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: GOP, Democrats to huddle once more on cutting federal debt, deficits
Top Democrats and Republicans are scheduled to meet again Tuesday after the two sides could not reach a breakthrough during a White House meeting to address the nation's mounting federal deficits and debt, a congressional aide said. …Ahead of the session set for 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, congressional participants were asked to bring ideas for closing the roughly $600 billion gap between negotiated spending cuts and further savings that Republicans say are necessary for a debt ceiling deal, Democratic sources said.
Los Angeles Times: Boehner-Cantor rivalry affecting debt talks
A long-simmering rivalry between the top two Republicans in the House has tumbled into the open, with far-reaching implications for deficit-reduction negotiations with the White House. …In private talks with the White House, Boehner favored a large package as part of pragmatic political deal-making. But Cantor, speaking for staunch conservatives in Congress, is opposed.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Tackles Housing Slump
The Obama administration is ramping up talks on how to revive the housing market, which is weighing on the economic recovery—and possibly the president's re-election in 2012. …Policy ideas include having taxpayer-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relax their rules for loans to investors, allowing those buyers to vacuum up excess housing inventory.
CNN: Army Ranger to get Medal of Honor for heroics in Afghanistan
An Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from fellow soldiers in Afghanistan will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Tuesday. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will be the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Iraq and Afghan wars, according to the U.S. military. President Barack Obama will present the award to Petry.
CNN: Huntsman goes on offense against Romney
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman signaled Monday that he intends to sharpen his campaign message against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race and the candidate Huntsman's team views as his chief rival in the nomination fight. … Huntsman, debuting a new line, questioned Romney's record on job creation while serving in Massachusetts and contrasted it with his own resume.
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CNN: Feds expand gun sales reporting requirements in four border states
The federal government said Monday it is proceeding with a plan to require gun dealers in four Southwest border states - California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas - to report the sales of high-power rifles under certain conditions in an effort to stem the flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels. …Under the new policy, gun dealers in the four border states will have the same reporting requirements for certain long guns that gun dealers nationwide currently have for hand guns.
CNN: Heat wave spreads into the Northeast
A dangerous heat wave slowly began to ease in the nation's heartland even as it spread into the Northeast, the National Weather Service said. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia were under heat advisories early Tuesday. …In these areas, the heat index, or how hot the body feels due to the combined effects of heat and humidity, will reach between 110 and 115 degrees this week.
New York Times: Drought Spreads Pain From Florida to Arizona
The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement. …The pain has spread across 14 states, from Florida, where severe water restrictions are in place, to Arizona, where ranchers could be forced to sell off entire herds of cattle because they simply cannot feed them.
CNN: Atlanta schools replace 4 area superintendents amid cheating scandal
The Atlanta public school system's interim Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. replaced four area superintendents and a school principal in the wake of a cheating scandal that could lead to criminal charges against some principals and teachers. The moves made at the school board meeting came less than a week after the district said schools will flag suspicious test scores and achieve a culture of integrity in the wake of the scandal.
Boston Globe: Prosecutors detail life on the run
James “Whitey’’ Bulger and his longtime companion, Catherine Greig, used at least 15 aliases, including one embossed on an AARP card, during their 16 years on the lam, federal authorities said yesterday. The couple also lived in a home where the reputed mobster stocked his bedroom walls with assault rifles and hid three loaded guns behind books on his shelf, according to testimony during Greig’s bail hearing yesterday.
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CNN: Clinton blasts Syria, its president after attack on embassy
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out Monday at Syrian authorities for not protecting U.S. and French embassies in Damascus, adding she felt its president "has lost legitimacy" and wants to deflect attention from a crackdown on peaceful protesters. Clinton insisted that Syria must meet its "international obligations immediately" to safeguard diplomats and property, hours after U.S. officials say that hundreds descended on its embassy for the third time in four days, scaling its walls and inflicting considerable damage.
CNN: Officials: Afghan president's half-brother shot dead
The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead at his home in Kandahar on Tuesday, the provincial governor's office said. Ahmed Wali Karzai was killed during a gathering at his home, said Kandahar governor Tooryalai Wesa. He did not know a motive.
CNN: Report: CIA organized vaccination drive for DNA from bin Laden home
Pakistani security forces have detained a doctor who is suspected of helping the CIA to try and collect DNA samples from people who lived in Osama bin Laden's compound before the terror leader's death. A senior Pakistani security official confirmed the detention to CNN on Tuesday, but did not identify the doctor.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Set to Sell Fighters to Iraq
Iraq has quietly started negotiations to buy U.S. fighter jets and air-defense systems worth billions of dollars, a purchase Washington hopes will help counter Iranian influences and cement long-term ties with Baghdad after American troops pull out. … The complex intersection of U.S., Iraqi and Iranian interests has led the U.S. to bet that a strong Iraq will serve regional stability and keep Tehran's ambitions at bay.
CNN: Top Chinese general takes aim at U.S. military policy
One day after the top American military officer declared that China "has arrived as a world power," his Chinese counterpart Monday played down the capabilities of the 3 million strong People's Liberation Army while criticizing the role of U.S. armed forces in the Asia Pacific region.
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CNNMoney: Immelt: Businesses must do more on jobs
The head of General Electric told a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Monday that businesses needed to take the lead on job creation. At a conference where many of the comments were focused on government barriers to hiring, GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged there needed to be some policy changes by Congress and the Obama administration. But he said that the responsibility for hiring lay with businesses.
CNNMoney: News Corp plunges on BSkyB deal fears
News Corporation said Monday it was continuing its bid to purchase satellite TV company British Sky Broadcasting despite heightened political heat Rupert Murdoch's media empire faces stemming from the British phone hacking scandal. The company said in a statement it is taking its bid to the U.K.'s Competition Commission, effectively delaying News Corp.'s possible purchase of BSkyB until the first part of 2012 at the earliest.
Bloomberg: AT&T, Sprint Face 9 State Subpoenas in Reviews of T-Mobile Bid
AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA Inc. prompted subpoenas of AT&T and Sprint Nextel Corp. by nine states in connection with antitrust reviews. …The disclosure of the states’ subpoenas reveals a growing scrutiny of AT&T’s bid to combine the second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers to create a new market leader, ahead of No. 1 Verizon Wireless.
CNNMoney: Netflix's vanished Sony films are an ominous sign
[Wedbush Securities analyst Michael] Pachter predicts Netflix's streaming content licensing costs will rise from $180 million in 2010 to a whopping $1.98 billion in 2012. When streaming video was new, Netflix was able to secure contracts with the likes of Warner Bros. Studios and MTV to license big TV and film catalogues for about $5 million to $10 million per year. This time around, Pachter says, those costs could increase more than tenfold.
In Case You Missed It…
CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Pakistan's U.S. ambassador discuss the latest rift in U.S.-Pakistani relations.
Last week I listed the GOP's priorities as party, Wall Street, (Republican version of) God, and country, in that order. Now it looks like it may be: 1) leadership position within the GOP; 2) party; 3) Wall Street; 4) (Republican version of) God; and 5) country. Looks like the country is really moving to the end of the list.