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: Positions harden as Obama intervenes in deficit talks
President Barack Obama will meet with Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on Monday to keep the negotiations going on a possible deficit reduction deal. The session comes after talks led by Vice President Joe Biden concluded last week without an agreement and as congressional leaders hardened their positions, making a possible compromise more difficult.
Washington Post: GOP compromise on debt: Cut military spending?
Senior GOP lawmakers and leadership aides said it would be far easier to build support for a debt-reduction package that cuts the Pentagon budget — a key Democratic demand — than one that raises revenue by tinkering with the tax code. Last week, Republicans walked out of talks led by Vice President Biden, insisting that the White House take tax increases off the table.
CNN: Bachmann well-positioned for Iowa, and maybe beyond
Forget political pedigree, executive experience or ties to deep-pocketed donors. No Republican presidential candidate is better positioned to capitalize on the recent tide of conservative anger toward President Barack Obama than Michele Bachmann. Her charisma and crossover appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives have the three-term Minnesota congresswoman rising in the polls and primed to make a serious impact on the GOP nomination fight.
National Journal: GOP White House Hopefuls Face First Big Test This Week
The candidates are barely in the race, but the first major reckoning of the 2012 presidential campaign is this Thursday. When candidates file their second-quarter campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission at the end of the month, we may be able to start sorting the buyers from the spyers, the needy from the greedy, and those who are serious contenders from those who aren't.
CNN: 2012ers hit the road
2012 Republican presidential candidates are traveling this week, mostly in early presidential-contest states. Here's a look at where they're headed.
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CNN: River crests, but North Dakota flood fight far from over
The bloated Souris River has crested at an historic high in Minot, North Dakota, but floodwaters likely will remain at or near their current level for several days, authorities said Sunday. "At this point, the river has had its crest so far in Minot, but a number of locations downstream still have some high water yet to come," said Richard Kinney, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. North Dakota.
CNN: Flood berm bursts at Nebraska nuclear plant
A water-filled berm protecting a nuclear power plant in Nebraska from rising floodwaters collapsed Sunday, according to a spokesman, who said the plant remains secure. …"The plant is still protected. This was an additional, a secondary, level of protection that we had put up," [Mike Jones, a spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)] said. "The plant remains protected to the level it would have been if the aqua berm had not been added."
New York Times: Beyond New York, Gay Marriage Faces Hurdles
After a string of defeats in recent years from California to Maine, the movement to legalize same-sex marriage is hoping its unexpected victory in New York will revive efforts to legalize gay weddings around the nation. But the movement’s success here could prove difficult to replicate. Twenty-nine states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, while 12 others have laws against it. And many of those states where support for same-sex marriage is high have already acted on the issue.
CNN: Investigators try to resolve discrepancy involving passenger numbers
Major questions hang over the investigation into a deadly accident involving an Amtrak passenger train and a tractor-trailer truck, and it could take up to a year for investigators to come up with answers, a federal official said Sunday. At least 20 people listed on the manifest for the California Zephyr have not been accounted for by authorities, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters at a news conference.
Los Angeles Times: Petitioners in Maryland protest in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
Over the last two months, volunteers […] have fanned out across the state to gather signatures for the petition to give voters the final say on the new law that extends in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants. The Republican-led effort will come to a head next week. If the petitioners can collect 55,736 valid signatures by June 30, implementation of the law would be suspended and the measure would be put on the 2012 ballot.
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CNN: Syrian general: Hundreds of soldiers, police killed by armed gangs
Syria's military spokesman says more than 400 members of security forces have been killed in the months-long unrest that has taken hold in the country, a charge that came as videos surfaced allegedly showing children killed in the violence.
Wall Street Journal: Iran Woos U.S. Allies as Troops Withdraw
Iran is moving to cement ties with the leaders of three key American allies—Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq—highlighting Tehran's efforts to take a greater role in the region as the U.S. military pulls out troops. The Afghan and Pakistani presidents, visiting Tehran, discussed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "many issues…that might come up after the NATO military force goes out of Afghanistan," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview here Sunday.
CNN: Victims eye closure as ex-Khmer Rouge leaders stand trial
Led by the late Pol Pot, the [Khmer Rouge] regime was responsible for the deaths of millions of ordinary Cambodians during a four-year reign of terror that was eventually halted in 1979 by invading Vietnamese forces. But the memories of this dark chapter continue to haunt victims […] more than 30 years later, as four surviving members of the Khmer leadership, including Pol Pot's "number two," prepare to stand trial for their alleged role in the genocide.
Financial Times: Greek bank governor hits at cuts
Greece's central bank governor has lashed out at the socialist government's latest austerity measures ahead of this week's critical parliamentary vote on a four-year austerity package. George Provopoulos warned that pressure on Greek taxpayers had reached its limits with last week's announcement of €5.6bn ($7.8bn) of additional measures to plug a gaping hole in the €28bn program of spending cuts and tax increases.
CNN: Controversial Sudanese president heads to China for state visit
Despite international pressure, China welcomes controversial Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for the start of a four-day visit Monday. Bashir is the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the region of Darfur, where war has continued since 2003. It was the first such warrant issued for a sitting head of state.
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CNNMoney: Stocks don't need (or want) more stimulus
The Federal Reserve is winding down its $600 billion bond buying stimulus that helped fuel an eight-month stock rally and experts say stocks are ready to take back the reins. …Even though stocks have retreated about 7% since the start of May, most market strategists say the pullback is temporary, and are calling for the S&P 500 to rise more than 7% during the second half.
Bloomberg: Consumer Spending in U.S. Probably Increased at Slowest Pace in 11 Months
U.S. consumer spending probably rose in May at the slowest pace in almost a year, reflecting fewer new-car purchases and dimmer employment prospects, economists said before a report today. The projected 0.1 percent gain would be the smallest since June 2010 and follow a 0.4 percent rise the prior month, according to the median estimate of 63 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Wall Street Journal: Hulu's Owners Weigh Cons of a Possible Sale of the Site
Online-video pioneer Hulu LLC has been a headache for its Hollywood owners at times. But now the owners who control Hulu's fate are asking themselves whether the website might be an even bigger nuisance to them in someone else's hands. Hulu plans to meet with a range of potential buyers in coming weeks, say people familiar with the matter, following an overture from Yahoo Inc. that prompted the media companies that are partners in the free online-video service to consider putting it up for sale.
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