Washington’s Top News – Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

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

Quake kills more than 380

China says at least 380 people were killed and more than 1,800 injured when a strong earthquake rattled Yunnan province in the southern part of the country.

The official Xinhua (shihn-wah) News Agency says about 12,000 homes collapsed in Ludian, a densely populated county located around 277 miles northeast of Yunnan’s capital, Kunming.

Relieving D.C.’s traffic, one slug at a time

They’re called slugs, or casual carpoolers, and they share rides with commuters in the D.C. area. They get a ride to work; the drivers get another body in the car, and thus a chance to use the high-occupancy lanes. Some people don’t like the idea of sharing a car with a stranger, but many of those who do it swear by it. WTOP’s Kristi King reports on some of the more enthusiastic fans of the practice and with experts in some of the other cities where it’s been used.

African summit to close roads throughout downtown D.C.

Speaking of traffic, it’s going to get rough downtown early this week, as The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will bring a slew of African dignitaries to D.C. for three days. That means a lot of motorcades and a lot of road closures, and WTOP’s Dave Dildine has the details.

Israeli airstrikes continue

An Israeli airstrike has killed a militant leader in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic Jihad group — a close ally of Gaza’s Hamas rulers — says the Islamic leader was a commander in the northern part of the strip, and he was killed when the strike hit his home just before dawn Monday.

The strike comes just hours ahead of an expected seven-hour truce announced by Israel. Israel also has been pulling most of its ground troops out of the Gaza Strip.

Second death from suspected drug overdose at Md. concert

Police say in a statement that a second person, a 17-year-old male from Woodbridge, Virginia, became the second person to die of a suspected overdose following Friday’s “Mad Decent Block Party” music festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia.

The Howard County police statement, released online, said the teen’s name was being withheld at the family’s request. Authorities said about 20 people were taken to hospital late Friday, many with drug-related symptoms. Police say 20- year-old Tyler Fox Viscardi of Raleigh, North Carolina, was pronounced dead at a hospital Friday. They are awaiting toxicology results in the deaths.

Do you know from where your caffeine comes?

If you’re drinking morning coffee or tea while reading this, you’re not alone — the average adult in the U.S. consumes 200 mg of caffeine each day. But that caffeine can come from a lot more places than the coffee or tea plants. On WTOP’s Living page, Rachel Nania talks with an expert on the subject who has been to factories where synthetic caffeine is made and explains why the demand for caffeine doesn’t look to level off any time soon.

The Nationals’ quiet superstar

He wasn’t considered a big name in the offseason, but now he’s one of the best starters on the Nationals – and in baseball. WTOP.com Sports Editor Noah Frank traces the rise of Tanner Roark, and looks at where some of the right-hander’s numbers rank among the big-league leaders.

Think you’re addicted to your phone? There’s even an app for that

How much time do you spend staring at your phone? No, how much really? A Pittsburgh developer says it’s probably much more than you think, and he’s developed an app that will give you the ugly truth. Find out more about the iPhone app Moment on WTOP’s Tech page.

A secret world of super-fandom

They dress like their favorite characters and discuss the nuances of their favorite show, but these fans are skittish about letting their identities be known. They’re bronies – adult fans of “My Little Pony” – and WTOP’s Alicia Lozano went to their convention. Read the impressions and see the photos from Bronycon on WTOP’s Entertainment page.

Man who shot NYC choke video held on gun charge

New York City police say they’ve arrested the man who shot a video of a fatal police chokehold. A police spokesman says an unloaded weapon reported stolen in Michigan was recovered from Ramsey Orta when he was arrested Saturday on Staten Island.

Orta shot the video of an officer using a chokehold to restrain Eric Garner on July 17. Garner’s death was ruled a homicide.

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


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