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: Holder contempt vote sign of 'broken' Washington?
What had been brewing as a low-level skirmish for more than a year became a full-on political brawl, further feeding the perception that politics trump policy, when a House committee voted along party lines to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.
CNN: Democrats pounce on Norquist visit to Capitol Hill
The person who Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls "the most powerful man in Washington" – and who "has the entire Republican Party in the palm of his hand" – visited Capitol Hill Thursday for a briefing with House GOP members and their aides. But even before anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist entered the ornate Ways and Means Committee hearing room to talk about tax reform on Thursday, Democrats pounced, saying his appearance proves the GOP is beholden to one man's uncompromising position against any tax increases. They also sought to highlight recent reports that Norquist may be losing some support among Republicans.
CNN: House GOP to ask justices by month's end to take on same-sex marriage issue
House Republicans have signaled they plan to ask the Supreme Court by month's end to get involved in a constitutional fight over same-sex marriage. In a federal court filing Wednesday in Connecticut, the House of Representatives' Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group asked a judge to put on hold consideration of a pending lawsuit in that state over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
CNN: Latino boom makes Orlando proving ground for Obama
President Obama and Mitt Romney are set to make appearances beginning Thursday at a major gathering of Latino officials and activists in Florida, a moment that campaign-weary Democrats have awaited for weeks. Obama's strategists relish any chance to drive a wedge between Romney and Hispanic voters, and at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO, the president is all-but-certain to paint Romney as beholden to anti-immigrant elements of his party's conservative base.
CNN: Sandusky's son fits pattern of other alleged victims
Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son, Matt, are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4. Matt Sandusky, now 33, came forward this week as his father's child-sex trial drew to a close to say he, too, had been molested by Jerry Sandusky and was willing to testify.
CNN: LeBron James leads Miami Heat to NBA Championship
Three-time league MVP LeBron James finally has an NBA championship to add to his belt, after the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in game five of the 2012 NBA Finals. The forward, whose search for a championship ring sent him to the Heat from his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers two seasons ago, played a huge role in Thursday's win with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
CNN: High court rules for broadcasters on TV 'indecency'
Broadcast television networks won an important constitutional fight Thursday when the Supreme Court said government regulators imposed unfair punishment for isolated profanity and sexual content during evening "prime time" hours. In an 8-0 vote, justices concluded the Federal Communications Commission cannot enforce its current policies against "fleeting" expletives and nudity on over-the-air programs, both live and scripted. The agency had levied hefty fines on all four major broadcasters beginning nearly a decade ago.
CNN: Congress investigates air leak, possible safety lapses at CDC lab
It's a highly secured, sophisticated research lab studying deadly diseases such as bird flu, monkeypox, tuberculosis and rabies. It's in a facility called Building 18, which cost taxpayers $214 million. And now, the Biosafety Level 3 lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is also the subject of a congressional investigation after a potentially dangerous airflow leak at that lab, CNN has learned.
CNN: Taliban militants strike Afghan hotel, take hostages
Taliban militants attacked a hotel near Kabul early Friday, sparking an hourslong gun battle with Afghan and NATO troops to free civilians taken hostage in the deadly siege. At least three security guards, a police officer and three militants were killed in the standoff, according to Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, the Kabul police chief. Two other attackers are injured and resisting the assault, he said.
CNN: 110 people rescued from capsized boat near Australia
Rescuers have saved 110 people from a ship that capsized in the waters between Australia and Indonesia and are searching for the many missing, an Australian official said Friday. The boat, that was carrying about 200 people, flipped over Thursday, authorities said, triggering the massive rescue effort.
CNN: Asian markets fall after bank downgrades
Asian markets traded lower Friday after ratings agency Moody's downgraded the credit scores of some of the world's largest banks. In the early hours of trading, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.53%. The Kospi in South Korea tumbled 1.93%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 0.95%. The Shanghai composite was down by 1.40%.
CNN: Norway prosecutors want mental institution for Breivik
Norwegian prosecutors have asked that alleged mass killer Anders Breivik be transferred to a psychiatric institution because they believe he is mentally ill, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office told CNN. If that does not happen, prosecutors will ask for 21 years of prison for Breivik.
CNNMoney: Major banks downgraded by Moody's
Some of the world's biggest banks were downgraded Thursday by rating agency Moody's, which cited concerns about the stability of the global financial system. Moody's cut the ratings of 15 financial institutions after U.S. markets closed Thursday, including giants like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
CNNMoney: Consumers to get $1B in health insurance rebates
Health insurers will dole out a total of $1 billion in rebates to 12.8 million Americans this summer - an average of $151 per family –as a result of the 2010 health care reform law, the government said Thursday. The rebates announced by the Department of Health and Human Services come from a provision of the law that punishes insurers who spend too much of policyholders' premiums for boosting company profits instead of paying for their medical care.
CNNMoney: Oil prices continue their slide
Oil prices fell Thursday, hitting an eight-month low, as markets continued to react to disappointing economic news across the globe. The price of oil for August delivery fell to $78.58 a barrel as markets settled, down nearly 4% from Wednesday. This is the first time since October that oil prices hit below $80, what analysts consider a key psychological number.
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