DAYBREAK DAILY: Mayor Gray makes a prudent hire; much more

ABC7 TRAFFIC: A crisp, cool morning finds few problems but please check DaybreakSkip on Twitter for breaking updates. Here’s the traffic flow map:

BREAKING: And bizarre. And disturbing. Montgomery County Park Police have arrested a Florida man who planned to ignite a car packed with explosives on the Mall. ABC7’s “Good Morning Washington” will have on-the-scene updates. Suspect claims the deal simply involved harmless fireworks. Authorities say otherwise.

LIBYA HEAD-SCRATCHER: Namely, this. Per the AP, “The son and heir apparent of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam, resurfaced free and defiant Tuesday a day after rebels claimed to have captured him, boasting in a bizarre reappearance that his father's loyalists still control parts of Tripoli and would crush the rebellion.”

Per the Post, “What Libyan rebels had predicted would be a day of street parties celebrating their takeover of Tripoli ended in a hurried retreat by some, when a brigade sent to set up security in the city came under fierce attack by forces loyal to Gadhafi. . . The clash, along the shores of the Mediterranean near the center of town, and reports of sniper fire across Tripoli made clear that the rebels’ control is far from complete.”

Kadafi's tanks and snipers took strategic positions in several Tripoli neighborhoods, per the L.A. Times. “Still, it was uncertain if the mercurial man who referred to himself as Brother Leader and ruled the nation for nearly 42 years could muster a potent counterattack.”

MEANWHILE, IRENE BECKONS: Powerful Hurricane Irene cut a destructive path through the Caribbean on Monday, raking Puerto Rico with strong winds and rain and then spinning just north of the Dominican Republic on a track that could carry it to the U.S. Southeast as a major storm by the end of the week.

SHE WAS SHAKIN’: Per the AP, “The largest earthquake to strike Colorado in almost 40 years has shaken hundreds of people near the New Mexico border. The magnitude 5.3 earthquake was recorded at about 11:46 p.m. MDT Monday about nine miles southwest of Trinidad, Colo., and about 180 miles south of Denver.”

SPORTS STROLL: Werth (that’s right) leads Nats past Diamondbacks 4-1. . .Miami scandal keeps on percolating, with 15 “student-athletes” under scrutiny. . .Keep an eye on the Atlanta Braves, who’ve won five straight and have the second-best record in the NL.

THINKING MAN: Per City Paper, “(D.C.) Mayor Vince Gray is considering veteran national political consultant Andrea Pringle as a new deputy chief of staff, according to multiple Wilson Building sources. Pringle confirms she's been in talks with the Gray team. Rumor is part of Pringle's potential new gig would be overseeing the mayor's communications shop, which would make sense given that Pringle owns her own political communications firm.”

POLITICO BLINK: “Once again, there will be no flight suit photo-op or “Mission Accomplished” banner for Barack Obama. The (tentative) ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi represents yet another military victory for a president long cast as a gun-shy liberal uncomfortable with the use of force. But while Obama has claimed credit for his individual successes – and has mentioned the killing of Osama bin Laden at campaign events – he has never fully embraced the role of a president at war.”

WHATEVER: Per DCist, “In June, we learned that it would be late 2013 before we could board one of the Department of Transportation's shiny new toys along the long-awaited H Street/Benning Road streetcar line. (Now) the agency announces they're adjusting that timeline once again, this time in a positive direction. According to DDOT, the initial run of the line is on track to take place "no later than mid 2013."

SOMETHING’S FISHY HERE: Per the AP, “Somewhere in California, someone has a truck load of stolen merchandise that probably is starting to stink. State Fish and Game wardens are investigating what they believe to be the first large-scale theft from a state fish hatchery after as many as a thousand trophy-sized trout were taken from a facility near Fresno.”

SO COOL: Remember Mike Littwin? As Tony Kornheiser says, “if you’re of a certain age,” you do. And here he is, per the Denver Post. “Rick Perry has just got himself into the race, and already he's got 'em on the run. They're backin' up, as they like to say in Texas, quicker than a crawfish.”

ABC7 WEATHER: Highs this afternoon will be in the upper 70s to middle 80s with overnight lows falling into the 50s to the north and west and middle 60s in the District. Parts of the Shenandoah Valley may fall into the 40s overnight.{ }

--Skip Wood