ABC7 WEATHER: Hazy, Hot and Humid, Isolated PM Storm. Highs in the upper 90s. http://wj.la/1ivsSwP
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports –A house fire in Montgomery County has displaced a family of six; A Virginia lawmaker has been indicted for having an improper sexual relationship with a teenage girl; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
IRAQ LATEST: The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to increase security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday.
That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said.
The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it was temporarily moving an unspecified "small number" of embassy staff in Baghdad to U.S. consulates in the northern city of Irbil and the southern city of Basra.
This is in addition to some embassy staff moved out of Baghdad earlier this month,
Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Baghdad embassy "will be fully equipped to carry out" its mission. http://wj.la/1k9vDi2
UNCLAIMED $1 MILLION VA LOTTERY: Someone who bought a Virginia Lottery ticket in Woodbridge has missed out on a $1 million prize.
The deadline for claiming the New Year's Millionaire Raffle prize was closing time Monday. The Virginia Lottery says the winner didn't show up, so the money goes to the Virginia Literary Fund, which is used for public school projects and teacher retirement. http://wj.la/1qMBijl
RECALLS RAISE SAFETY QUESTIONS: The ignition switch recalls now engulfing General Motors and Chrysler are raising new questions about the safety of the parts across the American auto industry.
GM's safety crisis deepened dramatically Monday when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles in North America to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches. GM has now issued five recalls for 17.1 million cars with defective switches, spanning every model year since 1997.
On the same day, Chrysler recalled almost 700,000 vehicles in North America because its ignition switches - like GM's - can slip from the "run" to the "accessory" position while driving. The Chrysler action expands an earlier recall of 2010 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans and Dodge Journey crossovers. Models from 2007 to 2009 are now included.
GM's debacle caused other manufacturers to investigate their own switches and other potential defects. A recent spate of air bag recalls is probably tied to those internal investigations, said Karl Brauer, a senior industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
The government is also reviewing the switches. http://wj.la/1mgoVMZ
POLITICO PLAYBOOK: The Obama administration and Senate Democrats promised to fight the Supreme Court rebuke of Obamacare’s contraception coverage requirement on Monday, even as a second round of legal fights over birth control head to the court.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration will “respect” the ruling while continuing “to look for ways to improve American’s health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.” The White House is looking to Congress to take action. Senate Democrats say they want to offer legislation, but it’s not yet clear what that could look like.
The high court ruling does not mean that any closely held company with a sincerely held religious belief can automatically just stop including contraception in their health plans. The company would still have to go to a court and seek the exemption. But Monday’s ruling will make that exemption very easy to obtain, said Daniel Blomberg, an attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty who represented Hobby Lobby.
“There will be work for the district court to do because [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] only applies to the people who assert it,” Blomberg said.
It’s unclear how many companies will pursue that option, although dozens of companies across the country have filed lawsuits over the contraception rule. http://politi.co/TLzZFt
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: The U.S. men’s soccer team prepares to face Belgium; the Nationals beat the Rockies 7-3. http://wj.la/1rps9gt
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: The Supreme Court ruled this morning that companies like Hobby Lobby with religious objections are not required to provide birth control under the Affordable Care Act. The justices' 5-4 decision is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. http://wj.la/1iSOIu7
NEWSTALK: Among Tuesday’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are reporter Ken Jost, who will talk about the big decisions of the just-completed Supreme Court term; Washington Post reporter Emma Brown, who will discussDC Chancellor Kaya Henderson's push to lengthen the school day; and psychologist Gregory Jones will discusses the proposal to ban reparative therapy for gays and lesbians. Brianne Carter will host.