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: Romney calls for strong U.S. role in world affairs
Mitt Romney promised Monday to restore U.S. foreign policy to a traditional role dating back decades, based on exerting global influence through military and economic power, in a major speech two weeks before he debates President Barack Obama on international issues.
CNN: Romney revives 8% unemployment critique at rainy rally
Mitt Romney rolled out a new response to last week’s jobs numbers during a rain-soaked rally in Newport News Monday. After the release of Friday's government report showing unemployment had dipped to 7.8%, its lowest rate in years, Romney dropped a regular line attacking President Barack Obama for presiding over 43 months in office with a rate higher than 8%.
CNN Fact Check: Fact Check: Has Obama 'not signed one new free-trade agreement'?
Mitt Romney stated Monday that President Barack Obama "has not signed one new free-trade agreement in the past four years." "I'll reverse that failure," the Republican presidential nominee said. But is his assertion true?
CNN Fact check: Did Obama say he wants 'daylight' between U.S., Israel?
Throughout his campaign, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has cast himself as an ardent backer of Israel – and, either directly or indirectly, suggested that President Barack Obama hasn't been similarly supportive. The former Massachusetts governor lashed out again Monday in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute, criticizing Obama on several points.
CNN: Jerry Sandusky proclaims his innocence ahead of sentencing
Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky may face up to life in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday morning for sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. And while some of his victims and Sandusky himself are expected to address the judge during the proceedings, he pleaded his case in an audio statement that aired Monday in which he protests his innocence and says he is falsely accused.
CNN: Rare meningitis infects more than 100, kills 8
Eight people have died from a rare, noncontagious form of meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. In addition, 105 people in nine states have been infected with the illness as a result of the shots, the CDC said.
CNN: Radical Islamist Abu Hamza al-Masri to be arraigned
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who once called al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a "hero," will be arraigned in a New York courtroom Tuesday on 11 counts of terrorism. The hearing comes after al-Masri lost a lengthy legal battle to avoid extradition to the United States from London.
CNN: Man arrested in plot to blow up 48 churches in Oklahoma
Authorities in Oklahoma have arrested and charged a 23-year-old man who they say planned to blow up 48 area churches. Gregory Arthur Weiler II was arrested last week at a motel in Miami, Oklahoma, according to Ben Loring, first assistant district attorney for Ottawa County.
CNN Security Clearance: US embassy in Libya sought extension of “essential” security team
Amid a growing diplomatic mandate after the revolution and increased concerns about an "uncertain and unstable" security environment, the U.S. Embassy staff in Libya requested a 16-member Special Operations "security support team" remain in the country for several months beyond the end of its scheduled departure in August, calling its work "essential," according to a State Department memo obtained by CNN Security Clearance. The request was denied.
CNN: North Korea says it has missiles that can reach U.S.
North Korea said Tuesday that its missiles can reach the U.S. mainland - days after South Korea announced a deal with the United States to extend its missile range. The strike zone of North Korean rocket forces includes "not only the bases of the puppet forces and the U.S. imperialist aggression forces' bases in the inviolable land of Korea, but also Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland," the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
CNN: Egypt's president pardons protesters
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy said Monday that he would pardon protesters arrested or jailed during and after the uprising that led to the ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak. The amnesty covers those who committed crimes "with the aim of supporting the revolution" between January 25, 2011, and June 30, 2012, according to a post on the president's official Facebook page. Morsy assumed office on June 30.
CNN: Toxic leak in South Korea sickens thousands, ruins crops
October is supposed to be the busiest month of the year for Lim Chae-ho's vineyards and rice fields in the southern part of South Korea. In a normal year, the 50-year-old farmer would be in the midst of harvesting the crops he had spent months cultivating. But a toxic leak from an explosion at a chemical plant in the nearby city of Gumi two weeks ago has left him empty handed.
CNNMoney: Fiscal cliff is 'ticking time bomb' for stocks
The race for the White House is on investors' minds, but who gains control of Congress will have an even bigger impact on the stock market. In fact, nearly 60% of the investment strategists and money managers surveyed by CNNMoney said the outcome of congressional elections will play a bigger role, since lawmakers in the House and Senate will dictate how to resolve the fiscal cliff, considered to be the market's biggest headwind.
CNNMoney: IMF: Slow growth, big risks
A tentative recovery in the global economy is running out of steam and growth could weaken further due to Europe's debt crisis and inaction over a looming fiscal squeeze in the United States, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.
CNNMoney: World Bank slashes Asia forecast
The World Bank lowered its growth outlook for Asia on Monday, and warned that a major unraveling in Europe could knock 2% off Asia's GDP growth next year. The institute now expects economic growth in Asia to be 7.2% in 2012, down from the 7.6% projection made in May and lower than last year's rate of 8.2%. However, growth is expected to rebound next year, spurred by strong demand in developing countries.
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