News Archive - March 12, 2014

Columbia Mall Shooting Was Random Attack, Police Say


Howard County Police painted a picture of Columbia Mall shooter Darion Aguilar on Wednesday — a mentally-ill young man obsessed with the Columbine shooting.

Virginia Lawmakers Still Mulling Gun Bills After Legislative Session

The Virginia legislative session wrapped up last weekend, but already lawmakers are looking back on what might have been in terms of gun control legislation.

Maryland Is Home To The Healthiest Brains In The Country, Study Says


Maintaining a healthy mind into old age requires conscious effort in a number of factors, and according to a new index released this week, no state cultivates brains better than Maryland.

Maryland Senate Gives Preliminary Approval To Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The bill decriminalizes up to 10 grams of marijuana.

U.S. Judge Throws Out Charges Against Indian Diplomat

A federal judge said Devyani Khobragade enjoys diplomatic immunity. Her case sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S.

New Jersey Judge Rules Women Can Keep Fathers Out Of Delivery Room

Basing his opinion on two landmark abortion cases, the judge said a woman has a stronger right over her body and her unborn child than the father. This is likely one of the first rulings of its kind.

Foul Weather Begets Foul Moods Online

Bad moods — and good ones — can infect social networks at the speed of a keyboard click, according to researchers who gauged the effect of a rainy day on the emotional spin of Facebook posts.

Analysis: What Redacted FEC Doc On Crossroads GPS Means For Campaign Finance

All 72 pages of a document informing a recent FEC decision have been redacted. Shane Goldmacher with National Journal discusses what this means for campaign finance.

Senate Panel Clears Ukraine Aid Package

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill, which now goes to the full Senate for a vote. The House has its own version.

FTC Launches Civil Probe Into Herbalife Ltd.

After the company revealed the ongoing investigation, its stock plummeted. The nutrition company has been accused of running a pyramid scheme.

Confusion Reigns In Search For Missing Airliner

There's no word on what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 or the 239 people on board. What has emerged is a pattern of contradictory information — but this is to be expected.

D.C.'s Underground Sex Economy Worth Over $100 Million Per Year

Residents and visitors spent $103 million on the underground sex economy in D.C. in 2007, down from $155 million in 2003.

Catania Files Paperwork For Mayoral Run

District of Columbia Council member David Catania is filing paperwork to run for mayor as an independent in the midst of a fundraising scandal involving Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.

Man Exonerated, Freed After 3 Decades On Louisiana's Death Row

Glenn Ford, 64, was convicted in 1984 for first degree murder and given a death sentence. New evidence proves he wasn't at the crime scene.

Healthier Patients May Have To Wait For Costly Hepatitis C Drugs

Private insurers, as well as those serving Medicaid patients, are wrestling with how to cover the new drugs. Many say they will require prior approval and may be limited to the sickest patients.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Will Not Seek Another Term

To run for another term, it would have required a legal battle to challenge the state's term limits. Brewer completed the final year of Janet Napolitano's term. She won another four-year term in 2010.

Water-To-Wine Machine Sound Too Good To Be True? It Is

News media were quick to report on a $499 "Miracle Machine" that could turn water into wine. The science sounded suspect to us, with good reason. The perpetrators call it a sham for charity's sake.

Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters

The administration's plan to increase the number of American workers eligible for mandatory overtime pay is seen as part of a strategy to stress income inequality.

For Player At Center Of NFL Bullying Story, A New Opportunity

Former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Martin's earlier departure from Miami prompted an in-depth investigation of the Dolphins by the NFL.

Why Did The Possibly Pregnant Shark Cross The Atlantic?

Probably not just to get to the other side. Thanks to a tracking device, researchers and anyone on the Web have watched as "Lydia" has gone where no great white shark has been tracked before.

Israel OKs Controversial Law To Conscript Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Haredi, a branch of Judaism that shuns modern secular culture, had long been exempt from national service. The bill had been boycotted by the opposition.

Who Says Food Porn Has To Be Dominated By Junk Food?

Carrots don't stand much of a chance against cronuts when it comes to tweets and Instagrams about food. The new Food Porn Index aims to change the conversation by tracking our virtual cravings.

Britain's 'Tea Party' Pushes For Cutting Ties With European Union

The UK Independence Party doesn't have any seats in parliament. But it does seem to influence Britain's ruling Conservatives by tapping into the same themes favored by the Tea Party in the U.S.

In State Of The District Speech, Gray Forcefully Denies Shadow Campaign Claims

At his 2014 State of the District address, Mayor Vincent Gray said that he did not participate in the illegal shadow campaign that pumped $653,000 into his 2010 mayoral bid.

Ex-Missile Crew Members Say Cheating Is Part Of The Culture

The Air Force has acknowledged a problem with cheating on tests by nuclear missile officers. NPR spoke with eight former officers, and seven said they had participated in some kind of cheating.

Metro Official Says System Upgrades Are Making A Difference

The effort to rebuild Metro’s Red Line is showing progress but years remain of work to clear a backlog a deferred maintenance, a top transit authority official told a group of transit advocates in Silver Spring on Tuesday.

How The Vice President of New Afrika Became Mayor Of Jackson

Just how did the late Chokwe Lumumba — a revolutionary who still threw up the Black Power salute on occasion — get elected the mayor of a mid-sized American city in the Deep South?

Apartment Building Explodes In Harlem, Killing At Least 2

The building, located at or near the corner of Park Ave. and 114th Street, reportedly exploded and collapsed around 9:30 a.m. At least two people are dead and many injured.

VIDEO: San Francisco's Biggest Fire In Years

A nine-story apartment building that was under construction went up in flames. Firefighters were able to protect nearby buildings.

Maryland Senate Debates Decriminalizing Marijuana

The Maryland Senate is inching toward a vote on a bill that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana punishable by little more than a small fine, but legislators first have to work their way through amendments to the bill.

Reports: Obama Will Move To Expand Overtime Pay

The president is expected to tell the Labor Department to change the rules about who is eligible. Critics say that might backfire. Proponents say it would narrow income inequality.

Ukraine Won't Fight Russia In Crimea, Acting President Says

"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Oleksandr Turchynov tells Agence France-Presse.

Officials Seem To Have No Clue About Fate Of Missing Jet

The search continues, and continues to expand, for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared Saturday while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.