Correspondent, Milan
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Feb 22, 2015

Legal haze: D.C. pot users face questions as deadline expires this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Marijuana advocates’ hopes that the U.S. capital would easily follow in the footsteps of Denver or Seattle in clearing the way for lawful pot use are set to go up in smoke this week.

Voters in the District of Columbia last year passed a measure clearing the way for pot possession, but members of Congress have used their power over the city to prevent local officials from coming up with any plan to let the drug be sold legally for recreational purposes.

Feb 20, 2015

Virginia ex-first lady sentenced to prison for corruption

By Gary Robertson and Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell was
sentenced on Friday to 12 months and one day in prison for her
federal corruption conviction for taking bribes from a

McDonnell, 60, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge
James Spencer to two years of probation following release from

Feb 19, 2015

Washington rabbi pleads guilty to voyeurism charges

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON(Reuters) – A prominent Washington rabbi charged with secretly videotaping dozens of women during ritual baths pleaded guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism on Thursday.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, was accused of installing video cameras to spy on women in the bathing area for his Orthodox synagogue, Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington’s upscale Georgetown neighborhood.

Feb 17, 2015

Icy storm pummels eastern United States, more cold to come

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The aftermath of a deadly winter storm paralyzed much of the eastern United States on Tuesday and forecasters warned of the worst cold in two decades from another arctic front this week.

The storm dumped snow and spread ice from New England into the Carolinas after battering the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Temperatures hit -30 Fahrenheit (-34 Celsius) in Saranac Lake, New York, according to the National Weather Service.

Feb 9, 2015

D.C. has ‘discussion’ on legal pot on fear hearing illegal

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – A planned District of Columbia
city council hearing on legal marijuana sales was reduced to a
discussion on Monday because of fears the hearing could be

The hearing was intended to get public comment on a bill
that would make recreational marijuana legal in the U.S. capital
and regulate sales like alcohol. District voters overwhelmingly
approved a ballot initiative last year legalizing marijuana.

Feb 6, 2015

Washington pulls bid to limit homeless access to rooms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The District of Columbia on Friday withdrew a request for a court order that would let the U.S. capital put homeless families in shelters on cold nights rather than in individual rooms.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration had filed the emergency motion late on Thursday. The filing said Washington was within a day of running out of space for families in hotel rooms.

Feb 4, 2015

Top U.S. doctor says medical marijuana may help some conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States’ top doctor said that medical marijuana can help some patients in comments on Wednesday that may boost pressure on the Justice Department to redesignate the drug under federal law.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the medical effectiveness of marijuana had to be shown scientifically and much more information about it was coming.

Feb 3, 2015

Chesapeake Bay recovering but still under stress, report finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The ailing Chesapeake Bay is slowly recovering from pollution and overfishing but still has problems that include a drop by half in a key segment of the blue crab population, a report on the largest U.S. estuary said on Tuesday.

The health snapshot from the Chesapeake Bay Program said the 64,000-square-mile (166,000-square-km) watershed covering six states and Washington, D.C. was threatened by urban development, rising sea levels and warmer water.

Jan 29, 2015

Road-kill deer get mulched as U.S. states turn to composting

, Jan 29 (Reuters) – For years, Jimmy White woke
up worrying about road-kill.

An official with the Virginia highway system, White’s
responsibilities included ensuring that thousands of deer and
other animals hit by cars were collected, a process that cost
the state some $4.1 million per year.

But roadside burial is increasingly not an option because of
underground cables, pipes and other infrastructure near
highways, while landfills charge fees and a decline in the U.S.
rendering industry has removed another disposal outlet. Dragging
the carcasses into nearby bushes or dropping them into pits can
pollute groundwater, said Jean Bonhotal, director of the Waste
Management Institute at New York’s Cornell University.

Jan 28, 2015

Guantanamo order barring touching by women guards harmful – commander

By Ian Simpson

FORT MEADE, Md. (Reuters) – A Guantanamo Bay military court order banning female guards from touching an accused al Qaeda commander harms soldiers’ morale and security at the prison, the commander of the prison’s secret lockup for former CIA captives testified on Wednesday.

The November interim order bars female guards from touching Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, who faces war crimes charges. Iraqi, who is accused of leading attacks in Afghanistan, says that being touched by women guards violates his Muslim faith.

    • About Ian

      "Ian Simpson covers Italian equities from Milan with a focus on banks. In a 30-year career, he has been based in Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Washington, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Portugal and Italy. He has reported from more than 20 countries."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, some Dari
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