CNN Washington AM Note
July 16th, 2013
06:06 AM ET
1 year ago

CNN Washington AM Note

BREAKING OVERNIGHT:

CNN: Panama finds weapons hidden in North Korean ship arriving from Cuba
Panamanian authorities seized a North Korean-flagged vessel with an undeclared haul of weaponry in the Panamanian port of Manzanillo on Monday night, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said. Panama's security minister, Jose Raul Mulino, told CNN the ship had arrived from Cuba. Panamanian authorities had received intelligence the ship was carrying drugs, but a search Monday revealed military equipment hidden among a cargo of brown sugar. It was not immediately clear what sort of military equipment was found.

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Race perhaps simplest disagreement in Zimmerman post-trial CNN interviews
Juror B37 found it hard to understand what witness Rachel Jeantel was talking about.
And after the jurors acquitted George Zimmerman in the death of Jeantel's friend Trayvon Martin, the feeling certainly was mutual. After a trial that divided many Americans by their views on race, guns and self-defense, CNN's exclusive interviews with the witness and the juror Monday night illustrated their starkly different frames of reference. They disagreed about whether Zimmerman racially profiled Martin when he saw him walking through a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood. But much more than race separated their perception of what happened the evening of February 26, 2012.
WATCH CLIPS FROM THE INTERVIEWS:
VIDEO CNN: George Zimmerman trial juror b37 talks exclusively to Anderson Cooper about how the jury came to a not guilty verdict.
VIDEO CNN: Rachel Jeantel responds to some of the criticism she received following her testimony at the George Zimmerman trial.
SEE ALSO:
CNN: Now that he's free, can Zimmerman make a living?
CNN: Verdict doesn't end debate in Trayvon Martin death

CNN: Get ready to sweat: Heat wave, humidity to oppress Midwest, East Coast
A nasty combination of heat and humidity will hug much of the eastern United States in a giant, sweaty embrace this week. Temperatures in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest will reach the 90s for the next few days, but that's not the bad part. Heat indices are expected to soar well past 100 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

WX Post: Snowden’s surveillance leaks open way for challenges to programs’ constitutionality
The recent disclosure of U.S. surveillance methods is providing opponents of classified programs with new openings to challenge their constitutionality, according to civil libertarians and some legal experts. At least five cases have been filed in federal courts since the government’s widespread collection of telephone and Internet records was revealed last month. The lawsuits primarily target a program that scoops up the telephone records of millions of Americans from U.S. telecommunications companies.

WSJ: Mixed Results in Health Pilot Plan
Lowering health-care costs is tougher than improving the quality of care, according to first-year results from a key pilot program under the federal health law. All of the 32 health systems in the so-called Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program improved patient care on quality measures such as cancer screenings and controlling blood pressure, according to data to be released Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But only 18 of the 32 managed to lower costs for the Medicare patients they treated—a major goal of the effort.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama to Bush 41: We are a ‘gentler nation’ because of you
It was a homecoming for former President George H.W. and former first lady Barbara Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Monday where they joined President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, in presenting the Points of Light honor for extraordinary work in community service.
SEE ALSO: CNN: Tweet of the Day: Bush gives Obama some socks

WX Post: Obamacare contractor under investigation in Britain
The British government has launched an investigation of Serco Group, parent company of the firm recently awarded $1.2 billion to manage key elements of the U.S. health-care law’s rollout. That contract, announced in late June, is among the largest Affordable Care Act grants made so far, expected to cover the hiring of 1,500 workers who will process a wave of health coverage applications.

Politico: Obama campaign still $3.5 million in debt
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign — or what's left of it — has about $3.5 million in debt, according to campaign reports filed Monday. Obama's primary campaign committee Obama for America remains significantly in debt to vendors, consultants and other service providers more than six months after election day. The committee owes fees to campaign consultant David Axelrod, digital consulting firm Blue State Digital, pollster David Binder, Democratic data firm NGP VAN, and many other vendors.

NYT: In Second Term, Obama Is Seen as Using ‘Hidden Hand’ Approach
In the nearly two weeks since Egypt’s military seized power, President Obama has promoted a better federal bureaucracy, given a medal to George Lucas of “Star Wars” fame and had former President George Bush to the White House for lunch. What he has not done is publicly address the violent upheaval in Cairo. That is not to say Mr. Obama is uninvolved.
SEE ALSO: Politico: Obama Making Immigration Appeals, Putting Pressure On House Republicans

Politico: Obamacare primer: How is it really going to work?
In less than three months, people are going to be able to sign up for Obamacare coverage for the first time. To hear the Obama administration tell it, it’ll be quick and painless. Fill out a short form, and new health insurance marketplaces will be instantly able to “ping” a massive data system that can check just about everything you say — keeping most people honest and cheats to a minimum. It’s all another reminder of how many complicated pieces of Obamacare have to work together perfectly and how hard it will be for many Americans to trust that will happen.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNN: Senators fail to reach ‘nuclear option’ deal, but some hopeful as deadline nears
In a rare, private meeting with nearly all 100 senators Monday night, the upper chamber failed to come up with a deal to avert the so-called nuclear option—a partisan threat by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would eliminate filibusters for executive-branch nominees. But after the nearly four-hour meeting, senators said Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to keep talking before a Tuesday deadline.
SEE ALSO:
CNN: Sources: Reid, McCain engaged in secret weekend talks on 'nuclear option'
Roll Call: Reid Prepped Filibuster Showdown for Months

Reuters: Senate leaders urged to avoid showdown on Obama nominees
Senators said on Monday that no agreement had yet been reached to avert a showdown over President Barack Obama's executive-branch nominees and threats by Democrats to strip Republicans of their filibuster power to block such nominations.
SEE ALSO:
Bloomberg: Senate Nears Showdown Nominee Votes as Leaders Seek Deal
NYT: Vacancies and Partisan Fighting Put Labor Relations Agency in Legal Limbo

Politico: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz join Kirsten Gillibrand push on military sexual assault
Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have joined an upstart effort to remove the chain of command from military sexual assault cases, POLITICO has learned. The tea party favorites give the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, critical conservative cover as she battles the Pentagon and hawks in both parties on her proposal to create a new prosecution system for major military crimes.
SEE ALSO: Politico: Kirsten Gillibrand's slow climb to 51 votes

Roll Call: Special Election Scheduled for Markey’s House Seat
Massachusetts election officials have scheduled a Dec. 10 special election to fill the soon-to-be-vacant 5th District. The primary — which will likely pick the next congressman in this strong Democratic district — is set for Oct. 15. Longtime Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., will be sworn into the Senate on Tuesday, succeeding Secretary of State John Kerry after the congressman’s special election victory last month. But Markey’s election creates another special election for his House district.

POLITICAL:

CNN: Bachmann aide arrested, charged with theft
A top staff member for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, was arrested and faces theft charges involving objects stolen from a House office building, U.S. Capitol Police said. Police said they arrested Javier Sanchez, 37, of Virginia, last Thursday after an investigation, but the matter just came to light publicly on Monday night.

CNN: Wendy Davis raked in almost $1 million after filibuster
Her quest to stop a bill placing new restrictions on abortions may have been stymied, but Texas Sen. Wendy Davis is seeing an upside: a spike in fundraising. The Democrat brought in $933,000 between June 17 and June 30, according to figures provided by her political organization. That brought her cash-on-hand to more than a million dollars.

HuffPost: Chris Christie Backed By 4 More Democrats
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) reelection campaign was backed by four more Democratic elected officials Monday, bringing the total to 36 statewide.
SEE ALSO: Entertainment Weekly: NJ Governor Chris Christie to appear as himself on 'The Michael J. Fox Show'

Associated Press: Obama, GOP offer differing visions on immigration
President Barack Obama is using his presidential pulpit to press the Republican-controlled House to embrace a path to citizenship for all 11 million people living illegally in the U.S., while a top Republican says those brought to America as children should be given the highest priority for legalization. With prospects shaky for passing an immigration overhaul in the House, the White House insisted Monday that to garner Obama's signature, any bill must satisfy the president's principles – the path to citizenship chief among them.

BuzzFeed: First Ad To Air In Boston Mayor’s Race
The first ad is set to air this week in the race to replace Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Democratic Boston city councilor Felix Arroyo is set to go on television this week with a Spanish-language television ad that will run on Univision and Telemundo. “Con Tu Ayuda Vamos a Hacer Historia,” the ad is titled, which translate to “With your help we will make history.

HuffPost: Ready For Hillary PAC Rejects Million-Dollar Donation Offer, Says It's Focusing On Grassroots
Though she has kept silent about whether she plans to run for president in 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton's potential candidacy has continued to pick up steam. Ready for Hillary, a super PAC pushing Clinton to run, has reportedly already received - and declined - offers for donations worth millions of dollars. "We have turned away seven-figure checks," Adam Parkhomenko, the group's executive director, told Agence France-Presse. As an independent expenditure committee, Ready for Hillary is legally allowed to accept unlimited donations from individuals and corporations.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: Putin: Snowden 'shifting position' on meeting asylum conditions
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden appears to be "shifting his position somewhat" when it comes to meeting Russia's conditions for asylum, according to Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency. Putin's comments on Snowden, made during a conversation with Russian Geographical Society students, came after Snowden told human rights activists and lawyers Friday that he wants temporary asylum while he awaits safe passage to Latin America.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald says Edward Snowden is 'the classically responsible whistleblower."

CNN: Post-testimony legal wrangling begins in Manning case
After years of pretrial delays and legal battles, testimony in the court-martial trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning is all but over but the delays and battles continue. Last Monday, before presenting witnesses in the case, Manning's defense attorneys filed motions asking the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, to find him not guilty of four of the charges against him. Among those four charges they want the judge to consider is the most serious charge against Manning, aiding the enemy. If he's found guilty of that charge, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Reuters: U.S. military's sexual assault investigations often faulty: report
The U.S. military in many cases does not properly investigate allegations of sexual assault, sometimes failing to collect key evidence, fully examine crime scenes or interview witnesses, a probe by the Pentagon's inspector general found. The report, which was released to the public on Monday, came as Congress weighs measures that would overhaul how the military handles sexual assault cases after a string of high-profile scandals in the armed forces.

WSJ: U.S. Pushes for Quick Egypt Transition
Secretary of State John Kerry, seeking to promote a quick political transition in Egypt, will face a gathering of Arab leaders this week who have already expressed strong support for the Egyptian military and its decision to overthrow President Mohammed Morsi. Mr. Kerry's meeting in Jordan on Wednesday with leaders from the Arab League will mark his first high-level encounter with diplomats from among Egypt's neighbors since Mr. Morsi's fall on July 3. The group will discuss problems bedeviling Mr. Kerry's push for Mideast peace talks as well as the situation in Egypt.

WSJ: Guantanamo Detainee Begs to Be Charged as Legal Limbo Worsens
After 11 years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, suspected terrorist Sufiyan Barhoumi has decided to plead guilty to war crimes, throw himself on the mercy of the court and serve whatever sentence a U.S. military commission deems just. There's just one problem: The Pentagon refuses to charge him. The standoff illustrates the legal quagmire surrounding the offshore prison—even as President Barack Obama renews his long-stymied quest to close it.

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: Shot-by-shot testimony in Bulger trial makes jurors squirm
Jurors squirmed Monday as a Massachusetts pathologist detailed the wounds inflicted on the 19 bodies prosecutors have lain at the feet of reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger. Richard John Evans, the state's former chief medical examiner, described gunshot wounds to the temple, neck, spinal cord or heart in graphic detail. The jury in Bulger's federal racketeering and murder trial was both riveted and visibly uneasy during Evans' testimony, with some of them holding their hands over their mouths as he outlined the damage inflicted by bullets in 17 of the 19 cases.

NBC: Former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich appeals corruption conviction, sentence
Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed an appeal Monday challenging the imprisoned former Illinois governor's corruption conviction and stiff, 14-year prison term. The lengthy filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat's retrial and 16 months after he entered a federal prison in Colorado. Jurors convicted Blagojevich, 56, of engaging in wide-ranging corruption, including that the two-term governor sought to profit from his power to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate seat that Barack Obama vacated to become president.

Politico: Department of Justice slaps Gallup with $10.5M fine
Gallup Organization has agreed to pay the government $10.5 million to settle a false claims case against the company for allegedly inflating cost estimates in government contracts. The Justice Department announced the settlement Monday, resolving a complaint originally brought under the Whistleblower Protection Act by a former Gallup director of client services. Gallup, a research and analytics company known especially for its political polling, admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

LA Times: Zimmerman verdict: Protesters storm Wal-Mart in Crenshaw area
People protesting George Zimmerman's acquittal marched along Crenshaw Boulevard on Monday night, stomping on cars, chasing bystanders and storming a Wal-Mart. Several protesters made their way into the Wal-Mart as guards scrambled to close security gates. A short while later, Los Angeles Police Department officers wearing helmets and carrying batons swarmed the store as others marched through the parking lot.

Bloomberg: Chicago Parents Ask Court to Delay Plan to Close Schools
Chicago parents are asking a U.S. judge to delay for at least one year, if not permanently, the city Board of Education’s plans to close 49 public schools. The parents, who filed two separate lawsuits against the nation’s third-largest school district in May, claim the closings will adversely affect their children and more than 5,000 others who are enrolled in special-education programs and receive other individualized attention and counseling.

The Detroit News: Detroit bankruptcy clock ticking
Gov. Rick Snyder has not yet decided whether Detroit will become the largest city in American history to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy, but a series of crucial meetings set for this week should answer that question. “It’s a very challenging situation,” Snyder said in an interview Monday. “The process is still going on. The preference is to avoid bankruptcy, but bankruptcy has to be a tool that’s available. None of this should be a surprise to anyone.” The stakes are enormous.

Portland Press Herald: President Bush's son rescues stranded Maine boaters
Shirley Polinger was cruising along in her boat early Saturday afternoon when the vessel came to an abrupt stop. She and her six passengers were about halfway between Kennebunkport and Wells Harbor when the boat's propeller stopped, possibly after she hit a lobster buoy. Polinger was surprised by her boat trouble – and by the man who came to her rescue: Neil Bush, son of former President George H.W. Bush and younger brother of former President George W. Bush.

Arizona Central: Court asked to overturn Arizona immigrant license policy
Immigrant rights advocates urged a federal appeals court on Monday to halt Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s order denying driver’s licenses for young immigrants who have gotten work permits and avoided deportation under an Obama administration policy, arguing that Arizona’s policy is unconstitutional because it’s trumped by federal law. They filed their 77-page opening brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, seeking to overturn a May decision by a federal judge in Phoenix that denied a request for an order prohibiting the policy.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: U.S. diplomat meets Egyptian officials amid political crisis
A high-ranking U.S. diplomat visited with interim government leaders in Cairo on Monday in a show of support to Egyptians amid the country's second political crisis in two years. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns is the first U.S. official to meet with interim leaders since Egypt's military overthrew President Mohamed Morsy earlier this month.

CNN: Mexico captures Zetas cartel leader
A Mexican military helicopter hovered south of the border in the early morning darkness. Below it, one of the country's most wanted drug lords was riding in a pickup truck. Mexican authorities say they'd been tracking Zetas cartel boss Miguel Angel Trevino Morales for months. Early Monday morning, their moment came to swoop in.
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: The leader of one of Mexico's most feared drug cartels, the Zetas, was arrested near the border of Texas.

Global Post: Cambodia bird flu outbreak continues with 14th case
Cambodia's outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza continues apace as the summer wears on, with a 3-year-old boy becoming the 14th victim this year and the 35th case confirmed in the Southeast Asian nation since records began to be kept. The Cambodian Ministry of Health has deployed a rapid response team to Prey Veng's Kampong Trabek district to perform "contact tracing" or mass testing of everyone who came into contact with the recently diagnosed 3-year-old boy, including both family and neighbors, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Times of London: Tories prepare new assault on welfare handouts
George Osborne is considering a further lowering of the amount households can receive in benefits as Tory MPs press him to reduce a newly-imposed cap by another £6,000. A limit of £26,000 a year was imposed on claimants yesterday, but the Chancellor is facing calls to take a harder line from backbenchers who want it cut to £20,000 as part of a post-election assault on welfare spending.

BBC: DR Congo M23 rebels battle army troops near Goma city
Rebels and army forces are engaged in heavy fighting near the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The M23 rebels told the BBC that their hill positions had been bombarded most of the night by military planes. The UN said it was prepared to use "lethal force" to protect civilians if the M23 advanced towards Goma. The fighting comes as its new 3,000-strong intervention brigade to neutralize and disarm the rebels is approaching full strength.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: Employers to raise worker pay by 2.9% next year
Despite a strengthening economy, pay raises next year will only be slightly more generous than they have been over the past few years. Employers anticipate increasing worker salaries by an average of 2.9% in 2014, just marginally better than the 2.8% boost they gave this year, according to an annual survey of 1,500 mid-size and large U.S. employers by consulting firm Mercer.

Reuters: Fed message gets through to markets, sort of
Federal Reserve officials were clearly taken aback by the selloff that was unleashed in global financial markets when the central bank's chairman, Ben Bernanke, warned that the Fed's bond buying would likely be scaled back this year. But they can take an increasing level of comfort from having guided Wall Street to a view of future monetary policy that is closer to their own, and the sense that a messy adjustment now is much less harmful than a more violent turn later.

TIME: Best Buy’s Unlikely Return From the Dead
Last year, electronics giant Best Buy delivered a series of disappointing earnings reports, sending investors to the exits and the company’s stock down to levels not seen in more than a decade. Many observers saw in all this the inevitable triumph of e-commerce over the big-box-store business model. Megastores like Best Buy offer a huge selection of products at low prices, but online stores offer an even bigger selection and, often, even lower prices. In effect, they outboxed the Big Boxes. But in November, Best Buy’s newest CEO, Hubert Joly, announced his “renew blue” turnaround plan, and since the beginning of the year, Best Buy stock has been on a tear, ranking as one of the best performing S&P 500 stocks so far in 2013.

Bloomberg: Yahoo’s Mayer Impresses Investors More Than Advertisers
Marissa Mayer, the Google executive brought in a year ago to restore Yahoo’s luster, has revamped products, shaken up management and presided over a 75 percent rally in the stock. Even so, Yahoo’s fifth chief executive officer in four years has struggled where it matters most: luring advertisers whose spending will put revenue back on a growth path. Enlarge image Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. While Yahoo’s shares have soared in the past year on optimism over Mayer’s turnaround plan and the value of its Asian assets, analysts are bracing for another quarter of stagnant sales when the company reports earnings today.

CNBC: McDonald’s to bring Big Mac to Vietnam
Vietnam is finally set to get its first taste of the Big Mac after US burger chain McDonald's said it would open its first outlet in the communist-run country early next year. The Illinois-based company said it had appointed a Vietnamese businessman, Henry Nguyen, an overseas Vietnamese who returned to the country a decade ago, as "developmental licensee" to "build the [McDonald's] brand" in the country. The first outlet would be in Ho Chi Minh City, the commercial hub. McDonald's said the menu would include the Big Mac sandwich, cheeseburgers and fries.


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

    One, did anyone hear the juror on the murderer's case last night on Piers Morgan and/or Anderson Cooper? I was trying to watch it as get ready to go to work (yes haters, a Democrat who works for a living) but we want to sit down to really listen to what the juror said about the woman who was on the phone with Trayvon when he was gunned down like the criminal he wasn't.
    Two, is Panama trying to make nice with the US after all the hoopla that traitor snowden has created? Do they want to show the US and the world that they are on the ball?

    July 16, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Arizona Central: Court asked to overturn Arizona immigrant license policy
    ---------------------
    Should non-US residents be allowed to obtain driver's licenses? Should someone who is here on a work permit be allowed to obtain a driver's license? Should an individual who was brought here as a child be allowed to obtain one? What about someone who is attending college on a student visa? Should a college student be allowed to obtain a license to drive?

    July 16, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |