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 Poll: Romney at or tied for top spot in first 4 states to vote
Mitt Romney is on the top or tied for the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in new surveys in the first four states to vote in next year's primary and caucus calendar.
CNN: Perry may pass on debates
Arguing the election cycle has too many presidential debates, Rick Perry's top spokesman said the Texas governor could use more time with voters instead of taking the stage with Republican opponents.
CNN: GOP rejects Dems' super committee offer; talks 'deadlocked' over taxes
Democrats on the debt-reduction super committee proposed a plan for slashing up to $3 trillion from the federal debt but Republicans swiftly and decisively rejected it because it relied heavily on tax increases, according to several congressional sources from both parties.
CNN: GOP congressional investigators seek to expand 'Fast and Furious' probe
Congressional Republicans sought Wednesday to expand their investigation of the controversial ATF-approved illegal sale of firearms in Arizona to include an apparently similar operation in Texas.
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CNN: Occupy Wall Street protesters support injured war vet
More Occupy Wall Street protests were scheduled in New York on Thursday, a day after demonstrators marched to support an Iraq war veteran who was hurt in California….The former Marine has become another rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street protests spreading throughout the country.
CNNMoney: Top 1% are getting even richer
From 1979 to 2007, average household income for the nation's top 1% more than tripled, while middle-class incomes grew by less than 40%, according to a new report from a research arm of Congress.
CNN: Homeland chief: Feds won't help Alabama implement immigration law
The Department of Homeland Security is not helping Alabama as it tries to implement its controversial new immigration law, Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.
CBS News: Bernard and Ruth Madoff attempted suicide, says Ruth in her first interview
In the only interview Ruth Madoff has given about her husband's crimes, she tells Morley Safer she and Bernard were so distraught over the burden of those crimes that they attempted suicide together.
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CNNMoney: Finally, Europe has a deal
European Union leaders announced an agreement early Thursday on debt crisis measures, including a hard-fought deal with private sector investors to take a 50% loss on Greek bonds.
CNN: Bangkok district under evacuation, as flooding worsens
The Bangkok district of Sai Mai was under an evacuation order Thursday, a day before the Chao Phraya River was expected to peak at 2.6 meters, above the 2.5 meter embankment. Residents were urged to flee the rising floodwaters, which have already forced the closure of Bangkok's Don Muang airport and the evacuation of flood victims who have taken refuge there.
CNN: Libya's timetable for going it alone still uncertain
A Libyan ambassador told the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that his country would like the NATO no-fly zone to be terminated by the end of this month, but he added that Libya's security concerns would need to be evaluated before a final decision could be made.
CNN: 17 reported dead in Syria clashes
The latest violence occurred as opposition leaders called for a nationwide general strike, and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad huddled in Damascus with other regional leaders at an Arab League Ministers meeting.
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CNNMoney: Freddie Mac CEO to resign
The chief executive of mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac will step down during the coming year, the latest blow to the troubled government-backed firm. …The FHFA did not offer an explanation for Haldeman's departure.
CNNMoney: Ex-Goldman director indicted in insider case
Former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble director Rajat Gupta was indicted on insider trading charges Wednesday, U.S. prosecutors say. According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gupta was charged with six counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
CNNMoney: Chrysler workers OK contract
Union workers at Chrysler narrowly approved a new 4-year labor agreement with the automaker, completing this year's contract negotiations with the recovering U.S. Big Three automakers.
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A new Pentagon investigation found a "stunning" rise in attempts to steal U.S. military secrets.