DAYBREAK DAILY: Sickles of Fairfax rips Va. GOP voter ID plan

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Cold early then rainy with highs in the low 50s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories being covered – An overnight fire at a Manassas apartment complex affects at least 20 units but no one was seriously hurt; breaking updates on Oscar Pistorious’ bail hearing; grim return today for Suitland High students (see below); Kate Middleton’s baby bump; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: A 15-year-old Suitland High School student was gunned down Monday afternoon in Hillcrest Heights, Prince George's County Police say.

SICKLES TAKES A STAND: Of voting rights and restrictions, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Democratic leaders Monday criticized what they say are Republican efforts to rig elections by passing legislation that would make it more difficult for Virginians to vote. “In the beginning of this legislative session we saw bipartisan, common-sense bills that would address some of these problems that we faced last November,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles, D-Fairfax, chairman of the Democratic caucus. “But we’re on a path to leave this legislative session by the end of this week having created more obstacles and making voting more difficult for hundreds of thousands of qualified Virginia voters while achieving zero reforms.”

A PRESSING ISSUE: Or is it?, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Anyone caught littering (in Virginia) may have to serve at least 10 hours of community service under a bill that’s on its way to passing the General Assembly. The House Courts of Justice Committee this evening OK’d SB1166 to establish the minimum punishment for throwing trash on the ground. It will go to the full House for a vote later this week.”

MEANWHILE: A bit more serious, per the Washington Post, “The Virginia General Assembly on Monday approved a measure that would make it easier for parents to obtain access to a minor’s Facebook and other social media accounts after the minor’s death. . .(The) bill was prompted by the experience of Ricky and Diane Rash, a Nottoway County couple who were frustrated by their inability to gain access to their son Eric’s Facebook account after his suicide in January 2011.”

FIRST RESPONDERS: A matter of reaction time, per the Baltimore Sun, “University of Maryland, Eastern Shore officials on Monday said state police are investigating assertions that campus officers took an extended period of time to respond to the fatal stabbing of a student during homecoming weekend. Edmond A. St. Clair, 21, of Severn was stabbed on the Princess Anne campus Saturday night. St. Clair's family has said that it took too long for police to help him and that the assailants lingered at the scene after the stabbing. Campus spokesman Bill Robinson said state police are constructing a timeline.”

CYBER ATTACKS: And a strongly suspected source, per the New York Times, “On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People’s Liberation Army base for China’s growing corps of cyberwarriors. . . A growing body of digital forensic evidence — confirmed by American intelligence officials who say they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for years — leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies originate in and around the white tower.”

POLITICO PLAY: “President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House. Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting).”

GUN NO-SHOWS: For now, anyway, per ABC7 – WJLA, “. . . Wavering gun laws have Prince George's County rethinking its stance on gun shows. Until issues on Capitol Hill and Annapolis are resolved, Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Commission's Anita Pesses says there's an immediate ban on all gun exhibitions on county property.”

REQUEST DENIED: Reason uncertain, per the Washington Examiner, “D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson was asked in 2010 to review allegations that the Metropolitan Police Department deliberately understated the number of sexual assaults in the city, a letter obtained by The Washington Examiner shows, but he chose not to launch the formal investigation the police union demanded.”

SITUATION SEQUESTRATION: Bad tidings for us, per the Washington Times, “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter to President Obama on Monday asking him to broker a solution to avoid billions in automatic federal spending cuts on the same day that a study found the cuts would hit Virginia and the D.C. region harder than any other area in the country.”

IMMIGRATION REFORM: And lines in the sand, per the Los Angeles Times, “. . . Over the next few months, hundreds of illegal immigrants are planning to come to Washington to push for an overhaul of immigration laws. Despite signs that GOP leaders want to change the party's approach to the issue, many of the immigrants will face lawmakers who have long-standing positions against a legalization program.”

NUMBERZZZZZZ: Just the facts, per the Sun Gazette, “According to the Virginia Employment Commission, Fairfax County’s unemployment rate in December 2012 was 3.7 percent, the second-best of all of Virginia’s 134 cities and counties. The rate marked a slight uptick from the 3.6 percent recorded the previous month, but was down from the 4 percent posted in December 2011. Between 2007 and 2011, Fairfax County’s average unemployment rate was 3.8 percent; from 2002 to 2011, the rate averaged 3.3 percent.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Local angle on Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died Monday with 10 NBA titles under his belt, per the Post, “Wizards forward Trevor Ariza helped deliver one of the those titles for Buss during 1½ seasons with his hometown Lakers in 2009 and was understandably touched to hear about his passing. “That’s tough man, that’s tough for the Lakers organization, the Buss family and city of L.A.,” said Ariza.”

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: Let’s count the ways, per DCist, “D.C. has a higher percentage of residents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, reports a new Gallup survey. All told, 10 percent of the city's residents say they are LGBT, twice the amount in second-place Hawaii. In Maryland it's 3.3 percent and in Virginia it's 2.9 percent; North Dakota sits at the bottom of the list with only 1.7 percent.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who will be asked about accusations that MPD has mishandled sexual assault complaints, pedestrian safety, the stolen cellphone epidemic and more.

--Skip Wood

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