WASHINGTON (CNN) - A conservative group is taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
"Our Country Deserves Better," a conservative political action committee, announced Monday it will air a television ad in an attempt to unseat Reid, who is seeking re-election in 2010. The organization said its campaign "will include a television, radio, and Internet advertising blitz throughout the state of Nevada reminding voters that Harry Reid has stiffed taxpayers with huge government bailouts and wasteful pork-barrel spending."
The conservative PAC said it would spend over $100,000 in it's initial campaign and pledged to dish out over $1 million between now and the November 2010 midterm elections.
"Republicans were successful in defeating Sen. Reid's predecessor, Tom Daschle, in 2004," said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. "They have now focusing their efforts on trying to defeat another Democratic leader in the next election."
North Korea's actions "pose a grave threat to the peace and stability of the world," Obama said at the White House.
Obama promised that the United States and the international community would strongly respond to the test.
(CNN) - Three small, slow-moving aircraft entered the edge of the temporarily restricted airspace around Camp David in Maryland on Sunday as the Obama family vacationed there, a military official told CNN.
Each plane was intercepted by an F-15 fighter jet, said James Graybill, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Pilots who violate restricted airspace are routinely interviewed by federal officials to determine whether further action is warranted.
The pilots "just nicked" the temporarily restricted airspace, said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. The incursions occurred at about 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Only the last aircraft was precisely identified - it was a Beechcraft Bonanza, said Brown.
President Barack Obama planned to return to the White House later Sunday. It was not immediately clear whether the first lady and their daughters planned to return, or continue the rest of the holiday weekend at Camp David.
(CNN) - Each year on Memorial Day, tens of thousands of Americans visit Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving the United States.
For people who are unable to make the trip, a new online memorial provides a unique way to honor those service members who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new Google Earth layer, called Map the Fallen, enables the user to pinpoint where, when, and how each service member died since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. A line connects the service member's approximate location of death to his or her hometown.
The interactive tool - available at mapthefallen.org - also offers a detailed profile of each person.
Sean Askay, a Google engineer with no military affiliation who developed the layer in his free time, explains the project on his blog.
"I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories - you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died," he writes.
The layer works on a timeline system, so it shows each U.S. and coalition troop death chronologically, dating back to the first one in Afghanistan on October 10, 2001. The user can search for a fallen service member by name, age, gender, hometown, or location of death.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Flowers arrived at Capt. Marissa Alexander's office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on June 3, 2005.
Her husband, Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander, was half a world away fighting with the Special Forces in Afghanistan, but he had found a way to send a floral arrangement to his wife, who was five months pregnant with twins.
"He called me and asked me what building I worked in. He said he had to update some records," Alexander said. The flowers lifted her spirits.
But a few hours later, her emotions would be thrown into a tailspin. Alexander saw two Army officers in dress uniforms knock on her front door.
One of the officers started to talk: "We regret to inform you..."
If he said any more, Alexander doesn't remember. "The next memory I have is in my kitchen, banging on the floor. I just couldn't believe it," she said.
The good feelings from flowers delivered a few hours before were gone, replaced by shock, pain and mourning.
A roadside bomb had made her a widow.
Editor's note: John King, CNN's chief national correspondent and "State of the Union" host, examines the news made in Sunday talk and offers up this Monday morning crib sheet on what to watch this week in politics. Please note that all quotes are from rush transcripts and are subject to change. If you'd like to receive a sneak peek of next week's news in your inbox every Sunday, you can sign up for the "Political Ticker – State of the Union Sunday Edition" at http://www.cnn.com/profile/
(CNN) - The sounds of Sunday on Memorial Day weekend included the sonic booms of the Shuttle Atlantis returning home. As always, it was a breathtaking sight.
There was no holiday break from the sharp talk and advice-giving in Washington as:
• President Obama prepares to make his Supreme Court pick.
• Colin Powell stirred anew the debate over the size and shape of the GOP's "big tent."
• An array of voices stirred the national security debates that in recent days have dominated a capital most would have thought would be more focused on the new administration's domestic agenda.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - North Korea's reported nuclear test did not come as a surprise to the United States, the top-ranking U.S. military officer said Monday.
"We weren't surprised because of recent statements by North Korean leadership that they intended to do this," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN's "American Morning."
"As you know, they also recently ... unsuccessfully launched potentially an intercontinental ballistic missile."
North Korea announced on Monday that it had conducted a second nuclear test. The North had threatened to do so unless the U.N. Security Council apologized for imposing sanctions on North Korea when it tested a rocket on April 5.
In a one-two punch, the secretive communist state also apparently test-fired a short-range missile on Monday, the White House said.
Mullen said it will take a couple of days to verify Monday's reported test, but he added, "there's no indication that it wasn't as they say."
He said the reported test shows Pyongyang is becoming "increasingly belligerent."
The White House issued the following statement from the president early Monday morning:
STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT REGARDING NORTH KOREA
Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch. These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations. North Korea's attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security.
By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. North Korea's behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea's isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.
(CNN) - Pennsylvania Republican Tom Ridge is taking direct aim at Rush Limbaugh, telling CNN's John King the conservative talk radio host can be "shrill" and uses language in a way "that offend very many."
"Rush Limbaugh has an audience of 20 million people. A lot of people listen daily to him and live by every word. But words mean things and how you use words is very important," Ridge, the former Homeland Security Secretary under President Bush, said during an interview airing Sunday on CNN's State of The Union.
"It does get the base all fired up and he's got a strong following," Ridge continued. "But personally, if he would listen to me and I doubt if he would, the notion is express yourself but let's respect others opinions and let's not be divisive."
The comments come in the wake of a war of words between Limbaugh and Colin Powell, during which the former secretary of state suggested the GOP's future was in peril if it went in the direction of the popular radio talker. Limbaugh quickly hit back, proclaiming Powell is part of the "stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything."
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
CNN: North Korea confirms second nuclear test
North Korea has conducted its second nuclear test, the country's state news agency announced Monday.
CNN: Obama looking for 'common touch' in Supreme Court nominee
President Barack Obama wants intellectual firepower and a common touch in the next Supreme Court justice, and doesn't "feel weighed down by having to choose ... based on demographics."
CNN: Benefits proposed for same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats
The U.S. State Department wants to extend the same benefits to partners of gay and lesbian American diplomats as their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, according to a notice that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is preparing to send out to employees.
CNN: Ridge takes aim at Limbaugh
Pennsylvania Republican Tom Ridge is taking direct aim at Rush Limbaugh, telling CNN's John King the conservative talk radio host can be "shrill" and uses language in a way "that offend very many."
CNN: Powell: 'I am still a Republican'
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell struck back Sunday at critics of his decision to support Barack Obama's presidential candidacy last year.
CNN: Rove sides with Limbaugh
In the ongoing war of words between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell, top Bush strategist Karl Rove is siding with the popular talk radio host.
CNN: Ridge not ready to back Toomey
He ruled out a bid earlier this month to challenge Pat Toomey for the GOP Senate nomination in Pennsylvania, but Tom Ridge isn't ready to back the conservative former congressman or any other candidate yet.
NYT: In Utah, a National Debate About the G.O.P. Plays Out on a Smaller Stage
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah, a hugely popular Republican from one of the nation’s most conservative states, made waves and headlines in recent months by suggesting that his party would need to move toward the center to start winning national elections again.
Washington Post: Justice Dept. Investigates Pa. Contractor Tied to Murtha
In tiny, cash-strapped Monongahela, Pa., the city clerk was stunned when federal investigators arrived this fall with a subpoena seeking information on a crime-fighting grant she'd never heard of. She takes pride in tracking every dollar in the municipal budget.