Government & Politics

An in-depth look at the issues and policies of our government from the local, state and national levels.

Anne Marie Morgan

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today (Tuesday) during former Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal of federal corruption convictions… and vigorously questioned both defense and prosecution attorneys.  They focused on two critical issues:  what constitutes “official acts” under federal law…and whether McDonnell was denied due process because potential jurors were never asked whether they had formed opinions after the extensive pre-trial news coverage.

In 1968, the University of Virginia decided to partner with Mt. Vernon to publish the papers of George Washington. Copies of about 140,000 letters and documents are now in storage at UVA’s main library.

After he died, Washington’s wife burned the letters he had written to her, but a large collection of letters written by Martha remain, and those will also be published.

Anne Marie Morgan

Next week, a federal court will hear the appeal of former Governor Bob McDonnell’s conviction on federal corruption charges. Among the many amicus briefs submitted to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is one by six former Virginia attorneys general. The four Democrats and two Republicans argue that the lower court’s expansive interpretation of law on which his conviction is based is erroneous.

Electronic license plate readers are back in the news in Virginia but this time it's not because they are on police cars. And Norfolk City Council is trying to find a balance between free speech and civility at its meetings.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on vpap.org.

www.wikipedia.org

In South Sudan, there’s a saying:  When Elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.  More than fifty years of war has kept the young nation from finding its own footing.  But an effort by Virginia Tech aims to plant seeds of change there.

South Sudan won independence from the Republic of Sudan in 2011.  Much more than the grass was trampled and aid groups came in to help rebuild the region. But lasting change depends on the ability of local people to solve local problems and that means training teachers.  

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