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: Perry comes under fire at the CNN/Tea Party debate
With Texas Gov. Rick Perry threatening to cement his standing atop the national polls, his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination aggressively sought to undermine his conservative credentials on Monday during the first-ever CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida.
CNN Poll: Social Security needs changes, but it's not a failure
Most Americans believe the Social Security system needs major changes but they disagree with the characterization of Social Security as a lie and a failure, according to a new national survey.
CNN: House Republicans oppose Obama's method to pay for jobs plan
President Barack Obama said Monday his $447 billion jobs plan is a common-sense approach needed right away, but House Republican leaders said they opposed Obama's intention to pay for it by ending tax relief for corporations and the wealthy.
Los Angeles Times: Pentagon to drastically cut spending on Afghan forces
The Pentagon is planning to slash U.S. assistance to Afghanistan's army and police by more than half over the next three years, settling for a no-frills Afghan security force to battle the Taliban-led insurgency after American forces pull out.
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CNN: Homeowners begin to return to fire-ravaged Texas neighborhoods
More areas of Bastrop County, Texas, were reopened to residents Monday following the devastating wildfire that destroyed more than 1,500 homes. "Our goal is to get everybody back in by Thursday," said county Judge Ronnie McDonald.
CNN: September 11 memorial debuts in New York
For the first time since the terror attack on the World Trade Center, the general public is being allowed back onto the site. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, members of the city council and some 9/11 victims' family members welcomed the first visitors to the 9/11 memorial plaza that opened on schedule Monday.
USA Today: California weighs college aid for illegal immigrants
…Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is considering signing a bill that would grant financial aid to some illegal immigrants attending state colleges and universities. That would be in addition to laws that allow some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition and let them accept privately funded college grants.
Washington Post: Study: College graduates driving increase in bankruptcy filings
College graduates are the fastest-growing group of consumers who have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past five years, according to a new study by a financial nonprofit, which underscores the broad reach of the Great Recession.
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CNN: More people killed in Syrian military operations, rights group says
At least 26 people were killed Monday in the Syrian government's ongoing crackdown on dissidents, the pro-democracy group Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. Among the dead was a 12-year-old boy shot to death when Syrian security forces fired on a funeral procession, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
CNN: Libya's interim leader promises to build 'a state of law'
Libya's interim leader promised to build "a state of institutions, a state of law" Monday during his first public address from Tripoli. "We aim to establish a state of law, a state of welfare, a state where Islamic Sharia law is the main source of legislation," said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman and head of the National Transitional Council (NTC).
CNN: Kenya pipeline explodes, flattening homes, killing scores
A fuel pipeline exploded in a densely populated Nairobi slum Monday morning, flattening homes, reducing some bodies to dust and forcing a massive evacuation of the area amid fears that big pools of leaked fuel could ignite, police and Kenya Red Cross officials said.
CNN: Iraqi police: Gunmen ambush Shiite pilgrims, killing 22
Gunmen shot 22 passengers to death after intercepting a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims Monday night in Iraq's Anbar province, police officials said. The bus was en route to Karbala from Damascus, Syria, and was in the al-Nukhaib area when it was stopped by gunmen, said police officials in Ramadi, the provincial capital.
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CNNMoney: More layoffs looming on Wall Street
Bank of America announced a five-fold increase Monday in its number of layoffs, noting that it plans to get rid of 30,000 jobs over a yet unspecified period. …Expect a perhaps not as drastic but significant increase in layoffs from Bank of America's major competitors in the coming weeks and months.
CNNMoney: Stocks rally on hopes that China will buy Italy's bonds
Stocks finished a choppy session higher Monday, as investors who have been worried about a deepening European debt crisis pinned their hopes on a report that China is in talks with Italy to buy the cash-strapped country's debt.
Wall Street Journal: Pain Mounts for Europe Banks
Europe's banks, burdened by concerns about exposure to ailing Greece, took a perilous turn Monday despite efforts by the biggest of them to calm panicked investors. France's financial system was especially hard hit, with shares in its three largest banks all falling more than 10%, as concerns about Greek default continued to cascade across Europe.
In Case You Missed It…
Gov. Rick Perry's record of handling illegal immigration comes under fire during the CNN/Tea Party Republican Debate.