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: Gingrich's 2012 campaign leaves him with mixed legacy
The former speaker was left for political dead last year after his top campaign advisers quit over a disagreement on the direction of the campaign and its financial structure. But he came roaring back in late 2011 - due in part to a Republican electorate that was not sold on Mitt Romney's candidacy. It is the past few months, though, for which he may be most remembered - for staying in the race for too long, rather than for the big ideas he espoused on the campaign trail.
CNN: House chairmen praise Secret Service response to prostitution scandal
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan has cooperated properly with congressional investigators looking into the prostitution scandal in Colombia last month before President Barack Obama's visit, influential House members said Wednesday. Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Sullivan provided answers to 50 questions from his panel about the controversy in Cartagena that embarrassed the nearly 150-year-old agency and raised concerns of a possible security breach.
CNN: Edwards daughter tearfully leaves courtroom during testimony
The trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards took a dramatic turn Wednesday when his daughter abruptly left the courtroom during testimony about a fight between her mother and father over his affair with a campaign videographer.
CNN: Source: Romney, Santorum to meet in Pittsburgh Friday
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will meet privately on Friday morning in Pittsburgh, a source familiar with the meeting confirmed to CNN. The campaigns had refused to discuss details of the get together and were trying to keep the location secret. They have planned no press coverage of the meeting.
CNN: 107 charged in health care fraud bust
More than 100 people have been charged and an estimated $450 million in false billings uncovered by federal agents in a nationwide operation that authorities say is the largest bust in recent history. Top law enforcement officials announced the charges were lodged in seven metropolitan areas, capping an investigation of several months into efforts to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs.
CNN: Student forgotten in cell for 5 days will sue DEA
A San Diego college student filed a legal claim Wednesday for damages suffered when he was left handcuffed and without food or water in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for five days last month. A DEA statement said Daniel Chong, 23, was "accidentally left" in a holding cell.
CNN: Florida files charges in death of FAMU drum major, hazing of 2 others
The mother of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion said Wednesday she had been hoping more severe charges would be filed in her son's death, which authorities said was the result of hazing. Pam Champion told "AC360" that hazing, which prosecutors said is a term for bullying, doesn't amply describe what happened to her 26-year-old son.
CNN: USDA quarantines 2 farms in mad cow investigation
Two farms have been quarantined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the agency continues to investigate last month's discovery of mad cow disease at a California dairy farm. Authorities also have launched an investigation at a calf ranch where the initial infected cow was raised 10 years ago, according to a statement released late Wednesday by the USDA.
CNN: Chinese activist says he wants to go to U.S.
The Chinese activist who left the refuge of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Thursday that he regrets the move and now wants U.S. officials to help get him and his family to the United States. "I want them to protect human rights through concrete actions," Chen Guangcheng told CNN from his hospital room in Beijing. "We are in danger. If you can talk to Hillary, I hope she can help my whole family leave China."
CNN: Aisha Gadhafi reiterates call for probe into father's death
The daughter of deposed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi asked international prosecutors to begin investigating her father's and brother's deaths as possible war crimes in a letter submitted Wednesday to the United Nations Security Council. Aisha Gadhafi, who fled to Algeria in August 2011, asked International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo last year to open an investigation.
CNN: Activists: Syrian troops storm university, arrest hundreds
Syrian forces raided a university Thursday, the opposition said, the latest sign of continuing attacks despite a truce implemented three weeks ago and the presence of United Nations monitors in the country. The troops targeted anti-government protesters in Aleppo University, killing four and injuring 28, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
CNN: Australia regulators reviewing UK Murdoch report
The Australian media regulatory agency is "digesting" the blistering report from British lawmakers that said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was "not a fit person" to run a major international company. "The ACMA is reviewing the British MPs committee report but is not intending to make any further comment at this stage," said a spokesperson for the Australian Communication and Media Authority.
CNN Money: Startups make up a smaller share of U.S. businesses
In the land of liberty and opportunity, startups continue to make up a smaller share of the American business landscape. The past 30 years has seen a steady drop in the share of young firms compared to all firms, and the trend persisted in 2010, according to a report by the Kauffman Foundation based on new U.S. Census data.
CNN Money: Facebook readies for mid-May IPO
Facebook's hotly anticipated stock market debut is growing near. The company is aiming to begin publicly trading on May 18, according to the Wall Street Journal. That date is a moving target: IPO-related plans frequently change, and Facebook is still finalizing its regulatory paperwork. A company representative declined to comment on Facebook's IPO timing.
CNN Money: Stocks mixed on earnings, jobs data
U.S. stocks ended mixed Wednesday as investors digested a weak private-sector jobs report and mostly upbeat corporate results. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 11 points, or 0.1%, to end at 13,268. Alcoa was the biggest drag on the index, but Bank of America and JPMorgan also weighed on it.
In case you missed it…
Viewers in China were blocked from seeing Anderson Cooper discuss the blind Chinese activist who escaped house arrest.