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: Immigration reform taking center stage in Texas
President Barack Obama heads to El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday to give a speech on the need for comprehensive immigration reform - a perennial hot-button political issue that both Democrats and Republicans hope to use to their advantage in 2012. …[I]mmigration reform "remains a priority" for the administration, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. There has been bipartisan support for reform in the past, Carney noted, and "we think we can build support for it again in the future."
New York Times: U.S. Braced for Fights With Pakistanis in Bin Laden Raid
President Obama insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops, senior administration and military officials said Monday. …Mr. Obama’s decision to increase the size of the force sent into Pakistan shows that he was willing to risk a military confrontation with a close ally in order to capture or kill the leader of Al Qaeda.
CNNMoney: Boehner offers 'red meat' on debt ceiling
House Speaker John Boehner indicated Monday that he plans to hold a hard line in debt-ceiling negotiations. Among his demands: Spending cuts in exchange for support to raise the debt ceiling - and the cuts will have to be greater in magnitude than the ceiling increase.
CNN: Google and Apple on Capitol Hill for high-tech privacy hearing
Executives from Google and Apple may get an old-fashioned grilling at Tuesday's Senate hearing on high-tech privacy. Their session before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law comes a few weeks after it was revealed that smartphones and tablets for both companies can track information about the whereabouts of their users and store that data.
POLITICO: Telecom deal scrambles Hill reactions
Two powerful constituencies that typically align with Democrats are on opposite ends of the deal, as consumer groups have mobilized to stop it but several big labor unions have endorsed it. Republicans have their own complicating factor: Allowing the deal would leave just two dominant players in the field — with Sprint a distant third — and all but invite Ma Bell-style regulation of what has been a relatively freewheeling industry.
New York Times: Gingrich Set to Run, With Wife in Central Role
As [Newt Gingrich] prepares for a Republican presidential primary run — he said Monday that he would formally declare his intentions on Wednesday — Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with [Callista Gingrich] as a kind of character witness. Depending on one’s point of view, she is a reminder of his complicated past, or his secret political weapon.
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CNN: Memphis and New Orleans brace for historic flooding
Residents in Memphis, Tennessee, are bracing for potentially historic floods Tuesday when the Mississippi River is expected to crest at a near-record level and Louisiana appears to be next in the path of the bloated river. …President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of Tennessee Monday, which will help direct federal aid toward recovery efforts in areas hit by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes since early April.
CNN: Feds: 187 illegal immigrants paid up to $3,000 for driver's licenses
According to Homeland Security's news release, illegal immigrants would go to a Las Vegas DMV office and wait in the lobby near [Nancy] Brown, a DMV technician. The federal agency said she'd then call them over to her station and fill out their "fraudulent paperwork" - even though they didn't provide required documents to prove they were eligible for a driver's license. After taking their pictures and paying their fees, the people walked off with temporary licenses, the release said.
CNN: Navy plan to allow same-sex marriage on bases draws opposition
A preliminary U.S. Navy plan to allow its chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in military chapels after the end of "don't ask, don't tell" has fired up congressional opposition….An April 13 memo from the Navy officer in charge of chaplains says they "may" officiate at same-sex marriages or civil unions, depending on both local laws and their religious organization. It is not clear if the other services would have a similar provision.
Los Angeles Times: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver announce separation
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have separated, with Shriver moving out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine the next step in their 25-year marriage. Shriver has been residing apart from the actor-turned-politician for the last few weeks. The former first couple confirmed the separation in a joint statement released Monday after questions from The Times.
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CNN: Sources: Six killed in Yemen protests
Security forces moved in to disperse the marchers with batons and tear gas before opening fire with live ammunition, witnesses said. The marchers were teachers - accompanied by opponents of the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh - who were protesting salary cuts. Clashes occurred in five locations in Taiz, the witnesses added.
Al Jazeera: EU imposes arms embargo on Syria
The European Union is imposing an arms embargo on Syria, in response to a bloody crackdown on protesters by Bashar al-Assad's government. The EU has also banned 13 Syrian government officials from travelling anywhere in the 27-nation union, as well as freezing assets held by those officials and banning the shipment of "arms and equipment that could be used for internal repression", it said in a statement.
CNN: New airstrikes shake Libyan capital
At least three rounds of explosions echoed across the Libyan capital in a three-hour span that began late Monday, and the roar of jets could be heard overhead. …[NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh] Rasmussen denied that the situation in Libya had devolved into a "stalemate," insisting that NATO was "making progress" and had "taken out" a substantial part of Gadhafi's military capability.
New York Times: With Help From NATO, Libyan Rebels Gain Ground
In the besieged western city of Misurata hundreds of rebels broke through one of the front lines late on Sunday, and by Monday afternoon were consolidating their position on the ground a few miles to the city’s west. The breakout of what had been nearly static lines came after NATO aircraft spent days striking positions and military equipment held by the Qaddafi forces, weakening them to the point that a ground attack was possible, the rebels said.
Fox News: Software Fiasco Preventing U.N. From Tracking Aid to War, Famine Victims
The United Nations’ flagship agency for global refugee relief, which has nearly doubled its multibillion-dollar budget in the past two years, is struggling with a software fiasco that makes it virtually impossible to track systematically how well it is actually helping the victims of war, famine, drought and other disasters, according to an internal auditing report.
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Financial Times: Microsoft in talks to buy Skype
A deal between the two companies could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to the person familiar with the talks. While details were still hammered out on Monday night - which could yet derail an announcement - the person added that the deal could value Skype at about $8.5bn, including debt.
Bloomberg: China Has Bigger-Than-Forecast $11.4 Billion Trade Surplus
China reported a trade surplus that was more than three times larger than forecast in April as exports surged to a record, bolstering the U.S. case for faster yuan gains as officials from both nations meet for annual talks in Washington.
CNN: Human rights disagreements cloud opening of U.S.-China dialogue
In opening remarks at the third U.S./China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We worry about the impact on our domestic politics and on the politics and stability in China and the region. We see reports of people, including public interest lawyers, writers, artists and others who are detained or disappeared."
CNNMoney: Big Oil CEOs to face lawmakers
The oil execs are coming to Washington. And that means the long-running battle between Democrats, Republicans and oil companies over tax breaks will intensify on Thursday when industry leaders face questions from the Senate Finance Committee. At issue: Legislation that would cut $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies.
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