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: Democrat's comment about Ann Romney creates firestorm on Twitter
Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen generated instant bipartisan criticism Wednesday night for her statement that Ann Romney has "actually never worked a day in her life." The reaction on Twitter from high level politicos was instant and virtually unanimous: Rosen had gone too far.
CNN: Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists
Florida Rep. Allen West's controversial comments have once again landed him in the headlines – this time with the sort of accusation not seen in Congress since the 1950s. At a town hall meeting with constituents in Jensen Beach, West was asked how many members of Congress are "card-carrying Marxists." According to CNN affiliate WPEC, West responded, "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."
CNN: Romney: Santorum a VP possibility
A day after Rick Santorum exited the GOP presidential race, likely nominee Mitt Romney said his former rival would make his list of vice presidential possibilities – but clarified there is not yet any list on which to be.
CNN: Romney still faces challenges rallying the right
Typically when a presidential candidate wraps up his party's nomination after months of reaching out to base voters in the primaries, the question becomes whether he can appeal to the political center for the general election. Not for Mitt Romney.
CNN: George Zimmerman charged, hearing expected Thursday
Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a special prosecutor announced Wednesday.
CNN: Connecticut lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty
Connecticut's governor says he will sign a bill abolishing the death penalty, making it the 17th state to abandon capital punishment. On Wednesday night, lawmakers in Connecticut's House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 86-63. The state Senate approved it last week.
CNN: Jury selection to begin John Edwards' trial
Jury selection begins in a Greensboro, North Carolina, federal courtroom Thursday in the trial of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to the money dealings of his failed 2008 campaign.
CNN: U.S. leads in clean power investment - for now
Federal support for renewable power helped the United States reclaim from China the title of the world's biggest investor in clean energy, researchers for the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts reported Wednesday.
CNN: No sign of North Korean rocket launch on 1st day of window
The first opportunity for North Korea to launch its controversial rocket passed uneventfully Thursday, keeping the region on tenterhooks for at least another day.
CNN: Opposition: Syria truce deadline passes with no reports of major attacks
A cease-fire deadline passed early Thursday without reports of major attacks in Syria, opposition activists said, raising dim hopes the warring sides will silence their guns and end more than a year of bloodshed.
CNN: Chavez returns to Venezuela after latest round of treatment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned home late Wednesday night from his latest round of cancer treatment in Cuba and told the nation he was "advancing with great faith" in his battle.
CNN: Argentine 'miracle' baby found alive after death declaration
One-week-old Luz Milagros Veron is Argentina's miracle baby. Pronounced dead after her premature birth, the baby withstood more than 10 hours in a morgue refrigerator before being found alive. "Today is the eighth day of my daughter's resurrection," the girl's father, Fabian Veron, told CNN Wednesday.
CNN Money: Stocks snap five-day losing streak
U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday, bouncing back after a string of five down days, as concerns about Europe eased and hopes for a better-than-expected earnings season rose. The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) gained 89 points, or 0.7%, to end at 12,805. The S&P 500 (SPX) added 10 points, or 0.7%, to 1,369. The Nasdaq (COMP) rose 25 points, or 0.8%, to 3,016.
Financial Times: Iran woos oil buyers with easy credit
Iran is trying to skirt US and European sanctions by luring nations to buy its oil on highly advantageous credit terms, say officials in the industry. Tehran has been offering a handful of potential customers in Asia, including India, 180 days of free credit, according to the officials. They estimate that each month of credit amounts to a discount of roughly $1.2 to $1.5 a barrel.
CNN Money: Nokia plunges to 14-year low after another profit warning
Shares of Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia plummeted Wednesday after the company yet again said it expects financial results to miss prior forecasts. Nokia's (NOK) stock fell 16% to close at $4.24 - more than a 14-year low. The last time the company's shares traded lower was in February 1998.
In case you missed it…
Hilary Rosen and Erick Erickson on the candidates' war for women.