DAYBREAK DAILY: Sequestration and its effects dangerously lurk

ABC7 TRAFFIC: 'Good Morning Washington' has updates every 10 minutes beginning at 4:30 a.m.

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 40s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories being reported -- Ongoing coverage of how a the potential sequester will affect this region, and much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Argo has won the best picture Oscar at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Congratulations to Ben Affleck. For all Oscars winners, click here:

VIRGINIA AND THE SEQUESTER: Just the facts, per the Virginian-Pilot, “The Obama administration released further details Sunday of how Virginians would be affected by spending cuts set to start in four days, even as it pressed for a compromise to head them off. Pentagon officials have already warned of reductions in military spending that would be particularly crippling to the defense-heavy economies of Virginia - and Hampton Roads. Now, the White House is highlighting other cuts to federal funding for education, law enforcement, public health, national parks and environmental protection.

“U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said during an appearance Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he's hopeful some compromise can be reached. "There's no reason we should be playing this kind of brinksmanship," Kaine, a Democrat, said.”

MARYLAND AND THE SEQUESTER: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Potentially steep cuts to defense-heavy states are uniting Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, in an effort to avert them. On CBS' "Face the Nation," O’Malley said the two states sit in a “corridor of science and security and this sequester stands to wipe out a lot of hard-fought job gains in Virginia and in Maryland.”

WASHINGTON AND THE SEQUESTER: Just the facts, per the Washington Post, “In the Washington region, hub of the federal government, the upcoming automatic spending cuts the Obama administration detailed Sunday would strike a tough blow, with nearly 150,000 civilian Defense Department employees facing furloughs and an estimated average loss of $7,500 in pay.

“Under sequestration, which is days away if a deal cannot be reached, funding for elementary and secondary education across the region would be slashed by $29 million, jeopardizing nearly 400 teacher and aide positions. Nearly 6,000 fewer children would be vaccinated for such diseases as measles, mumps and whooping cough. More than 31,000 fewer tests for HIV would be provided, and funds for local meals for seniors would be cut by nearly $2.3 million.”

THE NATION AND THE SEQUESTER: Just the facts, per the New York Times, “In an effort to put pressure on Congressional Republicans, the White House warned on Sunday that automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect this week would have a devastating impact on programs for people of all ages in every state. Cabinet officers sounded the alarm on television talk shows, and their concerns resonated with state officials, who were in town for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The Republicans’ message on the sequester couldn’t be clearer: They don’t have a unified one. There seem to be three distinct camps: Most congressional Republicans appear willing to let the sequester happen since they can’t replace it in time. Others want the cuts to be even deeper. And still others wish that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama would just get in the same room and negotiate a deal, even if it includes the tax hikes that most Republicans abhor.”

REMEMBER THIS GUY?: He likes to sing, per the Los Angeles Times, “Almost four months after his presidential election defeat, Mitt Romney is planning a return to the national political stage. The 2012 Republican nominee will appear, with his wife Ann, on Fox News Sunday next weekend, Chris Wallace, the program's host, announced Sunday. It will be his first televised interview since the November election.”

SIGH: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “Prince George’s County Police have made an arrest in the murder of Marckel Ross, an 18-year-old Central High junior who was killed while walking to school. Police say they will provide more details on Monday afternoon.”

DROP IN: Not out, per the Washington Examiner, “The number of "dropout factory" high schools in the District has shot up in the past decade, defying state trends nationwide, according to a report released Monday. The "Building a Grad Nation" 2013 report, sponsored by a group of independent education research and advocacy organizations, found that fewer than 61 percent of ninth-grade students make it to senior year in 13 D.C. high schools, up from only two in 2002.”

LOCAL VATICAN ANGLE: Going sight-seeing, per the Washington Times, “The archbishop of Washington is one of 118 men who will be locked inside a chapel in Vatican City in the coming weeks to decide the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. But he’s most looking forward to seeing the art. “The thing that will probably be the most awesome, sitting in the Sistine Chapel, is seeing on the wall and looking at the Last Judgement,” Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said Sunday at Washington Dulles International Airport.”

GRIM: Just the facts, per InsideNova, “Authorities in Fauquier County are searching for a Fredericksburg man they say is a “person of interest” in the slayings of an elderly man and his wife in The Plains. Nelson Slack, 80, and his wife, 74-year-old Ethel Slack, were found dead in their house at 7282 Bunker Hill Road early Sunday afternoon after friends worried when they didn’t show up to church, said Lt. James Hartman of the Fauquier Sheriff’s Office.”

DOES IT REALLY MATTER?: Apparently so, per DCist, “Many D.C. residents will tell you there's a big difference between "Washington" and "D.C." Mayor Vince Gray seems to agree. Last week Gray ordered that the D.C. DMV replace "Washington, DC" on license plates with "District of Columbia." The change—which will take place once the existing stock of license plates is exhausted—will return D.C. plates to what they used to be; license plates had "D.C." or "District of Columbia" on them from 1907 until 1966, after which "Washington, DC" was used.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Jimmie Johnson wins the Daytona 500; Danica Patrick finishes eighth.

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are Virginia Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) and Del. Bob Marshall, who will be asked about the historic transportation bill.

--Skip Wood

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