon six-hour hearing on what one Republican called the most important issue to the folks back home: the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Company That Vetted Aaron Alexis Is Under Criminal Investigation

USIS, which processes thousands of background checks a year for the U.S., is being investigated for "systemic failure" to adequately vet employees and contractors. The company would not comment on the specifics of the Alexis investigation.

House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program

The bill would cut funding for the program over the next 10 years and affect an estimated 4 million Americans. The measure, passed narrowly along party lines, is not expected to pass the Senate.

Report: Cases Of Elderly Dementia To Nearly Triple By 2050

The worldwide population of older people in need of care for Alzheimer's and related diseases will reach 277 million by the middle of the century, the authors say.

Buying A Home Cheaper Than Renting In D.C. Area, At Least For Now

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Should you rent a home in the D.C. area or buy? A report says its significantly cheaper to buy, but that may be changing with mortgage rates on the rise.

Sen. Ted Cruz Has House Republicans Seeing Red

After pressuring his House GOP colleagues to stick their necks out and only support spending bills that defund Obamacare, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz conceded Wednesday that their plan had no chance of getting through the Senate.

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

The Arctic Sunrise was boarded after a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Russian Arctic. The crew tweeted the dramatic events in real time.

Walmart Starts Hiring Process For First Two D.C. Stores

The first of six Walmart stores in D.C. are slated to open soon, and the company has opened hiring centers to start recruiting employees.

Mars Rover Data Dims Hope Of Finding Life On Red Planet

In a paper released in the journal Science, researchers explain that if the Red Planet is harboring life, the instruments on the rover have been unable to sniff it out.

FBI Chief: Gunman Was 'Wandering Around Looking For People To Shoot'

In his first remarks to reporters since taking office this month, FBI Director Jim Comey addressed security concerns following the Navy Yard shootings that left 13 people dead. He also talked about sequestration and leaks on government surveillance programs.

Clicking The 'Like' Button Is Protected Speech, Court Rules

U.S. Circuit Judge William Traxler compared liking something on Facebook to displaying a political sign on your front yard, which the Supreme Court has found to be "substantive speech."

Church Must Find Balance, Pope Says, Or Fall Like Cards

Francis' comments came in a wide-ranging interview with 16 Jesuit publications. He said when the church does speak about issues like gays, abortion and contraception, it should do so in context. "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," he said.

Navy Yard Tragedy Unnerves Mass Shooting Survivors

For those in places like Aurora, Tucson and Newtown, each new mass tragedy brings back terrible memories of their own traumas. Many say the shootings offer a reminder of the need to combat violence, but none pretend to offer any easy solution.

Greek PM Denounces Neo-Nazi Party After Musician's Murder

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras lashes out at the right-wing Golden Dawn party after an extremist admits to killing a prominent Greek hip-hop artist.

'Mountain Dew Mouth' Is Destroying Appalachia's Teeth, Critics Say

The region has an alarmingly high incidence of rotted teeth, and heavy soda consumption is a big reason why, dentists and health advocates say. So they're beginning to target the food stamp program to ban recipients from buying soda with their vouchers.

Youth Interrupted: Myanmar's Underage, Illiterate Workers

Child labor is not a minor social blight in the country, it's a pillar of the economy — and it looks a lot like child labor in the U.S. circa the Industrial Revolution. As Myanmar opens to the world, its child labor practices are likely to face greater scrutiny.

Syria Or Twerking? Tweeting Habits Serve As Evidence Of Washington's Wonkiness

While most of the country is likely to send pithy tweets about twerking, denizens in Washington, D.C. use their 140 characters to talk about Syria.

Duck Eggs And Lotus Seeds: Waxing Nostalgic About Mooncakes

Today is the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, a popular Chinese holiday where families typically gather to light lanterns and eat mooncakes. We take a look at some of the myths around the pastry's origins.

France Moves To Say 'Mais Non' To Honey Boo Boos

Outrage in the U.S. over a French photo spread featuring a seductively arrayed 10-year-old model helped spur proposed legislation to ban child beauty pageants in France. That's ironic considering how popular, prevalent and lucrative the American child, or "glitz," beauty pageant industry is.

A Hospital Tells Police Where Fights Happen, And Crime Drops

People who show up wounded at a hospital often don't tell police. When a hospital in Cardiff, Wales, shared that information without naming names, the toll of violence dropped, and the city saved $11 million a year on health care and policing. Other British cities are adopting the program.

Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned On Appeal

The former House majority leader, a Republican, was convicted in 2010 for his part in what at the time was judged to be an illegal scheme to funnel money to candidates. But a Texas appeals court has ruled that the state failed to prove its case.

U.S. Capitol Police To Investigate Claims That Team Was Told To Stand Down During Shootings

Reports that a U.S. Capitol Police team arrived within minutes of the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard but was told by a supervisor to stand down is prompting some people to ask whether Monday's death toll could have been lower.

Are There Too Many 'Hillionaires' In Washington?

More than 60 percent of the Senate and most members of the House of Representatives are millionaires. California Republican Darrell Issa tops the list, with an estimated net worth of more than $355 million. A public policy professor tells Americans how to put more working-class people in Congress.

Many Missing People Now Accounted For In Colorado Flooding

Rescuers have reached some of the remote areas affected by floods, as electricity and phones have been restored.

Mandela Statue To Stand At Site Of D.C. Protests Against Apartheid

This weekend a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela will be dedicated outside the South African Embassy in Northwest Washington, on the very site where massive protests against apartheid helped spur a bill cutting ties between the U.S. and South Africa.

Chef At Virginia's Executive Mansion Admits To Stealing Food

The former chef at Virginia's Executive Mansion has agreed to a reduced charge that he stole food from the first family's kitchen, avoiding a politically embarrassing trial weeks before the state's gubernatorial election.

Metro's Silver Line Will Start Running... Well, It's Not Yet Clear When

Regional transit officials say that the first phase of Metro's Silver Line to Reston is all but complete, but the "all but" means that the transit agency can't say exactly when the trains will start running.

Virginia Officials Keep Up PR Push For Bi-County Parkway

Despite loud criticism, Virginia officials are insisting that the proposed Bi-County Parkway should be be built—and that it will be good for the region.

Gray To Once Again Push Campaign Finance Reform Bill

Mayor Vince Gray will once again try and pass a bill reforming D.C.'s campaign finance laws, including putting new limits on the bundling of campaign contributions through multiple affiliated corporations.

Putin 'Doesn't Believe In You,' McCain Tells Russian People

The Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee wrote a stinging response to the Russian leader's put-down of "American exceptionalism." Putin, he tells Russians, "rules for himself, not you." McCain's essay has been posted by Russia's Pravda.

An Indian Terrorism Case, With Links To Informal Cash Transfers

The hawala system has been long used by those outside the formal banking sector. It gives people a quick, cheap and anonymous way to send money back home. But the very reasons it's attractive to them also make hawala attractive to terrorists.

Health Care Costs Are Projected To Outpace Economic Growth

Though the Obama administration says that the nation is entering a new era of lower health care spending, an analysis from the agency that oversees Medicare says probably not. Those economists say that health spending will escalate as the economy improves, as it has in past economic recoveries.

Jobless Claims Rose Less Than Expected Last Week

Economists thought they would hear there had been about 330,000 applications filed for unemployment insurance. Instead, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there were 309,000. Changes in two states' computer systems, however, may still be affecting the data.

'Wheel Of Misfortune' Tongue Slip Is Potential $1M Mistake

Oregon firefighter Paul Atkinson said "corno" instead of "corner," and it cost him a chance at a big win. Video of his miscue is going viral. He's only mad at himself, Atkinson tells CNN's New Day.

Navy Yard Shootings: Thursday's Headlines

Among the developments being reported Thursday is word that Capitol Hill Police are investigating whether one of their SWAT teams was told to "stand down" even though its members were near the scene.

Death Toll At 80 And Likely To Rise As Storms Slam Mexico

In the mountains around Acapulco, mudslides and floods have killed dozens of people. In the resort city itself, 30,000 tourists are trying to leave — but there are few flights out. Meanwhile, Mexico's Gulf coast is also being pummeled.

Lobster Boy Looms Large In Food Stamp Debate

When Fox News featured surfer-slacker Jason Greenslate in a piece about food stamps, Republicans found an irresistible symbol of food stamp freeloading.

Conservative Lobbyist Derails Bipartisan 'Science Laureate' Bill

The U.S. has had poet laureates, who seem to have worked out well, promoting poetry to the masses. But a bill to similarly sing the praises of scientific discovery and get more young people considering science careers is falling victim to politics.