DAYBREAK DAILY: Sinclair details plan to take NewsChannel 8 national

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs in the low 80s.  

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Progress report on the cleaning of the vandalized monuments; TSA under scrutiny for incidents of misconduct; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

SINCLAIR: Of its plans for WJLA and NewsChannel 8, per the Baltimore Sun, “Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. plans to create a new cable television news channel with a blend of local and national programming and bring it to cities across the United States over the next couple of years, CEO David Smith said Tuesday. Smith expanded on his vision for a hybrid local/national network a day after the Hunt Valley broadcaster announced its largest acquisition to date: the purchase of eight television stations for nearly $1 billion, including NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable/satellite all-news network that covers the Washington metro area. "We are confident we can use Channel 8 to launch a national cable channel in all of our markets," Smith said. "Over time, we're going to build a local/national channel that will compete with every national news channel, and we're going to get paid for it."

“. . . Buying the stations from Arlington, Va.-based Allbritton Communications would make Sinclair the largest broadcaster in the country and extend its reach to well over a third of all TV-viewing households. . . The deal, which requires Federal Communications Commission approval, would give Sinclair seven ABC affiliates that reach nearly 5 percent of U.S. households, most notably ABC's Washington affiliate, WJLA, which shares news operations with NewsChannel 8 and would allow Sinclair to air national political stories on its stations.”

ARTHUR ASHE: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “A local attorney is looking to get Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones to take a more active role in the effort to bring the Arthur Ashe Inspirational Tour Exhibit here permanently. Eric C. Perkins, a lawyer with Perkins Law PLLC and an advisory board member of the Richmond Tennis Association, has launched a petition drive to urge the mayor to help give the exhibit a home in the city.

“. . .Ashe, who was raised in Richmond and is buried here, is the only black man to win singles titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. He is known worldwide as much for his activism and work off the court as for his skills as a tennis player.”

MANNING NOT GUILTY: On the biggest charge, anyway, per the New York Times, “A military judge on Tuesday found Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of “aiding the enemy” for his release of hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks for publication on the Internet, rejecting the government’s unprecedented effort to bring such a charge in a leak case.

“But the judge in the court-martial, Col. Denise R. Lind, convicted Private Manning of six counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and most of the other crimes he was charged with. He faces a theoretical maximum sentence of 136 years in prison, although legal experts said the actual term was likely to be much shorter.”

MEANWHILE: What it may portend for WikiLeaks, per the Washington Post, “The conviction of Army private Bradley Manning on espionage charges Tuesday makes it increasingly likely that the United States will prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a co-conspirator, according to his attorney and civil liberties groups. . . Press freedom advocates said the verdict adds to their alarm that the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of leakers will discourage whistleblowers from providing critical information on military and intelligence matters.”

AND THIS: POTUS makes a decision, per the Los Angeles Times, “The Obama administration plans to release previously secret court orders that set out the rules and rationale for the bulk collection of U.S. phone records as officials seek to quell growing unrest in Congress over the government's massive information dragnet.

“According to a senior U.S. official, the government has declassified the order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, that authorized the collection program, which began in 2007. Before that, the National Security Agency had been collecting telephone records without a court order since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

ON THE TRAIL: Of a proposed deal, per The Hill, “President Obama pressed GOP lawmakers on Tuesday to strike a deal that would lower corporate tax rates in exchange for boosting spending on jobs and infrastructure programs. The White House cast the new plan as a “grand bargain for the middle class,” as well as a new way to ease the partisan gridlock expected to intensify this fall with battles over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s transition office chief and the wife of embattled New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, is expected to take extended vacation time from her job with the former first lady in the coming days, sources told POLITICO. The move is not a leave of absence, two sources familiar with the move insisted, and it’s not precisely clear when she will depart for her vacation time from her day job.”

PAINT JOBS: Scrub-a-dub, per ABC7—WJLA, “Luther Place Memorial Church's sanctuary looks a lot better than it did -- but there's still a lot of work to do. Parish Administrator Jack Reiffer says cleaning the organ pipes will be the toughest job and require outside help.

“A 58-year-old woman named Jia Mei Tian remains in custody Tuesday, a day after she was caught at the scene one of a string of incidents during which green paint was tossed onto a prominent D.C. monument or building. She has been charged with defacing property and ordered held without bond.”

HARRY F. BYRD JR.: per the (Harrisonburg) Daily News-Record, “Some of the reactions that have come in about former U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr., who died Tuesday at 98.”

DON’T RAISE OUR RATES: Of a request, per Gazette.Net, “Montgomery County has asked a judge to stop the recent rate increase and surcharge that the Maryland Public Service Commission approved for Pepco in mid-July.

“The commission granted Pepco $27.9 million of a $60.8 million request for higher rates as well as $24 million of a $192 million surcharge the company requested to levy on top of what customers already pay. For the average customer, that would raise monthly electric bills $2.41 plus an additional 6 cents in the first year.”

MIXED NEWS: Good but should be better, per the Washington Times, “Standardized test scores for D.C. public and charter schools are the highest they have been in six years, an accomplishment officials on Tuesday said should be applauded but also serve as motivation to continue to raise the bar. The D.C. office of the state superintendent of education released the 2013 Comprehensive Assessment System scores, showing that 48.4 percent of public school students were proficient in math and reading while 55.8 percent of charter school students were at a proficiency level.” 

HITTING THE POOL: Or not, per City Paper, “Councilmember Mary Cheh says the Wilson Aquatic Center hasn't been doing its share of keeping the city cool during the summer. In a letter to fellow Councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie and Marion Barry, Cheh lists the many problems with the pool, reopened in 2009 after a $35 million renovation. It's closed on the hottest days of the summer because of air conditioning problems, according to Cheh, and incorrect chemical mixes have also forced closures. Swimmers who go to the pool when it is open are victimized by locker thieves, Cheh writes.”

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: Of fairs, per ARLnow, “The Arlington County Fair returns next week for its 37th year of family-friendly entertainment. The fair will kick off starting on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and will run through Sunday, Aug. 11. If recent years are any indication, some 50,000 people can be expected to flock to the fair from around Arlington and Northern Virginia.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 5-1 against Nationals.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A tape of a brutal attack in Fairfax County is making its way through the neighborhood just off Braddock Road, and it was a local resident who captured the brutal beat-down on camera. Police officers walked door-to-door on Tuesday night trying to find witnesses.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, who will be asked about the D.C. United stadium proposal, the living wage bill, the proposal to decriminalize marijuana and the election of the city’s next attorney general.

--Skip Wood