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: In voting, the early bird skips the line
Come the first Tuesday in November, when millions are streaming into polling stations across the country, as much as 40% of Americans will have already voted. In 2004, 22% of Americans voted early and that rate rose to 34% in 2008, according to Paul Gronke, Professor of Political Science who founded and runs the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Oregon.
CNN: Obama: I bear 'full responsibility for everything'
President Barack Obama discussed his frustration with gridlock in Washington, saying his "biggest disappointment" in his nearly four years in office has been the failure to oversee change in the nation's political climate. "My biggest disappointment is that we haven't changed the tone in Washington as much as I would have liked," Obama said in a CBS News interview that aired Sunday.
CNN: Gibbs: Romney has advantage in debates
A senior Obama campaign adviser said Mitt Romney has a leg up on President Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential debates. "Mitt Romney I think has an advantage, because he's been through 20 of these debates in the primaries over the last year," Gibbs said Sunday on Fox News.
CNN: New Romney ad: Obama afraid to 'stand up to China'
For the second time in as many weeks, Mitt Romney's campaign released a new television ad blasting President Barack Obama as weak against China on trade. "Fewer Americans are working today than when President Obama took office," the ad's narrator says. "It doesn't have to be this way. If Obama would stand up to China."
CNN: Wife of missing American pleads for help from Iran's president
The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson can't help but count the days since he vanished during a business trip to Iran's Kish Island on March 8, 2007. Saturday marked 2,024 days since he's been gone. She left her Florida home this week to travel to New York in hopes of making a personal plea to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is attending this week's U.N. General Assembly. Levinson is convinced Ahmadinejad can help in the search for her husband.
CNN: Chicago official asks Chick-fil-A to clarify gay marriage stance
A Chicago alderman says Chick-fil-A's president is publicly contradicting what company executives personally assured him for months - that the fast-food chain is changing its stance on gay marriage - and he asked the company Sunday to clarify.
CNN: NYPD: Tigers' den jumper not drunk or crazy
The 25-year-old man who jumped from a monorail car into the Bronx Zoo's tiger den was not drunk or insane, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "Apparently he has some fascination with tigers," Kelly told CNN affiliate WABC. "He visited the zoo in the last month, month and a half, and focused on that area."
CNN: Gas prices screech to a halt
After rising for eight weeks, gas prices nationwide have come to a virtual standstill, according to a survey published Sunday. The average price of regular gasoline is $3.83 a gallon, down a fraction of a cent from two weeks ago, the Lundberg Survey found. From mid-July to early September, the price had jumped 43 cents a gallon, according to the survey.
CNN: Pakistani minister personally offers reward for anti-Islam filmmaker's death
A Pakistan government minister has personally offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills the man who made the anti-Islam movie that is drawing ire throughout the Muslim world. Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour announced the bounty at a news conference Saturday, but he made clear to CNN he was speaking for himself and not as a government representative.
CNN Security Clearance: A viewer's guide to the UN General Assembly
World leaders flock to the United Nations this week for the 67th annual session of the General Assembly. The general debate is expected to draw participation from 116 heads of state and government leaders. Foreign ministers and other government representatives will fill out the rest of the attendance roster of the 193-member world body.
CNN: Meeting in Damascus, opposition figures call for 'toppling the regime'
Opposition figures met Sunday inside Syria - in its capital Damascus, and with the knowledge of its rulers - and urged "toppling the regime" of President Bashar al-Assad "with all its figures and facets." The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency acknowledged the meeting, which it said included representatives of more than 20 opposition groups. The Syrian National Council, one of the most prominent opposition groups, was not among them.
CNN: Libyan troops raid rogue brigade's base
Libyan army troops raided a former military base in Tripoli Sunday, kicking out a rogue infantry brigade and detaining its members. The raid came shortly after the army issued an ultimatum giving unauthorized militias 48 hours to withdraw from military compounds, public buildings and property belonging to members of the former regime in the country's capital and surrounding areas. A statement from the army vowed to "use force to carry out these orders," the state-run LANA news agency said.
Financial Times: Give Greece more time, says French PM
France has said Greece should be given more time to meet the terms of its international bailout, in the clearest call yet by a leading eurozone country for an easing of the stringent conditions attached to the €174bn rescue package.
CNNMoney: Unemployment rates rise in key swing states
The unemployment rate rose in 26 states last month, seven of which are key battleground states, critical in the presidential election. Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 8.1% in August, but the job market differs dramatically from state to state. For example, in the swing state of Michigan the jobless rate rose to 9.4% in August, up from 9% a month earlier, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday.
CNNMoney: GM recalls 426,000 sedans
General Motors announced a recall Friday of more than 400,000 sedans in the U.S. because of a transmission problem that causes cars to roll when they're supposed to be in park. GM said the recall applies to 426,240 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn sedans to repair a condition in which the transmission gear position may not match the gear on the shifter. If left unfixed, GM says drivers may think they're still in park, but their vehicles are rolling.
In case you missed it…
CNN’s Candy Crowley, pollsters and journalists discuss the role undecided voters will have in the 2012 campaign.