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: Congress races for solution as debt ceiling deadline looms
Senators are set to return to work on Tuesday to resume talks about the possibility of raising the federal government's debt ceiling. House members are scheduled to take up the contentious talks on the issue Wednesday. Congressional leaders remain at sharp odds over what sort of conditions should be attached to a hike in the current $14.3 trillion ceiling.
CNN: Nation's largest teachers union endorses Obama re-election
A year earlier than usual, the nation's largest teachers union on Monday endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012. The National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million teachers and administrators, approved the recommendation from its political action committee at its annual meeting in Chicago.
Washington Post: New breed of ‘super PACs,’ other independent groups could define 2012 campaign
One commercial accuses the president of worsening the deficit and says, “It’s time to take away Obama’s blank check.” Another attacks Republican tax and Medicare policies, saying, “We can’t rebuild America if they tear down the middle class.” So begins the shadow campaign of 2012, in which a new breed of “super PACs” and other independent groups are poised to spend more money than ever to sway federal elections.
Roll Call: Anyone’s Race in South Carolina
There's no natural frontrunner in the Palmetto State. The presidential primary here is more wide open than it has been in decades, as conservative activists, rank-and-file Republicans and many GOP insiders search for a candidate with just the right combination of philosophy, pizazz and electability to beat President Barack Obama.
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CNN: Montana governor presses for answers on resources for oil clean-up
Montana's governor pushed for answers Monday as to why additional resources have not been devoted to clean up the Yellowstone River, days after hundreds of barrels of oil seeped into the rushing waters after a pipeline ruptured. ExxonMobil reported Monday night that more than 280 people have converged on the area near Billings, including workers from the Texas-based oil company and the Clean Harbors environmental firm.
Wall Street Journal: Profits Thrive in Weak Recovery
While the U.S. economy staggers through one of its slowest recoveries since the Great Depression, American companies are poised to report strong earnings for the second quarter—exposing a dichotomy between corporate performance and the overall health of the economy.
Miami Herald: State workers get pink slip under new budget
Millions of Floridians head back to work Tuesday after a restful three-day Fourth of July weekend. But Toni Gugliotta won’t be among them. She’ll be applying for $275 a week in unemployment benefits instead. The Pinellas County woman is among 1,300 state employees put out of work by the new budget approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott on May 26.
CNN: Crew arrives for final shuttle mission
The four-member crew that will fly the final space shuttle mission to end an era arrived Monday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim flew in on two T-38 jets to begin final preparations for the flight on space shuttle Atlantis, scheduled for liftoff at 11:26 a.m. Friday, according to the NASA website.
CNN: Around America, a spirited Fourth
President Barack Obama thanked U.S. service members and their families Monday by hosting them on the South Lawn of the White House for a patriotic cookout and fireworks display. "After all that you do for our country every day, we wanted to give you guys a chance to get out of uniform, relax and have some fun," Obama said. And fun was the order of the day as Americans celebrated Independence Day around the nation with flags, fireworks and food.
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New York Times: Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist
New classified intelligence obtained before the May 29 disappearance of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said.
CNN: Sex assault complaint to be filed against Strauss-Kahn in France
A lawyer for French writer Tristane Banon said he will file a criminal complaint Tuesday against former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn over an alleged sexual assault eight years ago. The development comes days after charges against Strauss-Kahn in New York appeared to be on shaky ground.
CNN: Authorities: Mexican drug lord tied to death of ICE agent captured
Mexican authorities said Monday that they had arrested a Zetas drug cartel leader who was connected with the killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent this year. Federal police captured Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, known as "El Mamito," Sunday, a top official with the agency said.
CNN: Chavez, back in Venezuela, says he will win 'battle for life'
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned unexpectedly Monday to his nation's capital, where he vowed to win the "battle for life" after undergoing emergency surgery in Cuba. He spoke from the balcony of the presidential palace just one day before the country is set to celebrate its bicentennial.
CNN: Japan's newly-appointed reconstruction minister resigns
Japan's newly-appointed Reconstruction Minister Ryu Matsumoto said Tuesday he has submitted his resignation, following heavy criticism for remarks he made to mayors of the disaster-stricken Tohoku area. "I tendered my resignation as Minister of reconstruction to the Prime Minister this morning," said Matsumoto who appeared in a press conference with a misty gaze.
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CNNMoney: The scariest risks to the economy
CNNMoney surveyed 27 economists and asked them to choose from a list of possible threats facing the economy. What scares them most? A sovereign debt default by a European country such as Greece. More than half of those surveyed ranked it as one of their top two concerns, with 10 choosing it as their number one worry.
Boston Globe: More bank branches closing
For the first time in 15 years, banks across the United States are closing branches faster than they are opening them, eliminating locations in Massachusetts, other parts of New England, and the rest of the country. Overall, banks have eliminated more than 1,400 US locations in the past two years. And almost every week, more branches go dark.
Financial Times: Hackers claim Apple security breach
A hacking group has claimed it breached corporate security at Apple and has published what it said were two dozen administrator names and apparently encrypted passwords for a server at the US technology group. The data was not linked to the more than 200m customer credit cards stored on the iTunes online store.
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