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 prepared to solidify lead as five states hold primaries
It's the biggest day of Republican primary voting since Super Tuesday back on March 6. But when five states hold contests on Tuesday, the only drama left appears to be the size of the margins of victory for all-but-certain GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
CNN: Ex-aide: Donor thought John Edwards would be America's 'savior'
Former aide Andrew Young, the government's star witness in the trial of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, is expected to be back on the stand Tuesday Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, is accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars from 101-year-old heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and another donor to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter.
CNN: Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House
House Speaker John Boehner is sounding some alarm bells, saying "there's a one-in-three chance" Republicans could lose control of the House of Representatives in 2012. Boehner sounded less than confident he would retain his gavel in an interview slated to air Tuesday on Fox News.
CNN: Montana governor defends 'polygamy' remarks regarding Romney's heritage
Montana's Democratic governor defended himself from criticism Monday over remarks he made last week that appeared to tie Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, to the practice of polygamy within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
CNN: 12th military member under investigation in scandal
A member of the U.S. military assigned to the White House Communications Agency is under investigation in connection with alleged misconduct in Colombia, bringing to 12 the total number of military personnel being reviewed, officials said Monday.
CNN: Al Qaeda's 2008 plan to hit Long Island Railroad revealed
New details emerged in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday of a plan al Qaeda hatched in the summer of 2008 to bomb the Long Island Railroad. Bryant Neal Vinas, a confessed American al Qaeda operative who joined the terrorist network in Pakistan's tribal areas in March 2008, provided details of a plan for a suicide bomber to detonate explosives aboard a Long Island Railroad train as it entered a tunnel on the commuter line to create maximum devastation.
CNN: In tears, Jennifer Hudson testifies at trial of man accused of killing her relatives
Proceedings are set to resume Tuesday morning in the trial of the man accused of killing the mother, brother and nephew of the actress and singer Jennifer Hudson. On Monday, Hudson - the prosecution's first witness - broke down in tears several times on the stand as she remembered her family.
CNN: Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial
Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.
CNN: Pressure on Syrian regime heats up but cease-fire still 'incomplete'
International envoy Kofi Annan is expected to brief the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, as reports of carnage in Syria steadily increase despite the council's agreement to boost the number of monitors there.
CNN: Peru approves first step toward extradition of Joran van der Sloot
The process to extradite Joran van der Sloot from Peru to the United States to face criminal charges has begun, according to Maximo Altez, van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney. Peruvian judges in January sentenced the Dutchman to 28 years in prison for the murder in 2010 of Stephany Flores. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway. U.S. authorities want to try van der Sloot on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway case.
CNN: Panetta doubtful over Iranian drone claim
The U.S. secretary of defense said Monday that he doubts Iran has been able to reverse-engineer a U.S. spy drone that crashed last year in the Iranian desert to learn its secrets. "I would seriously question their ability to do what they say they have done," Leon Panetta told reporters traveling with him to Colombia.
CNN: Venezuela's Chavez responds to rumors of his death
Ending a more than week-long silence, Hugo Chavez took to the airwaves Monday to refute rumors of his death. The Venezuelan president is battling cancer and is in Cuba to undergo treatment. His phone call was broadcast by state-run VTV.
CNN Money: Medicare funding runs short by 2024, trustees say
Highlighting the fiscal problems posed by growing health costs and an aging population, the trustees of the nation's main entitlement programs estimated Monday that Medicare will only be able to pay a portion of its expected costs starting in 2024.
CNN Money: Global manufacturing slowdown persists
Manufacturers in Europe and China are still hurting, marking a weak point in the global economy, two separate reports showed Monday. Manufacturing activity in the euro zone's 17 countries recently slumped to the lowest level in nearly three years, according to Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index.
CNN Money: Netflix plunges on sales outlook
Netflix's first-quarter financials came in better than expected after a dismal 2011, but it wasn't enough for investors to overlook a weak revenue outlook. Netflix announced late Monday that it lost 8 cents per share on $870 million in sales last quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a much wider loss of 27 cents per share, and sales of $866 million.
In case you missed it…
John King and Fran Townsend discuss new sanctions announced today by President Obama and what else the U.S. can do.