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: 5 GOP candidates compete at South Carolina forum
Five of the Republican Party's leading presidential contenders traveled to South Carolina on Labor Day to kiss the ring of tea party kingmaker Jim DeMint at a first-of-its-kind forum devoted to the Constitution and the role of government.
CNN: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to unveil jobs plan
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will unveil his jobs plan in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the latest among Republican presidential hopefuls to come out with a proposal to grow the economy and boost employment. Romney provided a general outline in a USA Today piece Monday. He said his plan will contain 59 specific proposals to turn the economy around, "including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office".
CNN: Obama rallies union supporters on Labor Day
President Barack Obama told a Labor Day crowd in Detroit that he's prepared to fight for a new job growth plan, defend organized labor and take steps to "restore the middle class in America," while five Republican candidates hoping to defeat him next year all called for repealing the major legislation passed so far in Obama's presidency.
CNN: Postal chief to testify on Capitol Hill as USPS could face default
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is set to testify at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday as the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service faces a possible default. …But officials promise no interruption in the mail, the payroll or payments to suppliers if a default were to occur.
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CNN: As crews battle Texas wildfires, residents wait to return home
The state is battling several blazes as hot and dry weather - coupled with a historic drought - have made conditions ripe for rapid fire growth. Fires were reported in at least 17 counties. And at least 63 new fires erupted over the weekend. A record 3.5 million acres - an area roughly the size of Connecticut - have burned since the start of the season in November.
CNN: Hurricane Katia strengthens to Category 4 storm
Katia has intensified to a Category 4 hurricane, churning northwest in the Atlantic Ocean and bringing the threat of dangerous rip currents to the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda, forecasters said.
CNN: New Mexico to mull changes to immigrant driver's licenses
New Mexico - one of three states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses - is debating whether to change the practice. On Tuesday, the state's lawmakers are scheduled to take up the issue in a special session.
Washington Post: Rhode Island considers radical moves as pensions put state on brink
[W]ith states facing, by one estimate, a combined $3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities and the economic downturn continuing to dampen government tax revenue, states are beginning to make changes once considered unthinkable — such as cutting pensions for people in retirement.
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CNN: Top al Qaeda leader arrested in Pakistan
The Pakistani intelligence service has arrested a senior al Qaeda leader who sought to attack targets in the United States, Europe and Australia, the Pakistani military said Monday. The intelligence service arrested Younis al-Mauretani and two al Qaeda associates in the suburbs of Quetta, Pakistan, the military said in a statement.
CNN: China denies report, says it did not sell weapons to Libya
Documents showing that China offered to sell arms to Moammar Gadhafi in the waning days of his rule are "the real deal," a senior member of Libya's transitional government said Monday.
New York Times: Life in Syria’s Capital Remains Barely Touched by Rebellion
It does not take long to realize that there is a disconnect between Damascus and the rest of Syria. With a mix of denial and fear, and occasionally even satisfaction at the government’s determination to stanch dissent, many Damascenes insist on another reality.
CNN: Council of Europe demands truth on CIA 'black sites'
The human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe urged countries that have hosted secret CIA prisons to come clean Monday, as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Thomas Hammarberg said Poland, Romania and Lithuania were among at least seven countries that hosted "black sites" for "enhanced interrogation" during the "war on terror."
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Los Angeles Times: Many retail industry analysts predict a good holiday season
As retailers head into the all-important holiday season, they have reason to be optimistic: Months of solid sales are widely expected to carry through to the end of the year, when shoppers are most likely to open their wallets.
CNNMoney: Honda recalls 1 million cars globally
Honda said Monday that it will recall 1 million cars globally to fix an electrical problem and a software glitch. The company is recalling 936,000 cars worldwide from its Fit and CR-V lines to replace the master switch for the cars' power windows.
Financial Times: US banks offered deal over lawsuits
Big US banks in talks with state prosecutors to settle claims of improper mortgage practices have been offered a deal that is proposed to limit part of their legal liability in return for a multibillion dollar payment.
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