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: Just days before Iowa caucuses, GOP presidential field is still unsettled
Forget all of the complaints about the Iowa caucuses. It may be good for everyone else that the Hawkeye State is going first.
CNN: Candidates turn negative in multimillion dollar Iowa television ad blitz
Turn on the TV here in the Hawkeye State, and you'll get inundated with a barrage of Republican presidential campaign commercials, with many of them negative in nature.
CNN: Gingrich wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul
Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he wouldn't vote for Ron Paul if the Texas congressman won the 2012 GOP nomination.
CNN: Gingrich’s negative positive ‘discipline’
As he vows on the stump not to counter negative attacks against him, Newt Gingrich blasted his opponents with some intense criticism of his own Tuesday.
CNN: Gun sales at record levels, according to FBI background checks
December holiday shoppers were not just interested in buying the hottest electronics and toys - they also were purchasing record numbers of guns, according to the latest FBI figures on background checks required to buy firearms.
CNN: Discarded embers likely cause of Connecticut blaze that killed 5
Smoldering embers that had been removed from a fireplace likely caused the blaze that killed three children and their grandparents in a Connecticut home Christmas morning, authorities said Tuesday.
CNN: Sexual assaults reported on rise at U.S. military academies
Sexual assaults at the nation's military academies increased sharply in the last academic year, according to a new report from the Department of Defense.
CNN: Clock runs out on $77 million winning lottery ticket
One hundred and eighty days apparently wasn't enough time for the buyer of a winning $77 million lottery ticket to come forward.
CNN: Rights group accuses Syria of hiding detainees from monitors
Syrian authorities have moved perhaps hundreds of detainees to military sites to hide them from Arab League monitors assessing whether the government is upholding a commitment to end its crackdown on protesters, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
CNN: U.S. decision on Yemen risks worsening violence
Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will be allowed to come to the United States for medical treatment in New York, a senior Obama administration official said Tuesday.
CNN: Funeral for N. Korean 'dear leader' set for Wednesday
North Korea kept the world on tenterhooks Wednesday, when the funeral of leader Kim Jong Il was expected to take place in Pyongyang.
CNN: Al Qaeda in Iraq claims responsibility for recent attacks
Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility Tuesday for a string of attacks that killed almost 70 people and wounded more than 200.
CNN Money: Oil jumps over 2% as Iran threatens supplies
Oil prices jumped over 2% Tuesday, crossing the $100-barrel-mark after Iran threatened to choke off the flow of oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
CNN Money: Home prices down for 6th straight month
Home prices fell for the sixth straight month in October, down 1.2% compared with September and 3.4% a year ago, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index.
CNN Money: Sears, Kmart to shut 100-120 stores
Sears Holdings on Tuesday reported a sharp drop in holiday sales compared to a year ago, and said the results will force it to close 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores.
In Case You Missed It…
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his campaign strategy.