January 21st, 2010
05:02 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: January 21, 2010

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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: Democrats scramble on health care after GOP win
Nervous Democrats debated Wednesday how to save a health care reform plan suddenly pushed to the brink of defeat by an upset GOP Senate win in Massachusetts.

ABC News: Exclusive: President Obama Says Voter Anger, Frustration Key to Republican Victory in Massachusetts Senate
President Obama warned Democrats in Congress today not to "jam" a health care reform bill through now that they've lost their commanding majority in the Senate, and said they must wait for newly elected Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to be sworn into office. The president also said the same voter anger that swept him into office in 2008 carried Brown into office on a stunning upset victory Tuesday night over heavily favored Democrat Martha Coakley.

Boston Globe: Mass. delegation braces for GOP challenges
Scott Brown’s Senate victory Tuesday sent shock waves through the Massachusetts congressional delegation, many members of which saw key communities in their districts vote overwhelmingly Republican.

New York Times: Energy and Stealth of G.O.P. Groups Undid a Sure Bet
The e-mail message from a Massachusetts supporter to one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement arrived in early December. The state was holding a special election to fill the seat held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, it said, and conditions were ripe for a conservative ambush: an Election Day in the dead of winter with the turnout certain to be low.

Investors Business Daily: Does Mass. Health Law Cover Fewer People Than Believed?
As Massachusetts held a de facto referendum Tuesday on Democrats' national health plans, a new study says the state's own health overhaul law hasn't been as successful as its backers claim.

Washington Times: China removed as top priority for spies
The White House National Security Council recently directed U.S. spy agencies to lower the priority placed on intelligence collection for China, amid opposition to the policy change from senior intelligence leaders who feared it would hamper efforts to obtain secrets about Beijing's military and its cyber-attacks.

New York Times: U.S. Envisions a Continuing Civilian Presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan
The Obama administration’s ambitious civilian push in Pakistan and Afghanistan will keep thousands of Americans in those countries for years — rebuilding Afghan agriculture, rooting out corruption and using the local media to counter anti-American sentiment.

Foreign Policy: Pentagon wins turf war with State over military aid
The Pentagon has won a major internal battle over control of foreign assistance funding, delaying the Obama administration's pledge to demilitarize foreign policy, multiple sources tell The Cable. DOD and State have been fighting vigorously over who would be in charge of large swaths of the foreign assistance budget, billions of dollars in total that are used to aid and work with governments all over the world.

CNNMoney: Jobs bill: New Senate math means rough road
The road for another stimulus bill just got tougher following Tuesday's election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate in Democratic stronghold Massachusetts.

USA Today: Michelle Obama to launch initiative fighting child obesity
Calling obesity an epidemic and one of the greatest threats to America's health and economy, first lady Michelle Obama said Wednesday that she would launch a major initiative next month to combat the problem in childhood.

CNN: Palin to campaign for McCain in March
As Sen. John McCain readies for a potential primary challenge from the right this fall, the Arizona Republican is playing his trump card. Sarah Palin, McCain's former running mate and perhaps the most powerful brand in Republican politics, will stump for McCain in Arizona on March 26 and 27, a Palin adviser told CNN.

CNNMoney: House OK's deductions for Haiti on '09 taxes
The House unanimously approved a measure Wednesday that will allow taxpayers to deduct cash donations to Haiti earthquake relief on their 2009 tax returns instead of having to wait to file the claims next year.

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

Chicago Tribune: Pact to limit sugary cereals to kids not worth its salt
Despite a historic pledge by more than a dozen major food companies to advertise healthier food to children, the least nutritious cereals are still the ones most aggressively marketed to kids.

Burlington Free Press: High levels of radioactive material found; state to begin independent testing
Vermont state officials say more radioactive tritium has been found at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant — at much higher levels than were found in a test well nearly two weeks ago.

Los Angeles Times: Costly errors in probe of failed jetliner blast detailed
In a tacit admission that the U.S. squandered a chance to gain valuable information after the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing, the nation's intelligence director testified Wednesday that authorities had been too quick to read the suspect his Miranda rights and grant him access to an attorney.

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

CNN: Clinton 'not satisfied' with pace of aid, but calls it realistic
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she is "of course" not satisfied with the pace at which relief supplies and personnel are getting into Haiti, but added she is "aware of the difficulties" involved.

Christian Science Monitor: Marine unit headed for Afghanistan now rerouted to Haiti
About 4,000 marines and sailors from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Lejeune, N.C., who were scheduled to leave for Afghanistan this week, will instead steam to Haiti to support humanitarian relief operations. The unit will still continue on to the Arabian Sea for its scheduled deployment in the coming weeks.

BBC News: Iran 'formally rejects nuclear fuel deal'
Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency it does not accept the terms of a deal to ease concerns about its nuclear programme, diplomats say. For months, the Iranian government has criticised the offer to ship low-enriched uranium abroad in return for fuel, but never responded formally.

CNN: UK expands watch list, halts Yemen flights
Britain is expanding its security watch list and has suspended all direct flights to Yemen as part of a series of new counterterrorism measures, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Wednesday.

The New York Times: Taliban Overhaul Their Image in Bid to Win Allies
The Taliban have embarked on a sophisticated information war, using modern media tools as well as some old-fashioned ones, to soften their image and win favor with local Afghans as they try to counter the Americans’ new campaign to win Afghan hearts and minds.

Der Spiegel: UN Climate Experts Under Fire for Glacier Melt Error
In its 2007 report on climate change, the United Nations included a prediction that the Himalayan glaciers had a high probability of melting by 2035 - a forecast that came as an unpleasant surprise for many. But the forecast is wrong and the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change is be criticized heavily for its methods.

BBC News: Honduras ex-leader Manuel Zelaya offered safe passage
Honduras' President-elect Porfirio Lobo has offered the country's ousted leader Manuel Zelaya safe passage to the Dominican Republic. The deal was agreed by Mr Lobo and Dominican President Leonel Fernandez in Santo Domingo, officials say.

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

Wall Street Journal: Dow Falls 122.28 as Skeptics Return
Stocks took their sharpest drop of 2010 as worries intensified that China may take more steps to slow its growth, and that U.S. companies will have difficulty matching rising investor expectations.

CNNMoney: YouTube to launch rental service
Google Inc.'s YouTube said Wednesday it plans to introduce a movie rental service on Friday. The video-sharing site is partnering with the Sundance Film Festival to release five films, which users will be able to rent from YouTube on Friday, the company wrote in its blog.

The Guardian: indle users revolt against delays to ebook editions
Angry Kindle fans have sabotaged the Amazon rating of a bestselling new book, Game Change, an exposé of the 2008 US presidential elections, to punish its publisher for delaying the digital edition of the book until February.

Wall Street Journal: Goldman Subprime Fallout Hits Home in South Carolina
The downsized ambitions and desperate job hunting that grip some former Goldman employees here are a sharp contrast to the company's expected announcement Thursday of record-high profits for 2009. That means big bonuses for most traders, investment bankers and other workers at Goldman, traditionally among the highest-paid on Wall Street.

Bloomberg: AIG Took Four Tries on Filing as Fed Asked to Withhold Data
American International Group Inc. submitted four rounds of regulatory filings in six months, with more than 1,000 redactions, as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pressed the insurer to withhold data about bailout payments to banks.

In Case You Missed It

John King joins Larry to reflect on the shocking Republican win in Massachusetts.

Medical teams from around the world head to Haiti to assist in treating earthquake victims. CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.

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