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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CNNMoney: Market wants Bernanke to be Mighty Mouse
[A] lot of this week's market "strength" has largely been attributed to investor hopes that Bernanke will offer up more help for the stagnant economy. It's as if investors think he's Mighty Mouse. Or, at a bare minimum, Andy Kaufman lip-syncing to Mighty Mouse. "Here I come to save the day!" …So can Bernanke live up to the hype?
Washington Post: In memoir, Cheney defends decisions, Bush as president
Former vice president Richard B. Cheney provides an unapologetic defense of the George W. Bush administration in his memoir to be released next week, including explanations of his own decisions on contested national security and domestic policies that often come at the expense of former Cabinet members and colleagues.
CNN: Pataki decides against White House run
Former New York Gov. George Pataki will not run for the Republican presidential nomination, a source close to Pataki tells CNN. Pataki, who had been flirting with a White House bid for months, was scheduled to appear this weekend in the key early voting state of Iowa.
POLITICO: Clock ticking on Sarah Palin entry into 2012 presidential race
Even for Sarah Palin, there are deadlines. The former Alaska governor seems to believe that most of the rules of politics don’t apply to her — that with her media appeal and her grass-roots following, she could waltz into the presidential campaign at the 11th hour and make a go of it.
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CNN: Hurricane Irene stalks U.S. coast, clears the Bahamas
Hurricane Irene was in open water north of the Bahamas early Friday with its eye clearly set on the U.S. East Coast after rampaging along the 500-mile island chain. Irene, packing 115 mph winds, must now churn through hundreds of miles of the Atlantic before an expected landfall in North Carolina on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.
CNN: Dedication of King memorial postponed due to Irene
Sunday's dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington has been postponed because of Hurricane Irene's expected advance on the U.S. East Coast, an organizer said Thursday evening.
CNN: Immigration attorneys: U.S. deportation policy shift starting
The Department of Homeland Security said the government would review about 300,000 deportation cases pending in federal immigration courts. Lower-priority cases - those not involving individuals considered violent or otherwise dangerous - would be suspended under the new criteria.
CNN: Church posts names of Boston clergy accused of child sex abuse
A total of 250 clerics in the Boston Archdiocese have been accused of child abuse in recent decades, according to information made public Thursday by Cardinal Sean O'Malley in an attempt to help resolve an issue tearing at the core of Catholicism.
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CNN: Gadhafi: 'Fight them, destroy them'
The United Nations and its diplomatic partners are calling on rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to avoid revenge killings as evidence emerged of executions in the battle for Tripoli. The group urged Gadhafi and his inner circle to surrender and prevent further bloodshed, a call the fallen leader defied as he exhorted loyalists not to surrender.
CNN: At least 53 killed in Mexico grenade attack
At least 53 people were killed and eight others injured in a reported grenade attack Thursday at a casino in Monterrey, Mexico, the capital of Nuevo Leon, Red Cross officials said. The incident occurred around 4 p.m. local time at the Casino Royale when two people aboard a vehicle arrived, and one threw three grenades into the building.
New York Times: U.S. Widens Role in Mexican Fight
The Obama administration has expanded its role in Mexico’s fight against organized crime by allowing the Mexican police to stage cross-border drug raids from inside the United States, according to senior administration and military officials.
CNN: Japanese prime minister resigns
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose approval rating tumbled following the devastating March earthquake and tsunami, announced his resignation Friday. Kan resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The party will elect a new leader next week, who will take over as prime minister.
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CNNMoney: Buffett bets $5 billion on Bank of America
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced a surprise $5 billion investment in Bank of America Thursday morning, sending shares of the struggling Dow component surging higher. The investment is seen as a major vote of confidence from one of the world's foremost long-term investors.
CNNMoney: Stocks end in red after 3-day advance
U.S. stocks ended sharply lower Thursday, as investors hit the brakes following a 3-day advance, and as nervousness about Europe's debt crisis returned to the spotlight. …Investors also grew anxious about Europe, amid rumors that ratings agencies may downgrade the credit rating in Germany - Europe's largest economy.
CNNMoney: Apple investors happy with Jobs' successor
Investors were saddened but not surprised to learn Wednesday night of Steve Jobs' departure as CEO. Shareholders seem fairly confident that Apple's larger-than-life co-founder and long-time executive has effectively trained Cook and built a bench deep enough to execute the vision he's laid out for the company.
In Case You Missed It…
Middle East expert Fouad Ajami discusses the photo album of Condoleezza Rice found in Gadhafi's compound in Libya.