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: As politicians question value of gun control, Bloomberg calls for action
Two days after a gunman who police say used legally purchased firearms killed a dozen theater-goers in a Denver suburb, the nation's political leaders began debating whether stricter controls on gun access were necessary to prevent further violence. The question of tighter restrictions on owning guns has been largely ignored in this year's presidential campaign, and Democrats, who in the 1990s were vocal in pushing for tighter gun laws, rarely address the issue today.
CNN: Romney strikes rare notes of faith in Aurora speech
In a speech to a wounded nation, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney returned to his roots of faith in the face of a national tragedy. It was a rare public expression of faith for the candidate who has kept much of his faith private. Romney, who was the head of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation in Boston, quoted heavily from the Bible and the Book of Mormon as he stood before a small crowd in New Hampshire.
CNN: McCain renews call for U.S. action in Syria, calling Obama strategy 'shameful'
The escalation of violence in Syria can be directly tracked to the United States' unwillingness to get involved in the country, Sen. John McCain asserted Sunday. "Because of our failure to assist, because of our failure to lead other willing nations in the region like Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and others, the situation has now deteriorated to a situation which is really, really very dangerous," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."
CNN: Israel re-enters focus ahead of Romney trip
America's relationship with Israel, always reliable for campaign rhetoric, will come under renewed examination this week when presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney heads to the country as part of his foreign swing. The visit to Israel will present an opportunity and a challenge for Romney, who has consistently expressed support for the country but has not yet outlined specific plans for key issues in the region, including negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians and dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
CNN: 'Words are ... inadequate,' Obama tells families of Colorado shooting victims
President Barack Obama offered comfort Sunday night to the survivors and the families of the 12 people killed in a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, never once mentioning by name the man accused of opening fire in a crowded movie theater. "I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment, and will continue to think about them each and every day," Obama told reporters after the meeting at the University of Colorado Hospital, one of several area medical centers that treated the 58 people wounded in Friday's attack.
CNN: Source: Penn State to be hit with fines in excess of $30 million
Penn State University will be hit with fines in excess of $30 million as part of "significant, unprecedented penalties" expected to be announced Monday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a source familiar with the case told CNN on Sunday. While the school's football program will not face the so-called "death penalty" that would have prevented the team from playing in the fall, the school might have preferred a one-year suspension because of the severity of the scholarship losses, postseason sanctions and other penalties, the source said.
CNN: Investigators believe missing Iowa girls are alive
Authorities investigating the disappearance of two young girls in Iowa said Saturday that they believe them to still be alive. Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, were last seen by their grandmother more than a week ago when they left on a bike ride. "We believe these girls are alive and we are not discouraged by the passage of time since their disappearance," FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault told reporters in Evansdale, Iowa.
CNN: Colorado shooting suspect makes first court appearance
The man accused of opening fire in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, is set to make his first court appearance Monday,giving the public its first look at the suspect since his arrest in an attack that authorities say was planned months in advance. James E. Holmes, 24, is likely to face first-degree murder - an offense that carries a possible death penalty, if convicted - in the shooting deaths, given allegations over the weekend by police that there is evidence to suggest "calculation and deliberation" in the rampage.
CNN: Arab League to offer 'safe exit' if Syrian president al-Assad resigns
The Arab League will offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "a safe exit" if he resigns quickly and leaves the country, a senior Arab League official said, marking the latest attempt to get Syria's longtime ruler to step down and end more than a year of daily bloodshed. The official provided no further details because the source is not authorized to speak to the media.
CNN: Bulgarian police widen suicide bombing probe
Bulgarian police have widened their investigation into last week's bombing attack on Israeli tourists to towns near the border with Romania, asking hotels for surveillance video that might have captured the suspected bomber. Hotels in the Black Sea coastal city of Varna say police have been asking for video showing a particular suspect and are giving a sketch of the suspect to management.
CNN: New report criticizes TEPCO for Fukushima nuclear crisis
A Japanese government report Monday heaped fresh criticism on the operator of the nuclear power plant where a disastrous accident was set off last year by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the country. The measures taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant operator, and the Japanese nuclear regulator to prepare for disasters were "insufficient," the report said, and the response to the crisis was "inadequate."
CNN: Global super-rich hide $21 trillion in tax havens
The world's super-rich had between $21 trillion and $32 trillion of wealth hidden in tax havens by the end of 2010, a new study says. The size of these unreported financial assets is equivalent to, or even larger than, the combined GDPs of the United States and Japan, representing up to $280 billion in lost tax revenues.
CNNMoney: Wall Street braces for barrage of data
Investors will have a lot to contend with this week: a deluge of earnings and economic reports are due out, including Facebook's first report as a public company and the first look at U.S. economic growth during the second quarter. This week, 138 S&P 500 companies are on tap to report second-quarter earnings. Of the 119 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 69% have beat expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ. But the bar has been set pretty low.
Financial Times: Europe's banks stage U.S. retreat
Eurozone banks have retreated dramatically from the US over the five years since the financial crisis began, cutting their assets in the country by more than a third, according to a Financial Times analysis of Federal Reserve data. Bank failures, asset writedowns and the sale of loans and businesses have sent US assets of eurozone banks tumbling by $540bn from their $1.51tn peak in September 2007.
CNNMoney: Two-thirds of Dodd-Frank still not in place
Two years after Congress enacted sweeping reforms intended to rein in risky practices on Wall Street, only a third of the new rules are actually in force. The rest of the so-called Dodd-Frank rules are either stuck in a regulatory bog, ready-to-go but delayed, or substantially weaker than originally envisioned after pressure from financial industry lobbyists, according to data compiled by the law firm Davis Polk.
In case you missed it…
A look at the 12 people who died in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting.