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: Obama orders hospital visitation rights for gays, lesbians
President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners. Obama requested that the regulation make clear that any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, which includes the vast majority of U.S. hospitals, must allow patients to decide who can visit them and prohibit discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
New York Times: C.I.A. Document Details Destruction of Tapes
Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released Thursday. Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he “agreed” with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to “take the heat” for destroying the tapes.
Los Angeles Times: New rules on terror custody being drafted
The Obama administration is for the first time drafting classified guidelines to help the government determine whether newly captured terrorism suspects will be prosecuted or held indefinitely without trial, senior U.S. officials said. The draft document envisions that a small number of suspected terrorists captured in the future could be detained and interrogated in an overseas prison, several of the officials said. At least in the short term, Bagram air base in Afghanistan would be the most likely prison to hold the suspects, they said.
The Guardian: New cyber security chief warns of internet attacks
A general appointed by Barack Obama to ready US defences against cyber attacks has disclosed an alarming increase in activity by hackers and foreign countries, amounting to hundreds of thousands of attempted infiltrations daily. General Keith Alexander, who is to be the head of a new US command devoted to cyber security – Cybercom – was giving evidence to the Senate armed services committee yesterday. Having been slow to recognise potential risks from cyber attacks, the issue has jumped up the agenda and the Obama administration is planning to spend billions to protect US computer networks.
CNNMoney: Congress extends jobless benefits
Lawmakers voted Thursday to push back the deadline to file for extended unemployment benefits until June 2, a measure President Obama promptly signed into law. The measure restores federal unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 jobless Americans who started losing them on April 5 after lawmakers let that deadline pass. Checks would be retroactive to that date.
The Hill: Pressure is on holdout Sen. Collins
The fate of a Senate bill that would revamp the nation’s financial regulatory system could hinge on a Republican centrist from Maine. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) may end up being the deciding vote next week on a Democratic Wall Street reform plan touted by the White House. While Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) attracted the spotlight during the healthcare reform debate, Collins is the one being wooed by Republicans and Democrats on financial regulatory reform.