The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
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CNN: New York gubernatorial candidate criticizes gays
New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino criticized gays Sunday, saying he didn't want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option," compared to heterosexuality. "It isn't," Paladino said at a stop in Brooklyn, New York. A prepared version of his remarks obtained by CNN from New York affiliate NY1 said that "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," though Paladino did not wind up delivering that line.
New York Times: Republicans Poised to Make Gains in Races for Governor
Republicans are well-positioned to pick up a substantial number of governor’s seats in this year’s election, with potentially far-reaching effects on issues like the new health care law, Congressional redistricting and presidential politics. Democrats hold 26 governorships, and Republicans 24. But the balance appears likely to shift, perhaps markedly, with Republicans holding the upper hand in many of this year’s 37 races, including those in crucial political battlegrounds.
CNN: Rove to Obama: How dare you
Karl Rove is lashing out at President Obama and the Democratic National Committee over a new ad that alleges the former top Bush aide is “stealing our Democracy.” "They are tossing out these baseless charges," Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News. The comments come the same day the DNC announced it is launching a national television ad targeting Rove and another former Bush aide, Ed Gillespie, over their involvement with an issue advocacy group called Crossroads GPS that by law – because it is established as a non-profit – does not have to reveal its donors.
Washington Post: Obama continues attack on Chamber of Commerce
The White House intensified its attacks Sunday on the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its alleged ties to foreign donors, part of an escalating Democratic effort to link Republican allies with corporate and overseas interests ahead of the November midterm elections. The chamber adamantly denies that foreign funds are used in its U.S. election efforts, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a speculative smear campaign during a desperate political year.
CNN: Axelrod hopes GOP gains will bring cooperation
White House senior adviser David Axelrod is looking for a silver lining in expected Democratic losses in November's congressional elections. While saying he thought his party would retain its majority in both the House and Senate in the November 2 voting, Axelrod told the CBS program "Face The Nation" that that he hoped Republican gains would bring more cooperation.
CNN: Van Hollen: It's OK to run against Obama
Rep. Chris Van Hollen –- the Democrat tasked with maintaining control of the House -– says it is a sign of his party’s strength that several Democrats are touting their opposition to President Obama ahead of the midterm elections. “We're proud of the fact that we have an ideologically diverse caucus. We have a whole range of different political viewers. What they're talking about is their independence on certain issues,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of The Union.
CQ Politics: Pelosi Counts Votes With Cash
Nancy Pelosi isn’t acting like a Speaker in peril. The California Democrat hasn’t been calling her colleagues to ask them to pledge their loyalty to her, nor has she been making any other direct appeals to bolster her support for another two-year term as the Democratic leader. Instead, Pelosi is trusting that the power of her fundraising will keep her in charge.
Politico: With black voters, Obama gets more personal
The White House has hesitated to cast the midterm elections as a referendum on President Barack Obama, except when it comes to one key constituency: African-American voters. As Obama has steadily increased his outreach to African American voters over the past month. With interviews and campaign stops targeted at the black community – “our community,” as the president likes to say – he has sent a clear signal that this election is about him and his record.
CNN: Candidates for Obama's former Senate seat spar in televised debate
The two candidates vying for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat sat side-by-side and calmly accused each other of lying and other improprieties in a televised debate Sunday. "We shouldn't be surprised the congressman is lying again," Democrat Alexi Giannoulias said to a claim of fiscal conservatism by his opponent, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois. For his part, Kirk said Giannoulias and his family's community bank loaned millions to mobsters and convicted felons before Giannoulias became Illinois state treasurer in 2006.
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CNN: 8 arraigned in string of anti-gay hate crimes in New York City
Eight suspects arrested in connection with a series of brutal, anti-gay hate crimes in New York City were arraigned Sunday. Charges against them include harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful imprisonment, assault, robbery and sexual abuse as hate crimes. .. Police say the men held three victims against their will - beat them in a vacant apartment and sodomized two of them. A fourth victim was beaten and robbed in connection with the attacks, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said.
CNN: Gas prices up as crude price increases
U.S. gas prices rose by 8 cents over the past two weeks, pushed up by a spike in crude oil prices, according to a new survey of filling stations. The latest Lundberg Survey, conducted Friday, found the average price of self-serve regular gasoline was $2.77 per gallon. That's 8 cents higher than from the last survey, two weeks ago, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.
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CNN: Karzai: 'Unofficial personal contacts' taking place with Taliban
Attempting to advance his nation's peace progress with insurgents, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said unofficial negotiations with the Taliban have been taking place and hopes the formation of a peace council will further those efforts. "We have been talking to the Taliban as countryman to countryman, talk in that manner," Karzai told CNN's "Larry King Live" in an interview scheduled to air Monday night. "Not as a regular official contact with the Taliban with a fixed address, but rather unofficial personal contacts have been going on for quite some time."
CNN: Kyrgyzstan polls close; preliminary statement expected from monitors
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is expected to make a preliminary statement about weekend elections in Kyrgyzstan on Monday. The OSCE had election monitors across the poor, but strategically important Central Asian nation Sunday as voters went to the polls to elect a new parliament. The elections come after a year that has seen the president flee the country and ethnic riots that left hundreds dead.
CNN: North Korea's leader, presumptive heir, attend huge parade
North Korea's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, made another rare public appearance Sunday with his youngest son at a massive military parade billed as one of the largest in the nation. Dignitaries from around the world, including China, Russia, Nepal, Poland, Austria and Mongolia, attended the event. It featured 20,000 military personnel marching in lockstep and huge pieces of military hardware - including tanks and missiles - rolling along the parade route as part of North Korea's celebration marking the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
CNN: Israeli Cabinet approves loyalty oath for new citizens
The Israeli Cabinet has approved an amendment to a citizenship law that requires new citizens to declare their loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic state," the prime minister's office said Sunday. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed vote, saying 22 ministers voted for the change and eight voted against it. Now that the proposal has passed the Cabinet, it will be taken up by Israel's parliament, the Knesset, for passage into law.
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New York Times: Currency Rift With China Exposes Shifting Clout
At a private dinner on Friday at the Canadian Embassy, finance officials from seven world economic powers focused on the most vexing international economic problem facing the Obama administration. Over seared scallops and beef tenderloin, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner urged his counterparts from Europe, Canada and Japan to help persuade China to let its currency, the renminbi, rise in value — a crucial element in redressing the trade imbalances that are threatening recovery around the world.
In Case You Missed It
CNN's Candy Crowley brings you the best of the Sunday morning shows.
New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino says homosexuality isn't "equally valid" with heterosexuality.
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