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's June fund-raising tops $100 million
Mitt Romney's campaign said Thursday they had a behemoth fund-raising month in June, bringing in more than $100 million, two Republican sources confirmed. The amount, which includes money raised by the campaign along with the Republican National Committee, far surpasses his May fund-raising haul of $77 million.
CNN: Sununu to Romney camp: Keep it simple
A fellow Republican former governor offered some advice on Thursday to the Romney campaign in light of a scathing Wall Street Journal editorial that suggests the front runner's campaign is proving ineffective. When CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked former New Hampshire governor and high profile Romney surrogate John Sununu if he had any advice for the candidate, Sununu said that his own party should be more concise, using more “declarative sentences.”
CNN: Obama to address jobs report Friday morning
President Barack Obama will address the latest jobs report, to be released Friday morning, at his first campaign event of the day in Poland, Ohio, a senior campaign official told CNN. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the monthly report to show the economy added 95,000 jobs in June. That would be an improvement over the 69,000 jobs added in May, but is still pretty weak and unlikely to make the unemployment rate budge from its current 8.2%.
CNN: Romney's confusing course correction
Mitt Romney's course correction on whether the health care mandate is a tax puts him in line with Republicans who have pinned hopes for winning down-ballot races in part on hammering President Barack Obama for imposing what they've called the biggest tax in the nation's history. But amid criticism of Romney's campaign as muddled and clumsy, the messaging shift could also cement Romney's image as a flip-flopper, political experts say.
CNN: Attorney: Zimmerman, family will struggle to secure bond
A Florida judge on Thursday set a $1 million bond with new restrictions on George Zimmerman, saying he believes the suspect may have been planning to flee the country to avoid prosecution in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. found that Zimmerman's deceit over cash holdings at his first bond hearing in April was not enough to hold him without bail.
CNN: Alleged victim of clergy abuse acquitted of attacking retired priest
A California jury Thursday acquitted a man charged with assaulting a retired Catholic priest, in a case that prosecutors had described as a vigilante attack. William Lynch, 44, was accused of confronting the Rev. Jerold Lindner, 68, during a visit at Sacred Heart Retirement home for Jesuit priests in Los Gatos, California, where Lindner had been living since retirement in 2001.
CNN: Father of homeless man beaten to death sues police in California
The father of a homeless California man who died after being beaten by Fullerton police officers filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the city, its police chief and the six officers allegedly involved in the fatal incident. The lawsuit filed by Frederick Ronald Thomas Jr., 55, of Cypress, California, also alleges assault and battery, negligence and civil rights violations in the death of his son, Kelly James Thomas.
CNN: Hundreds of thousands without power brace for more blistering heat
Another day of blistering heat, and for hundreds of thousands, no power. That's the expectation Friday, when thermometers once again teeter above the 100-degree mark, from St. Louis to Baltimore and many communities in between. More than 549,000 customers had no power Thursday night in 11 states and the District of Columbia, officials said.
CNN: Friends of Syria issue a call for consequences against regime
International diplomats gather Friday to hammer out a plan to take before the United Nations on ending bloodshed in Syria as a U.S. State Department official expressed doubts whether a key player would sign off. One of the things the United States and others expect to come out of the so-called Friends of Syria meeting in Paris is a call for consequences for President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
CNN: First NATO trucks move into Afghanistan from Pakistan after 7-month closure
Trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan for the first time in seven months on Thursday after Islamabad agreed to reopen routes, officials said. The four trucks, under heavy security, crossed the border from Chaman in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Because Afghanistan is landlocked, many supplies for NATO-led troops fighting Islamic militants have to be trucked in from Pakistan.
CNN: WikiLeaks releasing 2.4 million Syria e-mails
WikiLeaks said Thursday it has begun publishing some 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian politicians, government ministries and companies dating back to 2006. The e-mails, which are in a range of languages including Arabic and Russian, come from the ministries of presidential affairs, finance, information and foreign affairs, among others. According to WikiLeaks, the e-mails "shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another."
CNN: Italian cruise ship captain freed from house arrest
Italian judges released the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner from house arrest Thursday, but ordered him not to leave his home town while the case against him continues, his lawyer said. Francesco Schettino has been under house arrest in his home town of Meta di Sorrento, near Naples, since January 17. At least 30 people died when the cruise liner struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.
CNNMoney: New hope for jobs
All eyes are on jobs this week, as economists brace for Friday's June jobs report from the government. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the monthly report to show the economy added 95,000 jobs in June. The U.S. lost 4.3 million jobs in President Obama's first 13 months in office. Track his progress since then. That would be an improvement over the 69,000 jobs added in May, but is still pretty weak and unlikely to make the unemployment rate budge from its current 8.2%.
CNNMoney: Mortgage rates smash old record
Mortgage rates fell again this week, smashing previous record lows, according to a regular weekly release from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, the most popular mortgage product, dropped to 3.62% from 3.66% last week. The rate has matched or hit a new low for 10 of the past 11 weeks, Freddie Mac said. Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed rate fell to 2.89%, down from 2.94%.
CNNMoney: U.S. to seek trade action against China on autos
The United States is looking for the World Trade Organization's help in fighting Chinese tariffs on U.S.-made automobiles. The Obama administration said Thursday that it will announce the launch of an enforcement action with the WTO, labeling the tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of autos as unfair.
In case you missed it…
Anderson Cooper talks to GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz about lawmakers getting discounted mortgages in exchange for influence.