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: Fed debated QE3 at August meeting
Federal Reserve policymakers debated the possibility of additional stimulus to jumpstart a stumbling U.S. economy at their most recent meeting on Aug. 9.The Fed said some members argued that such purchases would drive down interest rates further and was the proper response to the growing signs of economic weakness. At least three members argued for immediately pumping more money into the economy.
CNN: ATF head reassigned in wake of 'Fast and Furious' controversy
In steps Tuesday reacting to the controversial Operation Fast and Furious, the Justice Department announced the reassignment of the head of the federal firearms agency and the resignation of a U.S. attorney whose office provided legal guidance for the program involving illegal weapons sales.
CNN: FEMA funding faces now familiar congressional wrangling
As rescuers raced Tuesday to free people trapped by floodwaters caused by Hurricane Irene, Washington politicians bickered over how to pay for it. The same budget arguments that nearly brought the first government default in history earlier this month now raise questions about whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have enough money to deal with Irene's aftermath.
CNN: As poll numbers fall, Romney schedules tea party events
The race is shifting, and some signs point to a recalibration in Romney's strategy as he surveys the changing political landscape. A new CNN/ORC International poll shows that Romney has been rocked from his cushy perch at the top of the field. The August 24-25 poll of Republicans now puts Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the lead with 27% support nationwide.
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CNN: Flood waters surge as states come to grips with Irene's damage
The size of the task still at hand began to sink in Wednesday as states in the Northeast struggled to rebuild roads and bridges, restore power and tame waterways still coursing with floodwaters brought by Hurricane Irene. Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York endured some of the worst flooding.
Austin American-Statesman: Judge strikes down key provisions of sonogram law
A federal judge on Tuesday struck down key sections of a new law that requires women to receive a fetal sonogram and hear about its results at least 24 hours before an abortion. …"Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy, and today's ruling is a great disappointment to all Texans who stand in defense of life," [Gov. Rick] Perry said.
CNN: Government seeks more time to treat Giffords shooting suspect
Federal authorities have asked for more time to try to restore accused Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner's mental competency, saying he is currently unable to stand trial. An order by federal Judge Larry Burns on Tuesday said he will consider the government's request, citing a doctor's new report on Loughner's current mental health.
New York Times: Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot
Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line. …The law, known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is considered the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation.
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CNN: Libyan rebel official predicts Gadhafi's downfall in a week
Libyan rebels expressed fresh optimism that Moammar Gadhafi's rule is about to collapse as a deadline looms for Gadhafi loyalists to disarm or face assault. "I think this thug, this killer knows that he has nowhere to go," said Ali Tarhouni, finance and oil minister for the opposition's National Transitional Council.
CNN: Syria cracks down on demonstrations, opposition says
Syrian security forces cracked down on anti-government demonstrations in cities around the country Tuesday, as prayers marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr turned into protests, opposition sources said.
CNN: British minister's gaffe reveals position on Afghanistan
A senior British Cabinet Minister risked an embarrassing diplomatic row Tuesday after accidentally revealing confidential documents that appeared to welcome the departure of Afghanistan's president.
CNN: Survivors recall casino slaughter: 'We're going to kill all of you'
Two survivors of the casino fire that killed 52 people in the Mexican city of Monterrey last week cast doubt on authorities' description of what happened, saying gunmen opened fire on gamblers inside before setting the building ablaze.
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CNNMoney: Stocks eke out gains
Stocks had a rough day, opening slightly lower, only to sink sharply following a weak consumer confidence report. But the knee jerk reaction was short lived, and stocks bounced back into positive territory before settling into a malaise for much of the day.
Washington Post: Some companies pay their CEOs more than Uncle Sam, study says
It has become a bipartisan article of faith in some quarters that the income tax on U.S. corporations must be lowered. But for many large U.S. companies, the burden of U.S. taxation pales in comparison with what they pay their chief executives, according to a study released Wednesday by the Institute of Policy Studies, a liberal think tank.
CNNMoney: Bank of America still not out of the woods
Even with Warren Buffett in its corner, Bank of America's fight to get past the mortgage bust is far from over. Days after receiving $5 billion vote of confidence form the legendary investor, the list of opponents to BofA's proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in mortgage-backed bonds continues to grow.
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