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.
CNN: South Carolina's dirty political reputation outlives reality
Choose your adjective: Hardball. Bare-knuckle. Down-and-dirty. South Carolina has a rich and storied history of tough political tactics.
CNN: Gingrich dogs Romney with pet story
One day after declaring he would not delve into personal attacks, Newt Gingrich kicked the Mitt Romney family dog into the campaign's discourse Wednesday.
CNN: Gingrich: South Carolina will be ‘Armageddon’ of attacks
Newt Gingrich said Wednesday a relentless attack from his rivals ultimately eroded his will to stay positive in the race for the GOP nomination.
CNN: Ahead of South Carolina, Romney hits back against rivals
Mitt Romney, following his first place finish in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary, responded Wednesday to a new ad by rival Newt Gingrich that targets Romney's changing position on abortion.
CNN: Video shows what appear to be U.S. Marines urinating on bodies
A number of websites including TMZ and YouTube posted a video Wednesday showing four men dressed in U.S. Marine Corps combat gear urinating on the apparently dead bodies of three men sprawled on the ground in front of them.
CNN: Mississippi judge blocks release of pardoned prisoners
A Mississippi judge Wednesday evening issued a temporary injunction forbidding the release of any more prisoners pardoned or given clemency by outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour, whose actions created an uproar.
CNN: Man faces deportation despite marriage to U.S. citizen
Frederic Deloizy says his life began the day he met Mark Himes by chance at a birthday party in April 1990.
CNN: A planet for every star
Researchers have concluded that each star in the Milky Way galaxy likely has at least one planet orbiting it, meaning that our galaxy has at least 100 billion planets to its name.
CNN: Syrian president predicts 'triumph'
As violence erupted in Homs, Syria's president turned up at a boisterous pro-government rally in Damascus Wednesday, whipping up his followers and again underscoring his view that the months of popular unrest in his nation are the result of a "conspiracy."
CNN: Report: Iran nuclear scientist killed in car bomb blast
A nuclear scientist was killed in a blast in Tehran on Wednesday morning, an Iranian news agency reported, in the latest in a string of attacks that Iran has blamed on Israel.
CNN: Japan is ready to cut oil imports from Iran, finance minister says
Japan is prepared to gradually reduce the amount of oil it imports from Iran, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Thursday, as the United States seeks to muster international support to put fresh pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.
CNN: Ahmadinejad: Why does U.S. punish Iranians, Cubans?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Cuba Wednesday and called on developing countries to unite against "imperialism and capitalism."
CNN Money: Why bankruptcy isn't a brand killer
Neither bankruptcy nor a liquidation can kill iconic brands.
CNN Money: Stocks end little changed
U.S. stocks recovered from earlier losses to end little changed Wednesday as concerns about Europe's weak economy and debt crisis weighed on the market.
CNN Money: Obama to business: Bring jobs home
President Obama is meeting with executives from 14 companies Wednesday to encourage them to bring jobs back to the United States.
In Case You Missed It…
CNN's Brian Todd looks at the large number of bus crashes and violations in Washington, most of which were caught on tape.