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: CBO report findings 'unacceptable'
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday referred to a new Congressional Budget Office report that outlines the potentially dismal impact of the impending "fiscal cliff" as "unacceptable." The CBO report found that the spending cuts and tax increases would result in a recession and higher unemployment. However, the report also said it would improve the outlook of the federal government's budget deficit.
CNN: Ryan proud of 'pro-life record'
Vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan said Wednesday he is "comfortable" supporting Mitt Romney's less conservative stance on abortion after a Republican congressman revived the policy debate and defied conservatives like Ryan. "I'm proud of my record," Ryan said. "Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."
CNN: Lawmakers seek answers on official at center of 'Fast and Furious'
Top Republicans investigating the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-running sting have demanded that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explain why an official at the center of the controversy remains a government employee while apparently working for a top financial firm.
CNN: Agencies warn of possible anarchist activity at conventions
Law enforcement officials are concerned about possible violence by anarchist extremists at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions, according to an intelligence bulletin prepared by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. The bulletin, which was obtained by CNN, says that anarchists could try to use improvised explosive devices.
CNN: Navy SEAL to release book on bin Laden raid, publishing company says
A book company said Wednesday that it will release on September 11 a firsthand account of the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Christine Ball, director of marketing and publicity for Dutton, a subsidiary of Penguin Group USA, said the book was written by a Navy SEAL under a pen name. A Department of Defense official said the SEAL is no longer on active duty. U.S. Special Operations Command has not reviewed the book or approved it, the official said.
CNN: Judge weighs Arizona immigration law after opponents present new evidence
A federal judge is once again weighing arguments over the "show me your papers" provision in Arizona's controversial immigration law. The provision was the only one of four major parts of the law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. But opponents argued in U.S. District Court on Tuesday that new evidence shows that a federal judge should block enforcement of the provision.
CNN: Attorneys blast Freeh report as Spanier speaks out
Attorneys for Graham Spanier on Wednesday blasted a university-funded review that accused the former Penn State president of complicity in the alleged coverup of a child sex abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky. Timothy K. Lewis called the review led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh a "blundering, indefensible indictment" and "a flat-out distortion of facts" that was "infused with bias and innuendo."
CNN: Florida, the Caribbean brace for Tropical Storm Isaac
Not yet a hurricane, Tropical Storm Isaac has already delivered shock waves from the Caribbean to Florida, postponing terror trial hearings in Cuba and posing a potential threat to next week's GOP convention in Tampa. Isaac's path remains uncertain, but some computer models show the storm slicing its way up Florida's peninsula. Others send it farther west, into the Gulf of Mexico. Officials are taking the threat seriously.
CNN: Gambia vows to execute all death row inmates by September, sparking outcry
Gambia plans to execute all death row prisoners by September, the president said this week, sparking condemnation from human rights groups worldwide. The tiny West African nation last executed an inmate about 30 years ago. It is unclear what prompted the change in stance.
CNN: Islands dispute reopening old wounds in China and Japan
Things are tense around the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Chinese military vehicles are visibly parked around the side of the building. Within minutes of our arrival there's a flurry of activity, as soldiers and police suddenly appear speaking into walkie-talkies and making phone calls. Large protests during the weekend have raised the alert. It is all over a group of rocky uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Japan says it owns - a claim China vigorously disputes.
CNN: Peace agreement broken in Tajikistan
A peace agreement that had halted violence in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan was shattered Wednesday when a rebel commander who had given up his weapons was killed by government forces, neighbors and relatives said. The incident occurred in the southeastern province of Pamir at 4 a.m., when government soldiers entered the house of Imumnazar Imumnazarov and killed him and two other men, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.
CNN: Mexican cult blocks school from starting
Authorities are negotiating with a religious cult in southwestern Mexico, trying to persuade leaders to allow public schools to operate in the isolated community, state media reported. The talks came after residents of New Jerusalem blocked roads into the community and attacked children, parents and teachers trying to enter a house that had been converted into a school. Three people were injured in the clashes Monday, state officials said.
CNNMoney: The middle class falls further behind
The middle class is struggling to survive and shrinking before our eyes, the Pew Research Center reported on Wednesday. "America's middle class has endured its worst decade in modern history," the Pew Research Center said in its report. "It has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some - but by no means all - of its characteristic faith in the future."
CNNMoney: Romney adviser praises Bernanke and the Fed
The Federal Reserve and its chairman Ben Bernanke received a surprising endorsement from one of Mitt Romney's top economic advisers, despite the fact that Romney has been critical of both. Glenn Hubbard, the dean of Columbia University's business school and part of Romney's inner circle of economic advisers, told Reuters television that Bernanke has "done a very good job" running the nation's central bank. He especially praised the steps that Bernanke and the Fed took in the wake of the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008.
Financial Times: Chinese acquisitions in US near record
Chinese acquisitions of US assets and businesses are running at record levels this year, bucking the trend of a generally tough mergers and acquisitions market and a sign that it is easier than many think for Chinese companies to attain approval for deals in America. Almost $8bn of deals have been announced so far this year, led by Dalian Wanda's $2.6bn takeover of AMC Entertainment, the US cinema chain, and Sinopec's $2.4bn acquisition of big stakes in a number of oil and gas developments from Devon Energy.
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Mitt Romney's assertions about President Obama "gutting" welfare don't stand up to scrutiny.