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: Meet the 113th Congress: More diverse than ever
The newly sworn-in 113th Congress is the most diverse group of representatives in history, reflecting changing demographics and changing public attitudes. 98 women, 43 African-Americans, 31 Latinos, 12 Asian-American and Pacific Islanders, and seven gay and bisexual members are now new members of the House and Senate. Plus, there is the first Buddhist member in the Senate and Hindu member in the House of Representatives.
CNN: Big cabinet decisions loom as Obama vacations
As a new Congress takes over on Capitol Hill, all eyes are turning to what will certainly be a vastly different Obama Cabinet in the coming weeks. High-level vacancies in the administration are expected to include secretary of state, secretary of defense and treasury secretary. A permanent CIA director also must be chosen.
CNN: Backers hope to revive Violence Against Women Act
Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act hope to revive the law in a new Congress after efforts to renew it failed in the last one. The Violence Against Women Act mostly provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. Supporters credit the 1994 act with sharply reducing the number of lives lost to domestic violence over the past two decades.
CNNMoney: Timing on Geithner successor is key
It's long been expected that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner would stay on long enough in the job to play a key role in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Now that the deal is done, observers say the White House has a small window to name a successor. Geithner is expected to stay on until the end of this month.
CNN: Social media casts spotlight on Ohio rape case
The videos, pictures and tweets are chilling. A picture of a girl dangling limply from the arms of two young men. Other boys, laughingly saying the girl had to be dead because she didn't flinch as her body was violated. The images and social media messages are at the heart of criminal charges against two high school football players accused of sexually assaulting an underage teenage girl during a series of end-of-summer parties in August.
CNN: 245 arrested in U.S.-led child sex abuse operation
An international operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement aimed at child pornography and sexual abuse has resulted in the arrest of 245 suspects, officials announced Thursday. All but 23 of the suspects were apprehended in the United States.
CNN: Connecticut governor orders review of gun laws; Sandy Hook resumes classes
As Sandy Hook Elementary School students returned to class Thursday for the first time since last month's massacre, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy set a two-month deadline for a commission to address the state's gun laws, mental health policies and public security issues.
CNN: Plea deal in Family Research Council shooting may be close
The man accused in the August shooting at the Family Research Council appears close to agreeing to plead guilty to some of the 10 charges against him, according to a court document filed on Thursday. The federal public defender representing Floyd Corkins filed a motion asking that a status hearing scheduled for next week be delayed "to allow the parties to complete plea negotiations."
CNN: U.S. troops arrive in Turkey; rebels battle for airport in Syria
U.S. troops arrived in Turkey on Friday to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border, according to Turkish state media. Syria has previously launched Scud missiles at cities near the Turkish border in a desperate bid to extend its firepower. In response, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands deployed Patriot air defense missiles to the border region to intercept any Syrian ballistic missiles.
CNN: Argentina presses claim to Falkland Islands, accusing UK of colonialism
Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is once again calling on the UK to hand back the Falkland Islands - known in Argentina as Las Malvinas - accusing Britain of blatant colonialism.
CNN: With Chavez ill and inauguration near, uncertainty reigns in Venezuela
Chavez is scheduled to take the oath of office for a new six-year term in just a few days, but it's unclear whether he'll even be in the country. Chavez has been recovering from surgery in Cuba, where he is undergoing cancer treatment. Top aides describe the president's condition as "complicated" and "delicate."
CNN: Leaders of 2 Sudans meet again to address unresolved issues
The presidents of the two Sudans meet Friday to address outstanding economic, oil and security issues after tensions between the two nations nearly led to a return to war. Talks between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir will be held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
CNNMoney: Fiscal cliff deal raises taxes on 77% of Americans
More than three in four Americans will pay higher taxes for 2013, thanks to the fiscal cliff deal passed in Congress on New Year's Day. Over 77% of filers will pay more, according to the Tax Policy Center. The average increase is expected to be $1,257, but that figure belies the wide disparity in impact.
CNNMoney: Beware the bond bubble in 2013
After three decades of declines, interest rates are near rock bottom, and many Wall Street experts think the bond bubble may be about to burst. In fact, nearly 40% of the 32 investment strategists and money managers surveyed by CNNMoney think that interest rates will begin to rise in 2013, and another 30% say the shift will begin in 2014.
CNNMoney: Google dodges major antitrust bullet
At the conclusion of an ambitious, two-year antitrust investigation by the United States government, search giant Google is getting away relatively scot-free. The Federal Trade Commission's probe of Google's search business ended Thursday. Though the regulator found that some of Google's recent changes to its search engine were "problematic and potentially harmful to competition," the FTC ultimately did not bring a lawsuit against the company related to search.
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