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: Obama-backed gun bills considered a long shot in Congress
Despite supporters' hopes that this time it's different, President Barack Obama's new call for restricting some semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines will face deeply entrenched resistance in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and could be a long shot even in the Democratic-led Senate.
CNN: Obama expected to name McDonough next chief of staff
President Barack Obama is expected to name Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough as the next White House chief of staff, several sources familiar with the matter told CNN. McDonough would replace Jack Lew, who has been nominated for secretary of the Treasury Department.
CNN: NRA president defends controversial ad
The president of the National Rifle Association is standing by the group's new controversial ad that has drawn fire for referencing the president's children, a rare move in a political attack. Attacking the president as an "elitist hypocrite," the commercial asks why he opposes the idea of placing armed guards in every school–a proposal pushed by the NRA–yet his own children attend a school with similar security.
CNN: The breakdown of Obama's gun violence proposals
President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a package of measures intended to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school massacre last month. Some of the steps have been tried before and others are expansions of laws and policies already in place. Some face high hurdles in Congress. Will they work? Here's a look at some of the key measures
CNN: Notre Dame linebacker says he is victim of bizarre hoax about 'girlfriend'
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o said Wednesday he was the victim of a "sick joke" that had him and legions of fans believing in a "girlfriend" who may never have existed. Te'o was the subject of an inspirational story in which he overcame the deaths of his real-life grandmother and his girlfriend as his team marched toward the BCS National Championship Game.
CNN: U.S., Japan ground Dreamliners over fire risk
U.S. and Japanese authorities have ordered airlines to stop flying their Boeing 787s until they can show they've fixed a fire risk linked to battery failures aboard the closely watched Dreamliners.
CNN: Oregon sheriff: 'Unconstitutional' gun control laws won't be enforced
An Oregon sheriff says he will not enforce any federal regulation that President Barack Obama lays out in his package of gun control proposals Wednesday. Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller joins several other public officials across the nation who have decided to square off with the White House even before it outlines what its plans are for expanded measures.
CNN: School bus drivers strike in NYC
For the first time since 1979, New York City school bus drivers went on strike Wednesday - a protest that is affecting more than 150,000 students. As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, about 8,800 bus drivers walked off the job after city and union officials failed to reach an agreement, according to a spokeswoman for Local 1811 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
CNN: Islamists take foreign hostages in attack on Algerian oil field
Islamists attacked a gas field in eastern Algeria, killing two people and seizing hostages, including Westerners, Algeria's interior minister said Wednesday. The incident may be linked to France's military support for the government of nearby Mali, according to reports from the region. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Americans were among the hostages.
CNN: 'Mr. Marlboro': The veteran jihadist behind the attack in Algeria
The terrorist attack on a natural gas installation at In Amenas in eastern Algeria may be an isolated act of revenge for the French intervention in Mali - or an ominous portent of things to come in North Africa, where Islamist militancy is gaining traction fast. The man claiming responsibility for the operation is a veteran jihadist who is also renowned for hostage-taking and smuggling anything from cigarettes to refugees.
CNN: Six reasons events in Mali matter
Within the past few days, French combat forces have deployed to the West African state of Mali to halt the advance of militant Islamist fighters toward the capital and to help the Malian army begin to reclaim towns previously occupied by the militants. After intense airstrikes against rebel strongholds, French ground forces are moving north to try to dislodge the fighters. Events there are being watched with growing anxiety throughout West Africa, in European capitals and in Washington. Here are six reasons why.
CNN Security Clearance: U.S.: Syria didn't use chemical weapons in Homs incident
The Syrian government did not use chemical weapons against residents of Homs in a December attack, a U.S. State Department investigation shows, but did apparently misuse a riot-control gas in the incident, according to senior U.S. officials.
CNNMoney: Debt ceiling: Is Social Security at risk?
The standoff over the debt ceiling, likely to come to a head next month, threatens to stiff a lot of people owed money by the government. Among them: more than 55 million Social Security recipients.
CNNMoney: Inflation was tame in 2012
Consumers paid modestly higher prices for gas, food and shelter in 2012, but overall inflation was more subdued than in 2011. The Consumer Price Index, the government's key measure of inflation, was up 1.7% last year, tamer than in 2011, when prices rose 3%.
CNNMoney: New rules aim to protect homeowners from foreclosure
Federal officials issued new rules for mortgage servicers Thursday aimed at protecting homeowners facing foreclosure. But consumer groups say the rules don't do enough to help prevent borrowers from unnecessarily losing their homes.
In case you missed it…
A 61-year-old black man was killed by a white teen. The victim's family thinks it was a hate crime; the District Attorney's office says otherwise. CNN’s Drew Griffin reports.