The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
CNN: GOP contenders hit the road after CNN debate
The day after what might have been their final debate, the four remaining Republican presidential candidates set their plans Thursday for a nearly two-week sprint across America that could determine who earns the right to square off against President Barack Obama this fall.
CNN: Obama derides energy critics in Miami speech
President Barack Obama said Thursday his Republican critics promising immediate lower gas prices are either uninformed or dishonest, and he pledged in a speech to University of Miami students to continue pushing for alternative energy sources.
CNN: Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning
Afghan rage over the burning of Qurans by NATO troops continued Thursday even after a President Barack Obama apologized for the "error."
CNN: Gingrich first to hit Obama for Afghanistan apology; suggests troop pullout
Newt Gingrich lambasted President Barack Obama for apologizing to Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai Thursday, suggesting the United States pull its troops out of the country after two American troops were killed Thursday.
CNN: Midair helicopter collision kills 7 Marines
Seven U.S. Marines were killed in the midair collision of two U.S. military helicopters along the Arizona-California border, officials said Thursday.
CNN: Maryland Senate approves same-sex marriage bill
The Maryland Senate voted Thursday evening to legalize same-sex marriage, the latest sign of growing national recognition of such unions among gay and lesbian couples.
CNN: John Edwards sex tape to be destroyed after settlement reached
A former aide and a former mistress of one-time presidential candidate John Edwards have settled a civil lawsuit between them that, among other measures, mandates the imminent destruction of sex tapes featuring Edwards and the woman.
CNN: Newark mayor urges probe into NYPD spying program
The mayor of Newark has called for an investigation into a far-reaching New York Police Department surveillance program that was allegedly conducted in the New Jersey city's Muslim neighborhoods.
CNN: Behind the scenes of Australia's political 'soap opera'
In announcing his resignation as Foreign Minister Wednesday, Kevin Rudd referred to the "soap opera" underway in Australian politics.
CNN: Why the world isn't intervening in Syria
As the death toll grows in Syria, so do the desperate pleas for help. "What is the world waiting for?" asked one Syrian woman this week while holed up in a makeshift bomb shelter with her sick son. "For us to die of hunger and fear?"
CNN: Dozens killed in wave of attacks across Iraq
A series of explosions and shootings killed 44 people and injured more than 200 in Baghdad and elsewhere Thursday morning, Iraqi police said.
CNN: Fear of Iran is inflating gas prices
Tensions with Iran are adding at least 30 cents to a gallon of gasoline in the United States, and experts say gas prices have only just begun to rise.
CNN Money: The corporate tax 'shell game'
It sounds great. Lower the top corporate tax rate of 35% and make up for the lost federal revenue by reducing the number of business tax breaks - especially those much maligned and ill-defined "loopholes" carved out by corporate lobbyists.
CNN Money: Stocks close higher on positive economic data
U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, as investors digested better-than-expected economic news.
CNN Money: 35,000 Postal Service jobs on the chopping block
The U.S. Postal Service announced on Thursday new plans to consolidate or close 223 mail processing plants, putting 35,000 jobs at stake starting in late May or June.
In Case You Missed It…
Rudy Giuliani says the GOP's stance on gay marriage makes it look like it "doesn't understand the modern world."