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: House debates abortion ban for sex of fetus
One of the most divisive issues in politics is set to take center stage in Congress on Thursday as the House of Representatives votes on a measure banning abortions based on the sex of a fetus. Supporters characterize the proposal as a necessary defense of the civil rights of unborn children; opponents consider it part of a broader so-called "war on women" and an ongoing assault on legalized abortion.
CNN: Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record
After weeks of hitting Mitt Romney for his tenure at Bain Capital, President Barack Obama's re-election team shifted focus to the Republican's record as governor of Massachusetts Wednesday, painting his time in the state house as overloaded with unfulfilled promises.
CNN: Condoleezza Rice to endorse Romney
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will endorse GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, campaign sources told CNN. Rice also confirmed news of the endorsement. Rice served as secretary of state from 2005-2009 under former President George W. Bush. Before that she was Bush's national security adviser.
CNN: Former Justice Stevens criticizes court over campaign spending rulings
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens had harsh words for his former conservative colleagues Wednesday, saying they have inconsistently applied the law two years after a sweeping ruling dealing with campaign finance reform. That controversial decision, known as Citizens United, gave corporations - individuals, unions, businesses and advocacy groups - greater power to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose federal election candidates.
CNN: Nearly $43 million settlement proposed over FEMA trailers
Companies that made and set up trailers used as emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina have agreed to a nearly $43 million settlement with people who say they were hurt by formaldehyde in the units. The settlement has been submitted to a federal judge in New Orleans, said Gerald Meunier, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. A hearing has been set for September for final approval, but a preliminary OK could come this week, he said.
CNN: Gunman, 5 others die in Seattle shootings
The suspect in a string of fatal shootings in Seattle died Wednesday evening, several hours after he shot himself in the head at the end of a five-hour manhunt, police said. Police did not immediately release his name. Detectives believe the man was behind both the shootings at a coffeehouse in the city's University District and the death of a woman near downtown about a half-hour later, police said.
CNN: Tennessee mosque's fate up in the air after court ruling
The long-running battle between a Tennessee Muslim community and its critics over a new mosque took a dramatic turn with a county judge's ruling that could bring construction to a halt. "Everyone is really shocked, many people are crying about this," Imam Ossama Bahloul, leader of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM), said Wednesday.
CNN: Man boards plane without ticket or security check in San Diego
Hours after being released from jail, a man walked through an emergency door at San Diego International Airport, onto the tarmac and sat down on a United Express plane Tuesday, according to San Diego authorities. "He completely bypassed TSA screening," San Diego Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc said. "He was in a public area and went out an emergency fire door, which gave him access to the tarmac."
CNN: Syrian opposition fighters issue government a cease-fire deadline
Syrian opposition fighters issued the government a Friday deadline to cease fire, pull out troops from residential areas and allow humanitarian aid. The Free Syrian Army, which mainly comprises military defectors, did not say what will happen if the government fails to comply with the 48-hour deadline.
CNN: 5 detained in probe of deadly Qatar mall fire
Five people, including the daughter of the Qatari culture minister, were ordered detained as authorities investigate a fire that killed 19 people at a Doha, Qatar, shopping mall, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported. Thirteen of those who died in the Monday blaze were children in a nursery at the upscale Villaggio shopping mall.
CNN: Report: Former News of the World editor charged with perjury
A former editor of Rupert Murdoch's disgraced News of the World tabloid was arrested and charged with perjury over court testimony about phone hacking, according to the United Kingdom's Press Association. Andy Coulson, 44, was held in connection with a Scottish police investigation into phone hacking and perjury at the trial of a politician, Tommy Sheridan, who had sued the News of the World.
CNN: North Korea proclaims itself a nuclear state in new constitution
North Korea proclaimed itself a "nuclear state" this week following a revision of its constitution earlier this year. Kim Jong-Il has "transferred the country into an undefeated country with strong political ideology, a nuclear power state, and invincible military power," according to the updated constitution posted on its portal website Naenara. The website posted the revised constitution on Wednesday, according to Yonhap, the South Korean state affiliated news agency.
CNN Money: May jobs report: More weak hiring expected
Don't expect to see a jobs comeback on Friday. The economy was expected to have added 150,000 jobs last month, according to economists surveyed by CNNMoney. They project that the job report for May will show the private sector expanded payrolls by 162,000 jobs, but government shed 12,000 positions.
CNN Money: U.S. 10-year yield sinks to record low
Investors flocked to the safety of U.S. Treasuries on Wednesday, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to a new record low. The yield on the 10-year note fell to a low of 1.617% Wednesday.
CNN Money: Oil prices drop below $88 to 7-month low
The price of oil dropped below $88 a barrel Wednesday, hitting a seven-month low, as fiscal worries in Europe sparked a broad sell-off across markets. In New York, oil prices finished at $87.49 a barrel, down $2.94, or 3.2%, from Tuesday. It was the lowest closing price for crude since Oct. 21.
In case you missed it…
CNN's Wolf Blitzer asks U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Susan Rice what would prompt U.S. military action in Syria.