News Archive - October 11, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Twitter icon Feminist Hulk is pummeling away at the shutdown's funding threats to WIC, the federal program that provides essential food aid to pregnant women and mothers with young children. And she's using her nearly 74,000 followers to help – setting up an online resource to help families left in the lurch find baby food and formula.

What Did The Arab Spring Cost? One Estimate Says $800 Billion

HSBC says in a new report that GDP in the seven states most affected by the Arab Spring will be 35 percent lower at the end of 2014 than if there had been no Arab Spring. But the damage to those countries is more than to their GDPs alone.

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

A review of clinical trials using vitamin D to build bone density in middle-aged women finds that it doesn't help. That may be because those women aren't generally low on calcium and that D helps the body absorb calcium in the gut only if it's seriously lacking. It may do more good in the elderly.

In Ariz., A Solar Plant That Powers 70,000 Homes Day Or Night

The array includes 3,200 mirrors that heat a special oil that boils water, which drives turbines. The setup is one of the largest solar power plants of its kind in the world.

Shutdown Diary: More Talk But No Deal

President Obama and Senate Republicans met at the White House on Friday, Day 11 of the partial government shutdown, but there was no breakthrough to reopen the government and keep the country from defaulting on its debts.

Five Stations Closed For Columbus Day Weekend

Five stations on Metro's Orange Line will close this weekend for scheduled track work.

Migrant Boats Capsize Off Italy And Near Egypt

Dozens of migrants are dead and hundreds were rescued. The incident comes just a week after a similar incident left more than 300 migrants dead.

Worst Since Nixon? Report Slams White House Leak Policy

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent nonprofit that defends press freedom, delivers a sharp critique of the Obama administration's "war on leaks and other efforts to control information."

Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimer's Might Be Too Simple

Researchers at the University of Florida are suggesting that the smell test could determine whether someone is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. But the discovery comes with caveats and lots of skepticism about how useful a test it would really be.

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

At the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., many foreign economists and finance ministers are dismayed by the political battles that they say threaten U.S. economic strength and stability.

Peter Higgs Learned About His Nobel From A Former Neighbor

The British theoretical physicist is notoriously shy and doesn't own a cellphone. In a press conference, he said he was "rather relieved... that it's all over."

Analysis: Redskins, Confrontation At Capitol, And Minimum Wage

It's been a busy week in the District with the government shutdown showdown, and the Washington Post's Robert McCartney weighs in.

Syrians Are Widely Critical Of Nobel Peace Prize Decision

Many say the award fails to recognize the victims in the country's war. Some even call it a present to President Bashar Assad for agreeing to give up chemical weapons.

McDonald's President Was Caught Off Guard By Low-Wage, Single Mom

McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton has been criticized on social media for his videotaped response to an employee who confronted him and complained that she doesn't make enough to feed her kids. But a spokeswoman for the company says McDonald's has a long history of promoting from within.

Analysis: Amid Shutdown, D.C. Leaders Pressuring Congress For Budget Autonomy

Since the shutdown began, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has been using a special reserve to keep the city running, but the reserves will soon run out. David Hawkings talks about Gray's efforts to get D.C. to spend its locally raised funds.

'Monstrous' Cyclone Barrels Toward India's East Coast

The lives and livelihood of millions are in its path. Cyclone Phailin currently has winds of around 160 mph, equal to a category 5 hurricane.

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Doctors in Mississippi dissected the nuggets from two national fast-food chains and discovered that they're only 50 percent meat — at best. Chicken nuggets may be the crispy finger-food favorite of many a young child, but at least in their samples, "chicken" might be a misnomer, the researchers say.

Air Force Fires Top U.S. Missile Commander

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey led the 20th Air Force, which maintains and operates the country's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. He was relieved of his command over an issue concerning his behavior while on temporary assignment.

At Urban Summit, A Feeling Of 'The Feds Can't, But We Can'

Passing mentions of the U.S. government during this week's international CityLab gathering of mayors, city planners and urban experts in New York City sent knowing chuckles rolling through the audience.

Georgetown Women's Basketball Coach Resigns

Keith Brown is stepping down as the women's basketball coach at Georgetown University, after being accused of verbal abuse.

Maryland General Assembly Likely To Debate Minimum Wage Issue Next Session

Councilmembers in both Montgomery and Prince George's counties, this week, announced plans to hike the minimum wage in their jurisdictions.

Trucker Protest Takes To Capital Beltway

The group 'Truckers for the Constitution' has resolved to drive to the Capital Beltway in protest of the federal government. It's still too early to say what effects the event could have on traffic in the region, but people are paying attention on social media.

Utah Allowed To Reopen National Parks — And Foot The Bill

The state's Republican governor, Gary Herbert, wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the park areas can open as early as today. That's enough to keep the areas open for at least 10 days.

Lack Of Medicaid Funding Cutting Off Primary Care For District Children

With Medicaid funds choked off due to the government shutdown, a significant number of children in the District are left without primary care.

Commentary: Shutdown Is Cutting Off Services For District's Most Vulnerable

Judith Sandalow of the Children's Law Center explains the affects the government shutdown is having on vulnerable District residents who rely on the aid of non-profit organizations.

Report: Syrian Rebels Executed Pro-Regime Villagers

Human Rights Watch says that jihadist-led rebels killed and kidnapped hundreds of villagers belonging to the minority Alawite sect.

Tech Week That Was: Health Site Stumbling, Twitter's Roots

The back story on Twitter's founding is profiled as the social giant prepares for its public stock offering; the site to help consumers buy health insurance gets more scrutiny; and NPR goes to the quiet zone — all in this week's tech roundup.

Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying

There's a whole slew of mind games that label designers use to get us to think better of their wines without ever tasting a sip. Want to add 10 bucks to the price of a bottle? Class it up with some gold stamping on that label. An insider spills the industry's secrets in a gorgeous photo book.

Virginia Republicans Divided On End To Government Shutdown

Republican lawmakers in Virginia are split on how and whether to address the partial government shutdown — some are breaking ranks with party leadership even as others dig in their heels.

What You Need To Know About The Group That Won The Nobel

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won the peace prize Friday, is currently working in Syria to eliminate chemical weapons there. It's also spent years working to destroy the stockpiles in the U.S. and Russia, the countries with the largest arsenals in the world.

Despite Budget Shortfall, Metro To Continue Normal Service

Two weeks of the partial federal shutdown has eaten into Metro's bottom line, but the transit agency doesn't plan to change course — at least for the time being.

Trickle-Down Stories: How The Shutdown Feels Across America

Most Americans say they aren't directly affected by the shutdown. But some pockets of society are being severely hit. Here are individual stories from across the country.

Top Stories: Nobel Peace Prize; Movement (Maybe) On Shutdown

Also: Syria's rebels accused of killing civilians; and Utah finds a way to reopen its national parks.

Friday Morning Political Mix

President Obama and House Republicans get their fiscal discussions rolling... A devastating new poll concentrates Republican minds... Senate Republicans work with their Democratic colleagues on a potential solution.

No Deal Yet, But Maybe An Opening

With the partial government shutdown in its 11th day, there's much speculation about a possible break in negotiations between the White House and Republicans. But despite the noise, very little seems firm.

Chemical Weapons Watchdog Gets Nobel Peace Prize

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is currently overseeing Syria's dismantling of its chemical weapons stockpile, is cited for having "defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law."

What Humans Can Learn From A Simple Kiss

Why is kissing found in practically every culture? A kiss can convey passion, love and, perhaps subconsciously, a veritable catalog of information about the worthiness of a potential mate. So much for romance.