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: Medal of Honor recipient Romesha to be guest of first lady at State of the Union
Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, who will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony Monday afternoon, will also be honored by the Obamas as a guest of the first lady at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, administration officials tell CNN.
CNN: State of the Union to focus on jobs, wages and the economy
While the president laid out social issues such as immigration, gun control and gay rights as key priorities for his second term during his inauguration address, the issue of the economy – and the millions of Americans still out of work – will remain his focus during the State of the Union, according to multiple administration officials.
CNN: Graham vows to block nominations unless White House more forthcoming
President Barack Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and CIA director could be held up by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham unless the White House provides more information about its response to September's attack on an American diplomatic post in Libya.
CNN: Gates: Drone program, while useful, would benefit from more oversight
The number of innocent victims of drone strikes remains "extremely small" and doesn't outweigh the benefits of using drones to take out al Qaeda operatives, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued Sunday. But the former Pentagon chief said a better system of checks and balances could be constructive when the unmanned aerial devices are used to target Americans, aligning himself with lawmakers concerned about unfettered power in the hands of the president.
CNN: Where is Christopher Dorner? Search for ex-cop at center of LAPD revenge plot widens
As the manhunt for the renegade ex-cop accused of killing three people in a revenge plot targeting the Los Angeles Police Department entered its second week on Monday, the big question facing authorities - where is Christopher Jordan Dorner?=
CNN: Paterno family: Freeh report 'factually wrong'
The family of the late Joe Paterno released a report Sunday morning that absolved the coaching great of blame in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and said a prior review commissioned by Penn State University was "factually wrong, speculative and fundamentally flawed. "
CNN: Northeast digs out after deadly blizzard; Midwest braces for winter blast
The blizzard that struck the Northeast starting Friday was historic by many measures - most of all, by the amount of snow that fell. Nine people were killed in accidents related to the storm, including five in Connecticut, two in Ontario, Canada, one in New York and one in Massachusetts. About 270,000 utility customers remained in the dark late Sunday afternoon, a significant improvement from the 635,000 without electricity about 24 hours earlier.
CNN: Tornado tears through southern Mississippi
A tornado touched down in southern Mississippi on Sunday, injuring more than a dozen people and causing widespread damage. So far, no one has been reported killed, which authorities hope will remain true.
CNN: 36 killed in stampede at Indian rail station near huge Hindu festival
A railroad station crush left 36 people dead Sunday among tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims flocking to the banks of the Ganges River for the world's largest religious gathering, authorities reported. The stampede occurred about 7 p.m. after someone fell from a platform bridge in Allahabad, the scene of this year's Kumbh Mela festival, North-Central Railway spokesman Sandeep Mathur said.
CNN: President's party to quit coalition government in Tunisia
Members of the president's party in Tunisia will quit the coalition government, the state-run news agency TAP reported Sunday. The move threatens to worsen a political crisis, set off after an opposition leader was assassinated there last week.
CNN: Dozens dead, hundreds missing in South Sudan raid
A heavily armed militia attacked tribesmen during a weekend cattle drive in strife-wracked South Sudan, a government official reported Sunday, leaving behind dozens of dead and possibly kidnapping hundreds of others. Unarmed civilians "were murdered in cold blood" while herding their livestock to camps along the Sobat River, near the Ethiopian border, Akobo County Commissioner Goi Jooyul said in a statement on the attack.
CNN: Carnival cruise ship floats in Gulf of Mexico after engine fire, will be towed
A Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 passengers and crew will be towed to port after a weekend engine fire left it dead in the water, a cruise line official said. A cutter is expected to arrive on the scene Monday morning to assist, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
CNNMoney: Big financial impact from weekend blizzard
The economic impact from the weekend blizzard is expected to be big. The two to three feet of snow that fell over many parts the Northeast brought many businesses to a halt, shut down offices, and forced restaurants to turn away patrons. What's worse is that the blizzard came at a time when many businesses are still struggling to recover from October's Superstorm Sandy, which forced the New York Stock Exchange shut for a few days, shuttered small businesses for months, and kept people out of work.
CNNMoney: Obama to propose pay hike for federal workers
President Obama plans to propose a 1% pay hike for civilian federal workers in his budget proposal for 2014. The White House's Office of Management and Budget officials briefed federal labor leaders late Friday on the proposed pay hike. Federal pay has been frozen for more than two years. Union leaders were elated to hear the news.
CNNMoney: Stocks: Chasing all-time highs
With a light mix of U.S. economic data on tap, investors are hoping to keep up the momentum in stocks this week. Markets have had a good run so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are both up nearly 7% and near their all-time highs, while the Nasdaq has gained nearly 6%.
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