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: Obama to visit Fort Drum after announcing Afghanistan troop withdrawal
President Barack Obama goes on the road Thursday to sell his plan to withdraw 33,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He will meet with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York - many of whom have recently returned from Afghan deployments.
CNN: 2012 candidates react to Obama's speech on Afghanistan
Candidates seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president responded to President Obama's Wednesday night speech on Afghanistan troop withdrawals.
CNN: House Republicans plan vote to cut funding for U.S. military effort in Libya
Frustrated rank-and-file House Republicans Wednesday pushed their leadership to go further in rebuking President Obama over his handling of Libya, pressing GOP leaders to schedule a vote to defund the military mission. The bill, which the House could vote on as early as Friday, is a much stronger statement than the non-binding resolution leaders originally introduced that called for removing U.S. forces from hostilities in Libya.
CNNMoney: Fed gloomier about the economy
Ben Bernanke and the rest of the Federal Reserve have grown more pessimistic about the state of the U.S. economy. At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting, the central bank said that while the recovery is continuing at a moderate pace, growth is somewhat slower than expected. It also said the jobs market is "weaker than anticipated." It also issued new economic projections that call for slower economic growth, higher unemployment and higher inflation in 2011 and 2012 than in its previous forecast.
Wall Street Journal: Bipartisan Debt Talks Grow More Contentious
The bipartisan deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden grew more contentious Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans became increasingly entrenched on key issues, people familiar with the matter said. Republicans are staunchly opposed to raising taxes, something Democrats believe must be part of any deficit-reduction plan. Many Democrats, meanwhile, oppose certain changes to entitlement programs like Medicare, but Republicans say these are the biggest drivers of the deficit and must be tackled.
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CNN: Bulger, one of FBI's most wanted fugitive, is captured
James "Whitey" Bulger, an alleged Boston organized crime boss who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitive list, has been captured. He had been on the run since 1995. Bulger, who was taken into custody with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth Greig, will make a first appearance in court Thursday, the FBI said.
CNN: Man arrested in Pentagon scare linked to 2010 shootings, official says
A Marine reservist arrested after a bomb scare near the Pentagon last week has been linked to a series of 2010 shootings at the Pentagon and military facilities in northern Virginia, a law enforcement official said Wednesday. No one was injured in the shootings, and the official - who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity - didn't know the nature of the evidence or how many of the shootings might be connected to the man, Yonathan Melaku.
CNN: Officials: River crest at Minot will hit record levels
With record water levels poised to inundate the North Dakota town of Minot, the mayor and the state's governor congratulated citizens on an organized and efficient evacuation. …Residents were given until Wednesday evening to evacuate because of what state emergency services spokeswoman Cecily Fong called "historic proportions of water."
Wall Street Journal: Michigan Leans Anew on Big Three
For years, Michigan saw its role in global auto assembly diminish as Detroit's Big Three slashed jobs and moved more of their production to other states and countries. … But since the crisis that landed General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC in bankruptcy court in 2009, newly profitable U.S. auto makers have been consolidating and expanding assembly operations in their home state. That has helped stir Michigan's economy and provided relief to auto-driven local economies.
CNN: Police: Border Patrol agent fatally shoots rock-throwing migrant
San Diego police and FBI officials are investigating the fatal shooting of a Mexican man by a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a rock-throwing altercation at the border fence, authorities said Wednesday. The Tuesday evening altercation involved two Border Patrol agents and three migrants allegedly trying to cross the border from Tijuana, Mexico, authorities said.
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CNN: Suspected al Qaeda militants escape from Yemeni jail
Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants escaped Wednesday from a jail in the Yemeni city of Mukalla, a senior security official said. An Interior Ministry official said 63 members of al Qaeda had managed to break out of Almakla prison, according to the state-run SABA news agency. He said three were killed and another two arrested and that a prison guard was killed. He asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
CNN: EU considers freezing assets of businesses tied to Syrian regime
The European Union is considering expanding sanctions against people and businesses with connections to the Syrian regime, even as the nation's foreign minister said it "will forget Europe exists on a map." The EU is set to vote Thursday on freezing the assets of seven people and four businesses with connections to embattled President Bashar al-Assad, said an EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the proposal.
CNN: Gadhafi calls for UN to investigate NATO attack in Surman
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called Thursday for the U.N. Security Council to carry out an independent fact-gathering mission on Monday's NATO attack in the city of Surman, which resulted in civilian casualties. "The Security Council should hold an urgent meeting to discuss the matter and stop this barbaric attack," he said in a nationally televised address.
Financial Times: Greek opposition dashes hopes for unity
Greece’s opposition leader insists that his party will vote against the government’s latest round of austerity measures, dashing hopes that the nation’s political class will unite in a last-ditch effort to prevent a sovereign debt default. …The Socialist government plans to enact a €28bn ($40bn) package of spending cuts and tax increases next week to secure the next €12bn tranche of a €110bn international loan needed to avoid default.
CNN: Details scarce on Chavez's condition after surgery
More than 11 days after doctors in Cuba performed emergency surgery on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the official information released about his condition could fit on one side of an index card. State-run VTV reported Wednesday that Chavez was "recuperating satisfactorily" in Cuba and could be discharged from the hospital in 10 days, citing an interview with his brother.
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Bloomberg: Google’s Page, Schmidt Face Senate Subpoena Threats
Google Inc.’s reluctance to provide a top executive for testimony to a Senate panel probing its market power has prompted threats of subpoenas for Chief Executive Officer Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt. In a letter dated June 10, the Democratic chairman and leading Republican on the antitrust subcommittee asked Google to provide one of the company’s two senior executives before Congress’s August recess. The letter urged a resolution “by agreement” to avoid “more formal procedures,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by Bloomberg News.
CNN: Apple to start making TVs, report says
Technology blog DailyTech on Wednesday was quoting an unnamed "former Apple executive" who said Apple plans to enter the television display market by the end of the year. Apple plans to "blow Netflix and all those other guys away" with a console that would have Apple TV and iTunes built into it, the source reportedly told DailyTech. The report says Apple plans to team up with an existing manufacturer to provide televisions that would be branded under the Apple name.
CNN: Twins drop legal claim against Facebook founder
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the former business partners and Harvard University classmates of Mark Zuckerberg, have dropped their court appeal of a settlement with the Facebook founder. The Winklevosses had claimed they were shortchanged in a $65 million settlement with Zuckerberg because Facebook had misrepresented the value of company stock. In April, a federal appeals judge rejected the argument and ruled the twins could not unwind the legally binding agreement they had signed in 2008.
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A Southwest Airlines pilot goes on an offensive rant over an open cockpit mic. CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports.
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