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: Romney stays optimistic before Tuesday votes despite unwavering challengers
The Republican primary calendar resumes this week with contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, all of which former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is expected to win. While Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have aknowledged Romney currently has the advantage, both reiterated Sunday that they will stay in the race until a candidate reaches 1,144 delegates - the necessary threshold to win the Republican presidential nomination.
CNN: Biden stands by Obama on 'hot mic' controversy
Vice President Joe Biden defended President Barack Obama on Sunday, saying the president was only stating "the obvious" in his "hot mic" moment with the Russian president earlier this week. "The idea that in this election year we're going to be able to deal with an agreement with the Russians on further reducing our nuclear arsenals ... is difficult," Biden said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
CNN: Clinton criticizes Romney's remarks on Russia
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit back Sunday against Mitt Romney's comments this week that Russia is America's main "geopolitical foe." Labeling Romney's words as "dated," Clinton said in an interview with CNN there were more pressing matters of concern in global affairs.
CNN: Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson endorses Romney
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney locked up the support of Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on Sunday. “He’s dedicated toward solving those problems. He is ready, willing and able to lead this nation, unlike President Obama. So today I’m happy to announce my full support and my endorsement of Gov. Romney to be the next president of the United States,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
CNN: Trayvon Martin's family seeks federal review of prosecutor
Trayvon Martin's parents will ask the U.S. Justice Department on Monday to review a Florida prosecutor's interactions with police investigating the teen's shooting death, a lawyer for the family said.
CNN: After $650 million in Friday sales, 3 win frenzied Mega Millions lottery
Would you rather have $1 to spend, or $1.49 billion? For winners in three states, all it took was a dollar to cash in and reap the rewards of Friday's record-setting Mega Millions jackpot. By picking the same winning numbers - 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 with a Mega Ball of 23 - they earned an equal share of the $656 million jackpot, which amounts to about $218 million each, before taxes, under the annuity option.
CNN: 2 injured sailors rescued by Coast Guard, to be flown for treatment
After bad weather hindered earlier emergency efforts, two seriously injured sailors were safely on a boat off California's coast Sunday evening - preparing to fly to San Francisco after their 67-foot racing yacht was damaged a day earlier by high seas, a Coast Guard official said.
CNN: Ray Charles' foundation sues his children
A foundation created by Ray Charles is suing seven of the late singer's children, accusing them of violating a deal with their father not to claim any rights to his estate. The Ray Charles Foundation accuses the adult children of sending copyright termination notices to music publishers claiming they owned the songs, which the foundation contends it owns.
CNN: Suu Kyi's party says it won nearly all seats it contested in Myanmar elections
The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Monday it had won at least 43 out of the 44 parliamentary seats that it contested in by-elections in the southeast Asian country. "This is not our triumph, this is a triumph of the people," Suu Kyi said as she arrived the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Yangon to meet with fellow candidates and other party members.
CNN: Report: At least 16 dead in Siberia plane crash
At least 16 people were killed after a twin-engine plane crashed in Siberia on Monday, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said. The plane crashed on takeoff from the city of Tyumen, a spokesman for the rescue operations headquarters told the news agency.
CNN: Bin Laden's widows expected to be charged in Pakistan
Three widows of Osama bin Laden are expected to be charged Monday with living illegally in Pakistan, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The three women - identified by U.S. and Pakistani officials as Amal Ahmed Abdul Fateh, Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sabar - have been in Pakistani custody since U.S. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad and killed the al Qaeda leader in May 2011.
CNN: Syria cracking down on journalists, activists say
The Syrian government is trying to "systematically dismantle" the anti-regime "citizen journalist network" and have seized a key player in the operation, activists told CNN Saturday. The regime has been making arrests and have seized Ali Mahmoud Othman - instrumental in the evacuation of the wounded journalists from inside the Homs' neighborhood of Baba Amr, an activist who asked not to be named for security reasons said Saturday.
CNN Money: Will growth keep the stock rally going?
After a stellar first-quarter performance, investors are hoping the stock market can maintain its momentum into the holiday-shortened week ahead. The major indexes all posted gains last week, closing out a blockbuster quarter.
CNN Money: Mixed view on China manufacturing
China watchers got a mixed view over the weekend of the country's all-important manufacturing sector. China's government reported that manufacturing expanded in March, while a closely-watched private report said factories struggled with poor demand for their products.
CNN Money: Pimco's Gross: More ETFs in the works
After only a month, Pimco's Total Return ETF is already outperforming its bigger peers, and Pimco founder Bill Gross is just getting started. Gross, who manages the Total Return ETF as well as the flagship $250 billion mutual fund that it seeks to mimic, said he's been pleased with the performance of the ETF and that Pimco is already laying the groundwork for "a number of" other actively managed ETFs.
In case you missed it…
Rep. Paul Ryan weighs in on Mitt Romney's 2012 bid, the budget, and Wisconsin politics.
Mittens did not start Planned Parenthood, but he promised to end it if he is elected. That would eliminate 3 million women from getting cancer screening.
Ronald Reagan ended the cold war with Russia, and Mittens is on the verge of starting it up again.
Mittens did not start the class warfare on the middle class 30 years ago, but he has promised to intensify it by siding with Wall Street and not Main Street, and by virtually eliminating medicare by endorsing the Ryan plan medicare vouchers,