News Archive - January 27, 2014

Creigh Deeds Introduces Legislation To Extend Emergency Custody Orders

On the heels of the death of the son of Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, legislation is being introduced that would extend emergency custody orders from six to 24 hours.

Inspector General: Literacy Training Of Afghan Forces Has Limited Success

Three years after a $200 million program was started, 50 percent of recruits are illiterate. Teaching all 352,000 recruits to read and write at a first-grade level, said some officials, may be "unrealistic."

McDonnell Lawyers To Target Former Chief Of Staff In Corruption Defense

The trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell isn't set to take place until July, but their lawyers are already laying out their case, targeting a former chief of staff.

Testing On Silver Line Completed; Still No Timeline On Open Date

Contractor Bechtel has completed testing on Silver Line, keeping to the timeline that could see Phase I open this spring.

Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

After comparing the outrage over the richest one percent to Kristallnacht, venture capitalist Tom Perkins quasi-apologized Monday night. "The use of the word ... was a terrible misjudgment," he said, before noting "I don't regret the message."

New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

A five-year farm bill will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. The Agricultural Act of 2014 would also end a long-criticized farm subsidy program.

Son Of Former Maryland Delegate Charged With Stealing Campaign Funds

The son of former Maryland delegate Hattie Harrison has been charged for allegedly writing checks on a campaign account totalling more than $17,000.

Ex-GOP Sen. John Warner Endorses Mark Warner

In the campaign for Virginia senator, Democratic incumbent Mark Warner received a big endorsement in former Republican senator John Warner.

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

While the agreement gives tech companies more options in publishing data about government requests for information, it also includes several limitations. It's part of President Obama's plan to change how U.S. intelligence agencies handle personal data.

Despite Gains On Tests, Achievement Gap In Region Grew Over Last Decade

The gap between reading proficiency rates among low-income and higher-income fourth-graders in the region rose by more than 30 percent over the last decade.

Key Senate Republicans Offer Their Plan To Replace Obamacare

"Obamacare just isn't working," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said on the Senate floor Monday afternoon. So he and two of his more influential Republican colleagues have proposed yet another plan to rewrite the Affordable Care Act.

Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts

Serving chicken, pigeon or duck for the holiday may be harder this year for some families in China and Hong Kong. As the deadly H7N9 virus continues to spread, officials in China have closed many live poultry markets, while agricultural workers in Hong Kong plan to cull thousands of chickens this week.

State Of The Union Invitation List: Who Makes The Cut

Guests who get an invitation to the annual State of the Union address tend to reflect the personal and political aims of the president. Some have won notice during important news events that define the times — like the Boston Marathon bombing.

California Bar Rejects Stephen Glass, Ex-Writer Who Fabricated Stories

The court was unconvinced that Glass had changed his ways. Glass, the court said, failed to prove that he was of good moral character as the law requires.

Spoiler Alert? 'Madden NFL 25' Predicts Super Bowl Outcome

EA Sports' Madden game franchise is 8-2 in recent Super Bowl predictions. The game maker is predicting a thriller on Sunday — and happy Denver fans next Monday.

Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids

Researchers say changes rolled out last May are likely to have a bigger effect on government statistics than on the care of the nation's children. Still, advocates worry that narrower definitions could lead to a loss of coverage for some children.

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Slider

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we eat the humble White Castle Slider. It was just named Time magazine's Most Influential Burger of All Time.

Crack: The Drug That Consumed The Nation's Capital

A five-part series that explores the legacy of D.C.'s crack era and how The District continues to grapple with an epidemic that affected families, neighborhoods, politicians, policemen, and schools.


In the 80s, dealers sold crack at hundreds of open-air drug markets, addiction swept across entire neighborhoods, and D.C. came to be known as the "Nation's Murder Capital."

Recount Will Determine Which Party Controls Virginia State Senate

A race that will determine the balance of power in the Virginia Senate is headed to a recount.

Report: Cocaine Congressman To Resign

Rep. Trey Radel, the Florida Republican caught buying cocaine in Dupont Circle last October, will resign from the House of Representatives.

You'd Think We'd Have Baby-Making All Figured Out, But No

Many women don't know when they're most likely to get pregnant each month, and some think certain positions will boost the odds, a survey finds. There are also big gaps in knowledge about risk factors for infertility and birth defects.

NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

According to leaked secret documents, the NSA can scoop up deeply personal data from mobile phone apps. The spy agency also exploits innocuous actions like updating a phone's software.

Video: Changing D.C. Prompts A Look To The Past

In this video, WAMU 88.5 managing producer Tara Boyle explains what inspired the five-part series "Crack: The Drug That Consumed The Nation's Capital."

Crack’s Rapid Rise Brought Chaos To D.C.

For years, powdered cocaine was D.C.'s drug of choice, but when crack hit the streets, the city was plagued by levels of addiction and violence that caught residents, police and politicians by surprise.

Rat-A-Phooey! That Ghost Ship May Not Be Infested With Rodents

The salvage hunter who's been quoted around the world about what may be aboard the drifting wreck of a cruise ship now says he doesn't really think it's filled with rodents.

Maryland Group Pushes For Five-Cent Bottle Deposit Law

The Maryland Public Interest Research Group is delivering petitions urging Gov. Martin O'Malley to support a measure to create a 5-cent redeemable bottle deposit.

Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

Let's be clear: Making spirits at home with plans to drink it remains against federal law, folks. Even so, more and more people appear to be taking up home distilling as a hobby. For some, it's the first step toward a professional, legit operation.

CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

The charge: That he conspired to sell more than $1 million in bitcoins to individuals who used the virtual money to buy drugs on the Silk Road website.

FAA Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 767 Jets

The agency is concerned about problems that could result in the loss of control of the aircraft. The order affects more than 400 jets.

Soil, Weedkillers And GMOs: When Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story

Numbers don't lie, but they can sometimes tell a misleading story. Three times in the past week, we came across farm statistics that painted a picture not quite backed up by facts on the ground.

Relic Containing Pope John Paul II's Blood Stolen

The late pope often rested in the mountains of Italy's Abruzzo region, and worshiped at a small church there. A small relic containing a piece of gauze that had been soaked in his blood is now missing.

Boston Bombing Survivors Will Be Guests At State Of The Union

The first lady also invited former NBA center Jason Collins, the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.

Maryland Lawmakers Push To Scrap Marriage Tax Penalty

Two lawmakers in Maryland say married couples shouldn't be penalized with higher taxes, and they're introducing legislation to flatten the tax levels.

Virginia Legislators Debate Bill That Would Limit 'Conversion Therapy' For Gays

An Arlington delegate wants it to be illegal for Virginia minors to be subjected to a controversial therapy that claims to turn gay people straight.

Lanier Defends D.C. Police Hiring Standards, Asks For Flexibility In Firings

A number of recent arrests of D.C. police officers took Chief Cathy Lanier to the D.C. Council on Friday, where she defended the department's hiring standards while asking the ability to more easily fire troublemaking cops.

Head Of D.C. Public Schools Wants To Know Whether All The Testing Is Worth It

Chancellor Kaya Henderson has asked a task force to look into how much D.C. public schools students get tested — and if all that preparing for the tests is a good use of their time.

As Investigators Search For Motive In Killings, Columbia Mall Reopens


Police in Howard County still do not know why Darion Marcus Aguilar shot two people before turning the gun on himself on Saturday, but the Columbia mall where the incident took place has been re-opened.

Egypt's El-Sissi Promoted, Military Says He Should Run For President

Shortly after Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was made a field marshal, the military said he should "answer the call of the people" and run for president. Elections are set for April.

British Satire: Still Current After 170 Years

Britain is going through a debate on government spending, and NPR's London correspondent, Ari Shapiro, found a magazine cartoon that captures the moment. It's from 1844.

As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are 'Reshoring'

For decades, American companies have sent their manufacturing work overseas. Extremely low wages in Asia and elsewhere reduced costs. But as costs overseas go up, a growing number of American companies are rethinking that business model.

Rep. Radel Resigns; Pleaded Guilty To Cocaine Possession

The freshman member of Congress, a Republican from Florida, was found guilty of buying about $260 worth of cocaine from an undercover agent. He has been under pressure from others in his party to step down.

As Protests Spread In Ukraine, 'State Of Emergency' Possible

Now there are anti-government demonstrations in cities where the citizens have in the past shown support for the president. Meanwhile, the nation's justice minister has warned she may declare a "state of emergency" unless protesters leave her headquarters.

VIDEO: Grammy Highlights, Including A Bit Of Paul And Ringo

Yes, they did come together. The two surviving Beatles performed Sunday at the Grammys. They're due to be together again for a Feb. 9 CBS-TV special celebrating the Beatles' first appearance, 50 years ago, on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Looking To Escape The Deep Freeze? Head To Alaska

Another wave of brutally cold air is sweeping down from the Arctic across much of the nation. Meanwhile, in many places in Alaska the temperature has been popping up above freezing. That pattern's likely to continue into February.