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: 'Binders,' cooking and equal pay: Did Romney undo gains with women voters?
Before Tuesday night's debate, polls showed Mitt Romney had gained ground with women voters. But his comments about using "whole binders full of women" as a hiring aid while governor, whiffing on an equal pay law question, and alluding to helping women get home to cook dinner has landed the GOP presidential hopeful in verbal quicksand with some female voters. He'll have to do some serious repair to regain traction, political experts say.
CNN: Did the president hit delete on his national security stump speech?
A standard line in the president's stump speech that touts his administration's efforts to target al Qaeda has been missing from recent stops, in the wake of the Libya terror attacks. At stops in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Athens, Ohio, the president on Wednesday made no mention of terrorists being "on the run." Republicans have questioned the president's foreign policy achievements, noting that his campaign rhetoric was further eroded by the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.
CNNMoney: Tax deduction cap: How much would it raise and who'd pay?
One of the big unknowns about Mitt Romney's $5 trillion tax plan is how he would pay for it. According to a report released Wednesday, one of the options he has talked about wouldn't raise nearly enough money on its own.
CNN: Appeals court denies Alabama's request for new hearing on immigration law
An appeals court Wednesday denied Alabama's request for a new hearing on the state's controversial immigration law. The same court struck down parts of the law, known as HB 56, in August. Alabama officials had requested a new hearing, arguing that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' August decision was "erroneous."
CNN: Man arrested after plotting Federal Reserve bomb, authorities say
Federal authorities running a sting operation arrested a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man, who came to the U.S. on a student visa and was allegedly planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, officials said.
CNN: Suspect in Saudi ambassador assassination plot pleads guilty
An Iranian-American man from Texas on Wednesday pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a plot meant to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Prosecutors said Manssor Arbabsiar, 57, tried to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to bomb a Washington restaurant where Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir dined. But the scheme unraveled when Arbabsiar's cartel contact turned out to be an undercover agent.
CNN: Attorneys to release confidential Boy Scouts files on alleged child sex abusers
More than 20,000 confidential Boy Scout documents will be released Thursday identifying more than 1,000 leaders and volunteers banned from the group after being accused of sexual or inappropriate conduct with boys. The public release of the Scouts' 1,247 "ineligible volunteer files" from 1965 to 1985 will not contain the identities of the boy victims and witnesses.
CNN: Doping costs Lance Armstrong sponsors, charity role
For years, Lance Armstrong carried a growing burden of doping accusations up increasingly steep hills, accumulating fans, wealth and respect along the way. On Wednesday, he crashed. In one day, the renowned cyclist and cancer survivor lost a major endorsement deal with Nike - once worth millions of dollars - and the chairmanship of the cancer charity he founded 15 years ago. While stepping down as chairman of Livestrong was Armstrong's idea, losing Nike's support wasn't.
CNN: Sudan's parliament OKs deals to end conflict with South Sudan
Sudan's parliament has approved oil and security deals with South Sudan that are intended to end the conflict between the countries, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. The deals were signed last month by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir following talks in the capital of Ethiopian, Addis Ababa. In addition to resuming oil exports from South Sudan, the presidents agreed on a demilitarized zone and principles of border demarcation.
CNN Security Clearance: Syrian rebels said to cut deals for arms from extremists
Syrian rebels are through waiting for substantial arms from western nations and Arab countries and are instead increasingly cutting their own deals to get weapons from extremists, including al Qaeda-like groups, a senior U.S. lawmaker told CNN.
CNN: Arab Spring fallout: More sophisticated weapons in Gaza
Militant sources in Gaza tell CNN that a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile was used to try to shoot down an Israeli helicopter flying east of Gaza last week. It is significant because it is the first time a weapon of this type has been used against an Israeli aircraft, though the missile did not manage to hit its target. Hamas, which controls Gaza, has not commented on the incident. The weapon originally came from Libya, according to a source in Gaza.
CNN: Rights group recounts Gadhafi's last bloody moments, calls for justice
The killing of Gadhafi and the fall of his Libya is a dramatic story, but it's missing one very important part. Human Rights Watch says the militiamen who ravaged Gadhafi and captured, tortured and killed his loyalists are possibly responsible for war crimes because killing someone in detention is recognized as such under international law. HRW lambastes Libya's current transitional government, saying it has taken no serious steps in investigating or prosecuting anti-Gadhafi militias.
Financial Times: Fears grow over EU banking union plan
EU leaders have expressed alarm that the eurozone’s push towards a banking union has stalled, setting up a confrontation with a more reluctant Germany at a European summit in Brussels.
CNNMoney: Average student loan debt nears $27,000
Thanks to rising tuition and a tough job market, college seniors graduated with an average of nearly $27,000 in student loan debt last year. Two-thirds of the class of 2011 held student loans upon graduation, and the average borrower owed $26,600, according to a report from the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt. That's up 5% from 2010 and is the highest level of debt in the seven years the report has been published.
CNNMoney: China's GDP growth slides to 7.4%
More bad news about the global economy: Growth slowed last quarter in China to its lowest level since early 2009. China's economy grew 7.4% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, marking a deceleration from an 7.6% growth rate in the prior quarter. The 7.4% GDP increase was in line with analyst expectations.
In case you missed it…
Obama and Romney are vying for the support of working women, CNN's Jessica Yellin reports.