POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, July 20, 2012
July 20th, 2012
04:30 AM ET
2 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, July 20, 2012

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.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL:

CNN exclusive: Congressional insider trading ban might not apply to families
It was a rare show of bipartisanship - President Barack Obama, flanked by Democrats and Republicans in April, signing into law a bill that would ban insider trading on Capitol Hill. The measure, known as the STOCK Act, had passed the House and Senate at warp speed. But CNN uncovered that the law that members of Congress thought they voted for earlier this year isn't exactly as advertised. A loophole could still allow family members of some lawmakers to profit from inside information.

CNN: Boehner calls Bachmann accusations 'pretty dangerous'
Republican House Speaker John Boehner called dangerous Thursday a request from members of his own party in Congress to investigate Muslim infiltration in the U.S. government. Admitting he had not read a letter requesting the investigation, Boehner said "I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous."

CNN: GOP senators block top Obama jobs initiative
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the No.1 item on the president's congressional "to-do-list," refusing to allow a vote on a bill that would give tax breaks for companies that "insource" jobs to the U.S. from overseas while eliminating tax deductions for companies that move jobs abroad. In voting against the bill, Republicans raised both substantive and procedural problems with the measure.

CNN: GSA finds more than $250,000 spent on one-day event
A "top-to-bottom" review by the General Services Administration, the federal agency that was found to have spent lavishly on an October 2010 conference in Las Vegas, has revealed that the agency also spent more than a quarter-million dollars for a one-day awards ceremony just outside Washington in May 2010.

NATIONAL:

CNN: Fort Hood shooting report faults FBI handling of accused shooter's e-mails
A report made public Thursday on events surrounding the deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 provides new details on the failure of anti-terrorism officials to act on e-mail traffic between Maj. Nidal Hasan and major terrorist figure Anwar al-Awlaki.

CNN: Arizona sheriff faces civil trial in alleged targeting of Latinos
Attorneys gave opening statements Thursday in a civil trial accusing an Arizona sheriff - who bills himself as "America's toughest" - and his department of racial discrimination against Latinos. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and other attorneys are representing Hispanics in a class-action lawsuit accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of civil rights and constitutional violations. The bench trial is being held in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

CNN: Whooping cough cases approaching highest levels in half a century
2012 might be a record year for whooping cough in the United States if midyear trends continue. Nearly 18,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so far this year – the highest rates in five years. "That's more than twice as many as we had at the at the same time last year," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. "We may need to go back to 1959 to find a year with as many cases reported by this time so far, " she said Thursday.

CNN: As Ramadan begins, controversial mosque won't be ready to open doors
Worshippers at an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will have to wait at least a week before they can use their new mosque, officials said Thursday. The mosque - subject of a two-year battle marked by legal wrangling, vandalism and anti-Muslim sentiment - still needs to pass inspection and get its occupancy permit, mosque officials said.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Syria shows al-Assad, amid speculation on his whereabouts
Amid fierce fighting, Syrian TV on Thursday showed video of President Bashar al-Assad, the first images broadcast of him since a deadly attack on top officials a day earlier. The development came as rebels fought government forces in Damascus and its suburbs and made significant attacks on strategic border points, officials said.

CNN: Departing IMF economist blasts fund for eurozone 'failure'; Lagarde is 'tainted'
A senior economist who left the institution spearheading the bailouts of three eurozone countries has lambasted its lack of leadership and said its first female chief is not fit for the job. In a leaving letter obtained exclusively by CNN and addressed to Shakour Shaalan, dean of the executive board of the International Monetary Fund, 20-year veteran Peter Doyle says he is "ashamed to have had any association with the Fund at all."

CNN: Bulgarian bus attack is work of suicide bomber, minister says
A bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists, the bus driver and the suspected bomber in Bulgaria was probably carried out by a male suicide attacker who had a fake Michigan driver's license, Bulgaria's interior minister said Thursday. Israel said it suspects Iran or an Islamist militant group was behind the attack, which occurred Wednesday in a parking lot outside Burgas International Airport in Bulgaria. Tensions between Israel and Tehran have been escalating in recent months.

CNN: Former Egyptian vice president dies in U.S. hospital, officials say
Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian vice president under Hosni Mubarak who announced the president's resignation to the world, has died in a U.S. hospital at age 76, officials said Thursday. A family member said the former spy chief had "water on his lungs and suffered heart problems that led to his death after his health deteriorated in the past three weeks."

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: Corn, soybean prices shoot up as drought worsens
As the Midwest continues to suffer through its worst drought in more than 50 years and corn prices near record highs, sixth generation farmer Pam Johnson stares out her window, praying for rain. "We went into this year having planted more acres than we had planted in many years, expecting to raise a bumper crops," said Johnson, who farms with her husband, two sons and their families in Floyd, Iowa. "The planting conditions were great, and our corn came out picket-fence perfect. But now we have no idea how many bushels we'll be able to harvest this fall."

CNNMoney: Gas prices start to head higher
Gasoline prices have risen 10 cents a gallon in the last two weeks, following a rise in oil prices spurred by increasing tensions with Iran, an easing of the crisis in Europe, and hopes for more stimulus from central banks. Gas prices often lag crude prices by a couple of weeks.

CNNMoney: New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer nabs $71 million pay package
Yahoo coughed up a lot of cash to land its hotshot new CEO. Marissa Mayer's compensation package could be worth an eye-popping $71 million over the next five years, according to regulatory documents Yahoo filed on Thursday - and it would top $120 million if an extra batch of stock grants that she is eligible for comes through.

In case you missed it…
CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviews House Speaker John Boehner about a wide range of political and congressional issues.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Gurgyl

    Just make an addendum and amden the bill including spouses, children, friends, this and that and send for signature. Obama12.
    Oversight error I guess. No big deal.

    July 20, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |