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 says 'the time has come for' for comprehensive immigration reform
President Barack Obama traveled to Las Vegas Tuesday to press for comprehensive immigration reform, the day after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled the outline of a plan that would change aspects of the country's immigration system. Here is a transcript of the president's remarks.
CNN Security Clearance: Clinton defends her diplomatic legacy
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she can't be faulted for not solving some of the thorny diplomatic issues she faced her in term. In her final week of Secretary of State, Clinton defended her legacy in an exit interview with CNN's Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott. Clinton acknowledged that her legacy includes unsolved problems in some of the world's hot spots, but noted that she assumed the job four years ago at a time of great uncertainty.
CNN: Kerry confirmed by Senate colleagues as secretary of state
John Kerry was overwhelmingly confirmed Tuesday as the 68th secretary of state by his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. The vote was 94-3, with Republican Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and James Inhofe voting no. Kerry voted present on his own nomination. Earlier in the day he received the nod of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The panel approved his nomination unanimously by a voice vote.
CNN: Connecticut Democrat questions NRA's influence
A Senate proponent of new gun control measures said Tuesday the National Rifle Association is not the political force it once was and members of Congress should think about that as they consider whether to support restrictions on firearms.
CNN: Man shoots Alabama bus driver, holds child hostage underground
A man boarded a school bus Tuesday, police said, shot the driver, took a 6-year-old boy hostage and is holding the boy in an underground bunker. The incident, that started in the afternoon, continued late Tuesday evening with authorities still desperately trying to free the young child.
CNN: Judge approves BP plea agreement, record $4 billion fine
A federal judge in New Orleans Tuesday approved a $4 billion plea agreement for criminal fines and penalties against oil giant BP for the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance imposed the terms that the Justice Department and BP had agreed to last November, which include the oil company pleading guilty to 14 criminal counts - among them, felony manslaughter charges - and the payment of a record $4 billion in criminal penalties over five years.
CNN: Queens families: Power company to blame for homes burned during Sandy
Seventeen families from the New York City borough of Queens are planning to sue the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), blaming the company for a devastating fire that destroyed more than 130 homes during Superstorm Sandy.
CNN: Iraq vet undergoes successful double-arm transplant
A U.S. Army infantryman who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside explosion in Iraq has undergone radical transplant surgery that may help him regain use of his arms. Last month, the 26-year-old infantryman had successful surgery - a rare double arm transplant - at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
CNN: Mexico 'welcomes' new U.S. immigration reform push
The new U.S. push for immigration reform is drawing praise - but some skepticism - south of the border. Mexico's foreign ministry said Tuesday that it "welcomes the principles that have been set out" in U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks calling for immigration reform, and the proposal presented Monday by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators.
CNN: Group says sexual assaults on the rise in Tahrir Square
Sexual violence against female protestors at Cairo's Tahrir Square appears to be increasing, an activist group devoted to end such assaults said Tuesday. Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault said it intervened in 15 of 19 reported sexual assaults on Friday when 10,000 people gathered in the square on the two-year anniversary of the start of the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
CNN: U.N. Syria Envoy: 'I am not a quitter'
Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi expressed dismay Tuesday at the lack of progress in ending the civil war in Syria and called on the U.N. Security Council to act. The envoy's comments came on the same day that the executed bodies of scores of men were found Tuesday in Syria, yet another grisly discovery that opposition activists blamed on the government.
CNN: South Korean rocket blasts off in new attempt to put satellite in orbit
South Korea launched a rocket Wednesday on a mission to put a satellite in orbit, a feat the East Asian country has failed to achieve on previous occasions. The pressure on the South Korean rocket scientists to get the satellite into space has increased since the country's hostile neighbor, North Korea, carried out its own successful launch last month in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
CNNMoney: Dow, S&P 500 nearing all-time highs
Stocks closed higher Tuesday, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 closer to new all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to end at 13,954. The S&P 500 added 0.5%, closing at 1508. The Dow and S&P closed at all-time highs of 14,164 and 1,565 in October 2007.
CNNMoney: Businesses band together to support gay marriage
A new coalition of large, national businesses is joining the battle for same-sex marriage. The Human Rights Campaign announced the launch of the Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal this week, which aims to abolish the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
CNN: Japan's ANA replaced faulty batteries on Dreamliner last year
A Japanese carrier has revealed that it replaced faulty batteries on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet last year, as aviation authorities worldwide continue to ground the aircraft amid safety concerns over the devices.
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