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: NRA doubles down: New gun laws won't work
The National Rifle Association made clear Sunday it will not budge on its opposition to any new gun laws, despite heated criticism of the organization's response to the Connecticut school massacre.
CNN: Republicans not jumping onto NRA's gun plan
Republicans on Sunday were reticent in voicing support for the National Rifle Association's scheme to place guards with firearms in American schools, though they also appeared to find little common ground with Democrats, who want tighter restrictions on purchasing assault weapons.
CNN: Republicans: Obama wants to go over the cliff
Republican lawmakers said Sunday they believe President Barack Obama wants the country to fall off the fiscal cliff for political purposes. “I think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. He gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. He gets to cut the military, which Democrats have been calling for years and he gets to blame Republicans for it,” Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said on “Fox News Sunday.”
CNN: Idaho senator accused of DUI in Virginia
U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, was arrested early Sunday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, and charged with driving under the influence, according to the town's police department. Crapo has represented Idaho in the Senate since 1999. He's a member of the Senate's "Gang of 8."
CNN: Judge OKs settlement in BP class-action suit
A federal judge signed off on BP's settlement with businesses and people hard hit by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans issued a 125-page ruling Friday night on a class-action suit. He gave the settlement preliminary approval in May and overruled questions and criticism of the agreement in his Friday ruling.
CNN: California law banning gay 'conversion therapy' put on hold
An appeals court slapped an injunction on a new California state law that bans conversion therapy for minors– a method some say can help turn a gay person straight. The federal panel of three judges at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday to block the law that would have prevented young people under 18 from undergoing the controversial treatment. It would have gone into effect January 1.
CNN: Former Marine released from Mexican prison
A former U.S. Marine who languished for more than four months in a Mexican prison on a questionable gun charge was on his way to spending Christmas with his family Friday after U.S. politicians intervened for his release.
CNN: U.S. lawmakers rally for Nigerian student living illegally
His journey started in Nigeria, a taunted teenager with large tumors on his face, driven into deep despair. Eleven years later, Victor Chukwueke has undergone numerous surgeries. In a rare act, the United States Congress passed a private bill last week granting Chukwueke permanent residency after years of his living in Michigan on an expired visa. The bill is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature. It is the only private bill to pass in Congress in two years.
CNN: South Korean officials: North Korean rocket could hit U.S. mainland
The rocket launched earlier this month by North Korea had the capability to travel more than 6,000 miles, meaning this type of rocket could strike the United States, South Korean defense officials said.
CNN: Russia: Syria consolidates its chemical weapons
Syria has consolidated its chemical weapons into one of two locations from its usual places scattered across the country, Russia's foreign minister said Saturday. The move comes as unrest in the country extends to nearly two years, with rebels making gains recently.
CNN: Egyptians approve new constitution, unofficial results show
In a poll preceded by deadly protests, Egyptians approved a constitution drafted by a Muslim-dominated assembly, unofficial results show. A preliminary tally of the vote published by state-run Egynews shows 64% in favor of the constitution and 36% against it.
CNN: Police crackdown amid outrage over gang rape
Police locked down New Delhi's key government district ahead of Monday's visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, after two days of pitched street battles following the gang rape of a woman on a bus.
CNNMoney: EPA study supports more natural gas
The Environmental Protection Agency released a progress report Friday that reiterated its support for increasing natural gas development in the United States. The EPA outlined several steps it's taking to assess the impacts fracking - short for hydraulic fracturing - has on the nation's water supply, as directed by Congress in 2009.
CNNMoney: Stocks: Investors hope for a 'Cliff-mas' miracle
Investors are hoping for a 'cliff-mas' miracle as they head into a holiday-shortened trading week. Lawmakers in Washington have only one week left to strike a fiscal cliff deal that will avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts due January 1. Many fear that the fiscal cliff could tip the U.S. into another recession.
CNNMoney: 'Dairy cliff': Milk prices may double in New Year
The New Year could push milk prices to $7 a gallon. With Congress spending all its time trying to avert the fiscal cliff, a slew of other legislative matters are going unattended. One of them is the agriculture bill which, if not addressed, could lead to a doubling of the price of milk early next year.
In case you missed it…
Sen. Joe Lieberman told CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday that there is a more than a 50 percent chance we'll go over the fiscal cliff.