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: Co-chairs of special deficit panel issue first statement
President Barack Obama will propose ideas for how the special congressional committee created by the recent debt ceiling deal can reach a deficit reduction plan that exceeds the required $1.5 trillion total, a White House spokesman said Wednesday. …Meanwhile, the co-chairs of the committee said Wednesday they are working to set rules for how the panel will operate and to determine a meeting schedule.
New York Times: U.S. May Back Refinance Plan for Mortgages
The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.
CNN: 9/11 families meet with AG Holder on hacking probe
An attorney for some of the families told reporters after Wednesday's 75-minute meeting at the Department of Justice that the roughly dozen 9/11 relatives who took part were pleased with the talks and believed their concerns were being taken seriously.
CNNMoney: 100+ CEOs promise no campaign donations
Led by Howard Schultz of Starbucks, more than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to halt all political campaign contributions until lawmakers, as Schultz puts it, "stop the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C." …AOL's Tim Armstrong, Frontier Communications' Maggie Wilderotter, Zipcar's Scott Griffith, Whole Foods' Walter Robb and Intuit's Bill Campbell have all signed up.
CNN: Romney faces rowdy town hall crowd
Mitt Romney got a taste of the rowdy reception some members of Congress have faced at town halls this summer when he was hectored about his positions on issues ranging from government spending to entitlement programs by several voters in Lebanon Wednesday.
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CNN: Coastal Carolina evacuates as Irene slams the Bahamas
Mandatory evacuation orders for parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks will take effect Thursday morning as state emergency officials prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, now battering the Bahamas with sustained winds of 115 mph.
CNN: Judge hears arguments challenging Alabama immigration law
Opponents of the measure - including state church leaders, the U.S. Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union - are asking a judge to stop the law, which is scheduled to go into effect September 1. State officials argue that the law will help Alabama and won't violate civil rights.
CNN: Muslim coalition calls for investigation of alleged NYPD surveillance
New York-area Muslims and civil liberties advocates called Wednesday for investigations and hearings after a report said that in the years since the 9-11 attacks, city police have carried out covert surveillance on Muslims with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency.
CNN: Airline passengers get new protections
Flying may get just a little less frustrating and a bit more transparent starting Tuesday, when new federal airline passenger protection rules go into effect. …Here is what you need to know about the Department of Transportation's new protections.
CNN: Washington Monument closed indefinitely after rare earthquake
The Washington Monument was closed indefinitely Wednesday as engineers studied ways to repair cracks at the top of the capital's iconic structure - one day after a rare 5.8-magnitude East Coast earthquake.
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CNN: Rebel government, NATO hunt for Gadhafi
The future of Libya remained in question Thursday as rebel leadership moved to secure money to rule, while fighters encountered fierce pockets of resistance. The biggest question for the opposition is the whereabouts of Moammar Gadhafi, who remains elusive despite a $1.4 million bounty and a promise of amnesty by the opposition for anyone who captures or kills the dictator.
CNN: 12 deaths reported in Syria as government promises democracy
Syrian security forces battled demonstrators Wednesday, killing a dozen more people, a Syrian opposition group said as the Syrian government vowed it was taking steps to achieve democracy.
CNN: Israeli warplanes strike Gaza
Israeli warplanes struck several times Wednesday and early Thursday along the country's border with Gaza, killing three people and wounding several others, medical sources told CNN.
CNN: Indian anti-corruption activist fasts for 10th day as talks stall
Talks stalled between the Indian government and supporters of Anna Hazare as the anti-corruption activist's hunger strike entered its 10th day Thursday. …Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged Hazare to end his hunger strike and said that a compromise can be found.
CNN: Pentagon warns of potential problems with militarily strong China
The Pentagon issued fresh warnings Wednesday that China's military expansion could stir up new tensions and provoke dangerous misunderstandings. …[T]he U.S. continues to voice its concerns about a steady Chinese military buildup, including testing of a stealth fighter jet, sea trials of an aircraft carrier it purchased and rebuilt and development of new capabilities under the seas, in space and online.
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CNNMoney: Apple CEO Steve Jobs resigns
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has resigned and will be replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, the company said late Wednesday. Jobs will stay on as Apple's chairman. Apple made no mention of Jobs' health in its statement about the change, but Jobs alluded to it in the letter of resignation he sent to Apple's board on Wednesday and later released publicly.
CNNMoney: Gold sinks 5% as stimulus hopes wane
Gold prices dropped sharply Wednesday after a surprisingly strong report on new orders for durable goods dashed hopes of more easing from the Federal Reserve. Gold futures for December delivery tumbled $95.80, or 5.1%, to settle at $1,765.50 an ounce - the lowest level in a week.
CNNMoney: Stocks: Winning 3 for 3
Stocks kept the positive momentum going Wednesday, finishing higher for a third straight session as investors cheered a rise in durable goods orders. The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 144 points, or 1.3%, while the S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1.3%. After dipping into the red in earlier trading, the Nasdaq composite added 22 points, or 0.9%.
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Journalists once trapped inside the Rixos hotel in Tripoli have been allowed to leave.