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.
CNN: House Republicans to offer payroll tax plan
Setting up a showdown with the White House and Senate Democrats, House Republican leaders Thursday proceeded with plans to vote next week on a proposal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while easing the path for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
CNN: GOP presidential race: How we got to Newt
Republicans are running out of time to play eeny, meeny, miny, Mitt. With less than four weeks until the Iowa caucuses, GOP voters face a fundamental choice: Go with the candidate who appeals to their heads - or the one who appeals to their hearts.
CNN: Holder to GOP critic: 'Have you no shame?'
GOP critics cranked up the political heat Thursday on Attorney General Eric Holder, threatening impeachment and accusing him of withholding information from Congress about Operation Fast and Furious, a severely flawed and discredited federal gun-sting program.
CNN: Perry declines Trump debate invite
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will not participate in a debate moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump and hosted by NewsMax, his campaign announced Thursday.
CNN: Video from slain Virginia Tech officer's car shows man with gun
A video camera mounted inside the police car of a Virginia Tech police officer slain Thursday showed a man with a weapon who appears to be same person as a man who was later found shot dead about a quarter of a mile away, a Virginia state police official said Thursday night.
CNN: Source: Slain 7-year-old was bound and gagged
New details emerged Thursday in the brutal slaying of a 7-year-old Georgia girl, hours after an attorney for the suspect said his client would plead not guilty.
CNN: Traffic deaths trended down again in 2010, says DOT
Some 32,885 people died on the nation's roadways in 2010 - a number that, while slightly higher than preliminary figures released in April, shows the downward trend in traffic deaths is continuing, now reaching low levels not seen since 1949, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported Thursday.
CNN: Sandusky's wife calls accusations 'absolutely untrue'
Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's wife, Dottie, told CNN that she is angry about accusations of child sexual abuse occurring in her home, calling them "absolutely untrue."
CNN: Tensions rise between Egyptian military and Muslim Brotherhood
The military council that runs Egypt and an Islamist party that has done well in parliamentary elections accused each other Thursday of plotting a dictatorship.
CNN: Putin accuses U.S. of encouraging Russia election protests
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed the United States Thursday for encouraging opposition protests that have broken out since parliamentary elections Sunday.
CNN: U.S. officials, analysts differ on whether drone in Iran TV video is real
Iranian TV aired images Thursday of what it says is a U.S. stealth drone that went down in Iran last week, an apparently intact RQ-170 drone propped on a pedestal and triumphantly displayed.
CNN: American gets 2.5 years for insulting Thai monarchy
A Thai criminal court has sentenced a Thai-born American to 2 1/2 years in prison for insulting the monarchy, the latest case involving controversial laws for defaming, insulting or threatening the royal family.
CNN Money: Europe summit: 'The world is watching us'
Under pressure to deliver a decisive solution to the debt crisis, European leaders sat down Thursday evening in Brussels to begin rethinking the basic structure of the European Union.
CNN Money: S&P sinks 2% on EU worries
U.S. stocks slipped Thursday as anxiety was high ahead of a crucial summit aimed at resolving the European debt crisis.
CNN Money: Corzine: 'I don't know where the money is'
Jon Corzine, the former chief executive officer of the bankrupt broker MF Global, apologized for his firm's failure Thursday and told a House committee that he doesn't know where its missing customer money went.
In Case You Missed It…
President Obama responds to GOP criticism that he has been too appeasing in his foreign policy.