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  • Trade Winds are Blowing East in the NBATrade Winds are Blowing East in the NBA

    WASHINGTON — The Western Conference has been the dominant conference in the NBA for years, but the tide could slowly be turning. Several Eastern Conference powers, including the Wizards and Toronto Raptors, made moves to improve immediately, while other up-and-comers, such as the Philadelphia 76ers, made moves to clarify their future paths. Here is a wrap-up of the Eastern Conference moves that went down in the weeks, days and hours before the 2017 deadline, which had the potential to be the most explosive deadline in years, but instead it was fairly uneventful. Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers added Kyle Korver more than a month ago, but they have been quite ever since. There was some talk that they were interested in Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets, with Iman Shumpert being the primary piece Cleveland would send in exchange, but that never matriculated. Boston Celtics: The Celtics were the hottest team in trade rumors in the hours leading up to the deadline, being tied most commonly to a pair of superstars: Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. They ended up acquiring neither, and they’ll instead hold onto their stockpile of assets for at least the remainder of this season. In addition to a wealth of talented young players — six players on their roster are less than 23 years old, including Marcus Smart (22), Terry Rozier (22), James Young (21) and Jaylen Brown (20) — the Celtics also have the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick this year, their own and Brooklyn’s first-round pick next year, and as many as three first-round picks in 2019, as well as more than a half-dozen second round picks over those three drafts. Presumably, GM Danny Ainge will eventually flip some combination of those players and picks for a top-end talent such as Butler or George, and it seems he’s trying to wait it out as long as possible. That might be prudent, but he runs the risk of waiting too long and overplaying his hand. Either way, the Celtics are poised to be among the top third of the league for the foreseeable future. Washington Wizards: The Wizards traded for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough on Wednesday afternoon, giving up their 2017 first-round pick, Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton in the process. They were rumored to be interested in another move before Thursday’s deadline, but they couldn’t find anything they liked and ended up staying More Trade Deadline Wizards Coverage Toronto Raptors: The Raptors made one of the earliest moves by sending Terrence Ross and a first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for veteran big man Serge Ibaka. Ibaka is only under contract through the end of the season, but reports indicate the Raptors plan to re-sign him. The Raptors made a second move in the final minutes ahead of the deadline, sending Jared Sullinger and a pair of second-round picks to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for veteran swingman P.J. Tucker. Tucker averages just 7.0 points per game this season and has never averaged 10 points per game in a season, but he can play three positions and routinely averages more than six rebounds per game while shooting .347 from beyond the arc for his career. He figures to play a valuable role with the Raptors, who are currently in fourth place in the east but have a much more impressive roster than they did a month ago. Atlanta Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks shipped Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers in early January, and it seemed they would be big sellers ahead of the deadline. However, they never followed through on the house-cleaning, and instead made two somewhat minor moves. First, they picked up Ersan Ilyasova from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Tiago Splitter and two second-round picks, then they sold Mike Scott to the Phoenix Suns, who promptly waived him. The roster is better than it was before the deadline, as Ilyasova is a marked improvement over Scott and Splitter, but they remain somewhat in limbo, stuck as an above-average team with no clear path to contention. They did reportedly try to swing a huge deal for Indiana Pacers star Paul George and Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler, but both came up empty. More on those failed attempts below. The Atlanta Hawks made aggressive draft pick-centric trade offers for Paul George and Jimmy Butler today, league sources tell ESPN. — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017 The Hawks' pitches for PG-13 and Butler excluded core players. Asked if three first-rounder picks were offered , one source said: "More." — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 24, 2017 Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are in sixth place with a very OK roster. Aside from Paul George, they don’t have any top-end talent, and they remain unsure of whether or not their superstar will remain with the team when his contract runs out after next season. Reports are that George, who is from the Los Angeles area, plans to sign with the Lakers when he enters free agency, and Indiana certainly doesn’t want to lose him for nothing. I repeat: Paul George – barring a title chance in Indy – is hell-bent on heading for Laker Land. This message has been sent throughout NBA. — Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2017 The team, run by Larry Bird, reportedly explored trades both for him and for high-caliber players to support him, but it ultimately remained stagnant when the 3 p.m. deadline came about. In addition to Atlanta and Boston offering up hearty trade packages for the 26-year-old George, the Denver Nuggets reportedly put together a “monster offer” for him. Denver today made a "monster" offer to Indiana for Paul George, league sources tell @ChrisBHaynes and me, but the talks gained no traction. — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017 George didn’t seem thrilled by the activity when he reflected on it on Thursday. Interesting quote from #Pacers Paul George on today's trade deadline. pic.twitter.com/bMA5rHlWUB — Clark Wade (@ClarkWade34) February 23, 2017 Whatever happens with the Pacers, it’s highly likely the roster will look very different by the time the 2018-19 season starts. If George is still on the team, it will probably be at least in part because Indiana has secured another star to play alongside him. If he’s not wearing a Pacers uniform, the organization will most likely be in full-on rebuilding mode. Chicago Bulls: The Bulls and the Pacers are in very similar positions, both in terms of the current NBA standings and organizational direction. Separated by just a single game in the Eastern Conference standings, both teams are led by star wings who are surrounded by aging role players that collectively only move the needle slightly. And both star players were shopped ahead of the trade deadline, yet neither was moved. Both teams desperately need a clear plan, as neither is currently designed to compete for a title. Chicago did end up sending forwards Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. The move doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as the Bulls were already lacking shooting and they traded away their best young shooter in McDermott; they did add a 3-point specialist in Morrow, but he’s not going to get any better and he does little to help the team going forward. Payne and Lauvergne have some potential, but neither has much space to grow on Chicago’s crowded roster. Chicago, Indiana and Atlanta are all treading water, and they’re all due for change. Thursday helped reinforce that notion, and there is a real possibility any (or all) of them completely dismantles their core and starts over this summer. Detroit Pistons: The Pistons reportedly explored deals for star center Andre Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson, but they eventually stayed quiet. Though they’re only mediocre right now, they have a slew of valuable pieces in Drummond, Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson, Jon Leuer and Ish Smith. They can either build their current core and hope for a breakthrough from one of those players, or they can package a few of them with a pick or two in search of a superstar to pair with Drummond. They could also ship off Drummond for young assets and/or picks and start over, but they’re in a pretty good place for the future. Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks have one of the most intriguing young cores in the NBA, and they simply need to be patient while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker develop, but they would also be well-served adding another star. They were mostly silent around the deadline, which was for the best, but they could start making noise around this time next season. Their only move was sending Roy Hibbert, who they acquired earlier this month, to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a future second-round pick. Miami Heat: The Heat were quiet at the deadline, as well, even though some thought they might emerge as sellers. Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow are the team’s future, but almost everybody else on the roster is expendable and could be used to turn into future assets. Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets were another quiet team at the deadline, as expected. They have several pieces that could have been moved, but nothing they have to offer proved to be especially intriguing. Charlotte seems content to let its core of Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, Frank Kaminsky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller grow and develop, but it will have to add another piece eventually if it wants to move into the contender conversation. New York Knicks: The Knicks are all over the place, but they ultimately remained quiet at the deadline. Nobody really knows what direction they’ll go in, but they went all-in to win now this past offseason, and that plan quickly went awry. Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers have been working hard to clear up the big man logjam they have, and they finally made progress by sending Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a conditional first-round pick, Justin Anderson and Andrew Bogut. If the pick falls anywhere in the top 18, the Sixers get the Mavericks’ second-round pick in 2017 and 2018. They quickly waived Bogut, who now seems likely to be signed by a championship contender. This was a somewhat confusing move for Philadelphia. It makes perfect sense that it wanted to finally move on from Noel in order to make more room for Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, but Okafor hasn’t shown much since entering the NBA and Embiid has struggled to stay on the court. What’s more, the Sixers’ return in the deal is minimal, as the first-round pick is almost definitely going to turn into a pair of second-rounders. There is plenty to like about Anderson, but he and two low-level picks isn’t much of a haul for a player of Noel’s immense potential. Philadelphia also sent Ersan Ilyasova to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and two second-round picks, then they announced Friday morning that 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons would sit out the rest of the season, all but guaranteeing themselves another top-5 pick in the 2017 draft. If the season ended before Friday’s games, the Sixers would have the fifth-worst record, but they just parted with Noel and Ilyasova, shut down their highly-touted prospect for the year, and Embiid remains injured. The Sixers won’t be competitive the remainder of this season, and with a quality pick in the loaded 2017 draft, they’ll once again be stocked with exciting young talent entering the 2017-18 season. Orlando Magic: The Magic sent Serge Ibaka to the Raptors, as mentioned above, but they were otherwise stagnant. They have few assets moving forward, and they have a long way to go before they’re relevant. Brooklyn Nets: The Nets took on the albatross that is Andrew Nicholson’s contract, as well as the Wizards’ first-round pick in 2017, in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. They also received Marcus Thornton in the deal, but they quickly waived him. There is more coverage of that deal above. Brooklyn also made a smart move by sending a future second-round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for K.J. McDaniels, an interesting do-it-all prospect who should get a chance to play on a bad Nets team. The Nets desperately need future assets, and they need to turn their middling players into something that will serve them down the road. They did both of those things with each of their deals leading up to the deadline, and for the first time in a long time, the Nets seem to have a legitimate plan. In summation, there are still a handful of teams — Bulls, Pacers, Hawks, Magic — who are running in place and need to pick a direction to turn, either make a big move to try to contend or blow it all up and start over. But the majority of the teams in the Eastern Conference have brighter futures than they did when the season started, including the Wizards, Raptors, Pistons, Bucks and Nets. The Sixers and Hornets are arguably in better positions than they were six months ago, and only really the Knicks are a complete disaster (though the Nets are still a long, long way from relevance). The Western Conference is the better conference, and it probably will be next season, as well. But eight of the 15 teams in the west have a losing record, and the gap between the two is getting slimmer. Follow Bryan Frantz and 106.7 The Fan on Twitter

    CBS Washington / 1 h. 35 min. ago more
  • GOP Obamacare replacement would roll back Medicaid expansionGOP Obamacare replacement would roll back Medicaid expansion

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  • Cab driver who tried to help Islamic State gets 11 yearsCab driver who tried to help Islamic State gets 11 years

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A taxi driver caught helping a friend try to join the Islamic State group during an FBI sting has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Twenty-six-year-old Mahmoud Elhassan of Woodbridge, Virginia, was arrested last year after he drove Joseph Farrokh to the Richmond airport, where he planned to begin a trip to join the Islamic State in Syria. Prosecutors say Elhassan, who started a prayer table outside the Verizon Center in Washington seeking to proselytize others to Islam, offered himself online as a “sleeper cell” to overseas radicals. The government sought a term closer to the 28-year maximum at a hearing Friday in Alexandria, Virginia. Elhassan’s lawyers asked for a term of four to six years. Farrokh was previously sentenced to 8½ years in prison. The post Cab driver who tried to help Islamic State gets 11 years appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 1 h. 44 min. ago more
  • The Hill's 12:30 ReportThe Hill's 12:30 Report

    Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn --> A midday take on what's happening in politics and ...

    TheHill.com / 1 h. 49 min. ago
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    NBC 4 / 1 h. 51 min. ago
  • Driver charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rt. 28 crashDriver charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rt. 28 crash

    WASHINGTON — The driver involved in a crash Tuesday morning that killed a Leesburg, Virginia, woman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Andre M. Glenn, 26, of Sterling, drove a Jeep Wrangler northbound on Virginia Route 28 when he struck a traffic divider south of the Dulles Greenway around 2 a.m. Two women were thrown from the vehicle, and Gabrielle M. Perry, 22, was killed. The surviving female passenger was treated for serious injuries, but she is expected to survive. Glenn and another male passenger were not seriously injured. Glenn was initially charged with driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license at the scene of the crash. If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, Glenn could face up to 10 years in prison. Glenn was being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on Friday. Online court records show that Glenn had been pulled over several times in recent years for speeding in Loudoun and Fairfax counties. He was convicted of driving on a suspended license in 2015, a misdemeanor. WTOP’S Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.  The post Driver charged with involuntary manslaughter in Rt. 28 crash appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 1 h. 51 min. ago more
  • CPAC organizers confiscate Russian flags emblazoned with Trump's nameCPAC organizers confiscate Russian flags emblazoned with Trump's name

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    WE - White House / 1 h. 52 min. ago
  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people ‘very few’AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people ‘very few’

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that his predecessor’s health care law covers “very few people” as he minimized the impact of replacing it. That’s only true if you consider more than 20 million people to be very few. Here’s a look at his statements at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and some other recent assertions: TRUMP: “Obamacare covers very few people.” THE FACTS: More than 20 million people are covered by the two major components of former President Barack Obama’s health care law: expanded Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance. The Medicaid expansion, adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., covers about 11 million low-income people, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The fate of the expansion is a major sticking point as Republicans try to complete their repeal plan. Sixteen states with GOP governors have expanded their Medicaid programs. The other more visible component is HealthCare.gov. The federal website and state-run online insurance markets have signed up 12.2 million people for this year, according to an Associated Press count earlier this month, based on federal and state reports. This is lower than the 12.7 million who initially enrolled for 2016. But it is not dramatically lower when considering the problems the markets have had with rising premiums and dwindling insurer participation, not to mention Trump’s vow to repeal the program. Altogether, since Obama’s law passed in 2010, the number of uninsured people has dropped by about 20 million and the uninsured rate has declined below 9 percent, a historic low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48.6 million Americans were uninsured in 2010. Through the first nine months of last year, that figure was down to 28.2 million. Although employers also added coverage as the economy recovered, experts say the vast majority of the coverage gains are due to Obama’s law. However, the progress in reducing the number of uninsured people appears to have stalled. The 28.2 million uninsured last year, from January to September, is not statistically different from the 28.6 million uninsured for all of 2015, according to the CDC. ___ TRUMP: The U.S. is providing security to other nations “while leaving our own border wide open. Anybody can come in. But don’t worry, we’re getting a wall. … We’re getting bad people out of this country.” THE FACTS: His wide-open border claim is bogus. The number of arrests of illegal border crossers — the best measure of how many people are trying to cross illegally — remains at a 40-year low. The U.S. government under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama roughly doubled the ranks of the Border Patrol in the last decade or so. In addition, the number of people expelled from the country since Trump took office Jan. 20 has not been released. No available data supports his claim, made Thursday, that immigrants in the country illegally are being expelled at a rate “nobody has ever seen before.” Deportations were brisk when Obama was president. Altogether in January, 16,643 people were deported, a drop from December (20,395) but a number that is similar to monthly deportations in early 2015 and 2016. This month, Homeland Security officials have said 680 people were arrested in a weeklong effort to find and arrest criminal immigrants living in the United States illegally. Three-quarters of those people had been convicted of crimes, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said. The remaining 25 percent were not. The government has not provided information about who was arrested in that roundup, so it’s impossible to determine how many gang members or drug lords were in that group. It is also unclear how many of those “bad people” people have actually been deported. That roundup was largely planned before Trump took office and was alternately described by the Trump administration as a routine enforcement effort and a signal of his pledge to take a harder line on illegal immigration. During the Obama administration, similar operations were carried out that yielded thousands of arrests. ___ TRUMP, at a White House meeting Thursday with manufacturers, again claimed credit for a $700 million savings in the military’s contract with Lockheed Martin for the F-35 fighter jet. Speaking to the defense contractor’s CEO, Marillyn Hewson, he said: “Over $700 million. Do you think Hillary would have cost you $700 million? I assume you wanted her to win.” THE FACTS: Cost savings for the F-35 began before Trump’s inauguration and predate his complaints about the price tag. The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions Dec. 19 — after Trump had tweeted about the cost but weeks before Trump met with Hewson about the issue on Jan. 13. “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of additional F-35 cost savings as a result of President Trump’s intervention,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group. He said Trump appears to be taking credit for prior-year budget decisions and for work already done by managers at the Pentagon who took action before the presidential election to reduce costs. ___ Find all AP Fact Checks here: http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd ___ Associated Press writers Cal Woodward and Jim Drinkard contributed to this report. EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures The post AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people ‘very few’ appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 1 h. 52 min. ago more
  • Prince George’s Co. Woman Admits to Killing 17-year-old SonPrince George’s Co. Woman Admits to Killing 17-year-old Son

    CLINTON, Md. — A Maryland woman shot and killed her 17-year-old son during an argument, police say. Prince George’s County Police said in a statement Friday that officers responding to a report of a shooting Thursday night found the teen suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where police say he was pronounced dead. Police say their preliminary investigation reveals that 48-year-old Angelique Chase of Clinton and her son, 17-year-old Christopher Perry were arguing before the shooting. Police say Chase, who was arrested at the scene, admitted her involvement. Chase has been charged with second-degree murder and assault. She is being held without bond. Read the report here. Follow CBS D.C. on Twitter (© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press and CBS D.C. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 1 h. 55 min. ago more
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    TheHill.com / 1 h. 58 min. ago
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    NBC4Washington.com / 2 h. ago more
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    NBC4Washington.com / 2 h. ago more
  • Trump tells conservatives he is future of GOPTrump tells conservatives he is future of GOP

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    TheHill.com / 2 h. 1 min. ago
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    Google News / 2 h. 2 min. ago more
  • Md. mother faces charges in son’s killingMd. mother faces charges in son’s killing

    WASHINGTON — A 17-year-old Clinton, Maryland, boy is dead, and his mother is facing charges in his homicide. Angelique Chase, 48, is charged with second-degree murder and assault. The Prince George’s County police said in a statement that officers responded Chase’s home, on Buckler Road, at around 9 p.m. Thursday to find Chase’s son, Christopher Perry, suffering from gunshot wounds. Perry was taken to a hospital, and later died. Chase was in an argument with her son and later admitted to playing role in his death, the police said. Chase is in custody awaiting a commissioner to set bond, said John Erzen, with the county district attorney’s office. Chase has no prior convictions for violent crime in Maryland. Perry was not a student at Prince George’s County schools. The post Md. mother faces charges in son’s killing appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 2 h. 4 min. ago more
  • Loudoun supervisors kill Miller & Smith plan for more housing at One LoudounLoudoun supervisors kill Miller & Smith plan for more housing at One Loudoun

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    Bizjournals.com / 2 h. 5 min. ago more
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    NBC 4 / 2 h. 27 min. ago
  • Maryland correctional officer charged with raping girl, 14Maryland correctional officer charged with raping girl, 14

    HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A Maryland state correctional officer is charged with raping a 14-year-old girl who told police he had been sexually abusing her for eight years. The 38-year-old defendant is being held without bail, pending a bond review hearing Friday afternoon. Court records say the man is related to the girl. The Associated Press is not naming him to avoid indirectly identifying her. The AP generally does not identify sexual assault victims. Maryland prison agency spokesman Gerard Shields tells The Herald-Mail that the officer has been suspended without pay. Court records say he’s been a correctional officer for 16 years. The girl told police he raped her in a bedroom of his Williamsport home Saturday while she was there visiting him and a 17-year-old girl who also frequented the home. The post Maryland correctional officer charged with raping girl, 14 appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Officials: Trump adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reportsOfficials: Trump adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reports

    WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials who confirmed the unusual contact with law enforcement involved in a pending investigation. The officials said that Priebus’ Feb. 15 request to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe came as the White House sought to discredit a New York Times report about calls between Russian intelligence officials and people involved with Trump’s presidential run. As of Friday, the FBI had not commented publicly on the veracity of the report and there was no indication it planned to, despite the White House’s request. The White House officials would only discuss the matter on the condition of anonymity. Two hours later, Trump panned news stories that rely on anonymous sources, telling a conservative conference that reporters “shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name.” White House officials said it was the FBI that first raised concerns about the Times reporting but told Priebus the bureau could not weigh in publicly on the matter. The officials said McCabe and Comey instead gave Priebus the go-ahead to discredit the story publicly, something the FBI has not confirmed. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Priebus of committing “an outrageous breach of the FBI’s independence.” She called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to open a new investigation into all conversations Priebus and other White House officials have held with the FBI on ongoing investigations. A 2009 memo from then-Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is to advise the White House on pending criminal or civil investigations “only when it is important for the performance of the president’s duties and appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.” When communication has to occur, the memo said, it should involve only the highest-level officials from the White House and the Justice Department. CNN first reported that Priebus had asked the FBI for help, and a White House official confirmed the matter to The Associated Press Thursday night. On Friday morning, two other senior White House officials summoned reporters to a hastily arranged briefing to expand on the timeline of events. The officials said Priebus had a previously scheduled meeting with McCabe the morning after the Times story was published. Priebus and Comey then spoke later in the day, the officials said in a highly unusual accounting of the White House’s discussions with FBI officials. Earlier Friday, Trump accused the FBI of being “totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time.” “They can’t even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW,” Trump tweeted. Trump has been shadowed by questions about potential ties to Russia since winning the election. U.S. intelligence agencies have also concluded that Russia meddled in the campaign to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Last week, Trump fired national security adviser Michael Flynn because he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Flynn, who was interviewed by the FBI about his contacts, is said to have talked with the ambassador multiple times during the transition, including a discussion about U.S. sanctions policy. Still, Trump and his advisers have denied having had contacts with Russian officials during the election. Last week, Trump said “nobody that I know of” spoke with Russian intelligence agents during the campaign. Priebus alluded to his contacts with the FBI over the weekend, telling Fox News that “the top levels of the intelligence community” have assured him that the allegations of campaign contacts with Russia were “not only grossly overstated, but also wrong.” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Priebus’ comments opened the door for FBI Director Comey to discuss the bureau’s investigation publicly. “If the White House chief of staff can make public claims about the supposed conclusions of an FBI investigation, then Director Comey can come clean with the American people,” Wyden said. Justin Shur, a former Justice Department public corruption prosecutor, said it was imperative that Justice Department investigations not be swayed by political considerations. “As a general matter, investigations and prosecutions should be about gathering the facts and the evidence and applying the law,” Shur said. During the campaign, Trump and other Republicans vigorously criticized a meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, husband of Trump’s general election opponent. The meeting came as the FBI — which is overseen by the Justice Department — was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address and personal internet server. ___ Associated Press writers Vivian Salama, Eric Tucker and Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report. ___ Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC The post Officials: Trump adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reports appeared first on WTOP.

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  • 2 DC officers hurt in shooting set to leave hospital - WTOP2 DC officers hurt in shooting set to leave hospital - WTOP

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  • 2 DC officers hurt in shooting set to leave hospital2 DC officers hurt in shooting set to leave hospital

    WASHINGTON — Two D.C. police officers were expected to leave the hospital after they were injured in a violent confrontation involving gunfire that left a man dead Thursday night. The officers, who were in uniform and on duty, were both shot in the lower part of the body, according to police. They were expected to be released on Friday. It happened in the District’s Trinidad neighborhood near Bladensburg Road around 10:40 p.m. “Both officers are in good condition and are expected to be released today,” said Gregg Pemberton, the police union’s treasurer. “They both were in good spirits.” Investigators said that the two officers were dispatched to the area in response to a report that shots had been fired earlier in the day. At some point, there was a struggle and gunfire was exchanged with the man, whose name has not been released. But the details of exactly what transpired were unclear. “The two best witnesses that we know of right now are the two officers,” said the District’s acting police Chief Peter Newsham. The man was shot during the confrontation and was pronounced dead at the hospital. “We do have a weapon recovered from the scene, which we believe to be the suspect’s,” Newsham said. Police also have not released the names of the two injured officers. In a show of support for the officers Thursday night, both Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser joined them at the hospital. “A lot of us became very concerned,” said Pemberton. “It’s kind of a situation that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.” “After speaking with the officers, there was a collective sigh of relief from everybody,” he said. The shooting unfolded just hours after Bowser announced that Newsham was her choice to lead the D.C. police force permanently. Newsham has been serving as the acting police chief since former Chief Cathy Lanier stepped down in September. The 13-member D.C. Council must approve Newsham’s appointment. The scene of the shooting: The post 2 DC officers hurt in shooting set to leave hospital appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 3 h. 36 min. ago more
  • Police: Man, 62, killed neighbor who called him a harasserPolice: Man, 62, killed neighbor who called him a harasser

    FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Police say a 62-year-old man fatally shot a neighbor after the younger man punched him in the face and told him to stop harassing a woman who lived in the same apartment building. Charging documents filed by Frederick city police say Richard Harriday had been knocking on the woman’s door and loudly demanding to speak with her before 28-year-old Zachary Winters intervened Wednesday night. Police say Harriday responded to the punch by leaving the building, retrieving a handgun from his nearby garage, returning to the apartment building and shooting Winters once in the chest. The Frederick News-Post (http://bit.ly/2lD875T ) reports that a judge ordered Harriday held without bail on Thursday. Assistant Public Defender Karri Ridgeway says Harriday contests the allegations and intends to fight the charges. ___ Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com The post Police: Man, 62, killed neighbor who called him a harasser appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 3 h. 41 min. ago more
  • Trump, 'We are fighting the fake news,' our list shows one 'fake' story a dayTrump, 'We are fighting the fake news,' our list shows one 'fake' story a day

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    CBS Washington / 3 h. 54 min. ago more
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    WTOP / 3 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Police: Woman charged in box cutter attack on professorPolice: Woman charged in box cutter attack on professor

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A woman is facing charges after police say she attacked a community college professor with a box cutter on campus. Virginia State Police said in a statement that the attack happened inside the professor’s office at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Parham campus on Thursday afternoon. Police say 24-year-old Brittany Burfield of Glen Allen has been charged with malicious wounding. She is being held without bail. Police say Burfield cut the professor with a box cutter and was taken into custody without incident as she tried to leave Burnett Hall. The professor was taken to VCU Medical Center with injuries that weren’t thought to be life-threatening. No one else was injured. Police did not identify the professor. It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the attack. The post Police: Woman charged in box cutter attack on professor appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 3 h. 59 min. ago more
  • J.C. Penney to Close up to 140 StoresJ.C. Penney to Close up to 140 Stores

    NEW YORK — J.C. Penney said Friday that it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping. The closures represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the department store operator’s current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales. The company said that it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees. The news came as the Plano, Texas-based chain posted a profit in the fourth-quarter compared to a loss a year ago. But total sales were down slightly, and a key revenue metric declined slightly as well. Penney has been recovering from a catastrophic reinvention plan under former CEO Ron Johnson that sent sales and profits into a free-fall in 2012 and 2013. Business stabilized under Mike Ullman, who took the helm in 2013 after Johnson was pushed out. Under Marvin Ellison, who has been CEO since 2015, Penney is looking for new ways to increase sales while improving its e-commerce. But while annual sales still shrunk, what’s encouraging is Penney’s profit picture. Penney was able to pull in a $1 million profit for the full fiscal year, the first time it earned an annual profit since 2010. Like other department stores, J.C. Penney is trying to adjust to changing shopping patterns, and is joining other department stores like Macy’s, which are shrinking their store footprint. Consumers are shifting their spending away from clothing and toward experiences like beauty treatments or toward furnishing their home. And when they do pick up clothing, it’s more often at off-price stores or online as Amazon moves more into apparel. Penney managed to outperform some of its department store rivals, which released results this week. Kohl’s Corp. reported Wednesday a drop in fiscal fourth-quarter profit as total sales declined. Revenue at stores opened at least a year dropped 2.2 percent in the quarter. Nordstrom Inc., the department store recently scolded by President Donald Trump, reported late Wednesday a better-than-expected quarterly profit with help from strong sales online and at Nordstrom Rack. But at the Nordstrom brand, comparable store sales decreased 2.7 percent. Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store chain, says its earnings for the quarter that includes the holiday period dropped nearly 13 percent as results were dragged down by lower sales, store closures and other costs. Given the environment, Penney wants to be less dependent on clothing, and is focusing its efforts on its home area and rolling out major appliances in it stores. It has expanded the Sephora beauty shops and is updating its beauty salons, now branded Salon by InStyle. It is also beefing up its store label brands like St. John’s Bay. In the fourth quarter, top performing areas included home, Sephora, its salon business and fine jewelry. The company is aiming to be more competitive in the digital arena. Penney is arming its store associates with mobile devices to help check out online shoppers who are picking up orders in the store. “With a slimmed down store portfolio, (J.C. Penney) will be able to focus on making its remaining stores more of a destination,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of retail research firm GlobalData Retail, in a report. “This is essential, as while progress has been made on categories like home, other departments still require attention.” Penney’s Ellison said he understands that closing stores will affect the lives of its employees and that is why it decided to initiate a voluntary early retirement program. He says by coordinating the timing of these two events, he can expect to see a net increase in hiring, as the number of full-time workers expected to take advantage of the early retirement incentive will far exceed the number of full-time positions affected by the closures. For the fiscal fourth quarter, J.C. Penney reported net income of $192 million, or 61 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 64 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were calling for earnings of 61 cents per share. Revenue totaled $3.96 billion in the period, down 0.9 percent from a year ago. Analysts polled by Zacks expected $3.97 billion in revenue. Sales at stores opened at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, were down 0.7 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. Penney expects full-year earnings in a range of 40 cents to 65 cents per share. Shares fell 12 cents to $6.74 before the market open on Friday. Follow CBS D.C. on Twitter (© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press and CBS D.C. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 4 h. 2 min. ago more
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  • The Shaq vs. JaVale McGee Feud Just Got So RealThe Shaq vs. JaVale McGee Feud Just Got So Real

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    CBS Washington / 5 h. 14 min. ago more
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    WashingtonPost.com / 5 h. 22 min. ago
  • White House Expects Justice Dept. Crackdown on Legalized MarijuanaWhite House Expects Justice Dept. Crackdown on Legalized Marijuana

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration’s strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal. “I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said in response to a question during a news conference. But he offered no details about what such enforcement would entail. President Donald Trump does not oppose medical marijuana, he added, but “that’s very different than recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.” A renewed focus on recreational marijuana in states that have legalized pot would present a departure from the Trump administration’s statements in favor of states’ rights. A day earlier, the administration announced that the issue of transgender student bathroom access was best left to states and local communities to decide. Enforcement would also shift away from marijuana policy under the Obama administration, which said in a 2013 memo that it would not intervene in state’s marijuana laws as long as they keep the drug from crossing state lines and away from children and drug cartels. But the memo carried no force of law and could be rewritten by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has consistently said he opposes legal marijuana but has not indicated what he might do. Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use. The Justice Department has several options available should it decide to enforce the law, including filing lawsuits on the grounds that state laws regulating pot are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal law. Enforcement could also be as simple as directing U.S. attorneys to send letters to recreational marijuana businesses letting them know they are breaking the law. Washington’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said he and Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, requested a meeting with Sessions about his approach to legal, regulated marijuana. Ferguson led the states in fighting off Trump’s executive order on immigration in court and said Thursday he’s prepared to lead the way in defending legal marijuana, too. “We will resist any efforts to thwart the will of the voters in Washington,” Ferguson said. Kevin Sabet, head of the anti-marijuana group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said pot enforcement is a matter of public safety. “The current situation is unsustainable,” Sabet said in a statement. “This isn’t an issue about states’ rights, it’s an issue of public health and safety for communities.” Spicer’s comments came the same day as a Quinnipiac poll said 59 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal and 71 percent would oppose a federal crackdown. Pot advocates said they hoped Spicer’s prediction would not come to pass. “It is hard to imagine why anyone would want marijuana to be produced and sold by cartels and criminals rather than tightly regulated, taxpaying businesses,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. States have been flouting the U.S. Controlled Substances Act since at least 1996, when California voters approved marijuana for sick people, a direct conflict with federal guidelines barring the use of marijuana for medical purposes. And presidents since Bill Clinton have said the federal government unequivocally rejects a state’s ability to modify federal drug law. However, three presidents over the last 20 years have each concluded that the limited resources of the U.S. Department of Justice are best spent pursuing large drug cartels, not individual users of marijuana. Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford said in a statement Thursday that meddling in recreational pot laws would be federal overreach and harm state coffers that fund education. In Washington state, sales at licensed pot shops now average nearly $4.4 million per day — with little evidence of any negative societal effects. That’s close to $1 billion in sales so far for the fiscal year that began last July, some $184 million of which is state tax revenue. Follow CBS D.C. on Twitter (© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press and CBS D.C. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 5 h. 27 min. ago more
  • Orioles VP: Trump ‘wouldn’t be my preference’ for first pitchOrioles VP: Trump ‘wouldn’t be my preference’ for first pitch

    WASHINGTON — With Spring Training underway, Opening Day isn’t far behind, and that raises the possibility of a presidential first pitch. However, a top executive with the Baltimore Orioles says he, personally, would have a hard time handing the ball to President Donald Trump. Executive vice president John Angelos, the son of principal owner Peter Angelos, said Trump should say he is sorry for offensive comments he made before and after he was elected President. “You don’t say those things about women, you don’t say those things about different ethnic groups, different national origins, people who are disabled,” said Angelos, during an appearance on the B-More Opinionated podcast this week. “And if you do say them, you’re a big enough person to withdraw them, and apologize.” Angelos’ remarks begin approximately 1:03:30 into the podcast. Angelos avoided mentioning Trump by name, referring to him as “the candidate” and “the president.” “I think it’s incumbent upon any individual who leads the country, to step away from those types of statements, to apologize for those statements and retract them, and then turn the page,” said Angelos. “And then to move forward in embracing their community, all parts of that community.” In the podcast, Angelos (and hosts Jason La Canfora and Jerry Coleman) were critical of several actions and statements by the Trump administration. Angelos said the newly-tightened immigration enforcement policies amount to “sending essentially shock troops through neighborhoods to chase people around, which is outrageous, on every level.” “Simply do one thing, apologize,” suggested Angelos. “Until that happens, it wouldn’t be my preference to have the president come throw a pitch, but that’s up to the ownership about what they would like to do there.” Angelos applauded recent statements and actions by ballerina Misty Copeland, and football player Colin Kaepernick, in which they criticized policies that offend minority and marginalized groups. “They’re saying ‘we’re not going to wait for corporate America. We’re not going to wait for the club, we’re not going to wait for the league, to tell us what to do, or tell us how we’re going to express ourselves,” said Angelos. Angelos said he wasn’t making his comments “because I want to give some sustenance to the Democratic Party or I want to tear down the Republican Party.” According to the Baltimore Sun, Angelos’ father, Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos, has long been a Democratic Party benefactor, donating more than $1 million during the 2012 elections and over $270,000 to the super PAC formed to encourage then-Vice President Joe Biden to run for president. The post Orioles VP: Trump ‘wouldn’t be my preference’ for first pitch appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 5 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Howard Co. man critical after police shootingHoward Co. man critical after police shooting

    WASHINGTON — A man is in critical condition after being shot by a Howard County police officer Friday morning. The shooting happened on Fawn Crossing Drive in Clarksville, Maryland. Police said the officer who opened fire was almost struck by a vehicle driven by a wanted suspect. That officer then fired his weapon, hitting the driver. Police said the officer was not injured. The suspect’s condition has stabilized, according to police. The post Howard Co. man critical after police shooting appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 6 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Maryland House committee approves paid sick leave legislationMaryland House committee approves paid sick leave legislation

    The state's House Economic Matters Committee gave a favorable recommendation to a paid sick leave bill Thursday, the first step in getting the legislation passed this year. The committee voted 14-9 to approve the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, sponsored by Democrats Luke Clippinger, of Baltimore, and Dereck Davis, the committee chairman from Prince George's County. The bill has been vigorously opposed by business advocacy groups who claim the mandate would have an overly burdensome affect…

    Bizjournals.com / 6 h. 36 min. ago more
  • Feds likely to target states with recreational marijuanaFeds likely to target states with recreational marijuana

    The Department of Justice will likely take action against states that have legalized recreational marijuana, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday. The District of Columbia, along with six other states, have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Unlike some states, an industry around recreational marijuana has been slow to grow in the District in part due to hang ups in the Wilson Building. And in Maryland, legislators have recently floated bills to legalize marijuana. In…

    Bizjournals.com / 6 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Trump Wants to Make US Nuclear Arsenal 'Top of the Pack'Trump Wants to Make US Nuclear Arsenal 'Top of the Pack'

    President Donald Trump on Thursday again expressed a desire for America to be an unparalleled military power, saying he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to make it "top of the pack," NBC News reported. In an interview with Reuters, the president stated that the United States had fallen behind on atomic weapons but did not detail what kind of expansion, if any, the military would pursue. "A dream would be that no country would have nukes," Trump told Reuters. "But if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."Photo Credit: AP

    NBC4Washington.com / 7 h. ago more
  • Va. gamer dies while attempting 24-hour stream for charityVa. gamer dies while attempting 24-hour stream for charity

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a popular Virginia gamer who died during the home stretch of a 24-hour marathon video game session he was streaming online to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. News outlets report that 35-year-old Brian Vigneault was about 22 hours into playing “World of Tanks” on Twitch.tv when he stood up from his computer early Sunday to take a smoke break. He never returned. Vigneault was found unresponsive at his Virginia Beach home later that evening and was pronounced dead at the scene. Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Tonya Borman says police don’t suspect foul play in his death. His cause of death is unclear. Vigneault’s Twitch profile says he had raised nearly $11,000 for various charities during his 5-year streaming career. The post Va. gamer dies while attempting 24-hour stream for charity appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 7 h. 17 min. ago more
  • POLICE REPORTPOLICE REPORT

    CITY REPORT

    Washington Times Herald / 7 h. 19 min. ago
  • Celebrating digital learningCelebrating digital learning

    Students and staff within Washington Community Schools celebrated National Digital Learning Day Thursday. Started in 2012, the day serves as a venue to highlight teachers embracing the use of technology to create new learning opportunities for students.

    Washington Times Herald / 7 h. 19 min. ago
  • Washington looks for answers for transportationWashington looks for answers for transportation

    After years of running its transportation system through private contractors, the Washington Community Schools are moving closer to taking over most routes. The school system is making several changes this spring, in preparation for changes coming this fall. The school…

    Washington Times Herald / 7 h. 19 min. ago
  • INDOT hopes brush-cutting will protect honeybeesINDOT hopes brush-cutting will protect honeybees

    VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — Those traveling along U.S. 41 recently may have noticed something a little different.

    Washington Times Herald / 7 h. 19 min. ago
  • Child-death suspects could face 40 years in prison if convictedChild-death suspects could face 40 years in prison if convicted

    Four people charged in the starvation death of a 9-year-old disabled boy learned today they face 20 to 40 years in prison if convicted of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony charge.

    Washington Times Herald / 7 h. 19 min. ago
  • Exclusive: The Meridian Group adds to its footprint at Greensboro MetroExclusive: The Meridian Group adds to its footprint at Greensboro Metro

    The Meridian Group has picked up a major office property adjacent to its The Boro development in Tysons. Meridian Realty Partners II LP, a $231.6 million discretionary fund, closed this week on the purchase of Tysons Metro Center, a four-building Class A portfolio, from seller Beacon Capital Partners. Meridian is now the dominant landowner north of the Greensboro Metro station. The sales price for the complex, assessed by Fairfax County at $150 million, was not disclosed, but it is believed to…

    Bizjournals.com / 7 h. 31 min. ago more
  • Poll: More Than Half Disapprove of Trump's Job PerformancePoll: More Than Half Disapprove of Trump's Job Performance

    Fifty-four percent of Americans somewhat or strongly disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the presidency after a month in office, while 43 percent approve somewhat or strongly, according to the latest NBC NewsSurveyMonkey poll. NBC News reported that Trump enjoys broad support from within his party, but few outside of it, with evident divisions along gender and racial lines as well. Nine of 10 Republicans or people who lean Republican approve of Trump's performance as president, with the same percentage of Democrats and those who lean Democrat disapproving. But independents split two to one against Trump. His aggregate low approval rating is below any other newly elected president since pollsters began tracking presidential job approval.Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File

    NBC4Washington.com / 7 h. 40 min. ago more
  • more news
  •  Google Fiber rolls out its first wireless gigabit project Google Fiber rolls out its first wireless gigabit project

    PanARMENIAN.Net - A Denver apartment complex is the first to get gigabit internet speeds from Google via its wireless Webpass service rather than Fiber. Webpass specializes in multi-unit internet serv

    Big News Network.com / 7 h. 45 min. ago
  •  Faking it the wrong way: Reince Priebus accused of asking FBI to discredit media reports on Trump-Russia ties Faking it the wrong way: Reince Priebus accused of asking FBI to discredit media reports on Trump-Russia ties

    WASHINGTON, U.S. - White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, according to reports, unsuccessfully asked the FBI to discredit media reports that members of Donald Trump's team had regular conta

    Big News Network.com / 7 h. 48 min. ago
  •  White House Asked FBI To Dispute Stories About Trump-Russia Contacts: Reports White House Asked FBI To Dispute Stories About Trump-Russia Contacts: Reports

    White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to discredit media reports that President Donald Trumps campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the

    Big News Network.com / 8 h. 1 min. ago
  • Gospel Artist Heals, Helps Community Through MusicGospel Artist Heals, Helps Community Through Music

    Tim Bowman Jr. is healing and helping his community through music.

    NBC 4 / 8 h. 10 min. ago
  • 2 Officers Wounded, 1 Suspect Killed in Northeast D.C. Shooting2 Officers Wounded, 1 Suspect Killed in Northeast D.C. Shooting

    WASHINGTON — Two police officers are wounded and a man is dead after gunfire broke out at an intersection in Northeast Washington. Uniformed officers with a crime suppression team were in the neighborhood Thursday night after shots were fired there earlier, Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference around midnight. Shots were fired and the officers fired their weapons, he said. The officers were struck in their lower bodies and a man with gunshot wounds was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital, Newsham said. He said the officers’ injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening. A weapon was recovered on the scene, he said. Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said by telephone Friday morning that the officers were in stable condition. “The two best witnesses that we have, that we know of right now are the two officers, and they’re at the hospital,” Newsham said at the news conference. He had few details about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, but said during an appearance on WTTG-TV on Friday morning that shots were fired during an interaction between the man and the officers. One officer underwent surgery overnight, but the prognosis for both officers is excellent, he said. Fellow officers took the wounded officers to a hospital in their cruisers, something Newsham called “not the best practice.” He said it would be reviewed but it was a “tough call.” “When one of your colleagues has been shot, they’re facing a potentially life-threatening injury, your first instinct is really to try to get them help and that’s what they did,” Newsham said. Police did not release the names or races of the officers or the man who was fatally shot. Follow CBS D.C. on Twitter (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 8 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Restaurant Review: B TooRestaurant Review: B Too

    1324 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 | Cuisine: Belgian | $$ | ★★★★★ A place for adventurous and traditionalist Georgetown brunchgoers alike, B Too offers a plethora of equally enticing brunch classics with fresh ingredients and time-honored brunch food with a Belgian twist. Nestled on 14th Street right outside Logan Circle, B Too opened in May 2013 as the second Belgian restaurant owned and run by Bart Vandaele, a chef and Belgium native. B Too offers high-quality, well-prepared food, complete with fresh ingredients and reasonable prices. The food is well-balanced: It avoids the traps of excessive saltiness or sweetness, to which many restaurants often succumb. The extensive and alluring menu options make picking just one item tough. Vandaele comes from an extensive background in European cuisine, which includes working at Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium, as well as being a contestant on Bravo’s 10th season of Top Chef. He also served as the executive chef to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Vandaele’s vast and varied experience shines through in his B Too creations. B Too is situated on the historic 14th Street in Washington, D.C., a prime location for families, tourists, students and locals alike. This diversity is reflected in the clientele at Sunday brunch; the mixed crowd of customers from all parts of the city and the world augments the dining experience. The upstairs portion of the restaurant is filled with natural light, accentuating the walls adorned with cowhides and assorted trinkets — including a mini saxophone. A bar sits adjacent, intended for more casual seating, as well as outdoor seating for perfect D.C. spring days. The downstairs section exhibits the same rustic charm, with wood-paneled walls and floors and a gorgeous wine wall, in addition to another bar and more seating. My group was seated downstairs for Sunday brunch. The brunch menu included a variety of Belgian waffles, egg dishes and seafood to suit all different palates and tastes. We began with the “doffle” ($3), a cross between a doughnut and a waffle. The “doffle” was slightly thicker than traditional Belgian waffles, and this specialty was the first of many balanced dishes. It was not overwhelmingly sweet, as many doughnuts tend to be, and paired well with coffee. The perfectly portioned Liege waffle ($11.95) was a dish well-composed in both texture and taste. It consisted of a Belgian waffle, a slow-cooked pear, creme brulee, fresh berries and powdered sugar. The waffle was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. In addition, the combination of the sweet waffle, sugar and creme was balanced out with the subtle tartness of the fruits, preventing overpowering sweetness. This dish is a great option for those who prefer a more traditional waffle experience. The similarly balanced cornbread and pulled pork waffle ($16.75) is for the adventurous diner looking for a twist on brunch. A cornbread waffle is topped with a heap of pulled pork, a sunny-side up egg and sour cream, served with a side of avocado slices. The waffle was soft yet still textured with bits of corn. The pulled pork was tender but lacked some flavor, for which the avocado compensated, adding a great freshness to the dish. The poached eggs and smoked salmon ($15.50) was incredible as well. It comprised of a toasted English muffin topped with fresh asparagus, smoked salmon, a poached egg and a perfect Hollandaise sauce. The salty smoked fish and the fresh asparagus, combined with the creaminess of the Hollandaise sauce and the crunchiness of the English muffin, made for a harmonious symphony of both textures and flavors. Other adventurous menu items include B Too’s green egg “McWaffle” ($14.50) — topped with green eggs colored with spinach, salmon, cheese and a coating of avocado cream — and the lobster waffle ($16), which is served with lobster bisque and an herb salad. B Too offers breakfast Monday through Saturday, lunch Monday through Thursday, brunch Saturday and Sunday and dinner every night. B Too is well-worth the trek off the Hilltop. The variety and versatility of dishes, coupled with the well-prepared and inventive food, lends traditional American brunch items a Belgian twist. No matter your taste preferences, there is something for you at B Too.The post Restaurant Review: B Too appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 8 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Concert Review: XXYYXXConcert Review: XXYYXX

    Many old-school DJs lament the lack of skill and creativity of their newer counterparts. As technology has advanced, mixing and beat-matching has become easier than ever, meaning that the bar for entry into deejaying is low. This situation has created a glut of overhyped DJs who play pre-produced sets and rise to stardom for doing little more than pressing “play” on a laptop. Electronic musician XXYYXX’s latest show at the U Street Music Hall reflected the unfortunate reality of the modern world of electronic music, yet brimmed with all the allure and excitement of a well-produced set. U Street Music Hall is a 500-person capacity basement dance club and live music venue whose greatest asset is its amazing sound system. The dark room features an elevated DJ stand in front of a cork-cushioned dance floor, lined with wooden benches and two full-length bars. Speakers are expertly placed throughout the room, so that music can be heard at a high volume across the dance floor. The venue’s staff members are friendly and relaxed, and the room never feels claustrophobic, despite the sizes of its crowds. The crowd is diverse in style and mannerism, although many attendees of the XXYYXX show appeared to be in their early twenties. Concertgoers ranged from trendy head-bobbers to grungy ravers — one audience member, in particular, caught the attention of passersby, with his swirling, glowing fingertips. Those closest to the front were especially enthusiastic, dancing ecstatically throughout the entire DJ lineup. Opening act Lean Quatifah, despite occupying the lowest-billed spot, made a strong appearance and managed to get the crowd excited early on in the night. The young DJ played a variety of dance tracks, from tropical house to more trendy trap and grime, and spun many remixes of popular rap hits, like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” which added a fun, familiar element to an otherwise dark track list. However, the up-and-coming DJ clearly knew when to cut back on production and let the original track speak for itself; Future’s raw and heavy banger “Covered N Money” was mercifully saved from electronic dance music glitz. Lean Quatifah was followed by the less memorably named Antonio Mendez, who transitioned from a sparse set of house and techno tracks to remixes of crowd-pleasing pop songs like Skrillex and Diplo’s “Where Are Ü Now,” hitting his peak with dance-floor hits such as Kaytranada’s “Glowed Up.” Mendez’s song transitions and beat-matching were the smoothest of all three performers of the night, and his musical choices most closely mirrored the crowd’s mood, marking him as the most traditionally skilled DJ. However, transitions are not everything; the song selections of both Lean Quatifah and XXYYXX were more engaging and unique than those of Mendez. Although the transition from Mendez to XXYYXX was impressively punctual and smooth, the same cannot be said of the headlining artist’s song transitions, which often seemed abrupt and awkwardly placed. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that XXYYXX is primarily known as a music producer rather than a live DJ. Rising to prominence in 2012 at the age of 16, the young Los Angeles-based artist is known for his creative use of sampling and crisp hi-hats and glossy synthesizers, similar to producers like Clams Casino and Shlohmo. His eponymous 2012 album remains his best-known work, although the producer has not released more than a handful of singles and remixes since. As Mendez was replaced, the shy-looking XXYYXX smiled, introduced himself, and thanked the crowd as the opening vocals of “Breeze” began. The headliner’s songs took on a new unearthly beauty in the dark atmosphere of the venue, and finally had the crowd moving in unison. He interspersed his own work between tracks he selected from other producers, which led to a disappointing lack of the artist’s own material, despite his diverse track list. The highlights of the show were the heavy-hitting “Witching Hour” and enchanting “Alone,” during which all concertgoers seemed to be entranced, unable to stop themselves from moving to the beat. As an hour rolled by and XXYYXX’s set ended, he again thanked the crowd and remarked positively about the quality of the sound system. When it became clear he was about to leave, several screams were heard from the crowd, requesting his biggest hit, “About You.” Unfortunately, XXYYXX did not indulge these requests, and left the venue quickly after. Critics of live electronic music often point to its lack of substance; there are no instruments being played, or even lyrics being sung or rapped. This criticism is especially potent now, when even the art of deejaying is being replaced by pre-prepared set lists, as I suspect of XXYYXX. Yet despite this development, there is still something uniquely alluring about hearing live music, and feeling the heavy bass send tingles down one’s spine. A show like this will not blow audience members away with theatrics or outstanding musicianship, but for those who surrender to the synths, that simply will not matter.The post Concert Review: XXYYXX appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 8 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Strums & Strides Hits AntarcticaStrums & Strides Hits Antarctica

    Studying at Georgetown’s School of Medicine is not an easy task. Running marathons on every continent, including Antarctica, is another feat entirely. However, for Nick Stukel (GRD ’18, MED ’18), these very challenges are at the heart of his initiative: Strums & Strides. Stukel, also a Master of Business Administration candidate at the McDonough School of Business, founded Strums & Strides in 2013 with the purpose of promoting the healing power of music on both the national and global levels. The majority of funds raised by Strums & Strides are remitted to its partner Musicians on Call, a nonprofit organization. Since 1999, Musicians on Call has been working to bring live and recorded music to hospital patients across the country. Volunteers often sing directly to patients, providing comfort and enjoyment at hospital bedsides. Stukel said his partnership with the nonprofit group helps to “give a tangible effect to the fundraising.” In terms of its “strides,” Stukel’s initiative revolves around his goal of becoming the first medical student to complete marathons on all seven continents. While preparing for his upcoming expedition to Antarctica in March, Stukel reflected on his experiences with Strums & Strides thus far. Stukel first began playing the piano at the age of five, immediately falling in love with learning and performing music. Although his decision to pursue a career in medicine was difficult, Stukel resolved to continue to focus on music throughout his career. Eventually, he found an original way to combine his passions for medicine and music. Stukel fully realized the extent to which music could impact health care after his grandfather had a stroke. “Going with him to see different groups play and sing for that population … just to see how it lights them up, it really changes the atmosphere,” Stukel said. “Seeing how that can affect health care really impressed me, so I decided I wanted to do something to draw awareness to this idea that music can play a big role in medicine.” Although Stukel did not develop a love of running as early in life as he did for music, his first half-marathon, completed during his senior year of college, changed his perspective. Stukel completed four major marathons as a part of Strums & Strides and travelled to Argentina, Germany, Tanzania and Thailand over the past two years as a part of his mission. “It’s been … challenging, but eye-opening,” Stukel said. “I’ve also learned a lot about how music is really kind of a common thread throughout humanity. I’ve tried to play music on every continent that I’ve been on, and it’s been really fun to see how engaged people are, whether it’s in Thailand or Argentina or Germany.” Stukel’s upcoming marathons, in March, July and October will take place in Antarctica, Australia and Washington D.C., respectively. Preparing for his upcoming trip to Antarctica has posed a unique challenge for Stukel. His tasks include mentally preparing for a colder and more difficult marathon as well as physically adjusting — given the continent’s snowy terrain, Stukel must learn to safely run with shorter strides. Practicing for the event, he has spent time going on long runs in the D.C. area, as temperatures hit the 20-degree range. Stukel’s next expedition will also demand a slightly different itinerary. He plans to board a polar vessel in Ushuaia, Argentina for a two-week round trip to Antarctica and spend five days on the continent. Stukel has been researching what supplies he can and cannot take to Antarctica and has adjusted his plan accordingly. “I’m really nervous about the boat trip across the Great Passage — it’s supposed to be one of the rougher parts of the seas,” Stukel said. “I’m really looking forward to the chance to explore Antarctica a little bit, to see the penguins and all the wildlife down there, and to run, and … push my body to the limit and see how it goes.” Stukel’s run of the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. this October marks the culmination of his efforts with Strums & Strides. He plans to continue contributing to research on music’s impact on medicine and patient care. Stukel has also organized benefit concerts at Smith’s Piano Bar for Strums & Strides, bringing in Georgetown MBA and medical students to perform. He is planning two upcoming benefit concerts for 2017 and anticipates collaborating with other musicians. For Stukel, his most significant memory so far is not of travelling or running. Rather, it was from a recent performance at Children’s National Medical Center. Ultimately, his key objective is to help enrich the lives of hospital patients through music, and his most recent experiences keep him ardent in his pursuits. “A couple months ago, I was out there, and this girl — she was probably around 7 years old — started singing along with me, and it was adorable. And by the end, I noticed her mom was crying. … I asked her if she was okay and she said, ‘I’m better than okay, this is the first time she’s interacted with anybody in four weeks,’” Stukel said. “To just have this girl that hadn’t really interacted with anyone, for over a month, to come to life and just start singing and clapping, that was an incredible experience.”The post Strums & Strides Hits Antarctica appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 8 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Letters from the White HouseLetters from the White House

    The head of state. The commander-in-chief. The leader of the free world. The president of the United States is referred to by many titles, but none quite encapsulate Americans’ relationship with their elected leader — sometimes tenuous, sometimes deferential, but always intrigued. Unbeknownst to most students, an intimate glimpse at the public personas and personal lives of the presidents can be found here on campus. A hidden gem on the fifth floor of Lauinger Library, the Booth Family Center for Special Collections houses a variety of artifacts and documents, among which is the Presidential Autographs collection. The Booth Center is home to four scholarly collections: rare books, manuscripts, archives and works of visual art, housing more than 100,000 printed volumes in the Rare Book Collection alone. All four collections are carefully preserved in the state-of-the-art facility, which reopened in March 2015 after a year of renovation. The Presidential Autographs Collection is in the manuscripts collection and contains memorabilia with signatures from every president since George Washington to Ronald Reagan. The collection was first developed when the university acquired the papers of John Gilmary Shea, a former member of the history department at Georgetown and a preeminent historian of American Catholicism, who had amassed an immense collection of documents, including presidential signatures. Upon his death in 1892, his papers were donated to the university archives, and over time, the collection has amassed more and more presidential autographs. One of the oldest items in the collection is a letter written by Washington to Colonel Daniel Morgan. Dated July 26, 1777 and emblazoned with the distinctive signature of the nation’s first president, the letter helps to explain a variety of Washington’s strategies throughout the Revolutionary War. Lynn Conway, who has served as the university archivist for almost 17 years, said that the letter provided context and insight into the famed general’s thought process. “It’s also not just an artifact with a signature. There’s a lot of interesting information that’s being conveyed. There’s tactics; there’s just the fact that communication during this time was such a delay that Washington actually has to go through a whole series of ‘If this, then that,’” Conway said. “You think of how difficult it must have been to coordinate what was going on when you were literally sitting and writing a letter.” Most of the letters can be handled directly, but some of them are more fragile and must be kept in a plastic sleeve, like a letter dated July 23, 1815 from second president Thomas Jefferson to Bernard McMahon, Jefferson’s gardening mentor in the skills of gardening. McMahon regularly sent Jefferson various fruits and vegetables to try and, in this letter, Jefferson returns the favor by sending McMahon a box of seeds. The letter demonstrates the difficulty of transporting goods from Monticello to Philadelphia, as Jefferson relied on a random passenger on a stagecoach to somehow track down McMahon to deliver the letter and seeds. Some of the recent letters in the collection deal directly with Georgetown University. For example, in a letter from Nov. 1, 1956, Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, wrote Fr. Edward Bunn, S.J., the 44th president of Georgetown University from 1952 to 1964, to send his condolences on the death of Fr. Edmund Walsh, S.J., namesake of the School of Foreign Service and the Walsh Building. “Eisenhower came to the dedication ceremony. He was awarded an honorary degree on that occasion,” Conway said. “He and Fr. Walsh were friends. They actually knew each other going back to the 1920s. It’s actually quite a touching tribute to Edmund Walsh and the impact that he had throughout his career.” In another letter written to Bunn dated Nov. 30, 1963, Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, thanks him for his prayers and messages following the death of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States. A little-known fact about Johnson is that he attended the Georgetown Law Center for two months in 1934. Although he did not ultimately graduate, he was awarded the John Carroll Award for Alumni Achievement in 1963. One of the more recent letters in the collection is written by Reagan to Fr. Timothy Healy, S.J., the 46th president of Georgetown University from 1976 to 1989. In the letter, Reagan thanks Healy for the opportunity to speak at Georgetown’s bicentennial celebration. Through these letters over the course of Georgetown’s history, it is clear the university’s ties with the White House have consistently been strong. “In the 19th century, it was the practice that the U.S. president would come to the Georgetown College commencement and hand out the prizes and diplomas every year. He would not speak, but he would literally just be there. A lot of U.S. presidents did that, and it really was a tradition that carried on into the early 20th century as well,” Conway said. Although the collection is mostly composed of letters, it holds a number of other items and documents. For example, there is a military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. The commission, signed July 17, 1862, promotes Julius Garesché to the rank of lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general during the American Civil War. Garesché attended Georgetown in 1833 before going to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1837. Another unique historical artifact is a photograph signed twice by Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States. The photograph is of the dedication of the children’s wing to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, at the Georgetown University Hospital on Dec. 1, 1948. Pictured are Truman, Fr. Lawrence Gorman, S.J., the 41st president of Georgetown University who served from 1942 to 1949, Fr. Paul McNally, S.J., a dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine from 1946 to 1952, and Elliot Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt’s son. Viewing these unique items is a remarkable experience on its own, but the opportunity to work with the original documents themselves is invaluable. These primary documents allow students to analyze and interpret history through their own lenses. An integral part of the learning process is going to the Booth Center, touching and interacting with the original document rather than digitally viewing it on a computer screen. For this reason, Tad Howard, associate dean in the College, in his course “College, Culture, and Conflict,” takes students to visit the archive collections in the Booth Center to see, through primary documents, how curricula at Georgetown has changed over time. “It’s right there, and it’s beautiful, and it feels, to me, different to look at something and breathe its air, than to see the same thing digitized online,” Howard said. “There is a ton of stuff over there, and the only way to know that it exists is to find it, get your finger on it and sit in that beautiful room and be with it for a little while. Otherwise, it basically does not exist, unless you go get it and make it exist again.” “I had this desire for the students to do their own history, to choose what they care about and go find and make this connection to the past that would be more personal, which is different from going to the library and browsing the stacks,” Howard said. “Your experience with this past is mediated through how somebody else is telling it, as opposed to getting the letter and looking at the handwriting.” The staff at the Booth Center is eager and willing to help students with projects or to simply answer questions. Coupled with the staff’s perspective and knowledge, the collections at the Booth Center provide value and knowledge for students to absorb. Archives like those at the Booth Center hold immense power. After all, according to Conway, the study of the past has the potential to explain the present and shape the future. “Having material that reveals, in a variety of ways, things that have happened in the past is important,” Conway said. “You can’t understand the present without understanding the past, so they provide context for why things are the way they are today and how things could be in the future.”The post Letters from the White House appeared first on .

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  • Album Review: ‘Zombies on Broadway’Album Review: ‘Zombies on Broadway’

    ★★★★★ Singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon’s greatest mainstream success came with the release of his debut solo album "Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness," whose standout single "Cecilia and the Satellite" saw enough airplay that most listeners are likely to recognize it. Formerly the vocalist and songwriter of indie rock band Something Corporate and alt-rock band Jack’s Mannequin, McMahon is well-deserving of the more widespread recognition of his recent work. Like his self-titled debut, the recently released "Zombies on Broadway" is more indie pop than the rock of his previous projects but remains powered by McMahon’s strong sense of metaphor-based lyricism and catchy rhythms. At 11 tracks and only 38 minutes in length, "Zombies on Broadway" displays the artist’s increased musical ambition, while still capturing the simple beauty of McMahon’s previous album. The 27-second album opener, "Zombies Intro," consists of snatches of music intercut with the rising sound of a train and a distant woman’s voice. Serving almost as a sampling of the album’s imagery, the musical effects quickly transition into the album’s first full-length song, "Brooklyn, You’re Killing Me." The song is fast-paced, alternating between a catchy chorus and rapped verses. Alone among the songs on the album, it is more reminiscent of McMahon’s earlier work with Something Corporate than the soft "Cecelia and the Satellite," and serves as a reminder that, despite his current keyboard-driven sound, McMahon’s musical background is in rock. The next song, "So Close" is more generic in its pop chorus, but its dark and vivid lyrics — "We cross a country / In an airplane with the wings on fire" — help develop a sense of emotional tension. This feeling of uncertainty and anxiety, juxtaposed with hope and courage, gives way to the next track, "Don’t Speak for Me (True)." More stripped-down than the previous two songs, "Don’t Speak for Me" shines for precisely this reason. The emotional lyrics — "Out here where the water’s deep / I think I found a voice in me" — and McMahon’s voice complement the lyrics perfectly in the absence of stronger backing tracks. "Fire Escape" marks another change in the album’s sound, returning to the formula of softer, lyric-driven verses and more powerful choruses. With the brighter tones of these songs, the subject matter lightens as well; "Fire Escape" is a sensory celebration of nightlife and New York City. Although it was the first single released from the album, "Fire Escape" is one of the least memorable, perhaps a consequence of being packed between two of the album’s best songs. The high point of the album, "Dead Man’s Dollar," succeeds in combining the emotional vulnerability of "Don’t Speak for Me" and the catchier pop influences and repetitions of "So Close" and "Fire Escape." Opening with a quiet keyboard melody, the song gradually picks up in pace, adding guitar and additional vocal backing as it buildings to a captivating chorus. "Shot Out of a Cannon" keeps the momentum of the album moving as an upbeat pop song that is itself a meditation on movement. Thematically recalling "So Close" and "Fire Escape," it captures the feeling of hurtling forward, a sense marked by both excitement and uncertainty. The following track, "Walking in My Sleep," is a collection of powerful vignettes, stringing together images in an ode to a loved one, blurred with the elements of daily life. Driven by piano and guitar, the song is still punctuated with quieter moments that allow McMahon’s vocals to shine through. The ninth track, "Island Radio," fails to stand out musically from the rest of the album. However, its lyricism shines through, playing with the situation of being stranded on a desert island as a metaphor for a one-sided infatuation. McMahon wistfully sings, "I can’t spend another night alone / I tried swimming but I can’t get home." The album’s penultimate track, "Love and Great Buildings," is perhaps the strongest example of McMahon’s grasp of metaphor and ensures that the album does not lose steam as it draws to a close. It continues the album’s trend of vivid lyrics with "Strong hearts and concrete stay alive / Through the great depressions / Yeah, the best things are designed to stand the test of time." In this track, McMahon delves into the world of politics on "Love and Great Buildings," alluding to the challenges faced by many during the recent recession. Still, McMahon remains optimistic, singing, "For the great deceptions in a world that’s such a blur / We’ll stand the test of time." "Birthday Song" brings the album to a strong conclusion and reads as a letter to someone McMahon once knew, and more so as a reminder to value what you have and live up to your responsibility: "You should be done waking up on the floor / Come back to earth, kid / Don’t you know you’re not a kid anymore?" The introspective lyrics and the melodic piano arrangement highlight the best qualities of McMahon’s music: a raw self-awareness and sense of beauty that ultimately tie the album together. "Zombies on Broadway" is both thematically and musically cohesive. Although more ambitious than McMahon’s previous album, it nonetheless features the keyboard-based melodies and thoughtful lyricism that made "Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness" memorable to begin with and is a worthy addition to McMahon’s discography.  The post Album Review: ‘Zombies on Broadway’ appeared first on .

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  • HIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE: Unpacking the Art of SmartHIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE: Unpacking the Art of Smart

    If you have ever heard someone say, “You know, it is actually whom,” then you are well-versed in the wild and wacky world of pseudo-intellectuality. Being smart is difficult. It requires hours of reading, writing and the occasional soliloquy — I do not actually know what this word means, but this is step one in pseudo-intellectuality. But appearing smart is much easier than being smart. In fact, appearing intelligent is no more difficult than doing a magic trick at a party. But, like most magic tricks, you run the risk of making everyone in the vicinity hate you. This is why I am here — to unpack the art of smart. So, let us begin. Think of the most recent dinner party you attended. Oh, you have not attended a dinner party recently? Oh, you are only 20 years old? Alright, scrap that. Imagine the last time you spoke with someone more important than you: Think of job interviews, your parents’ friends, Senator Dianne Feinstein, etc. Discussions with such individuals are a perfect time to talk about things of which you barely know. However, nodding at jargon and basking in the light of perfectly veiled ignorance can be a challenge. That is why I have compiled a brief list of vocabulary that serves no purpose beyond boosting the intellectual reputation of the speaker. Read on and “false dichotomy” your learning: “Paella” “Kristen Gillibrand” “Ipso-facto” “The 17th century” “Scandinavia” “Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin” But beyond simply employing these conversation stimulants — contact a linguist if conversation lasts longer than four hours — what else can you do? Here are a few ways you can make sure your conversation flows like the great waters of the Klamath River. Tip 1: Mention geography — doodling for cartographers Simply put, always mention geography. If you have heard of it, it is ample fodder for high-culture conversation. Perhaps you recently read about the great Gobi Desert of China, or even the adequate Strait of Hormuz. Fantastic! Mention these faraway places throughout conversation in order to make yourself look more cosmopolitan and well-traveled. Tip 2: Employ the light chuckle — life’s exclamation point Imagine you have found yourself in an awkward moment of conversational repartee. Perhaps you misheard your partner or maybe he or she confused Montauk with South Hampton. Intellectuality note: anyone who mistakes a basic fact regarding the Hamptons must be flogged; this is a basic tenant of pseudo-intellectuality. Who could forget the time Jackie Onassis publicly caned Lily Pulitzer for confusing Sag Harbor Inn with Gurney’s? The Bridgehampton Monitor certainly did not, but I digress. There is one way to make it out of such a conversational entanglement. Simply take a firm breath from the bottom of your diaphragm and proceed to insert two strong guffaws into the conversation. It is an age-old trick dating from the times of Christ. As noted in the Gospels, “Christ was then propositioned by Pontius Pilate, ‘Do you proclaim yourself the son of God?’ Unto which Christ chuckled, gave a light wave, and responded, ‘Cut. It. Out.’” That bit of advice is actually from the little-known “Gospel of ‘Uncle Joey,’” a Miller-Boyett Production. The rest is history. Tip 3: Reference the film “Casablanca.” Why watch many films when a single one will do the job? The 1942 dramatic romance, “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, is all you need to secure your place in the faux-gold halls of pseudo-intellectual nirvana. The film has everything: a foreign location, a handful of catchphrases and airplanes. Intellectual people love airplanes. If you drop this film into casual conversation, your intellectual value will immediately rise. Here is an example: “Steve, I’m leaving you.” “Casablanca.” “Steve, I’m still leaving you.” Boom. Intellectual catnip. With these tips and tricks, you will be ready to take on any Manhattan dinner party with panache. Just remember to refer your similarly socially addled friends back to me. To affability and beyond! Alex Mitchell is a junior in the College. HIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE appears every other Friday.      The post HIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE: Unpacking the Art of Smart appeared first on .

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  • Album Review: ‘Future’Album Review: ‘Future’

     ★★★☆☆ Those who listen to hip-hop artist Future generally fall into two camps: They either love him, or they hate him. Critics cite his style of "mumble rap" and monotony as reasons for their dislike of his music, but many faithful fans simply enjoy the rapper’s music and cannot get enough. Although the Atlanta rapper has proven to be a divisive artist of the genre, among critics, he has also established himself as one of the most prolific, consistent and successful rappers of this century. With 10 projects released in the past three years, Future has never left die-hard fans craving a new drop. Stylistically, his lyrics contrast the drug-fueled, glorified excess of his trap lifestyle with the painfully self-aware introspection of a man who is hurting. In terms of production, his collaboration with mainstays like Metro Boomin, Zaytoven and 808 Mafia ensures that listeners get the energetic beats they know and love. With no guest features and a stated desire to return to his roots and fans, his self-titled album, "Future," cements his personal brand and legacy by remaining true to the musical sound that drove him to the top. The project presents a uniform sound yet remains engaging across the board, adding a collection of hits to the rapper’s already massive career portfolio. With 17 tracks, it is easy to grow tired of similar sounds and styles, but the subtle distinctions and progressions make each song worth hearing in its entirety. The album opens with a battle cry banger in "Rent Money," which sets an aggressive, rough tone that continues throughout the album’s narrative. "Good Dope" retains the heavy bass from the first track, but its repetitive content makes it an unmemorable song off the album. In "Zoom," Future sounds awake and energetic, a return to his standard flow. The track includes an entertaining monologue throwing criticism at his rival, fellow rapper Desiigner, a perfect segue into his upcoming "Nobody Safe" tour with Migos, Kodak Black and Tory Lanez this summer. With "Draco," Future mixes his flows and drops some of his greatest lines ever, showing incredible focus and thematic references to Future’s history of courting taken women, recently stirring up drama with singer Ciara and Scottie Pippen’s wife Larsa Pippen. "Super Trapper" deviates from the album’s otherwise-consistent sound, but "POA" is a return to form, with a powerful trap beat by Southside. In the middle album, "Mask Off" presents a welcome change in pace, with the inclusion of wispy flutes and a slower tempo, creating a relaxing turning point and displaying Future’s intent with this album to drop his facades and show his true self to fans. This glance past Future’s rough exterior does not last long, as he returns to tales of the often depraved trap lifestyle in "High Demand." Providing immediate contrast in "Outta Time," Future raps "Can’t take no vacation / Can’t lose," showing his desire to stay on top and keep rapidly producing music, fueled by the sensation of running out of time. "I’m So Groovy" presents a fascinating beat, combined with hums reminiscent of Kid Cudi’s work, and takes a unique look at the power his celebrity grants him, while simultaneously giving listeners a song that is equally fun to hear. Future returns to his introspective, melancholic side in "Might as Well," as he croons about his dark history of selling crack and "child support getting heavy," expressing regret over past actions. Keeping with the album’s pattern of constant dichotomy and contrast, "Poppin’ Tags" is an immediate banger in the form of a textbook stunt rap, a surprising follow-up to the more sorrowful sound of "Might as Well." The remainder of the tracks are solid but somewhat forgettable, and these tracks leave listeners wondering if the long-winded album would have been better released in a shorter version or as a mixtape. The project ends on the pessimistic "Feds Did a Sweep," providing a cap to the dual nature of the album yet decidedly shifting its balance in a darker direction. Overall, the album is Future at his finest. Although not containing anything as raw and emotional as "Codeine Crazy" from 2014’s "Monster" or "Perkys Calling" from 2016’s "Purple Reign," listeners can catch glimpses into the more complex side of the artist in "Might as Well" and "When I Was Broke." Classic flows permeate the album and create a very entertaining collection of tracks. Given the length of the album, a number of tracks were unfortunately overshadowed, despite showing potential. With no guest features and a very personal focus, the album highlights an honest attempt by Future to present a holistic view of his character, while refining his sound and message in the process. Future has carved out a personal niche in the hip-hop genre that he is not poised to lose any time soon, toeing the line between oversaturation and underratedness. With another album, "HNDRXX," released Thursday, Future fans have been lucky enough to hear two hit projects within the span of two weeks. "HNDRXX" is an elaboration and extension of the honest, personal nature the rapper has tried to convey to fans on "Future." Future’s latest additions to his body of work have proved that, although his sound is predictable, his music will continue resonate with listeners, especially with his most loyal fans.The post Album Review: ‘Future’ appeared first on .

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  • Celebrating Student Plays: DBMOAFCelebrating Student Plays: DBMOAF

    In collaboration with Georgetown’s Department of Performing Arts, the Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society presents the Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival. Celebrating its 31st edition, the festival took place Feb. 16 to 18 and Feb. 23 to 25 at 8 p.m. at Poulton Hall Stage III. Featuring two plays for the first time in 31 years, DBMOAF introduced "The Gun" by Grayson Ullman (COL ’16) and "Victimology" by Rachel Linton (SFS ’19). This year, Mask and Bauble’s Board 165, along with the department of performing arts, provided the festival with additional support to expand its repertoire. "This year we were so lucky to have some great support from the Mask and Bauble Board 165, the department and all of the wonderful professionals there to expand this festival from what it has been in the past," Student Director Makayla Kessel (SFS ’18) said. "Typically, we’ve only been able to produce a single one-act play, and this year we got to focus on two. This board has really committed to giving student-written works a greater place in this season, and I believe this support is going to continue to grow." An increasing appreciation of student talent — not just in acting, but in writing — has encouraged DBMOAF to expand its search of student-written plays from across the Georgetown community. "This festival is the primary platform to showcase students’ plays. And, essentially, it is the primary platform not only for Mask and Bauble but across the theater community," Student Producer Liliana Seabol (COL ’17) said. "Plenty of people apply and send in their plays, not just theater writers, but it includes people that you might even be surprised wrote a show. Whoever wants to submit something can." Mask and Bauble’s standing tradition of student involvement allowed for it to explore freely and develop the festival’s creative vision, guided and nurtured by professionals in the department of performing arts. "I think a lot of times it’s great to do well-known shows, but I think it’s also important to highlight the fact that we have talented writers who are capable of creating really fantastic material and can generate truly enriching experiences if they’re just given the chance," Seabol said. The first play, "The Gun," introduces a lifeless universe where Fred, who is a writer, and Tom, a clerk, encounter "the assignment," which involves a handgun and vague instructions to get to the "real paradise," where "there are fountains and color." There is only one problem: They must decide which one of them gets there. Reminiscent of Samuel Beckett’s tragicomic "Waiting for Godot" and Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist dramas, "The Gun" opens with dense dialogue sequences between Tom and Fred, who wonder about life’s eternal, accidental and unnerving character. "We read Grayson’s paradise as a purgatory, and we emphasized the concept of a purgatory in the mind," Kessel said. "You hear those bodily sounds: the heartbeat, the blood rush. They emphasize this idea of being stuck in the body but also outside of the body." "Victimology," the second play, explores the story of siblings Aidan and Dani, who suffered from abuse by their alcoholic father after their mother’s death. Their conversation slowly reveals the extent of their injuries, both physical and mental. The siblings unexpectedly meet outside the courtroom where their father is facing trial after having spent the last 10 years in prison. "The challenge of the play is to have the characters only say what is pressured out of them in a situation. They have waited 10 years to have this conversation. I think the setting, the fact that they are here and don’t expect each other to be here and have these conflicting purposes for being here, enriches their exchanges," Linton said. "If characters have uneven knowledge, they can inform each other, and the audience gets to find out along with them. Part of the play is about uneven knowledge, but mainly it is about the discordance of memory between people who went through a trauma together." The most innovative element of the festival lies in its mime sequences, workshopped by the cast as a complementary dynamic to the heavy dialogue scenes of both plays. The mimes, dressed in black and completely silent, are accompanied by an exquisite soundtrack that captures the subtleties of memory and abstract streams of consciousness. The mimes’ depictions of Dani’s and Aidan’s memories provide an opportunity to uncover the nuances behind each narrative. "It’s very interesting to tell a story where, as the audience, you’ve seen what happens at the end and then the mime sequences put the pieces together," Kessel said. "The mimes serve to provide a backstory. The mimes give you more information as an audience member, and the play’s pieces begin to fall into place. Both ‘The Gun’ and ‘Victimology’ tell the stories of what has happened to the characters that are initially presented." Besides an enriched narrative, the contrast between the mimes and traditional dialogue scenes allows audiences to experience both the formal aspects of trauma, as well as the cognitive processes associated with memory and abstract thought. "The mime sequences along the opening acts mirror reality in a way that is very interesting, because you think about situations where there is a haze and a series of vague concepts in your head about what happened and how it happened," Seabol said. "I think the mimes give the audience an idea of the way memory works and how things happen in our minds whenever we recollect these moments." Ultimately, DBMOAF parallels the themes of anxiety and survival present in both plays with the very essence of theater through creative repetition, emphasis and form. "Anxiety gets stuck on something and loops and keeps coming back. So much in theater is about looping back, so this anxiety is particularly interesting to explore within the structure of a play." DBMOAF offered an evening of reflection on difficult subjects, providing complex, thought-provoking material that is bound to spur both deep emotion and illuminating thought.The post Celebrating Student Plays: DBMOAF appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 8 h. 19 min. ago more
  • Movie Review: ‘Get Out’Movie Review: ‘Get Out’

    ★★★★★ In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele, one of the comedic minds behind Comedy Central’s acclaimed “Key & Peele,” shocks audiences with the racially charged horror film “Get Out.” Peele, who also wrote the script, incorporates some of his dark humor into the production, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The terrifying concept of “Get Out” transcends horror movie archetypes, amplifying present concerns of being black in the United States and pointing to humanity as the monster. “Get Out” successfully takes risks, notably swapping horror films’ predictable young white female victim for the young black man. The film stars London-born actor Daniel Kaluuya alongside the familiar faces of Allison Williams, Milton “Lil Rel” Howery, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford. The film opens with the romance between Chris, a black photographer played by Kaluuya, and his white girlfriend, Rose, portrayed by Williams. Rose invites Chris to spend the weekend with her family in her “whitetopian” hometown suburb. As hesitant as Chris is, he agrees, despite reservations that Rose’s family will reject their relationship. “Do they know that I’m black?” Chris asks. They do not, but “my dad would have voted for Obama a third time if he could have,” Rose assures Chris. Upon meeting Rose’s neurosurgeon father (Whitford) and psychiatrist mother (Keener), Chris is immediately suspect of their demeanor, almost as if they are trying too hard. Chris is uneasy with what appears to be their unfamiliarity with black people, despite the presence of Walter (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel), the two black household employees. Rose’s family is coincidentally throwing their annual party the same weekend they meet Chris, who becomes the object and spectacle of the white attendees gathering. From there, a series of disturbing events occur, defining the film. Peele has proven himself a dynamic entertainer and artist with “Get Out,” demonstrating his knowledge of thrilling horror and his sharp skill in incorporating it with an overarching cultural crisis. Those who have seen “Key & Peele” will be able to detect some of his inspiration from sketches such as “Continental Breakfast” and “White Zombies,” positioning Peele as a master at incorporating social satire into the horror genre. “Get Out” is neither predictable nor corny, as many horror movies can be, and employs smart and sharp satire to explore racial tensions in America. The film’s direct allegory to slavery serves to provide a horrifying context. Tension and paranoia swell, despite Chris’s attempts to brush off the racist remarks and behaviors of Rose’s family and their friends. He calls his friend and house sitter for the weekend, Rod Williams, played by Howery, who serves as a comedic voice of reason in numerous occasions, helping Chris confirm that he is not crazy and thatthis is really happening. Through Chris’s lens, the audience sees a community of people who want to own him. The film examines everyday racism and takes it to extreme heights. The partygoers make multiple unnerving remarks, such as the advantages of Chris’s “genetic makeup.” In a less dramatic context, these comments could easily serve as lines in a “Key & Peele” sketch, but the sinister ambiguities make Chris, as well as the audience, suspect what actually motivates the white partygoers’ fascination. Peele is trying to make audiences uncomfortable; the film, a hybrid of horror and satire, succeeds in making audiences think. However, “Get Out” is not all mind games — the violence and gore is plenty, and it is tastefully executed as satisfying catharsis. Viewers hesitant to see “Get Out” should know it is not in the least a predictable, formulaic film. It is unimaginably terrifying, with every twist and turn uncertain. What makes this film so audacious and relevant is the replacement of the more foreseeable horror film victims with the young black man, highly infrequent in mainstream film and television. Beyond racial satire, the film’s twists will have audiences both reeling with fright and cheering with excitement throughout the second act. Incredibly disturbing and provocative, “Get Out” is a groundbreaking film everyone should see.The post Movie Review: ‘Get Out’ appeared first on .

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  •  Dow hits longest streak of record closes, Asian stocks decline Dow hits longest streak of record closes, Asian stocks decline

    NEW YORK, U.S. - The Dow was up 34 points at 20,810 on Thursday; its record tenth successive all-time high since the first 13 trading days of 1987. It was also the longest streak of gains for

    Big News Network.com / 8 h. 21 min. ago
  • DC’s new top cop reflects on handling of 2002 protestsDC’s new top cop reflects on handling of 2002 protests

    WASHINGTON — Moments after Mayor Muriel Bowser announced his appointment as D.C.’s new police chief, Peter Newsham addressed criticism of his handling of the 2002 World Bank protests in Pershing Park. As a result of that incident, the District ended up settling with nearly 400 protesters and bystanders — who had sued over mass arrests — for more than $8 million. Related Stories DC mayor makes it official: Newsham for police chief Washington, DC News US, DC settle final lawsuit after 2002 World Bank protests Washington, DC News Lawsuit filed against police in DC after Inauguration Day arrests Inauguration Day 2017 The crowd had not been warned to disperse before the roundup. Some were held for more than 24 hours before being released and some were hogtied. “My decision at the time was a decision that I thought was in the best interest of the District of Columbia and of public safety,” said Newsham, who at the time was an assistant chief in charge at the protest site. “My sense from what I had seen prior to that group entering the park was that potentially, they could leave the park, continue to destroy property and then maybe get into some interactions with the police where folks could get hurt.” He added, “So that’s why I made the decision. It was subsequently determined that that was not the right decision.” At word of his appointment, the Partnership for Civil Justice, which represented the Pershing Park protesters, pointed to Newsham’s “constitutional violations” toward protesters on Inauguration Day. “At the protests at Donald Trump’s inauguration just one month ago, [Newsham] plainly acted in willful violation of the law and engaged in yet another illegal mass dragnet arrest,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a statement. Bowser, in response, pointed to “our fellow Washingtonians who participated in a grand jury and sent down 214 indictments” on rioting charges. Amid violent incidents that damaged property and injured officers during inaugural protests, Newsham said his department successfully applied the lessons it learned in 2002. “We had thousands of people who peacefully came to Washington, D.C., to exercise their First Amendment right — their grievance with the government,” he said, “and we actually welcomed that as an agency.” The post DC’s new top cop reflects on handling of 2002 protests appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 8 h. 58 min. ago more
  •  Trump administration to step up enforcement against recreational marijuana use Trump administration to step up enforcement against recreational marijuana use

    WASHINGTON, U.S. - White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday said the Justice department will step up “greater enforcement” of federal laws against recreational marijuana use,

    Big News Network.com / 9 h. 17 min. ago
  • DC students to read ‘I Have a Dream’ speechDC students to read ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

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  • US envoys try to lower Mexico tensions as Trump amps them upUS envoys try to lower Mexico tensions as Trump amps them up

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — There were promises of cooperation, of closer economic ties, and frequent odes to the enduring partnership between the U.S. and its southern neighbor. But there were no public mentions of that massive border wall or President Donald Trump’s plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico as top U.S. officials visited the Mexican capital. Instead, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson played it safe, acknowledging generally that the U.S. and Mexico are in a period of disagreement without putting any specific dispute under the microscope. It fell to their hosts, and especially Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, to thrust those issues into the spotlight. “It is an evident fact that Mexicans feel concern and irritation over what are perceived as policies that may hurt Mexicans and the national interest of Mexicans here and abroad,” Videgaray said Thursday after meeting with Kelly and Tillerson. The Americans focused instead on putting to rest some of the fears reverberating across Latin America — such as the notion that the U.S. military might be enlisted to deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally en masse. Not so, said Kelly. He said there would be “no mass deportations” and no U.S. military role. “In a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries from time to time will have differences,” added Tillerson. “We listened closely and carefully to each other as we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns.” Yet those assurances rang hollow for many Mexicans, including those who said they are being deported for things like traffic tickets. “They were waiting for me outside,” said Lucio Cervantes Campos, who was detained in Portland, Oregon, as he came out of court after paying a ticket. Cervantes Campos was one of about five dozen deported Mexican migrants who arrived on a flight Thursday from the United States. To be sure, millions of people were deported under President Barack Obama, under the same laws Trump now is relying on. But Trump’s planned crackdown has created significant concerns for countries like Mexico that appeared no closer to being resolved as Tillerson and Kelly returned to Washington. Only hours before Kelly vowed “no use of military forces,” Trump suggested the opposite. “It’s a military operation,” Trump said at the White House. He boasted that the U.S. was “getting really bad dudes out of this country at a rate nobody has ever seen before.” The Homeland Security Department didn’t respond to requests to clarify why Trump and Kelly were making conflicting claims. At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump hadn’t been speaking literally. He said Trump used the “military operation” phrase “as an adjective” to describe the precision with which immigration enforcement was being carried out. The divergent tones from Trump and from his Cabinet officials left Mexico with an uncomfortable decision about whom to believe. Throughout Trump’s first weeks, foreign leaders have grown increasingly skeptical as Trump’s envoys deliver soothing messages that are then negated by the president. A new approach unveiled this week prioritizes deportation for anyone charged or convicted of any crime, rather than just serious crimes. That potentially subjects many more to deportation, many Mexicans included. Mexico was particularly incensed that the U.S. announced — without Mexico’s sign-off — that people caught crossing the border illegally will be sent back to Mexico — even those from third countries who have no connection to Mexico. Those policies have stoked fears about the possibility of deportee and refugee camps emerging along Mexico’s northern border. Mexican officials were also apprehensive that a forthcoming report ordered by Trump’s administration listing all current U.S. aid to Mexico is intended to threaten Mexico into compliance over immigration or the wall. Still, Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong was cautious in his disapproval. He said he’d stressed to the Americans that any immigration steps “should be discussed and to the extent possible, subject to consensus.” “We have expressed our concern about a possible increase in deportations and the possibility that citizens of other countries may be returned to our territory, until their legal situation is resolved,” Osorio Chong said. Mexico City-based security analyst Alejandro Hope said Osorio Chong’s reaction may have been part of Mexico’s traditionally cautious, soft-spoken diplomacy. “It could be one of those displays of courtesy that these people use” in government relations, Hope said. Tillerson and Kelly also met behind closed doors with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto before returning to Washington. Pena Nieto recently canceled a trip to Washington over Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for the wall. It has not been rescheduled. Mexico has also raised concerns about Trump’s pledge to overhaul the trade relationship and possibly apply steep taxes to Mexican products, a move with profound impacts for Mexico’s export-heavy economy. Tillerson said the leaders had agreed the trade relationship needed to be modernized and strengthened. The post US envoys try to lower Mexico tensions as Trump amps them up appeared first on WTOP.

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  • As president, Trump juggles loyalties on LGBT issuesAs president, Trump juggles loyalties on LGBT issues

    WASHINGTON (AP) — There was candidate Donald Trump in Colorado, waving a rainbow flag emblazoned with a “LGBTs for Trump,” a photo opportunity meant to signal he was a new brand of Republican when it comes to protecting LGBT Americans. Four months later, faced with a major decision point on the issue, Trump’s White House held up another slogan: defense of states’ rights. The administration’s decision this week to revoke guidance on transgender students’ use of public school bathrooms was an early test of Trump’s loyalties — between the gay and lesbian community he said he supports but largely did not support him, and the social conservatives who helped drive his victory. It’s a tension Trump could find difficult to manage throughout his presidency, when the hot-button social issues he worked hard to avoid during the campaign are impossible to ignore. “In a weird way and sometimes a clumsy way, I think President Donald Trump is trying his best to balance issues of LGBT equality and the constituency of evangelical Christians that helped propel him to the White House,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, which represents LGBT conservatives. “On LGBT issues in less than a month, we have seen the president go into two separate directions.” Late in January, the White House released a statement declaring Trump would enforce an Obama administration order barring workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual identity. The unusual announcement of a decision not to act — essentially affirming the status quo — followed an internal debate over revoking the order. Trump sided with LGBT activists at the urging of his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House adviser Jared Kushner, both of whom are viewed as moderating influences on the president. This week, Ivanka Trump and Kushner were publicly silent on the transgender bathroom debate. The restroom decision set off tensions within the administration. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressed reluctance to rescind protections for transgender students and clashed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who supported it, according to a person familiar with the conversations but not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions and so requested anonymity. After Wednesday’s announcement, DeVos released her own statement, stressing that the administration had a “moral obligation” to protect LGBT students, which she said was “not only a key priority for the department, but for every school in America.” Speaking Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference, she framed it as a legal matter, “a very huge example of the Obama administration’s overreach.” Trump addresses the annual gathering of conservatives Friday. The administration painted the decision as a states’ rights issue. “We are a states’ rights party,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer. He also confirmed that the timing took into account a filing deadline for a Supreme Court case on transgender rights. As for Trump, he said, the president “has a big heart” when it comes to transgender children but is not going to tell schools what to do. Deferring to the states on the restroom issue could satisfy some of Trump’s core supporters while costing him very few votes, some Trump allies say. “Trump understands he would never have won without the strength of the evangelical vote,” said Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, who added the policy would energize Trump’s religious base. “Those who favor liberal social policy are not likely to vote for Trump in any case,” Reed said. “The voters in the middle won’t cast their ballots based on abortion or transgender issues—they will vote on jobs, the economy and national security.” Roughly 9 million Americans identify as LGBT, according to a study by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. That number includes 150,000 transgender people ages 13 to 17. White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said the administration did not have any more actions or executive orders on LGBT issues planned, but gay rights advocates says they are worried about other policies that may come from the White House or Congress. Human Rights Legal Director Sarah Warbelow points to efforts in Congress to allow people with religious objections to gay marriage, for example, to deny government or private business services to same-sex couples. During the campaign, Trump — who supported HIV charities and began allowing openly gay people at his clubs decades ago — said at an NBC town hall that he would permit transgender icon Caitlyn Jenner to use any bathroom she wanted. He said, “People go, they use the bathrooms that they feel is appropriate.” He quickly backed off that statement, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “I think that local communities and states should make the decision … The federal government should not be involved.” But Jenner aimed a video tweet late Thursday at the president, holding him accountable for his campaign promise: “Well @realDonaldTrump, from one Republican to another, this is a disaster. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.” The Trump administration directive has no immediate impact because a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Obama guidance in August. But in adjusting his own position, Trump was moving toward more than his party. Polls suggest a slim majority of Americans are squeamish about allowing transgender public school students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates. 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  • White House expects Justice crackdown on legalized marijuanaWhite House expects Justice crackdown on legalized marijuana

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  • Conservatives urged not to ‘squander’ Trump presidencyConservatives urged not to ‘squander’ Trump presidency

    OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s vice president and top aides delivered one overriding message Thursday to the thousands of conservative activists gathered for their annual conference outside of Washington: Don’t blow it. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump’s victory provided the nation with what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to install conservative solutions to the nation’s problems. “This is the chance we’ve worked so hard, for so long, to see. This is the time to prove again that our answers are the right answers for America,” Pence said. The vice president said the Trump administration would soon take aim at the sweeping health care law approved under former President Barack Obama, saying the nation’s “Obamacare nightmare is about to end.” He said Republicans would implement a new plan and would have “an orderly transition to a better health care system.” Earlier, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus pleased for patience and unity, urging activists not to squander the Republican Party’s control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. Trump adviser Steve Bannon made his case for a governing strategy based on aggressive deregulation and an “economic nationalism” in negotiating new free trade deals. “What you’ve got is an incredible opportunity to use this victory,” Priebus said. Some of Trump’s plans for creating jobs and putting more money in people’s pockets will take time, he said. “We’ve got to stick together and make sure we have President Trump for eight years.” Priebus’ pleas acknowledged conservatives’ underlying skepticism about the new president, a former Democrat who in the past has elicited boos at the conference. Trump has often suggested he doesn’t prioritize the social issues many conservatives elevate, and his proposal for a massive infrastructure bill has cast doubts about his commitment to curb government spending. But with a Republican in the White House for the first time in eight years, many activists say they feel energized and more than willing to give him a chance. The decades-old CPAC, as the event is known, is now really more like “TPAC,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said. She and other Trump administration speakers thanked conservatives for voting for Trump last fall. Bannon said appreciation would largely be the theme of the president’s remarks Friday to the group. Many in the audience chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as Bannon, a provocateur and outsider, and Priebus, a GOP party insider, made a joint appearance onstage. The duo’s chummy joint interview seemed designed to refute media reports that the two are working at cross-purposes in a factionalized White House. Priebus presented their partnership as evidence that conservatives and Trump supporters can work together. “The truth of the matter is Donald Trump, President Trump, brought together the party and the conservative movement,” he said. “If the party and the conservative movement are together, similar to Steve and I, it can’t be stopped.” In his remarks, Bannon emphasized Trump’s plans to deregulate businesses — or what he described as “deconstruction of the administrative state.” “Every business leader we’ve had in is saying not just taxes, but it is also the regulation. I think the consistent, if you look at these Cabinet appointees, they were selected for a reason and that is the deconstruction,” he said. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged the activists to “engage” and “be loud” in the face of politicians who stand in the way of changing the education system. “We have a unique window of opportunity to make school choice a reality” for millions for families, she said. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said last fall’s election results provide “an assignment for change and real reform.” “So we need to see a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, we need to see real tax reform,” he said. “We need to see a federal government that gets its spending under control.” “As governors, as activists, engaged citizens, we need to hold all elected leaders accountable for results in this cycle right now. We may not get this same opportunity again. We can’t squander it.” Although Republicans have long vowed to overturn Obama’s health care law, the election of Trump and majorities in Congress now have a chance to do it. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said activists must maintain pressure on the people they’ve elected. “Fellow conservatives, this is our time,” he said. “We must and we can repeal Obamacare now.” __ Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report. The post Conservatives urged not to ‘squander’ Trump presidency appeared first on WTOP.

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  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims, and gets, undue creditAP FACT CHECK: Trump claims, and gets, undue credit

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is giving himself too much credit for sending criminal foreigners out of the country and saving money on fighter planes. He’s getting too much credit from one of the few women with a top White House job for elevating women in the administration. A look at some statements Thursday by Trump and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway: TRUMP: “We’re getting gang members out, we’re getting drug lords out, we’re getting really bad dudes out of this country, at a rate nobody has ever seen before. … It’s a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before and all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally. And they’re rough and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people. So we’re getting them out.” THE FACTS: Trump is broadly embellishing his brief track record on immigration and wrongly branding the deportation effort a military operation. The number of people expelled from the country since Trump took office Jan. 20 has not been released. No available data supports his claim that immigrants in the country illegally are being expelled at a rate “nobody has ever seen before.” Deportations were brisk when Barack Obama was president. Altogether in January, 16,643 people were deported, a drop from December (20,395) but a number that is similar to monthly deportations in early 2015 and 2016. This month, Homeland Security officials have said 680 people were arrested in a weeklong effort to find and arrest criminal immigrants living in the United States illegally. Three-quarters of those people had been convicted of crimes, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said. The remaining 25 percent were not. The government has not provided information about who was arrested in that roundup, so it’s impossible to determine how many gang members or drug lords were in that group. That effort was largely planned before Trump took office and was alternately described by the administration as a routine enforcement effort and a signal of Trump’s pledge to take a harder line on illegal immigration. During the Obama administration similar operations were carried out that yielded thousands of arrests. The 680 arrests were not carried out in a military operation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, responsible for finding and deporting immigrants in the country illegally, is a civilian law enforcement agency. Trump plans to increase enforcement, but Kelly contradicted him Thursday over the nature of that initiative: “There will be no use of military forces in immigration,” Kelly said while visiting Mexico. “There will be no — repeat, no — mass deportations.” ___ TRUMP, at a White House meeting with manufacturers, again claimed credit for a $700 million savings in the military’s contract with Lockheed for the F-35 fighter jet. Speaking to the defense contractor’s CEO Marillyn Hewson, he said: “Over $700 million. Do you think Hillary would have cost you $700 million? I assume you wanted her to win.” THE FACTS: Cost savings for the F-35 began before Trump’s inauguration and predate his complaints about the price tag. The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions Dec. 19 — after Trump had tweeted about the cost but weeks before Trump met about the issue on Jan. 13 with Hewson. “There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of additional F-35 cost savings as a result of President Trump’s intervention,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group. He said Trump appears to be taking credit for prior-year budget decisions and for work already done by managers at the Pentagon who took action before the presidential election to reduce costs. ___ CONWAY at a conference of the Conservative Political Action Committee: “He has been promoting and elevating women in the Trump Corporation — in the Trump campaign, in the Trump Cabinet, certainly in the Trump White House. It’s just a very natural affinity for him.” THE FACTS: No such elevation of women has taken place, when Trump’s choices for the Cabinet and top White House aides are compared with those of other presidents in recent decades. Indeed, there’s been backsliding. — Cabinet: Trump has nominated four women for Cabinet or Cabinet-level jobs. That’s fewer than Democrats Barack Obama (seven) and Bill Clinton (six) had for their first Cabinets, and the same number as Republican George W. Bush chose out of the gate. As well, women chosen by Trump are in less senior positions — both in prominence and in the line of succession to the presidency — than some of the women nominated by his predecessors. For example, Obama’s first secretary of state, a top-tier post, was Hillary Clinton. Bush made Condoleezza Rice his secretary of state in his second term. Clinton’s first Cabinet had a woman as attorney general. 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As for jobs that are not traditionally part of the Cabinet but considered Cabinet-level, Nikki Haley is ambassador to the United Nations and Trump has not named someone to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. — White House: The percentage of women in top White House jobs is shaping up to be lower than during at least five of the last six presidential terms, according to an analysis Monday by USA Today. The high for women in senior West Wing jobs was 52 percent under Clinton in 2000, the analysis found, while the percentage dipped to 28 percent in 2008, under George W. Bush. For Trump, it’s 23 percent of known staff. The White House quarreled with USA Today’s findings, saying the percentage is actually 31 percent, but refused to back up its figure by giving names or titles for those it considers senior. 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    CBS Washington / 18 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Eggscellent! Arboretum eagle First Lady lays 2nd egg of 2017Eggscellent! Arboretum eagle First Lady lays 2nd egg of 2017

    WASHINGTON — Four days after the female bald eagle at the National Arboretum laid her first egg of 2017, she’s done it again. A little before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, The First Lady laid her second egg of 2017, and the American Eagle Foundation’s Eagle Cam caught it all. Related Gallery Eagle covered with snow up to the beak as it protects eggs in storm A mother’s love is on full display, as a bald eagle has gone to great lengths to keep her eggs warm. Julia Cecere, of the eagle foundation, said in a statement Thursday that the incubation countdown lasts about 35 days, so between the two eggs in the past week, they’re hoping for new eaglets by April Fools’ Day. In 2016, the Arboretum eagles — The First Lady and Mr. President — gave birth to two eaglets, named Freedom and Liberty after a public poll chose their names. In 2015, they raised DC1. Eagles generally lay one or two eggs in the course of a season, said Tommy Wells, director of D.C.’s Department of Energy and the Environment. Three is not impossible, though — Cecere notes in the statement that their nest is a bit bigger than last year. “Watching three eaglets raised in one nest would be such a thrill for viewers everywhere,” Cecere said. New eggs or not, the wait now begins. The eagles have to keep constant watch over their eggs, and while the weather is pretty nice as of Thursday, it won’t necessarily stay that way. Mr. President and the First Lady aren’t the only expectant eagle parents in D.C., said Wells. There are four eagle nests in the District, and they’re actively monitoring three. One nest by the MPD training center at the southern tip of the District has two eggs, laid Feb. 4 and Feb. 8, Wells said, adding that they’re hoping for “chicks as early as St. Patrick’s Day.” Freedom and Liberty “are doing great,” Wells said. The eagles are cool enough by themselves, he said, but they’re also a symbol of a reviving ecosystem. The nest at the Arboretum, Wells said, “has successfully raised healthy eagles feeding almost entirely on the Anacostia River. We’re kind of bringing back a sustainable, healthy habitat again. We’ve got a ways to go, but the eagles are an indicator that we’re making great progress.” You can follow the eagles’ and eggs’ progress on the D.C. Eagle Cam at the Arboretum, which Wells notes has sound for the first time this year. WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. The post Eggscellent! Arboretum eagle First Lady lays 2nd egg of 2017 appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 18 h. 33 min. ago more
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    Metro Weekly / 20 h. 30 min. ago
  • US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’tUS factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition. Yet some of the CEOs suggested that there were still plenty of openings for U.S. factory jobs but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today’s manufacturers increasingly require — a topic Trump has seldom addressed. “The jobs are there, but the skills are not,” one executive said during meetings with White House officials that preceded a session with the president. (Reporters were permitted to attend the meetings on the condition of not quoting individual executives by name.) The discussion of job training and worker skills is a relatively new one for Trump, who campaigned for the White House on promises to restore manufacturing jobs that he said had been lost to flawed trade deals and unfair competition from countries like Mexico and China. Again and again, Trump brought up that theme in his meeting with the CEOs. “Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back,” Trump said. “The good jobs, the real jobs. They’ve left.” White House officials said Trump heard the CEOs’ concerns about a shortage of qualified workers and said he supports efforts to increase training for factory jobs. But they didn’t provide details. “We were challenged by the president to … come up with a program to make sure the American worker is trained for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow,” Reed Cordish, a White House official, said after Thursday’s meetings. Trump officials said the meetings were intended to provide the White House with ideas in four areas: taxes and trade; regulatory reform; infrastructure; and the “workforce of the future,” including advanced training. Proposed solutions may be included in future presidential executive orders or legislative proposals, a White House official said. The gathering occurred amid the same kind of jovially informal atmosphere that has prevailed in several meetings Trump has held with CEOs in the four weeks since his inauguration. Most of the executives thanked the president for reaching out to them, and several expressed gratitude for his interest in meeting them face to face. “All the CEOs are very encouraged by the pro-business policies of President Trump,” Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, said afterward outside the White House. “Some of us have said this is probably the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers.” Other CEOs at the meeting included Jeff Immelt of General Electric, Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, Inge Thulin of 3M and Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup. One executive said in discussions with White House officials that his company has 50 participants in a factory apprenticeship program, but could take 500 if enough were qualified. But he said that in his experience, most students coming out of high school lack the math and English skills to absorb technical manuals. Some economists argue that businesses should offer higher pay and adopt more training if they can’t find the workers they need. Higher pay would draw more young people into the field. In the meantime, some data supports the CEOs’ concerns about the shortage of qualified applicants. Government figures show there are 324,000 open factory jobs nationwide — triple the number in 2009, during the depths of the recession. Separately, the administration sent mixed signals Thursday about a contentious proposed tax on imports, known as a “border adjustment.” The proposal has the support of House Republican leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan. In an interview with Reuters, Trump expressed general support for a “form of tax on the border,” saying it “could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States.” But he stopped short of endorsing the House proposal specifically. Earlier Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave a more lukewarm assessment of the proposal in an interview with the business network CNBC. “We think there are some very interesting aspects of it,” Mnuchin said but added: “We think there are some concerns about it.” Several of the manufacturing CEOs pushed for the tax during their meeting with Trump, a White House official said. But others, particularly those who rely on imported goods, were opposed, the official said. The border-adjusted tax is opposed by large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, who argue that they could end up paying more in taxes than they earn in profits under the proposal. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss a closed-door meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity. ___ AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report. The post US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 20 h. 39 min. ago more
  • More ‘Jackie Shot JFK’ graffiti spotted in DC, BostonMore ‘Jackie Shot JFK’ graffiti spotted in DC, Boston

    WASHINGTON — More graffiti has popped up locally and as far away as Boston that appears similar to the cryptic messages scrawled in permanent marker on four monuments on the National Mall. The graffiti, which seems to reference conspiracy theories, include the words “Jackie shot JFK” like one of the markings left on the Lincoln Memorial. Sgt. Anna Rose with U.S. Park Police confirmed that other, similar graffiti has been found in several places in Downtown D.C. Vandals left similar writings on a utility box on 15th Street, another utility box near Roosevelt Island, and on a stop sign near the Sylvan Theater, which lies on the grounds of the Washington Monument, said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Park Service. A WTOP listener vacationing in Boston over Presidents Day said he spotted what looked like the same graffiti on a mailbox there. Litterst said investigators were already aware of graffiti left on a utility pole in Boston that was shared on Twitter on Jan. 26. @universalhub have seen this in back bay, north end and now Charlestown. Anyone else seen? Any ideas? pic.twitter.com/Ts8YELAzQC — James O'Connor (@notoriousJOC) January 26, 2017 Other Twitter users replied that they had seen the same thing in other parts of Boston. Rose said her department has been in touch with Boston police about several leads, and that the investigation is ongoing. The Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial and the D.C. War Memorial were each found defaced over the Presidents Day weekend. Workers began removing the graffiti on Tuesday. The post More ‘Jackie Shot JFK’ graffiti spotted in DC, Boston appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 20 h. 45 min. ago more
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    WashingtonPost.com / 20 h. 48 min. ago more
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  • CBS Sports’ Jim Spanarkel On #13 Florida-#11 Kentucky SEC RematchCBS Sports’ Jim Spanarkel On #13 Florida-#11 Kentucky SEC Rematch

    Ryan Mayer The conversation surrounding SEC basketball has largely centered on Kentucky since John Calipari arrived in Lexington in 2009. The Wildcats, who annually have one of the nation’s best collections of young talent, have been to four Final Fours and two national championship games with one title win in that time. Kentucky was once again well stocked this season, with the nation’s number two recruiting class, and looked to be the conference’s best team. Mike White and Florida put that in doubt. On February 4th, the Gators handed the Wildcats a 22-point loss (88-66), dominating them in Gainesville. Now, just two weeks later, the two teams meet once again, this time in Lexington. With identical 23-5 overall records and 13-2 SEC records, they battle Saturday afternoon at 2:00 for the top seed in the SEC tournament, which begins next week. Watch CBS Sports’ live coverage of the Florida-Kentucky game here. As #13 Florida and #11 Kentucky gear up for the rematch, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jim Spanarkel breaks down the matchup. CBS Local Sports: The last time these teams met, Florida came away with a big win, 88-66, stifling Kentucky and forcing them into a poor shooting night. Can the Gators replicate that kind of performance on the road in Lexington? Jim Spanarkel: The shift of home court makes a big difference in college basketball. So, when you have a rematch like this, my inclination is to believe that you just push everything that happened in the first game aside. Now, I do think sometimes on an individual basis it helps for individual match-ups to be able to say [that] I played well against this team, so I feel comfortable coming in as a player. But a lot has changed since the first match-up. Since Florida lost two games in a row going back to mid-January to South Carolina and Vanderbilt, this is a team that has really strung it together from a defensive standpoint. They’re really helping one another too in pushing the basketball on the transition side. I would be surprised if they had the same success against Kentucky as they did at home. That’s not to say that they can’t or won’t win the game, but it’s going to be more of a competitive game and a challenge. CBS Local Sports: You mentioned Florida’s hot streak since the South Carolina and Vanderbilt losses — they’ve won nine straight. Is the defense really the big factor behind this winning streak? Spanarkel: They are an aggressive defensive team that looks to jump passing lanes. They’re good on the ball, and they’re pretty good help defenders too. They have a pretty good combination of two or three different aspects and facets of their defense. Where they’ve really helped one another is with their guard play. When you look at Allen and Hill, those guys have the ability to really push the basketball. Then, with Chiozza off the bench, [also] gives them the opportunity to push the basketball down the floor and not only score in transition but also score in a quick half court set. They’re trying to get down there before the defense sets up, not that they’re going to take a quick five-second shot. But they’ll be looking to push the basketball up and get into their sets much quicker. CBS Local Sports: For Kentucky, defense has been a problem throughout the year. But in their last four games, the Wildcats have started to figure some things out, holding opponents to 64 points per game. What’s behind the recent defensive success for John Calipari’s squad? Spanarkel: When I look at them defensively, in watching the Missouri game, I think they scramble pretty well. Adebayo played well against Missouri in terms of rebounding the basketball, so he clogged up the middle a little bit. And when they have their forwards clogging up the middle just a touch, it forces the action away from the basket a little bit more. But you also have the ability to gamble just a little bit on the perimeter with guys like Briscoe, Fox and Monk because they know they have some protection or at least some guys clogging up the back. Overall, they’re starting to get a little bit more rhythm in terms of consistency. I know John Calipari always says ‘we have a long way to go still’ in terms of putting it together. He’s a master at the psychology of basketball with these young guys and trying to get them onto the same page on the defensive end. When they push the basketball, they’re one of the leading teams in getting shots off in the first 14 seconds of the offensive sets. They don’t use the shot clock at all. Sometimes, and the game against Missouri was a good example of this, there was some frustration with the turnovers they had. Missouri threw a nice game at them for the most part. When you’re turning it over 17 times — and that happens on the road sometimes — they really have to find a way to cut back on that. CBS Local Sports: This game will likely determine the number one seed in the conference tournament starting in a couple weeks. What’s the biggest key for each team in this game to come away with a win? Spanarkel: Initially, you look at the speed of Kentucky and going up and down the floor. If they can utilize their big guy, Adebayo, in the middle and get maybe 10 and 10, that’s going to be a big factor to keep the Florida frontline busy. They [Florida] are a good, active frontline but I would try and pound it down low if I’m Kentucky. Also, one of the things to consider in this game is just the backcourts of these two teams. Florida, with Allen and Hill, who can really score — Allen got to the line a lot in the Gators’ game against South Carolina, when he went 13 of 14 from the stripe. Then, for Kentucky, with the Monk and Fox combination, Fox can get to pretty much wherever he wants on the floor whenever he wants to, it seems like, and he’s very tricky and stylish going to the basket. I’d focus on Adebayo, getting him the ball down low, and then watch the guard play for both of these teams which will be a lot of fun to watch. CBS Local Sports: You mentioned Adebayo a couple of times, is he your X-factor for Kentucky in this game? If not, who is? And who’s the X-factor for Florida? Spanarkel: One guy on Florida who I’m curious to see is (Canyon) Barry. He hurt his ankle in practice and then played against South Carolina, but only played nine minutes or so and he was 0-for-3 from the floor. So he’s obviously struggling. Hopefully for Florida he can pick it up, because he’s very good at setting up the backdoor cut. If Kentucky starts leaning on him to try to play the passing lane or the steal, then he goes backdoor a little bit, and that opens up the perimeter. For Kentucky, their big guy (Adebayo), if he can provide that kind of offense… But which one of the guards, Monk or Fox, will be able to get the crowd going, with some uptempo scoring for Fox or by shooting the basketball for Monk? Which of those guys can get the crowd going will be key in what is a great atmosphere in Lexington. The Gators make the trip to Rupp Arena on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip with the Wildcats with the game featured live on CBS and streaming online via CBSSports.com.

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  • Skip Bayless Wants to See Tony Romo on the RedskinsSkip Bayless Wants to See Tony Romo on the Redskins

    WASHINGTON — This almost feels like a trap. Skip Bayless is only the latest to ponder how the Redskins offense might look with Tony Romo at the helm. The list of speculators is growing, and the timing sure is coincidental enough, with the franchise tag deadline and NFL combine — where deals tend to be discussed — both arriving next week. “I’ve told you again and again that I trust Kirk Cousins so little that I would even trust Tony Romo more next year than I would Kirk Cousins for the Washington Redskins,” Bayless said on FS1’s Undisputed. “I am dearly hoping… I am hoping and wishing the Redskins make the mistake of signing Kirk Cousins to a long-term, let’s say five-year, multi-billion dollar contract with lots of guaranteed money,” he said. “Because I want my Cowboys to see Kirk Cousins 10 more times over the next five years. That could be about eight wins for my Dallas Cowboys, if not more. Right now Kirk Cousins is 1-4 against the Dallas Cowboys.” My Cowboys. Fun fact: Bayless, in a past life, used to cover the Dallas Cowboys as an objective journalist. Now they’re his. This should be seen as the trap of all traps. The Redskins are embarking upon their most important free agency period of the Scot McCloughan era, with millions to spend and a franchise-defining decision to make at quarterback, coming off two straight seasons of record-setting performances by their current quarterback. Report: Redskins Might Maybe Be Interested in Romo If there has ever been a clearly defined line demarcating which direction the franchise will steer its ship, it’s now. Replacing a 28-year-old Cousins, in the prime of his career, with an oft-injured 36-year-old Romo? Does that sound remotely within reason? And yet, the tea leaves appear to show more and more that Cousins isn’t long for Ashburn. This week, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network put the odds of the Redskins parting with Cousins at greater than 50 percent. What’s more, Jeremiah “would not be shocked” to see the Redskins trade Cousins to San Francisco at next week’s combine, a deal which he says would likely involve both teams swapping first-round picks, netting the Redskins the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s draft. It seems pretty clear at this point the Redskins won’t be reaching a long-term deal with Cousins in the next few days, and will need to franchise tag him again — but then what? A trade? All the while, the Redskins are embroiled in a PR nightmare — a franchise norm they’ve largely been able to avoid during McCloughan’s first two seasons — over the prolonged media silence of the GM himself, one which points to McCloughan being muzzled by team president Bruce Allen. One would hope, for the sake of a franchise coming off its first consecutive winning seasons in two decades, that cooler heads prevail, preferably sooner rather than later. Snider: Romo to Redskins is Nuts Until this storm’s conclusion, banish the Bayless antagonists into the ether, because there’s no sense in allowing the senseless ramblings of a woebegone talking head whose own best interests, in viewing any action by the Redskins work to the advantage of his Cowboys, to further whiplash the already murky waters through which Washington is struggling to navigate. The Redskins would be more dangerous with Romo guiding the ship, you say? Perhaps, in the eyes of someone who would rather see the franchise shipwrecked, more dangerous to themselves. Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter.

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  • Police: 5 Charged in Connection with Alleged MS-13 Gang MurderPolice: 5 Charged in Connection with Alleged MS-13 Gang Murder

    MANASSAS, Va. — Three people, including a 17-year-old, have been charged with murder for a murder last month they say is connected to the MS-13 street gang, police say. Two women, ages 18 and 19, faces lesser charges of conspiracy to commit a felony in connection with the slaying. Prince William County police said the three males, ranging in age from 17 to 24, were arrested Thursday morning in Newton, Pennsylvania. The two women were arrested near Baltimore Feb. 12. The victim, 21-year-old Christian Alexander Sosa Rivas of Fairfax, was found last month on the banks of the Potomac River near Dumfries. Police have said that Sosa Rivas’ death is connected to the slaying of 15-year-old Damaris Reyes Rivas of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Fairfax County Police have charged 10 people in connection with her death. Follow @CBSDC on Twitter (© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Bogdanovic, McCullough, the Wizards and the Trade DeadlineBogdanovic, McCullough, the Wizards and the Trade Deadline

    WASHINGTON — The Wizards have made their move, but they might not be done quite yet. GM Ernie Grunfeld made a deal Wednesday afternoon that helped cover up his offseason error of signing Andrew Nicholson to a four-year, $26 million deal, sending Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and Washington’s 2017 first-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for wing Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough. It’s important to note that such a trade likely only happened due to the aforementioned Nicholson contract. As described by Adam Rubin of Truth About It, the value of the Wizards’ first-round pick was lessened as it was paired with Nicholson’s disastrous contract: “The market returned to normalcy on Tuesday when Los Angeles traded Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer and an unprotected 2017 first round pick. So, with Washington willing to part with its 2017 pick (which is at least as valuable as Houston’s), expectations were that the Wizards could add a Lou Williams-caliber player to their underperforming bench rotation. But there was a catch. Washington’s 2017 pick was not like the others. It came with a most unwelcome guest: Andrew Nicholson’s four-year, $26 million contract. Nicholson’s contract — like an albatross hanging around the figurative neck of the Wizards’ cap space — severely depressed the pick’s market value and took Washington out of the running for Sweet Lou, potentially Darren Collison, and any other number of players who might be had with an unencumbered first rounder.” With that taken into consideration, the benefits are two-fold for Washington — not only do the Wizards add some much-needed bench scoring, they also rid themselves of likely their worst contract. And while parting with a first-round pick isn’t ideal, Grunfeld has a cringe-worthy history when it comes to drafting outside of the top three; Kelly Oubre and Tomas Satoransky are the only two players Grunfeld has drafted after No. 3 overall that are still on the team. That brings us to how Bogdanovic actually fits on the Wizards. He offers very little aside from scoring, as his passing is suspect (averaging a career-high 1.6 assists per game) and his rebounding is mediocre (averaging a career-high 3.6 rebounds per game). He’s an awful defender, both in terms of consistency (his Defensive Rating of 110.7 this season is worse than every one of Washington’s rotation players) and playmaking (he has just 24 steals and 3 blocks all season), which is troublesome as the Wizards’ bench defense is among the league’s worst (a 107.8 Defensive Rating, tied for 24th best). But he is a talented scorer, and that was one of the areas Grunfeld wanted to address before the deadline. The Wizards’ bench had a 102.0 Offensive Rating entering the All-Star break, the sixth-worst in the NBA, and averages just 23.4 points per game, the second-worst in the league. Bogdanovic has improved his scoring each season, from 9.0 points per game as a rookie to 11.2 last season and 14.2 so far this season. He’s attempting a whopping 5.0 3-pointers per game, more than any Wizards player except Bradley Beal, and he’s shooting a respectable but not great .357 from beyond the arc. Among the 17 players who have attempted between 260 and 290 3-pointers this season, Bogdanovic is 11th in accuracy. (Basketball-Reference.com) His scoring will help the bench, and his willingness to shoot is useful in itself, but he is very much a one-trick pony. Wizards Trade Rumor Compilation As for the other piece Washington added, there is reason to be intrigued by Chris McCullough. A torn ACL lowered his stock coming out of Syracuse, but he was still selected with the 29th pick in the 2015 draft. He has appeared in just 38 games over his two seasons in the NBA, including four starts last season, but he was buried on the depth chart behind fellow big men Brook Lopez, Trevor Booker, Luis Scola and Quincy Acy this season. He just turned 22 earlier this month, and though he’s officially listed at 6-foot-11 this season, he was measured at 6-foot-9 in shoes at the draft combine, where he also registered a wingspan of 7 feet, 3.25 inches. He is an athletic specimen capable of knocking down 3-pointers, throwing down thunderous dunks and making slinky moves along the baseline. In limited action over his two seasons with the Nets, McCullough is 14-for-40 (.350) from beyond the arc, and he’s recorded 14 blocks and 29 steals thanks to his incredible length. He is under contract through the 2018-19 season, with the final season being a club option, for less than $5 million total — that represents a considerable savings from Nicholson’s contract of more than $6 million per season. What’s Left To Do The Wizards have virtually no assets to work with, but there have been reports that they’re still interested in adding another bench piece. Sources close to the situation peg the Wizards as a team in the hunt for a PG as the deadline gets closer. — Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 23, 2017 Chris Mannix of The Vertical joined Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan Thursday morning to discuss the trade deadline, and he reiterated that Washington is still probing the market for a backup point guard, but he also acknowledges they have very little to offer in a trade. Wizards coach Scott Brooks didn’t offer much insight, as expected, but he had this to say when he spoke to The Sports Junkies Thursday morning regarding additional trades. If the Wizards want to do another move, the most obvious target would be Darren Collison, but it’s unlikely they could acquire him without giving up another future first-round pick. 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    WashingtonTimes.com / 3 d. 20 h. 24 min. ago
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    The Washington Sun / 8 d. 17 h. 40 min. ago
  • US president-elect Donald Trump says he has chosen South Carolina Republican congressman Mick Mulvaney to be White House budget director - ReutersUS president-elect Donald Trump says he has chosen South Carolina Republican congressman Mick Mulvaney to be White House budget director - Reuters

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    BreakingNews.com / 69 d. 5 h. 26 min. ago
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    The DC Department of Housing and Community Development has used monies from two federal programs and the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) to help preserve affordable housing at the 38-unit Altamont Place...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 78 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    DistrictChronicles.com / 78 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recognized this week the accomplishments of District of Columbia residents who have passed the tests of the 2014 Series General Educational Development (GED)...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 78 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    President-elect Donald Trump owes the Black community absolutely nothing. Let me repeat that: HE OWES US NOTHING! Blacks gave Trump just 8 percent of their vote and Hillary Clinton won 88 percent; Clinton’s...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 78 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • County Launches Dementia Friendly InitiativeCounty Launches Dementia Friendly Initiative

    Montgomery County has launched its Dementia Friendly initiative – a set of strengthened services and supports for affected community members. Montgomery County is part of Dementia Friendly America, an emerging...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 78 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    BreakingNews.com / 78 d. 19 h. 16 min. ago
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    Volunteers are needed to assist sexual assault, domestic violence victims, and their families through the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Empowering Kids to Combat the 'Trump Effect'Empowering Kids to Combat the 'Trump Effect'

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Religious groups to Obama: Dismantle immigration registry’s frameworkReligious groups to Obama: Dismantle immigration registry’s framework

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
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    (RNS) Fuller Theological Seminary has joined a growing list of schools where administrators are being pressed by students, alumni and faculty for designation as a sanctuary campus. In...

    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Sharpton Announces D.C. March During MLK Weekend 2017Sharpton Announces D.C. March During MLK Weekend 2017

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Children Say Goodbye to First Lady Michelle at One of Her Final White House EventsChildren Say Goodbye to First Lady Michelle at One of Her Final White House Events

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 85 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Post-election whiplash: 10 observationsPost-election whiplash: 10 observations

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 92 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Christian college campuses reaffirm commitment to inclusive communities amidst Trump winChristian college campuses reaffirm commitment to inclusive communities amidst Trump win

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    DistrictChronicles.com / 92 d. 16 h. 12 min. ago
  • Mayor names Peter Newsham as District’s police chiefMayor names Peter Newsham as District’s police chief

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    The Washington Post
  • Two D.C. police officers shot and wounded in Northeast D.C.Two D.C. police officers shot and wounded in Northeast D.C.

    The officers were found conscious and breathing in the 1400 block of Morse St. NE.

    The Washington Post
  • Bystander captures deadly police shooting in Northeast D.C.Bystander captures deadly police shooting in Northeast D.C.

    Social video shows a portion of a shooting in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast Washington on the night of Feb. 23 that left two D.C. police officers wounded and a suspect dead.

    The Washington Post
  • Mother charged in fatal shooting of her 17-year-old son in Clinton, Md.Mother charged in fatal shooting of her 17-year-old son in Clinton, Md.

    Police said the mother admitted her involvement and the two had argued before shooting.

    The Washington Post
  • Thunderstorms with gusty winds may be possible Saturday afternoon in D.C.Thunderstorms with gusty winds may be possible Saturday afternoon in D.C.

    It's a “marginal” risk for severe thunderstorms — far from a sure thing, but something to be aware of.

    The Washington Post
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    The Washington Post
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    The moon will cover most of the sun, and the effect will be a “ring of fire.”

    The Washington Post
  • Pic of the week: From waterfall to 'firefall' at Yosemite National ParkPic of the week: From waterfall to 'firefall' at Yosemite National Park

    At Yosemite, the sunset transforms a waterfall into a cascade of fire.

    The Washington Post
  • This month is on track to become the warmest February on record in D.C.This month is on track to become the warmest February on record in D.C.

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    The Washington Post
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    The Washington Post
  • D.C. open houses Feb. 25-26D.C. open houses Feb. 25-26

    A list of properties in the District that you can visit Saturday and Sunday.

    The Washington Post
  • A nest for 2: Another bald eagle egg laid at National ArboretumA nest for 2: Another bald eagle egg laid at National Arboretum

    Two eggs. Two bald eagle parents. And one camera recording it all.

    The Washington Post
  • Maryland open houses Feb. 25-26Maryland open houses Feb. 25-26

    A list of properties in Maryland that you can visit Saturday and Sunday.

    The Washington Post
  • Virginia open houses Feb. 25-26Virginia open houses Feb. 25-26

    A list of properties in Virginia that you can visit Saturday and Sunday.

    The Washington Post
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    DCist
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    "It's a shame that this administration is attacking children. It's so petty. How petty can you be?" [ more › ]

    DCist
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    Choices this week range from Mardi Gras extravaganzas to mezcal sipping and ramen slurping. [ more › ]

    DCist
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    U.S. Park Police officials have reached out to the Boston Police Department as part of their investigation. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Dish of the Week: ShakshukaDish of the Week: Shakshuka

    Shakshuka's origin is up for debate. That it's a delicious dish, is not. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • One Man Dead, Two Police Officers Wounded After Shooting In TrinidadOne Man Dead, Two Police Officers Wounded After Shooting In Trinidad

    Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said that a weapon was recovered on the scene last night, which he believes belongs to the diseased suspect. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Bowser Stands Behind Former Mayor Williams, Despite His Support Of DeVosBowser Stands Behind Former Mayor Williams, Despite His Support Of DeVos

    Council Education Committee Chair David Grosso called for Bowser to remove him. [ more › ]

    DCist
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    DCist
  • Finally Launch Your Business With Help From This Silicon Valley MentorFinally Launch Your Business With Help From This Silicon Valley Mentor

    Get the mentorship you need to navigate your way through the twists and turns of entrepreneurship. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Go Home Already: Maryland Giraffe Gets (Boring) NameGo Home Already: Maryland Giraffe Gets (Boring) Name

    And more end-of-day news. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • After Testing Error, D.C. Lab Receives Seven More False Negative Zika Tests After Testing Error, D.C. Lab Receives Seven More False Negative Zika Tests

    So far, there are nine total false negative results—all from women who were pregnant when they first tested with the Department of Forensic Sciences Public Health. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • According To Plants, Spring Is Here ... 22 Days EarlyAccording To Plants, Spring Is Here ... 22 Days Early

    The National Mall's earliest-blooming trees flowered more than a week ago. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • More Than 50 Couples Have Already Signed Up To Get Married At &pizzaMore Than 50 Couples Have Already Signed Up To Get Married At &pizza

    The fast casual spot's Pi Day tradition is rising faster than pizza dough. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • A 90-Minute Cat Video Is Your Top Movie Pick This WeekA 90-Minute Cat Video Is Your Top Movie Pick This Week

    And don't miss 35mm prints of Taste of Cherry, Certified Copy, and Kansas City. [ more › ]

    DCist