CNN Washington AM Note
July 17th, 2013
05:23 AM ET
9 months ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: From jurors' voices to civil rights: Latest developments after Zimmerman trial
The George Zimmerman murder trial may be over, but details from the case continue to emerge at a dizzying pace. Several jurors have spoken out after the verdict. The prosecution's key witness has been offered a full ride to college. And Attorney General Eric Holder blasted "stand your ground" laws but gave no hint about whether Zimmerman will face civil rights charges. Here's the latest on the Zimmerman trial aftermath.
SEE ALSO: CNN: Hillary Clinton addresses Martin shooting death
WATCH: VIDEO CNN: Stevie Wonder announced that he will not perform in Florida until the state's "stand your ground" law is abolished.

CNN: Rolling Stone puts bombing suspect Tsarnaev on cover; ignites firestorm
Rolling Stone magazine's decision to put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, on the cover of its latest issue has ignited a firestorm of outrage online. The cover picture is one that Tsarnaev himself posted online and has been published widely by other media outlets in the past. But many took exception to its prominent play in Rolling Stone, where the space is more often than not reserved for rock stars and celebrities.

CNN: Hot, hot, hot in the northeast - but there's end in sight
No, rubber banding an ice tray on your belly won't help. Frozen water bottles in front of a fan won't either. This heat is a beast. A hot, humid beast that's bear-hugging the northeast quarter of the United States. And Wednesday, it'll just squeeze us tighter. The high temperature and humidity will drive up the heat index into the 100 degree range. That's a measure of how hot it feels to your body - and in Philadelphia, it could feel like a broiling 110 degrees.

NYT: Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%
Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal health care law take effect, state officials are to announce on Wednesday. State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the cost will be even lower.

WSJ: Texas School District Drops Microchip-Tracking System
A San Antonio school district said it would no longer require students to carry microchips, an attendance-tracking program that one student had unsuccessfully claimed in court had violated her religious beliefs. Northside Independent School District, one of the largest districts in Texas, required students at some schools to carry identification badges with microchips last year to ensure they would be counted as present, because state funding is tied to student attendance.

WHITE HOUSE:

CNN: Obama says no to immigration without citizenship path
President Barack Obama said Tuesday an immigration reform bill without a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally "does not make sense." "It does not make sense to me, if we're gonna make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved," Obama said in an interview with a Telemundo-owned TV station in Denver. Such a plan, he said, would run counter to American values.

CNN: White House continues education blitz on health insurance
On October 1, uninsured Americans can begin purchasing health insurance in state- or federal-run exchanges, and over the next 10 weeks the Obama administration is engaging in an all-out education blitz meant to encourage broad participation. One part of the education effort is a series of public conference calls in both Spanish and English organized by the White House Initiative for Education Excellence for Hispanics, the first of which was held on Tuesday. The calls are intended to introduce Hispanic consumers and community leaders to services offered under the Affordable Care Act and help demystify the insurance marketplace.

WSJ: Obama Shifts Picks for Labor Board
President Barack Obama nominated two Democratic labor lawyers to seats on the National Labor Relations Board, dropping the nominations of two current board members who were appointed without Senate confirmation. The arrangement is the linchpin of a deal announced Tuesday to win Senate confirmation of five others to administration posts.

Politico: Hispanic networks skip Zimmerman in Obama interviews
Leading Hispanic television networks Univision and Telemundo were granted two interviews apiece with President Obama today, but not one interviewer asked the president a question about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, according to transcripts and sources familiar with the interviews. The four interviews were intended to focus on immigration reform, but the absence of any inquiry related to the high-profile court case surprised even the White House.

HuffPost: Obama Russia Trip: White House Remains Coy On President's Travel Plans
The White House is playing coy over President Barack Obama's travel plans to Russia this fall as Washington and Moscow negotiate the fate of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Obama is scheduled to visit St. Petersburg in September for the Group of 20 economic summit and also stop in Moscow for one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But with Snowden seeking temporary asylum in Russia – a request the U.S. strongly opposes – the White House on Tuesday was ambiguous about the president's itinerary.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNNMoney: Senate confirms consumer financial chief
Five years after the Wall Street meltdown, the agency that protects consumers finally has a confirmed chief. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau was created after the financial crisis with a mandate to protect the public from abuses that helped lead to the Great Recession.
SEE ALSO: Bloomberg: Cordray Confirmation Unleashes U.S. Consumer Bureau’s Authority

CNN: IRS interviews show no political bias, Democrats say
In the latest salvo of a pitched political battle over Internal Revenue Service targeting, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday that interviews with 15 tax agency employees found no evidence of bias or White House manipulation alleged by Republicans.

HuffPost: Gang Of Eight Targets 121 House Republicans On Immigration Reform
Members of the Senate "gang of eight" met with pro-immigration reform business, agriculture, faith and conservative groups on Tuesday to discuss plans for moving a comprehensive bill forward in the House, where many Republicans have vowed not to touch it.

The Hill: Dem source: Energy efficiency bill hitting Senate floor this month
The Senate will debate a comprehensive energy efficiency bill the last week of July, marking the first time the upper chamber will consider substantive energy legislation since 2007, a Senate Democratic aide told The Hill on Tuesday. Controversial amendments held up a similar version of the bill last session, as insiders say Reid was reluctant to trigger a vote on a menu of messaging bills ranging from the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and greenhouse gas emissions regulations.

HuffPost: Constitutional Ban On Gay Marriage Gathers Dust In House Committee
When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in late June, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) didn't waste any time filing legislation that would go around the court and ban same-sex marriage by amending the U.S. Constitution. "This would trump the Supreme Court," Huelskamp told The Huffington Post at the time. "The debate is not over." Since then, Huelskamp's bill has picked up 36 cosponsors - all of whom are rank-and-file conservatives - and now awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee. And that may be all you ever hear of the bill.

POLITICAL:

CNN: Liz Cheney launches run for Senate
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will challenge three-term Republican Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming for his seat in next year's mid-term elections, she announced Tuesday in a web video. Cheney dedicated part of her nearly six-minute long video to criticizing President Barack Obama, accusing him of announcing a war on Americans' freedoms of religion and speech. Missing, however, was any personal attacks on her GOP opponent, Enzi.
SEE ALSO: CNN: Fellow Republican blasts Liz Cheney's Senate bid as 'bad form'

Philadelphia Inquirer: Christie pressed to OK medical pot for children
Gov. Christie has received 1,500 faxes over the last three weeks urging him to sign a bill that would ease the requirements children must meet before they can use medical marijuana, say the parents of a 2-year-old who has a severe form of epilepsy. So far, the governor has issued no response, but at previous news conferences, he said he was "not inclined" to let children have marijuana.

WX Post: John McCain helps avert Senate showdown
After more than three hours of talking, senators began filtering out of the Old Senate Chamber, still without a path to avoiding a showdown on controversial rules changes. But Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had a few last words for four Democratic leaders huddled in a corner. “We’ve got to find a way to get this done,” McCain told Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his leadership team, according to a Democrat listening to the conversation.
SEE ALSO: Politico: Harry Reid’s favorite Republican: John McCain

Politico: Senate immigration gang targets House Republicans
Big Business, Senate Republicans and Democrats backing immigration reform have a target in their crosshairs: House Republicans. Senators like John McCain (R-Ariz), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Intel, and pro reform groups like FWD.us to discuss a coordinated campaign to target more than 100 House Republicans on reforming the nation’s immigration laws when they are at home in their districts over the next month, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

BuzzFeed: Wendy Davis, Julian Castro, And Joaquin Castro On Turning Texas Blue
With heightened attention after her 11-hour abortion law filibuster in the Texas state legislature, Wendy Davis is on the cover of Texas Monthly along with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother Rep. Joaquin Castro. The trio represent a growing Democratic initiative to make Texas a competitive state in presidential elections and are buoyed by Battleground Texas, a post-2012 election organization that has raised $1 million to help make the Lone Star state competitive by 2020. All hope to use changing demographics and a burgeoning Latino community to do the trick.

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: Cuba: 'Obsolete' weapons on ship were going to North Korea for repair
It was a mystery that Panama's president said his country was struggling to solve. What was the massive military equipment hidden under hundreds of thousands of sacks of brown sugar on a North Korean boat? Where did it come from? And where was it going before investigators seized the vessel near the Panama Canal? Hours after Panama said it would ask U.S. and British officials for help solving the puzzle, Cuba gave an answer Tuesday night.
SEE ALSO: CNN: Cuba: 'Obsolete' weapons on ship were going to North Korea for repair

CNN: More budget cuts could make life leaner for top Pentagon brass
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the former enlisted man who earned his sergeant stripes as a grunt in the jungles of Vietnam, is cutting the budgets of the Pentagon's top brass by 20%. And he's sharing the pain, cutting his own office budget by a like amount.

CNN: Snowden applies for temporary asylum in Russia
American intelligence-leaker Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, a move that might soon allow him to leave Moscow's international airport while the request is considered, a Russian lawyer who helped him with the request told CNN. If the request is granted, Snowden would be able to live in Russia - and even travel abroad - for at least a year, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said.
SEE ALSO: Der Spiegel: Pressure on Merkel: German Spying Debate Goes to Parliament

WX Post: Universities Face a Rising Barrage of Cyberattacks
America’s research universities, among the most open and robust centers of information exchange in the world, are increasingly coming under cyberattack, most of it thought to be from China, with millions of hacking attempts weekly. Campuses are being forced to tighten security, constrict their culture of openness and try to determine what has been stolen.

Foreign Policy: The CIA's New Black Bag Is Digital
Over the past decade specially-trained CIA clandestine operators have mounted over one hundred extremely sensitive black bag jobs designed to penetrate foreign government and military communications and computer systems, as well as the computer systems of some of the world's largest foreign multinational corporations. Spyware software has been secretly planted in computer servers; secure telephone lines have been bugged; fiber optic cables, data switching centers and telephone exchanges have been tapped; and computer backup tapes and disks have been stolen or surreptitiously copied in these operations.

TRANSPORTATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

CNN: Holder blasts 'stand your ground' after Zimmerman verdict
Attorney General Eric Holder, a longtime target of Republicans who have tried to force him out of office, now faces the prospect of angering liberal supporters when the Justice Department decides whether to file federal charges in the Trayvon Martin killing. Holder confronted that political pressure Tuesday in a speech to the NAACP, which is conducting the petition drive.
SEE ALSO: TIME: A Civil Suit Could Make Zimmerman Pay — or Could Backfire

CNN: Passengers begin legal action against Boeing after Asiana Airlines crash
Passengers who were aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crashed in San Francisco, began legal action against Boeing Co., which made the plane, according to a law firm representing passengers. Boeing, which is headquartered in Chicago, declined comment. Spokeswoman Debbie Heathers referred all calls to the National Transportation Safety Board. Ribbeck Law Chartered, a Chicago-based law firm, said Tuesday that it had filed the initial court petition on behalf of more than 80 passengers.

Associated Press: BP seeks halt to Gulf oil spill settlement payouts
BP asked a federal judge on Tuesday to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program. BP PLC argues in a court filing that it shouldn't be required to take the risk that hundreds of millions of dollars in claims payments could be "tainted by fraud, corruption and malfeasance."
SEE ALSO: The Guardian: BP sets up 'snitch line' for fraudulent Deepwater Horizon damages claims

Hartford Courant: FBI Suspected Corrupt Agents Aided Bulger In Jai Alai Slaying, Witness Says
Top FBI headquarters officers knew a year after the mob-style execution of the owner of World Jai Alai that gangster James "Whitey" Bulger may have committed the crime with help from one or more corrupt agents, a retired agent testified at Bulger's racketeering trial Tuesday.
ALSO SEE: Boston Herald: Carr: A case of what might have been

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

WSJ: Strapped Rhode Island City Presses College to Ante Up
As various town-gown battles simmer throughout New England, this small community has just received a rare weapon: the right to bill a local university for public-safety services. Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently signed legislation granting the town the ability to charge private Bryant University an annual fee for taxpayer-funded police, fire and rescue response. The law may be the first of its kind, and the university's president has said he plans to challenge it in court.

WX Post: Prince George’s residents brace for water shut-off
The spigot will run dry, toilets won’t flush and there will be no cooling shower on sweltering days for more than 100,000 people in Prince George’s County as crews wrestle to repair a major water main that serves their homes and businesses. The shutdown was carried out Tuesday night and may last up to five days, water officials said.

Providence Journal: Hernandez’s life in jail: Ex-NFL star’s every move is controlled
Fans of Aaron Hernandez, the jailed former Patriots star charged with first-degree murder, have called the Bristol County House of Correction hoping to visit the All-Pro tight end. And four women from Texas contacted the jail about sending him money. Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson, a tough law-and-order administrator who runs a tight ship, has shot down the visitors and benefactors looking to help the professional football player who has been jailed since he was arrested and charged last month.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Young men may have to pay more for health insurance
The average 29-year-old man in Richmond may feel invincible, but he could feel sharp pain in his wallet as federal health care reform begins to level the playing field Jan. 1 for people seeking insurance. Virginia regulators are poised to act on nine individual health plans and six small-group plans that propose to participate in a new insurance exchange in a market that has been transformed by the Affordable Care Act.

Detroit Free Press: Detroit owes $1.2 million in taxes on 36th District Court building
Add Wayne County to the growing list of entities awaiting payment from the city of Detroit. The city’s building authority is more than $1.2 million behind on property taxes on the building that houses 36th District Court, Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski told the Free Press on Tuesday.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Deadly clashes strike Egypt as a new government takes shape
Just two weeks after the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsy, the country's interim leader Tuesday swore in a new cabinet that excluded members of powerful Islamist parties that came to political power in the country's first democratic elections. The news followed state-run media reports that at least seven people died and more than 260 were wounded in overnight clashes in Cairo, where near-daily battles between Morsy's supporters and those opposed to his rule have broken out since he was deposed on July 3.
SEE ALSO: Associated Press: Egypt Cabinet has women, Christians; no Islamists

CNN: Latest developments in the royal baby watch
Royal watchers eagerly await the arrival of a child that will be heir to the British throne.
The Duchess of Cambridge is now overdue. A royal source tells CNN that her due date was July 13. She and Prince William announced at the start of the year that the baby was due in July, but did not announce the date.
SEE ALSO: The Telegraph: Royal baby: Queen's cousin Margaret Rhodes 'not terribly excited' by impending birth, as 'everyone has babies'

CNN: 20 children dead, 30 hospitalized after eating school meals in Indian village
At least 20 children have died and more than 30 others have been hospitalized after eating free school lunches in northeastern India's Bihar state, according to a district official. Speaking on CNN's sister network CNN-IBN, district magistrate Abhijit Sinha said an inquiry into the deaths had been launched and samples of the midday meal sent for testing.

Reuters: Special Report: Smugglers and security forces prey on Asia's new boat people
A Reuter’s investigation, based on interviews with people smugglers and more than two dozen survivors of boat voyages, reveals how some Thai naval security forces work systematically with smugglers to profit from the surge in fleeing Rohingya. The lucrative smuggling network transports the Rohingya mainly into neighboring Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country they view as a haven from persecution. Once in the smugglers' hands, Rohingya men are often beaten until they come up with the money for their passage. Those who can't pay are handed over to traffickers, who sometimes sell the men as indentured servants on farms or into slavery on Thai fishing boats. There, they become part of the country's $8 billion seafood-export business, which supplies consumers in the United States, Japan and Europe.

WSJ: Drug War Grinds On After Cartel Arrest
Mexico's capture of Miguel Ángel Treviño—who authorities say ran the Zetas drug gang with such ferocity that he'd sometimes boil enemies alive in grease—leaves the government a key challenge: How to dismantle the rest of the decentralized cartel.

BBC: Arms exports from UK raise questions, MPs say
The UK government has approved more than 3,000 export licenses for military sales to countries which it believes have questionable records on human rights, MPs say. The House of Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls says the value of the existing export licenses to the 27 countries in question exceeds £12bn. This includes significant sales to China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: IRS: No furlough on Monday after all
Instead of being forced to take an unpaid furlough day, IRS employees will get paid next Monday after all, the IRS announced Tuesday. The agency said in May that workers would be furloughed without pay for five days as a result of government spending cuts aimed at wiping $600 million from the agency's budget this year.

Reuters: Facing lawmakers, Bernanke to walk a fine line on Fed policy
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday is expected to balance a message of enduring central bank support for the U.S. economy with a reminder that the Fed's ultra-easy policies cannot last forever. The head of the U.S. central bank will probably seek to use his testimony to Congress on monetary policy to calm the nerves of jittery investors worried about life without the Fed's $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
SEE ALSO: WSJ: Wild Cards for the Fed's Exit Strategy

Politico: Student loan debt tops $1 trillion
Federal student loan debt has topped $1 trillion, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will announce Wednesday, a milestone that will only intensify the debate in Congress over what to do about student loan interest rates.

CBS: Ford offers free recalibration to improve fuel economy of hybrids
Ford Motor Co. is offering free upgrades to U.S. and Canadian hybrid customers to improve their fuel economy. The company plans to recalibrate the vehicle control systems on 77,000 Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids and Lincoln MKZ hybrids from the 2013 model year. Some customers have complained that the cars aren't getting the 47 mile-per-gallon fuel economy promised in Ford's advertising.

Bloomberg: Apple Said Developing Ad-Skipping as Part of TV Strategy
Apple is developing ad-skipping technology that would let owners of its Apple TV set-top box and future television devices watch shows without commercials, people with knowledge of the matter said. Apple executives have briefed at least two owners of broadcast TV networks and cable channels, as well as some of the biggest U.S. pay-TV systems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. One proposal is for Apple to reimburse programmers for skipped ads, they said.


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

    I hope the jurors realize that they set a murderer free to kill again with the same gun he used to gun down an unarmed teenager.

    July 17, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    CNN: From jurors' voices to civil rights: Latest developments after Zimmerman trial
    ----------------
    The one juror interviewed on AC360 cited Florida's SYG law as part of her decision. This was not a SYG case. GZ could not make that claim because he could not demonstrate that TM attacked him. That's why he was charged with murder. And, that's why so many in the minority community are troubled by the jury decision. If GZ could not prove his story to meet the SYG standard, then why was it so readily accepted as *fact* in his murder trial? People cannot reconcile that hypocrisy.

    July 17, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |