ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with some showers. Temperatures in the 70s. http://wj.la/1ivsSwP
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports –the Silver Line will open for service on Saturday; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
REDSKINS NAME CHANGE DEBATE: A granddaughter of the man who named the NFL's Washington Redskins says the team should change its name. Sixty-five-year-old Jordan Wright of Alexandria tells The Washington Post if just one person says they're offended by the team's name, then that should be reason enough to change it. http://wj.la/1nX5KD1
FAIRFAX SCHOOL BOARD TO VOTE ON COST OF ENDING HALF-MONDAYS: The Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to vote Thursday on using $7.6 million to cover the estimated cost of extending Mondays from half a day of classes to a full day for elementary students in the coming school year, according to the Washington Post.
School officials acknowledge that the cost amounts to millions of dollars more than they expected to spend on the policy change, the result of difficulties in getting a portion of the funds from the County Board of Supervisors. http://wapo.st/UuRz0u
AIR ALGERIE PLANS DISAPPEARS FROM RADAR: An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso in West Africa, to Algiers, has disappeared from radar.
The official Algerian news agency says air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early today.
Air Algerie is quoted as saying, "In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan."
The plane's flight path passes over Mali, where unrest continues in the north. http://usat.ly/1kXiKs7
ANDY HARRIS CONSTITUENT SERVICE DAY: District of Columbia activists plan to ask a congressman who wants to block the city from liberalizing its marijuana laws to handle a host of other local concerns. Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland attached an amendment to a spending bill that would block the city from enforcing its new law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. http://wj.la/1qAxWTT
MARYLAND WOMAN CONVICTED OF VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER: A Maryland woman has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in a 2010 hit-and-run crash that killed a woman near Dupont Circle. Prosecutors say a D.C. Superior Court jury found Jorida Davidson of Chevy Chase guilty yesterday. The victim was 24-year-old Kiela Ryan. http://wj.la/1rNMXPt
GAZA LATEST: Israeli tanks and warplanes are bombarding the Gaza Strip for another day today, as Hamas militants continue to insist that they won't relent until their main demand of lifting an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip is met.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that more than 2,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since July 8, and the Israeli military has uncovered more than 30 tunnels.
More than 700 Palestinians and 32 Israeli soldiers have been killed. http://apne.ws/QD5Ib6
TWITTER RELEASES DIVERSITY FIGURES: Succumbing to growing public pressure, Twitter released the gender and ethnic breakdown of its work force Wednesday, showing that it looks like most other major technology companies: overwhelming male, white and Asian.
In the U.S., nearly 90% of Twitter's workers are white or Asian. And more than 90% of technology jobs in the U.S. are held by whites or Asians. http://usat.ly/1nssX3W
NATIONAL DANCE DAY IN D.C.: Actress Jenna Elfman and dancer Du-Shaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall will be at the Kennedy Center this weekend to celebrate National Dance Day. Free performances and demonstrations are planned from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday in the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer. Elfman and Stegall will offer group dance lessons. http://wj.la/1Aai2l2
MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ARLINGTON HOSPITAL RAPE: A hospital worker in Arlington County pleaded guilty Wednesday to raping a patient in the emergency department at Virginia Hospital Center.
A 37-year-old woman was out drinking with a friend in Arlington on the night of Jan. 12, Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos said in circuit court.
Leaving the bar, she fell down from intoxication and medics were called to bring her to the emergency room. http://wapo.st/1mI6awE
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: The Washington Nationals lose 6-4 to the Colorado Rockies; the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2. http://wj.la/1rps9gt
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: "Today the state of Arizona broke the Eighth Amendment, the First Amendment, and the bounds of basic decency.” Inmate Joseph Wood took nearly two hours to die Wednesday--gasping and snorting during what one of his attorneys called "a bungled execution." http://wj.la/1nW5lAH
NEWSTALK: Among Thursday’s guests (10 a.m. NewsChannel 8): WTOP's Max Smith will talk about the opening of the Silver Line, and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein will preview tonight's Eastern Conf. finals against the Philadelphia Freedoms.