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: Potential VPs to hit the trail with Romney
Mitt Romney will be joined by a trio of potential vice presidential picks on his upcoming bus tour through four battleground states, sources confirmed to CNN Monday. The presumptive GOP nominee will stump with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman on his tour, which begins Saturday.
CNN: Obama debuts 'Romney Hood'
Legendary outlaw Robin Hood has suddenly assumed a featured role in the 2012 presidential campaign. Adding a new attack line on Monday to his stump speech, the president railed against rival Mitt Romney's tax proposals, saying they amount to "Robin Hood in reverse."
CNN: Cheney: McCain's process was a mistake, not Palin
She wasn't a mistake after all. A week after asserting Sen. John McCain made a mistake in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate, former Vice President Dick Cheney clarified he thought the selection process itself was at fault. "It wasn't aimed so much at Gov. Palin as it was against the basic process that McCain used," Cheney said in an interview set to air on Fox News Monday, according to a transcript posted by TIME magazine.
CNN: Former Edwards' aide will not face contempt charges
Andrew Young, the former aide to one-time presidential candidate John Edwards, will not face contempt charges, a special prosecutor appointed to the investigation confirmed to CNN on Monday. Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, appointed in June by Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan to investigate allegations made in a lawsuit filed by Edwards' former mistress Rielle Hunter, has decided not to pursue the contempt charges.
CNN: Police identify Army veteran as Wisconsin temple shooting gunman
An Army veteran who neighbors say played in a far-right punk band was the lone shooter in the rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people and wounded four, according to information Monday from law enforcement authorities. Wade Michael Page, 40, was shot to death by police responding to the Sunday morning attack in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, the community's chief of police told reporters.
CNN: Missouri mosque destroyed in second fire in a month
A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground early Monday, just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center, officials said. Authorities are investigating the cause of the latest fire. The mosque's security cameras were destroyed in the blaze, according to Sharon Rhine of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
CNN: Lawyer: Bulger will take the stand during his trial
James "Whitey" Bulger, the reputed former Boston mob boss who was arrested last summer in California, will take the stand when his murder trial starts in March 2013, his lawyer said Monday. Bulger faces 19 murder charges, as well as charges that include extortion, money-laundering and narcotics distribution.
CNN: Booth attendants charged in Smithsonian parking fee thefts
Three booth attendants have been charged in connection with thefts at the parking garage of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex. The three attendants were arrested by the FBI and Smithsonian security agents Saturday as their shifts ended. The U.S Attorney's office said at least $400,000 had been stolen over three years.
CNN: Officials: Syria's prime minister defects from al-Assad regime
Syria's prime minister defected Monday, becoming the latest among high-profile politicians and leaders to leave the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad. "I announce today my defection from the killing and terrorist regime and I announce that I have joined the ranks of the freedom and dignity revolution. I announce that I am from today a soldier in this blessed revolution," Riyad Hijab said in a written statement read by a Syrian opposition official on Al Jazeera.
CNN: Tropical Storm Ernesto expected to become a hurricane
Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday evening as it churns through the southern Caribbean toward the Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters said. The Mexican and Belizean governments issued hurricane warnings Monday as the storm advanced. In Nicaragua, government officials said they were evacuating about 1,500 people in coastal areas and had banned boats from setting sail.
CNN: Flooding brings chaos to Philippine capital
Flood waters were rising in parts of the Philippine capital on Tuesday as torrential rains that have killed more than 50 people in recent weeks continued to drench the country. In several areas, the water was waste deep, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said in its Twitter feed.
CNN: North Koreans in desperate need of food after floods
The World Food Programme is stepping in to feed people in North Korea, where floods have ruined crops and left hundreds of thousands homeless, according to reports. The United Nations declared the situation in North Korea an emergency Thursday after torrential rain soaked the country between July 18 and 29. Eighty-eight people have died, a U.N. report said, though national media put the toll at 169.
CNNMoney: Banks keep lending standards tight for small firms
Since the recession, small businesses trying to get bank loans have faced tougher credit standards - and little has changed. In the Federal Reserve's most recent survey of bank loan officers, released Monday, 95% said credit standards remained basically unchanged during the second quarter.
CNNMoney: Stocks close higher
U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, despite retreating from the day's highs, as investors continued to cheer an upbeat jobs report and welcomed lower borrowing costs in Spain and Italy. The Dow Jones industrial average added 21 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 also closed 0.2% higher, while the Nasdaq gained 0.8%. The gains extended Friday's rally sparked by a stronger-than-expected July jobs report.
CNNMoney: Mortgage closing costs fell 7% for homebuyers
Federal regulations are helping to significantly reduce the amount new homebuyers are paying come closing time. The average cost of closing on a mortgage has fallen by 7.4% over the past year, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com. At the end of June, a homebuyer looking to close on a $200,000 mortgage with 20% down paid an average of $3,754, $300 less than 12 months earlier.
In case you missed it…
Chris Robillard talks to CNN about his former friend Wade Michael Page, the suspected shooter at a Sihk temple.