The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
CNN: Super PAC's reported anti-Obama ad sparks backlash, quick denial
Predictions of super PAC-fueled campaign ugliness seemed to come to reality on Thursday when reports broke of a potential conservative group's ad campaign aimed at tying President Barack Obama to a controversy many Democrats thought was put to rest nearly four years ago. But conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts decided against a recommendation from GOP strategists that would bring up once again Obama's association with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a super PAC director said.
CNN: LGBT families lobby Congress
Tommy Starling and Jeff Littlefield say they've slowly been changing minds of people in their community when it comes to what a family looks like. The gay couple from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, traveled to the nation's capital with their 5-year-old daughter, Carrigan, to share their story and help members of Congress understand the issues they face.
CNN: Romney to start airing first general election campaign ad Friday
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is going on the air Friday with its first general election season ad, CNN has learned. The campaign has bought at least $1.2 million worth of TV time in the battleground states of Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Virginia, according to a Republican ad-buying source not affiliated with the campaign.
CNN: Driving out moderates in Congress: Is this what voters want?
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner drew a hard line in the sand this week, renewing a battle over the debt ceiling unless President Barack Obama agreed to significant budget cuts during what may be a lame-duck session after the November elections. This could set the stage for a dire scenario that threatens to bring the government to a crawl by Christmas.
CNN: What happened the night Trayvon Martin died
Trayvon Martin walked into a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida, grabbing a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea. The hood from his dark gray sweatshirt over his head, he walked up to the counter, reached deep into his pants' pockets, paid the clerk, then walked out. While questions still remain, what happened next to Martin on the night of February 26 became clearer on Thursday with the release of scores of pages of investigative and medical examiner's reports, in addition to new images of Martin's shooter and the 7-Eleven video.
CNN: Suspected police impersonator questioned in Mississippi
Mississippi authorities are questioning a man suspected of impersonating a police officer to determine whether he is involved in the killings of two motorists on highways in the state, a sheriff's investigator said Thursday. James Lucas, 45, of Yazoo City was picked up after stopping two drivers Wednesday night, Humphreys County Sheriff Investigator Sam Dobbins told CNN. He was driving a blue Mercury Marquis that used to be a police car and still had flashing blue lights behind its grille, Dobbins said.
CNN: Mary Kennedy's family blasts stories on her death
The family of Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., blasted news accounts of her death Thursday for what they called "inaccuracies and misrepresentations" of her life. Kennedy was found dead Wednesday in Bedford, New York, north of New York City. She died of asphyxiation due to hanging, the Westchester County medical examiner said Thursday.
CNN: Disco queen Donna Summer dies at 63
Donna Summer, the "Queen of Disco" whose hits included "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "Love to Love You Baby" and "She Works Hard for the Money," has died, a representative said Thursday. She was 63. Her publicist, Brian Edwards, said Summer was suffering from cancer. She died surrounded by her family in Florida, he said.
CNN: UN observers have dampening effect on Syrian violence, Ban Ki-moon says
While there have been a number of demonstrations in Aleppo since the Syrian uprising began, the number of people publicly calling for al-Assad's ouster has increased significantly. It culminated this week with thousands of predominantly university students demonstrating, according to opposition groups, who posted videos of the protest outside Aleppo University on YouTube.
CNN: Guatemalan mother seeks 'stolen' daughter's return from U.S.
This week, the U.S. State Department weighed in on the case of a seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Guatemala then adopted by a Missouri family, saying a U.S. state court would have to decide whether the girl should return to Guatemala because when the incident happened, the two countries had not yet signed an international treaty dealing with abducted children.
CNN: NATO's post-Afghanistan future unclear
As 60 world leaders descend upon Chicago for the NATO summit, the future of NATO's mission in Afghanistan will be center stage – but NATO's members also will be confronted with a bigger issue of whether the organization can remain relevant. The challenges going forward are much different and far more complicated than the ones that faced the founders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 60 years ago.
CNN: Iran threatens to sue Google for not labeling Persian Gulf
Iran is taking on one of the world's biggest Internet giants, threatening to sue over something that is not on its maps. On state-run Press TV, the Iranian regime warns it may take legal action against Google for not labeling the Persian Gulf.
CNN Money: Why Facebook won't start trading at the opening bell
The most hyped IPO of the year is here, but you won't be able to trade Facebook's stock right when the market opens at 9:30 on Friday. That's because Facebook will trade on the Nasdaq exchange, which doesn't open up initial public offerings until a bit later in the trading session.
CNN Money: JPMorgan's Dimon to testify in Senate
JPMorgan head Jamie Dimon will appear before a Senate committee to testify about the bank's recent $2 billion trading loss, which has spurred renewed debate about financial reform since being revealed last week. "As always, we will continue to be open and transparent with our regulators and Congress," the bank said in a statement Thursday.
CNN Money: U.S. slams Chinese solar panels with new tariffs
The U.S. Commerce Department announced stiff tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels Thursday, a move critics said could raise costs for consumers and further inflame trade tensions with Beijing. The preliminary ruling came as a result of a finding that Chinese solar cell manufacturers are "dumping" their products on the American market below production costs.
In case you missed it…
The return of Wright as an issue is a sign the campaign to come will be no-holds barred. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.