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: Bin Laden was communicating with other terrorists, U.S. official says
Data and documents taken from the compound show that messages from Osama bin Laden did make it out of the compound to other members of al Qaeda, a U.S. official says. …The official also provided new details on bin Laden's personal journal, which was seized during the Navy SEAL raid, the official said. The handwritten journal, which was referred to last week by other officials as the al Qaeda playbook, is being reviewed by intelligence officials. Other handwritten materials are being reviewed, too.
POLITICO: 4 things to watch when Big Oil testifies
It’s a tradition in Washington: the annual Capitol Hill version of the perp walk for Big Oil. This time, Senate Democrats are hauling the top executives of five major private oil companies to the Finance Committee to rap them on the knuckles for making so much money — and benefiting from U.S. tax incentives — while charging hardworking Americans $4 for a gallon of gas.
New York Times: F.C.C. Commissioner Leaving to Join Comcast
Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved a hotly contested merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said on Wednesday that she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office. …The announcement drew immediate criticism from some groups that had opposed the Comcast-NBC merger.
Washington Post: Guantanamo Bay detainees’ family members may be allowed to visit
The Pentagon is considering allowing the families of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to visit them, an unprecedented step to ease the isolation of inmates who in some cases have been held at the U.S. facility for close to a decade, according to congressional aides. …Some Republicans, after hearing about the talks, appeared to balk at such access to the Guantanamo Bay naval station.
Fox News: Senators Step Up Pressure on Obama to Call for Syrian President to Leave Amid Crackdown
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., put further pressure on the administration by introducing a Sense of the Senate resolution calling for tougher U.S. action against the Assad regime. …Assad was "directing everything that's happening in Syria today," Lieberman said, and McCain accused Assad of having "American blood" on his hands for allowing suicide bombers to cross into Iraq and attack U.S. military personnel.
New York Times: Weighing a White House Bid as Opening a Door to Past Pain
Cheri Daniels has made no secret of her distaste for politics. She did not campaign for her husband, Mitch Daniels, during two races for governor. …But as leading Republicans step up their efforts to urge Mr. Daniels to run for president, the attention has suddenly turned to Mrs. Daniels, who makes her debut here on Thursday when she delivers a keynote address at the spring dinner of the Indiana Republican Party.
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CNN: Louisiana prepares for flood surge as waters close Mississippi casinos
An agonizing three weeks await the residents of three southern states as a historic flood crest slowly worked its way downstream Thursday toward New Orleans along the Mississippi River. The floodwaters that have already inundated tens of thousands of acres of Missouri farmland and lapped at downtown Memphis, Tennessee, are now on a steady, soggy march through Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
CNN: Border arrests of undocumented immigrants down 58% in 5 years
By at least one measure, illegal immigration is not the problem that it used to be for the United States - the number of arrests of people trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally has decreased sharply in the last five years, according to federal statistics. ...U.S. Border Patrol Agent David Jimarez, who works for the Tucson Sector in Arizona, says organized crime is now a greater challenge for agents than migrants trying to cross illegally to find a job.
CNN: Critics call for controversial Arizona sheriff's resignation
On Wednesday, critics called for the resignation of the controversial Arizona sheriff known for his tough stand on illegal immigration, alleging he misspent millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Auditors say Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio used nearly $100 million designated for jail funds to pay deputies' salaries, CNN affiliate KNPX reported.
ABC News: Neo-Nazi Father Allegedly Killed by Own 10-Year-Old Son
Jeff Hall, the head of the Southern California chapter of the National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group that remains in this country, was an outspoken supporter of a White society. Two Sundays ago, he was allegedly silenced by his own son. Authorities believe, his son, just 10 years old, stood at the bottom of the living room stairs and shot his father as he lay on the couch.
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New York Times: Taking Airport, Rebels in Libya Loosen Noose
Seizing the airport in Misurata, a city that has been under siege for nearly two months, represented one of the most significant rebel victories in the Libyan conflict and a stiff military and public-relations blow to the Qaddafi government. The airport and its approaches were the last remaining pieces of terrain in the city to be controlled by Qaddafi soldiers.
CNN: Across Syria, fears, deaths mount, Syrians say
Syrian military tanks began shelling two residential areas in Homs, killing at least five people; 13 people were slain in Daraa, 11 when tanks destroyed homes and two by sniper fire; and one person was killed in Jasem, according to Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.
USA Today: Study: 420K Congolese women are raped each year - 48 per hour
Transcending already-shocking statistics, new research published today concludes that more than 420,000 women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are raped each year - roughly 48 per hour and 1,152 per day. Previously, the United Nations estimated 16,000 rapes in one year in the central African nation that's been traumatized by rebel factions for 15 years.
Wall Street Journal: Taliban Leaders Aid Hunt for al Qaeda, Afghans Say
Senior Afghan officials say some Taliban leaders are offering intelligence about al Qaeda to prove they are serious about peace talks with the Afghan government. …The Afghan officials who described the outreach said intelligence provided by Taliban leaders aided in the capture of Umar Patek, the suspected mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings.
Wired: Pakistan Gives U.S. General the Silent Treatment After Osama Raid
For two whole days after the raid, “we didn’t have very good contact” with the Pakistani military, said Maj. Gen. John Campbell, the commander of U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan. That’s a big deal. Campbell’s soldiers have to safeguard some 450 miles of border with the Pakistan, an easy transit point for insurgents, terrorists and their logistics. That can’t happen without the aid of the Pakistani military on the other side.
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CNNMoney: Rajaratnam convicted in insider trading case
Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund boss accused of insider trading, was found guilty Wednesday by a jury in New York of conspiracy and securities fraud. The conviction, announced in Manhattan federal court, is a significant victory for federal prosecutors, who have been cracking down on insider trading in the wake of the financial crisis.
Wall Street Journal: Too Big in Japan, Toyota Struggles
For the past half century, Toyota Motor Corp. has expanded and prospered because of a simple principle: it has always been able to make cars in Japan and sell them for a profit in other markets around the world. Now, however, that formula is breaking under the strain of a rising yen and the March 11 earthquake that hobbled its plants in Japan. On Wednesday, Toyota reported a 77% drop in earnings for its the quarter ended March 31, mainly as a result of a big loss in its Japanese operations.
CNNMoney: Cisco CEO: "We know what we have to do"
Despite cautious statements from its CEO last quarter, Cisco Systems posted fiscal third-quarter profit and earnings that beat expectations. Cisco said Wednesday that its net income fell 17% over the year to $1.8 billion, or 42 cents per share, for the quarter ended April 30. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 37 cents per share.
Financial Times: China slow to silence roaring tiger of inflation
Wang Qishan, Chinese vice-premier, this week became the latest senior official to identify the fight against inflation as his government's most important task this year. …But the policy measures taken by Beijing in its fight against inflation do not reflect the kind of life and death struggle suggested by comments from the country's leaders.
In Case You Missed It…
CNN's John King uses the CNN "Magic Wall" to show us flood images.