November 20th, 2009
04:41 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: November 20, 2009

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

NY Daily News: Rudy Giuliani will very likely seek U.S. Senate seat, and if elected maybe 2012 White House: source
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has decided against running for governor, but is strongly considering running for U.S. Senate instead, sources told the Daily News.

McClatchy: Senate girds for Saturday vote and long battle on health care
The Senate Thursday began what promises to be a bitter, lengthy battle over the future of health care in America, and taxes, abortion, affordability and federal deficits emerged as key flashpoints. Senate Democratic leaders expect the first test vote on their new $848 billion, 2,074-page health care overhaul bill will come on Saturday evening.

Washington Post: GAO warns stimulus jobs data could contain inaccuracies
Government auditors raised doubts Thursday about the number of jobs created or saved by the economic stimulus program, but they also said that mistakes reported in recent weeks signal the benefits of government transparency.

Foreign Policy: White House: No Afghanistan announcement until after Thanksgiving
The Obama administration won't announce its new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan until after Thanksgiving, a White House official confirms to The Cable, and observers and experts close to the discussions see it as the White House's attempt to stage a full and controlled rollout over the week beginning November 30.

New York Times: Clinton Emerges as Key Link to Afghan Leader
It is far from clear that President Obama can depend on President Hamid Karzai to bring order to this violent country, but it is becoming clear that he will depend on Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his go-between in dealing with the mercurial Afghan leader.

USA Today: Senate panel notes 'red flags galore' in Fort Hood incident
Military and FBI officials appeared to miss numerous warning signs in the months leading up to the Nov. 5 killings of 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas, lawmakers said Thursday in the first congressional hearing into the incident.

New York Times: For Bruno, How Albany Works Is Also on Trial
The longtime secretary for one of the most powerful politicians in New York spent as much time on his private business, handling bills and correspondence, as she did on his public duties, like arranging meetings with lawmakers.

Los Angeles Times: California lawmakers, officials face 18% pay cut
California's Legislature went to state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown recently seeking relief from a future pay cut and on Thursday received an unwelcome surprise: An 18% reduction for lawmakers and other elected state officials can begin next month instead of a year from now.

Miami Herald: Blogger in Cuba has D.C.'s ears, not Raúl's
Cuba's celebrated and increasingly brassy blogger Yoani Sánchez emerged Thursday as a player in U.S.-Cuba relations, scoring a lengthy reply from President Barack Obama to her questions and playing a starring role in a congressional hearing on efforts to let American tourists visit Cuba.

NATIONAL
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ABC News: Major Hasan's E-Mail: 'I Can't Wait to Join You' in Afterlife
United States Army Major Nidal Hasan told a radical cleric considered by authorities to be an al-Qaeda recruiter, "I can't wait to join you" in the afterlife, according to an American official with top secret access to 18 e-mails exchanged between Hasan and the cleric, Anwar al Awlaki, over a six month period between Dec. 2008 and June 2009.

CNN: New guidelines: Pap tests should start at age 21
Young women should have their first Pap test no sooner than age 21, regardless of when they become sexually active, say new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Earlier screening for cervical cancer may lead to unnecessary and possibly harmful treatments for an increasingly rare cancer, according to ACOG, the leading U.S. professional organization for obstetricians and gynecologists.

CNN: Expert: Study on extremism might have prevented Fort Hood shootings
A security expert who contributed to a now-classified 2008 study aimed at helping military officials recognize the signs of extremism among troops said it could have helped prevent the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

New York Times: U.S. Reviews Air Defenses to Thwart Terror From Skies
The commander of military forces protecting North America has ordered a review of the costly air defenses intended to prevent another Sept. 11-style terrorism attack, an assessment aimed at determining whether the commitment of jet fighters, other aircraft and crews remains justified.

Wall Street Journal: Tech Snafu Grounds Nation's Fliers
The failure of a single piece of computer gear in Utah disrupted travel for thousands Thursday, exposing the risks of the long-running patchwork upgrade of the nation's air-traffic-control system. It is the second time in 15 months that a tech glitch threw air travel into disarray across large swaths of the country.

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

CNN: Attack hits near Afghan governor's house
A suicide bomber self-detonated Friday morning next to the governor's house in the capital of Afghanistan's western Farah province, killing at least seven people, including a policeman, police said.

BBC: Mixed response as top EU figures named
Belgian PM Herman van Rompuy was named President of the European Council, while Briton Baroness Catherine Ashton was made EU foreign affairs supremo. The US welcomed the choice, saying it would make Europe a stronger partner. However, the BBC's Jonny Dymond in Brussels says there has been some dismay at the choice of two candidates with a low international profile.

CNN: Honduran de facto president to step down temporarily
De facto Honduran President Roberto Micheletti will temporarily step down from power in the days surrounding the scheduled November 29 presidential election, Micheletti said in a speech Thursday.

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

Wall Street Journal: AOL Grapples With Harsh New Reality
AOL Inc. plans to cut about a third of its staff as the struggling
Internet company attempts to resurrect its business after it spins off from Time Warner Inc. next month. The company said Thursday it is asking for up to 2,500 people across all divisions to take buyout packages during a one-week program starting Dec. 4.

New York Times: Google Offers Peek at Operating System, a Potential Challenge to Windows
Google began lifting the veil on its planned Chrome operating system on Thursday, but it said that computers powered by the software would not be available for a year.

CNN: A push to simplify credit card 'gobbledygook'
Have you ever read your credit card contract? If not, you're not alone. Most cardholders never read the long complicated legalese in a credit card agreement. It's one reason so many people are stunned when they're hit with unexpected rate increases or penalty fees: It's in the small print.

Bloomberg: Warren Winning Means No Sale If You Can’t Explain It
In Elizabeth Warren’s world, credit card contracts would be so simple a teenager could read and understand them in four minutes. Loans would be as easy to compare as toasters, and online credit scores would be free. “We need a new model: If you can’t explain it, you can’t sell it,” said Warren, 60, a Harvard University law professor who is head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in an interview.

In Case You Missed It

CNN: Katrina ruling surprises Nagin
A ruling against the Army Corps of Engineers could open the door to thousands of Hurricane Katrina-related lawsuits.

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