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Posted at 7:38 AM ET, 01/19/2010

Tuesday news roundup

By Washington Post editors


Good morning, happy Tuesday. If Monday was a holiday for you, we hope you had a good day off. If you had to work, thank you. Either way, we hope you took some time to think about the man we honored, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Meanwhile, The Capitol Weather Gang says, temperatures today could climb into the mid-50s(!)

Now here are your headlines.

Help is there, but Haitians remain anxious. A week after a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Port-Au-Prince, Haiti continues to dominate the headlines. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union has put the estimated death toll in the Haiti quake at 200,000 – well above the 50,000 who were estimated dead over the weekend. Still, officials caution, these numbers are only estimates.

The security situation is deteriorating as Haitians grow more desperate. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the UN to send 3,500 more peacekeepers to Haiti. Help continues to pour into the impoverished nation -- but getting supplies, rescuers and help where they're needed remains a formidable challenge.

Here in the U.S., people have rallied, launching supply drives and holding candlelight vigils. And they are giving money in record numbers. Text message donations have topped $22 million. Red Cross officials said one-fifth of the money they’ve received has come through text message giving.

D.C. area residents are playing a critical role in the relief effort both in Haiti and here. A group of D.C. doctors have opened a hospital about an hour outside of Haiti's capital but face the formidable challenge of getting patients to where they are. WAMU reports on other ways D.C. area residents are helping in Haiti.

On the ground here in the D.C. area, residents turned out in Prince George's County and spent time Sunday at the Haitian Embassy sorting survival kits bound for Haiti. D.C. Councilman Marion Barry announced he was giving $1,000 to Haitian relief efforts and vowed to raise a total of $100,000. Last night, dozens of folks gathered for a candlelight vigil. (WJLA) Fox 5.

You too can help. Here are ways to give to Haitian relief efforts.

Honoring Dr.King. Thousands of D.C. area residents turned out on their day off to pay tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. In a speech at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, President Barack Obama urged people to "give something of ourselves that's greater than ourselves," in honor of the civil rights leader. As part of that call, Obama spent Monday serving meals to the homeless at So Others Might Eat, a soup kitchen in the District.

In other area news, a a 36-year-old D.C. man died after being shot with a stun gun on the platform at the Pentagon City Metro Station, Sunday night. The man was suspected of stealing from a pharmacy and was standing on the station platform when Alexandria police approached him. During the struggle, officers shot him with a Taser.

Better service or your money back? After myriad customer complaints about slow, crowded trains – or even non-existent ones, The Examiner reports, Metro is considering revising its rebate policy. That’s right, in cases where the transit system fails to fulfill its goal of getting you from point A to point B, in a timely manner, you might be able to get a little money back. WJLA, NBC4. Sorry bus riders, the rebates would apply to trains only.

Virginia has a new governor. Republican Robert McDonnell was sworn in on Saturday. In an address to the Virginia State Legislature, McDonnell outlined bold plans to create jobs and lure business to the state, but details on how he would fund these proposals in the face of a multi-billion budget shortfall remained unclear. Across the river in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley also laid out his budget year plans, which include job creation, but acknowledge that cuts will have to be made to most state programs in Maryland.

Rabies alert. Md. officials are looking for families and children who may have come in contact with a rabid calf at an Accokeek farm. Health officials want anyone who may have visited Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek between Dec. 21 and Jan. 12 to contact them. (Post). Also, WJLA: WJLA and WTOP:

What's your hurry? Md. officials say they've issued 8,800 speeding tickets with the help of speed cameras. (WJLA) Police in Charles County may have thwarted a plan to harm students at a local high school. (NBC 4) Rescuers freed a horse trapped in a sinkhole in Frederick County over the weekend.

Thanks for reading, have a good day. Check back with Post Now for more headlines throughout the day.

By Washington Post editors  | January 19, 2010; 7:38 AM ET
 
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