Washington’s Top News – Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

Israel targets homes of senior Hamas leaders

The death toll in Gaza in nine days of fighting has now reached 204.

Israel resumed air strikes on Gaza Tuesday, after Hamas rejected a cease-fire proposal. Hamas says Israel on Wednesday fired missiles at the homes of four of its senior leaders. It’s also called on tens of thousands of residents of areas close to the Gaza-Israel border to leave their homes, presumably ahead of more airstrikes.

One family’s journey to the U.S.

Families are fleeing from Central America to the U.S. in droves, legal or not. One family tells their story to WTOP’s Kate Ryan, and the Prince George’s County school superintendent says “we have an obligation” to open new schools for the newcomers.

Rte. 1 safety measures

Three pedestrians have been killed on Route 1 in College Park this year, and on Tuesday night the council took more actions — and they may not be done yet. WTOP’s Ari Ashe has the details.

EEOC issues new guidelines for pregnant workers

For the first time in 30 years, the federal government is issuing new guidelines designed to protect pregnant workers from on-the-job discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s update makes it clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment of pregnant women by employers is illegal.

The guidelines were last updated in 1983.

California approves fines for water-wasters

Water regulators in drought-ridden California have voted to approve fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing.

The action came after a survey showed that water consumption throughout California had actually risen by 1 percent this past May compared to the same month in previous years.

The fines will apply only to wasteful outdoor watering, including hosing down hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways.

Life as a pirate

When WTOP’s Michelle Murillo isn’t at the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center, she’s often terrorizing the high seas – or at least keeping alive the history of those who did. She’s a reenactor who specializes in performing as the pirate Mary Read. On our Entertainment page, she writes about what got her started in living history, what kids love most about pirates and the real reason they wore eye patches.

Local limoncello and lots more liqueurs

Linda Losey admits she was a late convert to the lemony Italian liqueur known as limoncello, but she’s made up for lost time: She’s founded a distillery in West Virginia that makes the concoction she fell in love with at the Vatican. WTOP’s Rachel Nania visited to find out how they make it, as well as eight other liqueurs.

Is Facebook ruining marriage?

A new study says that Facebook and other social media sites are playing a significant role in divorce rates and marital satisfaction. But is Facebook causing divorce, or is divorce causing people to overuse Facebook? Experts weigh in on our Tech page.

FOX, MLB drop the ball at All-Star Game

Did you know Derek Jeter played in his final All-Star Game on Tuesday night? The announcers on FOX might have mentioned it once or twice – or 100 times. That’s how often they dropped the retiring Yankee star’s name. WTOP’s Noah Frank wonders why they couldn’t find the time to pay tribute to the legendary Tony Gwynn, who died less than a month ago after a lifetime of service to the game. Read Frank’s opinions on our Sports page.

Family saved at sea sues

The couple who were trying to sail around the world in April, but were rescued after their daughters got sick, says it isn’t their fault they needed saving by the Coast Guard — and they’re suing the people they say are responsible.

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

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