News Archive - December 5, 2013

Fast Food Workers Protest Wages At Air And Space Museum

Smithonian's Air and Space Museum was the scene of protests on Thursday as part of a national push by fast food workers for higher wages.

Nelson Mandela Was Inspiration For D.C., Local Leaders


Nelson Mandela, who passed away at age 95 on Thursday, left a lasting legacy in the District, where his struggle against Apartheid served as an inspiration for local civil rights leaders.

Thai King Calls For Stability Amid Political Unrest

Speaking on the occasion of his 86th birthday, the ailing monarch asked Thais to do their duty to ensure stability and security in the nation.

MoCo Liquor Control Board Defends Compliance Tests

Officials with Montgomery County's Liquor Control Board acknowledge that their test to detect establishments that serve underage drinkers is easy to pass, but even so more than a quarter of those tested are still caught.

D.C. Juvenile Justice System Under Fire For Failing To Monitor Minors

D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services has been criticized in an inspector general report for failing to keep tabs on minors housed in facilities hundreds of miles away.

Nelson Mandela: An Audio History

A Radio Diaries documentary offers a window into South Africa's half-century-long struggle for democracy through rare sound recordings of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela — and those who fought with and against him.

Mandela Is Remembered On Social Media

Twitter and other social media outlets see an outpouring of comments on the life and death of Nelson Mandela.

The First Time I Heard The Name 'Mandela'

The South African leader's life held special power for black Americans, who lost many iconic civil rights leaders tragically early. Karen Grigsby Bates reflects on Mandela's legacy.

A Metro Station In Georgetown? It Could Finally Happen

Metro is starting to plan for a future that could include new lines, tunnels and stations — including one in Georgetown.

D.C. Commuters Ditching Cars At Rapid Pace, Study Says

The nature of transportation in the District is changing, as workers in the D.C. area abandon cars at a faster clip than almost anywhere else in the country.

For Biden, All The World's A Stage For Possible 2016 Run

The Asia trip is generating the kind of video and headlines that could prove useful if the vice president decides to run for president in 2016.

World Reflects On The Life Of Nelson Mandela

The icon who became South Africa's first black president died after a prolonged lung infection.

Chicken Fingers Being Replaced By Salad Bars At Some D.C. Schools

Seven salad bars in D.C. public schools will offer 2,300 students the chances to make healthy food choices at lunch.

Mandela: A Rare Success As Liberation Leader And President

The transition from one role to the other is difficult, and many have failed making the attempt. Nelson Mandela was a rare example who succeeded in both jobs. In addition, he willingly stepped down after one term in office, setting an example for a young democracy.

Illinois Governor Signs Pension Rescue Plan

The law aims to plug a $100 billion shortfall in the state's pension system, which is considered the nation's worst-funded.

White House: President Briefly Lived With Kenyan-Born Uncle

After first denying the two ever met, the White House on Thursday says that as a Harvard Law School student at Cambridge, the president briefly lived with his uncle, Onyango Obama.

Some Stranded Whales In Fla. Moving Out To Sea

Rescuers say that they've spotted at least 20 pilot whales in deeper water — a positive sign after the animals were discovered beached in a remote area of the Everglades on Tuesday.

The World's Largest Vessel Enters The Water In South Korea

Shell's new vessel is so large that if you stood it up, it would be taller than the Empire State Building. It will be anchored 300 miles off the coast of Australia to handle liquefied natural gas.

Cuteness Alert: Christmas Cats TV Is Streaming Live

The scene you'll find at Christmas Cats TV is a unique one. A woman sits in a den that includes a Christmas tree, a hearth and some presents — and lots of cute cats, some of which are wearing holiday sweaters.

Medical Journal Goes To The Dogs

The august medical journal JAMA created a kitsch masterpiece for the cover of its annual issue dedicated to medical education. A group of seven canine healers, some apparently in training, hover around a sick mutt sucking on a thermometer in a hospital bed. They look an awful lot like some poker-playing dogs from yesteryear.

Prosecutor: No Charges Against FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston

The Seminoles QB and Heisman trophy front-runner has been facing allegations that he sexually assaulted a female FSU student in December 2012, prior to his college career.

Fast-Food Workers Cry Poverty Wages As McDonald's Buys Luxury Jet

Thousands of restaurant workers protested Thursday in cities around the country, calling for an increase in wages to $15 an hour. Many fast-food workers make so little that they rely on public assistance to get by, even as profits at many franchises have nearly doubled in recent years. But not everyone agrees that raising the minimum wage will fix the problem.

Lovers Of Virginia's License Plates Will Be Happy With Redesign

The Department of Motor Vehicles has redesigned the state's standard license plate to incorporate the "Virginia is for lovers" slogan.

American Teacher Is Killed While Jogging In Benghazi, Libya

Ronald Thomas Smith II, a chemistry teacher from Texas who spent more than a year at the International School Benghazi, was reportedly shot by unknown assailants. The school's principal tells NBC News that Smith was "very much loved."

In Wake Of Theft, D.C. Salvation Army See Surge In Donations

The local Salvation Army branch has gotten a series of large donations totaling $48,000 since a theft of $10,000 from a center in Southeast D.C. last weekend.

Farmer Efforts Have Cut Down On Pollutants Flowing Into Chesapeake Bay

A report released Thursday shows farmers have made significant progress reducing sediments, pesticides and other pollutants that flow into the bay.

Silver Line To Start Service In April, Says Warner

According to Virginia Senator Mark Warner, Phase 1 of Metro's Silver Line to Reston won't open until April — which means months of lost revenue.

Federal Transit Benefit Could Be Cut In Half, Worrying Advocates And Metro

Come January 1, the public transit benefit available to federal and private sector workers alike will drop from $245 to $130 dollars in pre-tax wages per month — unless Congress votes to keep the subsidy up.

Obama Tells Government To Ramp Up Its Renewable Energy Use

Under the new plan, each federal agency would have until 2020 to get 20 percent of its power from renewable sources such as solar and wind.

D.C. Fire Officials Admit That Problems With Fleet Persist

At a D.C. Council hearing on Wednesday, D.C.'s fire chief admitted that he couldn't account for some of the city's new ambulances and that other pieces of vital equipment were in disrepair.

Project Xpat: What It Means To Be An Expatriate

Americans living in other countries share how they see themselves — and the world. "What used to be more different is now less different," says a 17-year resident of Paris.

Ford Hopes New Mustang Will Get The World's Motor Running

The option of a smaller engine size and the car's sleeker design are two features analysts say are geared toward helping the Mustang appeal to buyers overseas.

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

The exchange rate of Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year, took a hit following a government ban. Chinese citizens are not forbidden from using the currency.

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

U.S. real gross domestic product rose from a 2.5 percent gain in the second quarter. And the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 298,000 last week.

$559K Fine Set For Safety Failures In Deadly Arizona Wildfire

Arizona's worker safety commission has imposed multiple fines on the state's forestry unit, with the largest coming for "willful serious" violations that left firefighters in dangerous positions. The Yarnell Hill fire killed 19 elite firefighters in June.

Militants Launch Deadly Attack On Yemen's Defense Ministry

At least 20 people were killed in the violence, in which a gun battle followed a large explosion in Sanaa. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but several analysts have noted that it resembles the operations of al-Qaida.

GOP Family Feud: 'Showboat' DeMint Takes on 'Tyrant' McConnell

The Senate Conservatives Fund, founded by then-Sen. Jim DeMint, is a big-money player targeting incumbent Republican senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

White House Cites Pre-Existing Condition Case From Its Own Ranks

It's Day 4 of the White House's new messaging push for the Affordable Care Act. Today the goal is to tell the stories of people with pre-existing conditions who are now entitled to coverage under the new health care law.One such story comes from within the White House.