WASHINGTON — The Washington Monument, long a symbol of the U.S. capital, reopened on Monday to speeches, songs and fanfare after being closed for almost three years to repair earthquake damage. The 555-foot-high marble and granite obelisk, the tallest stone structure in the world, was praised by speakers at a ceremony as an enduring symbol of U.S. ideals. U.S.
WASHINGTON - The District of Columbia will take a step closer toward decriminalizing marijuana on Wednesday with a move that will make smoking a joint in the U.S. capital a violation comparable to a parking ticket. With Washington arresting people for pot possession at a higher rate than any state, a city council panel is set to mark up a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing less than an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to a fine as little as $25. If the bill is passed, Washington would join 15 U.S.