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.
CNN: Romney defeats Santorum by 8 votes in Iowa
Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum by eight votes in Tuesday's Iowa GOP presidential caucuses, the state Republican Party said early Wednesday, confirming Romney narrowly fended off an upstart challenger who just weeks ago polled in the single digits.
CNN: Romney won voters who were most concerned with beating Obama
Iowa's Republican electorate shattered Thursday night, showing a party establishment under siege and voters unable to coalesce behind any candidate in a deeply flawed field.
CNN: Live blog from the Iowa caucuses
Iowa Republicans will gather at 809 caucus sites across Iowa Tuesday, casting the first votes of the 2012 presidential election. Check back here for updates from our reporters and producers throughout the Hawkeye State.
CNN: Perry to return to Texas to reassess candidacy
Following a disappointing projected fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he'll return to Texas on Wednesday to reassess his candidacy.
CNN: Reports: Mother's arrest may be L.A. arson motive
The mother of a German national suspected of one of the worst arson sprees in Los Angeles history appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge Tuesday in the German government's effort to extradite her on fraud charges.
CNN: Green Beret says he didn't know explosives were in bag, complaint says
An Army Green Beret charged with trying to take explosives on an American Airlines flight over the weekend told investigators he didn't realize he had C-4 in his carry-on bag, according to a criminal complaint.
CNN: BP still wants Halliburton to pay for whole Gulf oil spill cleanup
In an ongoing effort to recover all the cleanup costs from Halliburton, oil giant BP has told a federal judge in New Orleans that the contractor was "grossly negligent" in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
CNN: Authorities probe cause of Florida women's clinic blaze
Investigators said Tuesday they did not yet know the cause of a fire that extensively damaged a women's clinic in Pensacola, Florida.
CNN: Prosecutors to resume their case in Hosni Mubarak's trial
Prosecutors are scheduled to continue their case Wednesday in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is accused of ordering protesters killed during the country's uprising last year.
CNN: Taliban ready for talks, purported spokesman says
The Afghan Taliban are prepared to open an "office outside the country for talks with foreigners," a purported spokesman for the movement said in a statement released Tuesday.
CNN: Qatar offers to be mediator between Taliban, international community
Qatar, as diplomats say, likes to "punch above its weight." This arid peninsula in the Persian Gulf is smaller than Connecticut but played a leading role in helping Libyan rebels oust Moammar Gadhafi and has been at the heart of Arab League sanctions against Syria. It's now facilitating talks on the Afghan conflict by allowing the Taliban to open a liaison office in its capital, Doha.
CNN: Former Tunisia leader faces trial over killings
Tunisian authorities are trying former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in absentia Tuesday for his alleged role in the death of protesters in January 2011.
CNN: Iowa's turnaround town
No one in Newton, Iowa, would say the town's economy has recovered. But it's getting there. Slowly.
CNN: Europe: Still a huge pain in the neck for investors
Investing experts may be predicting a modest rise for stocks in 2012, but it will be far from smooth sailing.
CNN: Stocks rally into the new year
U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday, kicking off the new year on a high note, as investors welcomed upbeat reports on economic activity around the world.
In Case You Missed It…
Tonight Wolf Blitzer and John King talk with Iowa GOP officials about the result of the Iowa caucus in Clinton County.