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Updated midsize sedans take different approaches

2018 Honda Accord cropped for webThe redesigned 2018 Honda Accord delivers exemplary levels of performance, luxury and everyday utility. COURTESY PHOTO  These days, the once-staid midsize family sedan market segment is quickly becoming anything but boring.
Just look at the class's two bestsellers: the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Both are benefiting from 2018 redesigns that have transformed their characters.
Previously, these two models were as famous for their high degrees of competence as they were for their plain characters – lacking the luxury, style and sporty performance that distinguish mainstream cars from luxury ones. Now, both blur that line, at least based on short preview drives. These sedans remain spacious and affordable, yet they now boast flashier styling, posher interiors, more solid-feeling ride quality, more responsive steering and handling, and zippier acceleration.
The 2018 Camry stood out from the crowd when it appeared over the summer, and the new Accord promises to join it when it hits the market this week. The Camry tops the Accord for brute-force horsepower, but the Accord's turbocharged four-cylinder engines are punchy and light. Both cars are rated for economy-car fuel consumption, with base models comfortably exceeding 30 mpg in mixed driving.

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DC United’s last game at RFK ends in a loss 2-1 against NY Red Bulls

 DSC8432DC United'S Chris Korb collides with Red Bulls forward Gonzalo Verón while stopping the attack by Verón. Both players went to the ground, no foul called. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

Despite a solid display of athleticism and more than a bit of aggression from both teams, DC United (9-20-5) was unable to leave Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium with one more win. In the last Major League Soccer match Sunday afternoon on the pitch at RFK in front of 41,418 spectators, the New York Red Bulls (14-12-8) defeated DC United 2-1.
Led by first-time captain Marcelo Sarvas, DC United opened the match with a parry-and-thrust attack that kept the Red Bulls on their side of the field more often than not. Each time the Red Bulls moved the ball onto the DC United’s side, DC responded by turning the ball back and moving the match back to the other end of the pitch.
The fires of frustration crept into the match ignited by a tangled dust-up between United’s forward Paul Arriola and Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence. Chasing the ball from opposite ends resulted in a loud, violent collision that brought both players to the ground, skidding across the end line and into advertising barriers surrounding the field. Arriola lay crumpled against the wall, not moving much.

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Highlights in local sports feature football standouts in high school and college

DJ MooreMaryland wide receiver DJ Moore gets loose from Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was a bright spot in the Terrapins’ 32-21 loss to Northwestern Saturday in College Park.
Moore, a Philadelphia native, became just the seventh player in school history to record 200 yards in a game, registering 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“He’s been that way pretty much every week,” said Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. “He’s a really talented guy that plays hard. He runs good routes and has good ball skills. We do a lot to get him the ball and design it that way and he always answers the call.”

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A closer look at the first two amendments to the Constitution

Bill of RightsSome recent events have made it an opportune time to take another look at the first two amendments to the Constitution.
Let's begin with the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the Constitution covers a great deal in very few words. Specifically it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
If there is one word that is the most significant among the 44 words that comprise the amendment it is the word "Congress." The amendment is intended to prevent "Congress," and by Congress meaning the government, from enacting laws that would violate an individual's right to practice his or her religion or exercise his or her right to free speech, a free press, assembling peaceably, or petitioning the government.

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Welcome to "Trumpalot!"

IMG 0225“Hey Campers! Welcome back to our newest reality show on BreitBart Television, brought to you by Gateway Pundit.Com - Trumpalot! Starring our president - Donald J. Trump!
“This week on Trumpalot, also brought to you by Trump Tower, the letters D,J, T and perfume by Ivanka - we have our beloved King, I mean president, on the back steps of the Oval Office! Take it away Our Beloved Donald Trump!”
(There is much scattering about as 150 reporters squeeze in close to the president who has brought his favorite lap-dog Senator Mitch McConnell out for a quick look-see.)

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Fiat and Jeep offer distinctive crossover flavors

2017 Fiat 500X cropped for webThe 2017 Fiat 500X looks sportier than the Jeep Renegade, but the Jeep has more interior space. COURTESY PHOTOYou'd never guess from looking at them, but the tested 2017 Fiat 500X and 2017 Jeep Renegade have more in common than their boldly orange paint jobs. Hidden below carefully distinctive styling — both brands pile on heaps of their respective flavors — these two subcompact crossovers are fundamentally identical.
The unexpected relationship between the curvy, retro Fiat and the assertively boxy Jeep stems from the merger between Fiat and Jeep's owner, Chrysler. The two models ride upon a Fiat-designed platform and are powered by Fiat-designed four-cylinder engines.
Their mechanical relationship ensures that they share many strengths and weaknesses, even as they offer decidedly different flavors.
Regardless of whether you pick the Renegade or the 500X, you end up with an abundance of personality — a characteristic that's lacking from such popular subcompact crossovers as the Honda H-RV, Nissan Rogue Sport and Chevrolet Trax. The impression is that the design teams genuinely enjoyed themselves.

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Popularity of vacation homes are waning

for sale sign outside houseAccording to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey (nar.realtor), last year’s vacation home purchases plunged 21.6 percent!
Last year’s decline in vacation home sales comes at the heels of a huge drop in 2015, and has tumbled about 36 percent since the post-recession high marked in 2014.
Are the statistics telling us it’s it a good time to buy that vacation home you have been thinking about?
Or is it that Americans are rethinking their view about vacations and retirement?

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No room for aristocracy in today’s society

Anthony Andrews Scarlet PimpernelThere is no place for an aristocracy in our government. That concept was fairly well-established by our founding fathers. It is this well-established concept that makes the travel decisions by former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, so disturbing.
When you consider how he railed in 2009 against government use of private planes (granted, 2009 saw a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat-controlled Congress, but still--!), and then, in 2017 chooses to spend in excess of $25,000 of taxpayer money to travel to Philadelphia from Washington via private jet, the operative word is likely “HYPOCRISY!”

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Standing for Hypocrisy - tough room!

poster210x230f8f8f8 pad210x230f8f8f8.lite 1Tuesday in the White House briefing room Sarah Huckabee Sanders told us the President was joking about having an I.Q. contest with Secretary of the State Rex Tillerson – and she told the assembled reporters we needed to get a sense of humor.
I immediately said “Tough room” in my best Rodney Dangerfield impression. I got a laugh, but I didn’t do it loud enough to disrupt anything. Perhaps I should have.

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VW goes electric while Toyota goes off road - again

2017 Volkswagen e Golf cropped for webThe 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is an all-electric version of the company's small hatchback. COURTESY PHOTO  When I showed up to a family function and said I'd arrived in an electric Volkswagen Golf, the reaction was perhaps predictable: “A golf cart?”
Not at all.
Volkswagen has been selling the e-Golf — an all-electric version of its globally popular Golf hatchback — since the 2015 model year. For 2017, VW upped its range from a mediocre 83 miles per charge to a more respectable 125. That's better than the competing Nissan Leaf and the electric version of the Ford Focus, though it trails the upcoming redesigned 2018 Leaf's 150 miles and the pricier Chevrolet Bolt's 238.

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