• Halcyon Incubator puts startups in the Austin spotlightHalcyon Incubator puts startups in the Austin spotlight

    WASHINGTON — Every year at South by Southwest, the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership leaves its imprint on Austin, Texas, by playing host at the WeDC House. A venue for special events, parties and showcase activities, the WeDC House also serves as a place where people can relax, unwind and recharge from the intensity and excitement of the five-day interactive festival. Featured at the WeDC House is the D.C. Startup Showcase, which connects new and emerging companies with potential investors, analysts and D.C., decision makers in a creative, welcoming forum that demonstrates the active, vibrant and constantly evolving nature of entrepreneurship in the nation’s capital. More than 20 featured companies attend events at the WeDC House — and right in the middle sits the Halcyon Incubator. Based in an 18th-century Georgetown mansion, the fellowship program is designed to equip early stage social entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to get their promising ventures off the ground. Based in an 18th-century Georgetown mansion, the Halcyon Incubator is designed to equip early stage social entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to get their promising ventures off the ground. (Courtesy Kenny Fried) window.Site = window.Site || {}; window.Site.Gallery = window.Site.Gallery || {}; window.Site.Gallery.options = window.Site.Gallery.options || {}; window.Site.Gallery.options = { slides: [{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"Based in an 18th-century Georgetown mansion, the Halcyon Incubator is designed to equip early stage social entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to get their promising ventures off the ground. (Courtesy Kenny Fried)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"\u201cOur mission is to support social entrepreneurs who are building businesses that are sustainable financially while creating a positive impact in their local and global communities,\u201d said Mike Malloy, program coordinator for the Halcyon Incubator. (Courtesy Kenny Fried)\n"},{"type":"ad","media":"\n\tAdvertisement\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\n","caption":""}], previews: [{"index":0,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/hh2-260x174.jpg"},{"index":1,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/hh3-260x174.jpg"}], prev: "\t", next: "\t" }; At South by Southwest, the Halcyon Incubator demonstrates, firsthand, the tangible benefits that their program offers to budding startups, presenting five ventures that have either graduated or that will soon graduate from the program. “Our mission is to support social entrepreneurs who are building businesses that are sustainable financially while creating a positive impact in their local and global communities,” said Mike Malloy, program coordinator for the Halcyon Incubator. “Over the past three years, we’ve had more than 45 companies come through the program across all different industries,” he said, “everything from taking ugly fruits and vegetables and cold pressing them into delicious Misfit Juice to growing coral 50 times faster and planting it back into the ocean to rebuild reefs.” The incubator selects eight companies each year from among a candidate pool that can number well into the hundreds, Malloy said. After selecting the winners, their founders relocate to D.C. to live and work in the Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. There, they get the rare opportunity to advance their program from concept to fruition. “The venture can be anything from an idea to an ‘MVP’ — a minimally viable product,” Malloy said. “We’re really looking for that early stage venture, and we provide resources to help them develop while they’re here at Halcyon.” In addition to housing the founders for five months, the incubator also provides a $10,000 stipend. “This allows our fellows to have money for food and clothes,” Malloy said. “Once you have your basic needs covered, you can focus higher up the pyramid … to build a venture that’s going to have a positive impact on the world.” According to one recent graduate, the program works. “The Halcyon Incubator was a wonderful experience for a company like ours,” said Carey Anne Nadeau, founder and CEO of Open Data Nation, a woman-owned D.C. business that takes municipal data and public health records and predicts where the next great risk to public health and safety are likely to occur. Having recently graduated from the incubator program, Data Nation opened their own offices and added their first male employee to expand their staff to six. “Halcyon deserves a great deal of credit for helping us launch our company,” Nadeau said. “To be surrounded by the culture of D.C. entrepreneurs — women-owned businesses, small businesses and those that are coming into their seed stage like we are — was just an incredible experience. “And hey, we also got to live in a beautiful mansion.” Applications for Halcyon’s next fellowship program are now open through May 4, with the accepted startups announced later this year. But there’s more to Halcyon than just the incubator program. Developed by founders Sachiko Kuno and Kate Goodall through the success and evolution of the S&R Foundation, Halcyon spun off into its own independent nonprofit just last month. In addition to the incubator, the organization also operates Halcyon Arts Lab, Halcyon Stage and Halcyon Dialogue, programs that all foster and catalyze creativity in their respective fields. Regardless of whether the programs focus on entrepreneurship or the arts, one thing is clear: Halcyon has formed a powerful hub where socially engaged creatives can collaborate and experiment in a safe and thought-provoking environment. Steve Winter and Kenny Fried are WTOP contributors who work for Brotman|Winter|Fried, a Sage Communications Company. The post Halcyon Incubator puts startups in the Austin spotlight appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Analysis: Trump the dealmaker struggles to seal the dealAnalysis: Trump the dealmaker struggles to seal the deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump often points to his best-selling book, “The Art of the Deal,” as proof of his persuasive powers. But his deal-making abilities are being put to the ultimate test. House Republican leaders announced Thursday they would delay a planned vote on the GOP-backed health care bill embraced by Trump, placing the legislation on the brink of failure and jeopardizing the new president’s vow to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. In the weeks leading up to Thursday, Trump did his best to arm-twist resistant conservatives and moderates opposed to the legislation. He revived his campaign rallies to remind the voters, and their representatives, of the GOP’s promises. He invited Republican lawmakers to the White House, having his advisers join them for bowling and pizza nights and cajoling them over the phone. Famous for his lack of sleep, the president called lawmakers late into the night Wednesday in search of votes. On Thursday, the president met with the hard-line House Freedom Caucus at the White House — but the lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill without a deal. Trump dismissed the deadlock as pure “politics.” But, even allies noted, politics is his new business and he may still have a learning curve. “I think he’s probably discovering that the relationships on the Hill and the various groups are more challenging to negotiate than you would have thought and there’s more history than he would have thought,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump supporter. “There are a lot of people who don’t trust each other.” Gingrich suggested that if the House was unable to win passage in the coming days, “then they have to take a deep breath and take a little longer.” To be certain, all aspiring presidents campaign on their ability to get things done, and many newly elected presidents later discover it’s harder than it looks. Still, the stakes for the president are high. Trump has referred to this health care legislation as the linchpin to an ambitious legislative agenda to overhaul the tax system and rebuild roads and bridges. A legislative defeat on health care only two months into his presidency would put into doubt his ability to win passage for those priorities and contradict the “Promises Made, Promises Kept” signs that have dotted his recent rallies. It would also leave in disarray a young presidency already marked by a court challenges to a signature immigration policy, internal White House disputes, leaks, ethics questions and an FBI investigation into whether his campaign associates coordinated with the Russians leading up to the election. Those aren’t Trump’s only troubles. He is negotiating with some lawmakers who have little incentive to cut a deal with an embattled president. Several of the lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus outperformed Trump in their deeply conservative districts, leaving them scant reason to worry about retribution in the next election. Conservative organizations like FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and Tea Party Patriots oppose the plan — frequently calling it “Obamacare lite” — even after the facetime with Trump. That gives conservatives the backup to go against the president even in congressional districts that Trump won overwhelmingly. The White House has made concessions to conservatives, offering to amend the bill to axe key Obamacare provisions that guarantee insurance coverage of maternity care, mental health services, regular checkups and other essential health services. In a sign of the tug-of-war that the bill has created within the party, the concessions pushed some moderates away. For a president who frequently holds grudges, Trump has yet to openly threaten dissenters with potential primary challenges. And only on Thursday did he use his massive Twitter feed to urge the public to pressure their members of Congress to back the plan. The White House refused to entertain the possibility of failure. Even as Republican lawmakers prepared to cancel a Thursday vote on the legislation, Trump maintained that the bill still had a chance to pass the House. He told a meeting with trucking executives and drivers, “It’s going to be a very close vote.” It wasn’t the first time Trump has appeared somewhat distanced from the health care debate. He has, at times, skated over the details of the policy, promising a “terrific” health plan but veering away the particulars. In a meeting with governors last month, the president appeared to express surprise about the system’s complexity. “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” __ Associated Press Writer Ken Thomas has covered the White House and national politics for The Associated Press since 2011. __ Follow Ken Thomas at https://twitter.com/kthomasdc An AP News Analysis The post Analysis: Trump the dealmaker struggles to seal the deal appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Intel chairman hates spotlight_ but the spotlight found himIntel chairman hates spotlight_ but the spotlight found him

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For a man who doesn’t like the spotlight, the chairman of the House intelligence committee has secured himself a place in it. Devin Nunes, a Republican congressman from the farmlands of central California, on Wednesday held back-to-back news conferences to discuss typically secret information about U.S. spy agencies intercepting communications of people on President Donald Trump’s team. It appeared to be an effort coordinated with the White House that Trump later used to claim vindication for baseless accusations about wiretapping. The move helped solidify Nunes as a polarizing figure and raised fresh questions about whether his committee’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election can truly be independent and bipartisan. Rep. Adam Schiff, also of California and the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, thinks that bipartisan ship has sailed. “A credible investigation cannot be conducted this way,” Schiff said. Until recently, Nunes — the soft-spoken 43-year-old dubbed a “normal dad” by friends — was hardly a fixture on the national news circuit. Now he’s at the helm of one of two congressional probes into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 campaign and the murky web of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia. It’s a potentially sprawling enterprise that spans continents, plumbs spycraft and is dominating international headlines. He’s a long way from raising cattle. Nunes is a third-generation Portuguese-American, and he grew up working on his family’s dairy farm. As a teenager, he raised cattle and saved money to buy farmland with his brother, according to his congressional biography. He has degrees in agriculture and keeps his hand in farming through investment in two California wineries run by a friend he met through his California Polytechnic State University alumni network. Rep. David Valadao, a Republican congressman from a district next to Nunes’ and fellow dairyman, said Nunes takes his job as congressman seriously. But, he said, aside from his work, “he’s a normal dad” to three young daughters. “All I wanted to be was a dairy farmer,” Nunes told a group of high school students as he campaigned for his seat in Congress in 2002, according to an article in the Fresno Bee. His education and childhood aspiration suited his political ambitions. Like many politicians from California’s interior farm belt, Nunes was well-versed in agriculture and the water supply that supports it. Nunes’ first entree into politics was as a member of a local community college board. He ran for Congress in 1998 and lost the primary. In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to a California post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was only 28 when he won a hotly contested congressional seat, beating his Republican competitors in the 2002 primary by appealing to the concerns of ranchers and dairymen in his solidly conservative district. Tom Barcellos, a Tulare County, California, dairy producer who has known Nunes since childhood, said Nunes focused early on politics, without being showy. “He knew what he wanted and he did his research, and he didn’t blow a lot of smoke,” Barcellos said. Nunes served on the Agriculture Committee during his first term, but quickly landed a spot on the House Ways and Means Committee, one of Congress’ most influential panels. He was spotted by Republican leaders as a party loyalist, and he was named to a leadership position during his first term. He vied for the chairmanship of the intelligence committee in 2014. He proved a better fundraiser than more senior competitors, bringing in far more money for his party. While many congressional committee leadership positions are based on seniority, the House intelligence committee leadership was chosen by then-House Speaker John Boehner. Nunes has suggested he pursued the intelligence committee post because it would be good for his constituents. Intelligence can play a key role in trade negotiations, he said, although it is only a sliver of the intelligence agencies’ missions. “The intelligence committee — that’s a committee that I call the tip of the spear, because without national security it’s tough to keep those trade routes open,” Nunes said in a 2014 interview with the Tulare Advance-Register. Until now, much of Nunes’ intelligence committee work has been focused on investigations into NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the Iran nuclear deal, Hillary Clinton’s emails and the placement of a Defense Department intelligence center. The congressman made a push to have the center built on The Azores, a group of islands 800 miles off the coast of Portugal, a proposal that was popular among the valley’s many dairy producers of Portuguese descent. The department ultimately chose a site in the U.K. Nunes’ actions this week have raised more questions about his independence and ability to lead a credible investigation. On Wednesday morning, Nunes told reporters that a secret source showed him intelligence reports that prove communications of the president’s transition team were swept up in legal U.S. surveillance activity. After Nunes spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill, he went to the White House to tell Trump and spoke to reporters again. Only after these other briefings did Nunes share what he had learned with Schiff — his co-pilot on the House investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. He apologized Thursday to Schiff and other Democrats on the committee. His office said the information he disclosed Tuesday was not classified. “It was a judgment call on my part,” Nunes told reporters later Thursday morning. “Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong decision.” Last month, the White House enlisted him to push back on a news article it didn’t like about Trump associates’ ties to Russia. The congressman has said he did nothing improper when he reached out to a reporter. Nunes said the information on the Trump team was collected in November, December and January, the period after the election when Trump was holding calls with foreign leaders, interviewing potential Cabinet secretaries and beginning to sketch out administration policy. He said the monitored material was “widely disseminated” in intelligence reports. Asked whether he believed the transition team had been spied on, Nunes said: “It all depends on one’s definition of spying.” Nunes did not identify any of the Trump associates he said were “unmasked,” but they are believed to include Michael Flynn, who was fired as White House national security adviser after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Nunes said, “What I’ve read bothers me, and I think it should bother the president himself and his team.” ___ Burke reported from San Francisco. Researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report. The post Intel chairman hates spotlight_ but the spotlight found him appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report  Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report

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  • Judge rules Dominion’s coal ash site pollutes Virginia waterJudge rules Dominion’s coal ash site pollutes Virginia water

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Arsenic is illegally flowing out of one of the sites where Virginia’s biggest utility stores coal ash and polluting surrounding waters, a federal judge ruled Thursday. Though U.S. District Judge John Gibney Jr. found Dominion Virginia Power had violated federal law with the discharges from a dormant power plant in Chesapeake, he didn’t impose a civil penalty, saying he saw no evidence that the discharge was harmful. Nor did he order the utility to remove the ash from the water’s edge to a synthetically lined landfill, as the Sierra Club wanted. “The ponds and landfill convey arsenic directly into the groundwater and, from there, directly into the surface water” in violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act, Gibney wrote. He went on to say it was not possible to determine how much arsenic is going into the surrounding waters, but said “the discharge poses no threat to health or the environment.” The judge cited an expert hired by Dominion who “found no human health or environmental concerns” in water, sediment and fish surrounding the plant — data he said the Sierra Club did not dispute at a four-day bench trial last July. The judge ordered Dominion to do more tests and collaborate with the Sierra Club on a remediation plan. “Dominion is pleased that the court has confirmed there has been no threat to health or the environment resulting from the coal ash stored at its former Chesapeake Energy Center,” a company statement said. Deborah Murray, an attorney from the Southern Environmental Law Center who represented the Sierra Club, said she’s pleased that Dominion has been found to be breaking the law, but “disappointed the court did not order a full cleanup.” Dominion burned coal for decades at the Chesapeake Energy Center, which sits on a peninsula between a creek and the Elizabeth River, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. It has stored ash laden with toxic heavy metals in ponds and a landfill at the site. The Sierra Club argued that the site should be fully excavated. Dominion called that unnecessary and extraordinarily expensive, and the judge agreed, saying the “draconian” request would not serve the public’s interest. “Dominion receives income through rates charged to its customers; those rates would likely rise to pay for the Sierra Club’s proposal. Moreover, the Sierra Club has not even attempted to itemize the collateral environmental effects of moving this much coal ash,” he wrote. The judge also wrote that the utility had cooperated with state regulators. “Dominion has been a good corporate citizen, not a chronic violator of water laws,” Gibney wrote. Still, Seth Heald, chair of the Sierra Club’s Virginia chapter, said the ruling is “important for all Virginians who seek to hold the utility responsible for its mishandling of toxic coal ash. “Now we must push Dominion to do the right thing and get this toxic ash out of the groundwater and away from the river, which is highly susceptible to disastrous flooding from sea-level rise and other climate-change effects,” he said. The post Judge rules Dominion’s coal ash site pollutes Virginia water appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 1 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Coach: Guard Darius Thompson to transfer from VirginiaCoach: Guard Darius Thompson to transfer from Virginia

    Virginia guard Darius Thompson is transferring, making him the third player to leave the Cavaliers men’s basketball program in two days. Coach Tony Bennett made the announcement Thursday, one day after announcing that guard Marial Shayok and forward Jarred Reuter are also leaving. “Although you never want to see young men transfer, I understand this is part of coaching,” Bennett said in a statement. “Darius, Marial, and Jarred feel it’s in their best interests to pursue other options for the remainder of their college careers. I will always appreciate the contributions they made to our program.” Thompson transferred to Virginia after spending his freshman season at Tennessee. He played for the Cavaliers for two years and started in 15 of his 33 appearances this year. He averaged 6.2 points in 20.8 minutes per game and 5.2 points over 70 career games at Virginia. Bennett said Thompson will transfer after graduating, making him eligible to play immediately wherever he lands. The defections are not the first for Virginia under Bennett. Virginia lost four players — KT Harrell, Will Regan, Billy Baron and James Johnson — from Bennett’s initial recruiting class in 2009-10. Paul Jesperson left in 2013 after he started 33 of 35 games, and B.J. Stith left in 2015. “As a staff, we are focused on finding student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and all the University of Virginia has to offer,” Bennett said. Thompson, like Shayok, got inconsistent playing time this year, but averaged 34.5 minutes in the Cavaliers’ two NCAA Tournament games. He also averaged 22 minutes in their two ACC Tournament contests, and had played as much as 20 minutes just three times in the 11 games leading up to the postseason. Virginia (23-11) reached its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament this season and has been ranked in the Top 25 for 64 consecutive weeks. The departures leave Virginia with just six players on the roster who received significant playing time this season. Of the players returning, senior forward Isaiah Wilkins, senior guard Devon Hall and junior forward Jack Salt have been consistent starters, and sophomore guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome received significant playing time. Redshirt sophomore forward Mamadi Diakite played less consistently, but started the final game of the season. He will compete with highly touted freshmen guard De’Andre Hunter and forward Jay Huff, who both redshirted this season, for playing time next season. The school also will add incoming freshman guard Marco Anthony of San Antonio, Texas, into the mix. ___ More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org ___ Follow Hank on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr The post Coach: Guard Darius Thompson to transfer from Virginia appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Feds: Trump DC hotel not in violation of government leaseFeds: Trump DC hotel not in violation of government lease

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency overseeing Donald Trump’s lease for a luxury hotel in Washington ruled Thursday that his inauguration as president doesn’t violate terms of the agreement barring government officials from profiting from the property. In a letter to the Trump Organization, General Services Administration Contracting Officer Kevin M. Terry says he has determined that the president’s business is in “full compliance” because profits from the hotel won’t go directly to Trump while he’s president. The 2013 lease for the Trump International Hotel expressly forbids any federal official from participating or benefiting from the project, a $200 million renovation of historic Old Post Office building a few blocks from the White House. Numerous ethics experts have questioned whether Trump violated the terms of his lease the moment he took the oath of office. Steven Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at George Washington University, called Thursday’s ruling unpersuasive and damaging to the credibility of the GSA. “It has never been easier for a foreign government, lobbyist or special-interest group to funnel money directly to the president of the United States and his family,” said Schooner, who served in the Clinton administration and contributed to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and other Democrats. Trump announced in January he was transferring control of his business empire to his adult sons, but he still maintained a direct tie to the company through a trust. Trump is the sole beneficiary of the trust and can revoke it at any time. Richard W. Painter, who was the lead White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush, is among a group that days after Trump was inaugurated filed a lawsuit alleging he was violating the Constitution by allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit claims the “emoluments clause” prohibits Trump from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings. The lawsuit is pending in the Southern District of New York. “The economic benefit from this lease goes to him whether or not the hotel LLC holds onto it and no matter how many trusts they form to hold the hotel or to hold the money,” Painter said Thursday. “The focus should be on the economic reality of the transaction and it is very clear what that is. He gets the profits from this lease.” According to the GSA’s letter, Trump restructured the governance of numerous corporate entities involved with the Washington hotel to remove himself as an officer. In a series of meetings, officials with the Trump Organization told the government that while Trump is president, no proceeds from the hotel business will be paid out to the holding company, DJT Holdings LLC. That company is owned by a trust benefiting Trump. The profits from the hotel will accrue in an account under the corporate entity that holds the lease, Trump Old Post Office LLC. More than three-quarters of that company is owned by DJT Holdings. The money could then be used to make capital improvements to the hotel. The letter does not address what might happen to any remaining profits from the hotel after Trump leaves office, or whether they could be transferred to Trump at that time. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press about what happens after Trump is no longer president. Democrats quickly criticized the GSA’s ruling, saying the agency had completely changed the position it held before Trump took office. “This new interpretation renders this lease provision completely meaningless — any elected official can now defy the restriction by following this blueprint,” said a joint statement issued by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, the ranking member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “This decision allows profits to be reinvested back into the hotel so Donald Trump can reap the financial benefits when he leaves the White House,” the Democrats said. “This is exactly what the lease provision was supposed to prevent.” ___ Associated Press writers Bernard Condon and Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP writer Michael Biesecker at www.Twitter.com/mbieseck The post Feds: Trump DC hotel not in violation of government lease appeared first on WTOP.

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  • White House defends GOP lawmaker’s decision to brief TrumpWhite House defends GOP lawmaker’s decision to brief Trump

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday defended the House intelligence committee chairman’s extraordinary decision to openly discuss and brief President Donald Trump on typically secret intelligence intercepts, even as Rep. Devin Nunes privately apologized to his congressional colleagues. The decision to disclose the information before talking to committee members outraged Democrats and raised questions about the independence of the panel’s probe of Russian interference in the election. “It was a judgment call on my part,” Nunes told reporters shortly after the closed-door committee meeting. “Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong decision.” Frustrated Democrats questioned whether Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team, was working in coordination with the White House, a charge the White House disputed. Still, White House spokesman Sean Spicer claimed, inaccurately, that Nunes was “vindicating” the president’s unproven assertion that President Barack Obama wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the election. Nunes specifically stated that the new information he received did not support the president’s explosive allegations. Nunes told reporters he had seen new information showing that the communications of Trump transition officials were scooped up through monitoring of other targets and improperly spread through intelligence agencies during the final days of the Obama administration. But he shot down Trump’s claims about a wiretap at Trump Tower specifically ordered by his predecessor. Still, Republican groups moved quickly to raise money off Nunes’ revelations. The National Republican Campaign Committee blasted out an email with the subject “Confirmed: Obama spied on Trump.” The Republican National Committee made a pitch with the subject line “Vindicated” and went on to say, “President Trump has fought back and been vindicated time and time again.” On Wednesday, Nunes spoke to reporters and the president without sharing the new information with Rep. Adam Schiff, the panel’s top Democrat. On Thursday morning, Nunes apologized to Schiff and other Democrats during a 20-minute meeting on Capitol Hill. “It was a somber discussion,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, a committee member. Speaking to reporters after his apology, Nunes ducked questions about whether he was parroting information given to him by the White House, saying only that he was “not going to ever reveal sources.” It’s common for Americans to get caught up in U.S. surveillance of foreigners, such as foreign diplomats in the U.S. talking to an American. Typically, the American’s name would not be revealed in a report about the intercepted communications. However, if there is foreign intelligence value to revealing the American’s name, it is “unmasked” and shared with other intelligence analysts who are working on related foreign intelligence surveillance. The material picked up by intelligence agencies is typically classified. But Nunes’ office disputed that he had released classified information, saying the chairman “did not identify the targets of the surveillance and only spoke in general terms about the content.” Obama administration officials disputed the suggestion that the outgoing administration had improperly monitored its successors. Former Vice President Joe Biden weighed in on Twitter, saying the chairman of a committee investigating the White House can’t share information with that White House. “Need select committee!” Biden wrote, echoing calls from other Democrats and a small handful of Republicans for an independent investigation. Nunes’ disclosure came two days after FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed the bureau’s own investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia. Comey testified during the intelligence committee’s first public hearing on Russia’s election interference, an investigation being overseen by Nunes. Nunes said the intercepted communications appeared to be legally obtained and were not related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. He said his concern was that the identities of the Trump officials were improperly revealed and the contents of their communications were “widely disseminated” in intelligence reports. Schiff disputed Nunes’ suggestions that there was improper “unmasking.” He said that after speaking with Nunes, it appeared that the names of Americans were still guarded in the intercepts though their identities could be gleaned from the materials. Nunes said the information on the Trump team was collected in November, December and January, the period after the election when Trump was holding calls with foreign leaders, interviewing potential Cabinet secretaries and beginning to sketch out administration policy. Asked whether he believed the transition team had been spied on, Nunes said, “It all depends on one’s definition of spying.” ___ Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann and Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report. ___ Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC The post White House defends GOP lawmaker’s decision to brief Trump appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Coal ash: ‘Why in the world would we be importing it?’Coal ash: ‘Why in the world would we be importing it?’

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Shipping containers full of coal ash from China, Poland and India have come into the U.S. through the Port of Virginia as foreign companies find a market for the same industrial waste that America’s utilities are struggling to dispose of. Critics call it a missed opportunity. Coal ash is treasure as well as trash, useful for projects from roads to concrete to wallboard. They want Virginia to mandate more recycling of the ash that’s already here, threatening to contaminate water sources or create an environmental disaster. “We have millions of tons of this sitting along our riverbanks,” said Travis Blankenship, former government affairs manager for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. “Why in the world would we be importing it from other states and countries?” The nation’s shift away from coal for electricity has reduced the supply of fresh coal ash, forcing industries that depend on it to look farther afield. Some turn to companies that have figured out how to reprocess ash discarded years ago in pits and ponds. Others look overseas. The Port of Virginia handled just one shipping container of coal ash in 2015, from India. Last year, there were about 22, from China and Poland. It all went on to Ohio and Wisconsin, according to a port spokesman who didn’t know the final destinations. Meanwhile, more ash has been trucked in from other states for concrete production in Virginia. Coal ash is an umbrella term. It includes bottom ash, which settles in boilers; fly ash, a powdery material captured in exhaust stacks; and synthetic gypsum, a byproduct of smokestack “scrubbing.” These materials can be had for several dollars a ton if trucked directly from a utility to a factory or job site. They’re more expensive to obtain in a useful form after decades underground or underwater. That makes foreign imports economically viable. Nationally, there are more than 1,100 coal ash dumps, many unlined. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency classified coal ash as nonhazardous, partly to avoid a “stigma” that might discourage proper containment and recycling, the agency said. The EPA stressed that this waste, with heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, must be properly managed to avoid risks to human health. “We have two children who have been poisoned by this,” Dan Marrow, who lives near a coal ash pond in northern Virginia, told lawmakers last month. Marrow is convinced a power station pond tainted his well and caused his daughters’ health problems. Dominion Virginia Power recently agreed to hook residents up to public water lines. Marrow says that’s an admission of guilt; Dominion says it’s being a good neighbor. On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that arsenic is flowing out of a separate Dominion coal ash site in violation of the Clean Water Act, but imposed no fines after finding no threat to health or the environment. Dominion is closing 11 ponds containing around 29 million cubic yards of ash at four Virginia power stations to comply with EPA rules. It’s been proceeding largely by treating and releasing the water, consolidating some ponds and capping the remaining dry material. The company insists its process is safe. Meanwhile, the ash has real value, and technology to reprocess it is already being used. “We can … take the material that would be an environmental liability and transform it into something that has a beneficial use,” said Jimmy Knowles of The SEFA Group, which partners with utilities in South Carolina and Maryland to recycle both old and new ash. SEFA competitor Separation Technologies can do the same thing. “When I tell friends and family what my company does, they think we would have hundreds of these facilities around the country,” said Tom Cerullo, of the Boston-based company. But utilities are slow to embrace change, and recycling lacked a catalyst until recently, Cerullo said. A 2008 spill in Tennessee drew attention to coal ash storage. In 2014, a pipe ruptured at a Duke Energy plant in North Carolina, polluting the Dan River with miles of sludge. A federal investigation found Duke allowed coal ash dumps at five power plants to leak toxic waste into water supplies. Duke pleaded guilty, agreeing to pay fines and restitution. North Carolina now requires recycling as ash ponds close. “We could do the same thing in Virginia. I think the reason we’re not is Dominion’s resistance to pursuing what is an emerging industry standard,” Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Greg Buppert said. Dominion spokesman Rob Richardson suggested recycling the decades-old stuff would be prohibitively expensive, but said Dominion hasn’t fully analyzed the cost. Recyclers see long-term savings in avoiding landfill maintenance and monitoring. Concrete-makers, meanwhile, can make their product cheaper and more durable by replacing some cement with fly ash. “We’d like to use fly ash in every yard we produce,” said Eric Misenheimer, at Chandler Concrete Co., which operates dozens of North Carolina and Virginia plants. Virginia mandates fly ash as an additive in transportation department projects, but ash production has been declining since around 2008, according to the ACAA. Chandler has turned away foreign providers because of supplies from SEFA, Misenheimer said. “Obviously, when we have a shortage, we have a hard time filling those obligations. Last year was pretty tough for us,” said Morgan Nelson, of S.B. Cox, another Virginia concrete-maker. After Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell learned about the foreign imports, he proposed requiring Dominion, the state’s largest utility and biggest contributor to Virginia politics, to recycle a minimum amount of ash annually. That bill failed, but another measure of his survives and got a boost Wednesday from Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. It would deny closure permits until after the utility tells regulators more about its ash impoundments, including recycling plans and clean-closure options. The Republican-controlled Legislature stripped the requirement that permits be contingent upon this information. McAuliffe restored it and returned the amended bill to legislators, saying such information has to be shared before a permit is issued to restore public confidence. Thirty-one percent of Dominion’s freshly burned ash was recycled last year, Richardson said. On average, U.S. utilities recycled 52 percent in 2015, the latest year with available data, according to the ACAA. No one tracks how much ash arrives at ports nationwide, though the ACAA is starting to try. At least one utility, WE Energies in Wisconsin, recycles 100 percent of its freshly burned waste. Its fly ash was used to build the Milwaukee Art Museum, bottom ash is used for structural fills and road bases, and gypsum is sold as soil additive. “We were very good at building landfills and filling them up,” said Bruce Rammey, of parent company WEC Energy Group. He became convinced in the 1980s that recycling’s cheaper in the long run. WE Energies hasn’t completely eliminated its legacy coal ash, however. In 2011, a bluff collapsed near a power plant outside Milwaukee, sending soil, coal ash and other debris into Lake Michigan. That’s one more example of why environmentalists say unlined dumps must be emptied and any unrecycled ash contained in synthetically lined landfills. Recycling “wouldn’t solve the coal ash issue … but it would definitely make a dent in it,” Blankenship said. The post Coal ash: ‘Why in the world would we be importing it?’ appeared first on WTOP.

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  • DCH signs new management dealDCH signs new management deal

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  • GOP rep on voting on ObamaCare anniversary: 'Who cares about that?'GOP rep on voting on ObamaCare anniversary: 'Who cares about that?'

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  • Police: Random racist violence ends in death of black manPolice: Random racist violence ends in death of black man

    NEW YORK (AP) — One was a neighborly black man who lived in a rooming house in New York’s Garment District, liked to collect autographs outside Broadway’s theaters, struck up a Twitter friendship with a Hollywood actress and took photos of himself with Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce. The other was a white Army veteran from outside Baltimore who was raised in what was described as a churchgoing and liberal family and served in Afghanistan. Late Monday night, officials say, their paths crossed tragically on the streets of New York in a cold-bloodedly random act of racist violence by the white man. As 66-year-old Timothy Caughman bent over a trash bin around the corner from his home, gathering bottles to recycle, James Harris Jackson attacked him from behind with a 2-foot sword and walked off, prosecutors say. A bleeding Caughman staggered into a police station and later died at a hospital. On Thursday, Jackson, 28, was charged with murder as a hate crime. He said nothing in court. “The defendant was motivated purely by hatred,” said Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, who added that the charges could be upgraded, “as this was an act most likely of terrorism.” Prosecutors said Jackson hated black men, especially those who dated white women. He came to New York last week to make a splash in the media capital of the world by killing as many black men as possible, authorities said. He saw Caughman on the street and thought he would make good practice for a larger attack in Times Square, they said. But Caughman wound up the only victim. After seeing his picture in the news, Jackson turned himself in at a police station. He was armed with two knives and told officers he had tossed the sword in a trash bin in Washington Square Park, officials said. It was later recovered. Investigators said they were trying to determine exactly what drove Jackson to violence. They planned to search his laptop and phone and interviewed friends and family. His attorney, Sam Talkin, said if the allegations are anywhere close to being true, “then we’re going to address the obvious psychological issues that are present in this case.” Jackson was in the Army from 2009 to 2012 and worked as an intelligence analyst, the Army said. Deployed in Afghanistan in 2010-11, he earned several medals and attained the rank of specialist. Dr. Scott Krugman, chairman of pediatrics at Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore and a friend of the family, said the allegations were out of character with his family’s beliefs and the way he was raised. Jackson’s parents, David and Patricia Jackson, are active members of Towson Presbyterian Church and have two other sons. Patricia Jackson is a former teacher of English-language students in the Baltimore County school system and worked for Well for the Journey, a Christian nonprofit organization that helps people “integrate spirituality into their daily lives in a safe, inclusive space.” “They’re liberal as liberal can be,” Krugman said. “We were at a dinner party with them and everybody was complaining about the current administration and very open about rights for everybody and making sure we’re not excluding immigrants, everything like that. I’m just beyond shocked right now.” In a statement, the Jackson family extended condolences to Caughman’s family and said it was “shocked, horrified and heartbroken by this tragedy.” Caughman had lived for 18 years in a former hotel in Manhattan, sharing the building with tenants who were part of a temporary-housing program. Caughman was not part of the program; he was a tenant already living in the century-old, seven-story building. He was “extremely respectful” of his neighbors and building workers, said Svein Jorgensen, the program’s executive director. “He was a great tenant and someone that anyone would be glad to have as a neighbor.” He added: “He was a gentleman.” Caughman displayed photos of himself with celebrities on his Twitter page, where he also showed that he was proud to have voted in the election. He struck up a longtime Twitter relationship with Shari Headley, the actress who played Eddie Murphy’s love interest in “Coming to America.” After his death, she tweeted: “My heart is heavy typing this. Timothy Caughman was a fan of mine since 1991. He only spread LOVE. His murder was senseless.” His family was upset that he was initially portrayed in some news reports as a homeless man with a criminal past. He had a criminal history, but the most recent offense was a low-level pot arrest in 2002. His cousin Seth Peek told The New York Times that in the 1970s and ’80s, Caughman worked with young people in Queens as part of a youth program. “He wasn’t just a vagrant person collecting bottles,” Peek said. “That was not just what his life was. He went to college, and he was concerned with young people in the neighborhood.” ___ Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar and writers Karen Matthews in New York and Jessica Gresko and Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this report. The post Police: Random racist violence ends in death of black man appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Bannon, Priebus, Mulvaney huddle with conservative lawmakers on healthcare billBannon, Priebus, Mulvaney huddle with conservative lawmakers on healthcare bill

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  • Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist'Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist'

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    UPI.comDeer jumps over motorcyclist's head in Washington DCUPI.comMarch 23 (UPI) -- A motorcyclist out for a ride in Washington, D.C., captured the moment a deer jumped over a fellow rider's head, causing him to crash. The video shows the bikers participating in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride -- which benefits ...

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  • DeVos, Hogan visit to Md. school overshadowed by rapeDeVos, Hogan visit to Md. school overshadowed by rape

    BETHESDA, Md. — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos joined Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to visit an elementary school Thursday. But any talk of vouchers or other academic policies was overshadowed by last week’s news of a rape in a Rockville High School bathroom. DeVos, a mother of two daughters and grandmother of four girls, said her “heart aches for the young woman and her family.” Related Stories Lawyer: Student accused in rape ‘wants to play by the rules’ Montgomery County, MD News Md. officials hit with hate mail over immigration ordinance Montgomery County, MD News Immigration, safety worry Md. parents, residents after school rape Montgomery County, MD News Md. police chief: School security in place, but still limitations Montgomery County, MD News “We all have a common responsibility to ensure every student has access to a safe and nurturing learning environment,” she said. Hogan — who at first had criticized Montgomery County school officials and had suggested they were not providing information to state education officials — struck a more restrained tone Thursday. “It is an ongoing investigation,” said Hogan, who said he has been in touch with the Montgomery County School superintendent, Dr. Jack Smith. Smith did not attend the public portion of Hogan’s visit to Carderock Springs Elementary School, but he did meet the governor briefly afterward and the two shook hands. “I kind of want to let everybody do their jobs,” the governor said. “But you know, I think the school system is taking it seriously; the police are taking it seriously.” Yet a federal component should be considered at some point, he added. Earlier this week, Hogan questioned why schools would admit students without knowing their immigration status. Since then, school officials have been quick to point out that under federal law, they cannot turn away school-age students, regardless of their immigration status. Schools are also under federal mandate to provide education for students 21 and younger. The two students accused in the rape of a 14-year-old Rockville High schoolgirl — 17-year-old Jose Montano and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian — are both in the country illegally. Montgomery County police said neither student had any previous contact with police in the county, or to their knowledge, with police in any jurisdiction. The horrific nature of the rape has generated a heated debate with national implications and comes at a time when the city of Rockville and the state of Maryland are considering measures to keep police from asking about immigration status during interactions with the public in most circumstances. The nature of the crime has also made the district the target of criticism and threats. “We’ve had hundreds of calls that are hate-filled, racist and xenophobic. And now we’re starting to receive calls that are threatening, saying that they’re going to shoot up all the ‘illegals’ in our schools,” said Derek Turner, a spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools. More police have been stationed at the high school, he said, because of the threats. Patricia O’Neill, Montgomery County School Board member, said that in her 18 years on the board, there have been many school issues that have generated fierce debate, but nothing like this. “The level of hostility and outrage — and we all feel that outrage — but the threatening nature” of the comments is beyond anything she’s seen before. Turner echoed that sentiment: “This is a whole new level of vitriol that we haven’t seen before.” In Bethesda, Hogan decried the hate-filled comments that the schools and other officials have been receiving. “Hate speech like that is terrible, and it’s not anything that should be allowed,” he said. The post DeVos, Hogan visit to Md. school overshadowed by rape appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP / 2 h. 21 min. ago more
  • Prince George’s Co. officer charged with assaulting spitting suspectPrince George’s Co. officer charged with assaulting spitting suspect

    WASHINGTON — A Prince George’s County police officer accused of striking a handcuffed suspect who had allegedly spat in his face has been indicted on a second-degree assault charge. Officer Levi Vaughn, who has been suspended from the force since November, also faces one count of misconduct in office stemming from the July 2016 incident in which prosecutors say he struck the uncooperative suspect. “While I understand this officer felt disrespected by the suspect’s actions, even individuals who are in custody have the right to be protected,” said Angela Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney, in a statement. Vaughn has been with the department since 2007. Prosecutors said Vaughn and other officers had handcuffed the man and were trying to transport him to the county jail on July 15, 2016, when he spat in Vaughn’s face. The officer retaliated by striking the suspect twice before other officers intervened, prosecutors said. County police conducted an internal review and brought the case to the state’s attorney’s office for possible criminal charges. An initial court date for Vaughn has not yet been scheduled. The post Prince George’s Co. officer charged with assaulting spitting suspect appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Fairfax Co. police investigate death of man found in car in HerndonFairfax Co. police investigate death of man found in car in Herndon

    WASHINGTON — The Fairfax County police are investigating the death of a man in Herndon, Virginia, who they think may have passed out behind the wheel. The police said in a statement that Cory Boback, 30, of Sterling, died a short time after he was found unconscious behind the wheel of a 1993 Mazda 626, partway down an embankment on the eastbound side of Hiddenbrook Drive, before Dranesville Road, at about 9 p.m. Wednesday. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue took Boback to a hospital in what the police described as life-threatening condition. He was pronounced dead there later. The police said their preliminary investigation suggests the car was stopped at the light on Hiddenbrook Drive at Dranesville Road; that Boback may have passed out, and that the car may have then rolled backward down the embankment without striking anything. They’re still investigating, but say speed wasn’t a factor. The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy, the police said, and will determine the cause of death. If you know anything about the case, the police ask you to call them at 703-691-2131, by going to the Crime Solvers website www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or texting a tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).   The post Fairfax Co. police investigate death of man found in car in Herndon appeared first on WTOP.

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  • NCAA Tournament Results And Conference PerceptionNCAA Tournament Results And Conference Perception

    By Andrew Kahn On Feb. 12, the day after the NCAA Tournament committee’s early bracket reveal, Michigan coach John Beilein was asked about the Big Ten not having any teams in the top 16. “I think the Big Ten will end up doing their work in the NCAA Tournament,” he said. “What everybody thought was — we had such a great season last year as a league — that this league was down this year. It is not down. It’s just stronger top to bottom. … We’ll answer that question in March.” Have we? Was Beilein right? It’s complicated. >>MORE: NCAA Tournament Coverage Depending on which computers you ask, either the ACC (RPI) or Big 12 (KenPom) was the best conference in college basketball this season, followed by the Big East, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12. Come NCAA Tournament time, complicated math is often overruled by simple results. The Sweet 16 is set, and it includes three teams each from the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC, two from the Big East, and one each from the ACC and West Coast Conference. “Time is a friend of truth,” Beilein said Wednesday, reflecting on his February comments now that Michigan is joined in the Sweet 16 by Purdue and Wisconsin. “As time went on, I just figured the truth would come. I thought (the Big Ten) was really good.” >>MORE: Michigan’s Road To The NCAA Tournament People who share Beilein’s belief often tend to ignore certain Tournament results — in the Big Ten’s case, first-round losses by Maryland and Minnesota — and can’t seem to recall anything from before January. As Kansas coach Bill Self reminds us, “A lot of times a small sample size format like the NCAA Tournament doesn’t really project what a league is.” Self was not responding to Beilein and had plenty of praise for the Big Ten and his own league. But it’s important to remember these conference rankings were built on what happened throughout the season. It would make sense, now, to use the NCAA Tournament games as additional data points in conference assessment. But since this is March Madness — not just the biggest event in the sport but the most recent — it is often overvalued in this debate. What South Carolina coach Frank Martin said Thursday about any one team can be applied to conferences, too: “You can be undefeated going into the NCAA Tournament. If you don’t make a run in this tournament, all your accomplishments kind of go out the window. Or you can be a team that lost 12 games, and you make a run in this tournament and everyone forgets all your sins.” And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. The NCAA Tournament is cruel but fair. Unlike many of those early-season games, none of these are played on a team’s home court. There are no excuses for freshmen still acclimating or a team possibly looking ahead to its next opponent. Some people are going to use these three long weekends to sort out the conference rankings; others, like North Carolina coach Roy Williams, will not let the Big Dance change what they already believe. Neither group is wrong. Regardless of where certain coaches or fans fall in this debate, there is plenty of conference pride. Beilein said he congratulated Purdue’s Matt Painter and Wisconsin’s Greg Gard via text after their Tournament wins, and they reciprocated. Scott Drew, via Twitter, urged Baylor fans to root for Kansas (both schools played in Tulsa last weekend) and congratulated Kansas and West Virginia for joining the Bears in the Sweet 16: “Love when the Big 12 wins in March!” His feelings, based on the replies, were not shared by the entire Baylor fanbase. Players who have reached the Sweet 16 and were asked about conference pride got to the heart of the matter: Most said it was nice to see the league do well, but it wouldn’t mean much if they weren’t a part of it. North Carolina’s players, coaches and fans won’t apologize for being the lone ACC team remaining, just as Minnesota’s early exit isn’t eased by the Big Ten’s relative success. Come next season, new banners will be hanging in a handful of arenas, not any conference office. Andrew Kahn is a regular contributor to CBS Local. He writes about college basketball and other sports at andrewjkahn.com, and you can find his Scoop and Score podcast on iTunes. Email him at andrewjkahn@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @AndrewKahn.  

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — With control of the White House and Senate and a commanding majority in the House, Republicans were supposed to brush off any challenge from the hardline Freedom Caucus and work their will with impunity. But something happened on the way to governing. Now, House Republican leaders are struggling with the same divisions that plagued them under President Barack Obama. The House Freedom Caucus consists of about 30 of the most conservative members, many of whom were elected in the tea party wave of 2010 that surged in opposition to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In their repeated challenges to GOP leadership, they helped drive former Rep. John Boehner from the speakership. Now they hold the fate of President Donald Trump’s agenda in their hands. The House was scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would repeal and replace Obama’s health law. But House leaders delayed the vote because critics from the left and right are reluctant to support it. Some conservatives, including the Freedom Caucus, say the bill looks too much like Obama’s health law, with the federal government mandating the kinds of coverage that insurance companies must provide. More moderate Republicans are concerned that many of their constituents would lose coverage, and that older taxpayers would face higher premiums. The Freedom Caucus is headed by Rep. Mark Meadows, an affable Republican from North Carolina. After rejecting Trump’s latest offer on the bill, he pledged to work with the president to reach an agreement. “We’re committing to stay as long as it takes to get this done because the president has promised this to the people, we’ve promised it to the American people,” Meadows said. “So whether the vote is tonight, tomorrow or five days from here, the president will get a victory because I believe we all want to negotiate in good faith and deliver on the promise for the president.” If the Freedom Caucus falls in line, they can help hand Trump a major victory on health care, boosting the president’s standing to take on other tough issues. If they stand defiant, they can kill the Republican heath care bill while raising fundamental questions about the GOP’s ability to govern in Washington, even with a 237-193 House majority (there are five vacancies). If Republicans can’t agree on repealing and replacing a health care law they loathe, what can they agree on? “In my view this is the first real test of whether we’re a governing party — and it’s a pretty big test,” said Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who supports the bill. The measure would repeal major parts of Obama’s health law, capping future funding for Medicaid and cutting tax increases for high-income families, health insurance companies and drug makers. The bill repeals tax credits that people can use to purchase health insurance and replaces them with a new tax credit that is less generous for most. Trump has taken the lead in lobbying the Freedom Caucus, inviting members to the White House multiple times this week. At a meeting Thursday, a White House official posted a picture on Twitter saying the Freedom Caucus gave Trump a standing ovation when he entered the room. One member of the caucus, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., isn’t likely to fall in line. He called the health bill “the biggest Republican welfare plan in the history of the party.” It’s not. That honor falls to the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan passed under President George W. Bush. ___ Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report. ___ Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephenatap The post New Congress, all-GOP, same political divisions appeared first on WTOP.

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  • WATCH: Fan Essentials: Best Tournament Coach EverWATCH: Fan Essentials: Best Tournament Coach Ever

    Alyssa Naimoli A ship can only be as good as its captain, and a team is only as good as its coach. The leader standing on the sideline can make or break a team in its most crucial moments. And the best coaches among them find championship glory time and time again. Fan Essentials looks at some of these coaches in its recent episode Best Tournament Coach Ever. Talent from CBS Sports Radio and New York’s WFAN highlight the game’s best coaches come tournament time and why. >>MORE: Fan Essentials Videos “Best tournament coach is probably Tom Izzo,” said Evan Roberts, co-host of Benigno & Roberts on New York’s WFAN, “Take away last year, when he busted everybody’s bracket, but how many times have we seen Michigan State get to a tournament, maybe not have the best team in the world, and overachieve?” Legends are often made when a coach has less talent to work with, even if Izzo and Michigan State couldn’t summon the magic to overcome a strong Kansas team this year. That’s a quality that Roberts likes in Izzo. “You know, it’s one thing when you’ve got the talent, when you’ve got loads of freshmen that come in every year,” said Roberts. “But I think pound for pound, Tom Izzo has been as impressive an NCAA coach as we’ve seen.” Izzo isn’t the only coach who has won without a loaded roster. Brandon Tierney, co-host of CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney, likes another legendary coach who gets the most out of his players. >>MORE: NCAA Tournament Coverage “I’m gonna say Rick Pitino. If I have a game to win and there’s a disparity in talent and I’m on the wrong side of the equation, I want Rick Pitino coaching me,” said Tierney. “Because there’s a schoolyard element, the tenacity that all those teams have that’s hard to replicate.” “Talent is one thing” but Pitino has found ways to overcome his roster because “Rick’s teams, they always bring it; he’s a great coach.” In this year’s tournament, his tenacious Louisville Cardinals ran up against a hot Michigan team, a rematch of the 2013 NCAA Championship. They brought it, but it wasn’t quite enough. “The best tournament coach has got to be Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski]; I’d love to give you something different than Coach K, because everyone is gonna say Coach K,” said Gregg Giannotti, co-host of CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones. “…but when you think about a guy on the sideline who you want in charge of your team during this unbelievable spectacle of a sporting event — it’s Coach K.” Krzyzewski has led Duke to 12 Final Four appearances and brought home five National Championships. Duke fell to South Carolina in this year’s tournament. “I would be hard pressed to find anyone who is more accomplished in the NCAA Tournament than Mike Krzyzewski,” said Evan Roberts. Indeed, in Tournament history, only longtime UCLA coach John Wooden surpasses Coach K. Tiki Barber, co-host of Tike & Tierney, elaborated. “[It’s] John Wooden. He went 12 Final Fours with 10 Championships because he had some of the best players of all time,” said Barber. “All due respect to Coach K, [but] Wooden has quotes that people live by, not just in sports but in life. So, to me, it’s gotta be John Wooden.”  

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  • Georgetown Fires Coach John Thompson IIIGeorgetown Fires Coach John Thompson III

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    WASHINGTON — The Interior Department is going to the dogs. Literally. In an email to staff Thursday, the new head of the agency said employees would be allowed to bring their four-legged friends to work a few days this summer as part of a pilot program. In the email, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said employees will be able to bring dogs to work May 5 and Sept. 1 at Interior’s two D.C. headquarters buildings just off the National Mall. Zinke said the dog-friendly policy is an effort to boost employee morale. An analysis of the best places to work in the federal government by the Partnership for Public Service ranked the department No. 11 in a list of the 18 largest federal agencies. Zinke, who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month as President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the agency, also pointed to studies showing dogs in the office can improve productivity and reduce stress levels. The agency said visiting pups will have to be fully housebroken and vaccinated and have no history of violence. Employees who don’t want to interact with the dogs will have the option to work from home on those days, Zinke said. Related Gallery Top 10 dog breeds in US Labrador retrievers extended their record run last year in the top spot, leading the American Kennel Club’s new rankings Tuesday for a 26th straight year. Zinke, a former Montana congressman, made the announcement on “National Puppy Day.” In the note to staff, he provided pictures of his own dog, Ragnar, with he and his wife, Lola. “I can’t even count how many miles I’ve driven across Montana with Ragnar riding shotgun, or how many hikes and river floats Lola and I went on with the little guy,” Zinke said in the email. Zinke made headlines earlier this month when he rode a horse through D.C. for his first day on the job. Zinke said he understands some employees may have concerns about the policy and he’s “all ears.” The post Federal agency in DC will allow dogs at work appeared first on WTOP.

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  • Is Bradley Beal a Candidate for Most Improved Player?Is Bradley Beal a Candidate for Most Improved Player?

    WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal seemed like he’d been disqualified from the Most Improved Player discussion after the 2013-14 season. That season, just his second in the league, Beal put up 17.1 points per game while playing (and starting) 73 games. He also chipped in 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting .402 from 3-point range. It was a marked improvement on his promising rookie season — in which he averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game — but he finished just 20th in voting for the league’s Most Improved Player. His next two seasons showed modest improvement, most notably in his shot selection, but he wasn’t able to stay healthy for an extended period of time. And then this season happened. Beal, along with teammates John Wall and Otto Porter, is putting up career numbers almost across the board, and he has suddenly vaulted himself into the conversation for the award most frequently awarded to role players who make a leap, not players who just signed a max contract. ESPN’s Zach Lowe mentioned the possibility of it Thursday morning, and he makes an interesting case. Haven't started deep research yet, but is Beal becoming an unconventional MIP candidate? +5 in PER, FTAs up, career shooting from everywhere — Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 23, 2017 Here’s now Beal’s numbers this season compare to his numbers from a season ago: That’s a substantial improvement by most standards, especially in regards to his shooting. Wizards Statistical Lock to Make Playoffs Consider this: Entering this season, Beal’s career field-goal percentage was a modest .426. Factoring in the .480 he’s shot so far this year on a career-high 1,151 attempts, and his career percentage jumps all the way up to .440. Speaking of those 1,151 attempts (through Wednesday): His previous career high for a season was 1,149 attempts, which he set in 2013-14. That season, he made 481 of his attempts, good for a paltry .419 field-goal percentage; this season, he’s made 553 attempts. That’s a difference of two more shots attempted and 72 more shots made. While the quality has been considerably better, it’s important to note that it’s come with a significant boost in quantity, as well. For example, his previous high for 3-pointers per game was last year, when he launched 5.7 triples while hitting on 2.2 per game. This season, those numbers are both much-improved, as he’s hitting 3.1 3-pointers on 7.6 attempts per game. He’s long since passed his career best for total 3-pointers attempted and made in a season, and he’s just 11 makes away from equaling the total number of 3s he made the previous two seasons combined (211). Beal has also changed his approach to offense, with much more of his scoring coming from the free-throw line. He’s attempted 299 free-throws already this season (4.6 per game), and he’s made 244 of them, both career highs by about 100 apiece. And once again, Beal’s improvements have come in the forms of both quantity and quality; his career free-throw percentage entering this season was .781, but he’s shot an impressive .816 from the line this season. He’s already surpassed his career high in points by 301, he’s 10 assists away from tying his career mark, he’s four steals away from matching his career high and he’s 57 rebounds away from tying his previous high. With 11 games to go, the rebounding mark is unlikely to reached, but the others are well within reach. Beal has also put together a slew of games in which he’s absolutely dominated, a trait that had been missing in his first four seasons in the league. Prior to this season, Beal had just one game of 35 or more points, a 37-point outing in Feb. 2014; he has six such games already this season, including four with at least 40 points. In addition, the Wizards guard had just one game before this season in which he had a Game Score (a cumulative score encompassing a wide range of stats recorded in a game) of at least 27, a 27.8 in Dec. 2015; he already has six this season, including four with Game Scores of at least 31. Are the Wizards Really This Good? Let’s compare his growth to those of the previous three winners of the Most Improved Player Award. Goran Dragic, 2013-14 Jimmy Butler, 2014-15 C.J. McCollum, 2015-16 The biggest leap of that trio was made by McCollum, who stepped into a massive void left with the Portland Trail Blazers after the team saw LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez — the four non-Damian Lillard starters — all depart in the offseason after the 2014-15 season. McCollum slid into the starting lineup alongside Lillard and emerged as a star, and he won the Most Improved Player award in an absolute landslide; McCollum got 101 first place votes, while runner-up Kemba Walker got seven. But Beal’s leap this year compares favorably to the two winners prior to McCollum. Butler benefited from a restructuring of the Bulls between seasons — Chicago switched from a slower, pound-the-paint offense featuring traditional big men Carlos Boozer, Nazr Mohammed and Taj Gibson to quicker, small spread offense featuring big men such as Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, who are better passers and outside shooters than their predecessors. Butler’s improvement is more well-rounded than Beal’s, so he gets the edge over Beal’s improvement. Dragic became the focal point of new coach Jeff Hornacek’s offense, which was built around speed and 3-point shooting — the perfect combination for Dragic, who was surrounded by six players who each attempted at least 100 3-pointers. As a team, the Phoenix Suns shot exactly 600 more 3-pointers in 2013-14 than they did in 2012-13. All the extra long-range weapons gave Dragic plenty of space between spread-out defenders to drive to the basket, and he quickly became one of the most dangerous drive-and-kick guards in the league. Beal’s considerable improvement has come largely thanks to new coach Scott Brooks empowering his young stars to take the game over. The offense is faster, well-orchestrated and organized, and Beal, who has enjoyed the longest stretch of clean health of his career, looks more confident than ever before. But the Most Improved Player award does not compare this season’s candidates with previous candidates, it only compares this season’s candidates with each other. So how does that compare to the others who could win the award? This is where Beal gets tripped up. As impressive as his improvement has been, it’s hard to compete with the jump made by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has made the gigantic leap from star to superstar this season. Antetokounmpo is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game, all while shooting a career-best .524 from the field and a career-best .781 from the free-throw line. He’s also playing almost the same amount as he did a year ago (35.3 minutes per game last season versus 35.4 this season), but his usage has increased from 22.3 percent to 28.1 percent. Antetokounmpo had a Game Score of at least 27 eight times in his first three seasons; he’s done so 15 more times already this season. Put another way: The Milwaukee Bucks star is doing more of everything than he ever has before, and he’s doing it better than he ever has before. It’s hard to see Beal topping that improvement. Perhaps a closing stretch that features a half-dozen 30-point games and a nice winning streak for the Wizards will move the needle a bit more for Beal, but for now, it looks like this race is Antetokounmpo’s to lose. Follow Bryan Frantz and 106.7 The Fan on Twitter

    CBS Washington / 6 h. 30 min. ago more
  • How Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Tax ReturnHow Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Tax Return

    By Mario McKellop According to Forbes, the average college student graduating in 2016 will leave academia with a degree and $37,000 in student loan debt. While finding a way to pay back that debt will be the primary concern for new grads, they should also know how that debt will affect their 2017 tax filings. Here are a few tips on deductions and credits you’ll be entitled to, and what to do if you’re filing as a dependent. Student Loan Interest Deduction If you paid interest on student loans in 2016, you probably qualify for the Student Loan Interest Deduction. If your student loan wasn’t given to you by a family member or your employer, you were enrolled at least half-time in an accredited institution of higher learning and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) was less than $80,000 – or $160,000 if you’re filing a joint return – you can claim the interest you paid on your loans as a deduction. If you meet the requirements, you can deduct a cool $2,500 from your taxable income. American Opportunity Tax Credit If you meet certain criteria, you also might be able to claim a few education tax breaks. The American Opportunity Tax Credit allows undergraduate college students to claim the first $2,000 and 25 percent of the next $2,000 they spend on tuition, school fees, books, equipment and other non-living expenses as itemized deductions. The same MAGI requirements that apply to the Student Loan Interest Deduction also apply to the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Lifetime Learning Credit While the American Opportunity Tax Credit only applies to undergraduate college students, the similarly beneficial Lifetime Learning Credit can be claimed by college and vocational students. The Lifetime Learning Credit allows eligible students to claim up to 20 percent of the first $10,000 they paid toward tuition and school fees. Eligible students can claim 100 percent of the Lifetime Learning Credit if your MAGI is less than $55,000 – or $110,000 if you’re filing a joint return. If your MAGI is between $55,000 and $65,000 or – or $110,000 and $130,000 if you’re filing a joint return – you can claim a reduced credit. If your individual or joint MAGI exceed the previously listed income range, you’re not eligible for this credit. If You’re a Dependent You can be claimed as a dependent if you are 19 years old or younger, live with your parents for at least half the year and they provided for at least half of your financial needs. You can also be claimed as a dependent if you are 24 years old or younger and you’re a full-time college student. If you earned at least $6,300 in 2016, you have to file a return, even if you’re being claimed as a dependent by your parents. If you are a dependent, you can’t claim yourself on your return or any credits or deductions, but your parents can take advantage of the Student Loan Interest Deduction, American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit.

    CBS Washington / 6 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Jay Pharoah, Ed Sheeran and more just-announced D.C. area concertsJay Pharoah, Ed Sheeran and more just-announced D.C. area concerts

    Jay Pharaoh Lisner Auditorium, May 5, $33. Former “Saturday Night Live” impressionist — and soon-to-be star of Showtime’s “White Famous” — Jay Pharaoh returns to D.C. after a gig at the Kennedy Center last year for a more intimate set at George Washington University Get tickets: Now, through gwutickets.com. Jermaine Dupri DAR Constitution Hall, June […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 6 h. 46 min. ago more
  •  Yellen: Growing Up Poor Hurts Adults' Financial Success Yellen: Growing Up Poor Hurts Adults' Financial Success

    The head of the U.S. central bank says new research strengthens the case for investing in early childhood education. In a Washington speech Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said evidence

    Big News Network.com / 6 h. 48 min. ago
  • 7 things to do in D.C., Maryland and Virginia from March 23-297 things to do in D.C., Maryland and Virginia from March 23-29

    March 23-24: John Kadlecik Band Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 K St. NW; Thu. & Fri., 8:30 p.m., $20-$25. Takoma Park’s John Kadlecik (of Further and Dark Star Orchestra) unveils a new group featuring drummer Jay Lane, bassist Joe Gallant and keyboardist Benjie Porecki for his two-night run at Gypsy Sally’s on Thursday and Friday. Expect a […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 6 h. 52 min. ago
  • Security Boosted at Rockville High After Immigration-Related ThreatsSecurity Boosted at Rockville High After Immigration-Related Threats

    Police have stepped up security at Rockville High School after the school received several threats Wednesday related to the immigration status of two students accused of raping a 14-year-old in a school...

    NBC 4 / 7 h. 1 min. ago
  • College Freshman Killed In Washington, DC During Music Video - The SourceCollege Freshman Killed In Washington, DC During Music Video - The Source

    The SourceCollege Freshman Killed In Washington, DC During Music VideoThe Source19-year-old college freshman Ayana J. McAllister was fatally shot Monday night in Washington, D.C. She returned home on spring break and joined a friends music video when McAllister and another woman were shot on the 4300 block of Benning Road ...St. Aug's student shot and killed at the filming of rap music video in DCNews & ObserverSt. Augustine's University student killed in Washington shootingWTVD-TVMaryland College Student Killed While Home For Spring BreakCBS Baltimore / WJZall 30 news articles »

    Google News / 7 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Turning Back Time: Cher at MGM National Harbor (Review)Turning Back Time: Cher at MGM National Harbor (Review)

    In her new, retrospective concert, Cher dumps politics in favor of song, story and extravagant spectacle The post Turning Back Time: Cher at MGM National Harbor (Review) appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 7 h. 10 min. ago
  • Metro Approves Changes to Increase Fare, Cut ServiceMetro Approves Changes to Increase Fare, Cut Service

    On Thursday, Metro approved changes to increase fare on bus and rail lines and cut service starting in July, according to NBC Washington. Metro peak rail fare will increase fare by $0.10, off-peak rail fare by $0.25 and bus fare by $0.25. The change in fare is expected to raise $21 million in fiscal 2018, NBC Washington says. In addition to the raised prices, the plan will also increase the wait time between trains and ultimately also eliminate bus routes deemed inefficient. Those cuts are expected to save around $29 million, NBC Washington reports. Follow @CBSDC on Twitter

    CBS Washington / 7 h. 13 min. ago more
  • NRA will target Democrats who vote against GorsuchNRA will target Democrats who vote against Gorsuch

    Read more on WashingtonExaminer.com

    WE - Secrets / 7 h. 13 min. ago
  • Police Release Sketch of Man Wanted in 18-Year-Old's MurderPolice Release Sketch of Man Wanted in 18-Year-Old's Murder

    Prince George's County police have released a composite sketch of the man they believe is responsible for the murder of an 18-year-old woman.

    NBC 4 / 7 h. 23 min. ago
  • Terry McAuliffe names Ray LaHood, former Obama transportation secretary, to lead Metro reviewTerry McAuliffe names Ray LaHood, former Obama transportation secretary, to lead Metro review

    Citing what he said were "very serious problems" with the Washington area's transportation system, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday he was ordering an independent review of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to study the troubled transit system's governance and long-term financial needs. The Democratic governor tapped former ...

    WashingtonTimes.com / 7 h. 44 min. ago more
  •  2 Months In, Trump Still Pushing Debunked Theories 2 Months In, Trump Still Pushing Debunked Theories

    Two months into his U.S. presidency, Donald Trump is a man quite content with advancing his political claims that have been debunked by Washington officials, pundits and fact checkers. In a new inter

    Big News Network.com / 7 h. 48 min. ago
  • Tax Deductions: What You Need To Know For 2017Tax Deductions: What You Need To Know For 2017

    By Mario McKellop According to the Internal Revenue Service, one in seven Americans waits until the week of April 15 to file their income tax returns. While the process can be anxiety-inducing, there’s no good reason to add gasoline to the fire by waiting until the last minute to take care of something so important. One way to make the whole thing less stressful is to learn how recent changes to the tax code will affect returns for the 2017 tax year. Specifically, changes to the code relating to tax deductions. The Standard Deduction Just as inflation increases annually, so does the inflation-indexed standard deduction. The standard deduction for single and married taxpayers filing separate returns is $6,350, an increase of $50 from 2016. For married couples and surviving spouses, the standard deduction is $12,700, a $100 increase from last year. And for those filing returns as heads of household, the standard reduction is $9,350, $50 more than the previous year. Itemized Deductions While the standard deduction only experienced a small change from 2016 to 2017, the year-to-year changes related to the limits of itemized deductions for affluent taxpayers are more significant. For single taxpayers, the 2017 limitation threshold begins with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $261,500, up from $259,400 in 2016. For married and surviving spouse taxpayers, the threshold has gone from $311,300 to $313,800. For married taxpayers filing as individuals, the threshold has changed from $155,650 to $156,900. For those filing as heads of household, the threshold has risen from $285,350 to $287,650. As with last year, the itemized deduction limitation is applied to either 3 percent of a taxpayer’s AGI, or 80 percent of a taxpayer’s total itemized deductions, whichever is least. Other Deduction Changes Here are a few other miscellaneous deductions that may lower your burden for the tax year 2017. For 2016 returns, individual taxpayers over the age of 65 who filed itemized returns could have deducted certain medical and dental expenses, provided that those expenses totaled 7.5 percent of their AGI. For 2017 returns, the deduction threshold has risen to 10 percent of the AGI. Taxpayers who maintain self-covered medical savings accounts (MSA) can take advantage of a higher tax-deductible next year. The maximum amount that can be deducted for out-of-pocket expenses has risen to $4,500, up $50 from 2016. For families with self-covered MSAs, the out-of-pocket maximum deductible has risen to $8,250, up $100 from 2016.

    CBS Washington / 8 h. 4 min. ago more
  • McAuliffe vetoes “religious freedom” bill targeting same-sex couplesMcAuliffe vetoes “religious freedom” bill targeting same-sex couples

    On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed a pair of bills that would grant religious exemptions for those with religious objections to same-sex marriage. The bill would hamstring the government from imposing any penalty, fine, contract, or certification on a person who either refuses to solemnize, or provide services for, a same-sex wedding. Republicans have insisted […] The post McAuliffe vetoes “religious freedom” bill targeting same-sex couples appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 8 h. 8 min. ago more
  • ‘T2 Trainspotting’ has less heroin, more middle-aged angst‘T2 Trainspotting’ has less heroin, more middle-aged angst

    The first gut punch of “T2 Trainspotting,” which opens on Friday, comes in prison. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) sits across from his lawyer, gray hair glinting in the industrial light, the sharp angles of his face a bit softened and more than a bit wrinkled, a slight paunch hanging over his belt. He’s still as angry […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 8 h. 10 min. ago
  • A SHIFT from the usualA SHIFT from the usual

    Orchestral music can be quite intimidating. “For newbies, it can be about ‘Where do I clap? Can I get up and move around?’ ” says Jenny Bilfield, president and CEO of Washington Performing Arts. Her group has teamed up with the Kennedy Center for SHIFT, a new festival created to deliver a more communal, casual symphony […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 8 h. 18 min. ago
  • Black Bear Plays Tug-of-War With Wildlife ResearcherBlack Bear Plays Tug-of-War With Wildlife Researcher

    Wildlife researchers studying black bears in southern Vermont had a surprising encounter with an animal, and the run-in was caught on camera.Photo Credit: Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept.

    NBC4Washington.com / 8 h. 19 min. ago
  • McAuliffe Announces 'Top-To-Bottom' Review of Metro - U.S. News & World ReportMcAuliffe Announces 'Top-To-Bottom' Review of Metro - U.S. News & World Report

    McAuliffe Announces 'Top-To-Bottom' Review of MetroU.S. News & World ReportRidership on the system has fallen amid a series of breakdowns, including a January 2015 fire that caused a train to fill with smoke inside a downtown Washington tunnel, killing one passenger and sickening dozens more. Fires on the tracks, often caused ...and more »

    Google News / 8 h. 22 min. ago more
  • Banding Together: Capitol Pride Symphonic Band performs “Glitter and be Gay” on March 25Banding Together: Capitol Pride Symphonic Band performs “Glitter and be Gay” on March 25

    In its upcoming concert, the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band honors those the LGBTQ community has lost The post Banding Together: Capitol Pride Symphonic Band performs “Glitter and be Gay” on March 25 appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 8 h. 53 min. ago
  • National Park Service: DC Cherry Trees Start Bloom PeriodNational Park Service: DC Cherry Trees Start Bloom Period

    WASHINGTON  — The National Park Service says Washington’s famous cherry trees are blooming again after a killing frost. National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said in an email Wednesday that the bloom period has begun and can last two weeks. He says officials expect the trees’ will reach peak bloom this weekend. The prediction is in line with a forecast last week. Officials announced Friday that cold weather had killed half of the blossoms on Washington’s famous cherry trees just as they were reaching peak bloom. Litterst said that 70 percent of the remaining blooms are now at a stage just before “full bloom.” He says expected cold weather on Wednesday and Thursday means the blooms won’t develop further then. Warmer temperatures needed for the blossoms’ development are expected Friday and Saturday. Follow @CBSDC on Twitter (© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 8 h. 57 min. ago more
  • 30 Players: Willson Contreras Ready To Be Cubs Starting Catcher30 Players: Willson Contreras Ready To Be Cubs Starting Catcher

    By Rich Arleo CBS Local Sports, in our 30 Players 30 Days spring training feature, profiles one young player from each Major League Baseball team leading up to opening day. 2016 season (Minors): 55 G, 204 AB, .353 BA, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 4 SB, 1.035 OPS 2016 season (Majors): 76 G, 252 AB, .282 BA, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 2 SB, .845 OPS When Theo Epstein took over the Chicago Cubs in 2011 they were coming off their second straight sub-.500 season and didn’t seem to have a World Series run in them anytime soon. In a few short years, Epstein amassed a load of young talent with some savvy trades and signings and smart drafting. He brought in the perfect manager in Joe Maddon and ended a 107-year drought with a World Series trophy in ‘16. The crazy part is that they’ve not only hit on seemingly every prospect so far, they just keep coming, and Willson Contreras is ready to become another star on this star-studded squad. Signed as an international free agent at 16 years old out of Venezuela, Contreras came along slowly in the Cubs’ system before finally reaching Double-A after six years in the Minors. That season also happened to be Contreras’ coming out party with a .333/.413/.478 line, eight homers and 75 RBIs in 126 games for Double-A Tennessee. After the big season, Contreras landed in the top 70 of Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com prospect rankings to start last year and was considered the top catching prospect in the league. Contreras wasn’t really expected to make his big league debut last year, let alone become such a key part of the Cubs’ championship run. Contreras absolutely tore it up at the plate at Triple-A Iowa to start the season. On June 17, the Cubs called him up and he never looked back. With his bat clearly ready, Contreras was still improving behind the plate and started as the team’s third catcher behind Miguel Montero and David Ross in order to ease into the big leagues. Contreras wanted no part of easing in and showed it by hitting a home run in his first big league at-bat. He went on to make 64 starts for the Cubs — 41 at catcher, 21 in left field, 2 at first base. His versatility came in handy last year, but with Kyle Schwarber transitioning to a full-time outfielder (likely only catching on emergency basis), Ross retiring and Montero dealing with an ailing back problem and decreased production, Contreras is all lined up to be the starting catcher. Contreras has the ability to be an elite offensive threat behind the plate, and he showed that last season. Among backstops with at least 250 plate appearances, Contreras’ .206 ISO (isolated power) ranked fourth and 126 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) ranked first. While his strikeout rate (23.7%) wasn’t terrible, he’d ideally lower it a bit. Based on his 13.3 K% at Triple-A last year and 11.9 K% the year before in Double-A, he should eventually be able to adjust and limit the swings and misses. Projections of Contreras for ‘17 are bullish; with a .264/.334/.428 line, 14 homers and 2.4 WAR (eighth highest among catchers) from ZiPS and a .271/.347/.432 line, 13 homers and 2.3 WAR (10th among catchers) from Steamer. He should easily be a top 10 catcher in baseball this year as the likely No. 5 hitter in a stacked lineup for the defending champion Cubs. Rich Arleo is a freelance sports writer and editor who covers Major League Baseball and fantasy sports. You can follow him on Twitter, @Rarleo.

    CBS Washington / 9 h. 5 min. ago more
  •  Starbucks plans to create about quarter of a million jobs worldwide by 2021 Starbucks plans to create about quarter of a million jobs worldwide by 2021

    WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a bid to grow its business in several countries, U.S. coffee shop chain Starbucks said during its annual shareholders meeting that it is going on a recruitment drive.Th

    Big News Network.com / 9 h. 16 min. ago
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  • Israeli man arrested in Jewish center bomb-threat casesIsraeli man arrested in Jewish center bomb-threat cases

    U.S. and Israeli authorities confirmed the arrest of a 19-year-old Jewish Israeli man believed responsible for a recent series of bomb threats that targeted Jewish organizations and schools in the United States. "Early this morning in Israel, the FBI and the Israeli National Police worked jointly to locate and arrest ...

    WashingtonTimes.com / 9 h. 22 min. ago
  • Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman” screens March 24 at HRCCheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman” screens March 24 at HRC

    Dunye's 1996 mockumentary-style film explores black LGBTQ history and culture The post Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman” screens March 24 at HRC appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 9 h. 23 min. ago
  • Eagle watch: DC bald eagles' eggs due to hatch soon - WTOPEagle watch: DC bald eagles' eggs due to hatch soon - WTOP

    WTOPEagle watch: DC bald eagles' eggs due to hatch soonWTOPWASHINGTON — The District's famous bald eagle couple — “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” — are due to welcome two new hatchlings to the world, according to the American Eagle Foundation. Viewers of the feathery duo and their two eggs should keep ...

    Google News / 9 h. 24 min. ago
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival opens March 25National Cherry Blossom Festival opens March 25

    Festival kicks off despite cold weather damage to some of the cherry blossoms The post National Cherry Blossom Festival opens March 25 appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 9 h. 25 min. ago
  • Eagle watch: DC bald eagles’ eggs due to hatch soonEagle watch: DC bald eagles’ eggs due to hatch soon

    WASHINGTON — The District’s famous bald eagle couple — “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” — are due to welcome two new hatchlings to the world, according to the American Eagle Foundation. Viewers of the feathery duo and their two eggs should keep their eyes glued to the D.C. Eagle Cam this weekend and the following week for the hatching, the AEF said in a news release. The first egg was laid on Feb. 19 and the second was laid on Feb. 23. The AEF anticipates that the first egg will begin to hatch around Sunday, March 26. They expect the second to hatch around March 30. The group said their estimates may be off by a day or two. Viewers of D.C.’s bald eagles, Mr. President and The First Lady, are now on “hatch-watch.” (Courtesy American Eagle Foundation) window.Site = window.Site || {}; window.Site.Gallery = window.Site.Gallery || {}; window.Site.Gallery.options = window.Site.Gallery.options || {}; window.Site.Gallery.options = { slides: [{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"Viewers of D.C.’s bald eagles, Mr. President and The First Lady, are now on “hatch-watch.” (Courtesy American Eagle Foundation)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"Mr. President and The First Lady have amassed hundreds of thousands of viewers. (Courtesy American Eagle Foundation)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"The first egg was laid on February 19 and the second was laid on February 23. (Courtesy American Eagle Foundation)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"The First Lady and Mr. President, bald eagles at the National Arboretum, protected their fragile eggs during a late-winter storm on March 13 and March 14, 2017. (\u00a9 2017 American Eagle Foundation, DCEAGLECAM.ORG)\n"},{"type":"ad","media":"\n\tAdvertisement\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\n","caption":""},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"Screenshot from the American Eagle Foundation’s eagle camera at the National Arboretum on the morning of March 14, 2017. Bald eagles The First Lady and Mr. President spent the night protecting their eggs. (\u00a9 2017 American Eagle Foundation, DCEAGLECAM.ORG)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"The First Lady kept watch over her eggs overnight from March 13 to March 14, 2017 at the National Arboretum as a wintry mix moved through the D.C. region. (\u00a9 2017 American Eagle Foundation, DCEAGLECAM.ORG)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"\n\t\n","caption":"As snow fell during the night, Mr. President joined The First Lady to add an extra layer of warmth inside their nest at the National Arboretum. (\u00a9 2017 American Eagle Foundation, DCEAGLECAM.ORG)\n"},{"type":"embed","media":"\n\t","caption":""},{"type":"ad","media":"\n\tAdvertisement\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\n","caption":""}], previews: [{"index":0,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/20170321_11-05-28-260x174.jpg"},{"index":1,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/20170320_12-14-33-260x174.jpg"},{"index":2,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/20170321_14-19-21-260x174.jpg"},{"index":3,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/Color-both-eagles-in-snow-260x174.jpg"},{"index":5,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/Eagle-cam-260x174.jpg"},{"index":6,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/Eagle-in-snow-2-260x174.jpg"},{"index":7,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/Both-eagles-in-snow-260x174.jpg"},{"index":8,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/themes\/wtop\/assets\/img\/gallery_preview.jpg"}], prev: "\t", next: "\t" }; Each eaglet has an “egg-tooth” on the tip of its upper beak, which is used to crack holes in its eggshell from the inside. The first hole made in the shell is called a “pip.” It can sometimes take up to 24-48 hours for an eaglet to fully emerge from its shell after the first pip. “The amazement of watching a tiny eaglet emerge from its fragile egg shell is a miraculous wonder of nature,” American Eagle Foundation President Al Cecere said in the news release. “Watching the eagle parents delicately feeding and brooding their young is a very special and unforgettable experience not to be missed.” Last year, the eagle cams amassed more than 10 million views. Last week, another bald eagle pair — “Liberty” and “Justice,” who nest in a tree on the property of a D.C. police facility — welcomed an eaglet of their own. The post Eagle watch: DC bald eagles’ eggs due to hatch soon appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 9 h. 34 min. ago more
  • About a Bwoy: An exclusive interview with Anthony RappAbout a Bwoy: An exclusive interview with Anthony Rapp

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    Metro Weekly / 9 h. 45 min. ago
  • Early Police ReportsEarly Police Reports

    COUNTY REPORT

    Washington Times Herald / 9 h. 48 min. ago
  • Hungry? Call Your Neighborhood Delivery Robot - NPRHungry? Call Your Neighborhood Delivery Robot - NPR

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    Google News / 9 h. 53 min. ago
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    Metro Weekly / 10 h. ago
  • Exclusive: Rep. Alan Lowenthal on why Congress must pass the Equality ActExclusive: Rep. Alan Lowenthal on why Congress must pass the Equality Act

    Congressman Alan Lowenthal on one man's recent display of intolerance, and why Congress must pass the Equality Act The post Exclusive: Rep. Alan Lowenthal on why Congress must pass the Equality Act appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 10 h. 1 min. ago
  • See the Marx Brothers, ‘Letters from Baghdad’ and ‘The Fifth Element’See the Marx Brothers, ‘Letters from Baghdad’ and ‘The Fifth Element’

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    WashingtonPost.com / 10 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Out On the Town: March 23 to 29, 2017Out On the Town: March 23 to 29, 2017

    Arts and Entertainment Calendar for March 23 to 29, 2017 The post Out On the Town: March 23 to 29, 2017 appeared first on Metro Weekly.

    Metro Weekly / 10 h. 12 min. ago
  • Paul Rabil vs. Awadd ShootoutPaul Rabil vs. Awadd Shootout

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    CBS Washington / 10 h. 19 min. ago
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    Metro Weekly / 10 h. 23 min. ago
  • On ethics of advisers’ China deals, Trump goes case by caseOn ethics of advisers’ China deals, Trump goes case by case

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump’s top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump’s chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund — a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate — raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately. Scaramucci never left New York. It’s a different story for Gary Cohn. The former Goldman Sachs executive, the man who is now Trump’s economic adviser reported for duty on Day One and has become a constant White House presence, often at the president’s side. All the while, Cohn has held a multimillion-dollar stake in a Chinese bank, which he’s now selling. White House officials say Scaramucci’s transaction is far more complex than Cohn’s holdings, arguing that’s why it gave them pause. But others point to the two cases as an example of Trump’s uneven approach to handling ethics concerns. The White House on Wednesday acknowledged it did not secure an ethics pledge from ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, who served for two weeks after Trump signed an executive order mandating that officials agree to a five-year lobbying ban and lifetime prohibition on foreign lobbying. White House officials offered no explanation for why Flynn didn’t sign the documents. “At least so far, the ethical standards that are being applied to high-level officials coming in are quite incoherent and seemingly haphazard,” said Meredith McGehee, a chief at the government reform group Issue One who has worked on federal ethics laws and policies for decades. With so many well-off business executives coming into the administration, the Trump team could minimize conflict-of-interest questions by being more consistent and transparent, she said. “Instead, they seem like they are leading with their chin,” she added. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Trump team “has been very committed to making sure that we institute high standards here and that we’re held to them.” Business intersections with China are particularly nettlesome, given many Chinese companies’ ties to the country’s Communist Party. Adding another layer of complexity is Trump’s frequent vow to take a tougher stance on China’s trade and currency practices, which could affect Chinese companies’ ability to sell their goods and services in the U.S. But while Scaramucci raised red flags in the White House, others — including Trump’s son-in-law and the president himself — have Chinese business ties that do not seem to have drawn as much internal hand-wringing. Cohn is in the process of selling his stock in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as he works with the Office of Government Ethics to clear out potential conflicts of interest, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the personnel matter. The New York Times reported last week that Cohn’s ICBC stock was the largest in his portfolio, valued at about $16 million. White House officials originally said that the ethics office flagged Scaramucci’s deal to sell his stake in SkyBridge Capital to a buyer group that included a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group as the reason he shouldn’t start government work right away. However, the office issued a statement to Bloomberg News saying it “had no involvement whatsoever” in the decision not to let Scaramucci start work. Trump’s family has its own business ties to China. Like Trump, Kushner — who is a senior adviser to the president — followed his father into New York real estate. The 36-year-old sold numerous assets to a family trust and said he has completely stepped away from his businesses and is following all conflicts of interest rules. Kushner Companies, now led by his relatives, has been negotiating with the Chinese Anbang Insurance Group to provide what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in equity for redevelopment of a Manhattan office building. “Kushner Companies is in advanced, ongoing discussions around 666 5th Avenue,” a company spokesman said, declining to discuss Anbang specifically. A person with direct knowledge of the talks confirmed the Anbang negotiations to The Associated Press, although the person requested anonymity to discuss the private deal. Jared Kushner sold his stake in that building to the trust as part of his agreement with the Office of Government Ethics, but his family stands to benefit from the deal. A senior White House official who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel matter said Kushner would recuse himself from any government business to which Anbang Insurance Group is a party. Yet Kushner took a more cautious approach on a business issue that didn’t involve China. When news surfaced last month that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was considering selling the baseball team to the Kushner family and was on deck to become Trump’s ambassador to France, the Kushners called off the deal entirely. The Kushners said in a statement at the time that they were pulling the plug on the potential deal because “we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate” Loria’s potential ambassadorship. The senior White House official said that although Jared Kushner had nothing to do with the Marlins negotiation his family wanted to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. The president himself hasn’t drawn a bright line when it comes to ethics. Although he handed daily management of his businesses to his two adult sons and a senior Trump Organization official, he placed his assets in a revocable trust that he can take control of at any time. And while the Trump Organization pledged not to enter new foreign deals, it hasn’t stopped selling its domestic properties to foreign buyers. New York City real estate transaction records show that last month a Chinese businesswoman paid almost $16 million for a condominium in one of Trump’s properties. Meanwhile, the sale of Scaramucci’s hedge fund is expected to go through this spring. He declined to comment on his plan, but he’s said publicly that he expects to eventually join the White House. The post On ethics of advisers’ China deals, Trump goes case by case appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 10 h. 50 min. ago more
  •  China demands that U.S. respect its air defense zone after U.S. bomber enters China’s self-declared zone’ illegally China demands that U.S. respect its air defense zone after U.S. bomber enters China’s self-declared zone’ illegally

    BEIJING, China - In an encounter in the East China Sea, which is Beijing’s self-declared zone, China says it warned a U.S. bomber that it had been flying in the country’s zone illegally

    Big News Network.com / 10 h. 55 min. ago
  • Artist Stabbed, Killed in Capitol Hill BasementArtist Stabbed, Killed in Capitol Hill Basement

    WASHINGTON — An artist temporarily living in Washington, D.C. while helping with an exhibit at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design was found tied up and stabbed to death in an apartment. D.C. Police tell local media that 34-year-old Corrina Mehiel of Burnsville, N.C. was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a basement apartment on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday night, police released a photo of a person of interest, a man, walking into a convenience store in Beltsville, Maryland. Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham says the police found no signs of forced entry in the apartment where her body was found. Police are seeking help identifying the man in the photo, and in finding Meheil’s missing blue 2004 Toyota Prius with Kentucky license plates and a diamond-shaped yellow bumper sticker. 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 / 10 h. 57 min. ago more
  • Nashville native: Washington, DC, needs statehood - The TennesseanNashville native: Washington, DC, needs statehood - The Tennessean

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    Google News / 12 h. 10 min. ago
  • When we thought mental illness could be cured with architectureWhen we thought mental illness could be cured with architecture

    When the Government Hospital for the Insane opened in Anacostia in 1855, the asylum’s supervising physician, Charles Nichols, predicted that 50 percent of the mentally ill people treated there would make a full recovery. What made him so confident? The building. He’d designed it in accordance with the most cutting-edge theories of the day, which […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 12 h. 17 min. ago more
  • Relive the glamour of the Ebony Fashion Fair with this exhibit at the Textile MuseumRelive the glamour of the Ebony Fashion Fair with this exhibit at the Textile Museum

    When Ebony magazine’s annual Fashion Fair would roll into town, you could be among beautiful black and brown people, experience world-class glamour, and relish the spectacle of cutting-edge fashion — and that was just in the line to get in. “[There was] dancing, music and lots of flair,” says Camille Ann Brewer, curator of contemporary […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 12 h. 37 min. ago more
  • U.S. Routs Puerto Rico to Win World Baseball ClassicU.S. Routs Puerto Rico to Win World Baseball Classic

    LOS ANGELES — The eagle has landed on top. The United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries on Wednesday night behind six hitless innings from Marcus Stroman. The Americans planted their eagle statue mascot on the mound in celebration, a blue cap jauntily hanging from one of its large wings. “It’s a different feeling when the USA is on your chest,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “We wanted to get the U.S. back on top of the baseball world, and we did that.” For a sport known as America’s pastime, the U.S. had struggled since the WBC began in 2006. Twice, the Americans lost in the second round and they went out in the semifinals in 2009. This time was different. “These guys were here to do their best,” Team USA general manager Joe Torre said. “The thing I marveled at was how quickly they came together, and Jimmy (Leyland) deserves a lot of that credit. They’re just a great group who understood what this event is all about.” Accepting the gleaming silver trophy from baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, manager Leyland told the crowd, “This is for the men and women who serve our country.” After the final out, the Americans massed on the mound, hugging and high-fiving while fireworks exploded in center field. Some of them grabbed a U.S. flag and circled the warning track, waving it in celebration with fans in the stands. “There was only one thing on our mind, was to win this thing and to do whatever we can to win,” left fielder Christian Yelich said. “That helped us come together.” The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium. Puerto Rico’s fans saluted their team with a standing ovation and the players responded by clapping. “The satisfaction is huge,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “It has filled our hearts.” Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S. territory finished runner-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final. “They’re loaded with All-Star players. They outpitched us. They outscored us. They outhit us,” Rodriguez said. “We came here to win the championship, but with a record of 7-1, we feel satisfied, pleased with what we were able to achieve.” Tournament MVP Stroman avenged his shakiness in the Americans’ 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays gave up one hit in six-plus innings, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches. “I love pitching in these moments,” he said. “I love the atmosphere. I feel like the bigger the game, the more I’m able to get up, the more effective I am.” Stroman allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan’s double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when he departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead with the help of Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer. In 2013, Stroman tweeted that he was going to play for Puerto Rico, where his mother was born. Instead, he wore the red, white and blue of the U.S. “It was an unbelievable experience,” he said, “and I’ll be back in four years to defend the title.” For the tournament, Stroman allowed 12 hits and four runs in 15 1/3 innings, with a 2.35 ERA, nine strikeouts and two walks. “Marcus set the tone right off the bat and just was dealing,” Yelich said, “and we kind of fed off that and we were just rolling ever since.” Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning. Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off. Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S. Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego. The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Yelich and Andrew McCutchen. Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on before their team fell behind 4-0. Fans were on their feet chanting “U-S-A!” when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford’s two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0. The U.S. tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor. The Americans defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final. The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892. Follow 106.7 The Fan on Twitter (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

    CBS Washington / 12 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Md. Man Accused of Murder Traveled to NYC to Target BlacksMd. Man Accused of Murder Traveled to NYC to Target Blacks

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY

    NBC4Washington.com / 12 h. 52 min. ago
  • Ready, set, raceReady, set, race

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    Washington Times Herald / 12 h. 54 min. ago
  • In the role of the family matriarch, Louie Anderson lifts up the eccentric ‘Baskets’In the role of the family matriarch, Louie Anderson lifts up the eccentric ‘Baskets’

    “Baskets” is one of the most offbeat sitcoms around. The FX comedy, which finishes Season 2 at 10 p.m. Thursday, is about the Baskets family of Bakersfield, Calif. Matriarch Christine, played by comedian Louie Anderson in drag, is the mother of twins: Chip, a failed and angst-ridden clown who yearns to clown again, and Dale, […]

    WashingtonPost.com / 13 h. 53 min. ago
  • 6 ways to laugh at D.C.’s Underground Comedy Fest6 ways to laugh at D.C.’s Underground Comedy Fest

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    WashingtonPost.com / 13 h. 58 min. ago
  • Loudoun Co., DC drive region’s population growthLoudoun Co., DC drive region’s population growth

    WASHINGTON — Loudoun County gained more residents in 2016 than D.C., Montgomery County or Prince William County — each of which grew by thousands of people — and remains one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, according to new Census estimates released this week. The entire D.C. metropolitan area grew by more than 53,000 residents, slightly slower growth than the region experienced in 2015, but helped by a birthrate more than double the death rate. Almost 81,000 babies were born in the area, compared to 37,000 deaths, according to the estimates. The estimates calculate population changes between July 2015 and July 2016. Meanwhile, the city of Baltimore shrunk by about 6,700 people — the third largest decline in population in the nation after counties that are home to Chicago and Detroit. Other Rust Belt counties that are home to the cities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee also dropped dramatically. Just 5,000 new residents were added to the Baltimore region as a whole last year. The city of Manassas was the only other community in the region to drop in population, losing an estimated 120 residents. Loudoun County isn’t the only community in the region to experience rapid growth. D.C., Falls Church, Fredericksburg and Prince William County are among the 100 fastest-growing communities in the nation since the last Census. However, Loudoun ranks as the 16th fastest-growing community in the country. Since the 2010 Census, Loudoun County’s population has jumped by almost a quarter, adding an estimated 73,609 new residents. As of July, 11,386 residents were added to the county’s tally, down slightly from the more than 12,000 added the year before. D.C. added 10,793 people, a smaller increase than one year earlier when the nation’s capital grew by more than 12,000 residents. Since 2010, the District’s population has grown by more than 79,000 people. “It’s an indicator that our economy is strong and that people continue to see the District of Columbia as a place of opportunity,” said Council Member Kenyan McDuffie, who represents Ward 5. But that growth also represents challenges to provide affordable housing for residents who have made their home in the District for decades, and to make sure D.C. officials are forward-thinking as they make investments in transportation and the local economy, McDuffie said. “As you have more people move into the District, it only underscores the need to diversify our economy and really nurture industries outside of government,” McDuffie said. Montgomery County grew by 7,630 people while Prince William County’s population increased by more than 5,000, according to the estimates. Fairfax County remains the largest jurisdiction in the region with more than 1.1 million residents, followed by Montgomery County with a little more than 1 million residents. The post Loudoun Co., DC drive region’s population growth appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 15 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Last leg of I-69 clears big paper hurdleLast leg of I-69 clears big paper hurdle

    The Indiana Department of Transportation has released the final Environmental Impact Statement on the last leg of Interstate 69, moving the road one step closer to completion.

    Washington Times Herald / 15 h. 54 min. ago
  •  Netflix debuts 'Death Note' teaser, gets accused of whitewashing Netflix debuts 'Death Note' teaser, gets accused of whitewashing

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    Big News Network.com / 16 h. 46 min. ago
  • DC police officer shoots armed man in SoutheastDC police officer shoots armed man in Southeast

    WASHINGTON — A man is in critical condition after a police-involved shooting Wednesday night in Southeast D.C. Officers responded to a call of a shooting in the 4300 block of Barnaby Road Southeast at around 6:15 p.m. They entered the hallway of a building, where police say they were approached by a man with a gun. Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham says there was a struggle, and that’s when at least one of the officers fired. The suspect is in the hospital. No officers were injured. The roadway was closed both ways during the investigation. The post DC police officer shoots armed man in Southeast appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 20 h. 22 min. ago more
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    NBC4Washington.com / 21 h. 15 min. ago more
  • White House fencer jumper found dangling by shoelacesWhite House fencer jumper found dangling by shoelaces

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    WashingtonTimes.com / 21 h. 32 min. ago
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    WashingtonTimes.com / 21 h. 46 min. ago
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    The Washington Sun / 21 h. 52 min. ago more
  • House panel considers abortion bill on parental notificationHouse panel considers abortion bill on parental notification

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Debate over the constitutionality of a first-of-its-kind Indiana abortion bill altering the state's judicial bypass procedure is continuing in the Legislature.

    Washington Times Herald / 21 h. 54 min. ago
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    Councilmember Todd recently met with the Ward 4 Business Development Advisory Committee to discuss their policy recommendations on making Ward 4 and the District an even better place to do business. With bustling business corridors nestled throughout our neighborhoods, the upcoming redevelopment at Walter Reed (the single largest economic opportunity in D.C. history), and the revitalization of Kennedy Street, Ward 4 is on pace to remain the District-wide model for local economic prosperity.

    The Washington Sun / 21 h. 54 min. ago more
  • DC Kids to March to Capitol Hill:  “We Want Senators Too”DC Kids to March to Capitol Hill: “We Want Senators Too”

    Kids in DC are not happy how Congress treats their city, and on March 31st they will be visiting Senators’ offices to let them know directly. As you know, DC Kids don't have their own Senators to visit. Therefore, they will be visiting the Senators of allies residing in states lucky enough to have full voting representation in Congress.

    The Washington Sun / 21 h. 56 min. ago
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    The Washington Sun / 21 h. 57 min. ago
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    The Washington Sun / 21 h. 59 min. ago more
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    The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP)’s Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) will host its Sixth Annual BWR Women of Power National Summit (BWR Summit) on Wednesday, March 29 thru Sunday, April 2, with events taking place on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at the Summit’s headquarters hotel, the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

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    The Washington Sun / 22 h. 2 min. ago more
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    The Washington Sun / 22 h. 3 min. ago
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  • NAACP DC HOSTS FAIR HOUSING TRAININGNAACP DC HOSTS FAIR HOUSING TRAINING

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    The Washington Sun / 22 h. 5 min. ago
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  • Sanctury city debate stoked after rape at Maryland high schoolSanctury city debate stoked after rape at Maryland high school

    Henry Sanchez-Milian was nabbed sneaking across the U.S. border in August, just 13 days shy of his 18th birthday.Had he been 18, he might have been quickly deported back to Guatemala. But because he was a minor, he was given a court date, told to come back eventually, ...

    WashingtonTimes.com / 22 h. 8 min. ago
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    The Washington Sun / 22 h. 9 min. ago
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    Washington Times Herald / 22 h. 54 min. ago
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  • Trump’s SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticismTrump’s SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism

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And he would take part in deciding on enforcement actions that SEC attorneys bring against corporations and financial firms. For critics, the big question will be: How vigorous a regulator would Clayton prove to be? Clayton would take over the leadership of the SEC with a Republican majority among its eventual five members. (Three seats are vacant.) In line with Trump’s pledge to ease many rules that flowed from the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, a Clayton-led SEC would be expected to take a comparatively loose approach to regulation. Though Clayton’s confirmation is virtually assured by the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee say they will come prepared Thursday with a volley of skeptical questions. “It’s hard to see how an attorney who’s spent his career helping Wall Street beat the rap will keep (Trump’s) promise to stop big banks and hedge funds from ‘getting away with murder,” Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the committee’s senior Democrat, said after Clayton’s nomination was announced in January. “I look forward to hearing how Mr. Clayton will protect retirees and savers from being exploited, demand real accountability from the financial institutions the SEC oversees, and work to prevent another financial crisis.” Among the targets for critics is Clayton’s blue-chip client list, brimming with Wall Street powerhouses and hedge funds as well as some corporations that have faced accusations of misconduct. Among them are Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian drug maker that is the target of at least 10 government investigations, including a congressional probe into drug prices, and Volkswagen, embroiled in a scandal over alleged emissions cheating. For Democrats who have questioned the influence they say Goldman Sachs is gaining in the Trump administration, Clayton’s ties to that firm may loom particularly large. He has represented and advised Goldman in numerous major deals. In addition, Clayton’s wife, Gretchen Butler Clayton, works at Goldman as a financial adviser. (She has committed to resign if her husband is confirmed.) In the past, Clayton has also made statements critical of mandates that financial regulations have imposed on companies. “He is the fox guarding the henhouse in every possible way,” says Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen. “It’s a real question whether he’ll be a tough enforcer.” Others take a more positive view of Clayton’s selection. “This may be a good time for that kind of person,” said James Cox, a professor at Duke University Law School who is an expert on securities law and is a close SEC-watcher. Cox’s reasoning is that in the years since the 2008 financial crisis, the SEC has been consumed with writing rules under the Dodd-Frank law. Now, with that work mostly done, Cox suggested, Clayton is likely to steer the SEC back to its more fundamental responsibilities, such as overseeing rules for raising capital and rethinking disclosure requirements to make them better suited to a company’s size. To that end, Republican lawmakers have been pushing the SEC to ease the rules for smaller companies to raise capital in the markets — an area related to Clayton’s experience. Clayton appears to point in that direction in his opening remarks prepared for the hearing. “It is clear that our public capital markets are less attractive to business than in the past,” he says in the written remarks. “As a result, investment opportunities for Main Street investors are more limited. Here I see meaningful room for improvement.” More broadly, Clayton pegs the SEC’s critical responsibility as “making sure our markets are fair, open, orderly and efficient — and ensuring that investors are protected.” He promises to “take up this responsibility with energy and purpose” if confirmed. William McLucas, the SEC’s enforcement director through much of the 1990s, said he thinks the choice of Clayton “signals a bit of a change in tone for the agency.” In recent years the SEC pursued “a very aggressive” enforcement agenda under Obama’s appointee Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, said McLucas, who leads the securities practice at law firm WilmerHale. Under Clayton, McLucas suggested, the SEC might shift away from the approach of pursuing all manner of violation, large and small, to send a message. With his vast experience in corporate mergers and public stock launches, Clayton, 50, has worked on many of the kinds of Wall Street deals the SEC regulates. Besides Goldman, he has represented Barclays, Deutsche Bank and UBS. His client roster means he might have to step aside from deciding on some enforcement cases that come before the SEC. Some of the biggest deals he worked on came in the panicky crisis days of 2008. Clayton represented Goldman in Warren Buffett’s $5 billion investment in the bank and the teetering Bear Stearns in its rescue sale to JPMorgan Chase. He also worked on many deals involving bringing companies public, notably the 2014 U.S. stock market debut of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba — the biggest-ever initial public offering. The SEC has been investigating Alibaba’s accounting practices and sales data. Clayton’s financial disclosure filing shows that other big corporate clients — including Ally Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Volkswagen, British Airways, Priceline Group and Valeant. In addition, two of the biggest hedge funds — activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp. — are among his clients. The post Trump’s SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism appeared first on WTOP.

    WTOP - DC News / 1 d. 0 h. 37 min. ago more
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  • VIEWPOINT: Unite Women Across BordersVIEWPOINT: Unite Women Across Borders

    On the day after the inauguration, the world witnessed a storm of women in pink hats standing up for what they believe. Yet the women of the Women’s March on Washington were not the first to unite, and they will certainly not be the last. Over the past decade, women in Latin America have been at the forefront of this battle, most recently with the slogan #NiUnaMenos, or “not one less.” Originating in Argentina, this message denounces violence against women and has spread across Latin America to the United States. The goals of #NiUnaMenos and #WomensMarch have become interconnected in their quest for solidarity, justice and safety for the women of the world. Ni Una Menos was launched by a group of Argentine journalists, artists and activists who demanded that women be protected from violent death at the hands of men. The inspiration for the hashtag arose from Mexican poet and activist Susana Chávez, who was murdered in 2011 and was known for her advocacy against gender-based violence, primarily “femicide,” in Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez. The first Ni Una Menos demonstrations in Argentina were held June 3, 2015, in Buenos Aires’ Plaza del Congreso. Nearly 300,000 people showed up, with support from women’s rights groups, political organizations and the Catholic Church. Violence against women in Argentina is a growing problem, with Argentina-based human rights nonprofit La Casa del Encuentro estimating that every 30 hours, a woman is killed in crimes ranging from rape to live burnings, usually committed by husbands, boyfriends, family members or acquaintances of the victim. In the movement’s first triumphs following the 2015 rallies, Judge Elena Highton announced that the Supreme Court of Argentina would set up a specific registry for femicides. Beyond the protests, the movement has had a viral impact on the internet, with its call to serve as “a collective cry against machista violence,” according to its website. Meanwhile, the Women’s March platform is best summarized by the mantra “Women’s rights are human rights.” Though it appears Ni Una Menos focuses on violence and the Women’s March focuses on civil and reproductive rights — which seem unrelated — it is important to note that violence against women is not exclusive to the countries of Latin America. Rather, it is a global problem that affects women everywhere, including elite institutions similar to Georgetown. Recall the rape of an unconscious woman by ex-Stanford student Brock Turner in January 2015. When this resulted in a minor six-month jail sentence, of which he only served three, the voices of women united in protest. In doing so, women in the United States followed in the footsteps of Latin American women. Connections between the two movements abound. On the actual day of the Women’s March, sister marches were held in Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Many wore pink hats while continuing their rhetoric of #NiUnaMenos. It is imperative today, more than ever, that we in the United States recognize the value of maintaining relationships and learning from the rest of the Americas. What the Latin American movement has modelled for women is that telling the stories of victims does not need to be passive. By standing together and raising the collective voice of women, powerful and meaningful direct action can be taken against these injustices. Latina women have taught us time and time again how to be strong in the face of adversity. As is evident by the incredible solidarity seen across Latin America and in the United States, we are stronger when we unite across borders. This is important because although Latina women may seem far away, in reality they live all around us. We must celebrate the diversity that exists in our country and world and use it to our advantage. To do so, we must recognize and respect our differences, including racial, cultural and religious ones. We should use them to empower rather than separate us. On March 8, women all across the world committed to an International Women’s Strike. This day was one where women joined in solidarity to fight for the issues affecting them and their sisters by being absent from their workplaces, their roles and showing the world what a day without women feels like. While the fight for women’s rights is certainly not over, the women of #NiUnaMenos and the #WomensMarch were united in showing the world that women standing together will prevail. Nadia Guaman is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. She is a student fellow with the Latin America Initiative.The post VIEWPOINT: Unite Women Across Borders appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 2 d. 13 h. 53 min. ago more
  • EDITORIAL: Dangers of the Digital AgeEDITORIAL: Dangers of the Digital Age

    When Georgetown alumnus Jon Ossoff (SFS ’09) launched his bid for a House seat representing Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, his degree from the School of Foreign Service appeared to be an asset in a crowded race of 16 other candidates. Instead, the 30-year-old Democrat’s college years are under scrutiny after a Republican Party-backed super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, released footage of Ossoff as a student spoofing Georgetown’s alcohol policy in a “Star Wars” parody and performing a Billy Joel-inspired rendition of “Georgetown Girl” as a member of the a cappella group the Georgetown Chimes. The attack ads were part of a $1.1 million campaign by the super PAC to characterize Ossoff as “not honest, not serious, not ready” ahead of the April 18 special election. Georgetown students and those familiar with the university’s culture will likely find these videos innocuous — in fact, they did not appear to dent Ossoff’s 25 percent lead in the polls, which has increased nine percent since the advertisement first ran.  Nevertheless, the release of these videos signals a chilling precedent for millennials, who make up the first generation to seek entry into the political field while contending with the inconvenient staying power of social media. Now we have crossed a threshold where documentation of one’s college experience can be weaponized, ripped from social media, stripped of context and deployed to inflict untold damage on the careers of unsuspecting millennials. There is no telling how many of Georgetown’s future members of Congress, judges and CEOs will be felled by unflattering screenshots saved on their friends’ phones. The natural reaction to this development is to urge students to use their discretion when posting on social media and exercise caution in social situations that can be captured by others. But this advice neglects the fact that Ossoff did not capture these videos himself and elect to post them on social media, nor did he do anything but perform a sketch with his friends or sing at Gaston Hall with a student club. As a result, students are discouraged  from participating in activities that are irreverent or insufficiently “serious” in the singular pursuit of advancing a student’s career. In an atmosphere that can already sometimes be stiflingly pre-professional, participating in student groups like a cappella groups, fraternities and sororities is not an indicator of immaturity so much as an outlet for socialization and spontaneity. In the videos, Ossoff did not engage in any activity that was illegal or elicit; instead, the footage captures him in an embarrassing display typical of a college student. There is an inherent hypocrisy in condemning millennials for behavior previous generations were fortunate enough to experience before the existence of digital media. This editorial board cautions students — not out of disagreement, but rather out of necessity — to refrain from posting potentially damaging material online, where employers or potential opponents can access this information as easily as scrolling the Google results page or scrounging the photo section of Facebook. But more importantly, readers of every age must remain cognizant that seconds-long snatches on social media — particularly if rehashed without context — provide little insight into a person’s character or qualifications.  The post EDITORIAL: Dangers of the Digital Age appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 2 d. 15 h. 23 min. ago more
  • VIEWPOINT: A Boycott for HumanityVIEWPOINT: A Boycott for Humanity

    Put yourself in the place of an elderly Palestinian farmer, who just had his house bulldozed, his livestock confiscated and his land stolen. Put yourself in the place of a Palestinian mother who has just been informed her 6-year-old son was blown to bits by an Israeli missile while playing outside. Put yourself in the place of a Palestinian man who just lost his job and ability to feed his family because numerous Israeli checkpoints caused him to be late for the third time this week. Now go back to being a Georgetown student. Knowing the very real issue of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians, it is time to take action. You may think that the problem is too distant and complex to have a voice, but that is not true. A growing movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is spreading across college campuses around the world, aimed at placing international pressure on Israel for its consistent human rights violations: a growing occupation of Palestinian land within the West Bank, the use of excessive military force against civilians in Gaza, the detention of political prisoners with no evidence of illegal activities, the establishment of an apartheid system that legalizes discrimination against Palestinian Arabs and many more. For a university that prides itself on the implementation of Jesuit values — such as cura personalis and being women and men for others — Georgetown has much to do to demonstrate its dedication to these values in the face of the oppression happening within Palestine. Our student body, along with the entire U.S. political sphere, seems to have turned a blind eye to the very real issue regarding human rights violations within Palestine. Why must we wait for another deadly Israeli bombing campaign over Gaza to express support for the Palestinians? There is no better platform than the BDS movement for students to become proactive in expressing anger with the Israeli apartheid system and the United States’ continued support of these policies. There is a false notion that one must be somehow tied to the conflict, whether it be through Arab and Israeli ancestry or religious connections, to have any reason to get involved. This mentality is dangerously apathetic and a huge reason why Israel is able to get away with so many human rights violations against the Palestinians. Another common falsehood emphasized by pro-Israel groups is that BDS uses anti-Semitism to delegitimize the right of Jewish people to live in peace. This claim is not just intellectually inconsistent, but also morally demeaning. Firstly, there is not a single mention of the word “Jew” or any mention of religion from any official BDS sources. The focus of this movement is purely political and in no way spreads anti-Jewish rhetoric. Criticism of Israel can be attributed to anti-Zionism, an ideology rooted in hate through the displacement of a native people, which in no way correlates to criticism of the beautiful religion of Judaism. It is important to remember that, as is the case with all influential political movements, BDS will undoubtedly appeal to individuals who hold extremist views. There will always be truly anti-Semitic individuals who misunderstand the real goals of the movement and use it as an excuse to spread hateful rhetoric. However, it is intellectually dishonest to take the actions of few extremists and use them to reflect an entire movement. The BDS movement seeks equality, justice and an end to systematic oppression. In no way do these goals encroach on the respect and rights of Israeli citizens; rather, they simply call for the recognition of Palestinians as equals. It is not only blatantly incorrect to label BDS as anti-Semitic, but also disrespectful to those suffering from the persistent issue of actual anti-Semitism. There are multiple ways to support BDS here on campus. First, our Students for Justice in Palestine chapter organizes several events each semester to promote equality for Palestinians and peacefully protest Israel’s apartheid policies. There is a disappointingly low turnout at many of these events, which are often a great opportunity for neutral students to simply gain insight into the Palestinian perspective. At the same time, Georgetown Forming a Radically Ethical Endowment calls for greater transparency of Georgetown’s investment portfolio and divestment from companies that support Israel’s ongoing human rights violations. This new endeavor has the admirable goal of making clear the importance of equality for all human life and can surely use assistance from any students trying to become more involved. It is time for us students to rally together and pressure Israel to abandon its divisive policies and allow Palestinians their basic human liberties. BDS is an effective platform to respectfully express disgust at inhumane Israeli policies and the United States’ negligence to act accordingly. As Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, a staunch supporter of BDS and human rights in Palestine, once said, “By remaining neutral in the face of oppression, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” AHMAD AL-HUSSEINI is a freshman in the School of Nursing and Health Studies.The post VIEWPOINT: A Boycott for Humanity appeared first on .

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  • OWEN: Xavier Emerges as Big East’s Top ContenderOWEN: Xavier Emerges as Big East’s Top Contender

    Badgers Don’t Care In shocking fashion on Saturday, No. 8 seed Wisconsin (27-9, 12-6 Big Ten) upset the overall No. 1 seed, Villanova (32-4, 15-3 Big East), 65-62 in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament to end the latter’s hopes of repeating as national champion. Known as a team that peaks in March, the Badgers added the Wildcats to the list of opponents they have upset, including last year’s defeat of then-No. 2 seed Xavier (23-13, 9-9 Big East) at the hands of a game-winning, buzzer-beater three-pointer by then-junior guard Bronson Koenig. The Badgers were 5.5-point underdogs to the Wildcats, but in some ways, the result continued recent trends. As the only school to advance to the Sweet 16 for four straight years, Wisconsin continues to emerge as an extremely underrated program, while Villanova’s loss marks the fourth time in the past five years it has lost in the round of 32. The Badgers next take on the No. 4 seed Florida Gators (26-8, 14-4 SEC), who just completed a demolition of the No. 5 seed Virginia Cavaliers (23-11, 11-7 ACC) 65-39, with a spot in the Elite 8 on the line. With its performances thus far, Wisconsin should be considered a legitimate Final Four threat. Big East Represent Despite the poor showing by the Big East in this year’s tournament, the conference’s lone bright spot has been an unexpected one. After crushing the No. 3 seed Florida State Seminoles (26-9, 12-6 ACC) 91-66, the No. 11 seed Xavier Musketeers earned a spot in the regional semifinal round for the second consecutive year and eighth time in program history. Xavier, who knocked off sixth-seeded Maryland (24-9, 12-6 Big Ten) in the first round, hit big shots on perimeter and forced Florida State to rely on long range shooting by sitting in a 2-3 zone much of the game. Junior guard Trevon Bluiett powered Xavier with a team-high 29 points and sophomore forward Kaiser Gates nailed four three-pointers, contributing to the Musketeers’ 11-of-17 three-point shooting. The Musketeers knocked down five three-pointers during the first half compared to just one by the Seminoles. Known for its athleticism and height, Florida State struggled to get out on fast breaks against Xavier’s stout half-court zone and control of the ball. Although its season looked grim after star sophomore guard Edmond Sumner tore his ACL in January, Xavier looks primed to challenge second-seeded Arizona (32-4, 16-2 Pac-12) in the regional semifinals in the West this Thursday. Rising Raiders Despite its close loss to fourth-seeded Butler (25-8, 12-6 Big East) in the round of 32 last Saturday, twelfth-seeded Middle Tennessee (31-5, 17-1 C-USA) became one of the feel good stories in college basketball, becoming the first team ever to win games in back-to-back years as a double-digit seed. The Blue Raiders proved they were no one-hit wonder in their win against the fifth-seeded Minnesota Gophers (24-10, 11-7 Big Ten) in this year’s first round after shocking then-title favorite Michigan State in last tournament’s opening round as a 15 seed. Middle Tennessee continued to exponentially grow as a program with a Conference-USA regular season and tournament title along with back-to-back NCAA tournament wins, only further shedding light on the fabulous job Head Coach Kermit Davis has done with a team that relies on three-star-or-below recruits. As the Raiders begin to attract high caliber prospects, they will only become more of a steady force in college basketball, something that’s easy to root for come tournament time in March. Carter Owen is a freshman in the McDonough School of Business. Three-Point Shootout appears every Monday.The post OWEN: Xavier Emerges as Big East’s Top Contender appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 2 d. 16 h. 21 min. ago more
  • EDITORIAL: Invest in Shared FutureEDITORIAL: Invest in Shared Future

    The launch of Saxa Fund, a fundraising platform that streamlines the relationship between donors and students, represents an enormous stride for the university in engaging its alumni base. The platform, which aims to “connect creative campus initiatives with community support,” will allow alumni to give tax-deductible donations directly to student-led initiatives posted on the Saxa Fund site. A joint project between Students of Georgetown, Inc., the Georgetown University Alumni Student Federal Credit Union and the Georgetown University Student Association, the Saxa Fund currently hosts three initiatives: a credit builder program for low-income students, a student film project and a fund for portable lights for Kehoe Field. Currently, about 35 percent of Georgetown alumni donate to the university, compared to an average of 60 percent at peer institutions such as Princeton University and Duke University. By cutting out the university as an intermediary, Georgetown alumni can potentially bolster their participation by directly funding initiatives to which they would like to contribute. The development of the Saxa Fund remedies a long-standing shortcoming of the existing Georgetown Giving program through Georgetown’s Office of Advancement, which only provides broad categories for alumni donations such as the Georgetown Fund, Mission and Ministry and Undergraduate Financial Aid. This system precludes the donation to individual academic departments, only allowing broad options for the four undergraduate schools. Furthermore, these existing donation channels prioritize institutions instead of student projects. The broadness of Georgetown Giving’s categories dissuades students from establishing personal connections with alumni because there is no way for an alumnus or alumna to guarantee that his or her money goes directly to a particular student’s efforts through the university. The Saxa Fund not only addresses the issue of specificity, but also promotes greater transparency and accountability in the donation process. All proposals are reviewed by a board consisting of The Corp CEO, GUASFCU CEO, GUSA executive and three alumni and require an itemized budget and contingency plan. Furthermore, the Saxa Fund does not contribute to the core operating expenses of student organizations, instead providing subsidies for projects that would otherwise be outside the fiscal reach of students. Once the funding goals are met, the project is removed from the site and replaced with a new initiative, allowing for as many projects as possible to have the opportunity to benefit from alumni donations. These mechanisms insulate the fundraising process from student organizations directly receiving enormous or suspicious donations, as well as protect from the possibility that the Student Activities Commission reduces funding for students groups that benefit from the program. However, the only way for the platform to become a viable fundraising tool is if students continue to come up with creative initiatives they feel will improve Georgetown. The program currently features three projects, but through the sustained investment of students and alumni, the program stands to become an integral institution that provides key linkages between students and alumni. If today’s undergraduates view the program as a central vehicle to improving university life, the Saxa Fund can serve as a lasting program that empowers the community for generations. The mantle of responsibility for this initiative lies not only with the alumni making the donations, but also with the student in organizations who can inspire their generosity to the university.The post EDITORIAL: Invest in Shared Future appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 2 d. 16 h. 23 min. ago more
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  • Women’s Lacrosse | Hoyas Secure Victory in Big East OpenerWomen’s Lacrosse | Hoyas Secure Victory in Big East Opener

    Looking to bounce back from a loss suffered three days before, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team opened Big East play against Butler in Indianapolis last Saturday, defeating the Bulldogs 18-2. “Honestly our biggest mindset was just focusing on what we were going to do. They didn’t have a lot of tendencies, we don’t know them as well as we know other teams,” Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried said.   The unknowns surrounding the inexperienced Butler team (1-8, 0-1 Big East) allowed Georgetown (3-5, 1-0 Big East) to focus on itself in the practices leading up to the game.   “Our biggest challenge right now is us: So, focusing on what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, is really more important than what other people are doing at the end of the day,” Fried said.   In its first year of play, Butler has notched one win and been outscored by its opposition 147-72. The Blue and Gray held the Bulldogs to four shots, while generating 41 of their own. Fried credited the Hoyas’ victory to their enhanced concentratoin.   “It’s about us staying mentally focused and present. We have a tendency to drift and then try to check back in, and I thought we stayed engaged for the majority of the game,” Fried said.   The first half set the tone for the rest of the game, with senior attack Kate Snouffer scoring on an unassisted tally less than one minute into play. By the end of the game, Snouffer had contributed seven points to Georgetown’s final tally, scoring a career-high four goals and three assists.   Fried emphasized, however, the importance of the little details over big plays.   “I think that a lot of the momentum pieces aren’t about goals or takeaways,” Fried said. “Consistently doing the little things as opposed to doing a big thing to try to get over the edge — it’s the little things that add up to make it look like a big thing a lot of the time.”   Many of Georgetown’s offensive contributions came from its strong sophomore class. Sophomore attacker Taylor Gebhardt finished with a hat trick and an assist for the Blue and Gray while sophomore midfielder Francesca Whitehurst added two goals and two assists.   Junior and freshman midfielders Georgia Tunney and Natalia Lynch each added two goals of their own. Sophomore attack Morgan Ryan and freshman attack Emily Ehle also made their offensive presence known. Ryan added a goal and an assist, and Ehle had two assists.   For the next stop on Georgetown’s four-game road trip, the team travels to Baltimore to face the Loyola Greyhounds (1-6). The game against Loyola rounds up Georgetown’s non-conference schedule for the season.   In preparation for Loyola, a team that currently suffers from a -30 goal differential thus far this season, Coach Fried insisted on looking past their win-loss record.   “Loyola is a very good team, five of their six losses are to teams in the top fifteen and outside of Florida they haven’t lost by more than four,” Fried said. “They’re really competitive, they’re really athletic and they’re going to be hungry because they haven’t won. So we’re really going to have to make sure that we’re not trying to match their energy, they have to match our energy. If we do that, we’re going to be successful.”   The game against Loyola is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at Loyola.The post Women’s Lacrosse | Hoyas Secure Victory in Big East Opener appeared first on .

    The Hoya / 2 d. 16 h. 25 min. ago more
  • Men’s Lacrosse | No. 11 Duke Halts GU Winning StreakMen’s Lacrosse | No. 11 Duke Halts GU Winning Streak

    The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team fell short of its upset bid last Saturday, falling 12-7 to the No. 11 Duke Blue Devils at home, halting its winning streak at just two games. Georgetown (2-5) entered the matchup fresh off its first two wins of the season against Robert Morris (5-3) and Hobart (4-4) over spring break. Duke (7-2) was able to dissipate that momentum, however, as it maintained a commanding lead starting from the opening minutes of the game. Five minutes into the first quarter, the Blue Devils put in back-to-back goals, but the Hoyas responded promptly with a goal from freshman attack Jake Carraway. Duke left little time for Georgetown to celebrate, banging in four consecutive goals and giving it a 6-1 advantage with 9:33 left in the second quarter. Georgetown’s senior midfielder Devon Lewis stopped the bleeding with a goal off an assist from sophomore attack Daniel Bucaro. The Georgetown defense gave up one more goal on a man-down penalty before halftime, allowing Duke to go up 7-2. To start the second half, junior midfielder Craig Berge scored an unassisted goal that was countered almost immediately by a goal from Duke. Carraway then scored two straight goals to bring Georgetown back to within three. Carraway, who was named Big East Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week, finished the game with three goals along with three ground balls. The hat trick puts him at 11 goals in the season. Though a young player, Carraway possesses the ability to turn the corner and place the ball, which makes him a valuable offensive contributor. He received high praise from Head Coach Kevin Warne. “I don’t think we can really consider him a freshman at this point,” Warne said. The Blue Devils punched back by going on a four-goal scoring streak, however, and the game quickly grew out of reach. Georgetown’s Bucaro capped off the match by scoring his 21st and 22nd goals of the season, but the deficit proved too great in the end. The Hoyas struggled all afternoon to find a consistent flow on offense, finishing with eight fewer shots and one more turnover than their opponent. Coach Warne stated that he would have liked his offense to be more unselfish with its shot selection. “It’s okay to take smart shots. When you watched us play, I feel like we just held onto the ball too much,” Warne said. Georgetown will have little turnaround time, as it returns to play on Wednesday, facing No. 18 Loyola Maryland (4-3) on the road. Heading into the game, the team hopes to recapture the flow that it possessed in its two big wins last week. “We weren’t who we were the past couple of weeks, and we’ve got to get back to that quickly,” Warne said. The Hoyas are set to face off against the Loyola Greyhounds at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore, Md., on Wednesday. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network at 3 p.m.  The post Men’s Lacrosse | No. 11 Duke Halts GU Winning Streak appeared first on .

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  • Tennis | Men Seek Team Identity, Women Ready for WilliamsTennis | Men Seek Team Identity, Women Ready for Williams

    The Georgetown men’s tennis team dropped its Big East opener on Friday, losing to the Xavier Musketeers 5-2. Scheduled to take on the Hofstra Pride on Sunday, Georgetown did not get the opportunity to regain its winning touch as both the men and women’s team’s matches were cancelled. In addition to its match against Hofstra on Sunday, the men’s team’s match against Wagner on Thursday, March 16 was also cancelled due to inclement weather. However, when Georgetown (3-7, 0-1 Big East) has been able to take the court, the team has struggled to find success, dropping its fourth straight match. In Georgetown’s loss to Xavier, junior Mac Rechan picked up the lone singles victory. Rechan, who played at the number five spot for the match, notched a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Xavier freshman Nate Dell. The Hoyas grabbed two of the three doubles matches to win the doubles’ point, but the Musketeers (4-9, 1-0 Big East) defeated the Blue and Gray in the remaining five singles matches for a victory of 5-2. “We were fighting and they snatched it from us,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “I have to give them credit because our guys played well.” Georgetown’s loss to Xavier is representative of how the season has played out thus far: the Hoyas have struggled to find consistent, reliable play. Before its loss to Xavier, Georgetown fell to Utah State by a score of 6-0, dropping every singles match in straight sets. Despite the team’s recent struggles, Ernst has remained very positive about his team. “Overall, our guys are not that dejected right now. We lost a couple of tight matches, but they’re still fired up for St. John’s on Friday. They’re still hungry. They’re not down,” Ernst said. The Hoyas look to rebound from four straight losses when they take on St. John’s (7-12) on Friday. Similar the Hoyas, the Red Storm have struggled lately, as the team has lost four straight and five of its last six. After losing its first conference game to Xavier, Georgetown looks to grab its first conference victory against St. John’s. Similarly, the women’s team (7-3) takes on St. John’s (10-3, 3-0 Big East) on Fri., March 24. However, before its first Big East matchup, Georgetown hosts Williams College (5-1, 1-0 NESCAC) on Tuesday. Williams has started off hot this season, but all of its opponents have been fellow Division III opponents. Georgetown will be Williams’ first Division I opponent of the season. Due the cancellation of the match against Hofstra, the women’s team has not competed in a match since March 10. “It will actually make them hungrier a little bit,” Ernst said of his team’s extended rest. “We actually play Williams tomorrow, the best DIII team in the country. So that will be a great way to prepare for Friday’s match against St. John’s.” The Georgetown women’s team host Williams on Tues., March 21 at 11 a.m. Then, both the men’s and women’s team travel to Flushing, NY on Friday to face St. John’s at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.  The post Tennis | Men Seek Team Identity, Women Ready for Williams appeared first on .

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    Allyssa Banks’s mother is pleading with anyone with information about the October killing to come forward, now that police have released a sketch of the gunman.

    The Washington Post
  • Look out! Hibernation is over and bears are coming out, officials in Virginia warn.Look out! Hibernation is over and bears are coming out, officials in Virginia warn.

    Keep your distance.

    The Washington Post
  • Go Home Already: People Pack Ward 8 Forum On Missing TeensGo Home Already: People Pack Ward 8 Forum On Missing Teens

    Plus, what happens when you try to bribe the bouncer at the cherry blossom pop-up, and more end-of-day news. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Common Goes Political, Romantic, Orchestral With NSO PopsCommon Goes Political, Romantic, Orchestral With NSO Pops

    The celebrated rapper headlined the NSO Pops' latest venture into hip-hop. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • This Woman Is Trying To Raise $30,000 To Replace Ads In A Metro Station With Cat PhotosThis Woman Is Trying To Raise $30,000 To Replace Ads In A Metro Station With Cat Photos

    Call it a pet project. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Metro Finalizes Plan For Fare Hikes And Service Cuts Metro Finalizes Plan For Fare Hikes And Service Cuts

    It'll cost a minimum of $2.25 to ride Metrorail during peak hours and $2 for Metrobus, among other changes approved today. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • GOP Lobbyist Now Opening 'War Room' Dedicated To Solving Seth Rich MurderGOP Lobbyist Now Opening 'War Room' Dedicated To Solving Seth Rich Murder

    The "private investigative effort" will be headquartered in Arlington. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Tarot Cards Guide You Through This Experimental Theater PieceTarot Cards Guide You Through This Experimental Theater Piece

    The card you pick determines the show you see. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Howard University Announces Residency Program At GoogleHoward University Announces Residency Program At Google

    "Howard West" kicks off this summer. [ more › ]

    DCist
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  • Weekend Picks: 14 Things To Do In And Around D.C.Weekend Picks: 14 Things To Do In And Around D.C.

    This weekend you can get competitive, immerse yourself in other cultures, or celebrate women artists. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Aaron Silverman Might Take Over Bayou Bakery's Capitol Hill Space Aaron Silverman Might Take Over Bayou Bakery's Capitol Hill Space

    If the deal goes through, he plans to move Pineapple and Pearl’s daytime cafe service to Bayou's Capitol Hill location, according to a report. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • 5 Ways To Spring Clean Like A Real Adult, On A Budget 5 Ways To Spring Clean Like A Real Adult, On A Budget

    Whether your bedroom could use a revamp or you need to prep your patio for some backyard barbecues, now's the perfect time to pick up a few home goods that'll have you feeling all warm and summery inside. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • A Film That May Or May Not Cause Fainting Spells Tops This Week's Movie AgendaA Film That May Or May Not Cause Fainting Spells Tops This Week's Movie Agenda

    And don't miss a Yayoi Kusama documentary and a 35mm print of Yojimbo. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Gloria Gaynor Will Survive, But What Of The NEA?Gloria Gaynor Will Survive, But What Of The NEA?

    The disco legend will headline a dance party at the Library of Congress on May 4. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Morning Roundup: New Metro Escalator Tips Involve Standing Still, Not WalkingMorning Roundup: New Metro Escalator Tips Involve Standing Still, Not Walking

    Plus, D.C. AG wants Sanford Capital owner personally liable for damages, the biggest canine rescue squad in the country, and more. [ more › ]

    DCist
  • Never Forget: The Power Behind Institutions Of MemoryNever Forget: The Power Behind Institutions Of Memory

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorate vastly different events, but both place memory at the center of their missions. Join the conversation as Museum directors discuss the creation, location, and design of these living memorials and their impact. [ more › ]

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