POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, August 1, 2011
August 1st, 2011
04:30 AM ET
11 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, August 1, 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: Debt deal vote likely on Monday, party sources say
Staring down a possible U.S. government default, the Senate and House are expected to vote Monday on a legislative package to extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps. The proposal - part of an agreement reached Sunday between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders - still faces a future that is far from certain.

CNN: The debt ceiling battle: Where things stand
If approved, the plan agreed upon by the White House and congressional leaders would, as a first step, include about $1 trillion in spending cuts spread out over 10 years while raising the debt ceiling by the same amount. These cuts would be "balanced between defense and non-defense spending," according to a White House fact sheet. The proposal also would set up a special committee of Democratic and Republican legislators from both chambers of Congress to recommend additional deficit reduction steps.

CNNMoney: Spending cuts to whack economy?
If the debt ceiling goes up, government spending is most likely going down. …The cuts will start helping to get the nation's debt on a sustainable track. But will they hit the economy at a particularly bad time? The unemployment rate stands at 9.2%. The government jobs reports for May and June were dismal. The housing market is not exactly vibrant. In fact, it's terrible.

New York Times: After Protracted Fight, Both Sides Emerge Bruised
President Obama and Congressional leaders have stitched together an agreement to prevent a national default, provided their 11th-hour deal does not fracture on Monday, but the epic budget battle has failed to resolve another question: which party can be better trusted to govern?

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

USA Today: Blistering July heat leaves records smoldering
It's official: July was a scorcher. High temperatures in communities across the USA broke or tied records 2,676 times, almost double the number (1,444) of a year ago, the National Weather Service reports. …August is unlikely to offer much relief, forecasters say.

Houston Chronicle: Some in Killeen worry they're a target
Overheard at City Hall, one woman gave voice to what is now a recurrent worry in this military town. She said she couldn't help but wonder that Killeen has become a target after police arrested Pfc. Nasser Abdo, 21, last week. Abdo was living within striking distance of scores of businesses and their patrons with what police say was a plan and materials to assemble a pair of bombs.

McClatchy: Farmers fear Congress might crack down on illegal labor
If you buy strawberry Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Steve Sakuma says, there's an 80 percent chance that you're going to get his berries, grown on some of the richest black soil in America, in northern Washington state, about 50 miles from the Canadian border. And he says there's a very good chance that you'd get berries handpicked by illegal immigrants, too.

CNN: Harnessing the military power of animal intelligence
In a little-known part of the counter-terrorism world, one of the most effective detection systems is a 600-pound animal that works for about 20 pounds of fish a day. Since the 1960s, the United States and a handful of other countries have trained dolphins and sea lions to detect sea mines and swimmers, and to recover inert torpedoes and testing objects used in Naval exercises.

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

CNN: Rights group: Gunfire erupts again in Syrian city of Hama
The Syrian military opened fire on the flashpoint city of Hama on Monday - a day after tanks advanced a short distance into the city before moving to its outskirts. The heavy artillery and gunfire lasted about 20 minutes before slowing, said Omar al-Habbal of the Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC), an affiliation of groups that reports on protests in the nation.

CNN: Unrest in Middle East, Africa cast pall over Ramadan for Muslims
Muslims around the world on Monday ushered in Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk abstinence from food and drinks. But this year, the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has cast a pall over what is traditionally a period of comity and goodwill toward men. Several countries in the region have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

CNN: Mexican police: Drug gang leader says he ordered 1,500 killings
A suspected leader of the Juarez drug cartel told authorities he had ordered the deaths of about 1,500 people, a Mexican federal police official said Sunday. Federal police detailed accusations against Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, known as "El Diego," a day after authorities announced his capture. He was one of the country's most wanted criminals, with officials offering a reward of 15 million pesos ($1.3 million) for his arrest.

New York Times: In World’s Eyes, Much Damage Is Already Done
Even before negotiations went down to the wire on Sunday night, the bitterness, division and dysfunction that resounded around the world in recent weeks as the United States veered toward default did more than just fuel a perception that Washington is approaching Japan-like levels of political gridlock.

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

CNNMoney: Asian markets surge on 'debt relief'
Asian markets rallied after President Obama announced a debt ceiling deal had been reached. Tokyo's Nikkei index opened more than 1% higher and the rally really gained steam after Obama announced a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending.

Financial Times: China becomes hurdle to global mergers
When China's antimonopoly law went into effect three years ago, there were fears that Beijing would use it as formal cover for protectionism. Although the worst of those concerns have not materialised, there is a growing realisation that the law has become a hurdle for mergers and acquisitions, not just in China but globally.

CNNMoney: Stocks: Beyond debt and onto jobs
Stocks are expected to start the week with a relief rally after President Obama announced late Sunday that a bipartisan deal had been reached on the debt ceiling. Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 Futures were all up more than 1.4% late Sunday. …But the rally may be short lived since the coming week also brings the ever-important monthly jobs report.

In Case You Missed It…
CNN's John Vause reports how an American company sells chopsticks to China and China sells bridges to America.

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