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: Debt talks: Both sides digging in
Democrats are still insisting any deal to raise the debt ceiling include revenue increases while Republicans maintain that cannot pass Congress, both Democratic and Republican sources familiar with the talks said Thursday. …[A] White House official familiar with the talks told CNN: "Republicans want to get something done, and they don't know how to do it. If there is a mega-deal, it has to have a tax component. Otherwise, what we get will be much smaller." But Republicans insisted that will not fly.
CNNMoney: Tim Geithner considering leaving White House
Tim Geithner is considering leaving his post as Secretary of the Treasury after a deal to raise the debt ceiling is reached, a source familiar with the discussion told CNN Thursday. Geithner is the lone remaining member of President Obama's original economic team.
CNN: Petraeus confirmed by Senate unanimously as new CIA director
Gen. David Petraeus won unanimous Senate confirmation Thursday to succeed Leon Panetta as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The 58-year-old commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has said he will retire from the military before assuming his new post later this year. For now, he will continue overseeing the Afghanistan mission during the first phase of troop withdrawals beginning next month.
CNN: Justice narrows CIA torture probe to 2 deaths
A special prosecutor has recommended a criminal probe into the deaths of two prisoners in CIA custody but cleared U.S. interrogators of wrongdoing in 99 others, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. …A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the cases is the 2003 death of the "ice man," Manadel al-Jamadi, an inmate who died after being interrogated in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
USA Today: Rep. McCotter to launch presidential bid on July 2
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich. will launch his presidential campaign on July 2, making him the third sitting member of the House to run for the White House in 2012. McCotter will make his bid official in his home state of Michigan, according to a knowledgeable source in the campaign who declined to be identified.
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Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Time's up: chances of a budget deal slipped away
Talks imploded Thursday between DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders in the final hours before a midnight deadline, and Minnesota began a historic government shutdown. …The governor said his last offer would have raised income taxes only on those earning more than $1 million a year - an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, according to the Revenue Department.
CNN: Milwaukee teachers oppose pension contribution
Milwaukee teachers are offering meals and moral support to 354 fellow educators who will be laid off effective Friday, a union leader said. Milwaukee Public Schools said Wednesday the layoff of 519 staff members, including the teachers, was necessary because of $84 million in state cuts and the system's efforts to control costs.
CNN: Judge denies 'Whitey' Bulger request to merge racketeering cases
A federal judge on Thursday denied a petition of James "Whitey" Bulger to consolidate two pending racketeering cases against the reputed mobster, ruling in favor of prosecutors' requests to dismiss the lesser 1994 indictment in an effort to focus on 19 murder charges. Interim defense attorney Peter Krupp had requested the merger, which prosecutors argued was meant to complicate the more severe charges that Bulger faces.
CNN: NBA locks out players after sides disagree on money
The NBA began a lockout of its players early Friday, a statement from the league said. The lockout will continue until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association. The season was not profitable for most of the league's 30 owners and they need some cost-cutting help from players, NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters.
CNN: Firefighters scramble to contain blaze near nuclear lab in New Mexico
A wildfire roaring through a New Mexico forest forced the closure of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for a fifth straight day Friday as crews scrambled to contain the blaze. …More than 1,200 personnel, manning 52 engines, are battling the flames. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the threat.
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CNN: Accuser's credibility issues rattle Strauss-Kahn probe, official says
Prosecutors will notify the court Friday of troubling believability issues with the woman once called extremely credible in her sexual assault allegations against former International Monetary Fund Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, an official familiar with the case said. …The matter is so serious that it ultimately could mean the collapse of the felony case against Strauss-Kahn, the official said.
CNN: Syrian military raids villages; protests in Aleppo
Syrian tanks and helicopters opened fire and killed at least two civilians as the military advanced through a series of villages in northwestern Syria Thursday, a push that sent residents running for the hills, a villager told CNN. …The crackdown on anti-government protests in the Jabal Zawiya region of Syria's Idlib province comes just days after Syrian authorities allowed a historic opposition conference to be held in the capital, Damascus.
CNN: Hezbollah indictments in Lebanon could ripple through the region
One dead politician in a tiny Arab country and now, six years on, the quest for justice in his assassination divides a people and could add to regional instability. A United Nations-backed special tribunal issued indictments Thursday for four members of the Shiite militant Hezbollah movement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, said a high-placed source in the Lebanese army.
CNN: Chavez says doctors removed cancerous tumor from his body
Doctors in Cuba detected and removed a cancerous tumor from Hugo Chavez's body, the Venezuelan president announced in a speech broadcast on state-run VTV Thursday night. Chavez said he was continuing treatment, but did not specify what that treatment entailed, where the tumor was located or when he would return to Venezuela.
CNN: World watches for fair Thai election
Thailand's first elections since last year's violent protests place it at the crossroads between national reconciliation and further destabilization, a scenario analysts believe could have serious implications beyond its borders. Squaring off against incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democratic Party is Pheu Thai party leader Yingluck Shinawatra, whose party is leading by a narrow margin in pre-election polls.
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CNN: Google braces for huge fine from rogue drug ads
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that federal prosecutors in Rhode Island, along with undercover agents from the Food and Drug Administration, are heading up a massive investigation aimed at showing Google knowingly took advertising money from websites selling highly addictive drugs without a legitimate prescription.
Wall Street Journal: Opening Bidder Picked for Borders Auction
Borders Group Inc. chose Direct Brands, a company owned by private-equity firm Najafi Cos., as the opening bidder in a looming bankruptcy-court auction of the big bookseller, the companies said Thursday. Direct Brands, a music, DVD and book distributor whose businesses include Book of the Month Club, would purchase substantially all of Borders' assets for $215.1 million, plus the assumption of about $220 million in liabilities.
CNNMoney: FTC probes Twitter for antitrust abuses
The Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Twitter, focusing on the company's interactions with outside developers who build around its platform. The FTC has asked several companies in the Twitter ecosystem about how Twitter's actions have affected their business, one developer who has been contacted told CNNMoney.
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