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: U.S. interviews 'hostile' bin Laden widows, with Pakistan officials
Three of Osama bin Laden's widows have been interviewed by U.S. intelligence officers under the supervision of Pakistani's intelligence service, according to sources in both governments. The women - who were all interviewed together this week - were "hostile" toward the Americans, according to a senior Pakistani government official with direct knowledge of the post-bin Laden investigation and two senior U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
CBS News: SEAL helmet cams recorded entire bin Laden raid
Officials reviewing those videos are still reconstructing a more accurate version of what happened. We now know that the only firefight took place in the guest house, where one of bin Laden's couriers opened fire and was quickly gunned down. No one in the main building got off a shot or was even armed, although there were weapons nearby.
CNN: Obama requests 2 more years for FBI chief
President Barack Obama is seeking a two-year extension of the 10-year term of FBI Director Robert Mueller, the White House announced Thursday. …"Given the ongoing threats facing the United States, as well as the leadership transitions at other agencies like the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, I believe continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time," Obama said in a written statement.
CNN: Romney's Health Care 101
In a Thursday speech that was equal parts college lecture and campaign stump, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney issued a defense of the health care "experiment" he implemented while governor and slammed the Obama administration's health care reform law as a federal "power grab."
CNN: Senate committee refers Ensign case to Justice Department
The Senate Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it has referred key findings of its case against former Sen. John Ensign to the Justice Department, laying the groundwork for possible prosecution of the Nevada Republican. …"The committee has reason to believe laws were broken," said California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Democratic co-chairwoman of the committee. "The Justice Department will look at it. They have to."
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CNN: Louisiana braces for flooding onslaught
Residents of the Atchafalaya Basin in south-central Louisiana, already urged to evacuate, late Thursday awaited a formal decision on whether a spillway will be opened, sending millions of gallons of floodwaters their way. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is measuring the current flow of the Mississippi River at a river landing, and once it reaches a specified volume and velocity the Mississippi River Commission may make a decision on the Morganza Spillway.
CNN: Terror plot against New York synagogue busted
The suspects, Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, were detained in midtown Manhattan after buying two loaded Browning semi-automatic pistols, one Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and a grenade, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. At least a dozen police officers swarmed Ferhani, who was at the time placing the weapons in the trunk of his car. Mamdouh was arrested on a street nearby moments later.
CNN: Nuclear task force: No immediate changes needed in U.S.
A federal task force set up following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan says no immediate changes are needed to improve the safety of nuclear reactors in the United States. But it said it expects to recommend changes when it completes its study in 60 days. …But an industry watchdog group said the NRC task force is "pulling its punches" by failing to take immediate actions to address shortcomings.
New York Times: Early H.I.V. Therapy Sharply Curbs Transmission
Patients with H.I.V. were 96 percent less likely to pass on the infection if they were taking antiretroviral drugs — a finding that is so overwhelming that it is likely to change the way American AIDS doctors treat patients and what treatment policies are adopted by the World Health Organization and other countries, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which paid for the trial.
CNN: Iwo Jima vet on war souvenir mercy mission
On the black sand beaches of Iwo Jima, 18-year-old Marty Connor stood over the body of a dead Japanese soldier. The young U.S. Marine figured it was only a matter of time before he suffered the same fate. But he didn't dwell on it and he didn't ponder whether the enemy had a family, a hometown, or a name. Instead, he reached into the dead soldier's pack and grabbed his diary. The he moved on to another body. Little did he know then that this was a moment that would change his life; that he would spend 40 years reuniting such war souvenirs with surviving relatives of the dead enemy soldiers.
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CNN: Suicide attacks in retaliation for bin Laden's death, Taliban says
The twin suicide bombings killed at least 70 people, nearly all of them military recruits who had just completed their training, Nisar Khan Murrawat, the police chief of the Charsadda district, said. Thirty others were wounded. "Pakistani and the U.S. forces should be ready for more attacks," according to Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, who accused the Pakistani military of telling the United States where bin Laden was.
New York Times: Opinion: Mahmoud Gebril ElWarfally- What the Libyan Resistance Needs
Even while fighting for our lives, we have begun to put the building blocks in place for a free society. The interim government, the Transitional National Council, has managed to fight a war, keep the lights on and reopen the schools. The people of Benghazi, the base of our struggle, are participating in traffic control and trash collection, and creating newspapers and radio stations that reflect the new spirit of tolerance and freedom.
CNN: Leader of Libyan opposition group to ask White House for recognition
In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Mahmoud Gibril said when he meets with White House national security advisor Tom Donilon on Friday, his main message will be to clear up "misperceptions" about extreme elements in the opposition and to ask for formal recognition.
The Guardian: Europe moves to end passport-free travel in migrant row
In a serious blow to one of the cornerstones of a united, integrated Europe, EU interior ministers embarked on a radical revision of the passport-free travel regime known as the Schengen system to allow the 26 participating governments to restore border controls. They also agreed to combat immigration by pressing for "readmission accords" with countries in the Middle East and north Africa to send refugees back to where they came from.
CNN: Report suggests human rights fight is at a critical point in time
A report from Amnesty International says the wave of popular unrest sweeping North Africa and the Middle East makes this a critical time for the human rights movement - one that could result in historic gains by freedom-loving, tech-savvy people or distressing setbacks if oppressive regimes clamp down on activists and stay in power.
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CNNMoney: Facebook vs. Google fight turns nasty
"Google quietly launches sweeping violation of user privacy!" screamed the all-caps headline of an e-mail that popped into journalists' and bloggers' inboxes last week. The e-mails were meant to whip media outlets into a frenzy - but the effort backfired when journalists found out that that the anti-Google campaign, conducted by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, was paid for by Facebook.
CNNMoney: Congress' gas price impotence
Republicans want to open more areas of the country for oil drilling, while the Democrats are fixated on eliminating tax breaks for the worlds biggest oil firms. The two parties are so far apart that neither proposal stands much chance of passing. But even if they both did, would either actually do anything to bring down the price of gasoline?
CNNMoney: Wal-Mart returns to 'Buy American' roots. Really?
Wal-Mart's CEO, Mike Duke, shocked an industry gathering recently when he said a majority of the retailer's products are now made in the United States. …So, has it really become a born-again "Made in the USA" company? And if so, does that mean cash-strapped Wal-Mart shoppers will see higher prices? Wal-Mart's U.S. push is more likely a matter of the mix of the products it's selling and how Americans are shopping, industry observers say, than a sign that it's returning to its patriotic roots.
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