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: Republicans increase pressure on Obama over Rice
Republicans this week increased pressure on President Barack Obama to drop any thought of nominating U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as secretary of state. In a letter to Obama, 97 House Republicans questioned Rice's credibility "at home and around the world" after her "misleading" public statements about the origin of the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
CNN: When a win isn't a win: House Democratic gains may not equal victory
Two weeks after President Barack Obama's re-election, Democrats are still basking in victory as a group of "too close to call" House races have gone their way. They have won six of the seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives that were undecided on Election Night with a recount pending in Rep. Mike McIntyre's North Carolina race.
CNN: Archconservatives: anger, denial but no acceptance of Obama's victory
Step by step, die-hard conservatives are confronting their grief over President Barack Obama's re-election. But judging from blog posts and other public pronouncements, many remain stuck somewhere between denial and anger, very far from acceptance.
CNN: 10-year-old with same-sex parents finds pen pal in President Obama
When Sophia Bailey-Klugh, a 10-year-old, invited President Barack Obama to dinner, she didn't get a response. So when he replied to her second letter–this one thanking him for his position on same-sex marriage–the girl with two fathers was really surprised.
CNN: Social media snags 4 U.S. residents allegedly supporting Taliban
Jihadist social media postings helped lead to the arrest and charging of four Los Angeles area men who were allegedly on their way to Afghanistan to train with the Taliban and join al Qaeda, federal officials said. They were also plotting to kill American soldiers and bomb government installations, according to a joint statement Monday by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.
CNN: Officials: Organizers of Texas parade hit by deadly crash did not apply for a permit
Organizers of a "Hunt for Heroes" parade that culminated in a deadly locomotive-and-parade-float collision last week did not apply for a parade permit, officials in Midland, Texas, said Tuesday, raising questions about whether the railroad had been notified of the parade and why city police were serving as escorts.
CNN: Documentary: Serial killer, not O.J., killed Simpson and Brown
A death row inmate told relatives and a criminal profiler he killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman while O.J. Simpson waited nearby, a new documentary claims. O.J. Simpson was tried and acquitted in the June 12, 1994, stabbing deaths of his ex-wife and her friend, although the actor and football legend was found liable in a civil wrongful death trial.
CNN: New York AG: We've busted prostitution ring, freed two trafficking victims
Police on Tuesday busted a $7 million drug and prostitution ring that spanned three states, arresting 15 suspects and freeing two trafficking victims in Manhattan, according to the New York Attorney General.
CNN: Morsy's Egypt 'pivotal' to Gaza cease-fire talks
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy's efforts to broker an end to the Israel-Gaza conflict highlight the delicate balancing act he faces as his nation's first freely elected leader. Egypt has been the go-between in many previous Israeli-Palestinian disputes. But while longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was hostile to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood is the group's political cousin. And although Morsy leads a population with deep historical sympathy for the Palestinians, he has pledged to maintain Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.
CNN: India executes last gunman from Mumbai attacks
India on Wednesday executed Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the last surviving gunman from the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people, a government official said. Kasab, a Pakistani, was hanged at Yerwada Jail in Pune, a city southeast of Mumbai, said K.S. Dhatwalia, a spokesman for the Indian home ministry. It was the first use of capital punishment in India in eight years.
CNN: UK joins France in supporting Syrian rebel coalition
For months, the rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were considered by the global community to be unorganized. But that appears to be changing, after the leaders of various fighting units agreed to move forward in lockstep with a uniform military plan. And now France and the United Kingdom are giving help to those rebels and their unified opposition organization.
CNN: Dozens dead after clashes in Syrian border town
A flashpoint Syrian border town recently captured by rebels was reeling Tuesday after deadly clashes erupted between Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia. The battle left dozens of fighters from both sides dead, including one prominent ethnic Kurdish leader.
CNNMoney: No deal for Greece as talks drag
European finance ministers concluded a marathon meeting Wednesday without finalizing the details of a debt-reduction package for Greece. The absence of an agreement endangers the release of the next round of Greece's international bailout package, funding the country needs to remove the threat of bankruptcy and a messy exit from the eurozone.
CNNMoney: Why Wal-Mart workers are striking on Black Friday
The stage has been set for a battle between a group of Wal-Mart workers and the retailer on Black Friday. The union-backed group OUR Walmart expects thousands of workers to participate in the protest planned this week. The employees will ask the country's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.
CNNMoney: Hostess liquidation likely as mediation fails
Hostess Brands said Tuesday evening that a last-ditch mediation session with its bakers' union over a new contract imposed in bankruptcy court had failed, bringing the company closer to liquidation. Hostess said in a brief statement that the mediation session "was unsuccessful," and that it had no further comment ahead of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in bankruptcy court, where it has requested permission to liquidate.
In case you missed it…
CNN's Brian Todd reports on Israel coming under fire for civilian deaths in Gaza.