DAYBREAK DAILY: Baltimore, Norfolk lose Carnival Cruise Lines

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with a good chance of afternoon thunderstorms and highs in the upper 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Frager’s fire may have been started by a cigarette butt, source say; D.C. fire department under critical review; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

CASH COW SAILS AWAY: Of a Carnival ship, per the Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore appears destined to lose lucrative cruise business next year, as Florida-based Carnival Cruise Lines announced Thursday that it plans to move its 2,124-passenger ship, the Pride, to Tampa, Fla., in November 2014.

“Carnival made no mention of the reason for ending the Pride's weekly sailings from Baltimore, but the company had warned Maryland port officials it would relocate its ship if it couldn't get prompt approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its plan for complying with pending air pollution control requirements.All oceangoing ships, including cargo and cruise vessels, are required by the International Maritime Organization to burn cleaner, low-sulfur fuel when within 200 miles of the U.S. and Canadian coast. Ships are supposed to use an even cleaner fuel with 90 percent less sulfur starting in 2015.”

MEANWHILE: Of another Carnival ship, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Carnival Cruise Lines announced today that it is moving the Carnival Glory, its only ship seasonally home-ported in Norfolk, to Miami beginning in November. "Carnival has decided not to deploy the Carnival Glory or another Carnival ship from Norfolk in 2014," wrote Vance Gulliksen, a Carnival spokesman, in an email. "Itinerary operating costs including fuel costs are a factor in our deployment decisions."

“The cruise line "routinely evaluates the performance of all of our itineraries and makes adjustments as needed to reflect the preferences of our guests and overall financial performance," Gulliksen stated.Carnival cited 2015 environmental requirements related to the sulfur content in the fuel used by cruise ships as a key factor in its decision. The requirements "would significantly impact our fuel costs for operating cruises from Norfolk and many other ports around North America," Gulliksen stated.”

IMMIGRATION REFORM: Now comes the hard part, per the New York Times, “The Senate on Thursday approved the most significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in a generation with broad bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Republican-controlled House, where there is significant opposition from conservative members and where the fight could extend into 2014.

“But given the strong 68-to-32 vote, with 14 Republicans voting in favor, the Democratic leadership and the bipartisan group of eight senators who drafted the original bill seemed determined to savor the moment. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presided over the vote as senators announced their positions from their desks, in a ceremonial procedure reserved for special occasions.”

EDWARD SNOWDEN: A matter of background checks, per the Washington Post, “Federal investigators have told lawmakers they have evidence that USIS, the contractor that screened Edward Snowden for his top-secret clearance, repeatedly misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, according to people familiar with the matter. The alleged transgressions are so serious that a federal watchdog indicated he plans to recommend that the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees most background checks, end ties with USIS unless it can show it is performing responsibly, the people said.

“Cutting off USIS could present a major logistical quagmire for the nation’s already-jammed security clearance process. The federal government relies heavily on contractors to approve workers for some of its most sensitive jobs in defense and intelligence. Falls Church-based USIS is the largest single private provider for government background checks.”

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: Of a reluctant witness, per the Miami Herald, “A Miami teen’s often-contentious testimony concluded Thursday in the George Zimmerman murder trial, with both sides expressing confidence that Rachel Jeantel’s seven hours on the witness stand had helped bolster their case.

“The 19-year-old Miami Norland senior remained adamant, even under intense cross-examination, about what she heard in the final moments of Trayvon Martin’s life, before Zimmerman gunned down the Miami Gardens teen in a Sanford gated community. But she acknowledged that she could not know which man was the aggressor, since she was talking with Trayvon through a cell phone and was not present for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting.”

TEXAS TWO-STEP: He-said-she-said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a personal swipe at state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who conducted a more than 11-hour filibuster this week to help kill a controversial abortion bill he supports. Perry made these comments Thursday during the opening session of the 2013 National Right to Life Convention at the DFW Hyatt Regency Hotel, where he also said he has delayed announcing his future political plans because of the second special session he has scheduled to start Monday.

“It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example: that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential; that every life is precious,” Perry told the crowd. Davis — who has openly talked about how she, by the age of 19, was a divorced, single mother, working two jobs and raising her child as they lived in a trailer park — quickly fired back at the governor. “Rick Perry’s statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds,” she said. “They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view.”

POLITICO PLAY: “While Republicans inside the Beltway continue to stumble and fumble their way to irrelevancy, Ohio Gov. John Kasich — and other conservative heartland governors — are quietly offering a blueprint for success: competence, consistency and actually creating jobs rather than just talking about it.

“As Republicans look ahead to 2016, they worry most about the capacity of any party leader to navigate a base that is at odds with most Americans on gay rights, immigration and the broader demographic currents reshaping our politics.”

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FRAGER’S: Butt in a bucket, per ABC7—WJLA, “In the three months since the massive fire gutted Frager’s Hardware, rumors have run rampant regarding what was to blame – whether an employee knocked something over or there was some sort of spillage. But it turns out the ferocious fire that took 200 firefighters more than five hours to put out was ignited by a single cigarette butt, sources say.”

WHY DOES HE CARE?: This is a bit bizarre, per the Washington Times, “The District’s congressional delegate says a Michigan congressman is planning to introduce legislation to ban red light and speed cameras in the District. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton on Thursday said in a statement that Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a freshman Republican, is looking for cosponsors of a bill he drafted that would prohibit the District from using automated traffic enforcement systems.”

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS: No surprise here, per the Boston Globe, “A federal grand jury Thursday handed up a sweeping indictment of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, charging him with using weapons of mass destruction and killing four people. The 30-count indictment alleges that Tsarnaev had been inspired by Al Qaeda publications and left a confession in the boat where he was captured in a Watertown back yard.

“In it, he said, “I don’t like killing innocent people” and noted that “it is forbidden” in Islam to do so, but he justified his actions as a response to US military action in Muslim countries, according to the indictment.”

LEARN TO SHARE: But it surely will be tricky, per DCist, “Sidewalks throughout Alexandria could become a lot more crowded and difficult to navigate with the latest decision by the city's leaders. The Alexandria City Council this week approved an ordinance allowing cyclists to ride on the sidewalks in nearly the entirety of the city.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 3-2 against Arizona.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The Washington Wizards selected Georgetown's Otto Porter with the third pick in the NBA draft. It looks like the 6-foot-8, 20-year-old will be staying here in D.C.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who will be asked about this week’s Supreme Court rulings and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to co-sponsor D.C. statehood legislation.

--Skip Wood