The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
CNN: CNN Poll: Romney’s likability fading
Mitt Romney's overall favorable ratings have dropped, while Rick Santorum's standing has jumped among Republicans, according to a new national survey.
CNN: Tentative payroll tax cut deal reached, GOP legislators say
Congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal Tuesday to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while avoiding a fee cut for Medicare doctors, according to Republican legislators and aides.
CNN: Perry ponders another White House bid
Rick Perry may "absolutely" run for president again and described the debates in the 2012 primary as good practice.
CNN: Pro Romney PAC weighs in with major ad buy
As Mitt Romney faces a newly energized Rick Santorum, the super PAC supporting Romney, Restore Our Future, is weighing in this week with a major ad buy of more than $1.5 million, the group told CNN Tuesday.
CNN: China's expected next leader to make a nostalgic trip to Muscatine, Iowa
When the man destined to become China's next leader enters a circa 1866 Victorian house in Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday, things will feel familiar. It was here in the town's historic district that Xi Jinping first feasted on Iowa beef and corn during a visit more than two decades ago.
CNN: Whitney Houston's death hits her native New Jersey hard
Many were in diapers, if they were born at all, during Whitney Houston's heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And yet they still feel a special connection to her - and, today, share in the heartache of their parents and neighbors by virtue of the fact that they all call northern New Jersey home.
CNN: Joint chiefs chair: Chinese hacking not necessarily a hostile act
The U.S. top military officer said that, should China's military be found to be behind hacks into the U.S. infrastructure, it would not necessarily be a hostile act.
CNN: Federal agencies recover more than $4 billion in health care fraud losses
The federal government recovered almost $4.1 billion stolen in health care fraud schemes during fiscal year 2011, Obama administration officials announced Tuesday. The figure is up 58 percent from 2009.
CNN: Inside Syria: Fearful residents prepare for a bloody battle
It’s an incredibly intense situation here. It’s also incredibly emotional. Anger is running at an all-time high, as are frustration and desperation. People that we've been talking to, every single one of them has some sort of horrific nightmare or story, and some of them are still too afraid to talk about it publicly with their names attached to it.
CNN: Taliban reveals political strategy for first time
CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson explains that when the Taliban admitted to having talks with U.S. officials, it also showed, for the first time, the group's political strategy and how Taliban leaders might be hoping to get a better deal from the negotiating table than they can hope for from the battlefield.
CNN: Israel blames Iran for Thai bombings
Israel's defense minister blamed Iran for a series of bombings in the Thai capital of Bangkok Tuesday, a day after attacks against the country's diplomats in India and Georgia.
CNN: Italian prosecutors appeal decision to overturn Amanda Knox conviction
Prosecutors in Italy lodged an appeal Tuesday of the acquittal of American student Amanda Knox in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
CNN Money: Tax cut talks: What's at stake
The current Congress has a habit of lurching from crisis to crisis, usually reaching a deal to avoid the unpleasantness du jour just before time runs out.
CNN Money: Stocks rebound, end mixed
U.S. stocks recovered from earlier losses late Tuesday to closed mixed amid an uncertain situation in Greece, where political leaders are scrambling to secure a second bailout and avoid a default.
CNN Money: Berkshire buys Liberty Media stake, ups tech holdings
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has doubled down on its tech holdings while also acquiring new stakes in entertainment conglomerate Liberty Media and dialysis treatment provider Da Vita.
In Case You Missed It…
Former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman and John King talk about the man who will be China's next president.