Washington’s Top News – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

New Jersey’s Christie takes Ice Bucket Challenge

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is proving again he doesn’t mind a little humiliation: The Republican on Tuesday posted on his Facebook page a video showing two of his kids dumping a bucket of ice water on his head.

The video is part of the Ice Bucket Challenge, launched by the ALS Foundation to raise money for fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Christie nominates three other people to complete the challenge within 24 hours or donate $100: Democratic New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon.

The ALS Foundation reports raising $4 million since July 29 thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Pentagon sending advisers to Iraq

Another 130 U.S. troops have arrived in Iraq on what the Pentagon describes as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians threatened by militants from the group Islamic State.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says, “This is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation.”

Instead, Hagel calls the 130 troops “assessors.”

Lauren Bacall, sultry-voiced actress, dead at 89

She was among the last of the old-fashioned Hollywood stars. Lauren Bacall is dead at age 89.

Bacall’s long career brought two Tonys and a special Oscar, and she created on- screen magic with Humphrey Bogart, whom she married in 1945. The managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate says Bacall died Tuesday at her home in New York.

Williams’ suicide part of a larger trend

Teenagers and people in their 20s used to make up the lion’s share of suicides, but Robin Williams’ suicide at 63 is point up the fact that suicide among people roughly his age is on a sharp rise. WTOP’s Paula Wolfson talks with a mental- health expert about whether this could be a wakeup call, and what people can do if they feel like they or someone they know is at risk.

Federal judge upholds Maryland gun-control law

A federal judge has ruled a Maryland ban on 45 assault weapons and a limit on gun magazines to 10 rounds is constitutional. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake released the ruling on Tuesday in Baltimore.

Maryland lawmakers approved the sweeping gun-control law last year in response to the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Attorneys who argued against key provisions in the law contended it violated Second Amendment rights. But lawyers for the state countered that the state took a reasonable approach by focusing on firearms used in military-assault style attacks and mass shootings to protect the public.

US budget deficit running 24.2 percent below 2013

The federal government ran a lower deficit this July than a year ago, keeping it on course to record the lowest deficit in six years.

The Treasury Department says that the July deficit was $94.6 billion, an improvement of 3.1 percent from a year ago. For the first 10 months of this budget year, the deficit totals $460.5 billion, down 24.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

Headed to the top at a young age

A Leesburg girl is headed to an international fencing championship next week to compete for Team USA, and she’s not even out of elementary school yet. On WTOP’s Sports page, WTOP’s Megan Cloherty talks with 9-year-old Jasmine Adolphe, and finds out how she got started, how she practices and whether she’s nervous.

Wal-Mart: Let’s take it from the top

The retail giant’s first attempt at a smartphone app was a failure, but one expert says that “failure” means something different in the digital age — companies learn from their mistakes and roll the successful parts into something new. On WTOP’s Tech page, read about what Wal-Mart is learning, and what they’re coming out with next.

Mozzarella: Make the real thing yourself

The mozzarella cheese you can get in a supermarket is OK, but at a D.C. eatery, cheesemonger Sophie Slesinger will make the real thing in front of your eyes. On WTOP’s Living page, WTOP’s Rachel Nania finds out how it’s made, and what the secret to Slesinger’s concoction is.

Williams lives on at the National Portrait Gallery

Robin Williams’ likeness is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery, and so do those of a lot of celebrities who are no longer with us – as well as some who are. Have a look at which phase of Williams’ career the gallery has immortalized, and click through WTOP’s photo gallery to see who else you can find there.

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

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