CNN Washington AM Note
July 15th, 2013
05:29 AM ET
1 year ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Zimmerman verdict spawns protests across country
If the George Zimmerman murder trial didn't polarize America enough, the verdict certainly did. While supporters of Zimmerman's acquittal kept largely quiet after the weekend decision, outraged protesters poured into the streets across the country Sunday and early Monday. While the vast majority of protests were peaceful, parts of Los Angeles grew tense.
SEE ALSO: CNN: Marked man? Zimmerman fears for life, could face new charges

CNN: A verdict and more: Get caught up on the George Zimmerman case
Not guilty. That's the verdict jurors reached this weekend in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The decision might have capped the criminal case, but for Zimmerman and others, it also marked new chapters in their lives. Here's a look at how the case got started, the trial and what could happen next.

WX Post: Kentucky’s embrace of private Medicaid plans leads to complaints
Ever since Kentucky rapidly shifted patients from traditional Medicaid to private health plans that manage their care for a set price, problems have been widespread. Patients complain of being denied treatment or forced to travel long distances to find a doctor or hospital in their plan’s network. Advocates for the mentally ill argue that the care system for them has deteriorated. And hospitals and doctors say health plans have denied or delayed payments. Experts warn that what happened in Kentucky should be a cautionary tale for other states that rush to switch large numbers of people enrolled in Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and disabled, to private managed-care plans in hopes of cutting costs and improving quality.

USA Today: Do right-to-work laws bring competitive advantage?
Right-to-work laws bar so-called "closed shops," where workers are required to join a union and pay union dues or pay equivalent fees as a condition of employment. Businesses say they like right-to-work laws because they make it more difficult for unions to organize workers and raise wage and benefit costs. Unions say the laws infringe on workers' collective bargaining rights.

WSJ: A Gap in Organic Food Chain
The Farm Belt isn't going organic fast enough to keep up with surging consumer demand, forcing makers of organic foods from milk to deli meats to look abroad for key commodities while struggling to recruit skeptical farmers at home. The U.S. is the world's largest producer and exporter of corn and soybeans, but organic supplies, which are used largely as animal feed for production of organic meat and dairy, are hard to come by here.

NYT: California Is Facing More Woes in Prisons
Just six months after declaring “the prison crisis is over in California,” Gov. Jerry Brown is facing dire predictions about the future of the state’s prison system, one of the largest in the nation. A widespread inmate hunger strike in protest of California’s policy of solitary confinement was approaching its second week on Sunday. The federal courts have demanded the release of nearly 10,000 inmates and the transfer of 2,600 others who are at risk of contracting a deadly disease in the state’s overcrowded prisons.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama says Martin's death a tragedy, asks nation to respect call for calm
President Barack Obama called on Sunday for "calm reflection" following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The president, in a written statement, acknowledged an emotionally charged climate but concluded that "we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken." Obama called Martin's death a tragedy for America.

NYT: No Quick Impact in U.S. Arms Plan for Syria Rebels
A month ago Obama administration officials promised to deliver arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels in the hope of reversing the tide of a war that had turned against an embattled opposition. But interviews with American, Western and Middle Eastern officials show that the administration’s plans are far more limited than it has indicated in public and private.

The Hill: With Napolitano out at DHS, White House begins to vet replacements
President Obama and his security advisors are busily compiling and vetting a list of possible candidates to replace outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNN: 'Nuclear option' will make Congress more toxic
It's hard to imagine the atmosphere in Congress getting any more toxic, but it could if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid carries out his threat to use the "nuclear option" to budge stalled presidential appointees forward. A top Republican aide warns that important bills like the recently approved immigration measure would never pass in a post-nuclear Senate.
SEE ALSO: WX Post: Reid-McConnell clash latest evidence that genteel Senate has turned into a fight club

CNN: Immigration’s prospects in House still not clear
Comprehensive immigration reform, approved last month by the Senate, still doesn’t have a clear path forward in the House of Representatives, lawmakers said Sunday. Even the bill’s supporters, like Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, weren’t optimistic that the measure that passed with bipartisan support in the upper chamber would find a way forward.
SEE ALSO: WSJ: Immigration Security Push Chafes Border Lawmakers

USA Today: IRS scandal becoming increasingly partisan
Low-level IRS employees will be called to testify before a congressional committee this week, even as Democrats move to challenge the very basis of the investigation into the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups. Thursday's hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — the seventh congressional hearing into the Tea Party affair — may highlight the fracture in the once bipartisan outrage into the scandal.

Politico: No rush to fill in the blanks on tax reform
Senate Finance Committee leaders are running into a problem with their “blank slate” approach to tax reform: Many of their colleagues aren’t interested in filling in the blanks. Sen. Max Baucus, the committee chairman, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the panel’s top Republican, told fellow senators last month that they planned to move forward on an overhaul by stripping virtually every special provision — including popular items like the mortgage interest deduction — from the Tax Code. Senators have until July 26 to make their case to Baucus and Hatch for tax benefits that should remain on the books.

FOX: House Republicans to vote on ObamaCare, say Obama’s delay of employer mandate unfair
House Republicans will vote this week to delay the part of ObamaCare requiring Americans to buy health insurance by next year, arguing that President Obama recently delaying the part of the law requiring employers to offer health insurance is a corporate favor that slights struggling, average Americans. In announcing the vote last week, House Speaker John Boehner said the Republican-controlled chamber also will vote to delay the so-called employer mandate because such decisions require congressional authority.

POLITICAL:

CNN: Texas attorney general jumps into governor's race
Longtime Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a political conservative, announced his candidacy for governor on Sunday. Abbott’s move came less than a week after Gov. Rick Perry said he would not seek another term in Austin, clearing a potential path, some say, for him to run for president. Abbott made the announcement in San Antonio, a decision that many expected as he has already raised tens of millions for the race.

WSJ: Gifts to Virginia's Governor McDonnell Cloud the Race to Succeed Him
Previously undisclosed gifts from a wealthy donor to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell have dimmed a onetime Republican star and now are washing into the race to succeed him, with the candidates in both parties trying to distance themselves from the beleaguered governor. That task is trickiest for the Republican nominee, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who had hoped to receive campaign help from the still-popular governor, despite differences between them on policy.
SEE ALSO: WX Post: Va. first lady plays central role in gift scandal

Politico: Spitzer, Weiner are bad news for Cuomo
The circus tent is back up in New York politics, and already casting a shadow over Andrew Cuomo. For a governor who’s tried to make his brand the restoration of calm and clean politics, Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer getting back into the game is enough of a problem: they embody the New York politics caricature of salaciousness and scandal that Cuomo has cast himself as the antidote to.

CNBC: You won’t see this in Christie campaign ad: NJ finishes 42nd
Seeking a second term as New Jersey governor with a possible eye to a White House run in 2016, Chris Christie is heavily touting his business record, as he did at the ribbon cutting of real estate firm Realogy's new corporate headquarters in Madison, N.J., last month. But he is unlikely to point to New Jersey's standing in our America's Top States for Business rankings. It has declined since he took office in 2010.

The Hill: Why the D.C. ‘Living Wage’ Fight Matters to Congress
Whether city leaders end up sticking with or backing away from the “living wage” measure approved last week — it would require big retailers to pay starting wages 50 percent above the District’s regular minimum — could help steer the fate of President Barack Obama’s moribund-for-now proposal to raise the federally guaranteed hourly wage floor. Whether Republicans end up moving legislation to block the local ordinance would indicate how forcefully, if at all, they want to apply the congressional prerogative to trump local rule. Whether Democrats move assertively against such a GOP intrusion would reflect how enthusiastic they are about advancing the agenda of organized labor.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: Journalist: Snowden has more documents that could harm U.S.
American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has more damaging information that could be a "nightmare" for the U.S. government, a journalist who first published his documents said. Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian told an Argentine newspaper, La Nacion, that releasing more information to hurt the United States is not Snowden's goal.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: Ecuadorian journalists complain of a double standard in the Edward Snowden case. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.

CNN: In wake of NSA leaks, former key lawmaker says no tradeoff needed between security and liberty
Revelations of classified National Security Agency programs by former contractor Edward Snowden have prompted debate about the public and political oversight of U.S. intelligence and the role of a special court that reviews electronic surveillance requests. CNN’s Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott talks to Jane Harman, a former Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, about fallout from the Snowden leaks and questions they raise about the role of intelligence collection.

CNN: Man arrested outside John Kerry's house
A man who apparently aroused the suspicion of security personnel outside Secretary of State John Kerry's home in Boston was arrested on Sunday on an alcohol-related charge, and authorities later found a pellet gun in his car, a Kerry aide said. Glen Johnson, a Kerry spokesman, said members of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service observed the man, who was not identified, taking a picture of a window at Kerry's house.

WX Post: For NSA chief, terrorist threat drives passion to ‘collect it all,’ observers say
In his eight years at the helm of the country’s electronic surveillance agency, Alexander, 61, has quietly presided over a revolution in the government’s ability to scoop up information in the name of national security. And, as he did in Iraq, Alexander has pushed hard for everything he can get: tools, resources and the legal authority to collect and store vast quantities of raw information on American and foreign communications.

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: NAACP talking to Justice Department about Zimmerman case
Leaders at the nation's oldest civil rights organization have spoken with senior members of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's team at the Justice Department about pursuing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, NAACP president Ben Jealous said Sunday, though Holder himself has noted the high bar for establishing a hate crime. Speaking to chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union," Jealous said he hadn't yet spoken with Holder himself, but that in conversations with Justice Department officials, he had pressed the federal government to continue investigating the death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

CNN: Asiana to proceed with TV station suit - but NTSB off the hook
Asiana Airlines says it will proceed with its planned lawsuit against an Oakland, California, television station - but it's not going to pursue legal action against the National Transportation Safety Board. Over the weekend, the Korean airlines had said it would sue both entities after an intern at the NTSB mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as those of the pilots of ill-fated Flight 214.
SEE ALSO: Bloomberg: San Francisco Airport Sells $483 Million After Crash: Muni Deals

NYT: Airlines Confident in Boeing’s 787, but Doubts Linger
For Boeing and its regulators, it’s like déjà vu. Air accident investigators continued on Sunday to try to figure out why a parked 787 Dreamliner caught fire on Friday in London, while airlines around the world kept flying the plane and expressed confidence in it. Passengers and investors in Boeing, the Chicago-based plane maker, were left to make their own calculations about how serious the problem would turn out to be.

Boston Herald: ‘Rifleman’ Flemmi could seal Whitey’s fate as fed witness
This week’s potentially volatile courtroom confrontation between James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi could be the prosecution’s death blow or the last, best shot for Bulger’s lawyers to turn jurors against the feds for their decades-long indulgence of the Southie kings of carnage, legal experts said.
SEE ALSO: ABC: A Guide to the Trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger

NPR: Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Gets Its Day In Court
Pennsylvania's voter ID law will be back in state court Monday after more than a year of legal limbo. A state judge will decide whether the 2012 law — which hasn't been enforced — violates the state's constitution. The measure requires voters to show a particular state-issued photo ID before casting ballots. Last week, civil rights advocates like the NAACP's John Jordan railed against the requirement.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

CNN: Teens chase kidnapping suspect on bikes, save 5-year-old girl
Two teenage boys are being hailed as heroes after they chased a car carrying a kidnapped girl - on their bicycles. Five-year-old Jocelyn Rojas was playing in her front yard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she vanished Thursday afternoon. Authorities believe she was abducted by a man who lured her by offering ice cream. For two hours, neighbors and police scoured the area and asked if anyone had seen her. Temar Boggs, 15, and his friend took off on their bicycles to search. About a half-mile away, they spotted Jocelyn in a sedan. But the driver was elusive.

Burlington Free Press: Preparing for a new way of dying
Any day now, a terminally ill patient in a similar situation in Vermont could ask a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to hasten his or her own death. No doctors have reported writing such a prescription yet, according to the state Health Department, but health professionals across Vermont are preparing for how they will respond when a patient asks. Gearing up for that moment is proving to be a challenge

The Detroit News: Detroit pension funds prepare for fight
Pension officials are planning to unleash a lobbying blitz to fight a possible takeover of the city’s retirement systems and may join forces with retirees who are trying to block Gov. Rick Snyder from authorizing the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city’s Police and Fire pension fund last week authorized its law firm to take any necessary steps to protect a system with $3 billion worth of assets and counter Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s contention that the city’s pension funds are underfunded by an estimated $3.5 billion.

Arizona Central: Program provides free dental care to low-income children
The pilot program is the brainchild of Roling, a public-health dentist, and Janice Grutzius, program coordinator for the dental-sealant programs at the County Health Department. Although they provide the sealant at schools during the year, this is the first time they have taken advantage of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals to low-income children when school is not in session, to offer the free screenings and services at the same time. Arizona ranks third-worst in the U.S. for dental decay, Grutzius said.

Detroit Free Press: Will Michigan change its mind on education standards?
Michigan’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, a set of learning goals embraced by 44 other states in the nation, should have been a slam dunk given the widespread support that exists in the state. But the standards, which for the first time provide common expectations of what students should learn from one state to the next in math and English language arts, are coming under increasing attack in Michigan and elsewhere in the country.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Egypt's Morsy, Muslim Brotherhood face probe; plans begin for new government
Egypt is putting the judicial heat on deposed President Mohamed Morsy and the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that dominated his government. Prosecutors are investigating complaints against the former democratically elected president over accusations of spying and killing protesters and have frozen the assets of more than a dozen people in a probe of violence in Cairo. The developments come as authorities began choosing an interim government and take steps to form a new civilian government, after the military overthrew the Morsy administration in a coup.
SEE ALSO: Time: Egypt’s Real Disaster: Away From Political Turmoil, an Economy in Free Fall

CNN: Merkel wants EU data protection pact
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has called for a strict European agreement on data protection requiring all internet service providers to reveal what personal information they have stored, and to whom they have made it available. The fundamental law should ensure that companies such as Facebook and Google would be subject to the same strict privacy rules in all EU member states, and not simply obey national legislation in the country where they are registered, she said.

CNN: J.K. Rowling revealed as secret author of crime novel
"Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling donned an invisibility cloak of her own for her new novel. In top-secret fashion, she published "The Cuckoo's Calling" under the name Robert Galbraith. Her publisher, Mulholland Books - an imprint of Little, Brown and Company - described the author as a former member of the Special Investigative Branch of the Royal Military Police.

NBC: Netanyahu phones Palestinian leader, urges peace talks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said he hoped the two sides could resume peace talks, stalled for three years, Israeli officials said.

Global Post: Saudi Arabia warns Hajj pilgrims about coronavirus
Pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj will be asked to wear face masks this year in an effort to control the outbreak of the deadly MERS coronavirus, while elderly and ill pilgrims will be asked to postpone their trip. The Saudi Arabian health ministry has issued some of its most stringent restrictions ever for the 2013 Hajj celebration, which millions of Muslims are expected to participate in this year.

BBC: Clashes in Bangladesh ahead of Azam war crimes verdict
Police in Bangladesh have clashed with supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party ahead of the verdict in the trial of an Islamist leader charged with war crimes. Ghulam Azam, 91, is accused of orchestrating atrocities during the country's 1971 war of independence. He denies the charges, which supporters say are politically motivated. Prosecutors want the death penalty. Previous verdicts against Islamist leaders have led to violent protests.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: China GDP growth slows to 7.5%
China's economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, continuing a trend that could test the country's leaders as they seek to execute painful structural reforms. Gross domestic product grew 7.5% over the previous year during the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday.

CNN: Apple hires fresh talent for 'iWatch'
Apple has embarked on a hiring spree to tackle design problems with its "iWatch" wrist computer, bringing in fresh expertise amid concern that the launch of its first new product since the death of Steve Jobs could be at least a year away. The company has begun hiring "aggressively" for the project in recent weeks, say people familiar with Apple's plans for the wearable device, a move that shows it has stepped up development but which raises questions over the ability of its own engineers to develop wearable technology.
SEE ALSO: Bloomberg: Microsoft Cuts Surface Tablet Prices Amid Weak Demand

WSJ: Investors, Bank Near Pact in Madoff Cases
In one of the first lawsuits to go to trial involving Bernard L. Madoff's massive fraud, a group of investors is nearing a settlement with a Connecticut bank that they said should have uncovered the Ponzi scheme years before it collapsed, according to a lawyer involved in the cases whose clients aren't settling. The tentative settlement, reached just as the two sides were about to deliver closing arguments, may return a fraction of the $60 million that the investors said they lost.

Reuters: SEC takes Goldman's 'Fabulous Fab' to trial in civil fraud case
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission heads to trial Monday against a former Goldman Sachs bond trader in a case it says highlights what went wrong on Wall Street in the financial crisis. Jury selection begins in federal court in New York in the civil fraud case against Fabrice Tourre, 34, who the SEC says misled investors in an ill-fated mortgage securities investment called Abacus 2007-AC1.

NYT: Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell
Like dozens of other brick-and-mortar retailers, Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones.

CNBC: Business confidence back to financial crisis lows
Worldwide business confidence has fallen back to its financial crisis lows, with sharp declines in optimism in both the U.S. and China, according to an economic sentiment survey by Markit. The report, which surveys around 11,000 global manufacturers and service providers, found that business optimism darkened in the first half of this year, dropping back to levels not seen in four years.


Filed under: Washington AM Note
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    The murderer of Trayvon Martin will NEVER have a good life and that's good because justice and that jury of "his peers" consisting of six white women (no men, no Blacks) was asleep.
    Regardless of the "evidence" this guy should have stayed in his truck and waited for the police, who were on their way, to find that Trayvon did indeed belong in that neighborhood and his only weapons were a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona tea.
    If it comes down to a civil trial, as it should, we will contribute to the legal team which I hope is better than the prosecutors who tried his criminal trial. Was Andrea Corey at a party and came drunk to the press conference?

    July 15, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Simply say ing we are becoming another third world by this verdict, and OJ.

    July 15, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |