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 doesn’t back away from ‘birther’ Trump
Mitt Romney said Monday he wasn’t concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the “birther” conspiracy, one day before the GOP presidential candidate hosts a fund-raiser alongside the celebrity business magnate. Asked on his charter plane whether Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.
CNN: Obama pledges support for veterans, families
President Barack Obama used a Memorial Day ceremony to say it is time for America to properly welcome home Vietnam veterans and show them and their families the respect and gratitude they deserved but didn't receive decades ago. "You came home and sometimes were denigrated when you should have been celebrated," Obama said beneath a scorching sun at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. "It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened. That's why here today, we resolve that it will not happen again."
CNN: Romney: The world is 'not safe'
Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of several thousand on Memorial Day, Mitt Romney cast the presidential campaign as a choice between a candidate who supports a strong military and one who would shrink the defense budget and weaken the nation's armed forces. The presumptive GOP nominee underlined the urgency of his message by warning supporters the world was "not safe."
CNN: Bain mindset could work in Washington, says Issa
Rep. Darrell Issa, a Mitt Romney supporter, on Monday said the experience of closing failing companies and trimming excess waste as a private equity executive could help the presumptive Republican nominee if he becomes president. Issa's comments came after several weeks of attacks from Democrats, who have painted Romney as a job killing corporate raider for his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, the firm he founded in 1984.
CNN: Albright, World War II hero among 13 to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
The first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State and a Polish officer who provided some of the first accounts of the Holocaust are among 13 people who will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday. The medal is the nation's highest civilian honor, awarded to those who make extraordinary contributions to world peace, national interest and security, or other cultural endeavors.
CNN: Flesh-eating bacteria victim speaks, jokes, father says
For Andy Copeland, the "Aimee Day" event he'd been waiting for happened when he was in church. Copeland was in the pews at a Baptist church in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday morning when a text message notified him his 24-year-old daughter could not only breathe on her own, but also talk for the first time in weeks. It was a major milestone for Aimee, who is battling a flesh-eating bacteria that has already led surgeons to amputate her hands, part of her abdomen, one of her legs and her remaining foot in an effort to stay ahead of the disease.
CNN: Weakened Beryl still dumping rain on Southeast
After ruining Memorial Day plans along the Florida and Georgia coasts, the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl are forecast to bring more rain to the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center said Monday evening it expects the storm to move over the southern portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina over the next 48 hours.
CNN: Weather Service improperly shifted government funds
The director of the National Weather Service announced his sudden retirement last week after an internal investigation found the agency shifted some of its funding internally without asking Congress, according to officials familiar with the situation.
CNN: Qatar probes deadly shopping mall blaze
Qatar's government says it's investigating complaints that sprinklers and alarms weren't working during a fire at an upscale Doha shopping mall that killed 19 people, most of them children in a nursery. The fatalities at the Villaggio shopping mall included seven girls, six boys, four teachers, and two other adults, the Persian Gulf monarchy's interior ministry said Monday.
CNN: Protests erupt as runoff set for Egypt's presidential election
New protests erupted in Egypt's capital after news that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak's former premier will face off against a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country's presidential runoff. In Tahrir Square, several thousand protesters called on Egyptian courts to disqualify former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, chanting, "Where is the revolution?" Others ransacked Shafik's campaign headquarters and set it ablaze after learning that he was one of the two candidates who made it through the first round of voting.
CNN: Syria: Diplomatic deadlock, deaths go on
Horrific images of dozens of mutilated children's corpses in the village of Houla prompted a rare moment of unity on Sunday from the United Nations Security Council. Even Russia, the staunchest defender of the Syrian regime on the council, signed on to a statement that condemned the Syrian government for its "outrageous use of force against (the) civilian population."
CNN: Sudan, South Sudan prepare for peace talks
Peace talks between Sudan and South Sudan are scheduled to take place Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the first such discussion since tensions peaked last month. On the agenda, according to the United Nations, are security, the status of the countries' citizens, border demarcation and the final status of the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei.
Financial Times: Spain says help not needed to save banks
Spain's prime minister has insisted his country will not need an international rescue for its banks as investors recoiled at a €19bn rescue of Bankia, sending the country's borrowing costs over Germany's to the highest level since the start of the euro. Bankia, Spain's second-biggest bank by local deposits, would have collapsed if Madrid had not agreed to the rescue last week, Mariano Rajoy warned, adding that this would have risked bringing down Spain itself.
The Wall Street Journal: Flat U.S. Wages Help Fuel Rebound in Manufacturing
The celebrated revival of U.S. manufacturing employment has been accompanied by a less-lauded fact: Wages for many manufacturing workers aren't keeping up with inflation. The wage lag is a key factor contributing to the rebounding competitiveness of U.S. industry. A recent uptick in factory employment and the return of some production to U.S. shores from abroad both added jobs that probably otherwise wouldn't exist. But sluggish wages also are squeezing workers' incomes and spending. That, in turn, hurts retailers who target middle-income earners and restrains the vigor of the economic recovery.
CNN Money: 38 Studios: Broke Rhode Island now owns a video game company
Rhode Island owns a video game company. That wasn't supposed to happen. Taxpayers in the small, financially stricken New England state are on the hook for tens of millions of dollars loaned out to the video game company 38 Studios. Founded by former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling, the company was supposed to bring jobs for skilled professionals to a state struggling to expand its workforce. But on Thursday, 38 Studios laid off its entire staff of roughly 400 employees with no pay. It also cancelled their health insurance.
In case you missed it…
With U.N. monitors in the country, video shows children killed in Houla, Syria. The president denies responsibility.