POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
April 27th, 2011
05:51 AM ET
11 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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.

For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Crowd turns loud at town hall session for freshman GOP rep
House Republicans back home for congressional recess have been getting some tough questions about plans to overhaul Medicare, but GOP freshman Daniel Webster's town hall meeting in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday was beyond tough – it turned into a chaotic scene.

CNN: House GOP leaders to meet with rank and file Republicans on debt limit vote
With a showdown over raising the debt limit looming, House Republican leaders said Tuesday they will hold a series of "listening sessions" for rank-and-file GOP members when Congress returns from its break next week. The sessions are designed to get feedback on how to frame the controversial upcoming vote to raise the nation's debt limit, according to several GOP sources on a conference call for House Republicans.

CNNMoney: Big Oil's $4 billion tax break in doubt
President Obama repeated his call Tuesday for an end to $4 billion in oil industry tax breaks as gas prices approach $4 a gallon and after a top lawmaker indicated a possible shift in Republican policy. In a letter to congressional leaders, the president said the oil industry is profitable enough without the tax incentives and that the money should be spent on alternative energy sources and conservation.

The Washington Post: Obama expected to announce national security team changes this week
President Obama is expected to announce long-anticipated changes in his national security team this week, including a new ambassador to Afghanistan, according to administration officials familiar with internal deliberations. The officials, who provided information on the condition of anonymity, said as many as four high-level appointments could be announced as soon as Thursday, a changing of the guard that would probably involve the naming of a replacement for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

POLITICO: Firefighters' union money goes local
As newly elected Republican state legislatures aggressively push a slew of anti-union measures, the International Association of Fire Fighters is freezing its federal political spending and shifting all resources toward its beleaguered state and local colleagues.

ABC News: Donald Trump and Ron Paul: Republican Fringe Out in Front of 2012 Field
With two of the more colorful potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Rep. Ron Paul and Donald Trump, making so many headlines, GOP establishment types desperate to show their donors and their base that they've got a real shot at beating President Obama in 2012 have to be worried.

For the latest national news: www.CNN.com

CNN: Storm, hail, reported tornadoes pummel parts of South
Storms in the lower Mississippi valley Tuesday night unleashed baseball-sized hail, high winds and twisters, including one that lifted a tractor-trailer, the National Weather Service said. Meteorologists from Texas to Kentucky, a day after a similar round of storms, were flooded Tuesday evening with reports of severe storms or tornado touchdowns and resulting damage.

CNN: Midwesterners brace for possible record flooding
Sandbag walls were beginning to rise Tuesday across parts of the Midwest against what the National Weather Service warned could be record flooding in the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys over the next week.

CNN: Sony: Hacker stole PlayStation users' personal info
Sony's investigations over the past week determined that an "unauthorized person" had obtained users' names, home addresses, e-mail addresses, birth dates and passwords, according to a statement being sent to all account holders. The attack also has crippled Sony's PlayStation Network, which has some 70 million subscribers and has been down since April 20.

CNN: Can technology fix the FAA's air traffic troubles?
New technology to modernize America's aging air traffic system promises to help air traffic controllers and may have prevented a recent tarmac collision between two aircraft at a New York airport, say experts. As part of its "NextGen" plan to overhaul traffic management, the FAA plans to replace its current radar tracking system by 2020 with a more accurate GPS-based network.

For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com

CNN: Witnesses say fighting rages near Misrata, shelling along port
Fighting battered the besieged seaside city of Misrata Tuesday as bombs - presumably from NATO warplanes - shook the ground after pro-government forces launched what rebel officials said was their most aggressive attack so far on the port.

CNN: Yemen remains al Qaeda's ultimate breeding ground
On December 15, 2001, Pakistani border troops came across some 30 al Qaeda fighters in a mountain pass. They had fled the U.S. bombardment of Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden's last stronghold in Afghanistan. The group turned out to be members of the al Qaeda leader's security detail, and U.S. intelligence swiftly dubbed them the "Dirty Thirty." …It soon transpired most of the "Dirty Thirty" were from Yemen, a country where al Qaeda has an even greater presence today than it did before 9/11.

CNN: Why attack Libya and not Syria?
Two countries, two cases of extreme violence committed against citizens by their own government. In one case, the Obama administration responds with military force. In the other, it doesn't. Why?

Wall Street Journal: Karzai Told to Dump U.S.
Pakistan is lobbying Afghanistan's president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S., urging him instead to look to Pakistan—and its Chinese ally—for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the economy, Afghan officials say.

CNN: U.S. broadens Mexico travel warning
The U.S. State Department has broadened its travel warning for Mexico, advising citizens to avoid certain areas and steer clear of driving at night. The new alert, issued Friday, urges Americans to defer nonessential travel in regions where drug-related violence has surged, including the border state of Tamaulipas and the central state of Michoacan.

CNN: Cease-fire talks collapse between Thailand, Cambodia
Thai officials on Wednesday pulled out of planned cease-fire talks with Cambodia, hours after fighting flared up again in a bloody border dispute that has sent tens of thousands fleeing over the past week. About 27,000 people are living in shelters in Thailand, the nation's health ministry said.

CNN: Carter, 3 other ex-leaders in South Korea to push for talks
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the group known as "The Elders" - former presidents Martti Ahtisaari of Finland and Mary Robinson of Ireland, and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland - will hold a news conference Thursday to talk about what they have learned during their visits to China, and North and South Korea, a statement from the group said.

For the latest business news: www.CNNMoney.com

CNNMoney: Bond market waiting for Bernanke
Bond traders are waiting to hear what Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has to say about inflation and the economy when he holds his first post-Fed meeting press conference Wednesday afternoon. Most experts don't expect the Fed will raise its key lending rate, which has been sitting near 0% since December 2008. And most also don't expect the Fed to announce another stimulus plan.

CNN: Say it ain't so for a cup o' joe: Price of coffee beans climb
Consumers got a jolt this week with news that the price of coffee was hovering near $3 a pound, the highest price in more than three decades, forcing many coffee houses to consider raising prices or cutting services.

In Case You Missed It
Anderson Cooper explains why Levi Johnston's forthcoming book has earned him a spot on AC360's RidicuList.

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