The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click the headlines for more.
High-stakes race for second and third in New Hampshire
While there's little drama over which candidate will win the statewide contest, there's plenty of interest in which candidates come in second and third and gain momentum moving forward towards South Carolina's January 21 contest.
CNN: White House chief of staff stepping down
President Barack Obama announced Monday that White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is stepping down and will be replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew.
CNN: Romney under fire as first primary vote approaches
Hours before the first primary vote of 2012, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney tried to recover from a potential stumble Monday as his presidential rivals intensified their attacks against him.
CNN: Obama campaign hopes to capture buzz in energized New Hampshire
While the political world is focused on the Republican primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is also getting out the vote, quietly testing its organization in what promises to be a key swing state in November.
CNN: Colleague, family: Iranian-American no spy
An Iranian-American ex-Marine convicted of spying on his ancestral homeland and facing a death sentence wouldn't have been involved in espionage, a onetime colleague has said.
CNN: Alabama beats LSU, wins college football championship
Alabama exacted revenge and clinched the Bowl Championship Series on Monday night, besting Louisiana State University 21-0.
CNN: 'Little guy' fight over property rights reaches high court
Chantell and Mike Sackett call their legal challenge against federal regulators a "David vs. Goliath" fight over property rights.
CNN: DEA defends money-laundering operations with Mexicans
The Drug Enforcement Administration strongly defended Monday its involvement in undercover drug trafficking and money laundering with Mexican anti-drug counterparts.
CNN: Robertson: Syria appears divided
Just recently, short-term visas were issued to a number of journalists so they could follow the dozens of Arab League monitors already in the country. The journalists' presence was demanded by the Arab League as part of its agreement with Syria, according to Nic Robertson, CNN's senior international correspondent.
CNN: Uranium enrichment begins at Iranian site
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency confirmed Monday that uranium enrichment has begun at a nuclear facility in northern Iran.
CNN: Nigerians protest end of fuel subsidy
Police and protesters clashed across Nigeria on Monday amid a nationwide strike and widespread protests over a government decision that more than doubled fuel prices in the largely impoverished country.
CNN: Two more monks set themselves alight in China
A former Tibetan monk has died and another is seriously injured after setting themselves on fire in southwest China's Sichuan province on Friday - the 13th and 14th acts of self-immolation in the country since March.
CNN Money: IRS gives offshore tax cheats another chance to come clean
The IRS has collected $4.4 billion from two programs that allowed tax evaders hiding money in offshore accounts to come clean and said it will launch a similar initiative this year.
CNN Money: Stocks take a step higher
Stocks edged higher Monday as investors continued to keep a close eye on events in Europe and geared up for the start of fourth-quarter corporate earnings announcements.
CNN Money: Alcoa reports loss
Aluminum producer Alcoa kicked off earnings season Monday with a fourth-quarter loss in line with analysts' expectations.
In case you missed it...
On the day before the New Hampshire primary, Newt Gingrich gets aggressive. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.