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D.C.'s Homicide Total Expected To Be At Historic Low For 2012

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D.C.'s annual homicide total hasn't fallen below 100 in nearly 50 years.
D.C.'s annual homicide total hasn't fallen below 100 in nearly 50 years.

The District is on track to record fewer than 100 homicides in a single year for the first time since 1963. D.C.'s homicide number approached 500 slayings per year during the 1990s; there have been 78 so far in 2012.

The drop reflects a downward trend in violent crime nationwide and is in line with declining homicides in other big cities, according to the Associated Press.

Experts cite a number of reasons for the trend, AP reports: more community policing is among them, as are advances in law enforcement technology such as the Spotshotter system, which helps police pinpoint gunfire very quickly. Improved medical care has also helped save the lives of many shooting victims.

But while the homicide rate is declining, crime in some other categories has risen this year from the previous year, including robberies and, as of mid-September, assaults with a deadly weapon.

NPR

A Sense Of Self: What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist

In his new book, The Man Who Wasn't There, Anil Ananthaswamy examines the ways people think of themselves — and how those perceptions can be distorted by certain brain conditions.
NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip To Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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