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: Obama, Romney campaigns in rare agreement: Text them money!
Could the national conventions become more than just political rallies? That's what one political expert predicts with the Federal Elections Commission ruling that will allow people to text donations to the campaign of their choice. "You now have the ability to turn the political conventions to a texting telethon," said Mark Armour, president of Armour Media, a political advertising firm that advocated for the change with the FEC.
CNN: Romney details 'First 100 Days,' says Obama's 'words are cheap'
Having already aired advertisements describing what he'd do on "Day 1" in the White House, Mitt Romney explained on Wednesday what he'd do over another 99 days. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also used his address to business chiefs to prebut President Barack Obama's economic speech in Ohio on Thursday. Romney will campaign in Ohio the same day.
CNN: Congressman says Justice Department can avoid Holder contempt vote
A week before his committee is scheduled to hold a vote on a resolution holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told the Department of Justice Wednesday it still has a chance to produce materials about the failed "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation and avoid a public vote.
CNN: Romney: Obama fails on Russia
Mitt Romney on Wednesday blasted the Obama administration's policies toward Russia, as tensions rise between the country and the United States over the unrest in Syria. "Russia has openly armed and protected a murderous regime in Syria, frustrated international sanctions on Iran, and opposed American efforts on a range of issues," Romney said in a statement. "This is an unfortunate failure of President Obama's foreign policy."
CNN: More alleged victims to testify in Sandusky trial
The prosecution is expected to call more witnesses Thursday in the case against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of sexually abusing boys over a 15-year period. "Things are moving along quicker than anticipated," Pennsylvania judge John Cleland said before ending Wednesday's proceedings.
CNN: Feds drop remaining Edwards charges
Federal prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Wednesday, less than two weeks after his corruption trial ended in an acquittal and mistrial. The Justice Department had accused Edwards of using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to keep his pregnant mistress under wraps as he mounted a second presidential bid in 2008.
CNN: Civil lawsuit alleges false police report in beating death of homeless man
The police beating of a California homeless man has spawned a civil lawsuit in which a bar doorman claims he was fired after he cooperated with investigators and claimed his manager made a false report to police about the homeless man's activities. Michael Reeves, who also worked as a security guard, is suing his former employer, the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen in Fullerton, California, for more than $4 million, according to the lawsuit.
CNN: More evidence to be released in Trayvon Martin case, judge rules
A judge has ordered the release of additional evidence in the Trayvon Martin case, including an autopsy report, photographs of the crime scene and details of what George Zimmerman said to police the night he shot the Florida teen. Attorneys for Zimmerman had argued that his conversations with Sanford, Florida, police the night of the February 26 shooting should not be made public under a state law dealing with "the substance of a confession of a person arrested," but Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. ruled Tuesday that the law did not apply.
CNN: Is Syria in a civil war?
The U.N. peacekeeping chief says Syria is now in a civil war. Some experts agree with U.N. official Herve Ladsous that the war-torn country has reached that chilling milestone. Others say the country is hurtling in that direction. The conflict began in March 2011 when a fierce Syrian government crackdown on peaceful protesters morphed into a bloody government uprising.
CNN: Indian father kills baby 'for being a girl'
Nineteen-year-old Reshma Banu sits on the stairs outside her parents' home, staring at the tiny screen on her cell phone. The video on the screen has her mesmerized: a very short home video of her baby girl, Afreen. The moments captured are precious because they show Banu's only child alive and well again. Three-month-old Afreen died in the hospital. Authorities say the baby was admitted to the hospital with bite marks, cigarette burns and a dislocated neck. Police say she was killed by her father.
CNN: NATO airstrikes on Afghan homes are banned, Karzai says
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reiterated his stance that NATO forces in Afghanistan should never make airstrikes on civilian homes, a practice that has angered many Afghans. "As far as our responsibilities in Afghanistan are concerned, it was clearly agreed that no airstrike should be launched on the houses of Afghan people and no reason is valid for the use of it, and we totally call it disproportionate use of force," he told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday.
CNN: Apology still at issue between U.S. and Pakistan
The United States' refusal to apologize for a 2011 military strike that killed two dozen Pakistani troops continues to hold up any final agreement to open transit routes into Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani diplomat tells CNN. The official described the talks as being in hiatus after U.S. negotiators left the country this week following nearly two months of talks over reopening land routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan that have been used to carry supplies for the war.
CNN Money: Dimon: 'I can't publicly defend the trade'
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told Senators on Capitol Hill Wednesday that he cannot defend the trades that led to the bank's massive multi-billion loss. "The way it was contrived between January to March, it changed into something I cannot publicly defend," Dimon told members of the Senate Banking Committee during a two-hour hearing.
CNN Money: Spain's troubles continue with Moody's downgrade
Rating agency Moody's downgraded Spain by three notches on Wednesday, expressing concern about the government's debt load and its access to financial markets. The country has also been placed on review for a possible further downgrade, Moody's said. Spain now sits just one notch above speculative grade on the Moody's scale.
CNN Money: Stocks end lower on concerns about Europe
U.S. stocks sold off late Wednesday to end the day lower on concerns about the debt crisis in Europe and falling oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77 points, or 0.6%, to end at 12,496. The S&P 500 fell 9 points, or 0.7%, to 1,315. The Nasdaq slid 24 points, or 0.8%, to 2,818.
In case you missed it…
President Obama and Mitt Romney gear up for a head to head battle. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.