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: Washington D.C. police investigating whether NBC moderator violated law
Washington Metropolitan Police Department is investigating whether NBC’s David Gregory violated D.C. gun laws when he displayed what he described as a 30 round magazine as part of an interview during Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”
CNN: Fiscal cliff bill could come down to wire
Though the U.S. Senate is slated to reconvene Thursday, Democrats in the chamber are considering delaying the roll out of their bill to avert the year-end fiscal cliff within just a couple days of the new year, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide. The move is part of an effort to gain some Republican backing for a bill, but also to run out the clock and increase pressure on House Speaker John Boehner to take up the bill and House Republicans to support it.
CNN: Obama will return Wednesday to D.C. to tackle fiscal cliff
President Barack Obama is ending his Hawaiian vacation Wednesday to make a late-hour bid to reach a fiscal-cliff deal before the year ends. He will leave Honolulu Wednesday night and should be back in Washington on Thursday, the White House said. First lady Michelle Obama and their daughters will remain in Hawaii. House and Senate members are expected to reconvene Thursday.
CNN: Bipartisan Christmas greetings from around the country
Governors, senators, members of Congress, and other political figures took to social media with Christmas greetings and to share their plans for the holiday. Largely absent from their postings was politics, such as the views many have posted recently on the fiscal cliff, gun legislation and the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. See a selection of the postings.
CNN: Shooter who ambushed firefighters left note showing intent to burn, kill
A sniper who ambushed volunteer firefighters in upstate New York on Monday, killing two and seriously wounding two others, left a note saying he hoped to burn down his neighborhood and kill as many people as possible, police said Tuesday.
CNN: Newspaper sparks outrage for publishing names, addresses of gun owners
An interactive map showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit-holders in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties has drawn a response from mostly disgruntled readers since it was posted Saturday on a newspaper's website.
CNN: Southern storms to continue after damaging tornadoes
The powerful storms that pounded the South will continue Wednesday, a day after tornadoes ripped through several states. The dangerous thunderstorms that packed house shaking winds and left two people dead on Christmas were expected to move eastward Wednesday hitting Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida and much of the Eastern seaboard, the National Weather Service said.
CNN: 'Big Stars, Big Giving': Making the world a better place in 2012 and beyond
The holidays are a time of reflection and often a time of charity, even for some of Hollywood's biggest stars. CNN's Alina Cho is taking a special look at how three celebrities are doing their part for causes near to their hearts in this year's "Big Stars, Big Giving," which is scheduled to air 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET December 26-28 on CNN.
CNN: Morsy signs Egypt's constitution into law
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy signed a decree putting into effect his country's newly approved constitution, the state-run Egynews reported Wednesday. His signature came after Egyptian voters approved the Islamist-backed constitution by what an election official said Tuesday was a nearly 2 to 1 ratio.
CNN: Shooter in Afghanistan insider attack is an Iranian national, official says
The female police officer who killed a U.S. contractor in Kabul on Monday is an Iranian national, an Afghan government official said Tuesday. Sediq Seddiqi, an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, said the Afghan police officer is an Iranian citizen who met her Afghan husband in Iran. After they eventually went to live in Afghanistan, he managed to help her illegally obtain Afghan citizenship.
CNN: Gulf council to unify members' militaries under a single command structure
The Gulf Cooperation Council will fold the military of its member states under a single command structure, Bahrain's foreign minister announced Tuesday, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported. The GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, encourages cooperation among members in a number of areas, including economy and security.
CNN: Japan parliament picks Shinzo Abe as prime minister
The Japanese parliament elected Shinzo Abe as prime minister Wednesday, giving him a second chance at the same job five years after he resigned abruptly. Abe, 58, is the nation's seventh prime minister in six years. He started the revolving door of prime ministers by resigning in 2007, just one year into the job.
CNN: How to sell or get rid of your old gadgets
If you received shiny new gadgets for the holidays, you probably have some older device that is now unwanted or obsolete. If you can't regift your old computer, tablet or TV, make sure you get rid of it the smart way by selling, donating or recycling it. Before you part ways with your device, make sure to wipe it clean and permanently delete any personal data.
CNNMoney: Britain feels strain as austerity bites
Millions of Britons are facing a bleak holiday season worried about falling incomes and how to repay debt, as economic reports raise questions about whether the country's austerity measures can restore growth. A survey released Monday showed 43% of households expect their finances to deteriorate in 2013, compared with only 24% who expect an improvement.
Financial Times: Charities struggle in financial headwinds
Despite the vital work done by voluntary organizations around the world, many are themselves facing an increasingly strong financial headwind. Statistics are often scarce or tardy, but charity executives, officials and experts say the international patchwork of non-profit organizations – ranging from small local charities to supranational behemoths – is coming under sustained financial pressure.
In case you missed it…
West Webster firefighters returned to duty today as funerals planned for their fallen friends. CNN affiliate WHAM reports.