April 13th, 2009
05:38 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, April 13, 2009

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The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: General: U.S. should be out of Iraq by late 2011
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, said Sunday he believes U.S. troops will be out of the country by the end of 2011.

CNN: Official: Obama granted use of appropriate force to rescue captain
President Obama granted two separate requests from the Defense Department to go forward with a military operation to rescue Captain Richard Phillips, an administration official tells CNN.

CNN: Obama daughters to get Portuguese water dog named 'Bo'
The frenzy over the First Dog is finally over. The Obamas are welcoming a Portuguese water dog to the White House that Sasha and Malia have named "Bo," according to two Democratic sources familiar with the secretive process.

CNN: Arizona State apologizes for degree flap, honors Obama
Arizona State University appeared to backtrack Saturday in the controversy over not giving President Barack Obama an honorary degree, and said it would pay tribute to the president by expanding its most important scholarship program and naming it after him.

Washington Post: An Early Military Victory for Obama
It was one of the earliest tests of the new American president - a small military operation off the coast of a Third World nation. But as President Bill Clinton found out in October 1993, even minor failures can have long-lasting consequences.

NYT: Plan to Change Student Lending Sets Up a Fight
The private student lending industry and its allies in Congress are maneuvering to thwart a plan by President Obama to end a subsidized loan program and redirect billions of dollars in bank profits to scholarships for needy students.

LA Times: Obama is urged to take the wheel on infrastructure
Two prominent governors, California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pennsylvania's Edward G. Rendell, sent a memo to President Obama saying he needed to assert more political leadership instead of leaving it to Congress to draft a plan for improving the nation's aging highways, bridges and ports.

Bloomberg: Schwarzenegger Debt Defies Academics as Negotiations Trump Bids
Utah and Georgia saved money for taxpayers by selling AAA-rated bonds in the first quarter through private negotiations with banks, even though more than a dozen studies show such transactions may increase costs.

LA Times: Republican in Obama's corner
When President Obama needs to reach out to the political opposition, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood often gets the call to be the go-between.

Washington Post: Give-and-Take With Emanuel Advances President's Agenda
As the House and Senate debated the budget earlier this month, Rahm Emanuel's spacious West Wing office took on the feel of a legislative bazaar.

Denver Post: Bill pushes all-paper voting
State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would push Colorado toward an all-paper election system, but the measure doesn't contain a hard deadline for achieving such a system.

WSJ Op-ED: Fleischer: Everyone Should Pay Income Taxes
If you thought Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme was bad, wait until you hear about the inverted pyramid scheme the federal government is working on. While Mr. Madoff preyed on people who trusted him with their money, the federal government has everyone's money, and the implications of its actions are worse.

NYT: Should Online Scofflaws Be Denied Web Access?
Is Internet access a fundamental human right? Or is it a privilege, carrying with it a responsibility for good behavior?

Boston Globe: Electronic health records raise doubt
When Dave deBronkart, a tech-savvy kidney cancer survivor, tried to transfer his medical records from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to Google Health, a new free service that lets patients keep all their health records in one place and easily share them with new doctors, he was stunned at what he found.

Washington Post Op-Ed: Donley & Schwartz: Moving Beyond the F-22
The debate over whether to continue production of the F-22 Raptor has been one of the most politically charged and controversial budget issues in recent memory, spawning lobbying efforts that include contractor-sponsored newspaper ads and letter-writing campaigns.

Newsweek: Palin and the Wolves
Deep in Alaska's interior, Fortymile Country is what you visualize when you think of the nation's 49th state: rugged, cold and heartbreakingly lonely, a feeling heightened by the occasional howl of a wolf. But there was another sound in the area last weekend: the whir of a helicopter, carrying a steady-handed state employee looking to target those wolves in the sights of his 12-gauge shotgun. This time the hunters came back empty-handed, but last month they killed 84 wolves in the area.

Denver Post: Balm generates lip-smacking appeal in economy
When the economy goes south, Americans apparently reach for the lip balm.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news: www.CNN.com.
CNN: Hostage captain rescued; Navy snipers kill 3 pirates
U.S. Navy snipers fatally shot three pirates holding an American cargo-ship captain hostage after seeing that one of the pirates "had an AK-47 leveled at the captain's back," a military official said Sunday.

CNN: Family, academy express relief after captain's rescue
For four days, an American sea captain and four Somali pirates rode the waves of the Indian Ocean in an enclosed lifeboat, far out of sight of most of the world.

CNN: 5 dead in Florida boating accident, official says
Five people were killed in a boating accident near Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday, a rescue official said.

CNN: Family of slaying suspect says charges 'out of character'
The family of a woman who faces charges of killing an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter's said Sunday the accusations are "completely out of character." The Tracy, California, family offered their prayers to the victim's family.

WSJ: Auto Thefts Plague Border Region
This city along the Rio Grande is on the verge of becoming the stolen-car capital of the U.S., according to data set for release Monday that underscore how drug cartels are helping make the U.S.-Mexico border region a hot spot for vehicle thieves.

Washington Post: A Possible Step Toward Setting the Biological Clock
Scientists have produced strong new evidence challenging one of the most fundamental assumptions in biology: that female mammals, including women, are born with all the eggs they will ever have.

LA Times: Fraud infects state in-home care program
Loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester in a rapidly expanding multibillion-dollar state program that provides personal caregivers to the impoverished elderly and disabled. Hundreds of reports of scams and swindles are going without investigation.

USA Today: Reflecting bad times, some lotteries hit losing streak
State lotteries are down on their luck as players cut back on games of chance.

Washington Post: Foreclosure Sales Stalled by Red Tape
Anxious to meet the bank's demands for quick action, Andrew Garcia and his fiancee, BethAnne Hoffmann, rushed to find financing to buy a foreclosed-on house in a lovely tree-lined Baltimore neighborhood.

LA Times: Recession closes in on chicken farmers
Four years ago, Andrew Meeks literally bet the farm on chickens. Now he fears he made a losing bet.

Boston Globe: Amid layoffs, child support pacts fraying
A Massachusetts family court system that is strained during the best of times and taxed with implementing new child-support guidelines faces another challenge: divorced parents seeking relief from – or enforcement of – support arrangements as their financial and employment situations deteriorate.

USA Today: Reality show on DNA exoneration stirs ethics issues
For the first time, reality TV will explore the growing use of DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongly convicted, in a series that is raising ethical questions before its first episode airs this month.

Chicago Tribune: Public libraries: Poor hygiene might get you tossed
Patrons of the Schaumburg Township District Library have never been allowed to bring in the noise. Now they can't bring in the funk.

Newsweek: A Racial Divide
Todd Bowen, a 42-year-old father of seven, has been visiting the In the Cut barbershop in Inglewood, Calif., every two weeks for seven years. He likes to look good, but he never expected his tonsorial routine to save his life. In February, Bowen arrived at the shop to find not only his barbers, but also a doctor doing on-the-spot testing for hypertension and diabetes. Bowen, who is uninsured, had never been tested for either; that day he tested positive for both, with a blood-pressure reading of 160/89. "I was all shaken up when I saw where I was on the scale and where I was supposed to be," Bowen says. "I thought I was invincible, immune. If they wouldn't have been there, I wouldn't have gotten tested. I wouldn't have went out of my way. It was God's will for that to happen to me."

INTERNATIONAL
For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com/
CNN: Protesters step up violence in Thailand
Thai army soldiers fired a volley of gunshots on Monday on the streets of Bangkok as they advanced toward anti-government protesters demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva step down. It was not immediately known whether the troops fired rubber bullets or live gunshots.

CNN: Saudi judge refuses to annul 8-year-old's marriage
A Saudi judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man, a relative of the girl told CNN.

CNN: Survivors of deadly Italian quake mark somber Easter
Mass in a tent village. Handouts of donated chocolate Easter eggs, and a holiday lunch consisting of aid food.

CNN: Police: 14 die in rebel siege in India
Four suspected Maoists and 10 federal security officers died in an hours-long shootout Monday in eastern India.

NYT: China Slows Purchases of U.S. and Other Bonds
Reversing its role as the world’s fastest-growing buyer of United States Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government actually sold bonds heavily in January and February before resuming purchases in March, according to data released during the weekend by China’s central bank.

Al Jazeera: Hezbollah 'plotted to attack Egypt'
Egypt has accused Hezbollah of plotting to attack tourists at resorts in the Sinai Peninsula – days after Cairo said 49 men had been arrested for allegedly being linked to the Lebanese armed political group.

BBC: Pressure mounts on PM over smears
Pressure is mounting on Gordon Brown to explain who was involved in drafting e-mails sent by a senior adviser which discussed smears against senior Tories.

Jerusalem Post: Gaza fishing boat explodes in apparent attempted terror attack
A booby-trapped Palestinian fishing boat exploded off the Gaza coast as it headed north toward Israeli territory in an apparent attempted terror attack on Monday morning, the IDF said. No one was wounded in the incident.

CS Monitor: NATO, US seek alternatives to Pakistan supply routes
Militants attacked a supply depot Sunday in Pakistan that serves Western forces in Afghanistan, increasing the pressure for US and NATO officials to find alternatives to their beleaguered supply lines.

BUSINESS
For the latest business news: www.CNNMoney.com.

CNN: Wall St. to Goldman: Remove the TARP
Wall Street is counting down to Tuesday morning, when Goldman Sachs is due to report quarterly earnings. But the firm's first-quarter profits aren't the main source of suspense.

CNN: 8 cars for under $18,000
The term "Econobox" just doesn't mean what it used to anymore. These days, you can get a lot more in a small box than anyone would have thought just a few years ago.

WSJ: Oil Industry Braces for Drop in U.S. Thirst for Gasoline
Since Henry Ford began mass production of the Model T nearly a century ago, car-loving Americans have gulped ever-increasing volumes of gasoline. A growing number of industry players believe that era is over.

Financial Times: Goldman raises $5.5bn to buy up discounted private equity holdings
Goldman Sachshas raised $5.5bn (£3.72bn) for a fund to buy discounted private equity holdings – the largest amount raised for a fund of this type – as investors anticipate a flood of forced sellers looking to offload private equity stakes.

WSJ: Bailed-Out Banks Face Probe Over Fee Hikes
The committee overseeing federal banking-bailout programs is investigating the lending practices of institutions that received public funds, following a rash of complaints about increases in interest rates and fees.

NYT: Parental Controls Come to the Car
Think of it as PG-rated driving: MyKey, a new technology system that Ford demonstrated at the New York auto show, allows parents of teenage drivers to restrict what their offspring can do with the family car — in a minimal, not-so-intrusive way, of course.

Bloomberg: Microsoft Lands a Big Cable Fish as Clients Clamor for New Ads
Microsoft Corp. beat Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc.’s YouTube for a seven figure advertising campaign with Discovery Communications Inc., its first to simultaneously combine Internet, mobile and video-game ads.

Chicago Tribune: Travel discounts for the jobless
Pink slip travelers? Furlough tourists? Jobless vacationers?

Business Week: U.S. Marketers Say Hola! to Hispanic Consumers
What do Procter & Gamble (PG), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Verizon (VZ), and General Mills (GIS) have in common? All are pouring more advertising dollars into marketing aimed at Hispanics. Last year, General Mills tripled its spending on commercials on Spanish-language TV to more than $35 million, according to ad tracker TNS Media Intelligence. "We've gone aggressively into Hispanic marketing," explains the food company's Chief Marketing Officer Mark Addicks, "because we're getting double-digit sales gains."

Washington Post: Plagued by Debt, Six Flags Faces Its Own Wild Ride
Four years after waging a brutal proxy battle to become chairman of Six Flags, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his management team face a summer that could produce the kind of queasiness riders feel zooming around on the company's Superman roller coasters.

Bloomberg: Financial Geniuses Now Fit to Be Fed to Lecter: Albert R. Hunt
Used-car salesmen, lawyers and journalists can relax; they’ve been replaced as America’s favorite villains by corporate executives, or at least investment bankers.

In Case You Missed It
To watch the latest interviews and reporting: http://www.cnn.com/video.

CNN: Top U.S. general on Iraq
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander on the ground in Iraq, speaks with CNN's John King about Iraq.

CNN: Salazar searches for energy
CNN's John King tours the ocean with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to find ways to fuel the future.

CNN: China adoptions down by half
The number international adoptions in China is dropping. CNN's Emily Chang reports

CNN: YouTube fulfills 96 dreams
YouTube users chose 96 people who get to perform at Carnegie Hall. CNN's Josh Levs reports.


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