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: Bachmann, Pawlenty tensions boil over in Iowa debate
Long simmering tensions between Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty boiled over Thursday during a Republican presidential debate in Iowa, as the two candidates engaged in a harsh back and forth over their White House qualifications.
CNN: Perry appeals to social and fiscal conservatives
With Republicans expressing general dissatisfaction over the field of presidential candidates so far, [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry's expected entry to the race is considered an effort to galvanize the divided political right behind a contender who can appeal to tea party and Christian conservatives as well as pro-business moderates.
CNNMoney: Dow surges 423 points
Stock markets continued their schizophrenic week Thursday as all three indexes surged on positive earnings and labor market news. …Thursday's rally was driven by a report showing jobless claims fell to a four-month low, and by Cisco Systems' better-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.
CNN: Obama blames political impasse for continuing economic woes
Declaring himself frustrated with political fighting in Congress, President Barack Obama on Thursday blamed some of the nation's continuing economic troubles on government inaction and urged Americans to tell their elected representatives in Washington to pass bills that will create jobs.
CNN: Pelosi names three House Democrats to complete debt panel selection
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday appointed Reps. James Clyburn, Xavier Becerra and Chris Van Hollen to the special congressional committee on deficit reduction, completing selection of the 12-member bipartisan panel created under last week's debt ceiling agreement.
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CNNMoney: Postal Service asks Congress to allow 120,000 layoffs, overhaul benefits
According to documents obtained by CNNMoney, the United States Postal Service is appealing to Congress to remove collective bargaining restrictions in order to lay off 120,000 workers. It also wants congressional approval to replace existing government health care and retirement plans.
CNNMoney: Mortgages rates keep falling: 30-year nears record low
In the tumultuous days following Standard & Poor's debt downgrades, rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to 4.32%, down from 4.39% last week and closed in on a record low of 4.17% set last November, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
Los Angeles Times: Falcon hypersonic vehicle test flight fails
A test flight of an experimental aircraft traveling at 20 times the speed of sound ended prematurely Thursday morning when the arrowhead-shaped vehicle failed and stopped sending back real-time data to engineers and scientists who were monitoring the mission.
CNN: Police affidavit: 'I deserved to get shot,' Dougherty sister tells FBI
Just before she and her two brothers were captured after a manhunt lasting more than a week, Lee Grace Dougherty pointed her machine pistol at a Colorado police chief, but the chief fired his .40-caliber handgun first, wounding her in the right upper thigh, according to an investigator's affidavits released Thursday.
CNN: Former judge gets 28 years for scheme to unjustly jail youth
A former Pennsylvania juvenile judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison Thursday after being convicted for a scheme to make millions off unjustly incarcerating young people, court officials said. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was also ordered by a federal judge in Pennsylvania to pay about $1 million in restitution.
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CNN: British PM: Police waited too long to act
British Prime Minister David Cameron told lawmakers that police in London waited too long to begin arresting rioters after unrest broke out Saturday. "What became increasingly clear earlier this week was that there were simply far too few police deployed onto the streets," he said Thursday. "And the tactics they were using weren't working."
CNN: Libyan rebels report progress advancing toward Tripoli
Rebels pushed Thursday northward on three fronts toward the coastal cities of al-Zawiya, Aziziya and Sorman, with their ultimate goal being Tripoli, rebel field commander Adel Al-Zintani told CNN. Six rebels died and dozens more were wounded in fighting Wednesday and Thursday, he said.
CNN: Tensions ripple in Syria as U.S., Turkey address crisis
Syrian troops rolled into the northwestern city of Saraqib early Thursday morning, just hours after evening prayers there called for an end to President Bashar al-Assad's reign, an opposition group said. This came as world powers scurried to find a solution to the five-month-long crisis engulfing the country.
CNN: U.N. far short of dollars to deal with Africa famine
The United Nations is desperately trying to convince donors to get generous with their pocketbooks in order to stave off further suffering in the famine-wracked Horn of Africa. The global body said almost $2.5 billion is needed to cope with the crisis. So far, it has only received 48% of that and is lacking $1.2 billion.
CNN: China slows down high-speed trains amid safety concern
The Chinese government has announced measures to slow down bullet trains nationwide and halt approval for new construction, a move that comes amid increasing public scrutiny on the country's railway safety following a crash last month that killed at least 40 people.
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CNNMoney: Market has downgraded France
It appears that one of the unintended consequences of S&P's decision to cut the U.S. to AA+ from AAA is that investors have begun to question why nations like France, the United Kingdom and, to a much lesser extent, even uber-strong Germany should still have perfect credit ratings. But it is France that is really feeling the brunt of the market's doubts right now.
National Journal: States Could Play Important Role in Shaping Outcome of AT&T Merger
As AT&T makes its case in Washington for why federal regulators should approve its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, AT&T must also pass muster with state utility commissioners and attorneys general in more than a dozen states.
Wall Street Journal: BofA Chief Sees Top U.S. Officials
Embattled Bank of America Corp. boss Brian Moynihan met privately this week with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo amid the bank's campaign to calm investors and employees about the bank's dramatic share slump.
In Case You Missed It…
Meet Mohammed Zahmoul, with war all around him, he says his painting is his Kalashnikov. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.