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: Senate's all-day budget debate dominated by politics
It had all the appearances of a serious-minded debate: Republicans insisted the Senate spend all day Wednesday arguing which party had better budget proposals to fix the economy. But the reality was none of the measures had enough votes to pass, and much of the exercise was an effort by both parties to score political points and embarrass the other side - another display of partisan maneuvering that polls show frustrates voters.
CNN: Issa and DOJ exchange tough words over possible Holder contempt charge
The partisan impasse over potential contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder continues following a lengthy letter from the deputy attorney general, and a blunt response from the House Oversight Committee chairman. The latest volley started with a 13-page letter from Holder's deputy, James Cole, to committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, arguing against contempt.
CNN: House passes GOP version of Violence Against Women Act renewal
The House of Representatives passed the Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act on Wednesday, despite strong opposition from Democrats. The GOP version, passed 222-205, offers a stark contrast from the bill passed by the Senate in late April, which will lead to further political fighting as both chambers attempt to work out a compromise over the law's reauthorization.
CNN: Romney aides, Secret Service block press from event rope line
Press aides for the Romney campaign and a lone Secret Service agent attempted to physically block reporters from asking questions of the GOP contender along an event rope line in Saint Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday. The brief altercation was captured on video by CNN. A spokeswoman from the Romney campaign later called it "an error."
CNN: 'Shape-ups' shoemaker fined $40 million; FTC cites bogus fitness claims
For overweight Americans, and those looking for a healthier lifestyle, the claim was almost too good to be true - wear Skechers Shape-ups footwear and watch the pounds melt away. At a news conference Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission said the shoemaker's claims weren't true and alleged Skechers violated federal law by misleading consumers.
CNN: Feds offer $150,000 reward in probe of hundreds of letters with white powder
Federal agents have been stymied in their long search for a man who mails envelopes containing white powder and usually a message of some kind. Investigators from the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas hope that a reward announced Wednesday may help locate the individual who has now sent an estimated 380 white-powder envelopes since he first began his annoying practice in 2008.
CNN: Closing arguments set to begin in Edwards trial
Closing arguments are set for Thursday in the corruption trial of John Edwards, after his defense team rested its case without calling the former Democratic presidential candidate's ex-mistress to testify. Attorneys for Edwards also chose not to call his eldest daughter, Cate, and prosecution star witness Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign aide, before wrapping up their case Wednesday.
CNN: Obama awards Medal of Honor posthumously to Vietnam hero
President Barack Obama, in awarding an overdue posthumous Medal of Honor to a Vietnam hero Wednesday, paid tribute to soldiers who received a cold reception when they returned home from the Southeast Asian war. "This month, we'll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War," Obama said at the White House ceremony. "A time when, to our shame, the soldiers didn't receive the respect and the thanks that they deserve. A mistake that must never be repeated."
CNN: Business leaders prepare for 'Grexit' as elected leaders avoid the subject
They say a week is a long time in politics. In today's febrile world of finance, it's a lifetime. Europe's leaders may soon learn that lesson the hard way if they continue to dodge the question on everyone's lips: What to do if Greece is pushed out of the eurozone? No stranger to unfortunate soubriquets herself, Angela Merkel has repeatedly refused to address the matter of a Greek exit - or "Grexit," as it has been dubbed.
CNN: Diplomat: Confidential report finds Iran shipping arms to Syria
A confidential U.N. report reveals Iran is exporting arms to the Syrian government in violation of a ban on weapons sales, the same day President Bashar al-Assad blamed the violence in his country on the work of foreign-backed fighters. The draft report describes three seizures of Iranian weapons shipments, including two bound for Syria, within the last year, a Western diplomat told CNN on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to release details to the media.
CNN: Mladic shows no remorse as war crimes trial opens
Ratko Mladic, who is accused of orchestrating a horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing during the bloody civil war that ripped apart Yugoslavia, showed no remorse as his war crimes trial opened Wednesday, at one point even appearing to threaten victims in the court.
CNN: Mexican police seek DNA of missing to identify decapitated bodies
Mexican authorities are asking for DNA samples from families of missing persons nationwide in their efforts to identify 49 decapitated bodies, an official said Wednesday. That will be the only way to identify the victims - whose killers cut off their heads, hands and feet - Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene told reporters three days after investigators found the remains abandoned along a highway.
CNN Money: Federal Reserve concerned about fiscal cliff
The Federal Reserve is worried about indecision in Congress. At its last meeting in April, the central bank's top officials discussed how coming tax increases and spending cuts could weigh on the recovery, and debated whether the Fed should provide additional stimulus to spur consumer spending.
CNN Money: FBI opens JPMorgan investigation
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that the agency has opened an investigation into JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank. "All I can say is that we have opened a preliminary investigation," Robert Mueller said in response to questions at an FBI oversight hearing on Capitol Hill.
CNN Money: Verizon to end unlimited data for upgraders
Verizon Wireless is planning this summer to begin forcing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans to switch to tiered plans when they upgrade, the company's chief financial officer told Wall Street analysts on Wednesday.
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