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D.C. Council Signs Off On Plan To Continue City Services

The District will continue to operate as normal with or without the federal government.
Erin Webb: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15076309@N00/2393307331
The District will continue to operate as normal with or without the federal government.

The D.C. Council approved a measure that allows local workers to remain on the job and get paid during the partial federal government shutdown.

The council approved emergency legislation that would pay tens of thousands of municipal workers out of contingency and emergency cash reserve funds. Officials say the funds would support government operations for a couple of weeks if necessary.

Mayor Vincent Gray, who separately designated all D.C. government operations "essential" during the shutdown, appeared in the Council chamber as the measure easily passed.

Gray says he has had conversations with the Office of Management and Budget over the designation and OMB has now posted it on the agency's website. It's still unclear whether Gray's declaration will hold up, but Gray says he has spoken to several senators and Congressman Darrell Issa, the Republican who leads the committee that oversees D.C.

"We are now working with Congress to have us exempted from this as we move forward," Gray said.

The moves mean that the roughly 32,000 municipal workers are expected to report to work as usual and that the local government will not be affected by the shutdown.

NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

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