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: Debates aren't about a win
As Mitt Romney headed into the crunch period of debate preparation with a heavy weight of expectations on his shoulders, he told a sprawling Denver audience that the Wednesday night match-up against President Barack Obama wasn't about a scoring a win. Instead, Romney said, the trio of presidential debates offered an opportunity for each candidate to present his own pathway for America.
CNN: Poll: Obama stretches lead to 15 points over Romney in N.H.
A new poll released Monday indicates President Barack Obama has expanded his margin over Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and now leads his Republican opponent by 15 points. Fifty-two percent of likely voters say they will vote for the president, while 37% say they back Romney, according to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
CNN: Hugo Chavez: 'I'd vote for Obama'
President Barack Obama received one endorsement he definitely did not ask for Monday: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The leftist leader and strong man, who has used strong anti-United States language in his political rallies and official speeches, told state-owned VTV, "In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez, I am positive."
CNN: Judge set to rule on controversial Pennsylvania voter ID law
A Pennsylvania judge is expected to rule Tuesday whether or not to uphold a new state law requiring every voter to present a photo ID at the polls. Supporters argue that the law signed in March by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett will prevent voter fraud and is upheld by the constitution. But opponents counter that the new law will disenfranchise voters, and any implementation should be postponed until after the November 6 presidential election.
CNN: California governor OKs ban on gay conversion therapy, calling it 'quackery'
Therapy aimed at turning gay kids straight will soon be illegal in California, with the state's governor declaring he hopes a new law will relegate such efforts "to the dustbin of quackery." The legislation - which the state Senate passed in May, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law this weekend and will take effect January 1 - prohibits attempts to change the sexual orientation of patients under age 18.
CNN: Missing New Jersey girl spawns social media flurry
Police say they are searching for 16-year-old Kara Alongi, a missing New Jersey girl who generated big buzz on social media with a post about a possible intruder. "There is somone in my hour ecall 911," she posted on Twitter at 6:20 p.m. Sunday before she went missing. It is believed she meant "someone in my house, call 911." The comment spawned a flurry of activity on the social networking site, with thousands using the hashtag, #helpfindkara.
CNN: Justices debate corporate responsibility for human rights abuses
The Supreme Court kicked off its new term on Monday, struggling to clarify when foreign victims of torture and other crimes against humanity can sue corporations and others in federal courts. The outcome could have significant global impact from a moral, political, and financial perspective.
CNN: Video shows Philadelphia police officer punch woman during street gathering
Philadelphia police are investigating an incident caught on video and posted to the Internet in which a uniformed officer strikes a woman after he apparently was hit with a liquid.
CNN: Now 2 bounties on producer of anti-Islamic film
For the second time in less than two weeks, a prominent Pakistani is offering a six-figure bounty to anyone who kills the man who produced "Innocence of Muslims," a film that has offended many Muslims throughout the world.
CNN: UK High Court to rule on radical Muslim cleric's extradition to U.S.
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri finds out Tuesday if he can avoid extradition from Britain to the United States to face terrorism charges. Al-Masri, whose followers included the so-called "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and who once called al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a "hero," faces 11 charges in U.S. courts.
CNN: Rights group: Police rape woman in Tunisia, then charge her with indecency
Outraged Tunisians will take to the streets Tuesday to protest the treatment of a woman who was allegedly raped by police officers - and then charged with public indecency when she filed a complaint against them. The case began September 3 when three police officers approached the woman and her fiance while they were in their car in the capital Tunis, the woman's lawyer told Amnesty. Two of the officers then raped the woman inside the car, while the third took her fiance to a nearby ATM to extort money from him, the woman claimed.
CNN Security Clearance: Georgia opposition may be premature in declaring victory– observers
Independent international observers in the Republic of Georgia described the country's parliamentary election Monday as peaceful with no significant violence but warned that the opposition may be prematurely declaring victory. Lorne Craner, president of the International Republican Institute, a U.S. congressionally funded democracy support organization, spoke with CNN by telephone at 11 p.m. Tbilisi, Georgia, time, as Georgia's Central Election Commission was counting votes.
CNNMoney: Economists: Fiscal cliff a serious threat, but unlikely
Getting economists to agree on almost anything is tough. But on the subject of the fiscal cliff, a survey by CNNMoney found an almost unanimous consensus. Of 17 top economists surveyed, 14 believe the end of tax breaks and the steep federal spending cuts set to take effect at the start of next year would cause the economy to tumble into a new recession.
CNNMoney: Prosecutors: Madoff fraud started in 1970s
Federal prosecutors filed additional charges Monday against five former employees of Bernie Madoff, saying that his massive scheme to defraud investors started in the 1970s, much earlier than previously alleged.
CNNMoney: New York sues JPMorgan over mortgages
New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has filed suit against JPMorgan over the creation and sale of mortgage-backed securities during the housing bubble, alleging that bankers from the now-JPMorgan-owned Bear Stearns perpetrated "a systemic fraud on thousands of investors." JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in 2008 at a steep discount in a deal backed by the government. At the time, regulators were attempting to prevent ailing Bear from touching off a panic on Wall Street.
In case you missed it…
CNN’s Brian Todd reports on a prison interview sniper Lee Boyd Malvo gave on the 10-year anniversary of the killing spree.