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: Administration's initial misstatements raise questions
Within 24 hours of Osama bin Laden's death in a U.S. assault on his compound in Pakistan, administration and government officials - both cloaked in anonymity and on the record - provided misleading if not erroneous information about what happened in the al Qaeda leader's final moments.
CNN: Sources: Panetta to Congress – Pakistan either incompetent or involved
According to two sources in a closed door briefing, Panetta told lawmakers "either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be." Panetta was responding to a question from a member of Congress about Pakistan… He made clear that he and other administration officials are trying to get to the bottom of which it was -involvement or incompetence.
CNN: Raid sparks question: Is Pakistan doing enough?
Many Obama administration officials, lawmakers and observers from across the political spectrum want to know how bin Laden - based at a compound in the military garrison city of Abbottabad - could have eluded Pakistani capture, or whether the government or elements of it harbored bin Laden.
New York Times: Bin Laden Raid Revives Debate on Value of Torture
As intelligence officials disclosed the trail of evidence that led to the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was hiding, a chorus of Bush administration officials claimed vindication for their policy of “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding.
Roll Call: Hopes for ‘Gang of Six’ Wane
Democratic and Republican leaders have never been overly enthusiastic about the bipartisan group and have already started looking for other ways to cut a deal on the budget and raising the debt limit. And with the group still unable to reach an agreement despite months of negotiations, Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad said Tuesday he is prepared to go forward in his committee with a budget blueprint of his own as soon as next week.
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CNN: Record flooding still in forecast after levee breach
The intentional breach of a levee on the Mississippi River is helping to ease unprecedented flood pressure on other areas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The Ohio River level had dropped about 1.7 feet at Cairo, Illinois, since Monday afternoon, before the blast, but that is expected to level off Wednesday.
CNNMoney: No big tax cuts for Florida businesses
On Tuesday, Florida's lawmakers blocked Gov. Rick Scott's aggressive plan to cut corporate income taxes by $459 million in fiscal 2012. The legislators, who are Republicans as well, said the state could not handle slashing spending deeply enough to make up for the lost tax revenue. …The corporate tax cut was a centerpiece of Scott's budget, which he unveiled in February before a packed audience of Tea Party supporters.
Washington Post: Gay Calif. judge now the focus in same-sex marriage fight
Shortly after he retired, the federal judge who struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage acknowledged publicly what had been rumored for months: He is gay and in a long-term relationship with another man. Opponents of same-sex marriage seized on Vaughn Walker’s revelation and filed a motion last week to have his ruling on Proposition 8 vacated, arguing that he could benefit personally from his decision if he wanted to marry his partner.
CNN: Coast Guard searches for missing cruise ship passenger
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was searching early Wednesday for a woman who was reported missing from a cruise ship as it sailed from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to San Diego.
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CNN: Explosion rocks rebel stronghold in Libya
An explosion rocked Benghazi's main square on Tuesday, prompting witnesses to say it was the work of the country's longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi A rebel spokesman used a speaker phone to address a crowd that gathered after the incident, calling the explosion a terrorist act by Gaddafi fighters who allegedly infiltrated Libya's rebel-held eastern city.
New York Times: Hidden Workshops Add to Libyan Rebels’ Arsenal
When the bloody siege of [Misrata] began, the rebels who rose against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s conventional army had almost no firearms. Many of them relied on hands, knives and stones. Now they roam the streets as a paramilitary force built around hastily armored trucks that have been fitted with captured machine guns set on crude turrets and mounts.
CNN: Palestinian factions plan formal signing of reconciliation deal
As Palestinian political factions prepared Tuesday to formally sign the reconciliation agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian Authority to pull out of the deal, saying it would jeopardize the Middle East peace process.
Washington Post: Opinion: Jimmy Carter: Support the Palestinian unity government
This is a decisive moment. Under the auspices of the Egyptian government, Palestine’s two major political movements — Fatah and Hamas — are signing a reconciliation agreement on Wednesday that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel.
Time: Avenging Bin Laden's Killing: Terrorists Will Need Time
[T]he working assumption is that radicals are probably frothing at the mouth to strike back savagely to avenge the loss of their beloved Bin Laden. But authorities believe such extremists will ultimately be forced to put their emotions on hold and carefully plot any retaliatory action in due time–and for the same reason they always do: to ensure attacks succeed, and avoid the humiliation and fury of failure often produced by rushing plans to execution.
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Financial Times: Deutsche Bank hit by $1B U.S. lawsuit
The suit marks the latest effort by U.S. officials to hold lenders accountable for the financial crisis, and retrains the spotlight on an embarrassing episode for Deutsche and other Wall Street banks that ventured deeper into a U.S. mortgage market just before its historic descent.
CNNMoney: Gas price spike boosts sales of fuel efficient cars
Despite higher gas prices, auto sales rose in the Untied States in April, including a larger-than expected gain for General Motors. GM reported Tuesday that U.S. sales were up 27% last month versus a year ago, driven by strong demand for fuel-efficient passenger cars and crossovers.
CNNMoney: Netflix CEO: We don't want World War III with cable
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is pleased with his company's massive growth, but he fears that getting too large will start "an Armageddon" with cable networks.
In Case You Missed It…
A photo of Obama and team taken as the bin Laden raid unfolded is fast becoming iconic. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.
People are going decry Pakistan's role in all of this to rest of recorded history. I think Lindsay Graham summed it up best saying to the effect that "we still need Pakistan." We need their airspace to move in and out of Afghanistan. We need their overlands routes to move men and material in and out of Afganistan. They have been cooperative with deploying armed forces in two-front attacks against combatants in the border regions.
Personally, I think the Pakistani government is in a box trying to appease both sides while looking out for their own best interests. People may wonder how could they not know or say anything about Bin Laden. Panetta summed it up two ways. I have a third scenario. What would you do if Gangster #1 descended into your neighborhood, and moved in with ready access to all of his foot soldiers. Yeah, Pakistan generals could almost literally see Bin Laden from their house, but so could Bin Laden see them just as easily.
I hope most American's realize that the death of Bin Laden is not just a victory over terrorism or a victory for America. It is also a victory for peaceful muslims around the world for the war against Islam that Bin Laden represented and waged.
I think it would be best to not release pictures of a corpse of Bin Laden. Let theorists conspire all they want. My answer to them would be to talk to me if and when a new Bin Laden tape condemning the attack is released. Until that time, listen to what is being said, instead of those voices in your head. Hamas is upset that Bin Laden has been killed. The international community does not need to see pictures, either. At least our allies are not calling to see them, so what reason is left. None.