NATION

DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia takes aim at illegal cigarette trafficking

Decrease Increase Text size

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the upper 30s. http://wj.la/72e8x6

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Minimum wage bill for D.C. goes before committee; Prince George’s group joins chorus for owner Dan Snyder to lose Redskins from team name; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

SMOKE ’EM IF YOU GOT ’EM: Or not, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Virginia State Crime Commission is drafting legislation aimed at illegal cigarette trafficking following a closed briefing from law enforcement agencies this month. The commission chairman, state Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, said he was alarmed by the pervasiveness and sophistication of the trafficking. He said the legislature and the public need to be educated about of the threat.

Norment and state Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax, did not comment on the specifics of the 2½-hour, closed-door meeting. But Howell said, “We’re finding that the ties to organized crime and terrorism are real and the trafficking is increasing. “For Virginia, it’s not just the revenue loss, but we’re bringing bad players into our commonwealth,” Howell said. “They’re setting up shop here and particularly down the (Interstates) 95 and 81 corridors.” http://bit.ly/1aSblal

POLITICAL FOOTBALL: And the race for Maryland governor, per the Baltimore Sun, “As he runs for governor, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has hosted politically influential guests — including lobbyists, campaign contributors and union leaders — in the state's skybox at the Redskins' stadium, records show. Brown's guests during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons have included well-connected lobbyists Earl Adams Jr. and Major F. Riddick Jr., pastors from significant Prince George's County churches and the supervisor of a state trooper who issued a report criticizing the behavior of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a rival in the governor's race.

“Government watchdog group Common Cause Maryland — which has been critical of how the state's top politicians use stadium boxes — renewed its call for more tickets to go to community volunteers, advocates for children and others without much political influence. . . Records about the skybox — released to The Baltimore Sun in response to a Maryland Public Information Act request — also show that during the 2012 season, Brown charged $5,600 to the taxpayers for food and drink for him and his guests over 10 home games. In the first three games of 2013, Brown's party spent $3,000 on concessions, including $1,400 during Washington's Sept. 9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.” http://bsun.md/17QRpXw

LONG-TERM WEATHER REPORT: Or something like that, per the Daily Press, “Longer, hotter summers, more heat waves, more floods, water supply stresses, worsening air quality, more crop damage, an uptick in asthma and respiratory ills — this is a taste of what Hampton Roads and the rest of the Southeast can expect as the region bears the brunt of rapid climate change, according to a new report. And, the report states, all those impacts are in addition to a big hike in sea level and more intense hurricanes that climate scientists have warned for years could devastate the mid-Atlantic.

"I think people should be really concerned, especially in the coastal areas," climate expert Chip Konrad said in a recent phone interview. Konrad is a principal author of "Climate of the Southeast United States: Variability, Change, Impacts and Vulnerability," a 358-page report that compiles existing research and climate models — a collaboration among three Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment centers funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is also director of the Southeast Regional Climate Center and an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” http://bit.ly/IbjsVF

D.C. EYES EXPAND: And not everyone’s happy, per the Washington Times, “A drivers’ advocacy group is decrying the latest expansion of the District’s automated traffic enforcement program. D.C. police activated 100 new “next-generation” traffic cameras Saturday to target a growing number of motorist violations ranging from failure to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks to blocking the box.

“The new cameras boost the number of automated traffic enforcement devices operated by the Metropolitan Police Department to nearly 300 cameras — an expansion that AAA Mid-Atlantic called the “nuclear option.” http://bit.ly/1ejdwEH

IRAN ACCORD: Now the hard part, per the New York Times, “The Obama administration’s successful push for an accord that would temporarily freeze much of Iran’s nuclear program has cast a spotlight on the more formidable challenge it now confronts in trying to roll the program back.

“For all of the drama of late-night make-or-break talks in Geneva, the deal that Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating partners announced early on Sunday was largely a holding action, meant to keep the Iranian nuclear program in check for six months while negotiators pursue a far tougher and more lasting agreement. By itself, the interim pact does not foreclose either side’s main options or require many irreversible actions — which was why the two sides were able to come to terms on it. That was also a reason for the sharp negative reaction the deal elicited on Sunday from Israel, an American ally that is deeply suspicious of Iranian intentions.” http://nyti.ms/Icnyx8

MEANWHILE: Of multi-tasking, per the Washington Post, “Secretary of State John F. Kerry was a man in his element in Sunday’s pre-dawn hours, when he announced details of a historic diplomatic agreement with Iran. Nearly all the roles he has played in a long career in public life came into view.

“There was the pragmatic deal-cutting senator Kerry was for nearly three decades — the experience that most defines his approach to his new executive-branch job as chief diplomat. The i-dotting lawyer was there, too, as was a little of the jaded war veteran and the ambitious politician who once sought but fell short of the presidency.” http://wapo.st/1ci46bn

AND THIS: Clandestine background, per the Los Angeles Times, “In mid-March, a small team of U.S. officials boarded a military plane and flew to the tiny Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman on a diplomatic mission so sensitive — and risky — that only President Obama and his closest advisors knew about it.

“In a secret encounter arranged by the longtime monarch, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Americans sat down with a delegation of Iranian diplomats and nuclear experts in the capital city, Muscat, an ancient trading port on the Arabian Sea. It was the first in a series of at least five clandestine meetings this year between U.S. and Iranian officials in Oman and elsewhere after more than three decades of bitter estrangement. They paved the way for the landmark agreement announced early Sunday in Geneva designed to freeze Iran's nuclear program for six months while negotiators seek a more comprehensive pact.” http://lat.ms/1ejeMI1

IMMIGRATION REFORM: POTUS to make his push, per The Hill, “President Obama on Monday will call on Congress to pass “commonsense immigration reform,” according to a White House official. Obama will speak Monday morning in San Francisco, urging House Republicans to take up the issue as soon as possible.

“Obama will highlight key principles that must be a part of any bipartisan comprehensive effort, the official said, including continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century.” http://bit.ly/17JQrde

POLITICO PLAY: “Some Capitol Hill Democrats are preparing to launch broadsides against President Barack Obama if the Affordable Care Act website isn’t fixed by the end of the month. That will come in the form of more aggressive scrutiny in Republican-led oversight hearings, open advocacy for further delay in the enrollment deadline and individual coverage mandate, and more calls for a staff shake-up in the White House.” http://politi.co/1iJHGoe

VIRGINIA RACE 2013: Certification time, per the AP, “The State Board of Elections is set to certify the results of Virginia's Nov. 5 election, including the cliff-hanging race for attorney general. The board is meeting Monday in Richmond. All eyes will be on the race to succeed Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who failed in his Republican bid for governor.

“Democrat Mark Herring has a 165-vote edge over Republican Mark Obenshain, who has not said if he'll seek a recount if Herring's lead holds.” http://apne.ws/1aZTU4l

FREE PARKING: Pretty much says it all, per the Frederick News-Post, “Frederick is again offering free parking to downtown visitors on weekends during the holiday season to encourage local shopping. While gridlocked parking lots can accompany the shopping season, city officials are offering tips that may help shoppers find the "hidden gems" of parking availability.” http://bit.ly/1bhkj3E

WILL HE OR WON’T HE?: Coyness continues, per City Paper, “When Vince Gray celebrated his 70th birthday last year at Nationals Park, the team gave him a baseball bat. This year, the mayor got something much more useful: a few more days to keep the city wondering about whether he's running for re-election.” http://bit.ly/1chfyE0

BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE: In the District, per DCist, “It's been a hot minute since we've heard anything about a project that could turn a portion of the old 11th Street Bridge that sits over the Anacostia River into a recreational park. . . Well, big plans are currently underway to make those ideas a reality, but the planners are seeking the community's help to decide exactly what they should do with the space.

“Scott Kratz, one of the people leading the development of the 11th Street Bridge Park, updated DCist with the latest plans on the project, which developers say would connect Wards 6, 7, and 8. Right now, Kratz is asking for the public's input for the new civic space, and on December 7, he'll be holding two design workshops for community members to come and give their ideas as to what should be included in the park. "This needs to be a city-wide destination," Kratz says, "and we're encouraging all citizens to attend these meetings to give their input." http://bit.ly/1i6XN1m

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Attention, holiday travelers! An East Coast storm may snarl your Tuesday and Wednesday travel plans. Winds will ease overnight as temperatures fall to the teens and lower 20s. But all eyes are focused midweek on a storm that is likely to cause holiday travel delays.” http://wj.la/1erEgnk

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- With the Affordable Care Act under intense fire, we’ll talk with one of the law’s chief backers, Ron Pollack of Families USA.

--Skip Wood

Recommended For You