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: Santorum campaign disputes delegate counts as it claims race is closer
Rick Santorum's campaign is again trying to push back on the narrative that Mitt Romney basically has the Republican nomination fight sewn up. In a new memo, obtained by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, the campaign's delegate strategist John Yob maintained that several factors are not being accurately reported that will help Santorum in the hunt for the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
CNN: Video prompts more outrage over GSA spending
The same week that a report documented massive overspending at the General Services Administration, a video emerged Thursday showing an agency employee joking about the excess spending and saying he would never be investigated for it. The video also mentions an awards program for employees that gave out $200,000 worth of taxpayer-funded iPods, electronics and gift cards to entry-level government employees.
CNN: Romney promises to win Pennsylvania in November
Mitt Romney promised Thursday to win Pennsylvania in November, even as he lowered expectations for a victory here in the Republican primary later this month. "As you know I want to win Pennsylvania in November," Romney said at a small rally held on the roof of a downtown Harrisburg office building. "I'm going to win Pennsylvania in November."
CNN: White House focuses on women
For the third year in a row, the White House is holding a conference focused on women but they insist politics has nothing to do with it. The White House Council on Women and Girls is hosting the White House Forum on Women and the Economy where business leaders, education leaders, and Cabinet secretaries will discuss a gamut of issues from healthcare to workplace flexibility to help for small businesses run by women. President Obama will address the diverse group of participants when he gives the keynote remarks in the morning session.
CNN: Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout handed 25-year federal sentence
Convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was sentenced Thursday to 25 years behind bars by a federal judge in New York. "I am not guilty," Bout said through a translator. "I never intended to kill anyone. I never intended to sell any arms to anyone. God knows this is the truth." Last year Bout, who was dubbed "the merchant of death" by his accusers, was convicted on four counts of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization.
CNN: Sandusky hearing postponed because of ongoing investigation
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky briefly appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom Thursday before the judge adjourned the hearing, saying that court decisions will be postponed because the grand jury investigation is still ongoing.
CNN: Former CIA officer charged with revealing information to journalists
A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday for allegedly disclosing classified information to journalists and lying to a CIA review board about material in a book he wrote. John Kiriakou, who worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, faces a maximum of 45 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
CNN: Lawyers: Zimmerman whispered 'punks' before shooting Trayvon Martin
George Zimmerman told his lawyers that he whispered "punks," not a racial slur, in the moments before he shot Trayvon Martin, his attorneys told CNN on Thursday. Some people interpreted the police recording of Zimmerman's call to 911 as evidence the fatal shooting was racially motivated.
CNN: Yemen pours troops into battle with al Qaeda
Yemen has poured thousands of troops into a battle with al Qaeda fighters in two southern provinces amid new airstrikes that killed a dozen of the militants Thursday, security officials said. Yemeni warplanes have been bombarding al Qaeda hideouts all week in a series of U.S.-supported airstrikes on the southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan.
CNN: Hand over Saif Gadhafi, court tells Libya
Libya must make arrangements to hand over Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to the International Criminal Court immediately, court officials said Thursday, complaining that the son of Libya's deposed leader has been mistreated and "physically attacked" since he was captured last year.
CNN: UK broadcaster Sky News admits e-mail hacking
UK news channel Sky News said Thursday it had authorized its journalists to hack illegally into the e-mail of individual members of the public on two occasions. John Ryley, head of Sky News, said the instances involved suspected criminal activity. "We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest," he said in a statement. "We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently."
CNN: Satellite documents thinning ice shelf
A European satellite has observed a rapid retreat of one of Antarctica's ice shelves, which is half the size it was 10 years ago, the European Space Agency said Thursday. The agency's Envisat satellite shows part of the Larsen Ice Shelf, which lies on a peninsula south of Chile, has decreased from 1,337 square miles in March 2002 to 645 square miles today, a change the European Space Agency blames on warmer temperatures.
CNN Money: Obama signs bill to help companies go public
President Obama on Thursday signed into law a bill that makes it easier for companies to become publicly traded by bypassing audits and disclosures now required for investors. The bill is called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act and it sailed through both chambers of Congress last month with overwhelming support from both parties.
CNN Money: Rents keep rising as home prices stagnate
Renting used to be cheaper than buying. But in many U.S. cities that's no longer the case, as rents continue to climb and home prices stagnate. While asking prices for homes declined 0.7% over the past 12 months through March, rents rose 5%, according to a report released Thursday by real estate listing site Trulia.
CNN Money: Europe's still a thorn, but 'out of crisis mode'
Europe is still mired in a debt crisis, but Wall Street experts are largely hopeful that the worst is over. Only five of the 33 market strategists surveyed by CNNMoney pointed to Europe's debt problems as the market's biggest headwind to stocks for the remainder of 2012 - down from more than two-thirds of those surveyed at the start of the year.
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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley joins Wolf Blitzer to discuss politics, race, and her new book, "Can't Is Not an Option"