November 16th, 2009
05:01 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: November 16, 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: Obama: U.S., China don't have to be rivals
The United States and China don't have to be at odds, despite the challenges facing them, U.S. President Barack Obama told several hundred students at a town hall meeting Monday in Shanghai.

CNN: Dems hail, Republicans bash decision to try 9/11 suspects in New York
Fearlessly demonstrating the majesty of U.S. justice or acquiescing to terrorists by giving them undeserved rights and a public platform?

CNN: Trade to highlight Obama's China visit
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected on Monday to meet with the Shanghai mayor and hold a town hall-style meeting with "future Chinese leaders" before heading to Beijing to meet his host, Chinese President Hu Jintao.

CNN: Clinton: 'We're not interested in staying in Afghanistan' long-term
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the primary U.S. mission in Afghanistan is defeating al Qaeda, rather than making a long-term commitment to rebuild the country.

CNN: Holding Gitmo inmates would be economic boost, Illinois officials say
A proposal to house federal prisoners, including some detainees from Guantanamo Bay, in a largely vacant maximum-security prison would be an economic boost to struggling northern Illinois, state officials said Sunday.

Washington Post: GM to start repaying debt to U.S. government next month
General Motors is expected to announce on Monday that it will begin repaying its debt to the United States next month, years earlier than required.

CNN: U.S., Russian leaders say nations closer to deal to cut nuclear arms
Russia and the United States are well on their way to reducing their nuclear stockpiles, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday.

CNN: No climate-change deal likely by year's end, officials sa
President Obama and leaders from the rest of the world's top economic powers acknowledged Sunday that there's no hope of a major breakthrough over climate change by year's end.

Washington Post: Taxpayers on hook as some bailed-out firms prove frail
A year ago, the financial system was tottering and government officials arranged a $2.3 billion emergency cash infusion into CIT Group, a troubled lender to small businesses.

CNN: Axelrod: Obama opposed to bill with Stupak amendment
As Democrats on Capitol Hill are trying to avoid a brewing intra-party battle over treatment of abortion in health care reform legislation, a top presidential adviser is reiterating that President Obama remains opposed to legislation that contains language preferred by more conservative Democrats in Congress.

Wall Street Journal: White House Counsel Set to Narrow Job's Scope
The resignation of White House Counsel Greg Craig makes way for what is likely to be a more traditional counsel's office under longtime Democratic Party lawyer Bob Bauer.

New York Times: U.S. Asks More From Pakistan in Terror War
The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on Pakistan to expand and reorient its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, warning that failing to do so would undercut the new strategy and troop increase for Afghanistan that President Obama is preparing to approve, American officials say.

CNN: Pentagon bars release of photos allegedly showing detainee abuse
The Pentagon is blocking public release of photos apparently depicting abuse of suspected terrorists and foreign troops in U.S. custody, and urging the Supreme Court to dismiss a lower court ruling ordering the photos to be publicly disclosed, according to court documents.

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Urges Karzai to Curb Graf
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration was seeking greater accountability from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, suggesting that future civilian aid to the country could be tied to more aggressive action to combat corruption.

CNN: Romney accuses Obama of not protecting troops
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney delivered a scathing criticism of President Obama's Afghanistan strategy Friday night, accusing the president of delivering rhetoric and not action in the war-torn country.

CNN: Axelrod slams Romney
A top adviser to President Barack Obama says Mitt Romney should hold his criticism until he knows what he’s talking about.

New York Times: Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.

Washington Post: Health bill foes solicit funds for economic study
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an assortment of national business groups opposed to President Obama's health-care reform effort are collecting money to finance an economic study that could be used to portray the legislation as a job killer and threat to the nation's economy, according to an e-mail solicitation from a top Chamber official.

Los Angeles Times: Catholic bishops' influence on healthcare bill
For weeks, the Catholic Church has asked its U.S. parishioners to work toward ensuring that tough language restricting federal funding of abortion is included in healthcare overhaul legislation.

CNN: JFK's last autograph nets big bucks at auction
What could be the last autograph signed by President Kennedy was sold recently at an auction of items linked to his assassination in Texas.

New York Times: A Florida Republican Becomes a Right-Wing Target
In retrospect, even Charlie Crist admits that “the optics” of The Hug are not great. It was in the glow of a new day in politics last February when Mr. Crist, this state’s popular Republican governor, took the stage with President Obama and declared that Republicans and Democrats had to rise above partisanship in support of an economic stimulus. And Mr. Obama embraced him.

CNN: Clinton: No truth to rumor she is considering New York gov run
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used no diplomatic doublespeak Sunday when asked about a rumor she was considering a run for governor of New York next year.

CNN: Giuliani sounds off on trials for 9/11 suspects in New York City
The man who ran New York City on September 11, 2001 is slamming a recently announced decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to hold criminal trials in civilian court for five men suspected of conspiring to carry out the September 11th terrorist attacks.

POLITICO: Parties cash in on hot issues
Top industry executives piled into Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters over the weekend to hear California’s Barbara Boxer, New Mexico’s Jeff Bingaman and other Democratic senators discuss some of the most pressing policy issues on Capitol Hill.

CNN: Palin is great for the GOP, Giuliani says
A prominent, socially moderate Republican said Sunday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has achieved iconic status with the Republican Party’s conservative base, is an asset to the GOP.

CNN: McCain campaign adviser pushes back on Palin book
A former top adviser and spokeswoman to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign is pushing back against comments reportedly made by Sarah Palin in her new book.

CNN: Schmidt calls Palin claims 'total fiction'
John McCain's former presidential campaign manager Steve Schmidt is the latest McCain adviser to cry foul over accusations Sarah Palin has penned in her yet to be released memoir "Going Rogue."

CNN: Giuliani weighs on GOP unity, NY-23 race
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani strayed from the facts in discussing the discord within the Republican Party caused by the insurgent candidacy of Doug Hoffman, a Republican who chose to run on the Conservative Party ticket in the recent special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district.

CNN: Obama adviser won't be buying Palin's new book
“Going Rogue,” the forthcoming memoir of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may already be a bestseller but the former Republican vice presidential nominee won’t be getting a royalty from one Democratic politico.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news: www.CNN.com.

CNN: Utah private, five other victims of massacre laid to res
Bagpipers sounded "Amazing Grace" on a snowy day at a Utah cemetery as military pallbearers marched to rest the casket of Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, one of 13 people gunned down last week in Ford Hood, Texas.

Washington Post: Cleric says he was confidant to Hasan
In his first interview with a journalist since the Fort Hood rampage, Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi said that he neither ordered nor pressured Maj. Nidal M. Hasan to harm Americans, but that he considered himself a confidant of the Army psychiatrist who was given a glimpse via e-mail into Nadal's growing discomfort with the U.S. military.

USA TODAY: Chaplains: We are traumatized, too
They were supposed to be spending a day leading Mass, talking to soldiers about love and marriage, readying for their own deployment. Instead, the military chaplains of Fort Hood found themselves on the afternoon of Nov. 5 scrambling to the front lines of the worst shooting massacre on a military base in U.S. history.

CNN: More digging for bodies to come in Cleveland slayings case?
After authorities used thermal-imaging equipment and ground-penetrating radar to search outside murder suspect Anthony Sowell's home and a property next door in Cleveland, Ohio, FBI agents marked areas outside the home with spray paint, CNN has learned.

USA TODAY: State-by-state look at growth in state police
The number of highway patrol officers has shrunk in a dozen states in the past 13 years and failed to keep pace with population gains in others, leaving stretches of highways unpatrolled during late-night and early-morning hours, a USA TODAY analysis of federal and state data finds.

Washington Post: Tops in pop: Gershwin Prize goes to McCartney
Paul McCartney played his first U.S. gig with the Beatles in Washington more than four decades ago. Reflecting on that fact at FedEx Field in August, the 67-year-old smiled and told the crowd, "We've got bigger amps now!"

New York Times: Money Trickles North as Mexicans Help Relatives
During the best of the times, Miguel Salcedo’s son, an illegal immigrant in San Diego, would be sending home hundreds of dollars a month to support his struggling family in Mexico. But at times like these, with the American economy out of whack and his son out of work, Mr. Salcedo finds himself doing what he never imagined he would have to do: wiring pesos north.

CNN: Online churches draw believers, critics
Hjalti á Lava was searching his iPhone for a Bible app when he stumbled across Church Online, a service of Web site LifeChurch.tv. Soon he was regularly logging into the Oklahoma-based cyber-church - some 4,100 miles away from á Lava's home in the Faroe Islands, west of Norway.

INTERNATIONAL
For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com/

CNN: Ousted Honduran president rejects upcoming election
Deposed Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya won't support the upcoming presidential election and will ask his supporters to do the same, Zelaya said in a letter to President Obama dated Saturday.

Washington Post: For Pakistani president, goodbye to goodwil
President Asif Ali Zardari, who entered office 14 months ago on a wave of post-dictatorship goodwill and sympathy for his slain wife, Benazir Bhutto, now faces growing public anger and disillusionment over his remote presidency. Some critics are urging him to step down, and others predict he will be forced from office within months.

Wall Street Journal: Palestinians Weigh U.N. Statehood Declaration
Palestinian officials said Sunday they are considering a unilateral appeal for United Nations Security Council recognition of a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, separate from Israel.

CNN: Forensics helps bring closure to Iraqis
The drab but pain-filled room at Baghdad's morgue is a stark reminder of how much this country still suffers.

CNN: Baby in British court battle dies
A severely ill toddler at the center of a legal battle between his parents has died days after his father agreed to switch off his ventilator.

Washington Post: U.S. gives tour of new Afghan detention center
By the end of the month, the U.S. military plans to begin moving the first of its approximately 700 detainees at Bagram air field to a new $60 million holding complex in an attempt to provide better living conditions and separate committed fighters from those who are ready to re-enter Afghan society.

McClatchy: Political turmoil in Pakistan may slow anti-terror efforts
Pakistan is sinking into a political and constitutional crisis that threatens to sideline its vital role in the battle against Islamist insurgents and U.S.-led efforts to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan.

CNN: Thousands mourn goalkeeper Enke at stadium funeral
Thousands of fans, many weeping, packed a Hannover, Germany, stadium Sunday to pay their last respects to Robert Enke, captain of the Hannover 96 soccer club, who died last week in what police believe was a suicide.

New York Times: Australian Leader Apologizes for Child Migrants
The children were gathered up by the tens of thousands, some of them as young as 3, taken from single mothers and impoverished families in Britain, then sent abroad for what was supposed to be a better start in life. What they found was isolation, physical and sexual abuse, and what the prime minister of Australia said Monday was “the absolute tragedy of childhoods lost.”

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

CNNMoney: Wall Street: All eyes on the consumer
Investors will brace for a spate of economic reports this week with their fingers crossed that there is more good news than bad since that will set the tone for the remaining seven weeks of the year.

CNNMoney: Madoff's Mets jacket sells for ... $14,500
It was a very good day for the victims of Bernie Madoff. Several hundred of his former possessions were auctioned off in New York City on Saturday, and most of them sold for prices that crushed their high estimates.

Los Angeles Times: Comcast aspires to be a major global communications player
The cable TV giant's efforts to buy NBC Universal would give it two prizes that would put it on the same level as Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and Fox: a movie studio and broadcast network.

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

CNN: Previewing Palin
CNN's Don Lemon and Paul Steinhauser talk about the coverage leading up to Sarah Palin's book release.

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