POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, June 16, 2011
June 16th, 2011
04:14 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, June 16, 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: http://www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Weiner's wife returns as pressure mounts for his resignation
The wife of Rep. Anthony Weiner returned home from a work trip Wednesday as her husband faced mounting pressure to resign over a "sexting" scandal that he lied about before admitting his involvement. …Colleagues of Weiner have said he wanted to wait until he could talk to his wife in person before making a decision on his career.

CNN: White House defends to Congress the U.S. military mission in Libya
In a 32-page report titled "United States Activities in Libya," the administration says the cost of military and humanitarian operations through June 3 was about $800 million. It estimates the total cost through September 30 will be $1.1 billion. The report was drawn up in response to a House resolution that accused President Barack Obama of failing to consult with Congress over the military effort in the North African country.

Washington Post: Some Republican freshmen in Congress hold major debt, disclosure forms show
Members of the firebrand class of Republican freshmen on Capitol Hill — elected on a pledge to attack the U.S. debt problem — have, in some cases, accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in personal debt, according to financial documents released Wednesday. Among the 87 new GOP members of Congress, the documents show, at least 30 had liabilities totaling $50,000 or more in 2010.

CNN: WikiLeaks witness takes the Fifth
A friend and leading supporter of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning said Wednesday he refused to testify before a grand jury, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. David House, one of the founding members of the Bradley Manning Support Network, told reporters after his hourlong court appearance the only information he gave the grand jury was his name and address.

Washington Post: CIA Web site hacked; group LulzSec takes credit
The hacker group LulzSec claimed credit Wednesday for taking down the CIA’s Web site for a couple of hours, the latest in a string of embarrassing Web site disruptions the group has pulled off — apparently more to poke fun and highlight vulnerabilities than to cause real damage. …In recent weeks, LulzSec has claimed credit for hacking or bringing down Web sites belonging to PBS, Sony, the U.S. Senate and the Atlanta chapter of InfraGard, a public-private partnership between the FBI and the private sector dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States.

For the latest national news: http://www.CNN.com

CNN: Crews battling Arizona wildfire face tougher conditions
Crews are expecting higher winds Thursday as they battle a raging blaze that started last month in eastern Arizona, devouring hundreds of thousands of acres before spilling into New Mexico. The massive blaze has grown into the largest fire ever in Arizona, according to fire officials. It had burned 478,452 acres and was 29% contained by Wednesday evening, officials said.

CNNMoney: California lawmakers pass a balanced budget
California lawmakers passed a balanced budget Wednesday that relies on spending cuts, fund transfers and one-time revenue boosts, but allows them to keep collecting their paychecks. The budget now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has said for months that he wanted to present Californians with a gimmick-free budget that would solve the state's $26 billion deficit with a combination of tax extensions and spending cuts.

CNN: Wisconsin battle shifts to recall votes
Wisconsin's battle over labor rights shifted toward a series of recall elections Wednesday after the state's highest court reinstated a bitterly contested law that restricts collective bargaining for state workers. …Six of the 19 Republicans in the state Senate will face recall votes July 12 after they voted for legislation that curbs bargaining rights for Wisconsin public employees, while three of the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in a last-ditch effort to block the bill are being targeted by Republicans in separate votes the following week

CNNMoney: 1,000 firms targeted for audits in illegal hiring crackdown
In an intensifying effort to battle illegal immigration, the U.S. government sent notices to 1,000 companies on Wednesday alerting them that auditors will be examining their hiring records. The employers, ranging from small businesses to major enterprises, will be subject to inspections by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to determine whether or not they are hiring illegal workers.

CNN: Boston Bruins win Stanley Cup; Vancouver fans riot
The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday night in the seventh and deciding game of the National Hockey League's annual championship. The loss didn't go over well with hundreds of mostly young Canuck fans, who took to the streets and set several overturned vehicles afire a few blocks from Rogers Arena where the game was played.

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

New York Times: Pakistan’s Chief of Army Fights to Keep His Job
Pakistan’s army chief, the most powerful man in the country, is fighting to save his position in the face of seething anger from top generals and junior officers since the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, according to Pakistani officials and people who have met the chief in recent weeks.

CNN: Jihadist website: Ayman al-Zawahir appointed al Qaeda's new leader
Ayman al- Zawahiri has been appointed the new leader of al Qaeda, according to a statement posted on the jihadist website, Ansar al Islam. Al-Zawahiri has played a defining role in al Qaeda for over a decade as Osama bin Laden's deputy. Even before the announcement, he had been widely regarded as the organization's de facto leader.

CNN: Syrian civilian: Why is our president killing us?
"I know that God created human beings to live in this world in a liberal way. Why does one man and his family control all these people?" the 22-year-old asks, her voice quivering with anger and fear. …Her anger is aimed at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, who have launched a military crackdown in the region. The regime says it is fighting terrorists, but the people who fled the violence say the targets are democracy protesters and civilians.

CNN: Papandreou to seek vote of confidence
Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou has said a government reshuffle will take place Thursday, after which he will seek a vote of confidence in parliament. The planned reshuffle represents an attempt to win support for additional austerity measures intended to help the economy weather the current crisis, measures that sparked debate Wednesday in parliament as demonstrators protested outside.

CNN: Radical Indonesian cleric sentenced to 15 years in prison
An Indonesian court sentenced radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to 15 years in prison on Thursday. Bashir was convicted of influencing others to provide funds with the objective they be used or likely to be used for terrorism acts. Prosecutors had demanded that Bashir be sentenced to life in prison. Bashir's organization Jamaat Tawhid Anshoru, or JAT, issued a statement saying it rejected the verdict because "it's based on laws formulated by infidels."

For the latest business news: http://www.CNNMoney.com

CNNMoney: Pandora stock surges in IPO, then cools
Shares of Pandora quickly spiked on Wednesday in its public debut, but the stock lost the majority of its gains by the time the market closed. The Internet radio company started trading at $20 per share on Wednesday, above the company's IPO price of $16. The stock immediately jumped as high as $26 a share, an increase of about 63%.

Wall Street Journal: Corporate Jet Set: Leisure vs. Business
A Wall Street Journal review of FAA flight records found that dozens of jets operated by publicly traded corporations made 30% or more of their trips to or from resort destinations, sometimes more than 50%. Often, these were places where their top executives own homes. The review covered nearly every jet flight in the U.S. over the four-year period from 2007 to 2010.

CNNMoney: Oil hits lowest level since February
Oil prices plunged more than 4% Wednesday to their lowest level in nearly four months, as fears over Greece's debt issues pushed both stock and commodity prices broadly lower. Oil prices closed down $4.56, or 4.6%, to $94.81 a barrel, its lowest close since Feb. 18. …"The speculators are running for the door," said James Cordier, president of Liberty Trading Group.

In Case You Missed It…
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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