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 calls for short-term fix to imminent spending cuts
President Barack Obama called on Tuesday for a short-term agreement to put off deep cuts to government spending, including the military, set to take effect next month. The president made clear that he still wanted a broader deficit reduction agreement with Republicans that included spending cuts, entitlement reforms and increased revenue from eliminating some tax breaks.
CNN: Rubio aims to avoid same-sex rights as 'central issue' in immigration debate
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he hopes immigration rights for same-sex couples "doesn't become a central issue" in the ongoing debate, referring to it as a "landmine" that could thwart attempts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package.
CNN: Poll: Americans favor immigration reform proposals
A new poll shows more than seven in 10 Americans support policies that would pave a path toward citizenship or residency for undocumented immigrants. Seventy-two percent say they favor allowing those here illegally to become legal residents or citizens if they meet certain requirements, according to the Gallup survey released Thursday.
CNN: Hagel approval all but certain
CNN has learned there are now at least five Republican senators who would oppose a filibuster of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, all but ensuring the embattled nominee will be confirmed in the coming days.
CNN Security Clearance: Memo backs U.S. using lethal force against Americans overseas
A Justice Department memo determined the U.S. government can use lethal force against an American citizen overseas if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates.
CNN: NYPD report: Most of those 'stopped and frisked' are minorities
Nearly nine out of 10 people "stopped and frisked" under a controversial New York Police Department policy in 2011 were African-American or Hispanic. The data comes from a report released by the NYPD Monday, which showed that of the 685,724 stops made by police that year, 53% of those questioned were black, 34% were Latino, 9% were white and 3% were Asian.
CNN: FBI: Bombs found in Alabama kidnapper's bunker
Two bombs were discovered Tuesday inside the bunker where an FBI team rescued a 5-year-old boy from his kidnapper, the agency said. The FBI said they "disrupted" the two explosive devices. One was in the bunker and another was in the PVC pipe that hostage taker Jimmy Lee Dykes sometimes used to communicate with the authorities, Special Agent in Charge Steve Richardson said in a written statement.
CNN: Massachusetts cracks down on compounding pharmacies
Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday ordered 11 compounding pharmacies to completely or partially shut down, after unannounced inspections were conducted in the wake of a fungal meningitis outbreak. The state's Department of Public Health began inspecting 40 sterile compounding pharmacies after the multistate outbreak last fall was linked to steroid injections distributed by the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center (NECC).
CNN: UK lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in first vote
UK lawmakers took a big step Tuesday toward legalizing same-sex marriage, an issue that has prompted widespread rebellion within Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party.
CNN: Gunmen rape 6 tourists near Acapulco, Mexico
A pack of masked and hooded gunmen broke into a beach bungalow on the outskirts of Acapulco and raped six women tourists after tying up a group of men with cell phone cables and bikini straps, officials said Tuesday.
CNN: France to start pulling troops from Mali in March
France expects to begin pulling its troops out of Mali in March, the French foreign minister told the Metro newspaper. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said troops will continue operations in northern Mali, where he said "some terrorist havens remain." His interview was published Tuesday on Metro's website and will appear in the Wednesday newspaper.
CNN: 5 dead after powerful quake strikes in South Pacific
An 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Wednesday, triggering a localized tsunami that killed five people but didn't threaten the wider region. Four elderly people and one child died after the wave hit the Santa Cruz Islands, an eastern region of the Solomon Islands, said Augustine Bilve, a director at a hospital in Lata, the main town in the area.
CNNMoney: U.S. sues S&P over subprime ratings
The Justice Department announced a lawsuit Tuesday against Standard & Poor's over its inaccurate ratings of investments tied to subprime mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. The suit represents the first federal action in connection with the crisis against one of the country's major ratings agencies, which have long been cited as key culprits in the meltdown.
CNNMoney: CBO: Spending cuts and tax increases slowing growth
The looming $85 billion in spending cuts coupled with new tax increases will slow economic growth considerably this year. But the economy is likely to pick up steam in 2014, pushing unemployment down and setting the stage for a rise in interest rates and inflation. Those are key takeaways from the annual budget and economic outlook released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan scorekeeper for lawmakers.
CNNMoney: Boeing wants to test 787 Dreamliner in flight
Boeing has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to allow test flights of the 787 Dreamliner while investigators work to uncover the source of the aircraft's battery problems. "Boeing has submitted an application to conduct 787 test flights and it is currently under evaluation by the FAA," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said Tuesday.
In case you missed it…
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie jokes about his weight, but doctors worry. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.
Those criticizing our drone attacks are obviously doing so out of a blind bias and strictly for political purposes. They possibly, again with political bias, are the same individuals who defended Bush-Cheney’s water-boarding and aggressive interrogation techniques that were, at best, questionable under Geneva Convention rules. The drone attacks actually establish fear in and take safe-haven away from those who organize, train and plan to kill American civilians, even intending to do so on American soil, while in contrast we take care to avoid collateral damage and target only known terrorists. With the advent of fighting terrorism the rules have to change and to advocate leaving the terrorists safe while they demonstrate no limit to the evil they will commit, is the equivalent of aiding the enemy. The drone attacks capably take the fight to the very doorstep of the terrorists, just as the terrorists plan to and have done to innocent Americans, and they are just one totally justified and effective answer to the terrorists’ threat. Those blinded by their political motivation who find fault with the drone program, are ignorantly criticizing a logical and working program that is helping protect America and Americans. If they don’t like Obama and the Democrats, then that is what they should say but still rally behind and give credit to efforts aimed to save American lives.
The term "American Terrorist" is an oxymoron and should be recognized as such.
When BO moves past the denial stage he will realize – look around at Calif, a number of our nations biggest cities – that you cant tax your way to prosperity without placing huge burdens on the very citizens you claim to want to help. Reality needs to be embraced and rather than criss crossing the nation campaigning for amnesty and gun control he should get the folks in the capitol working now to fix our fiscal mess. No more kicking the can down the road Obama.