Washington (CNN) - One of President Obama's fellow Democrats is warning that if BP's latest attempt to stop the oil spill is unsuccessful, the president must take complete control of the increasingly dire situation.
"If this thing is not fixed today, the president doesn't have any choice and he better go in and completely take over, perhaps with the military in charge," Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla, said in an interview Wednesday with CNN.
"The military has an apparatus, the organization by which it can bring together the civilian agencies of government and to get this thing done." said Nelson.
Nelson's comments reflect growing frustration among lawmakers in Congress – even in the president's own party – that the administration has not done enough to stop the spill and quell the damage.
San Francisco, California (CNN) - An unidentified heckler interrupted President Obama's fundraising speech Tuesday night by calling for the administration to move faster on repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service.
The unidentified man shouted during Obama's speech, causing the president to pause and chide him.
"Maybe he didn't read the newspapers, because we're working with Congress as we speak to roll back 'don't ask, don't tell,' " Obama said at the event for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.
Washington (CNN) - Police chiefs from about a dozen cities are scheduled to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday to talk about concerns they have with Arizona's new immigration law.
The group includes police chiefs from Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona; Los Angeles, California; and Houston, Texas.
The chiefs will tell Holder that they worry the new law will "drive a wedge" between the community and police, and damage the trust that officers have worked to build "over many years," according to a statement by the group.
Arizona's law allows officers to check the residency status of anyone who is being investigated for a crime or possible legal infraction - if there is reasonable suspicion the person is an illegal resident.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The numbers being batted around when it comes to how much the oil spill will ultimately cost BP and the local Gulf of Mexico economies are huge. $3 billion. $14 billion. One politician put it at over $100 billion.
The range is so big because two important questions remain unanswered: When will the leak be sealed, and will most of the oil wash ashore? Until those are answered no one will know the pricetag of the damages for sure.
But there have been studies done looking at what's broadly at stake, and the number is quite large indeed.
The four biggest industries in the Gulf of Mexico are oil, tourism, fishing and shipping, and they account for some $234 billion in economic activity each year, according to a 2007 study done by regional scholars and published by Texas A&M University Press.
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Washington's support for South Korea and called on North Korea to end belligerent actions after meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan on Wednesday.
"We will stand with you in this difficult hour and we will stand with you always," Clinton said at a news conference with Yu.
We call on North Korea to halt its provocations and its policy of threats and belligerence toward its neighbors and take steps now to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and comply with international law."
The meetings come at a time of high tensions on the Korean peninsula after Seoul blamed North Korea for the sinking in March of the South Korean warship Cheonan.
Washington (CNN) - Public support for beefing up security along the U.S. border with Mexico and deporting all illegal immigrants has grown significantly, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that nearly nine out of ten Americans want to beef up U.S. law enforcement along the border with Mexico. The poll's Wednesday morning release comes one day after an administration official told CNN that President Barack Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico and will request $500 million to supplement current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities.
Forty-one percent of people questioned in the survey say all illegal immigrants currently in the country should be removed, up 15 points from 2008. And 88 percent say more federal law enforcement officials are need along the border with Mexico, up 14 points from four years ago. The poll also indicates that 54 percent back a 700-mile-long fence along the Mexican border, up nine points from 2006.
"Support for more crackdowns on employers who hire illegal immigrants is high and also on the rise, from 58 percent four years ago to 71 percent now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Seven in ten would support a federal ID card that everyone would have to show to an employer."
Eight in ten also support a program that would allow illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to stay here and apply for legal residency if they had a job and paid back taxes. But only 38 percent say that program should be a higher priority than border security and other get-tough proposals.
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: Poll: Anti-incumbent sentiment remains strong
Anti-incumbent sentiment is as strong as it was in 1994, when the GOP swept the Democrats from power on Capitol Hill, but according to a new national poll, Americans may not be desperate for change in Congress. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 47 percent of the public is more likely to vote for a challenger rather than an incumbent running for re-election at the federal, statewide, or local level, with 30 percent saying they are more likely to back the incumbent.
CNN: Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 favor gays in the military
Most Americans say people who are openly gay should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed. The poll's release comes just hours after Congressional Democrats reached an agreement Monday with the White House and possibly the Pentagon on a key legislative step toward repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay soldiers from the military.
The Hill: Obama heckled over 'Don't ask, don't tell' - again
President Barack Obama was heckled by a protester Tuesday night while at a fundraising event for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) in San Francisco. The protester was upset with the pace of the repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay military service members. The interruption was the second-time Obama was stopped during remarks for Boxer over the course of about a month.
CNN: Obama blasted in meeting with GOP senators
A top Senate Republican accused President Barack Obama of engaging in hypocritical political posturing Tuesday after a closed door meeting between the president and Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill. The meeting was portrayed by the White House as the latest in a series of presidential attempts to reach across the aisle despite Washington's harshly polarized political climate.
CNN: McConnell: Paul's said quite enough
The top Senate Republican says it's time for Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul to stop talking to the national press. The comments come after a string of potentially damaging interviews with national media outlets, in which Paul criticized parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, took aim at the American with Disabilities Act, and suggested President Obama's criticism of oil giant BP was "un-American." Following those appearances Paul pulled out of an interview on NBC's Meet the Press.