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City State is The Washington Times' roundup of the best breaking news and original observations across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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Judge says Md. redistricting lawsuit can go forward

A black activist group claiming that Maryland officials gerrymandered the state's new congressional map received an initial court victory Monday, when a federal judge declined to throw out their lawsuit despite protest from state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

VIDEO: Don't call it a flash mob

Montgomery County police are investigating a "mass theft" from a Silver Spring 7-Eleven store that involved as many as 50 people and are seeking help identifying people seen in the store's surveillance video, police announced Monday.

ICC to open Tuesday

Maryland officials will open a new stretch of road on the Innercounty Connector on Tuesday, extending the $2.6-billion toll highway an additional 10.4 miles and into Prince George's County.

Morning Roundup: Nov. 21

Redistricting suit likely to roil Virginia Assembly; D.C. Council now has ethics-reform bill; Maryland audit: assisted-living homes not getting inspected; Gray announcing (another) staff shakeup; Virginia's gun background check being challenged; Maryland revokes 157 nursing assistants' certificates; Sun: Franchot has a tin ear; Prince George's police seek accidentally released slaying suspect.

FEMA helps Virginia with Lee damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved federal disaster assistance to help eight local Virginia governments and the state recover from damage caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, which brought heavy rain and flooding into the region Sept. 8-9, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced late Thursday.

Morning Roundup, Nov. 17

District officials, motorists prepare for Key Bridge demonstration; Man arrested in shots fired at White House; Big unions fortify Occupy D.C. camp; Airport authority, Virginia agree on labor pact; Maryland GOP Sen. Pipken: 'War on rural Md. is real'; D.C. leaders couldn't support Issa offer; Gray backs six Wal-Marts for D.C.; Bowie State gets $553K for Steinways disappointing hawkish Comptroller Franchot.

Morning Roundup, Nov. 17

Virginia Assembly preparing for lean budget season, cuts; Virginia GOP sticks with Norment as Senate leader; O'Malley to lead huge delegation to India; Secret Service: Bullet hit White House window; Prince George's wants voters to decide on slots casino; Robocall election case postponed.

Feds release Jack, Leslie Johnson tapes

The U.S. Attorney's office has released an audio tape of former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson telling wife Leslie Johnson to stuff cash into her underpants and flush a $100,000 check down the toilet, as two FBI agents are knocking on the couple's front door.

Post: Duncan won't run for Bartlett seat

Former Montgomery County executive Douglas M. Duncan, Democrat, said Tuesday that he had decided against making a run for the redrawn 6th District Congressional seat, and he is leaning toward backing financier John K. Delaney for the post instead.

Morning Roundup, Nov. 15

Proposal offers D.C. budget autonomy; O'Malley backing gas-tax hike among several tough sells; Virginia has flawed methods for evaluating sex offenders; Montgomery County's top attorney: Loitering bill likely unconstitutional; Fairfax County schools voting on indoor cameras; O'Malley administration to outline historic India trip; Gang memberships soars in Prince George's County; Univ. of Maryland could cut eight varsity programs; Two Republicans running for D.C. at-large seat; Columbia allowing female-only swimming.

Allen will participate in GOP debates

For someone like George Allen, who already has the funds, the record, and the name recognition for his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign, it would be understandable if he wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to face his Republican rivals in the three GOP debates to be held next spring before the June primary.