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: Hagel nomination planned for Monday
President Barack Obama plans to announce former Sen. Chuck Hagel as his nominee to become the next defense secretary on Monday, administration officials told CNN on Sunday. Two sources close to Hagel have also been told to expect the defense secretary announcement on Monday, and additional sources – a senior administration official and a source familiar with the nomination – said Obama spoke to Hagel Sunday by telephone.
CNN: Obama signs scaled-back Sandy aid bill
President Barack Obama signed into law Sunday a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package following delays over fiscal cliff bickering, warnings of dwindling federal funds and swirling controversy over millions of dollars for unrelated projects.
CNN: Hillary Clinton set to return to work at State Department
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to work Monday for the first time since she was sidelined by illness, a concussion and a blood clot, according to a schedule released by the State Department.
CNN: Lawmakers dig in on debt ceiling debate
The eleventh-hour compromise that avoided the fiscal cliff cannot be repeated when it comes time to raise the nation's debt ceiling, top lawmakers agreed Sunday. But whether Republicans and Democrats can agree on how to raise the debt ceiling – specifically, whether or not to pair the increase with spending cuts – remains to be seen.
CNN: Lawyers to seek new venue for Ohio teen rape trial
The attorney for one of two teenagers charged with rape in a case that has consumed a small Ohio town wants a judge to postpone and move his client's trial, he said Sunday. Adam Nemann, the lawyer for 16-year-old defendant Trent Mays, told CNN he wants the case moved out of Steubenville because of the extensive publicity it has received "and what we perceive as threats to individuals, perhaps witnesses, and also defendants and even defense counsel."
CNN: Prosecutors set to unveil evidence in Colorado theater shooting
Late one July night a man dressed head to toe in protective tactical gear sprayed a Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber pistol, killing 12 people and injuring dozens. On Monday, many grisly details of what happened could be presented in a Colorado court at a preliminary hearing for the shooting suspect, James Holmes.
CNN: Science, satellites and superstorms: Preparing for the next big one
The data collected by powerful satellites have helped save countless lives by allowing meteorologists to warn people about dangerous storms - sometimes a week before they strike - with pinpoint accuracy. Seven days before Superstorm Sandy hit the United States on October 29, computer models based on the data from these satellites predicted the storm would make landfall in New Jersey. It landed just five miles from where the earliest forecasts said it would.
CNN: Rescuers scour Washington's Cascade Mountains for missing skydiver
About 130 trained mountain rescuers returned before dawn Sunday to search for a skydiver who went missing three days ago in the mountains east of Seattle, a spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff's Office said.
CNN: Al-Assad touts plan for resolution, says enemies of Syria 'will go to hell'
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stood firm Sunday against global calls for him to step down, insisting that his vision should be the foundation of any future solution to the country's crisis. In a rare public speech, al-Assad lambasted those who want to "fragment Syria" and accused foreigners of helping fuel terrorism on the ground.
CNN: Pakistan: Indian troops cross border, kill soldier; India says Pakistan fired first
Tensions between India and Pakistan flared Sunday in the Kashmir region, with at least one Pakistani soldier killed in the violence, its military said. According to the Pakistani military, Indian troops crossed the Line of Control - the de facto border between India and Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region - and attacked a military post. The Indian Defense Ministry, however, said Pakistani troops opened fire unprovoked on Indian posts in the north Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir.
CNN: Israel to build fence along Syrian border amid fears of violent spillover
As regional fears mount over spillover from Syria's civil war, Israel plans to build a fence along its border with the embattled country. The announcement came during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's weekly Cabinet address, in which he cited the construction of a 230-kilometer fence along Israel's southern border with Egypt.
CNN: South African troops headed to embattled Central African Republic
Hundreds of South African troops are headed to the embattled Central African Republic, where they will work alongside members of that nation's military who are trying to quash a rebellion. South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday announced the deployment of 400 troops "to render support in fulfillment of an international obligation of the Republic of South Africa towards the CAR."
CNNMoney: Banks get reprieve on new rules
International banks won a concession Sunday from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which relaxed rules for lenders that had been proposed in hopes of preventing another global financial crisis.
CNNMoney: NHL deal means payday for sports stores
Sports store owners are joining in the chorus of fans and players cheering the National Hockey Leagues' tentative deal on Sunday to end its lockout. "We expect NHL jerseys and gear sales to pick up right away," said Wayne Woodward of BigSportsShops.com, a website that sells official merchandise for NHL teams.
CNNMoney: Stocks: Earnings season springs
Investors will head into the second week of the year ready to move beyond fiscal cliff chatter, and into the earnings season. Following last week's big market rally and a status-quo employment report that showed businesses weren't overly spooked by the fiscal cliff, several major companies will start reporting how they performed in the last three months of 2012.
In case you missed it…
CNN's Wolf Blitzer has an exclusive interview with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy about Syrian President al-Assad.
Looks like the GOP has it's ears pinned back, and is ready to go to war and 'tilt at windmills.' They don't learn.
Congress is the most useless and horrible congress in decades of USA history–just remove all these idiots in 2014.