Washington’s Top News – Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Here’s a look at some of the day’s top stories from WTOP.

Hamas says no to cease-fire proposal

A senior Hamas official says his group rejects an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel. Egypt had proposed the plan to end a week of heavy fighting that has killed at least 185 people in Gaza.

The Israeli Cabinet had accepted the proposal.

House to take up highway bill as deadline looms

The House is set to act on a bill that would temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put the programs on sound financial footing.

The bill by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp cobbles together $10.8 billion in pension tax changes, customs fees and money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent. The Transportation Department says that by the first week in August the fund will no longer have enough money.

Quest for statehood may go up Pennsylvania Avenue

A D.C. councilwoman has proposed changing the name of a piece of road to note the District’s struggle for statehood — but it would also involve changing one of the most famous addresses in the world. WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck has the details.

US consumer bureau sues debt-collection law firm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing a major debt collection law firm, alleging it is a “mill” that produces shoddy, mass-produced credit-card collection lawsuits.

The bureau’s claim was filed in federal court in Atlanta on Monday and states that Frederick J. Hanna & Associates failed to do basic due diligence on the accuracy of suits it filed to collect defaulted consumer credit-card debts. In Georgia, one attorney signed off on 180,000 lawsuits over two years.

In a statement, Hanna & Associates said “we strongly deny the allegations of the complaint and, moreover, the overall characterization of our law firm.”

Is vegan the wave of D.C.’s food future?

A giant in the vegan fast-casual food scene is opening two District locations soon. On our Living page, find out who it is, where the locations will be and how big vegan and vegetarian food has gotten in the area.

Nationals’ Clippard is not pity pick for the All-Star Game

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard may only have been picked for Tuesday night’s All-star Game on Sunday, but WTOP’s Noah Frank explains that he deserves to be there — and gives the latest on a couple of Nats prospects to keep an eye on.

Windows 7 users: Don’t panic over end of support

If you use Windows 7 and you’ve heard that Microsoft’s support will end soon, Ken Colburn of the Data Doctors says you shouldn’t worry — yet. But there are some deadlines coming up you shouldn’t ignore. Find out more on our Tech page.

Local venues among highest-grossing in the world

A trade publication has listed the venues with the highest revenues and biggest crowds in the world, and two arenas in the region made the top 20 in their class. On our Entertainment page, find out what venues made the list and learn more about the state of big-event venues.

Atheist to open N.Y. meeting after top court OKed prayers

An atheist is set to deliver the invocation in a western New York community whose town board won a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding its right to open meetings with a prayer. Dan Courtney says he asked the town of Greece for an opportunity to deliver the “non-theist” message right after the 5-4 decision in May.

Courtney says his request was granted without question and Tuesday’s meeting was the first open slot. Town supervisor William Reilich says it’s not unusual to have a diversity of views represented.

Study: US Alzheimer’s rate seems to be dropping

New studies show that the rate of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is falling in the United States and some other rich countries, even though the total number of cases continues to rise because more people are living to an old age.

One study finds that an American over age 60 today has a 44 lower chance of developing dementia than a similar-aged person did roughly 30 years ago. Scientists think the trend is due to better education and control health factors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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