DAYBREAK DAILY: Man at center of McDonnell controversy offered free flights

ABC7 WEATHER: Overcast with rain showers and highs in the low 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – The Outer Loop of I-495 at Exit 33 Conn. Ave. was closed overnight because of two jackknifed tractor trailer trucks; An overturned fuel truck in Bristow will cause traffic delays for the morning rush hour; Overnight rain wreaks havoc; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

STAR SCIENTIFIC: Quite the aggressive company, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a corporate executive whose gifts to Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family are under public scrutiny, offered a free flight to Florida for top Virginia health officials to evaluate research involving a dietary supplement produced by his company, Star Scientific Inc.

“Secretary of Health and Human Resources William A. Hazel Jr. said he declined the trip offer, made nearly three years ago, for a flight to visit the Roskamp Institute, a research organization in Sarasota, Fla., that has worked with Star on potential application of its products for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Hazel said Williams asked him to extend the invitation to then-Health Commissioner Karen Remley, who the secretary said also declined. In an interview Wednesday, Remley said she has never spoken with Williams and did not recall being asked to meet with him or to visit the Roskamp Institute during her time as commissioner.”{ }

OF FOOD STAMPS: And a farm bill, per the Washington Post, “House Republicans narrowly passed a farm bill on Thursday that was stripped of hundreds of billions in funding for food stamps, abandoning four decades of precedent to gain the backing of conservative lawmakers.

“The 216 to 208 vote was a victory for a Republican caucus that has struggled to pass the most basic of legislation, but it also set up weeks of acrimony and uncertainty as House and Senate leaders must reconcile two vastly different visions for providing subsidies to farmers and feeding the hungry.”

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: Bold assertions, per the Orlando Sentinel, “Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman spotted an innocent teenager and assumed he was about to commit a crime so he followed him, murdered him then made up a series of lies hoping to avoid arrest, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday. "He brought a gun to a struggle that he had started," Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda told jurors during closing argument, "and now he wants you to let him off because he killed the only eye-witness."

“Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Friday afternoon in the most-watched trial in the country. There could be a verdict by nightfall Friday. The panel of six women — five of them white — must decide whether Zimmerman committed second-degree murder, manslaughter or acted in self-defense when he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012.”

SFO CRASH: New details, per the Associated Press, “Nearly a week after Asiana Flight 214 collided with a rocky seawall just short of its intended airport runway, investigators have pieced together an outline of the event - what should have been a smooth landing by seasoned pilots turning into a disaster.

“With each new bit of information, the picture emerging is of pilots who were supposed to be closely monitoring the plane's airspeed, but who didn't realize until too late that the aircraft was dangerously low and slow. Nothing disclosed so far by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators indicates any problems with the Boeing 777's engines or the functioning of its computers and automated systems.”

EDWARD SNOWDEN: U.S. steps up the pressure, per the New York Times, “The United States is conducting a diplomatic full-court press to try to block Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, from finding refuge in Latin America, where three left-leaning governments that make defying Washington a hallmark of their foreign policies have publicly vowed to take him in.

“Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the unusual step of telephoning President Rafael Correa of Ecuador to urge him not to give asylum to Mr. Snowden. Senior State Department officials have also pushed Venezuela, one of the three countries offering to shelter him, with both sides keenly aware that hopes for better ties and an exchange of ambassadors after years of tension could be on the line.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s threat to change filibuster rules is supposed to narrowly focus on presidential nominees to the executive branch. But his potential move to invoke the “nuclear option” is raising a bigger and more sweeping question that could have huge consequences for future presidents of both parties: Is this the beginning of the end of the filibuster? If the filibuster goes, the Senate would lose a crucial check on majority rights — and it could start looking very much like the House, where the majority always gets its way.”

KAYAKER KILLED: Just the facts, per ABC7—WJLA, “Authorities rescued one kayaker who went missing Thursday evening at Great Falls Park, but Montgomery County Fire says the body of a missing female kayaker has been recovered from the Potomac River. ABC7's Tom Roussey reports that the woman who died was in town from South Carolina for the Great Falls Race.”

SEQUESTRATION: Of a Maryland story, per the Baltimore Sun, “Mary Theresa Nipwoda, a lab technician at Aberdeen Proving Ground, did what she could to prepare for the 20 percent pay cut she knew was coming this week. The Harford County woman, who earns about $67,000 annually, switched her prescription medications to generic drugs once it became clear Congress was not going to roll back the $85 billion in federal budget cuts known as sequestration. She skipped a AAA membership for her car. Nipwoda, one of tens of thousands of Defense Department employees in Maryland who began taking unpaid leave this week, is prepared. But she's no less frustrated.”

ABORTION: Just the facts, per Gazette.Net, “Anti-abortion rights groups are calling for the closure of a controversial Germantown abortion clinic after a woman was taken to a hospital from the clinic Tuesday, and renewed their calls for the revocation of the medical license of a physician who works there.”

D.C. FORFEITURE FLAP: Disputing a bill, per the Washington Times, “The District’s attorney general took issue Thursday with a bill that would redefine the way the police department seizes cars related to certain crimes, holds them and sells them for profit. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan told a D.C. Council committee considering a change to the District’s civil asset forfeiture laws that proposed legislation could endanger millions of dollars in profits the police department receives through the federal forfeiture revenue-sharing program.”

YAWN: This is surprising why?, per City Paper, “Money that Marion Barry took to possibly cover his expenses has left him with even more bills to pay. The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability censured Barry this afternoon for accepting $6,800 from two contractors and fined him double that amount. Barry took $4,000 from F&L Construction and $2,800 in gifts from Forney Enterprises, even though he knew they were city contractors, according to the board's settlement with him.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 3-1 against Philadelphia.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Two young Annapolis men are in medically-induced comas 24 hours after they were struck by lightning Wednesday night. Jamie Martin and her boyfriend, Connor Benson, 18, and friend Alex Steele, 23, had been trying to tether their boat before last night's storm hit when a lightning strike hit the trio. Steele and Benson were blown to the ground. A neighboring doctor began CPR and within minutes medics arrived at the residence in the 100 block of River Drive.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth, who will be asked about the Bob McDonnell controversy.

--Skip Wood