POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
July 20th, 2011
04:53 AM ET
7 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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.

For the latest political news: http://www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: House passes GOP debt measure; Obama praises compromise plan
The U.S. House on Tuesday night passed the "cut, cap and balance" deficit reduction plan backed by tea party conservatives but dismissed by President Barack Obama, who offered strong praise for another proposal put together by a bipartisan group of senators.

CNNMoney: What 'Gang of Six' plan would do
The Gang's framework - in the making for seven months and modeled on the Bowles-Simpson plan –calls for a two-step legislative process that would first reduce deficits by $500 billion and then implement a larger comprehensive debt-reduction plan.

CNN: Pakistan funded Washington lobby group, U.S. says
Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington front group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over the disputed territory of Kashmir, federal agents alleged Tuesday.

New York Times: Obama to Back Repeal of Law Restricting Marriage
President Obama will endorse a bill to repeal the law that limits the legal definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, the White House said Tuesday, taking another step in support of gay rights.

Bloomberg: Romney as Job Creator Clashes with Bain Record of Job Cuts
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign misses few opportunities to promote his record creating jobs, including his role in taking Staples Inc. from a start-up to the world’s largest office-supply retailer. …What Romney skips is his experience in eliminating jobs. …As head of private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, Romney was the lead deal-maker, buying and selling companies to make money for investors.

For the latest national news: http://www.CNN.com

CNN: 14 arrested in operation targeting Anonymous
Fourteen people have been arrested as part of an ongoing operation targeting the notorious hacking collective known as Anonymous, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI said on Tuesday. The individuals were arrested by FBI agents on charges related to their alleged involvement in a cyberattack on PayPal's website, which has been claimed by the Anonymous group.

CNN: Birth control should be fully covered under health plans, report says
Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health care reform law, a new report recommends. …It’s unclear whether HHS will implement the report's recommendations. That decision could come as early as August.

CNNMoney: Minnesota shutdown nearer to an end
Minnesota lawmakers will take up the state budget Tuesday afternoon, the latest step in ending the nation's longest government shutdown in recent years. Lawmakers will vote on 12 bills that were drawn up in accordance with the budget deal that Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders reached last Thursday.

Newark Star-Ledger: Gov. Christie gives green light for N.J. medical marijuana program
Gov. Chris Christie said [Tuesday] he has directed the state health department to "move forward as expeditiously as possible" with the state's medical marijuana program he put on hold in April, while awaiting for assurances from federal law enforcement officials that state employees and licensed growers would not be vulnerable to prosecution.

USA Today: First lady teams up with grocers nationwide
A collection of retail heavyweights will join first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to bring fresh fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods to the USA's "food deserts" — impoverished areas with little access to healthy foods. …These changes will serve about 9.5 million people and could create tens of thousands of jobs, says Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council.

For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com

CNN: Murdoch, Brooks defend handling of phone-hacking scandal
Seated side by side, News Corp. magnate Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, told British lawmakers Tuesday they were not to blame in a burgeoning scandal that has raised questions of how much top executives knew about illegal phone hacking and when.

CNN: Taliban spokesman disputes claim that leader Mullah Omar is dead
A Taliban spokesman says the group's phones and website were hacked, and text messages sent out saying their reclusive Afghan leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is dead - a claim the group has denied. Omar is alive and the reports "are just propaganda against our leader and our mission," spokesman Zabihullah Nujahid told CNN.

CNN: U.N. urges action as it declares famine in southern Somalia
The United Nations on Wednesday declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia amid the worst drought in 60 years, which has sent thousands walking for days to neighboring countries in search of food. About 5,000 Somalis have been fleeing weekly in scorching temperatures to refugee camps in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

USA Today: Foreign investment begins to pour into Iraq
The amount of new foreign investment deals is on track to double this year, according to a report by Dunia Frontier Consultants, which specializes in emerging markets. In the first half of this year, Iraq attracted $45.6 billion in foreign investment, about $3 billion more than all of last year, the report says. The rush of investment this year reflects a new confidence in Iraq's stability and a reduction in risk, analysts say.

CNN: Marchers in Yemen condemn protester deaths
Tens of thousands of anti-regime demonstrators marched through Yemeni streets on Tuesday to condemn what they said were government attacks on protesters the day before. Two people were killed and 10 others were wounded on Monday in the capital, Sanaa, according to witnesses and medical officials in Sanaa's Change Square.

For the latest business news: http://www.CNNMoney.com

CNNMoney: Dow's best day of 2011
The Dow industrials staged their strongest one-day rally of the year Tuesday after President Obama indicated that lawmakers are closer to reaching an agreement on raising the debt ceiling. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.6%, or 202 points - its largest rise of 2011. Of its 30 components, 27 were in the black.

CNNMoney: Apple's record day
The consumer electronics giant set record after record on Tuesday, hitting all-time highs with its quarterly profit and revenue, its stock price, and with iPhone and iPad sales. …On a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Apple's Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the iPhone's strong quarter can be attributed primarily to robust sales growth in emerging markets like China, Latin America, Brazil, and the Middle East.

New York Times: Weak Recovery Weighs on Bank of America and Wells Fargo
Second-quarter numbers on Tuesday from the nation’s two biggest consumer lenders, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, showed the toll the sluggish economy was taking on revenue growth. As Americans increasingly dig out of debt, lenders’ income is being reduced by a fall-off in mortgages, credit card and other types of consumer loans.

In Case You Missed It…
GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann revealed she suffers from migraines. CNN’s Lisa Sylvester reports.

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