DAYBREAK DAILY: New Annapolis mayor may have power reduced

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‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – The latest on Typhoon Haiyan; Fairfax County continues work on the undecided AG race; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

TOOTHLESS MAYOR?: That’s the plan, per the Baltimore Sun, “Annapolis Alderman Ross Arnett insists the City Council's decision to take another look at making the mayor's job a more ceremonial role has nothing to do with party politics. But if the Democrat-majority council acts to remove the mayor's power, the timing will coincide with the election of Annapolis' first Republican mayor in nearly two decades, Mike Pantelides, who defeated the incumbent Democrat, Mayor Josh Cohen, last week.

"I think that's the right system," he said of the council-manager style of government being considered. Arnett plans to introduce a charter amendment in the coming weeks to make the change. In a council-manager city government, an appointed manager would run the city and report to the council, not the mayor. Arnett, a Democrat who represents Ward 8, said it would ensure someone qualified instead of an elected official is at the helm.”

THE SHRINKING MR. OBENSHAIN: Or something like that, per the Washington Post, “As the dust settled on election night, a few things seemed clear about the race for Virginia attorney general: It was too close to call, the numbers would change during a statewide canvass and the loser would probably ask for a recount. What was then a standard-issue tight contest between state Sens. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) and Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) has turned into something more dramatic and uncertain. A frenetic weekend search for the right numbers — much of it taking place at the Fairfax County Government Center — produced thousands of uncounted votes and an even closer race.

“As of Sunday night, Obenshain led by 17 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast, according to the State Board of Elections Web site. At times Friday, Obenshain led by more than 1,200 votes, but the totals have changed regularly since Tuesday.”

THE PHILIPPINES: Just the facts, per the New York Times, “Three days after one of the most powerful storms ever to buffet the Philippines, the scale of the devastation and the desperation of the survivors were slowly coming into view.

“The living told stories of the dead or dying — the people swept away in a torrent of seawater, the corpses strewn among the wreckage. Photos from the hard-hit city of Tacloban showed vast stretches of land swept clean of homes, and reports emerged of people who were desperate for food and water raiding aid convoys and stripping the stores that were left standing.”

SUNDAY MAIL: Kind of, anyway, per the Los Angeles Times, “Giant online retailer Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays. Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers' doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.

“Getting packages on Sundays normally is expensive for customers. United Parcel Service Inc. doesn't deliver on Sundays, according to a spokeswoman. And FedEx Corp. said Sunday "is not a regular delivery day," though limited options are available. The deal could be a boon for the postal service, which has been struggling with mounting financial losses and has been pushing to limit general letter mail delivery to five days a week.”

HOUSTON SHOOTINGS: Of a strange deal, per the Houston Chronicle, “A teenager who attended a large house party where two Cypress Springs High School students died says gunshots began in the house and continued outside as people ran into the streets seeking cover. Shaniqua Brown, 17, says Saturday evening's birthday party "was not rowdy at all," and many people were dancing when they heard the shots.

“Authorities are seeking two gunmen who are ages 17 and 22. A man and a woman were killed in the shooting, said Sheriff Adrian Garcia. Queric Richardson, 17, died at the party and a 16-year-old girl at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. The victims have not been named but Garcia said both attended Cypress Springs High School.”

IRAN: Of talks and deals, per The Hill, “Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the U.S. was in no hurry to come to an agreement that halts the Iranian nuclear program, arguing that “no deal is better than a bad deal. . .We all have said, President Obama has been crystal clear - don't rush,” Kerry said on NBC’s "Meet the Press." “We're not in a rush. We need to get the right deal. No deal is better than a bad deal and we are certainly adhering to that concept.”

“Negotiators were in Geneva last week discussing a potential agreement with Iran whereby the country would temporarily halt its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. Those negotiations fell through on Saturday when France said a proposed deal didn’t sufficiently curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Tom Steyer is Virginia’s $8 million man. The California billionaire spent nearly that much from his personal fortune to make an example of Republican Ken Cuccinelli for his arch-conservative views on the environment. The sum is more than three times the investment that’s been previously reported and it nearly matched what the Republican Governors Association, the largest GOP outside spender, put into the Virginia governor’s race. It is more money, on a per-vote basis, than the famously prolific conservative donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson spent in the 2012 presidential election.”

DRIVE-THRU: After a process, per the Frederick News-Post, “Illegal immigrants will soon be able to get driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration announced last week that it is taking appointments to see undocumented immigrants applying for a state driver’s license or identification card. Appointments can only be made online at The first appointment will be available Jan. 2, 2014.”

COURTING VETERANS: Of a unique situation, per Gazette.Net, “With the state’s largest population of veterans, Prince George’s County is being eyed as the future site for Maryland’s first veterans’ court, state officials said.

“I was in combat, and it’s very difficult coming back and going through the regular daily routine,” said state Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Dist. 23) of Bowie, who served during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s and is chairman of the special veterans task force that recommended the court. “A lot of these young people have post-traumatic stress disorder, which is basically combat stress.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 106-105 against Oklahoma City.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The University of Maryland College Park campus is on high alert after a group of eight to ten male suspects attacked two students at about 3 a.m. early Saturday morning. The group reportedly beat the two students before robbing them on a pathway right in front of the university and an apartment complex where many students live.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8): The Senate approves a measure banning workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians but House Speaker John Boehner says his chamber will not be following suit. CATO’s Trevor Burrus and GetEqual’s Heather Cronk debate the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

--Skip Wood