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: Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart dies at 43
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger whose posting of a sexually explicit photo of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner led to the congressman's downfall, has died, his attorney confirmed Thursday. He was 43.
CNN: Paul: I can take young people away from Obama
Touting his large following of young supporters, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul on Thursday said he's the most likely GOP candidate to make a dent in a key voting bloc for President Barack Obama. "I'm the one person that can take young people away from Obama," Paul said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."
CNN: Senate kills controversial ‘conscience’ amendment
The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to kill a controversial proposal pushed by Republicans that would have allowed employers to opt out of providing health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds.
CNN: Romney widens lead over Santorum
A new national poll released Thursday indicates Mitt Romney has expanded his lead over Rick Santorum and now holds an 11 percentage point advantage over the former Pennsylvania senator.
CNN: Severe storms possible Friday in Ohio Valley, portions of South
After a day of recovery for battered regions of the Midwest and South, a line of storms stretching from Illinois to Louisiana will bring the threat of tornadoes and severe weather Friday, forecasters said. Areas most at risk for twisters are southern Indiana, southern Ohio, most of Kentucky, central Tennessee, northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama.
CNN: Ohio high schoolers set to return to class days after fatal shooting
Students at Ohio's Chardon High School prepared to head back to class Friday for the first time since a gunman walked into the school's cafeteria and killed three teenagers.
CNN: Obama calls for Congress to vote on oil subsidies
A day after Republicans signaled possible compromise with the White House on energy issues, President Barack Obama called Thursday for Congress to vote in the coming weeks on ending billions of dollars in subsidies for the oil industry.
CNN: Sandusky federal probe may have different focus
Federal authorities seem to be stepping into areas where the state attorney general's office hasn't gone. This time, they seem to be exploring the possibility of a cover-up at Penn State, as well as possible bribes, fraud, or misuse of federal money, according to three former federal prosecutors asked to independently review the subpoena Penn State received February 2.
CNN: Iran prepares for first vote since 2009 demonstrations
Campaign workers distributed campaign leaflets and plastered candidate posters along the Iranian capital's tree-lined streets in the final days before Friday's parliamentary elections.
CNN: U.S., international NGO workers out of Egypt
A group of American, European and Palestinian pro-democracy activists accused of fomenting unrest in Egypt left Cairo on a U.S. military jet Thursday after being allowed to post bail, U.S. and Egyptian authorities said.
CNN: 2 French journalists safely out of Syria
Two French journalists who had been trapped for days in the besieged Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr have been moved to safety in Lebanon, officials said Thursday. "I can confirm that it's official," French President Nicolas Sarkozy told BFM-TV about the whereabouts of Edith Bouvier and William Daniels. "They are in security."
CNN: Disabled cruise ship reaches Seychelles
A disabled Italian cruise ship, the Costa Allegra, reached port Thursday after several harrowing days at sea. After about two hours, all the approximately 1,000 people on board were off safely, and "no critical situations" were found, the cruise line said.
CNN Money: Positive economic signals send stocks higher
U.S. stocks rose modestly Thursday as investors welcomed mostly positive economic news and digested testimony from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
CNN Money: Credit unions hit a record number of members
Credit unions hit a record number of members last year, as a growing number of consumers grew fed up with the fees at the nation's biggest banks and took their money elsewhere.
CNN: Zynga launches platform for non-Facebook gaming
Zynga, maker of "FarmVille," is trying to diversify beyond its signature Facebook games. Zynga.com will no longer be just its corporate website — it will also be a platform that features the company's most popular games as well as titles by other publishers.
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Javier Espinosa survived the shelling that killed Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik. He describes the attacks he survived.
The the repubs say hey lets drill in every backyard so that the international. Oil companies will have mercy on us and lower their prices. These naive repubs don't have a clue what "GREED" is. When these folks start getting big money in their pockets they will fight like hell to keep it there, and get more. Obama have to get something to neutralize and compete with this greed, but he wont be successful without the help of the American people's. The American people have to shout "GREEN ENERGY", and support as much as possible. It will stop sending carbon in our atmosphere and help heal the earth from pollutants.
The Seattle Times reluctantly endorsed Mittens after saying he was his own worst impediment. The only thing consistent about Mittens is that he is white. That may be enough to rally enough republicans to overlook his flip-flopping.
In case viewers of Fox foreign owned media with a hint of Saudi, did not hear it on Hanoi Hannity's show, positive economic signals sent stocks higher. And that is without any help from elected republicans..
Practically and frankly speaking, I do not recommend any one from current GOP nominees. Their only goal is to defeat Obama. I am flabbergasted that whether they know that Nation is on right track. GM is alive, and Bin Laden Dead. Karma. That's it.
CNN: Senate kills controversial ‘conscience’ amendment
These so called evangelical activists and politicians are all theocratic hypocrites. Jesus said give to Caesar what is Caesars, and to God what is God's, which suggests that even Jesus believed in a definitive separation of Church and State. The words conservative evangelical politician do not fit together properly. They're just as bad as chocolate cheese soda.