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 to Reid: 'Put up or shut up'
Mitt Romney on Thursday pushed back against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's allegations that the presumptive GOP nominee has not been paying his taxes. "It's time for Harry to put up or shut up," Romney said on Sean Hannity's radio show. In a Huffington Post interview published Tuesday, the leading Democrat said that an unnamed investor with Bain Capital, Romney's former private equity firm, told Reid in a phone conversation that Romney had not paid taxes for a decade.
CNN: Congress closes loophole in stock trading law after CNN report
House Republicans have been forced to close a potential loophole on their much-touted insider trading law - a loophole CNN uncovered and reported about last month. Because of CNN's report, the Senate and House passed new legislation Thursday to close the loophole that could have allowed family members of some lawmakers to profit from inside information.
CNN: Romney promises 12 million jobs in four years
Mitt Romney's economic advisers issued a rosy set of projections Thursday that predict 12 million new jobs and a sharp economic expansion if the Republican candidate were to capture the White House. The paper, authored by four conservative economists, projects that the Romney plan would add between 0.5% and 1% per year in gross domestic product growth over the next decade.
CNN: No drought aid for farmers, ranchers as Congress breaks for summer
Congress adjourned for the summer on Thursday without passing a relief package for farmers and ranchers suffering through the most widespread drought since the 1930s. The only thing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate have agreed on is that they'll take the issue up again after Labor Day.
CNN: Gay rights activists plan 'kiss day' at Chick-fil-A restaurants
Gay rights activists plan a "kiss day" at Chick-fil-A outlets nationwide Friday amid a controversy over a company official's stance against same-sex marriages. Organizers used social media to urge same-sex couples to participate in the event and post pictures and videos online. The latest campaign follows a Wednesday event dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" in which Americans lined up at eateries nationwide to support the company.
CNN: Professors: Komen overstating benefits of mammograms
A national breast cancer charity is being accused of using misleading statistics to convince women to have mammograms, according to a paper published Thursday in the British Medical Journal. Susan G. Komen for the Cure's mammography campaign during breast cancer awareness month last October has come under fire from professors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, who say the foundation overstated the benefits of the procedure and totally ignored the risks.
CNN: Feds investigate 3 planes flying too close at DC-area airport
Three U.S. Airways-operated jets at Reagan National Airport came closer than they should have because of an air traffic control "miscommunication," federal authorities said Thursday. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon when air traffic controllers were making adjustments for landing and departing aircraft because of bad weather.
CNN: Phelps puts another Olympics first in his legacy, Gabby Douglas takes gold
Michael Phelps wasn't done making Olympic history. On Thursday, he became the first man to win the same individual event in three consecutive Olympics with a strong performance in the men's 200-meter individual medley. Phelps led from the first leg of butterfly, his specialty, until he touched the wall more than half-second ahead of teammate Ryan Lochte, who just a half-hour earlier had taken a bronze medal in the 200-meter backstroke.
CNN: Kofi Annan resigns as envoy to Syria
Kofi Annan, whose initiative to forge peace in war-ravaged Syria failed to take hold, said he has resigned as the U.N. and Arab League joint special envoy because of "increasing militarization on the ground" and "the clear lack of unity" at the U.N. Security Council. Annan said he told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby that he didn't want to renew his mandate when it expires August 31.
CNN: Three terror suspects held in Spain, authorities say
In what the interior minister calls one of Spain's largest operations against al Qaeda, security services said Thursday they arrested three suspected terrorists who might have been plotting attacks on U.S. or British targets. Two of the men were arrested Wednesday and the third Thursday, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said.
CNN: U.S. boosts humanitarian aid to Syria
The United States is sending an additional $12 million in humanitarian aid to Syria, the White House announced Thursday, warning of a "dire and rapidly deteriorating" situation inside the country. Citing U.N. estimates, the White House said up to 1.5 million Syrians are in need of aid, including more than 130,000 who have fled the country amid a widespread uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
CNN: Rebekah Brooks formally charged in UK eavesdropping scandal
The former head of media baron Rupert Murdoch's News International was formally charged at a London police station Thursday in the eavesdropping probe that has rocked the News Corp. empire and British government, London police said. Authorities announced last week that Rebekah Brooks - who besides being a onetime chief executive of News International, which is the division of News Corp. that includes the company's British newspapers, also had been editor of The News of the World tabloid - was among those being charged in the high-profile case.
CNNMoney: Hiring stuck in neutral
Did the job market seem any better in July than it did in June? Don't count on it. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney are predicting the economy added 95,000 jobs last month. That's only a slight improvement over the 80,000 jobs added in June, and is not strong enough to keep up with population growth, let alone reduce the unemployment rate from its current 8.2%.
CNNMoney: Drought may cost billions in U.S. food exports
The drought baking Midwest corn and soybean crops will likely cost the U.S. food export industry billions in lost revenue. But unlike droughts in previous years, it should not cause a major disruption in worldwide food supplies. Crops from other nations can mostly cover the loss, although some people who have recently grown accustomed to eating more meat, especially in developing nations, may have to cut back on it.
CNNMoney: Stocks end in the red after Draghi disappoints
U.S. stocks ended Thursday in the red, but off the lows of the day, after investors were disappointed by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's failure to announce concrete plans to help solve Europe's debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92 points, or 0.7%. The S&P 500 was also down 0.7%. The Nasdaq shed 0.4%.
In case you missed it…
Sen. Reid says Mitt Romney skipped paying taxes for ten years. However, he hasn't provided evidence, as AC360 reports.