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's political pretzel over Libya
Has Mitt Romney twisted the narrative of Tuesday's attacks at U.S. missions in Libya and Egypt? A timeline of the events suggests Romney was wrong in his accusation that the Obama administration's "first response" on Tuesday was one of sympathy for those who started the violence itself–as the violence came after the first statement was published.
CNN: Democrats outraged with Romney foreign policy attacks
Mitt Romney's harsh chiding of President Barack Obama's response to attacks in Libya and Egypt spurred a firestorm of backlash Wednesday from Democrats, who claim the GOP candidate is politicizing a tragedy that killed four, including the United States ambassador, in U.S. offices in Benghazi, Libya.
CNN: Following Libya killings, Obama tones down political rhetoric
Sticking to his campaign schedule Wednesday despite the recent killings of four State Department employees in Libya Tuesday night, President Barack Obama vowed to a raucous Las Vegas crowd that he intends to seek justice. While the campaign ultimately decided to press on with the event, its tone was decidedly scaled down. Obama refrained from his sharpest political barbs, did not mention rival Mitt Romney by name as he usually does, and entered absent his trademark introductory song, U2’s “The City of Blinding Lights.”
CNN: Ryan sharpens Obama foreign policy attack in Ohio
In the second of his two campaign appearances Wednesday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sharpened his critique of President Obama’s handling of the unfolding crises in Egypt and Libya.
CNN: Late-night talks fail to get deal in Chicago teachers strike
Chicago's teachers strike hits day four Thursday with no deal between the teacher's union and the school board, and Rev. Jesse Jackson offering to find away to bridge the chasm between the two. But after Wednesday, a day that both sides did not meet until late in the evening, some were not optimistic.
CNN: Farm bill backers rally on Capitol Hill
Backers of a comprehensive new farm bill held a campaign-style rally Wednesday on Capitol Hill, cranking up the political heat on House Republican leaders struggling to balance competing election year and ideological pressures.
CNN: Alabama again denies application of would-be abortion clinic operator
An abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, remains closed after a state hearing officer denied a prospective new owner's appeal to reopen the facility, made famous in 1998 when it was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph. In April, state regulators ordered the New Woman All Women Health Care facility closed citing "multiple and serious violations of State Board of Health rules."
CNN: West Nile cases may have peaked, officials say
Despite a 35% jump in West Nile virus cases since last week, federal health officials said Wednesday that they believe the worst part of the U.S. outbreak is past and expect the number of cases to decline.
CNN: Another protest turns violent outside U.S. Embassy in Cairo
Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protesters away from the building's perimeter, witnesses said. Six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Some protesters received medical treatment inside ambulances.
CNN Security Clearance: US moving Navy destroyers off coast of Libya
Two US Navy warships are moving towards the coast of Libya, two US officials tell CNN. The destroyers are the USS Laboon and the USS McFaul. Both ships are equipped with tomahawk missiles that could be used if a strike was ordered. Tomahawks are satellite-guided cruise missiles that can be programmed to hit specific targets. "These ships will give the administration flexibility," a senior official said, if the administration orders action against targets in Libya.
CNN: Pro-al Qaeda group seen behind deadly Benghazi attack
A pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say. They also note that the attack immediately followed a call from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for revenge for the death in June of a senior Libyan member of the terror group Abu Yahya al-Libi.
CNN: Cuba denies jailed contractor ill
Cuba's government on Wednesday disputed reports that the health of imprisoned U.S. State Department contractor Alan Gross is failing while he serves a 15-year sentence on the island. Gross' wife, Judy, visited him in prison last week and said that Gross, 63, has been wasting away in Cuba since his arrest in 2009 for bringing in banned communications equipment as part of a State Department program to spread democracy.
CNNMoney: Bloomberg: Democrats control deficit fight
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that Democrats in Congress should use strong-arm tactics on Republicans to balance federal deficits and pull the nation from its economic malaise. Bloomberg, an independent who has belonged to both parties, blamed "both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue" for undermining a full economic recovery. His comments were made in an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington.
CNNMoney: Fewer Americans uninsured – Census Bureau
For the first time in four years, the number of Americans without health insurance decreased. The U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday that 48.6 million people were uninsured in 2011 - down from 50 million the year before. The percentage of uninsured people also ticked lower, edging down to 15.7% from 16.3%.
CNN: Ghosn: Eurozone now has time, but needs growth
Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan Motor Co., said that while the European Central Bank bond-buying program will help buy time, what the eurozone needs most is a return to growth. The decision by Germany's Constitutional Court Wednesday to dismiss a complaint against Europe's permanent bailout fund helped ease pressure on borrowing costs for Italy and Spain, the countries next in the firing line of Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
In case you missed it…
The actress in the anti-Islamic film blamed for the violence in Egypt and Libya says she's sorry. Miguel Marquez reports.