[Updated Friday at 4:09 p.m. ET] Washington Councilman Marion Barry said Friday he could've rephrased his controversial remark about "dirty" Asian businesses in his district, but he refused to back down.
He said his adrenaline was flowing after Tuesday's primary victory, when he made the comment, and that he merely was trying to convey that the business community in his Ward 8 needs a new attitude. Asians run a large percentage of the ward's stores and small shops, he said.
“I said something that I probably could have phrased differently. What you mean is the same. You’re not going to have people who are exploiting us in this community. They’re going to be part of the community. We welcome all businesspeople here … but give us some jobs.”
Several lawmakers, including the D.C. mayor and some of Barry's fellow council members, condemned his remarks - criticism Barry downplayed earlier this week. CNN's Athena Jones, who interviewed Barry on Friday, also spoke to Korean shop owner Helen Lee, who said she was angered by the councilman's castigation.
"We work really hard to keep our facility clean and to serve, like, this community. We've been here for over 20 years now," said Lee's daughter, Miriam. "So it's really insulting for him to come out of the blue and say that we're dirty and that, you know, we should be replaced, basically because we've been here for so long."
Told of the Lees' sentiments, Barry again disregarded the criticism, saying, "Leadership requires leadership."
"If she’s mad at me, tell her put some money in this community. Hire some people in this community. Give money to various organizations in this community, " he said. "If she’s mad, then do something about it.”
A monologist whose story about Apple and factories in China has come under fire took questions from the public about the controversy Tuesday night in the Washington theater that held the debut for his piece.
Solo artist Mike Daisey has had plenty to say since it was revealed that he made up some things in “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” his tale of horrid labor conditions inside the Chinese manufacturer that makes Apple products.
A lot of it has been: “I’m sorry.”
The public radio show “This American Life” had run a version of his story, adapted from his theater show, and then retracted it this month after learning that he had fabricated information about his visits to the factories. Daisey has since taken a pummeling in the news media.
U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI on Friday arrested a Moroccan man who was planning a suicide attack on the Capitol, police and a federal law-enforcement official said.
The man received what he thought was a vest with explosives, but the materials in the vest had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said.
He was arrested as soon as he accepted the vest from undercover officers, the federal law-enforcement source said.
The man had been closely monitored as part of a lengthy and extensive undercover operation, police said, adding U.S. Capitol Police had been "intimately" involved in the investigation.
The public was never in danger, police said.FULL STORY
Occupy DC protesters struggled to stay awake overnight but vowed to stay strong Tuesday in the first full day of a camping ban enforced by U.S. Park Police.
"I had more fun in the park last night than the whole time I've been here," said Amanda Rickard, who is among the protesters staying at McPherson Park in Washington. "We were out here playing guitar, singing, playing drums, Scrabble, card games, you know, just stuff to keep us busy so we can stay here and stay awake."
But one protester said he wouldn't be surprised if the mandate against camping gear and sleeping in the park takes its toll on protesters.
"To be honest, I don't know how long we can keep this up," protester Kevin Whiley said after a sleepless night.
Park police began enforcing the ban on Monday after months of tolerating the Occupy camps at McPherson Park and Freedom Plaza. Police moved through the parks on Monday, asking protesters to remove camping gear and be sure to leave a tent flap open at all times.FULL STORY
The Washington City Council is on track to make it easier for same-sex couples who got married in the District of Columbia to get divorced.
D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson proposed the legislation after hearing reports that same-sex couples who wed in the District were being denied divorces after moving to jurisdictions that don't recognize same-sex marriages. The District of Columbia began allowing same-sex marriages in 2010. But those marriages are recognized in only a handful of places, meaning divorce proceedings can't be started in many places that haven't recognized the marriages in the first place.
"I received a number of reports from couples or attorneys about this impossible situation," Mendelson told the Washington Examiner.
Mendelson's bill removes a six-month waiting period during which someone seeking a divorce must reside in the District, provided the marriage occurred in the District in the first place.
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington has applauded Mendelson's bill.
"This bill fills a gap in the law created by our being ahead of the historical curve. None of us celebrates the dissolution of a marriage, but equality under the law must extend to every contingency. The lack of a clear legal mechanism for divorce can make an unhappy situation much worse for all involved," Rick Rosendall, the alliance's vice president for political affairs, said in a statement.
The bill was co-sponsored by seven other members of the 13-member council, meaning final passage is likely.
Approval by the mayor or an override of a veto is required, as is a 30-day congressional review period, before the measure can become law.
U.S. Park Police surrounded a wooden structure erected Sunday by Occupy DC protesters, with a standoff ensuing and several arrests being made, according to witnesses.
The structure was built overnight in McPherson Square as a place where protesters could stay warm in the winter and hold their daily General Assembly meetings, according to Wade Simmons, one of the Occupy demonstrators.
Police ordered the structure taken down around noon Sunday, a post on the Occupy DC website reported, but about a dozen people remained perched on top of or inside the building, which was donated by a father-son architect team. As many as 200 people gathered at the park to watch the standoff.
Police put up barriers around the structure and cordoned off nearby streets with yellow tape as protesters chanted, "This is a nonviolent movement," and, "Put the pepper spray away."FULL STORY
A man accused of firing shots near the White House last week will be charged with attempting to assassinate the president or a member of his staff, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, of Idaho, was arrested in western Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Investigators believe he was involved in a shooting Friday night that may be responsible for two bullets found on the White House exterior on Tuesday, according to the Secret Service.
One bullet hit a window and was stopped by bulletproof glass, and another was found on the White House exterior, the Secret Service said.
Ortega-Hernandez will be charged with attempted assassination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Kitchen said at Ortega-Hernandez's first federal court hearing Thursday.FULL STORY
Authorities have arrested a man who allegedly was involved in a shooting incident that may be responsible for two bullets found this week at the White House, the U.S. Secret Service said.
Police arrested Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez near Indiana, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Secret Service said. Authorities say they believe he was involved in a shooting that happened near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday night.
Two bullets were found Tuesday, including one that hit an exterior White House window and was stopped by bulletproof glass, and another found on the White House exterior.
Ortega-Hernandez is in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police.FULL STORY
[Update at 10:35 a.m.] The U.S. Capitol Police are preparing to transport the suspicious item into a specialized truck operated by the bomb squad, USCP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Schneider told CNN.
The item will be transported with a Virginia State Police escort to Quantico, Virginia, where it will be rendered safe. FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said the item is being transported because it is dense and law enforcement authorities were having difficulty X-raying it.
Schneider said the area around the Capitol reflecting pool will remain closed until the scene is cleared.
[Posted at 7:56 a.m.] U.S. Capitol Police are responding to a suspicious object Thursday near the Capitol reflecting pool. Police told CNN the object is a pipe with wires and end caps.
This story is developing. We'll bring you more information as soon as we get it.
Politics has been called a blood sport, so it's not too much of a stretch for Washington to be hosting its first Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday.
Still, mixed martial arts was once a sport that Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, tried to get banned because of its violent nature.
Today, with safer guidelines in place, the sport is thriving and has a huge following in the U.S. and a growing audience globally.
Saturday's event is being held at Verizon Center with 10 bouts on the card.
UFC president Dana White tells CNN that Washington is ripe for the sport.
"Anytime we go into a new market, whether it's here in the United States or somewhere else around the world, it's always exciting... I expect D.C. to be very good for us," said White. "This is the most exciting live sporting event you will see in all of sports."
"I don't care what color you are, what country you come from, or what language you speak," White said, "We're all human beings. Fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. This thing works everywhere."
Three things you need to know today
ANA Dreamliner: Boeing delivers its first 787 Dreamliner today, handing over the airliner to All Nippon Airways at a ceremony at Boeing's facility in Everett, Washington.
You can follow the events live on Boeing's website beginning at noon ET, 9 a.m. Pacific.
The plane is the first commercial airliner to be made mostly of carbon composites or super durable plastic. Those materials mean a lighter plane that Boeing says could use 20% less fuel than conventional airliners, making way for a more environmentally-friendly and cost effective aircraft option for airlines.
So far, according to Boeing, the manufacturer has more than 800 orders for the 787 Dreamliner, which has a list price of about $200 million each.
The interior of the plane also sports a variety of upgrades. Gone are traditional plane window shades. Instead, a button on the window allows passengers to gradually darken their surroundings.
All Nippon Airways has ordered 55 Dreamliners.
Palestinian statehood: The historic Palestinian bid for statehood goes before the United Nations Security Council Monday, where it looks set for a largely symbolic debate in the face of a promised American veto.
Lebanon's Nawaf Salam, the Security Council president for this month, said he circulated the letter of application to all 15 members of the Security Council last week.
While a U.S. veto would block the bid for full U.N. membership, the General Assembly could still vote to upgrade the status of Palestinians, who currently hold the status of non-voting observer "entity."
The body could change that status to permanent observer "state," identical to the Vatican's standing at the United Nations.
Washington Monument: National Park Service officials will hold a news conference Monday afternoon to offer details on damaged sustained by the Washington Monument during the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast on August 23.
The service has been working with an engineering firm to determine the extent of the damage and what it will cost to fix it.
The monument has been closed to the public since the earthquake.
High school students chanted "pass this bill" to a rousing speech Tuesday by President Barack Obama touting his $447 billion jobs plan, while senior administration officials said the push for Congress to approve the legislation would last months.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, meanwhile, opened the door to Obama's proposal getting passed in pieces, rather than as a single package.
"If Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the president would, of course, not veto it," Carney told reporters. "He would sign it and then he would return to press the Congress to get the rest of the job done."
The plan unveiled last week and presented to Congress on Monday calls for targeted tax cuts, infrastructure spending and new job training assistance that would be paid for by ending tax loopholes for corporations and American families earning more than $250,000 a year.FULL STORY
The official dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, which was postponed because of Hurricane Irene last month, will be held on October 16, Harry Johnson Sr., head of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation, said Saturday.
The date was set in consultation with the White House as President Barack Obama is expected to speak at the ceremony.
The dedication of the $120 million memorial was to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and King's famed "I Have A Dream" speech on August 28. But while many of the weekend events went ahead, the centerpiece dedication was postponed as the East Coast hunkered down for the battering winds and rains of Hurricane Irene.FULL STORY
[Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET] New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters Thursday night that authorities are "taking additional precautions" given "new threat information" tied to the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
These measures include "vehicle checkpoints around the city," more bomb-sniffing dogs around the city, increased towing of illegally parked cars and greater police staffing, according to Kelly.
[Updated at 9:56 p.m. ET] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters Thursday night that while additional police will be deployed around the city amid reports of an "unconfirmed" terror threat to the city on September 11, "there's no reason for any of the rest of us to change ... our daily routines."
In an earlier statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to be "cautious and aware" while adding, "There is no reason to panic." And D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that authorities in the nation's capital are preparing for 9/11 anniversary events and noted "maintaining a certain sense of unpredictability is essential to the success of any security plan."FULL STORY
A video uploaded to YouTube appears to show a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus driver aggressively wrestling a would-be passenger away from the bus door and out of it onto the ground.
A spokesman with the Metro Transit Authority confirms to CNN that it is investigating the video. Spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said that investigators don't believe the video was staged.
Local TV news stations began showing the video on Tuesday. "We don't know when this occurred, we don't know the date, the time, bus number and bus route and it's all part of our follow up," said Taubenkibel.
"We would like to talk with the person who filmed the video," he said. "It does appear to be one of our drivers."
Irene recovery under way as Katia forms - States in the Northeast - particularly Vermont, New Jersey and New York, which saw the worst of Irene's wrath - were struggling with basic recovery efforts: rebuilding roads and bridges, restoring power and stemming the flow of floodwaters after Hurricane Irene struck this weekend. The Passaic River in northern New Jersey was still making the town of Little Falls look more like Niagara Falls. A resident in Montclair said the Passaic was high before Irene, but after the hurricane's rains, "the river began to rage."
One Vermont town hit hard by Irene decided to look for a silver lining. Some Pittsfield residents - there are only 427 of them in all - decided to throw a barbecue. Homes were underwater and roads were impassable, but they nonetheless gathered at a local park for hot dogs and hamburgers. Said Jason Evans, owner of the ski town's Clear River Tavern, "No one in this town was expecting the flooding to be what it was, and we've all gotta eat."
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Katia was strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and threatening to become a hurricane by Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Early Wednesday, the storm was almost 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 21 mph. Katia could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph by Saturday evening, forecasters said. It is too early to say if or when the storm will make landfall.
Editor's Note: CNN has reporters up and down the East Coast to cover Hurricane Irene. We'll be providing updates throughout the day on the scenes they are coming across and the people they talk to.
[Updated 7:14 p.m. Sunday]
(Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina) What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday, sand and rain were blowing so hard on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that it made my skin burn. Today, I run a big risk of a SUN burn.
I've always seen this as an irony of nature – the day after a hurricane is almost always beautiful, with clear skies and gentle breezes. It is a sharp contrast to the damage that has been left behind and the daunting tasks of clean-up and repair.
-CNN's David Mattingly
[Updated 5:29 p.m. Sunday]
(Avon, North Carolina) The following pictures, which I took while aboard a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter this morning with Rear Admiral William Lee, show flooding and road damage along the Outer Banks of North Carolina - including breaks in state Highway 12, which has stranded people on Hatteras Island.
The breaks, north of Rodanthe, have effectively cut off Hatteras Island from the mainland, Lee told CNN on Sunday. About 2,500 people were stranded Sunday on Hatteras Island, Dare County officials said.
An emergency ferry Monday will provide assistance to people on the island, who chose to ride out the storm there despite mandatory evacuation orders, officials said.
We were in the helicopter for five hours, departing Charlotte, North Carolina, at 6:30 a.m. We traveled along the coast from the Outer Banks to Port Smith, Virginia. The most serious damage was in the Outer Banks, including Hatteras Island, and in and around North Carolina's Dare County.
-CNN producer Brian Rokus and The CNN Wire
[Updated 4:33 p.m. Sunday]
(Washington) As the last bands of Hurricane Irene passed over Washington on Sunday, residents re-emerged on the streets, ready to return to their daily lives.
Farmers markets in Georgetown, Eastern Market and Dupont Circle opened as planned with a few less vendors. Standing among her farm-ripe peaches, apples and nectarines, Emily Zaas said she knew on Saturday night that she would be selling on Sunday in Dupont Circle.
“Today we have white peaches, white nectarines… three kinds of sweet plums and six kinds of apples and not bringing them is just not an option,” said Zaas.
And there were plenty of people buying. Through light showers, Chloe Holderness and her family perused the brightly colored produce. Holderness’ said her daughter was “antsy” and wanted to be outside, rain or shine.
Hurricane Irene has put all sorts of end-of-summer festivities on hold. Here's a rundown of some plans that have had to be reworked ahead of this weekend's hurricane:
– The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington has been postponed until September or October.
– Amtrak canceled service in parts of the Northeast for the weekend.
– Several colleges have had to make scheduling changes. New York University pushed back the beginning of move-in week for incoming freshmen to Monday, and Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, moved its day to Tuesday. Rutgers University has changed its move-in date for residence halls on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus to Saturday.
– The New York Jets will start a pre-season game against the Giants earlier Saturday due to the approaching storm. Kickoff has been changed from 7 p.m. ET to 2 p.m. Saturday.
– The Hampton Classic announced on its website that the event, which was supposed to start Sunday, will be postponed since horses cannot be transported and stabled this weekend. The show will begin on Wednesday instead.
– B.B. King was supposed to play at Jones Beach on Saturday. The event has been canceled.
– The U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin Monday, is thus far going ahead with those plans. The hurricane is forecast to have passed Flushing Meadows, New York at that point.
– Airlines are waiving cancellation and change fees because of the hurricane.
To get complete coverage and all the latest updates, click on CNN's main story here. View a CNN Open Story about the quake. CNN Open Story combines iReports with reports from CNNers across the globe on a map and timeline.
Update 3:36 p.m. ET: Terminal A at Washington Reagan National Airport has been evacuated because of an odor of gas, airport spokeswoman Courtney Mickalonis said. Initial sweeps of the building showed no major damage from the earthquake.
Light structural damage has been reported in Culpepper and Orange counties in Virginia, said Laura Southard of the state Emergency Operations Center. She said there have been no reports of injuries in Virginia.
Update 3:28 p.m. ET: The White House and adjacent buildings evacuated as a precaution following the earthquake have been given the all-clear, the U.S. Secret Service said. The FBI and Justice Department have also reopened evacuated buildings.
Update 3:25 p.m. ET: East Coast residents should be prepared to feel aftershocks from Tuesday's earthquake, a U.S. Geological Survey official said.
Update 3:22 p.m. ET: The North Anna nuclear power plant, located 20 miles from the epicenter, is shut down and in a safe condition, a company official and the Louisa County public information office report. There has been no release of nuclear material, Louisa County spokeswoman Amanda Reidelbach said.
Update 3:04 p.m. ET: All national monuments and parks in Washington are "stable but closed" following Tuesday's earthquake, a United States Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said. A couple of minor injuries and some minor structural damage have been reported in Washington, following Tuesday's earthquake, according to Schlosser.
Part of the central tower of the National Cathedral, the highest point in Washington, was damaged, according to spokesman Richard Weinberg. "It looks like three of the pinnacles have broken off the central tower," Weinberg told CNN.
Update 3:02 p.m. ET: Amtrak is reporting service disruptions between Washington and Baltimore because of the earthquake, the company reported on Twitter.
Aftershocks are a concern, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones told CNN. "People should be expecting (them), especially over the next hour or two," she said.
The quake was felt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City and on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing. It's unknown if the president felt the quake.
The Pentagon has been evacuated, CNN's Barbara Starr reports. "When the building began shaking rather violently, hundreds of people began streaming out," she said, because many people thought that the building was under attack. Starr was standing in the Pentagon's press office when the roof started to shake.
Cell phone service has been disrupted in New York City, CNN learned within minutes of the quake.
Raps about rival gangs are so Clinton-era. It's all about Democrats and Republicans these days.
Comedian Remy Munasifi appears in a music video posted Tuesday on YouTube called "Raise the Debt Ceiling," about the current impasse on Capitol Hill.
With about 39,000 views as of Wednesday afternoon, the video has gone somewhat viral. The video appeared on ReasonTV, the YouTube channel for Reason magazine, a libertarian monthly that promotes what it calls "free minds and free markets."
The music video features the comic superimposed in front of Washington landmarks, Benjamin Franklin's $100-bill mug and a graffitied wall inscribed with "Greenspan 1987-2005" and "Fed Life." Throughout the video, he employs an apropos "raise the roof" dance move.
Munasifi appeared Wednesday on "CNN Newsroom."
"When you watch the coverage, it's Republicans calling the Democrats crazy and the Democrats calling the Republicans crazy. I was looking at the debate and thinking, 'Look, you're all crazy.' And all this spending kind of fits in well with a bad rap."