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 offer update as 5th day of debt talks end with no deal
There are no formal negotiations planned for Friday to achieve a deficit reduction deal, but President Barack Obama will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET to offer an update. …A Republican aide familiar with Thursday's meeting at the White House said Obama told congressional leaders he expected them to consult with their caucuses and find agreement over the next 24 to 36 hours on how to proceed.
CNN: House GOP signals openness to backup debt plan
In a sharp turnaround, House Republican leaders signaled Thursday they are open to a backup debt ceiling plan pushed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to avoid a default on the nation's credit. "What may look like something less than optimal today, if we're unable to get to an agreement, might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now," House Speaker John Boehner said during a Capitol Hill news conference.
Washington Post: Debt limit: U.S. outreach to banks, investors over possible default comes up empty
Obama administration officials have been privately exploring with major banks and foreign investors whether the government could devise a way to avoid a severe disruption in financial markets if the federal debt ceiling is not raised, according to several people familiar with the matter. …But the message back from the market has been discouraging: The failure to pay any significant obligations would scare away investors and undermine the financial system.
CNN: FBI to probe Murdoch's company over Sept. 11 allegation
The FBI has launched an investigation into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. after a report that employees or associates may have attempted to hack into phone conversations and voice mail of September 11 survivors, victims and their families, a federal law enforcement source told CNN Thursday.
New York Times: Hackers Gained Access to Sensitive Military Files
The Defense Department suffered one of its worst digital attacks in history in March, when a foreign intelligence service hacked into the computer system of a corporate contractor and obtained 24,000 Pentagon files during a single intrusion, senior officials said Thursday.
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CNNMoney: Minnesota shutdown to end soon
Democratic governor Mark Dayton and leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature have reached a deal that will close Minnesota's budget gap and end the state government's shutdown "within days." "It is my understanding that we have reached an agreement," Dayton said, as the visibly tired legislators emerged from a three hour meeting at the Capitol to speak to press.
CNN: No relief from heat wave in the South, North
The heat wave that has encompassed many Southern states this week is not expected to loosen its grip in the coming days. Scorching high temperatures are in the forecast over the weekend in the North. Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Oklahoma City are several cities under an excessive heat watch Friday through Sunday.
Bloomberg: Cuomo May Face New York Worker Pay Fight After Legislative Wins
In his first six months, [Governor Andrew Cuomo] led the divided Legislature to produce the state’s first on-time budget in five years, a property-tax cap, an ethics law for public officials and the marriage-equality bill. …Cuomo, the son of three-term Governor Mario Cuomo, may face a tougher time in his quest to cut public-employee wage and pension costs, said [SUNY professor Gerald] Benjamin, who teaches political science.
CNN: Students at California colleges will soon pay more
On Thursday, the State Board of Regents voted to increase tuition rates by 9.6% to close one-quarter of a $1 billion budget gap. Campus reductions and other measures will take care of the reminder of the deficit, the Regents said. The move came after an extended debate about ways to close the financial gap facing the states' network of public colleges.
CNN: California governor signs bill requiring schools to teach gay history
Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday he had signed a bill that will require public schools in the state to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The bill, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will also require teachers to provide instruction on the role of people with disabilities.
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CNN: Report: War-related civilian deaths up in Afghanistan
The use of powerful improvised explosive devices - IEDs - by militants in Afghanistan has caused a "dramatic" hike in "conflict-related civilian deaths" in the first half of the year, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report Thursday. …There were 444 victims of IEDS, "the single largest killer of Afghan civilians in the first half of 2011," the cause of 30% of all civilian killings.
CNN: Activist group: 7 killed in Syrian protests
Seven people died Thursday during protests in two Syrian cities, an activist group told CNN. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four people were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor, as demonstrators gathered in the city's Freedom Square.
CNN: Libyan spokesman: 'We will die for oil'
Libya's embattled government accused rebels and the NATO military alliance of carrying out a coordinated air, sea, and land attack on the strategic oil town of Brega on Thursday, the same day a government spokesman vowed to "die for oil." …"We will die for oil. We will kill for oil," [government spokesman Musa] Ibrahim said. "We will kill everyone who comes near our oil. Rebels, NATO, we don't care. We will defend our oil to the last drop of blood that we have."
CNN: Secretary of state embarks on another world tour
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Friday in Istanbul, the start of a 12-day journey that, in typical Hillary fashion, will straddle the globe, taking her to Europe, India and East Asia. The main event in Istanbul Friday is the Libya Contact Group. With the noose around Moammar Gadhafi continuing to tighten, the international community is intensifying its planning for the post-Gadhafi era.
Financial Times: Italian budget set for fast-track approval
Silvio Berlusconi's austerity budget for Italy for the next three years is on course to gain fast-track approval in parliament on Friday, but the centre-left opposition is not letting up in its demands that the billionaire prime minister resign immediately. …Senators on Thursday voted 161 to 135 in favour of the austerity package which is intended to eliminate Italy's budget deficit by 2014 by combining cuts and revenue-raising measures amounting to a total of €45bn.
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CNNMoney: Stocks drop after Bernanke comments
U.S. stocks fell Thursday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the central bank may not be as willing to move on further stimulus as previously thought. …Bernanke, in his comments to the Senate Banking Committee Thursday, said the central bank is "not prepared at this point to take further action," regarding further monetary stimulus.
Wall Street Journal: Potter Studio Tries to Keep Profits From Going Poof!
In interviews this week, Warner executives outlined plans for how they hope to maintain their Harry Potter business after the final film installment. The plans include a likely expansion of Harry Potter theme parks around the world and new investment into Harry Potter-related online businesses and videogames.
Wall Street Journal: Google's Earnings Surge, Putting Firm Back in Favor
Google Inc. posted a 36% jump in quarterly profit, sending its shares surging and wresting back the attention of investors who lately have doted on newer Internet darlings. The Internet search company, which continued to spend heavily on new projects and staff, logged a 32% jump in revenue for the second quarter. The growth was driven by Google's core search engine advertising.
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