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: Back at work, Republicans assess Obama's address
If it's a honeymoon period, they might order separate rooms. "One thing that is pretty clear from the president's speech yesterday: the era of liberalism is back," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of President Barack Obama's inaugural address, which he called "unabashedly, far left of center."
CNN: Boehner announces goal of balancing budget in 10 years
House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that he supports a plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years, a goal that could require massive cuts to spending or major reforms to entitlement programs. Boehner made the announcement to members of his Republican conference in a closed-door meeting before describing his plan to reporters.
CNN Security Clearance: Clinton prepping for Benghazi grilling
Republican members of Congress plan a host of questions for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her long-awaited testimony on Wednesday about the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Questions are expected to range from a security vacuum in Northern Africa to new cables suggesting that Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the September 11 assault, once proposed moving the compound to a more secure location adjacent the CIA Annex, sources tell CNN.
CNN Exclusive: Biden: 'I haven't made that decision'
As he ran through the inaugural parade Monday shaking hands and hugging bystanders, Vice President Joe Biden looked just like a candidate on the stump. Will he be one come 2016? Biden told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger "I haven't made that decision. And I don't have to make that decision for a while."
CNN: NRA chief: Obama makes 'mockery' of American freedoms
The National Rifle Association chief stepped from the shadows to issue a blistering retort to President Barack Obama's inaugural address, accusing him of name calling and limiting American freedoms. Wayne LaPierre has been silent since his controversial response to a shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
CNN: 3 wounded, 2 detained in Texas college shooting
Students ducked under desks and ran for cover during a shooting at a community college in Texas on Tuesday that left three people wounded. The early-afternoon shooting apparently stemmed from an argument between two men. At least one of the men was armed and at least one had a student ID. Both were wounded by gunfire and treated at a hospital, where they were detained.
CNN: Albuquerque teen accused of killing 5 wanted a massacre, sheriff says
The teenager accused of gunning down his parents and three siblings in their New Mexico home had hoped to go on a killing spree and die in a shootout with police, investigators said Tuesday. Nehemiah Griego, 15, will stand trial as an adult in the weekend killings, prosecutors announced. He was arrested Saturday night, after deputies found the bodies of his mother, father, brother and two of his sisters in their home on the outskirts of Albuquerque.
CNN Security Clearance: Pentagon inquiry clears top general
A top general caught up in the scandal that forced former CIA Director David Petraeus to resign has been cleared of allegations that he wrote potentially inappropriate e-mails to Jill Kelley, the woman who claimed she was being threatened by Paula Broadwell, a U.S. defense official tells CNN.
CNN: United States, Italy lend support for French in Mali
International backing for French forces battling Islamist militants in Mali gathered momentum Tuesday, as U.S. military aircraft flew French troops and supplies into the African nation and Italy's lawmakers voted to lend support. The U.S. mission began Monday with two flights and is expected to continue for several days, U.S. Africa Command spokesman Chuck Prichard told CNN from Stuttgart.
CNN: City panicked by wave of suspected ritual killings
A wave of killings linked to occult rituals has triggered panic in Yaounde, the capital city of more than 2 million people in the West African nation of Cameroon. In the past two weeks police have found 18 bodies dumped along the streets. Authorities said all of the bodies had been mutilated. Officials have not said if the female victims among the 18 bodies had been raped.
CNN: U.N. Security Council slams North Korea, expands sanctions
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted on Tuesday a resolution condemning North Korea's recent rocket launch and expanding existing U.N. sanctions.
CNN: Thai court sentences activist to 10 years in prison for insulting king
A Thai court on Wednesday sentenced a political activist to 10 years in prison for insulting the country's revered king, a decision that drew criticism from human rights groups and the European Union. The Criminal Court in Bangkok ruled that Somyot Pruksakasemsuk had breached Thailand's strict lese majeste laws when a newspaper he edited, Voice of Thaksin, published two satirical articles that were found to be critical of the monarchy.
CNNMoney: Wall Street's $11 billion windfall from fiscal cliff deal
Wall Street can thank Congress for a $11 billion tax windfall from the fiscal cliff deal that President Obama signed into law at the beginning of this month. Among the myriad of sweeteners in the deal was a break that helps Wall Street banks and giant companies such as General Electric lower their tax bills. The break costs taxpayers a total of $11 billion in 2012 and 2013.
CNNMoney: Keystone pipeline faces new hurdles
The Keystone oil pipeline may have won approval from Nebraska's governor Tuesday, but the final decision rests with President Obama. After the heavy emphasis on climate change in his inaugural speech Monday, analysts say approval is now less certain than ever.
CNNMoney: Dow, S&P 500 close at 5-year highs
U.S. stocks gained ground Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at fresh five-year highs amid mostly strong earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.4% and S&P 500 rose 0.5%, advancing once again to their highest levels since December 2007. The two indexes have been hitting new highs since the start of the year.
In case you missed it…
CNN’s Erin Burnett discusses R&B singer Beyonce lip-syncing the national anthem at the 57th Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013.