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: Justices asked to accept key health care reform appeal
A 26-state coalition has asked the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of the massive health care reform legislation championed by President Barack Obama. The petition filed Wednesday virtually assures a landmark decision by June, in the thick of a presidential election year.
CNN: GOP stifling efforts for immigration reform, Obama says
Republicans lack the leadership to put comprehensive immigration reform back to the table, President Barack Obama said Wednesday during an online roundtable about issues in the Hispanic community.
CNN: Perry dials back 'heartless' comment
After almost a week’s worth of backlash, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called his word choice “inappropriate” Wednesday after saying fellow conservatives 'have no heart' for disagreeing with a Texas law allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition at public universities.
CNN: Florida will likely hold Jan. primary, threatening presidential calendar
Florida is now expected to hold its presidential primary on the last day in January 2012, a move likely to throw the carefully arranged Republican nominating calendar into disarray and jumpstart the nominating process a month earlier than party leaders had hoped.
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CNN: Man, 26, charged in plot to bomb Pentagon using model airplane
A 26-year-old Massachusetts man with a physics degree was arrested and charged Wednesday with plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol with a remote-controlled model aircraft, authorities said.
CNN: Judge again blocks parts of tough Alabama immigration law
A federal judge has again temporarily blocked enforcement of key parts of a tough immigration law in Alabama. The ruling Wednesday is a partial victory for both sides. The Justice Department had brought suit against state officials to block the law, but Alabama was given the power to enforce some controversial sections.
CNN: More than 2,900 convicted criminal immigrants arrested, ICE says
In a huge, seven-day operation covering all 50 states and four U.S. territories, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 2,901 convicted criminal immigrants as part of the "Cross Check" enforcement operation, ICE officials announced Wednesday.
CNN: Tainted cantaloupes linked to 13 deaths, public health officials say
Thirteen people have died from consuming bacteria-tainted cantaloupe in what has become the most fatal U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness since 1998, according to records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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CNN: Mullen keeps focus on Pakistan government link to Haqqani network
Repeating the thrust of his controversial earlier criticism, retiring Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told CNN's "Fareed Zarkaria GPS" on Wednesday that elements in Pakistan's spy service are "very active" with the Haqqani network launching attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
CNN: Syrian forces pound western city in battle against defectors
Syrian jets supported government ground forces in an attack on the [western city of Al-Rastan] intended to put down a revolt challenging President Bashar al-Assad's hold on power, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria - a network of opposition activists who organize and document anti-government demonstrations.
CNN: Germany prepares to vote on increased powers for bailout fund
European leaders are voting to increase powers of the European Financial Stability Facility - Europe's bailout fund - so it can increase its lending capacity from around €250 billion to €440 billion. … [Chancellor Angela] Merkel is facing rebellion from the streets due to the country's effective underwriting of the eurozone's weaker economies.
Wall Street Journal: Mexico Fears Rise of Vigilante Justice
A self-styled drug-trafficking group calling itself the "Zeta Killers" claimed responsibility this week for the recent murders of at least 35 people believed to belong to the Zetas, Mexico's most violent criminal organization.
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CNNMoney: Stocks: Investors stage retreat
Stocks closed down Wednesday, ending a three-day winning streak for all three indexes. A modest early morning rally gave way to worries over stalled global growth prospects and concerns that European leaders may not be moving fast enough to solve the region's debt problems.
CNNMoney: Amazon unveils $199 Kindle Fire tablet and $79 e-ink Kindle
Amazon's focus is on media consumption, like reading books and magazines as well as watching video and streaming music. …Priced at less than half the $499 starting price of an iPad, the Kindle Fire aims to undercut Apple's wildly popular tablet, which has sold 28 million units since its 2010 debut.
CNNMoney: Lawmakers want Facebook FTC probe
Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas fired off a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, asking for an investigation of Facebook's business practices. In the letter, Markey and Barton take issue with Facebook's practice of gathering information about the websites its users visited even after users logged out.
In Case You Missed It…
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain says the idea that African-Americans won't vote Republican is "brainwashing."