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 Poll: Nearly half say Obama won showdown
Give a slight edge to President Barack Obama. Forty-six percent of voters who watched Tuesday night's presidential debate said that the president won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Tuesday night's faceoff here at Hofstra University on New York's Long Island. Thirty-nine percent questioned said Republican nominee Mitt Romney did the better job.
CNN: 'Binders full of women' raises brows
Did Mitt Romney really request that as governor of Massachusetts, he be brought "whole binders full of women?" It was his response to a question – on gender pay inequality – which turned heads and started fingers tapping on keyboards. Before the debate was over, there was a Twitter hashtag, a blog, a series of memes, and a Facebook page with over 100,000 fans. The phrase was the third-fastest rising search on Google during the debate.
CNN: Obama takes responsibility for issues around Benghazi attack
President Barack Obama took ultimate responsibility on Tuesday for issues around last month's terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. "I am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my folks, and I'm the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home," Obama said during a debate with Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in New York.
CNN: What do Abraham Lincoln, 'zingers' and pigeon soup have in common?
Presidential debates haven't been around forever. A woman hasn't moderated a presidential debate in 20 years. A German immigrant is to thank for election season's October verbal battles. And Abraham Lincoln might have pioneered debate zingers. Don't believe us? Read on.
CNN: Criminal investigators visit Massachusetts drug facility
Criminal investigators from the Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration were at a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company on Tuesday with a search warrant, a company spokesman said. Federal officials say that more issues have been reported with drugs from the New England Compounding Center, or NECC, which has been linked to a deadly multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis.
CNN: Students in blackface re-enact Chris Brown beating Rihanna
It was a homecoming rally to cheer on the Waverly Wolverines football team. They were undefeated this year. Everyone was proud, and then came a 30-second skit that, for some, turned an afternoon of school pride into one of shame. Three white male students involved in the skit made light of domestic violence, and they did it in racist manner, say some. Two were in blackface as they re-enacted a 2009 domestic abuse incident in which singer Chris Brown assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna.
CNN: Move over, Tatooine! Amateurs discover planet with four suns
This week, reality trumped (science) fiction with an enthralling image: two amateur astronomers poring through data from deep, distant skies and discovering a planet with four suns. NASA's website calls the phenomenon a circumbinary planet, or a planet that orbits two suns. Rare enough on its own - only six other circumbinary planets are known to exist - this planet is orbited by two more distant stars, making it the first known quadruple sun system.
CNN: Police: Couple ran strip club in home; abused, beat their adopted kids
It started with a dead body on the front yard of a Southern California home. When detectives investigating that unsolved July homicide went with a search warrant this month, they said they discovered something even more shocking inside: seven adopted children who recounted incidents of sexual abuse and beatings - all living in a home that had been converted into a strip club.
CNN: Japanese officials angry after 2 U.S. sailors arrested in Okinawa rape case
Japanese officials expressed outrage after two U.S. sailors were arrested over accusations that they raped a woman on the island of Okinawa, where the American military presence has generated long-simmering resentment. Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto on Wednesday called the alleged rape "vicious and mean" and said Japanese authorities were lodging protests with the U.S. government and military, as well as demands for better preventive measures.
CNN: Colombia, FARC rebels to start peace talks in Norway
Talks aimed at ending 50 years of fighting between FARC guerrillas and Colombian forces are expected to take place Wednesday in Norway. In an interview last month, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he was hopeful about the prospect for peace. The sides were able to negotiate a "short" and "pragmatic" agenda for the talks, he said. Santos said he has been thinking about the possibility of peace ever since the FARC's military commander was killed in 2010.
CNN: Israeli parliament dissolves, schedules early election
Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself and schedule an election in January, setting the stage for the beginning of an intense political campaign in the Middle Eastern nation. The election is set for January 22, moved up from October 2013, according to a statement on the Knesset website Tuesday.
CNN: Syrian warplanes strike key town
Syrian warplanes pounded volatile northern regions of the nation Tuesday, activists said. Planes struck Maaret al-Numan and neighboring villages in Idlib province in the north, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. The town is strategically important to the government because it's on a main highway connecting Damascus and Aleppo, a route needed for moving reinforcements.
CNNMoney: Obama and Romney on taming deficits
Whoever wins the presidential election on Nov. 6 will be under pressure to tame federal deficits. President Obama and Mitt Romney weren't asked about the subject directly during Tuesday's town hall debate, but they each signaled that they would try to get the country's debt under control. Unfortunately, budget experts say, both candidates' plans fall short.
CNNMoney: The 5%: Romney defines 'rich'
Mitt Romney has been saying that under his tax plan, high-income households would continue to pay the same share of taxes as they pay today. During Tuesday night's town hall debate with President Obama, he got more specific. "The top 5% of taxpayers will continue to pay 60% of the income tax the nation collects. So that'll stay the same," Romney said. Who is in the top 5%?
CNNMoney: Car battery maker A123 files for bankruptcy
Battery maker A123 Systems, a one-time darling of the U.S. electric car industry and recipient of millions in government funding, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday. The filing highlights the controversy over federal subsidies for "green energy" companies that has been a part of the 2012 presidential campaign.
In case you missed it…
President Obama and Mitt Romney dispute various topics with a number of zingers at the second presidential debate in New York.