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: House rejects debt ceiling increase, 318-97
In a symbolic vote to send a message to budget negotiators, the House on Tuesday defeated a measure to raise the national debt ceiling without any accompanying deficit or spending reduction provisions. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with congressional Republicans on Wednesday as part of the administration's ongoing debt-ceiling and related budget negotiations. Vice President Joe Biden has been holding similar talks with a bipartisan congressional delegation in recent weeks.
Washington Post: List of cyber-weapons developed by Pentagon to streamline computer warfare
The Pentagon has developed a list of cyber-weapons and -tools, including viruses that can sabotage an adversary’s critical networks, to streamline how the United States engages in computer warfare. …The integration of cyber-technologies into a formal structure of approved capabilities is perhaps the most significant operational development in military cyber-doctrine in years, the senior military official said. The framework clarifies, for instance, that the military needs presidential authorization to penetrate a foreign computer network and leave a cyber-virus that can be activated later.
CNN: Palin, Trump discuss 'potential candidates' over pizza in New York
Potential presidential hopeful Sarah Palin brought her "One Nation" bus tour to Manhattan on Tuesday, splitting a pizza with Donald Trump, who recently opted not to launch a bid for the Republican nomination. "We talked about specific candidates and potential candidates, and kind of just what our perception was of each of these folks," the former Alaska governor said without getting into specifics.
CNN: Liberal congressman plays down Twitter controversy over lewd photo
A prank or a possible glimpse of scandal? Liberal Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner tried Tuesday to deflect attention away from a controversy involving a lewd photo briefly posted on his Twitter account, saying the matter was undeserving of further attention. Meanwhile, the conservative blogger who broke the story called for a full investigation of what he said was either the hacking of a congressman's account or something Weiner wants to hide.
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CNN: Endeavour completes final mission; NASA has one left
The space shuttle Endeavour landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Wednesday, completing its 25th and final mission - the next-to-last mission for NASA's 30-year-old space shuttle program. The spacecraft touched down at 2:35 a.m. at the end of a nearly 16-day mission to the International Space station. Cmdr. Mark Kelly said the mothballing of Endeavour will not mean an end to space missions.
New York Times: Reconstruction Lifts Economy After Disasters
The deadly tornadoes and widespread flooding that have left a trail of death and destruction throughout the South and the Midwest have also disrupted dozens of local economies just as the unsteady recovery seemed to be finding a foothold. But a new phase is slowly beginning in some hard-hit areas: reconstruction, which past disasters show is typically accompanied by a burst of new, and different, economic activity.
CNN: Illinois civil unions law goes into effect Wednesday
Starting Wednesday, same-sex couples in Illinois can enter into civil unions and enjoy many of the legal protections granted to married couples. In January, Illinois joined five other states in legalizing civil unions. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law in front a crowd of cheering residents during a ceremony in a Chicago auditorium. "We are showing the world that the people of Illinois believe in equality for all," Quinn said January 31.
CNN: Arizonans try to recall anti-immigration state leader
An effort is underway in Arizona to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor behind a controversial anti-illegal immigration law that a federal court struck down in April. On Tuesday, the group Citizens for a Better Arizona submitted petitions with 18,315 signatures to Arizona's secretary of state. "Today, citizens from Arizona have come together to make a bold statement that the divisive and extreme politics of Russell Pearce must end," said one of the recall campaign's organizers, Randy Parraz.
CNN: Cases of blinding laser lights on pilots on the rise, FAA warns
More people are knowingly aiming laser pointers at aircraft, leading to temporarily blinding of pilots and potentially putting passengers at risk, federal officials warned. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration's Randy Babbitt plan to hold a news conference Wednesday in Washington to address new measures aimed at stopping the practice. In 2010, the number of laser strikes on airplanes nearly doubled from the previous year to more than 2,800, officials said.
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CNN: In death, a 13-year-old becomes a symbol of Syrian opposition
The translation of the voice below the macabre YouTube video clip reads, "Look at the bruises on his face along with his broken neck." The clip is a two and a half minute gruesome catalogue of wounds on a 13-year-old child's body. The body of Hamza Ali al-Khateeb. On April 29, demonstrators from villages surrounding Daraa, Syria, marched on the city in an attempt to break the Syrian military siege there. …On that day, eyewitnesses say, security forces fired indiscriminately on them, killing and wounding dozens. Countless others were detained in a mass roundup. Among them, says his family, was Hamza. He got separated from his father in the chaos.
CNN: IAEA report: Japan nuclear plant was not ready for huge tsunami waves
The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency said Wednesday that Japan underestimated the hazard posed by tsunamis to nuclear plants but praised the country's response to the Fukushima Daiichi crisis as "exemplary." …."These tsunami waves overwhelmed the defences of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi facility, which were only designed to withstand tsunami waves of a maximum of 5.7 meters (18.7 feet) high. The larger waves that impacted this facility on that day were estimated to be larger than 14 meters (46 feet) high," the report said, referring to the plant's owners, Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Wall Street Journal: Mideast Uses Western Tools to Battle the Skype Rebellion
When young dissidents in Egypt were organizing an election-monitoring project last fall, they discussed their plans over Skype, the popular Internet phone service, believing it to be secure. But someone else was listening in—Egypt's security service. An internal memo from the "Electronic Penetration Department" even boasted it had intercepted one conversation in which an activist stressed the importance of using Skype "because it cannot be penetrated online by any security device."
Los Angeles Times: Amid talk of democracy, Iraqi activists decry detentions
Encouraging the democracy protests sweeping the Arab world, President Obama has presented Iraq as a model for the region — praise that contrasts with the detention of four young activists for days without access to lawyers or their families. Fellow protesters in the movement demanding better governance, including an end to corruption and improved services, say they worry they are next to be picked up by plainclothes security agents or paramilitary police seeking to crush their demonstrations.
CNN: FIFA election to go on despite ethics scandal
The election for the president of FIFA will go on as scheduled Wednesday despite calls from powerful football associations for a delay over a corruption scandal. Incumbent FIFA President Sepp Blatter is the only one running to head the world football governing body. Blatter said Monday night that the organization was not in crisis after two top officials were suspended amid ethics concerns. One of the officials, Mohamed Bin Hammam, was the only contender against Blatter for the presidency.
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CNN: Toyota recalls certain Prius models for gear box, steering problem
Toyota is recalling almost 106,000 early-model Prius because of a problem with the power steering and gear box. In the United States, the recall affects about 52,000 2001-2003 Prius sold in the United States, the company said Wednesday.
CNN: Steve Jobs to headline Apple event next week
[Apple CEO Steve] Jobs will join a team of executives in unveiling Apple's next generation of software, including iCloud, Apple's upcoming cloud services offering, the company said in a news release Tuesday. …iCloud, according to bits of information leaked before the conference, is rumored to be a "digital locker" type service, similar to Amazon's recently released cloud storage service for music. In recent weeks Apple has signed cloud-music licensing agreements with several music labels, according to reports.
CNN: Egyptian executive accused of hotel sexual assault arraigned
An Egyptian executive accused of sexually abusing an employee at a luxury hotel in New York was arraigned late Tuesday night. A judge set bail for Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar at $50,000 and the defendant was ordered to surrender all travel documents. The case has been adjourned until Friday to give Omar time to hire a private lawyer, the New York County District Attorney's Office said.
Financial Times: China bulls lassoed by growth concerns
Since peaking in mid-April, Shanghai stocks have fallen by more than 10 per cent as investors have become increasingly worried about a slowdown in the Chinese economy, even as inflation remains stubbornly high. …Chinese manufacturing production growth fell to a 10-month low in May, according to a survey by HSBC and Markit, sparking concerns that the second-biggest economy is suddenly slowing.
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