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Nov 20, 2014

Virginia woman waives hearing on Islamic State charges

By John Clarke

(Reuters) – A Virginia woman on Wednesday waived a preliminary hearing on terrorism charges over allegedly lying to U.S. investigators about using social media to promote and recruit for the militant Islamic State group.

Heather Coffman, 29, of Henrico, Virginia, was arrested on Monday after trying to recruit an undercover FBI agent for Islamic State, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond.

Nov 18, 2014

Washington, D.C., approves landmark civil asset forfeiture law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – District of Columbia lawmakers approved legislation on Tuesday that makes it harder for police to seize assets from people who are not ultimately charged with crimes, a bill that backers say is a model for the rest of the country.

The measure approved unanimously by Washington City Council prevents assets taken by police from going to the department, and instead earmarks them for the U.S. capital’s general fund.

Nov 17, 2014

‘House of Cards’ tax breaks cost Marylanders, should end -report

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Tax credits for filming
Netflix’s “House of Cards” and HBO’s “Veep” are costing Maryland
taxpayers money and should be ended in 2016, state lawmakers
concluded in a new report.

Maryland has given $62.5 million in tax credits to film and
television productions since 2012, with $60.2 million of that
going to “House of Cards,” the Washington political thriller
starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and “Veep,” the comedy
starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a U.S. vice president.

Nov 15, 2014

First Muslim prayers at National Cathedral interrupted by protester

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first Muslim prayer service ever hosted at the National Cathedral, a landmark Christian church in the U.S. capital, was briefly interrupted on Friday by a lone anti-Islamic protester but the religious gathering continued with a theme of tolerance.

The outburst came as dozens of Muslims knelt on prayer rugs below walls of stained glass and stone archways. The protester, a woman from Michigan who declined to give her name, managed to sneak into the tightly secured, invite-only service and interrupt the introduction.

Nov 14, 2014

Suspect in Virginia kidnapping pleads not guilty to 2005 rape

By John Clarke

FAIRFAX Va. (Reuters) – The man charged with abducting a University of Virginia student who later turned up dead pleaded not guilty on Friday in a separate rape case.

Jesse Matthew, 32, of Charlottesville, Virginia, faces three felony charges in a 2005 case in which police say he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman walking home from a grocery store in the Washington suburb of Fairfax, Virginia.

Nov 13, 2014

U.S. Capitol workers, others strike for higher pay, union

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of striking federal contract workers, including for the first time some from the U.S. Capitol, rallied on Thursday to urge President Barack Obama to boost pay and spur unionization.

About 800 striking workers and supporters, including members of Congress, gathered at the Capitol after a march through Washington streets led by a brass band.

Nov 6, 2014

Philadelphia abduction suspect accused of violent rape in Virginia

By John Clarke

(Reuters) – A 37-year-old man accused of abducting a woman from a Philadelphia sidewalk this week in a dramatic act caught on surveillance video faces attempted murder and rape charges for a separate incident in Virginia, police said on Thursday.

Delvin Barnes, who police initially identified as Devlen Barnes, was arrested in a parking lot on Wednesday in Jessup, Maryland, over 100 miles (160 km) from where he is suspected of kidnapping 22-year old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither three days earlier, the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement.

Nov 5, 2014

Maryland teen was too drunk to carry out school attack plan: police

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 16-year-old Maryland boy who police allege planned a school shooting was too intoxicated to carry off the attack, according to charging documents released on Wednesday.

Sash Nemphos, who told police he had been bullied for years, had planned to kill his parents, and then kill students and teachers at his school in a Baltimore suburb with a gun and bombs before committing suicide, according to documents filed with the District Court of Maryland.

Nov 2, 2014

Maryland man charged with threatening to kill Obama in email

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 42-year-old Maryland man accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama in an explicit email strewn with racist remarks was in custody on Sunday, the United States Secret Service said.

Christopher Perkins O’Brien, of Annapolis, was arrested on Thursday and charged with making a violent threat against the president and threatening bodily harm against the presidential family in an email sent to the White House website on Oct. 16, according to court documents.

Nov 1, 2014

Motorists cash in when armored car drops money bag in Maryland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maryland police said on Saturday they were appealing to motorists to return any money they may have picked up after a bag of cash fell out of an armored car and burst open in the fast lane of a highway.

The incident unfolded on Friday during the morning rush hour near Urbana, about 36 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., when the rear door of a GardaWorld truck malfunctioned and popped open, throwing a bag of money on to the highway.