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 abortion comment draws Democratic criticism
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a Tuesday interview with an Iowa newspaper that he has no abortion-related legislation on his platform – although as president, he would reinstate through administrative means a policy banning nongovernmental organizations from using federal funds to provide abortions.
CNN: On Iran, Romney says he sees eye to eye with Netanyahu
Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that he would use the same test to evaluate Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program as would Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a wide-ranging interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," the Republican presidential nominee also defended his proposed U.S. tax model and shed light on how he would handle the civil war in Syria.
CNN: Poll: Race tightening in New Hampshire as well
President Barack Obama's advantage over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the Granite State has shrunk, according to a new poll of likely voters in New Hampshire conducted both before and after last Wednesday's presidential debate. The WMUR Granite State Poll found Obama at 47% and Romney at 41%, with Obama no longer holding the 15 point lead he had a week ago. The difference between the two candidates is now within the poll's sampling error.
CNN: #homestretch: Romney lowers debate expectations for Ryan
During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, GOP nominee Mitt Romney suggested his running mate, Paul Ryan is an inexperienced debater. "Obviously, the vice president has done, I don't know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime, experienced debater. This is, I think, Paul's first debate. I may be wrong. He may have done something in high school, I don't know," Romney said.
CNN: Deaths rise to 12, with nearly 120 sickened in rare meningitis outbreak
Florida recorded its first death connected to the outbreak of a rare, noncontagious form of meningitis, raising the toll Tuesday to a total of 12 fatalities nationwide. Earlier in the day, federal authorities reported 11 deaths and 119 persons becoming ill in the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday. Those figures were an increase from Monday's count of eight deaths and 105 illnesses.
CNN: Record skydive attempt from stratosphere postponed
A skydiver's historic free-fall from the stratosphere was called off Tuesday due to wind gusts that ruined the helium balloon set to hoist him to high altitude for the record-breaking attempt. Another attempt is not expected before Thursday due to weather conditions. Felix Baumgartner is aiming to jump from a higher altitude than anyone ever has - 120,000 feet (about 23 miles), more than three times the cruising altitude of the average airliner - with nothing but a space suit, helmet and parachute.
CNN: Passenger clad in body armor arrested for transporting smoke bomb
A federal court session for a man who tried to enter the United States allegedly with a veritable potpourri of weaponry and related paraphernalia was delayed Tuesday, leaving unanswered until a rescheduled hearing Friday questions about the man, his baggage and his intentions. Yongda Huang Harris, a U.S. citizen of Chinese decent, was detained in the international arrivals area of Los Angeles International Airport last Friday, and charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials.
CNN: TSA screeners put inspection notices in bags they didn't inspect
The Department of Homeland Security independent watchdog - the Inspector General (IG) - announced Tuesday that a whistle-blower triggered investigations when he came forward with video showing some TSA officers skirting procedures. "Among other things, the (video showed screeners) opening bags, placing notices of inspection inside and transporting them back to the airline without screening them," read a report from the IG.
CNN: Netanyahu calls early election for Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an early election after failing to agree on a budget with his coalition partners, saying the vote should be held "as soon as possible" for the good of the country.
CNN: Taliban attack wounds teen activist blogger
Malala Yousufzai's courageous blogging against the Taliban set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls. Growing up in a region once dominated by the Islamic extremists, she knew the fear associated with the word Taliban. One of her fears came to pass Tuesday, when gunmen sought her out and opened fire on her school van, leaving her seriously wounded along with two other classmates.
CNN: Exiled Syrian writer honored for 'Diaries' of revolt
For more than three months, Samar Yazbek watched and took notes as the Arab Spring demonstrations in her native Syria were met with bloody force. Her memoir of the early weeks of the conflict - now a full-blown civil war that has claimed 28,000 lives, according to opposition activists - earned her literary honors in exile this week.
CNN: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to be awarded
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced Wednesday in Stockholm, Sweden - the third of six Nobel prizes to be announced this month. Last year, Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology won the award for the discovery of quasicrystals, which was made in 1982, and "fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter," according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
CNN: IMF: Risks to global stability rise
Falling market confidence has led to money fleeing peripheral eurozone nations such as Spain and mounting pressure on banks, raising the risks of a credit crunch and recession, the International Monetary Fund said in a report released Wednesday at meetings in Tokyo.
CNN: China's top banker snubs IMF meeting
China's top banker has pulled out of the International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo Wednesday in a move widely seen as a protest for the ongoing dispute between Japan and China over islands in the East China Sea. Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, was scheduled to give the Per Jacobsson lecture at the IMF-World Bank annual meetings being held this year through Sunday in Tokyo.
CNNMoney: Jack Welch: I was right about jobs report
Jack Welch elaborated Wednesday on his widely-debunked criticism of the latest government jobs report, claiming in an op-ed that the reported 7.8% unemployment rate is "downright implausible." Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Welch said that it is an overstatement to suggest that data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is "precise" or "bias-free." And he raised questions over three key statistics - the labor-force participation rate, the growth in government workers and overall job growth - saying big one-month gains "have to raise some eyebrows."
In case you missed it…
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was interviewed on Tuesday by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who asked the candidate about foreign policy, taxes, and his debate stage ritual.