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May 21, 2015

Washington Capitol police weigh fix after guns left in bathrooms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Capitol police are considering new procedures and punishments after several incidents in which officers accidentally left their guns in public bathrooms, an official said on Thursday.One gun was left in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom by a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail in January, according to media reports. Another gun owned by an officer assigned to protect House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner was discovered in a bathroom in Boehner’s office suite by a child in March.In a third incident, a handgun was discovered in April by a janitor cleaning the police headquarters building.

In congressional hearings on Wednesday, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said he was considering annual procedural training on securing guns while using the bathroom.

May 16, 2015

Washington ‘peeping Tom’ rabbi gets six-and-a-half years in prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A prominent Washington rabbi who pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping dozens of women naked during ritual baths was sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison on Friday.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, pleaded guilty in February to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism. He admitted recording the women between March 2012 and September 2014 using devices installed in changing rooms.

May 15, 2015

Washington ‘peeping Tom’ rabbi sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A prominent Washington rabbi who pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping dozens of women naked during ritual baths was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, pleaded guilty in February to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism. He admitted recording the women between March 2012 and September 2014 using devices installed in changing rooms.

May 12, 2015

Washington rabbi who admitted voyeurism seeks to avoid prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An attorney for the prominent Washington rabbi who pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping dozens of women naked during ritual baths asked a judge to sentence him to community service, not prison, according to court records.

Prosecutors are seeking a 17-year prison term for Rabbi Barry Freundel, 63, who will be sentenced on Friday. He pleaded guilty in February to recording the women between early 2009 and October 2014, using devices installed in two changing rooms for the National Capital Mikvah, next to the Kesher synagogue in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood.

May 6, 2015

Former FBI agent was arrested outside gates of CIA headquarters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former FBI agent with a history of mental illness was arrested outside CIA headquarters last week during a confrontation with police in which she threatened to bomb the agency, court documents show.

Tunisia Davis was taken into custody on Thursday after she refused to stop her car outside the gates of the Langley, Virginia, offices of the CIA, according to an affidavit filed with the charges against her.

Apr 24, 2015

‘American Sniper’ cancellation draws Maryland lawmaker’s ire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A state lawmaker launched an online campaign on Friday to overturn a decision to cancel a screening of “American Sniper” at the University of Maryland after a Muslim student group objected to the film about a U.S. Navy marksman in Iraq.

Neil Parrott, a Republican state delegate, said the decision to cancel the screening at the university’s College Park campus was an exercise in political correctness and infringes on First Amendment rights to free speech.

Apr 23, 2015

Neighbors grieve quietly for Maryland man killed in drone strike

By John Clarke

ROCKVILLE, Md. (Reuters) – On the leafy street where U.S. economic development expert Warren Weinstein lived before he was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Pakistan, the yellow ribbons signifying hope that he would come home still hung on Thursday.

But on the day they learned that Weinstein, a 73-year-old grandfather from Rockville, Maryland, had been accidentally killed in a January drone strike that also resulted in the death of an American al Qaeda leader, many of his neighbors were grieving in private.

Apr 7, 2015

Actor Edward Norton pushes for fracking ban in Maryland radio ad

By John Clarke

(Reuters) – Hollywood actor Edward Norton is lending his voice to a radio advertisement in his home state of Maryland paid for by a consumer rights group calling for a moratorium on the drilling process known as fracking.

In the ad, released on Tuesday, Norton advocates a state ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial technique that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. The radio spot backs fracking moratorium legislation passed by the Maryland Senate on Monday.

Mar 31, 2015

Former Washington-area FBI agent pleads guilty to multiple drug charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former FBI agent admitted on Tuesday to taking heroin seized in drug busts in the Washington area for his personal use and to evidence tampering that resulted in the dismissal of several major drug-trafficking cases.Matthew Lowry, 33, faces at least seven years in prison and a potential fine of up to $16 million, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Lowry tampered with heroin seized during several investigations in 2013 and 2014, often keeping it for personal use before putting it in an evidence locker with fillers added to make up for the weight difference.

Mar 31, 2015

Fraternity at Maryland university suspended over hazing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maryland’s Salisbury University has suspended a fraternity over allegations of hazing that include members paddling pledges and forcing them to exercise, a school official said on Tuesday.

Salisbury, about 115 miles southeast of Washington, has suspended the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity chapter until 2017 after several incidents of hazing allegedly took place last fall at an off-campus residence, said Valerie Randall-Lee, an assistant vice president at the school.