The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Health care summit ends without apparent movement forward
President Obama and Republican and Democratic leaders engaged in a spirited but civil debate at a health care summit Thursday, finding agreement on some issues but appearing to find little common ground on how to move forward in a bipartisan way.
CNN: Democrats looking hard at 51-vote shortcut for health reform
Several senior congressional Democratic sources told CNN after Thursday's bipartisan summit that Democrats' plans on health care are not likely to differ much Friday from what they were Wednesday. Although their public stance will be to let the dust from the summit settle, Democrats are actively looking into using the parliamentary shortcut known as reconciliation to get a health care bill to the president's desk, the sources said.
Bloomberg: Obama May Prohibit Home-Loan Foreclosures Without HAMP Review
The Obama administration may expand efforts to ease the housing crisis by banning all foreclosures on home loans unless they have been screened and rejected by the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.
Financial Times: US senator warns of ‘financial meltdown’ risk
The US is heading for a debt-driven “financial meltdown” within five to seven years, according to Judd Gregg, the outgoing Republican senator for New Hampshire.
The Hill: Intel bill pulled over controversial added interrogation provision
A controversial bill that would have levied criminal punishments on intelligence officers for harsh interrogations was pulled Thursday evening. House Republicans charged Democrats with trying to sneak a provision into the intelligence authorization bill that would establish criminal punishment for CIA agents and other intelligence officials who engage in “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” during interrogations.
CNN: Rep. Charles Rangel to be admonished Friday by ethics committee
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, will be formally admonished Friday by the House's ethics committee for violating rules on receiving gifts, the committee announced Thursday. The issue centers on who paid for his and several other members of the Congressional Black Caucus' 2007 and 2008 travel to the Caribbean.
CNN: Paterson: 'Open mind' about suspending campaign
In his first press conference since a bombshell New York Times story reported that he may have intervened in a domestic assault case involving a top aide, New York Gov. David Paterson said late Thursday that he will forge ahead with his troubled election bid, despite calls from fellow state Democrats to suspend his campaign. But Paterson did not completely rule out ending his campaign, which was facing difficult odds even before the New York Times story was published. He said he would spend the "next few days" soliciting the opinions of other party leaders.
Politico: Sami Al-Arian roils Calif. Senate race
A bespectacled former college professor who has pleaded guilty to aiding the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad helped tip the balance in a 2004 Senate contest in Florida. Now, six years later, Sami Al-Arian could be on the verge of doing it again, this time in California. Republican Senate hopeful Tom Campbell, a former congressman, has come under sustained attack on conservative websites and from his rivals in recent days for taking a campaign donation from Al-Arian in 2000, for backing legislation Al-Arian was lobbying for at the time and for allegedly being a less-than-steadfast supporter of Israel.
Pittsburg Post-Gazette: Citing party unity, Singel drops bid for Murtha seat
Less than a week after he officially got in, former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel has dropped out of the race for U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha's seat. Mr. Singel cited a need for the Democratic Party to unify as a reason for departing, leaving as the clear favorite Mr. Murtha's former district director, Mark Critz, who earned the endorsement of Mr. Murtha's widow, Joyce, Thursday.
Hartford Courant: Another hat in the ring? Financial analyst Warren Mosler considers U.S. Senate run
Mosler, a Manchester native who holds an economics degree from UConn, is currently living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But he intends to return to Connecticut tomorrow, to start a "listening tour" as he weighs a run for the seat currently held by Chris Dodd, who is retiring. Mosler says he was planning to run for president in 2012 but has been prodded by people in Connecticut to enter the senate race. If he runs, he'll do it as a Democrat - joining a field that already includes Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Mystic businessman Merrick Alpert.
San Francisco Chronicle: Prop. 8 suit closing arguments may be televised
Despite a rebuff from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bay Area's federal judges are again proposing to allow cameras in their courtrooms, a plan that could lead to telecasting of closing arguments in a suit challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage.
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USA Today: Orca to be spared in trainer's death
Trainers at SeaWorld's Orlando park will continue working with Tilikum, the 12,000-pound killer whale that attacked and drowned one of its primary handlers in front of a horrified audience Wednesday.
Los Angeles Times: California subpoenas big health insurers' financial records
Prosecutors are seeking documents from Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, Blue Shield, Kaiser, Health Net and PacifiCare in a probe of whether they raised rates illegally and denied payment of legitimate claims.
The State: Image problem? S.C. bleeds by its own hand
No, it was not a good year to be a South Carolinian. And no one knows that better than South Carolinians, according to results from a Winthrop University poll of 837 people in the Palmetto State. More than 60 percent of those polled earlier this month said the rest of the country had a somewhat negative or very negative opinion of South Carolina in general.
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CNN: Explosions in Kabul kill 17
Deadly blasts targeting foreigners in the Afghan capital on Friday killed at least 17 people and wounded others. Among those killed were eight Indians and one Pakistani national, said Kabir Al-Amiri, a coordinator for Kabul Hospital.
Washington Post: Pakistan to deliver suspected insurgents to Afghanistan
The Afghan government said Thursday that Pakistani authorities have agreed to hand over several suspected insurgents whom Pakistan has taken into custody, including the Taliban's No. 2 commander.
Wall Street Journal: Pretoria Seized North Korean Weapons
South Africa told the United Nations in a confidential report that it seized arms traveling from North Korea by way of China, marking at least the third time a government interdicted North Korean weapons shipments since the U.N. last summer adopted harsher sanctions against Pyongyang.
Washington Post: Sectarian tensions rise before Iraq elections
A popular Sunni political party backtracked on Thursday from plans to boycott Iraq's parliamentary elections even as rivals threatened to have the party's leader charged with terrorism. The developments illustrate the increasing tensions as Iraq prepares for the March 7 elections and U.S. combat troops get ready to withdraw by August.
Washington Post: Iran, Syria mock U.S. policy; Ahmadinejad speaks of Israel's 'annihilation'
The presidents of Iran and Syria on Thursday ridiculed U.S. policy in the region and pledged to create a Middle East "without Zionists," combining a slap at recent U.S. overtures and a threat to Israel with an endorsement of one of the region's defining alliances. The Obama administration is trying to build an international coalition behind economic sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's uranium-enrichment program, which the United States and others fear is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
CNN: Turkey's president holds crisis talks
Turkey's president held crisis talks Thursday with the prime minister and top military general and sought to calm tensions amid news of an alleged coup plot to overthrow the government.The meeting came after authorities detained around 50 high-ranking active duty and retired military commanders in connection to the alleged coup plot.
New York Times: China Warns U.S. Against Selling F-16s to Taiwan
A top Chinese military official reaffirmed China’s resolve to punish the United States over its decision to sell weapons to Taiwan and suggested on Thursday that there would be even greater consequences should Washington fulfill a longstanding request by Taiwan for advanced fighter jets.
Wall Street Journal: Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel
In the next few days, the world's leading authority on global warming plans to roll out a strategy to tackle a tough problem: restoring its own bruised reputation.
CNN: Myanmar court rejects Suu Kyi's appeal
Myanmar's Supreme Court rejected Friday an appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to overturn her house arrest. A diplomat who attended the hearing and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the appeal was unsuccessful. Suu Kyi, 64, has one final avenue for appeal to a special court in Myanmar's new capital, Naypidaw.
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CNNMoney: AIG to take a big hit
After two straight profitable quarters, AIG is expected to report a substantial loss for the fourth quarter when the troubled insurer announces its latest financial results Friday morning.
Wall Street Journal: Hedge Funds Try 'Career Trade' Against Euro
Some heavyweight hedge funds have launched large bearish bets against the euro in moves that are reminiscent of the trading action at the height of the U.S. financial crisis.The currency wagers signal that big financial players spot a rare trading opening driven by broader market gyrations.
CNNMoney: Fed probing Goldman trades with Greece
The Federal Reserve is looking into what role Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms may have played in Greece's debt problems, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday.
Investors Business Daily: Jobless Claims Jump To 3-Month High, In Latest Troubling 2010 Economic Data
The economic recovery continues to encounter turbulence in 2010, as jobless claims spiked to a three-month high and durable goods orders were mixed, according to reports Thursday.
The Detroit News: Toyota to delegate authority
Toyota Motor Corp. will create two senior executive positions in the U.S. as part of President Akio Toyoda's effort to delegate more authority to each region to monitor safety issues. The automaker will appoint a chief safety executive to work full time on recalls and safety concerns and a higher-ranking chief quality officer who will sit on a Special Committee for Global Quality led by Toyoda.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Industry Booms—in North Dakota
A massive oil reserve buried two miles underground has put North Dakota at the center of a revolution in the U.S. oil industry, a shift that has radically altered the fortunes of this remote area.
In Case You Missed It
Former governor Howard Dean and former senator Bill Frist discuss the health care summit on Thursday.
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