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US and Venezuela spar over ban on opposition parties

Image copyright Reuters Image caption President Nicolás Maduro made the controversial announcement after Sunday’s municipal elections Venezuelan and US officials have been trading barbs after Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro said that some opposition parties would be banned from next year’s presidential election. The US state department said it was “an extreme measure” designed to consolidate President Maduro’s power. Elected in 2013, Mr Maduro is expected to run for a second term in 2018. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the US statement “ridiculous”. The spat between the two countries, which have been at loggerheads for years, was triggered by the announcement on Sunday by President Maduro. Speaking after he had cast his vote in m...

D.C.-area forecast: Mild today, frigid tonight and more snow potentially on the way

A young doe looking for lunch on Saturday. (By the Bay Photos/Flickr) TODAY’S DAILY DIGITA somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10. 5/10: Warmest day of week, but clouds and wind are not our friend EXPRESS FORECAST Today: Mostly cloudy, shower chance, breezy p.m. Highs: 48-53.Tonight: Cold and windy. Lows: 13-23.Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, cold. Highs: 34-37. View the current conditions at The Washington Post headquarters. FORECAST IN DETAIL Warmer weather briefly visits today ahead of another polar cold front. Tonight offers the coldest conditions so far this season, and gusty winds amplify the chill. Sunshine returns tomorrow, but afternoon highs will still be cold. Additional weather systems swing through Thursday and Friday, delivering some light snow chances...

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors asks FBI for answers, video in Park Police killing of Bijan Ghaisar

The Jeep Grand Cherokee that was pursued by U.S. Park Police on Nov. 17, shown after the driver, Bijan Ghaisar, was shot by at least one Park Police officer on Alexandria Avenue in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County. (Freddy Wheeler/ABC 7) With more than three weeks having elapsed since U.S. Park Police officers fatally shot Bijan Ghaisar and no information about the slaying forthcoming, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to the FBI calling for “complete transparency” and for the bureau to release the in-car video of the incident as soon as those involved have been interviewed. In another development, the U.S. attorney’s office for eastern Virginia has recused itself from handling the case, an attorney for the Ghaisar family said Monday. The U.S. attorney’s office ...

No one should be surprised by journalism’s sexual harassment problem

NBC’s Matt Lauer is one of several in the media who have fallen in the past month. Political journalism has long favored men over women, one of the root causes of the sexual harassment crisis roiling the industry. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters) Remember when it was just Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly? Over the past month, the news media has been central to the country’s weekly installments of Men Behaving Badly. We’ve seen the fall of the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, political commentator Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose of PBS and CBS, the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier, the New York Times’s Glenn Thrush, NBC’s Matt Lauer and more. Women in media — as in all industries in which the power structure is predominantly male — are not surprised. Almost half of women journalists globally have experienced work-re...

The Democratic Party’s latest reform commission just met. It’s likely to slash the power of superdelegates.

Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debate during the primaries in Las Vegas on Oct. 13, 2015. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) On Friday and Saturday, the Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission (URC) held its final meeting in Washington. The commission was created to re-examine the Democrats’ presidential nominating process after the party’s 2016 national convention. For the past six months, most of the commission’s rather technical deliberations passed under the radar. But this won’t: The commission is likely to recommend rule changes that, if adopted by the Democratic National Committee, would affect its 2020 presidential primary. Here’s what you need to know. What is the Unity Reform Commission (and what are superdelegates)? The commission was created to h...

Ed Lee, San Francisco’s first Asian American mayor, dies at 65

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee speaks to reporters at City Hall on Jan. 31. (Kate Munsch/Reuters) San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the son of Chinese immigrants who was the first member of his family to attend college and eventually became the first Asian American to lead the city, died early Tuesday, his office announced. Lee’s office said in a brief statement that the 65-year-old mayor died just after 1 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. No cause of death was given, though former mayor Willie Brown told local ABC affiliate KGO that Lee suffered cardiac arrest. “It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away,” the city’s statement read. “Family, friends and colleagues were at his side. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife An...

Little boy doesn’t know whether to sleep or to eat

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17 tax breaks you won’t believe are real

Okay, admit it: As you’ve struggled with your tax return, trying to come up with some extra deductions to pump up your refund or reduce what you owe, you’ve taken a few flights of fancy. “Can I claim a deduction for all those blood donations at the Red Cross?” Nope. “How about a charitable contribution for all the time I donate to the church?” No, again. “Can I count the wedding gift for my boss’s daughter as an employee business expense?” Come on! On the other hand, your fellow taxpayers have successfully claimed write-offs for many things that most of us wouldn’t even imagine, ranging from cat food to a casualty loss for a vehicle totaled by a drunk driver. Here are 17 of our favorites.