Washington’s Top News — Monday, August 25, 2014

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

Quake rattles California’s Napa

A medical center in Napa, California says it’s had to treat some people for broken bones and heart attacks following Sunday’s early morning earthquake that ruptured mains and gas lines and left dozens of buildings unsafe.

The magnitude 6.0 tremor was the strongest quake to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for southern Napa County.

US says American held in Syria has been freed

An American journalist kidnapped and held hostage for nearly two years by an al- Qaida-linked group in Syria is free. He was released Sunday, less than a week after the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley by Islamic militants.

The freed American is 45-year-old Peter Theo Curtis of Massachusetts, who wrote under the byline Theo Padnos.

Secretary of State John Kerry says Curtis was held by the Nusra Front, an al- Qaida-linked militant group fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. His freedom was facilitated by the Gulf nation of Qatar, which has been involved in mediating past hostage releases. Curtis was not believed to be among the hostages held by the Islamic State group that executed Foley.

Dad of 18-year-old shot by officer asks for peace

The father of the unarmed black 18-year-old shot and killed by a white police officer is asking protesters in Ferguson, Missouri for a “day of silence” so his family can grieve.

There’ve been protests since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. But on Monday, Brown will be laid to rest at a public funeral at a church in St. Louis.

Dempsey: We will act if Islamic group threatens US

Gen. Martin Dempsey says he will recommend the U.S. military move directly against Islamic State militants in Syria if and when he determines they have become a direct threat to the U.S. homeland or Europe. But the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he still believes the insurgent group is more a regional threat and is not plotting or planning attacks against either the U.S. or Europe.

Dempsey says he believes that key allies in the region — including Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia — will join the U.S. in helping to quash the Islamic State group. So far, the Obama administration has restricted its military action against the militants to specific operations within Iraq.

Pediatricians’ Rx for schools: Later start times for teens

Pediatricians are sending a back-to-school message: Let teenagers sleep in a bit.

In a new policy statement in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. for teens would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and even depression and suicide.

Kristen Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, says later start times for teens is really an issue of cost because bus drivers would have to be added and buses rerouted.

Keeping kids (and adults) eating healthy when summer ends

Kids in the D.C. area are heading back to school, and that means a lot of families’ schedules are getting tighter. That often means a lot less time for cooking, but that doesn’t mean your family can’t eat healthy. On WTOP’s Living page, find a chef’s suggestions for making healthy breakfasts, lunches, after- school snacks and dinners that kids (and adults) will love and that, with just a little planning, won’t take forever to make.

Nominees share Emmy-day rituals, perspectives

Last night was the VMAs; tonight it’s the Emmy Awards. The best in television gets its chance to shine in Los Angeles, and some of the nominees explain how the fun of the awards began over the weekend, and share their rituals leading up to the big night. You can also look at a gallery of predictions, all on WTOP’s Entertainment page.

Nats keep rolling in wild style

It didn’t look good for the Nationals on Sunday, but they ended up pounding San Francisco for their 12th win in the past 13 games. Three Nats homered and pitcher Stephen Strasburg reached a milestone. Read all about it on WTOP’s Sports page.

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