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Posted at 5:43 AM ET, 12/20/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Five more days

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's the Monday before Christmas and all through the mall, there seems to be the feeling of . . . panic. Christmas is Saturday and for those who plan to do their shopping online, today is the ordering cutoff if you hope to get your items by Christmas. It's also the Post Office's cutoff if you plan to send items via first class and have them arrive by Dec. 25. Of course for the real procrastinators, there's always overnight mail.

A lot like last week, but dreams of a White Christmas may come true. The Capital Weather Gang predicts it'll be mostly sunny, but breezy with temperatures in the low 30's.

And no, it's not just you. It IS colder than it has been in past December. So far this month, we're about seven degrees below our average temperatures for the month. We've only had two days of above normal temperatures. I suppose this balances our our spring and summer of above average temperatures. But there may be some reward for our suffering: a rare Christmas snow threat is developing

Coming up:

Autopsy report in DC9 case? Today we may learn the cause of death in the case of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, a 27-year-old Silver Spring man, who died Oct. 15 after allegedly throwing a brick through the front window of the DC9 nightclub in the U. Street District. Police say Mohammed was then chased by four employees of the club and the club's co-owner and died after a physical encounter with the group. Charges were filed against the men, but later dropped. Charges could be refiled in the case, depending on the findings in the autopsy, which authorities said had to be formally presented to Mohammed's family before being released publicly.

Somebody's watching. If you drive through Falls Church, know that officials have recently installed red light cameras in some intersections. (NBC 4)

Today's headlines:

From Silver Spring to St. Andrews. Two interesting stories about college life. Tuition costs at U.S. colleges and universities have become so pricey that more American students are going to the U.K. for college. Even with recent student protests about rising tuition costs in Britain -- a group of angry English student attacked Prince Charles' car with he and wife Camilla inside -- tuition is still a fraction of the cost it is for many U.S. colleges and universities.

Muslim students at Catholic universities. In the meantime, U.S. Catholic colleges and universities are seeing a huge jump in the number of Muslim students enrolling at their campuses. At Catholic University here in the District, the largest group of international students comes from Saudi Arabia. The Muslim students say they are attracted to the Catholic campuses in part of the strength of their academic program -- but also because the campus' embrace of religion -- even if it isn't theirs -- makes it easier to be open about one's faith. There are still bumps to adjusting -- for example, some campuses lack prayer rooms -- but most have been happy with their experiences.

The Republican majority and the District. Some in D.C. are worried about what the new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, could mean for some key social issues in the District. Will there be a rollback of new city laws, including same-sex marriage and legalized medical marijuana? All were passed when Democrats held the majority in the House. Although local issues are not necessarily on the priority list of incoming congressional leaders, District policies will be when the Republican-controlled House reviews annual funding for the city in the spring.

Policing fraud in Prince George's? A task force created by newly sworn-in Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker to investigate county business practices is also considering whether to set up an inspector general's office to police fraud and abuse in the county. Many other jurisdictions, including Montgomery County, have similar offices in place but effectiveness varies. Thomas J. Dagley, Montgomery County's inspector general recently announced he is stepping down because officials in the county have not "fully embraced" his watchdog role.

In short. An apparent gas leak may have caused a house to explode in Chantilly Sunday night (Post); a shopkeeper in D.C.'s Brookland neighborhood was shoot and killed in front of his wife and son, Saturday evening (Post); a soldier from Northern Virginia has died in Afghanistan. (Post)

Other items:

A few of your favorite DCTweeps? It's been a big year for Twitter. Folks now depend on it to help the do everything from follow headlines to find lunch. So we'd like to know -- who are some of your favorite D.C. area Tweeps (besides PostLocal, of course!) Submit your nominations here. You have until Dec. 24 at noon.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Be sure to check back with Post Local throughout the day for more news and headlines. Curious about what local bloggers are talking about? This afternoon, we'll have a roundup of intriguing posts from the D.C.-area blogosphere.

By Lori Aratani  | December 20, 2010; 5:43 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: School delays: Stafford, Spotsylvania
Next: A.M. headlines around the D.C. region


Interesting article! I just now got Coupons of my Favorite Brands for free from "Printapons" you should search for them online

Posted by: janeejkurtz | December 21, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

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