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: Poll: Obama, Romney race still tight
President Barack Obama holds a slight advantage over his Republican rival Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Tuesday, though Americans' views on the economy continue to put a damper on the president's bid for a second term in the White House.
CNN: House GOP leaders to discuss deal on student loans
House GOP leaders are expected to discuss whether or not to extend a rate cut on student loans at a meeting Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, top Senate leaders from each party indicated they had reached an agreement but were waiting to hear whether House Republicans would accept the deal.
CNN: Romney, GOP struggle with immigration issues
Mitt Romney spent the presidential primary campaign trying to convince conservatives of his right-wing credibility on immigration issues. Now Romney's stance of a few months back is under scrutiny as the certain Republican presidential nominee seeks support from the mainstream electorate, including the increasingly significant Hispanic population.
CNN: Rangel declares victory in New York primary bid
Rep. Charlie Rangel declared victory Tuesday in a Democratic primary to represent a redrawn New York district, capping a tale of political survival for the iconic lawmaker. Rangel's congressional career spanning more than four decades nearly culminated after a censure on the House floor in 2010.
CNN: Arizona's 'show-me-your-papers' law rolls out a day after Supreme Court ruling
At a time when the Tucson Police Department is down 160 officers because of a weakened economy, the agency now must make up to 50,000 additional phone calls a year to federal officials to verify the immigration status of persons whom officers have stopped and have reason to believe are in the country illegally, Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said Tuesday. Other law agencies in Arizona, however, reported "business as usual" a day after the Supreme Court ruling.
CNN: White House, DOJ make last-ditch effort to avoid Holder contempt vote
Officials from the Justice Department and the White House met with senior aides to House Speaker John Boehner and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa at the White House Tuesday to try to head off a House vote on Thursday holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, but their offer to show congressional investigators some documents related to the failed "Fast and Furious" gun trafficking program was rejected.
CNN: Colorado wildfire of 'epic proportions' displaces 32,000; tests firefighters
Firefighters again will battle inferno-like conditions on Wednesday as they try to tame an explosive wildfire that has already chased some 32,000 residents from their homes near Colorado Springs, Colorado. "This is a firestorm of epic proportions," Richard Brown, the Colorado Springs Fire chief, said late Tuesday.
CNN: Nora Ephron, prolific writer and filmmaker, dies at age 71
Nora Ephron, the screenwriter and director whose sharp, edgy romantic comedies featuring strong women took her to the top ranks of a film industry mostly dominated by men, has died. She was 71.
CNN: Egypt's new president to pick woman, Christian VPs
Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will appoint a woman as one of his vice presidents and a Christian as another, his policy adviser told CNN. "For the first time in Egyptian history - not just modern but in all Egyptian history - a woman will take that position," Ahmed Deif told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday. "And it's not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet."
CNN: Queen to meet former IRA commander McGuinness in Belfast
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is expected Wednesday to shake hands with Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander turned North Ireland politician, in a highly symbolic gesture in Belfast. The queen arrived in Northern Ireland on Tuesday for a two-day diamond jubilee visit. She will meet McGuinness, now a Sinn Fein official and the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, at an arts event in Belfast.
CNN: Syria describes 'state of war' as claims of propaganda fly
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is offering no concessions to those demanding his ouster, saying his country is in "a state of real war" and indicating his regime must quash the opposition. "When we're in a state of war, all of our politics has to be concentrated on winning this war," al-Assad said Tuesday, 15 months after his regime started cracking down on anti-government protesters.
CNN: India makes key arrest in Mumbai terror plot
A key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed more than 160 people has been apprehended, Indian authorities said Tuesday. The Indian-born man, known as Abu Jundal, was recently arrested in New Delhi, said public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. "He was a key conspirator, who abetted the attack and carried out the planning," according to Nikam, who did not say when the arrest was made.
CNNMoney: Obama to allow more Arctic drilling
The Obama administration will go ahead with more drilling in Arctic waters, though at a pace that allows for more research before additional permits are granted. The administration will hold new lease sales for oil companies to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas just north of Alaska, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters.
CNNMoney: IRS collects $5 billion from offshore tax cheats
The IRS has raked in more than $5 billion from offshore tax cheats since 2009 through its voluntary disclosure programs. Designed to lure in tax evaders with reduced penalties and the promise of avoiding jail time, the programs require offenders to offer up information about their offshore bank accounts and to pay back taxes. The agency launched its first voluntary disclosure program in 2009 and its second in 2011. This January, the agency introduced its third program.
CNNMoney: Stocks hold modest gains
Stocks held onto modest gains Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of a key European summit later in the week. "We're going to keep vacillating between being slightly up and slightly down until we see if anything positive comes out of Europe," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel. "Investors have a wait-and-see attitude. There's not much reason to jump in with both feet ahead of that."
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GOP Senators want a special prosecutor to investigate security leaks they say came from the Obama administration.