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: Impasse on debt ceiling deal drags into critical week
A vote on a Republican plan originally expected for Wednesday was postponed Tuesday after the Congressional Budget Office said it failed to reduce spending and deficits as much as advertised. The proposal was unveiled Monday by House Speaker John Boehner.
CNN: The 'big headache': Boehner backed into corner by tea party, Obama
On one side, [House Speaker John Boehner] has President Obama painting him as a stubborn teenager who is unwilling to meet halfway on the debt ceiling. On the other side, he has the small but powerful tea party freshman class in the House, many of whom are unapologetic in their desire not to give an inch on tax increases and are quite willing to push the negotiations to - and possibly over - the edge.
CNNMoney: Debt ceiling fight: What a downgrade would mean
Even if lawmakers manage to avoid a self-inflicted calamity by raising the debt ceiling, another economic scourge is lurking just around the corner. It's not the nastiest of "D" words - default. Rather, it's "downgrade."
Los Angeles Times: Debt-ceiling threat has Wall Street scrambling
Business executives stepped up appeals this week for political action, worried that the nation faced a crisis, and prepared contingency plans in case the stalemate persists. At Wall Street banks and investment firms, many traders are putting vacation plans on hold so they can be at their desks Aug. 2.
CNN: Oregon congressman quitting after sex allegations
Embattled U.S. Rep. David Wu will resign from the House of Representatives after being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a fundraiser's daughter, he announced Tuesday. …Gov. John Kitzhaber said he will call for a special election once he has Wu's official resignation.
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CNN: ATF officials admit mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious gun program
Two federal officials admitted Tuesday they made "mistakes" during the controversial Operation Fast and Furious gunrunner program, but they disputed contentions by a parade of other agents that their bureau knowingly let guns "walk" into Mexico.
CNN: Program won't cover 9/11 responders for cancer
Workers who were involved in the response to the World Trade Center attack will not have their cancer treatments compensated under a program set up after September 11, according to a controversial decision released Tuesday by the World Trade Center Health Program.
USA Today: Amid floods, heat and wildfires, some positive weather news
This year's run of extreme weather conditions, which has brought everything from a heat wave to flooding along the Mississippi River to drought and wildfire in Arizona and record snow in the Midwest and Northeast, also has produced some positive results. Rain and snow has boosted water supplies for farms and cities and ended the drought in California. The same conditions have improved habitat for desert wildlife and reduced wildfire risk in many areas out West.
Detroit Free Press: Survey: Nearly 30% of state teachers report pressure to cheat
One out of three public school educators report pressure from bosses, parents or others to change grades, and nearly 30% say pressure to cheat on standardized tests is a problem at their school, according to a voluntary Free Press survey of Michigan educators. At schools that don't meet federal standards, the tension is higher: About 50% say pressure to change grades is an issue, and 46% say pressure to cheat on the tests is a problem.
CNNMoney: Nearly 3,700 post offices slated to close
Your little post office could be slated to close as the U.S. Postal Service tries to find ways to cut red ink. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe released a long-awaited "post office study" of nearly 3,700 potential closings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. …Donahoe said that this and other moves, such as a proposal under consideration to reduce service to five days a week, are necessary to close a $20 billion gap in revenue by 2015.
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CNN: Suspect admired bloggers who believe Europe is drowning in Muslims
[Andres Behring] Breivik's taste in online conversation shows a compulsive interest in websites that see the modern world in terms of a "clash of civilizations," where Christian values are supposedly under siege in the face of an Islamic onslaught. But rarely if ever does he seem to have advocated a violent response to what he saw as the Islamization of Europe, even as he planned a massacre for years.
CNN: Mayor of Kandahar dies in suicide attack
Ghulam Haidar, the mayor of Kandahar, died in a suicide attack at a city meeting hall Wednesday morning, a government official said. "The suicide attacker placed an explosive device in his turban and detonated it inside the city meeting hall," said Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor's office.
Washington Post: U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda on brink of collapse
U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly convinced that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the toll of seven years of CIA drone strikes have pushed alQaeda to the brink of collapse. The assessment reflects a widespread view at the CIA and other agencies that a relatively small number of additional blows could effectively extinguish the Pakistan-based organization that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — an outcome that was seen as a distant prospect for much of the past decade.
CNN: Libyan PM: airstrikes must stop before talks can be held
Libya's prime minister said Tuesday that NATO airstrikes must stop before any negotiations to resolve the five-month-old conflict can begin. His statement came as the United Nations reported that a visit to the country by the secretary-general's special envoy to Libya found the government and the rebels "far apart on reaching agreement on a political solution."
CNN: Mayor: Federal police to pull out of Juarez
Mexico's federal police will begin pulling out of Ciudad Juarez in September, the embattled border city's mayor said Tuesday. The announcement comes after an assessment by the federal police that the city's security situation is under control, Mayor Hector Murguia said. Federal police have determined that local police are in a position to inherit full control of security, he said.
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CNNMoney: Amazon sales jump 51%. Stock surges
Amazon's stock jumped more than 6% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results that topped analyst forecasts. After the close of trade, Amazon reported that its net income in the second quarter fell to $191 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to 45 cents a share in the same quarter last year. Despite the profit drop, results surpassed forecasts.
CNNMoney: BP: One year, a $22 billion turnaround
BP reported $5.3 billion in second-quarter earnings Tuesday, marking a sharp turnaround from the staggering loss the oil company reported in the same period last year. The London-based multinational energy company lost $17.2 billion in the second quarter of 2010 due to costs stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. That translates to a more than $22 billion turnaround year over year.
Wall Street Journal: What's Wrong With America's Job Engine?
What's wrong with the American job engine? As United Technologies Corp. Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes put it recently: "Sales have come back, but people have not." That's largely because the economy is growing much too slowly to absorb the available work force, and industries that usually hire early in a recovery—construction and small businesses—were crippled by the credit bust.
In Case You Missed It…
Investigators in Norway look into fertilizer purchased by alleged shooter Anders Breivik. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.
Congressional Baggers, like Bachmann, see no problem with our credit being downgraded. They view the United States being lowered to the level of Zambia as being good. We knew that during the Bush years, republicans wanted America to become a third world country.