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: Countdown to new wave in gun violence battle
When a set of recommendations to reduce gun violence hits President Barack Obama's desk on Tuesday, it will trigger a new stage in a decisive political battle consuming Washington. And it will show just how much America may have changed in the wake of last month's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
CNN: 'I'm still a Republican,' Powell says
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he's still a member of the Republican Party, despite voting for President Barack Obama in the last two elections and being very critical of the GOP of late. "I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem – and I'm still a Republican," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "But in recent years there's been a significant shift to the right, and we've seen what that shift has produced: two losing presidential campaigns."
CNN: Senators gear up for Hagel's confirmation, many with questions
Now that Chuck Hagel has been nominated for defense secretary, the former Republican senator from Nebraska faces what many expect to be an uphill battle for confirmation in the Senate. Hagel took quite a pounding from some senators and independent groups on both sides of the aisle in the days before last week's announcement, with many of them taking issue with some of Hagel's positions and comments dealing with Iran, Iraq and Israel in particular. But Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee raised a new issue Sunday, warning that another concern might be Hagel's "overall temperament."
CNN: NRA president says gun control efforts will crumble in Congress
As debate thunders through Washington over a ban on assault weapons, the president of the powerful National Rifle Association said Sunday he believes there's not enough support on Capitol Hill for such legislation to pass. "I would say that the likelihood is they're not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," David Keene said on CNN's "State of the Union."
CNN: More than 800 NYC rape cases reviewed for mistakes
A review of forensic evidence in New York City rape cases has uncovered 26 incidents where critical evidence went undetected, prompting the city's medical examiner's office to look into more than 800 rape cases over 10 years, "reviewing and retesting everything." On Friday, the medical examiner's rape-case review prompted New York's City Council speaker to set an "emergency oversight hearing" for January 22.
CNN: New water lows for Great Lakes could drain local economies
Water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron fell to record low levels for December, and are expected to break the all-time low sometime in the next few months. Cargo ships are being forced to lighten their loads, some harbors have already been forced to close and the tourist trade is bracing for an impact as well.
CNN: Former President George H.W. Bush might leave hospital this week
After spending more than a month in a Houston hospital, former President George H.W. Bush might get to leave this week. "We are hopeful that he can be discharged this coming week, but we're still taking everything one day at a time," spokesman Jim McGrath said Saturday night.
CNN: 'Argo,' 'Les Miserables' take top Golden Globes
"Argo," based on the dramatic rescue of American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis, won the best drama movie honor at the 70th annual Golden Globe awards Sunday night. "Les Miserables," a big-screen adaptation of a Broadway musical, carried home the Golden Globe for best comedy or musical film as Hollywood's 2013 awards season unofficially launched in Beverly Hills.
CNN: U.N. Security Council to discuss Mali as France steps up fight against insurgents
The U.N. Security Council will discuss the conflict in Mali on Monday as a military offensive to wrest Islamic militants' control over part of the country rages on. The meeting comes as more world bodies, including the United Kingdom and the United States, consider more support for the Malian government as it fights insurgents controlling the north.
CNN: Cubans eager to take advantage of looser travel rules
On Monday, Cubans will no longer need an exit permit and a letter of invitation from someone in another country to travel abroad. Shortly after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, stringent travel laws were put in place to stem an exodus from Cuba. Now Cubans will require only a passport to travel internationally and can stay abroad for two years - more than twice as long as the previous restriction - without losing their property or ability to return to the island.
CNN: Ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, convicted of killings, will be retried
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence for his role in the killings of peaceful protesters during the revolution that eventually deposed him, will get a new trial.
CNN: Police: 7 men gang rape bus passenger in India
In an incident eerily similar to a sexual assault that sent shock waves worldwide, Indian police say a woman was gang-raped over the weekend by seven men after she boarded a bus at night. Police arrested six suspects, including the bus driver, after the alleged Friday night attack in Gurdaspur district in Punjab. A manhunt for the other man was under way Sunday.
CNNMoney: Stocks: Steady start to busy earnings week
Trading could be quiet Monday, as investors wait for the latest round of corporate earnings to begin in earnest. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are due to report their results Wednesday, while Intel, Bank of America and General Electric are up later in the week.
CNNMoney: One in three U.S. workers has no paid sick days
As flu season hits, a lot of people who should be home sick will instead be dragging themselves to work. While some are likely just workaholics, others don't have a choice: An estimated 41.7 million American workers can't take sick days, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's nearly a third of the nation's employees, and a problem that raises health risks for everyone.
CNN: Dreamliner safety review: What it means for fliers
Some travelers wondered Friday whether they should be concerned about Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner after a string of recent mechanical and other problems prompted a wave of negative publicity and an unusual federal safety review. Troubles dating back just four months include reports of an oil leak, a fuel leak, engine cracks and a damaged cockpit window. This all follows a very difficult development history that included a series of production setbacks and other delays before the plane entered service in 2011.
In case you missed it…
Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai discusses immunity for U.S. troops in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.