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 Security Clearance: With changes, U.S.-based prisons could handle Gitmo detainees, GAO finds
Federal prisons and Defense Department correctional facilities in the U.S. would need myriad operational changes if detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were transferred into the country, according to a Congressional investigative report released Wednesday. However, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who ordered the report in 2008, touted it as proof the U.S. prison system could handle the detainees, many of whom are accused of terrorist acts.
CNNMoney: Goldman's Blankfein: 'Country can't afford all this'
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Wednesday that a compromise in Washington was essential to avoid the fiscal cliff. Speaking later in the day with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Blankfein said he'd be open to moving the top marginal tax rate for families making above $250,000 a year from 35% back to its Clinton-era level of 39.6%.
CNN: GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public
An angry warning by President Barack Obama delivered well over a year ago foreshadowed his campaign-style approach on Wednesday aimed at pressuring Republicans to compromise and reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. In remarks at the White House, Obama urged Americans to call, e-mail and tweet their members of Congress to urge immediate passage of his proposal to extend tax cuts for most Americans while allowing rates on the wealthiest 2% to increase to 1990s levels.
CNN: 5 questions on Susan Rice
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made a second trip to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to answer questions from Republican senators about the September 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Rice triggered controversy with her appearance on television talk shows in the days after the Benghazi attack to explain what was known about it. Here are five questions around Rice's involvement in the controversy.
CNN: Winning Powerball tickets sold in Missouri, Arizona
If you are in Missouri or Arizona, check your lottery tickets. You could be filthy rich. Tickets for the record-breaking estimated $579 million jackpot were purchased in those states, lottery officials said early Thursday morning. The winning numbers were 5-23-16-22-29 and the Powerball was 6.
CNN: New York City logs murder-free Monday, police say
The big news in the Big Apple this week may be what didn't happen. There was not a single reported slaying, stabbing, shooting or knifing in any of the five boroughs on Monday, according to the New York Police Department.
CNN: The spill: How much should BP suffer?
Remember when oil giant BP paid billions of dollars to clean up its own mess from the 2010 Gulf oil spill? Then the company agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay an unprecedented $4 billion fine for the spill. In the latest development, Wednesday, the U.S. government temporarily banned BP from bidding on any new federal contracts– a potentially huge blow to the company's bottom line.
CNN: Men accused of running $8M bank fraud from prison get 25 years
Two California prison inmates who authorities say directed members of their respective groups - a street gang and a transnational organized crime syndicate - to help them steal $8 million from people's bank accounts were sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
CNN: Egypt speeds new constitution amid Morsy protests
The council charged with drafting Egypt's new constitution says it will vote on a final draft on Thursday, rushing to finish its work amid widespread protests against President Mohamed Morsy. The announcement triggered a walkout by some of the council's members.
CNN: Palestinian United Nations bid explained
The Palestinians are seeking to upgrade their status at the United Nations Thursday, through a vote in the General Assembly as to whether "Palestine" will be granted recognition as a "non-member state." The vote, which many observers believe will pass, would amount to an implicit recognition of Palestinian statehood from the international body. It would strengthen their chances of joining U.N. agencies and the International Criminal Court in order to attempt to exert international pressure on Israel.
CNN: 3 managers arrested after deadly Bangladesh factory fire
Three managers at a Bangladeshi clothing factory were arrested and accused of locking a main gate of the facility hampering people trying to flee a weekend inferno that killed more than 100 workers, police said. The arrest of the mid-level managers did not stop the continued protests of thousands in the capital city Dhaka Wednesday, as many mourned and called for a full investigation into what happened.
CNN: South Korea halts latest attempt to put satellite in orbit
South Korea called off an attempt to put a satellite in orbit on Thursday, the latest setback to a program that has suffered failures in the past. The launch of the Naro-1 rocket was suspended minutes before takeoff at a launch site on the country's southern coast Thursday afternoon local time.
CNNMoney: Kill the dollar bill, for $1 coins instead?
A nonpartisan, investigative arm of Congress is calling for the United States to stop printing dollar bills and switch entirely to $1 coins instead. Why? Because the Government Accountability Office believes it could save Uncle Sam money.
CNNMoney: Spanish bank bailout gets go-ahead
The European Commission has approved Spain's plans to restructure four of its weakest banks, clearing the way for them to receive nearly €37 billion in fresh capital from the eurozone's bailout fund. All four banks were nationalized to prevent them collapsing after Spain's property bubble burst, leaving them facing massive losses on their loan books.
CNN: The billion-dollar question: Where is Angola's oil money?
Oil has driven Angola's booming economy over the last decade, helping the resource-rich country emerge from the wreckage of a long, vicious war to become one Africa's major economic players. One of the biggest producers of black gold in the continent, the southwestern African country has seen its GDP surge by several hundred percent in recent years. More than 90% of Angola's revenue comes from oil production, but despite its oil wealth, Angola remains largely impoverished.