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 wins 3 primaries as Santorum faces uphill battle
Rick Santorum turns his focus to his home state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday as he faces an uphill battle to convince Republicans he can stop Mitt Romney from clinching the party nomination after his three-primary sweep. Romney's wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia put him past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination and add to a wide lead over other GOP presidential candidates, according to CNN estimates.
CNN: Wisconsin win validates Romney's looking-ahead strategy
When Mitt Romney heard he had won Wisconsin's primary - capping off a trio of victories on Tuesday - he jumped up and said: "Let's go!" For Romney, the night was a confirmation of the general election strategy he pursued in events across Wisconsin. Beginning with a Friday speech on his vision for the country's economy, Romney utterly ignored his Republican rivals and focused on President Barack Obama as he looked ahead to the November election.
CNN: Santorum after losses: 'It's halftime'
Despite disappointing finishes in all three of Tuesday's Republican primaries, Rick Santorum indicated no sign of letting up in his quest to win the Republican presidential nomination. "The clock starts tonight," Santorum said to supporters in Pennsylvania.
CNN: Obama attacks GOP budget proposal
President Barack Obama launched a major assault Tuesday on the House-passed Republican budget proposal embraced by front-running GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, calling it "social Darwinism" that would stifle the American dream.
CNN: Cleanup starts after tornadoes tear through Dallas-Fort Worth area
Cleanup efforts began in Texas on Tuesday after tornadoes ripped through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, tossing tractor-trailers like toys, forcing airlines to cancel flights and causing widespread damage. In Lancaster, Texas, south of Dallas, roofs were stripped to bare plywood and houses were speared by flying two-by-fours. About 300 buildings were damaged, according to the city's mayor. A citywide curfew was put in place, and a shelter was opened.
CNN: Suspect in California college shooting to be arraigned
The man accused of gunning down seven people at a California religious college from which he was expelled will be arraigned Wednesday. One L. Goh, 43, sat in an Alameda County jail early Wednesday morning, booked on charges of murder and kidnapping. Authorities said Goh was upset he had been expelled from Oikos University, a small college in Oakland that caters primarily to the Korean-American Christian community.
CNN: New Orleans cops convicted in post-Katrina shootings to be sentenced
Five former New Orleans police officers who were found guilty of shooting unarmed civilians on New Orleans' Danziger Bridge in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will be sentenced Wednesday. The shootings occurred on Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005, six days after much of New Orleans went underwater after the powerful hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast.
CNN: World Trade Center nears landmark height, reaches 100 floors
More than a decade after a terrorist attack brought down New York's twin towers, their replacement - an emerging new addition to the Manhattan skyline - has nearly reached a landmark height. The One World Trade Center is now 100 stories high, stretching just over 1,244 feet and just 6 feet shy of the Empire State Building (without its antenna), according to Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
CNN: U.N. team heads to Syria to talk about monitoring cease-fire
A U.N. advance peacekeeping team is headed to Damascus to discuss deploying observers to monitor a cease-fire, a spokesman for special envoy Kofi Annan said. But growing reports of violence this week suggest high-level diplomatic efforts and promises by the Syrian government have yet to produce any semblance of a cease-fire.
CNN: Yemen airstrikes kill dozens of al Qaeda fighters, officials say
Yemen's air force has killed dozens of al Qaeda fighters in a series of U.S.-supported airstrikes in the country's south, Yemeni officials said Tuesday. At least 38 suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in continuous raids on jihadist hideouts in Yemen's southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan, three security officials told CNN. But the militants still control key towns linking both provinces despite 48 hours of nonstop bombardment, the officials said.
CNN: Moscow steams about Washington funding for democracy groups
Moscow warned that the Obama administration's support for democracy-building organizations in Russia is complicating relations between the two countries. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in an interview with Interfax News Agency, said "This activity is reaching a scale that is turning into a problem in our relations."
CNN: Miss Universe pageant opens to transgender contestant
Gloria Allred's demand that a transgender contestant be allowed to compete in the Miss Canada Universe pageant was trumped Tuesday when pageant owner Donald Trump agreed with her. Allred’s client is Jenna Talackova, a 23-year-old, 6-foot-1-inch tall blond Canadian, who underwent sexual reassignment surgery four years ago. Talackova won a regional beauty crown qualifying her for Canada's national title, but she was then told the May 19 Miss Canada Universe pageant in Toronto was only open to "naturally born females."
CNN Money: Stocks sink as Fed dashes stimulus hopes
U.S. stocks dropped Tuesday after the Federal Reserve indicated it was unlikely it would offer more stimulus anytime soon. Investors grew skittish after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent open committee meeting around 2 p.m. The Fed's comments suggested that it was less likely the central bank would intervene to help the markets unless growth slows.
CNN Money: Class of 2012: More jobs, bigger paychecks
This year's college graduates are being offered more jobs and fatter paychecks. Members of the Class of 2012 are being offered median starting salaries of $42,569 - up 4.5% from last year, a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows. Meanwhile, they have more jobs to choose from. Employers expect to hire 10.2% more graduates this year than they did last year, according to NACE's survey of 160 employers.
CNN: James Murdoch resigns as BSkyB chairman
James Murdoch, the son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, stepped down as the chairman of BSkyB on Tuesday, the British satellite broadcaster announced. He has been hammered by accusations that News Corp.'s British Sunday tabloid the News of the World systematically eavesdropped illegally on crime victims, politicians, celebrities and veterans in search of stories.
In case you missed it…
Sarah Palin laughs at her own expense and chats about the political scene during her appearance on NBC's "Today."