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Rosslyn to Host Outdoor Capitals Watch Party Friday

Hockey fans will have a chance to catch the Washington Capitals’ first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in two decades outside in Rosslyn.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District and Arlington County are teaming up to host an outdoor watch party for the Caps’ first game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, fans can gather at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) for the 8 p.m. game. The event will also feature appearances from the “Red Rockers” dance team and the team’s mascot, Slapshot.

The game will be aired on a 40-foot projection screen.

The event is weather permitting. Follow the Capitals Twitter account for weather updates.

File photo

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Photos: Rosslyn Nando’s Opens Monday

South African spicy chicken restaurant Nando’s is opening its newest location at Rosslyn’s Central Place on Monday (March 12), the company announced today.

A press release noted that players with a Washington sports team will make an appearance for a grand opening charity event to benefit “local underserved youth,” but a Nando’s representative declined to be more specific. A Ballston Nando’s opening in 2016 featured several Washington Capitals players flipping chickens.

The location is the newest of the chain’s now 41 U.S. restaurants. Decorations inside the new location include a portrait by South African artist Nqabutho Phakathi, colorful lighting and an undulating ceiling.

Beginning Monday, the restaurant at 1800 N. Lynn Street, with an entrance on N. Moore Street, will operate from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Photos courtesy of Nando’s

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Couple Marries In Clarendon Gelato Shop

It was a pretty sweet wedding, if you ask Cristian Velasco.

An Arlington couple exchanged vows last week at Velasco’s Boccato Gelato shop in Clarendon.

“We had our first date there,” explained Catherine Bingham, née Morse, who married Terry Bingham last night at the impromptu ceremony.

“We’ve known each other since we were toddlers,” she added. “His grandparents were like my grandparents.”

The couple married Thursday night (March 1) after the quiet hours were over at the gelato shop’s coworking space. The only guests were the couple’s combined six young children — two girls and four boys — and Catherine’s boss at an Arlington-based consulting agency.

The children weren’t aware that their parents would be getting married that evening, but the couple says that the children have always rooted for the relationship.

Catherine called Velasco Thursday morning to ask if the couple could get married at the store that evening. The store owner wasn’t sure what to expect, but was excited as the couple exchanged vows by a fireplace and their children read some of the vows.

The children also had baskets with candy that they passed out to the applauding customers.

“It’s all surreal, she pretty much comes in dressed up in her veil, all radiant and so happy,” said Velasco. “People just see this and are like, what is happening?”

Catherine spent her childhood living in Alexandria, Va., across the street from her husband’s grandmother. They played together in the neighborhood and went swimming together, and later reconnected at Bingham’s grandmother’s 95th birthday about two years ago.

The couple had a civil ceremony on January 26 in the kitchen of their friend, Bob McDonald, the Washington Capitals’ anthem soloist who is in the U.S. Army Band with Terry. No one other than the McDonalds knew that the couple had the civil ceremony, and the Binghams wanted to surprise their combined six children.

“We didn’t really have a plan until the last minute because we kept wanting to make it special and surprise the kids,” said Catherine. “But everything else that we came up with just didn’t feel right.”

The couple planned to go to At Melissa’s Bed & Breakfast in Rehoboth Beach, Del., this past weekend, despite the wind storm sweeping across the region. At some point, Catherine added, the couple will probably go somewhere that involves an airplane without the children, but a beach trip with cake and sparkling cider sounded like a great way to cap off an already exciting week.

Photos courtesy Catherine Bingham and via Boccato Gelato/Twitter

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Morning Notes

McAuliffe Visits New District Brewing — Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) made a “quick stop” at New District Brewing near Shirlington yesterday, touring the brewery and posing for photos. [Twitter, Twitter]

Caps Continue Playoff Fan Activities — For their Round 2 playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals are continuing a series of fan activities, including free yoga classes and viewings of team practices, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. [Washington Capitals]

County Gets Planning Award — Arlington County is one of a dozen recipients of the American Planning Association’s Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award. “County government and the community have together built Arlington into one of the nation’s best places to live, work or play,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. [Arlington County]

APS Pushes Solar Power — “Clearing a legal hurdle that may affect other Virginia school systems, Arlington Public Schools has created a new type of purchasing authority so it may enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar power.” [Blue Virginia]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Capitals Offer Free Playoff Yoga Classes

The Washington Capitals might be stressing about their chances against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but fans can de-stress with free yoga classes during the NHL playoffs.

Team yoga instructor Kelly Moore will lead classes on the rooftop of the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston every morning the Caps have a playoff game. The first hour-long class takes place tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. and the next one is on Saturday, April 15.

Although the likelihood of doing a downward facing dog pose next to a Caps player at one of the free classes is incredibly slim, the players do practice yoga, the Washington Post reported.

Caps fans are also encouraged to attend the team’s practices and take part in special activities throughout the week. Kids can visit the mezzanine level at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for face painting and balloon art. Team mascot Slapshot and the Red Rockers also will be there. The practice schedule is updated weekly online.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Housing Sale Prices Drop — Arlington showed a year-over-year decline in housing sale prices in March. The median price of $508,500 was a 6.2 percent drop from a year ago. However, real estate experts indicate that’s only because of changing inventory in Arlington — more condos and townhomes instead of detached houses — and it’s not a sign of an overall slump. [WTOP]

No Fire in Barricaded Person Situation — Police and firefighters responded to the 1500 block of Crystal Drive last night for a report of a barricaded person inside an apartment that may have been on fire. The smell of smoke had been reported coming from the apartment. Emergency responders tried to gain access to the apartment for a couple hours but cleared the scene when they determined there was no fire. [Fox 5]

Motorcyclist Dies Following Collision — A motorcyclist has died following a collision with an SUV in Chevy Chase. The 24-year-old man was an Arlington resident. [Bethesda Magazine]

Caps Fan Leaves Salty Message —  Starting tomorrow, the Washington Capitals face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and one fan left a request for a different playoff outcome than in recent years. A photo shows a message written on the boards of the Caps’ practice rink at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston: “Y’all better make it past the 2nd round.” [USA Today Sports]

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Morning Notes

View of Rosslyn from Courthouse

Norovirus Outbreak at School — More than 80 students at Oakridge Elementary in south Arlington are out sick as a result of a suspected norovirus outbreak. The virus causes symptoms like “stomach aches, fever, vomiting and, in some cases, diarrhea.” [NBC Washington]

Sign Controversy at Yorktown — Some conservatives are upset that teachers at Yorktown High School are being allowed to hang “politically suggestive” signs in their classrooms. The signs read: “Patriots Know: Facts are not political. Diversity strengthens us. Science is real. Women’s rights are human rights. Justice is for all. We’re all immigrants. Kindness is everything.” [Daily Caller]

Yorktown Lacrosse Star Nears 200 Goals — Yorktown senior lacrosse star Laura Crawford is nearing the 200-goal mark for high school career. Crawford, a three-time team MVP, has committed to Penn. [Washington Post]

Female UAE Hockey Player Visits Caps — Fatima Al Ali, a hockey player and coach from United Arab Emirates, has been visiting with the Washington Capitals this week as part of the NHL’s “Hockey Is For Everyone month.” The visit has included taking the ice at the Caps practice facility in Ballston and dropping the puck at last night’s game at Verizon Center. [Fox 5, Al-Arabiya]

Levine, Favola Advance Rape Kit BillUpdated at 9:40 a.m. — Legislation sponsored by Del. Mark Levine and state Sen. Barbara Favola, which Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol helped to craft, has passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill calls for police to keep rape kits for a longer period of time even if the victim is not ready to prosecute. [WVTF]

MMA Studio Gives Parents a Night Off — A mixed martial arts gym is not a place that one would usually think of as a babysitting venue, but that’s precisely what Pentagon MMA on Columbia Pike will be Saturday night. The business is hosting a “parents’ night out” event for Valentine’s Day, letting mom or dad “enjoy a worry-free evening with your special someone this Valentine’s Day while your child enjoys a night of structured activities in a supervised environment.” [Pentagon MMA]

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Morning Notes

Ballston time lapse photo (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Fmr. Arlington Resident John Glenn Dies — John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, has died at the age of 95. In an article first published in 2012, the Arlington Public Library blog recounted the five years that Glenn and his family lived on N. Harrison Street in Arlington. [Arlington Public Library]

Soon: Central Place Apartments, Restaurants — Residents are expected to start moving into the new Central Place apartment tower in Rosslyn at some point during the first three months of 2017. Restaurants coming to the ground floor of the building include Sweetgreen, Little Beet, Nando’s Peri-peri and McDonald’s, while Cava Grill and Compass Coffee has signed leases for the Central Place office tower. [Washington Business Journal]

Fort Myer Getting Drone Detector — Officials from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall said at a recent Arlington civic association meeting that the base is working to procure a drone detection system. The base commander said he’s worried about “miniaturized tools of terror, specifically drones carrying home-made bombs.” [Pentagram]

Video: Ovi Delivering Pizzas in Arlington — Okay, it’s just a commercial and didn’t really happen. But a new 30-second TV spot from Papa John’s imagines Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin delivering pizzas in Arlington in 2001 as he pursues a childhood dream to become “the best pizza delivery boy in the world.” [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Local Startup Scores Big Military Contract — Clarendon-based cybersecurity firm Endgame has won a $18.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force. It’s believed to be “one of the largest endpoint protection software purchases in the Air Force’s history.” [Fedscoop]

Startups Recognized By County — Arlington County recognized four of the county’s fastest-growing companies this week as part of its second-annual “Fast Four” competition. The honorees were the Nicecream Factory ice cream shop in Arlington, Ballston-based Deep Learning Analytics, Clarendon consulting firm Enterprise Knowledge and Ballston-based software company Convoke. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Caps Players, Media Personalities to Man the Grills at Ballston Nando’s Opening

The new Nando’s Peri-Peri in Ballston will hold its grand opening celebration this coming Saturday, Sept. 17.

The restaurant, in the former Vapiano’s space at 4401 Wilson Blvd, is celebrating its opening with appearances by Washington Capitals players, media personalities and the Caps’ Red Rockers squad.

The new Nando’s will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and all opening day sales will be donated to the Capitals’ official charity, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, according to a press release. The guest appearances will take place between noon and 7 p.m.

Among those expected to help flip chicken on the grills during the opening event, are:

  • Radio personality Elliot Segal from “Elliot in the Morning”
  • Left winger Andre Burakovsky
  • Center Lars Eller
  • Right winger Stanislav Galiev
  • Defenseman Nate Schmidt
  • Right winger Tom Wilson
  • Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey
  • Red Rockers squad
  • Caps announcer Wes Johnson
  • CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Capitals analyst and Caps alumnus Craig Laughlin
  • Capitals contributor Courtney Laughlin

“Nando’s is thrilled to partner with the Caps to Rock the Red in Ballston and support Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation,” said Nando’s U.S. CEO Burton Heiss. The Capitals practice facility, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, is located in Ballston.

From the press release:

Nando’s has built an intensely loyal following by providing fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Nando’s is known worldwide for its succulent PERi-PERi chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice.

Every Nando’s is painstakingly designed and completely unique, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its sunny African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that are a constant reminder of where the restaurant came from, Nando’s has become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 600 pieces of original African art in Nando’s restaurants.

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Morning Notes

Home in bloom (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Arlington Resident, 101, Goes to First Caps Game — Gert Friedman, who’s 101 years old and has lived in Arlington since 1940, attended the Washington Capitals playoff game Saturday night and even got to ride around on the ice resurfacer during the first intermission. It was the first time Friedman had attended any NHL game. [Yahoo Sports]

Hernick Gets GOP Nod — GOP congressional candidate Charles Hernick will challenge Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) in November. Hernick, an environmental consultant, was nominated at the 8th District Republican convention Saturday. Hernick’s opponent for the GOP nod, Mike Webb, said in a press release that he was “bamboozled.” [InsideNova]

County’s Reaction to Metro Track Plan — County leaders released a statement about Metro’s “SafeTrack” maintenance plan on Friday. It said in part: “We saw during the March all-day shutdown of Metrorail that our region is resilient and alternatives are possible. Our residents and businesses are resourceful and inventive. And Arlington’s emphasis on providing many travel options, which we’ve developed over many years, will continue to serve us well during this challenging time.” [Arlington County]

APS Plan Identifies Pressing Needs — Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy presented his proposed 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan last week. The plan “identified high school seats countywide and elementary seats in the Rosslyn/Ballston/Lee Highway corridor as the most pressing needs for APS in the next 10 years.” [Arlington Public Schools]

SoberRide Program Usage Rises for May 5 — The regional SoberRide program, which provides free taxi rides on certain festive holidays, served 225 people on Cinco de Mayo. That’s up 37 percent compared to last year. [InsideNova]

LEED Gold for Wakefield — Wakefield High School has officially earned LEED Gold sustainability certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. [Arlington Public Schools]

Donuts Popular on Mothers Day — There was reportedly a 90 minute wait at Duck Donuts yesterday, on Mothers Day. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City

Watch Caps Practice in Ballston Today for Free — The Washington Capitals will be preparing for their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins this morning at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Caps’ practice starts at 10:30 a.m. and it’s free to attend and watch. The Iceplex, the Caps’ administrative and training home base, is owned by Arlington County and leased to the Capitals. [Arlington County]

Garvey Turns 65 — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey celebrated her 65th birthday yesterday. Garvey’s reelection campaign wasted little time in using the occasion to ask for donations of $65 as “a special birthday gift.” [Reelect Libby]

Yorktown’s Efforts to Narrow Achievement Gap — Yorktown High School has been working with the Minority Student Achievement Network, a project of the University of Wisconsin, to help it narrow the school’s achievement gaps. The program at Yorktown specifically focuses on minority boys, a relatively small group at the school. [University of Wisconsin]

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Morning Notes

Arlington Hall Park (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

ACPD Shrouding Badges for Fallen Officer — The Arlington County Police Department is shrouding its badges to pay respect to Ashley Guindon, the rookie Prince William County police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Saturday. [Twitter]

Tourism Tax Authorization Passes Legislature — With bipartisan lobbying help from County Board member John Vihstadt (I), a measure reauthorizing Arlington’s hotel tax surcharge has passed the Virginia General Assembly. Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) still must sign the bill into law, and Arlington will have to get it reauthorized in two years due to a sunset clause. The tax will help fund Arlington’s tourism promotion efforts. [InsideNova]

Laich Traded to Toronto — Just a couple of days after he left a server a big tip at Don Tito in Clarendon, long-time Washington Capital Brooks Laich has been traded to Toronto. Laich and celebrity fiancée Julianne Hough were often spotted hanging out at Arlington bars like Don Tito and A-Town. [WJLA]

Wakefield on It’s Academic — Wakefield High School was scheduled to compete on an episode of the local TV quiz show It’s Academic on Saturday. [Twitter]

‘Treasure Island’ Reviewed — Arlington-based theater company Encore Stage and Studio has garnered positive reviews for its production of “Treasure Island,” which runs through March 6. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Shirlington’s ‘Hula Girl’ Makes Mai Tai for Fox 5 — Mikala Brennan, the owner of Hula Girl Bar and Grill in Shirlington, stopped by Fox 5 midday show Friday to show viewers how to make her signature Hula Girl Mai Tai. [Fox 5]

It’s a Leap Day — Who knows, maybe you’ll see Leap Day William today. [YouTube, Wikipedia]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Morning Notes

Murals at Courthouse Plaza (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Home Values Jump 14 Percent — Arlington County saw a big bump in the sale price of homes, at least according to one data set from January. Long & Foster says the median price of a home sold in Arlington last month was $590,000, up 14 percent from one year prior. [WTOP]

Wakefield Boys Win Conference — The Wakefield High School boys varsity basketball team captured the Conference 13 championship on Saturday, after defeating Marshall 50-47. [Twitter, Twitter]

Caps Hold Fundraiser for Young Cancer Victim — The Washington Capitals held a fundraiser at Don Tito in Clarendon on Friday for the family of a three-year-old girl who just died of an inoperable brain tumor. The family has more than $100,000 in medical bills to pay and hopes to also raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. [NBC Washington]

Problems Persist at Arlington National Cemetery — More than 5 years after major problems were revealed at Arlington National Cemetery, there’s word of new problems. The cemetery’s burial backlog has increased, it’s taking longer to get headstones approved and previously unenforced rules are now being enforced, frustrating some families, reports a local TV station. [WJLA]

Arlington Students Serving as White House Interns — Three college students who hail from Arlington are on the list of spring 2016 White House interns. The interns are: Jeremy Brown, who attends the University of Michigan; Ryan Cowdin, who attends George Washington University; and Caitlin O’Grady, who attends Pepperdine.

County Board Approves Rosslyn Changes — At a relatively uneventful meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a series of land use, transportation and zoning changes as part of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. The changes will allow a new school and new development. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Capitals Players to Host Clarendon Fundraiser for Toddler with Deadly Brain Tumor

Fundraiser for Emma (via Facebook:Loving Emma)Members of the Washington Capitals hockey team will gather in Arlington next month to help raise money for a local family whose youngest daughter, Emma, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd).

Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson will make an appearance to support the cause.

Tickets to the benefit are $75 each, and all proceeds will go directly to Emma and her family.

Emma is the three-year-old daughter of Jason Hensel and Teal Jones-Hensel. Approximately two months ago, Emma was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It’s a rare, cancerous, inoperable brain tumor with a zero percent survival rate.

Don Tito in Clarendon opens to the public March, 15, 2015The February benefit was organized by John Carlson’s wife, Gina, who runs her own blog and uses it to raise money for her charity of choice, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In a recent post, Carlson described knowing she “had to help” after she heard Emma’s story.

According to Carlson, Emma’s father has taken a leave of absence from work, so she organized the fundraiser at Don Tito with several ways for guests to help the family through the difficult financial time.

In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, proceeds from a raffle of Capitals memorabilia — including a jersey autographed by the team — a portion of all food and drink sales will be donated to the Hensel family.

Carlson also designed a t-shirt campaign, requiring all fundraiser guests purchase one online and either wear it or bring it to the event. The shirts start at $17.99, and proceeds from each one purchased will also go to the family.

Last week, Jones-Hensel used the t-shirt campaign page to publicly thank Carlson and those who have supported the fundraising effort so far.

“Thank you to each and everyone who has participated to help my family,” she wrote. “We are forever grateful.”

“Gina and her family have come together to give us an amazing gift, one that we plan to pass along someday,” she continued. “Emma’s little body is struggling to make it through the nightmare of radiation and treatments. Although her body is failing her, Emma’s spirit and smile light up my heart.”

Those interested in attending the fundraiser for Emma’s family can reserve tickets via e-mail and should do so soon, as Carlson expects the tickets to sell out.

Photo via Facebook/Loving Emma

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Morning Notes

Wild flowers (Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok)

Dems Debate in Ballston — The six Democratic candidates for County Board faced off in their first debate last night, before a standing-room only crowd at the NRECA conference center in Ballston. The debate was held by Arlington Young Democrats. Though knowledgable about current issues facing Arlington, candidates were light on specifics about what should be done to address those issues. [InsideNova]

Disruption Corp. Sold to 1776 — Disruption Corp., the Crystal City-based tech investment fund and office space, has been acquired by D.C.-based tech incubator 1776. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. [Washington Post]

Caps Pep Rally at Elementary School — Third grade students at Carlin Springs Elementary School have won a contest to bring a Washington Capitals playoff pep rally to their school today. The rally will start at 12:30 p.m. “There won’t likely be any players, but it will be a great time for all,” a teacher tells ARLnow.com. “The kids will be getting prizes, pictures with Slapshot (the Caps’ mascot) and learning some hockey skills. The Caps are also donating equipment to the school.” [Washington Capitals]

Artisphere ‘Doomed from the Start’ — Artisphere, which is on the budgetary chopping block next week, was “doomed from the start,” according to the artistic director of a theatre company that was booted out of its space at the cultural center two years after it opened. An anonymous Artisphere employee said of the early, over-optimistic attendance and revenue projections: “All of those numbers were so completely false.” [Washington Post]

McAuliffe Signs Special Needs Bill in Arlington — On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to Arlington to sign the ABLE Act, which will allow individuals with special needs, and their families, to set up tax-exempt accounts that will allow them to save for future living expenses. Virginia is the first state to enact such legislation, which received the blessing of the U.S. Congress in December. [WJLA]

Security of Va. Voting Machines Blasted — The touch screen voting machines now being replaced in Arlington and elsewhere in Virginia were “so easy to hack, it will take your breath away,” according to reports. [Ars Technica, The Guardian]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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