(CNN) – As Vice President Joe Biden heads to Connecticut on Thursday in a bid to generate support for sweeping gun control proposals, the National Rifle Association is trying to flex its political muscle by ramping up its campaign to oppose those initiatives.
On Thursday, readers in local newspapers in five key states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia – will see an NRA ad headlined in bold: "Will Obama's gun control proposals work? His own experts say 'No,'" the group told CNN.
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.
URGENT – Syria Party Headquarters Blast
- (CNN) - An explosion rocked central Damascus on Thursday, causing an unspecified number of casualties, Syrian government TV reported. A car bomb targeted the headquarters of the ruling Baath Socialist Party, said the opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
CNNMoney: Crunched consumers are cutting back
Smarting from smaller paychecks, consumers are tightening their budgets and looking for other ways to save money, according to a survey released Thursday. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they were cutting back to cope with tax changes this year - including dining out less, limiting travel plans and skipping everyday indulgences, according to the National Retail Federation, which sponsored the survey.
CNN: Florida's GOP governor agrees to key Obamacare provision
Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed course on Wednesday and said his state would temporarily accept the provision expanding Medicaid coverage included in the new healthcare law spearheaded by President Barack Obama. Scott becomes the seventh GOP governor to sign on to the plan, rejected by some high-profile state chief executives still at odds with the politically charged law considered by many Republicans as a government overreach and widely known as Obamacare.
Washington (CNN) - Do-nothing Congresses need not apply: a majority of Americans want something done on the federal deficit this year, an opportunity lawmakers will have when they return from their vacation.
Seven of 10 surveyed in a new Pew Research and USA Today poll released Thursday said major legislation on the deficit is the most important issue on Congress' plate, topping immigration, gun legislation and other issues.