August 24th, 2010
05:05 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, August 24, 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: Big bucks, ugly battles dominate Tuesday primaries
As voters in five states go to the polls on Tuesday, big-dollar challenges to veteran politicians dominate the top races.The big storylines: Two billionaire political newcomers spent millions of their own money to try to pull upsets in Florida, Arizona Sen. John McCain is expected to fend off the biggest Republican primary challenge of his Senate career and a little-known Tea Party candidate is taking on an incumbent senator in Alaska.

CNN: Carter to go to North Korea to secure release of detained American
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is planning to go to North Korea this week in the hopes of securing the release of an American man imprisoned for illegally entering the communist nation, officials said.

CNN: Judge stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research
A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.

Miami Herald: Early voters turn out in large numbers as candidates push for votes
A record-setting 361,615 Florida voters participated in early voting through Sunday, although election officials cautioned that the number may reflect the convenience of voting before Election Day, not a higher-than-expected overall turnout.

Anchorage Daily News: Campaigns clash down to wire in primary
Candidates made their final push Monday before today's primary election in which voters will decide sharply contested races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, Legislature and ballot measures.

Burlington Free Press: Vermont Democrats hit campaign trail
In the last days of the campaign, the five Democratic candidates for governor are standing on street corners waving at potential voters, putting teams of volunteers to work reminding supporters to go to the polls and sometimes simply walking down the street shaking hands and asking for votes.

Washington Post: For Obama, a chance to regain some political momentum
The White House faces a delicate messaging task next week as President Obama seeks to bring one foreign engagement to an end while making a new bid for American influence abroad.

CNN: Mark Williams defends 'Judenrat' remark, proposes American community center in Mecca
Former Tea Party Express spokesperson Mark Williams on Monday night defended his latest blog posting in which he called New York City Michael Bloomberg a "Judenrat" and said that one of the journalists who wrote about it "has never read a book" and has "an appalling ignorance" of the Holocaust.


New York Times: Rangel on the Hot Seat in Manhattan Debate
It was a gentle but unmistakable nudge President Obama gave Representative Charles B. Rangel recently, suggesting in an interview three weeks ago that Mr. Rangel, 80, should retire to “end his career with dignity.”… The unexpected eruption seemed to reflect the increasingly bitter relations between the embattled 20-term Democrat from Harlem and a president who is trying to protect his party’s prospects in a difficult midterm election season.

CNN: Self-avowed madam who claims Spitzer ties is running for NY governor
A former madam who claims to have provided prostitutes to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer says she is running as an independent candidate for governor.

CNN: McCollum not sure he'd back Scott as GOP nominee
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum made abundantly clear Monday evening that he's got some hard feelings toward Rick Scott, his free-spending opponent in Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary.

USA Today: Political groups set up for ad blitz
More than a dozen political groups have organized in recent weeks to spend large amounts of money on attack ads against House and Senate candidates as special interests on the left and right play a larger role in midterm races.

ABC: Mama Grizzly vs. Mama Grizzly: Sarah Palin Blasts Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Today, Palin is out with a recorded telephone message on behalf of Murkowski’s opponent, Joe Miller, that portrays her insufficiently conservative. In the message, Palin praises Miller - a Tea Party favorite who suggested, in an interview on Top Line, that unemployment benefits “are not constitutionally authorized” - but is most emphatic when she attacks Murkowski.

Detroit Free Press: Court battle to decide fate of mysterious Tea Party
The fate of the mysterious Tea Party, accused by tea party activists of being a front for Michigan Democrats, is headed to court after a state elections panel deadlocked today over whether to approve its candidates for the November ballot.

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

USA Today: FDA investigates 2 egg farms tied to salmonella
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added 40 illnesses to the estimated 1,300 that have occurred already in the salmonella enteritidis outbreak that forced the recall of half a billion eggs.

Los Angeles Times: Border deaths in Arizona may break record
This year, 170 bodies have been found in Pima County; many of those cannot be identified. Some expected tougher immigration policies to deter people from trying to cross the desert into the U.S.

Washington Post: Hybrid hearings in Houston on oil spill is focusing on safety recommendations
A Transocean rig manager testified Monday that, about a week before the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, he challenged his counterparts at BP to explain their decision to swap out the most experienced well-site leader - or "company man" - for someone less familiar with the rig. The discussion took place at a delicate moment in the operation to abandon the problem-plagued well temporarily.

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

CNN: Hong Kong angry, sad at handling of Manila siege
The hostage crisis in Manila that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead has generated sorrow and anger as well as raised many questions over the handling of the situation by the Filipino authorities.

CNN: North Korea demands apology, reparations from Japan over colonization
North Korea is demanding reparations from Japan for colonizing the Korean peninsula for more than three decades in the early 1900s, after Tokyo once again apologized to South Korea earlier this month.

London Telegraph: No US troops 'mass exodus' from Afghanistan next year, says Gen Petraeus
The new Nato commander in Afghanistan has warned of tougher fighting ahead against the Taliban-led insurgency and said there would be no mass exodus of American troops next year.

Wall Street Journal: CIA Man Is Key to U.S. Relations With Karzai
The Obama administration has turned to the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Afghanistan to troubleshoot Washington's precarious relationship with President Hamid Karzai, propelling the undercover officer into a critical role normally reserved for diplomats and military chiefs.

Washington Post: Some 200 women gang-raped near Congo UN base
Rwandan and Congolese rebels gang-raped nearly 200 women and some baby boys over four days within miles of a U.N. peacekeepers' base in an eastern Congo mining district, an American aid worker and a Congolese doctor said Monday.

CNN: Miners shared limited food to survive, president says
The 33 miners trapped inside a mine in Chile survived for more than 17 days by sharing small amounts of tuna and mackerel that were in a shelter, along with water, President Sebastian Pinera told CNN en Español on Monday.

BBC: Nineteen bodies found in Mexico mine shaft
Police in Mexico say they have found at least 19 bodies in an abandoned mine shaft in Hidalgo, near Mexico City. The security forces said they found the decomposing remains after a tip-off from two alleged members of a drug cartel they had arrested on Friday.

BBC: 'Al-Qaeda gang' held over Iraq traffic police killings
Iraqi police have broken up an alleged al-Qaeda gang whose members have been killing traffic police in Baghdad, officials say.

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

CNN Money: Credit card interest rates are through the roof
Credit card interest rates soared in the second quarter to a nine-year spike, according to the market research company Synovate.

Washington Post: AIG pays back $4 billion of bailout debt
American International Group said Monday that it had used $4 billion from a recent debt sale to pay back the U.S. government, marking the single largest cash repayment so far from the bailed out insurance giant.

Wall Street Journal: New Fees Weighed for Mortgage Industry
The Obama administration may propose that any federal backing of mortgages be paid for through fees on the lending industry, according to people familiar with the internal discussions.

Housing Slide in U.S. Threatens to Drag Economy Into Recession
Housing led the U.S. out of seven of the last eight recessions. This time, it may kill the recovery. Home sales collapsed after a federal tax credit for buyers expired in April. Since then, the manufacturing-led expansion, which began in the second half of 2009, has been waning, with jobless claims rising and factory orders falling.

In Case You Missed It

CNN's Dan Lothian reports on the flack presidents have faced for spending time outside of Washington on vacation.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/08/23/lothian.obama.vacation.time.cnn

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Jeffrey Toobin discuss a judge's decision to stop federal funding of stem cell research.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/08/23/tsr.toobin.stem.cell.decision.cnn

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