The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click the headlines for more.
CNN: Obama holds advantage in three swing states
A poll of voters in the key battleground states of Iowa, Colorado and Wisconsin released Thursday shows President Obama with an advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey indicates Obama pulling ahead among likely voters by five points in both Wisconsin and Colorado with 50% to Romney's 45%, a margin that is within the poll's sampling error. But in Iowa the president holds an eight point lead with 50% to Romney's 42%, which is outside the poll's sampling error.
CNN: Romney opens new line of attack against Obama
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney launched a new line of attack against President Barack Obama on Thursday, seizing on comments Obama made about change in Washington earlier in the day. "The most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside," Obama said Thursday afternoon. "The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. He said he can't change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside," Romney thundered to an audience of several thousand in Sarasota. "Well, we're going to give him that chance in November. He's going outside!"
CNN: Obama campaign outraised Romney campaign in August
President Barack Obama and his allies raised nearly $85 million in August, outpacing Romney's haul in the month which saw both parties’ national conventions, campaign finance paperwork filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission showed. Obama's campaign spent heavily in the month, too, with their haul of $84.8 million just surpassing their $83.7 million in August spending.
CNN: Obama defends record on immigration at Univision forum
The immigration debate took center stage Thursday as U.S. President Barack Obama fielded questions in a forum broadcast live online by the Spanish-language Univision network. "I want you to acknowledge that you did not keep your promise," co-host Jorge Ramos said in Spanish, noting that the president didn't deliver on his 2008 campaign pledge to push immigration reform during the first year of his term.
CNN: Secret revealed: Ohio woman unknowingly married father
It was a dark secret. The kind that destroys lives, devastates families and decimates faith. Nobody shared it with Valerie Spruill while her husband was alive. For years after his death, she heard bits of the story. It was something about an absentee father, something about her husband. None of it made sense, she said. That's not until her uncle finally told her what no one else had: She had unknowingly married the father she never knew.
CNN: For immigrants, 'deferred status' still means no federal health insurance
As word spread this week that some benefits of the nation's health care law will not extend to the thousands of undocumented immigrants given reprieve from deportation by the Obama administration, advocacy groups were reminded that the youths' status remains much in limbo.
CNN: Attorneys ask Pennsylvania judge to call off killer's execution, citing sex abuse
Less than two weeks before a convicted killer is scheduled to be put to death, his attorneys on Thursday made a last-ditch effort to save their client. At a hearing in Philadelphia about whether authorities had withheld information that Terrance Williams had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his victim, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina is expected to decide whether to grant a stay of execution for the death row inmate.
CNN: Space shuttle Endeavour lands in California, nears retirement home
The space shuttle Endeavour’s final destination is the California Science Center in Los Angeles, but it still has some sightseeing to do before it goes on display. On Friday, Endeavour, atop a modified jumbo jet, will do several flyovers in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles - weather permitting. Upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, the orbiter will be removed from its perch aboard the Boeing 747 it has piggybacked for three days.
CNN: Embassies close in fear of more protests
Several diplomatic facilities were shuttered Friday as many brace for intensified protests over the anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims," as well as recently published cartoons in a French publication of a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed. Some believe Friday prayers, a time of protest recently in the Middle East and North Africa, could add fuel to the fire.
Georgia interior minister quits over prisoner abuse videos
Georgia's interior minster resigned Thursday, two days after videos surfaced purportedly showing guards abusing prisoners. Bacho Akhalaia released a statement on the ministry's website announcing the move. Akhalaia said that even though he's no longer in charge of the prison system, some people who were tasked to prevent such acts began their careers under his leadership.
CNN Security Clearance: Massive minesweeping exercise begins off Bahrain
More than three dozen nations have converged on the seas around Bahrain for a massive military minesweeping exercise. The at-sea maneuvers will involve a series of techniques and involve surface ships, aircraft, and underwater "explosive ordnance disposal" diving teams during the nearly two weeks of International Mine Countermeasure Exercise. The U.S. military says these exercises are strictly "defensive," but the show of force in light of Iran's threats to mine the Strait of Hormuz is hard to ignore.
CNN: Death toll rises in Cameroon flooding, which has displaced thousands
Cameroon authorities have found six more bodies in flood waters, bringing the number killed to as high as 40 in the wake of tropical downpours and the breaching of a dam in the west African country. The inundation in the Far North Region has affected more than 26,000, officials said Thursday, and in neighboring Nigeria at least 15 deaths are blamed on waters rushing into the country from Cameroon's compromised Lagdo Dam on the Benoue River.
Financial Times: Massive minesweeping exercise begins off Bahrain
EU authorities are working behind the scenes to pave the way for a new Spanish rescue programme and unlimited bond buying by the European Central Bank, by helping Madrid craft an economic reform programme that will be unveiled next week.
CNNMoney: Federal Reserve policies favor the rich
The Fed unveiled its third round of stimulus last week. The massive bond-buying initiative, called quantitative easing, aims to prop up the economy through a few key channels - namely the housing market and the stock market. Both of those channels skew in favor of Americans who are already in solid financial standing, and it seems the wealthier you are, the more you have to gain.
CNNMoney: Jobless claims dip slightly
The number of people filing for their first week of unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, the government said Thursday. The Labor Department said 382,000 people filed first-time jobless claims in the week ended Sept. 15. That was worse than the forecast of 375,000 people from economists surveyed by Briefing.com, although it was down 3,000 from the revised reading from the previous week.
In case you missed it…
John King takes a look at what's behind the new Nevada poll numbers and a troubling battleground trend for Mitt Romney.