POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, August 3, 2011
August 3rd, 2011
04:23 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, August 3, 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: Obama signs debt ceiling bill, ends crisis
President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a last-minute compromise plan to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, narrowly averting what could have been an unprecedented default with calamitous economic consequences.

CNNMoney: What's wrong with the debt ceiling deal
The debt ceiling deal President Obama enacted Tuesday cuts deficits and lets the country avert default. But it is getting very muted applause from serious fiscal experts - the ones who actually understand the federal budget. "No one should pretend that they have solved anything other than an artificial political crisis," said Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan deficit watchdog group.

POLITICO: Debt ceiling bill's super committee has lobbyists preparing
K Street wasted little time putting clients on notice about the next phase of the debt ceiling debate with a simple message: Nobody is safe from the super committee. Lobby shops say a much-broader-than-expected range of budget cuts and tax provisions could be in play, especially compared with the relatively small group of industries that were afraid of getting a haircut during the earlier debt ceiling negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden.

CNN: Senate goes on recess without taking up FAA funding
The U.S. Senate went on summer recess Tuesday night without taking action to fully fund the Federal Aviation Administration, all but assuring that almost 4,000 furloughed FAA workers will remain jobless for the next five weeks and preventing the agency from collecting $1.2 billion in aviation taxes.

CNN: Got Mitt? Romney critics milk debt ceiling issue
Matt Lewis, a blogger with the conservative website The Daily Caller, posted an image of Romney's face on a milk carton. Above the face of the former governor was the glaring caption: "Missing Leadership." …One of Romney's rivals, a noticeably more aggressive Jon Huntsman, was also milking the issue. He all but asked: "Got Mitt?"

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

Washington Post: With debt deal, states brace for cuts in federal aid
The domestic spending cuts contemplated in the debt-ceiling deal are sure to compound the dire fiscal situation confronting the states, which already are reducing jobs and slashing once-untouchable programs to balance their budgets. The measure that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday does not lay out specific reductions, but with federal dollars accounting for a third of state revenue, analysts said steep cuts will be unavoidable.

Chicago Tribune: 1,100 Illinois workers to lose jobs by year's end
More than 1,100 workers at 10 companies learned last month that they'll lose their jobs in plant closings or mass layoffs before year-end, according to state records posted online Tuesday. …The biggest cuts are being made by Sun-Times Media, which last month announced it would eliminate more than 400 jobs when the Chicago Tribune Media Group begins handling some of its printing operations.

CNN: Jury set to weigh if New Orleans cops wrongly shot men after Katrina
Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday in the trial of five current or former police officers in connection with shootings on a New Orleans bridge in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The shootings occurred on Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005, six days after much of New Orleans went underwater after the powerful hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast.

CNN: West Texas town faces looming prospect of dried-out reservoir
In normal times, Lake E.V. Spence is a teeming 14,600-acre reservoir with a maximum depth of 108 feet, just west of the town of Robert Lee, Texas. …But these are not normal times. In the past eight months this area has received 1 inch of rain. Only 3 inches have fallen in the past 12 months, and even though Robert Lee is now the reservoir's only customer, if the rains don't come, it will be dry by late winter.

Boston Globe: Fliers face new queries at Logan
The Transportation Security Administration plans to start testing an expanded behavior-detection security program today at Logan International Airport, the first airport in the nation to roll out the enhanced screening method. Under the program, TSA officers will speak with every passenger passing through the Terminal A security checkpoint, asking each two or three questions, such as “Where are you traveling today?” or “How long have you been in town?”

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

CNN: Mubarak arrives in Cairo for trial on corruption, murder charges
Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for his trial on corruption and murder charges - the first Arab leader to face a judge since the uprisings started in the region this year.

CNN: Obama administration intensifies pressure on Syria
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure on Syria Tuesday, as the regime intensified its bloody crackdown on protesters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with a group of U.S.-based Syrian activists and opposition figures at the State Department. It was an effort to further the diplomatic isolation of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad over his fierce security crackdown on peaceful protests across Syria.

Vanity Fair: Operation Shady RAT—Unprecedented Cyber-espionage Campaign and Intellectual-Property Bonanza
For at least five years, a high-level hacking campaign—dubbed Operation Shady RAT—has infiltrated the computer systems of national governments, global corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations, with more than 70 victims in 14 countries. Lifted from these highly secure servers, among other sensitive property: countless government secrets, e-mail archives, legal contracts, and design schematics.

CNN: U.S. relaxes rules governing food aid to starving Somalis
As international aid organizations struggle to save lives amidst what U.S. officials term "staggering" hunger on the Horn of Africa, the United States is hoping to ease some political concerns. New U.S. guidance is aimed at assuring those organizations that they will not be prosecuted for providing aid that might fall into the hands of Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-affiliated militant group.

CNN: Ex-Afghan spy chief details hunt for bin Laden, 10-year war
Afghan spies had intelligence leads four years ago that pointed to an area close to where Osama bin Laden was hiding, according to the Afghanistan's former spy chief. But Pervez Musharraf - then Pakistan's president - refused to take action despite receiving detailed reports, said Amrullah Saleh.

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

CNNMoney: Stocks plunge, S&P goes negative for year
U.S. stocks plunged on Tuesday as fears about a weak U.S. economy were enflamed after investors got another disappointing economic report – this time on consumer spending. The selloff was so broad and so deep it pushed the S&P 500 into negative territory for the year and bond yields to their lowest levels in nine months.

Bloomberg: Investors Made a Fortune on Treasuries in July
For all the anxiety among politicians and their constituents over playing chicken with the debt ceiling and the prospect of the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt, the people with the most at stake made more money buying Treasury securities in July than any month this year. Actually, they made a fortune, or $183,000 for every $10 million invested.

CNNMoney: U.S. automakers post stronger sales as Japanese slide
U.S. automaker sales rose in July with Chrysler Group posting an especially strong, and unexpected, gain. Despite those gains, analysts say auto sales are recovering at a more tempered pace than had been expected at the beginning of the year, before Japan's earthquake and Tsunami disrupted production for Asian automakers.

In Case You Missed It…
CNN's John King is interrupted on his live show when the Secret Service arrests a man for jumping the White House fence.

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