POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
March 20th, 2012
04:26 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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 faces another 'must-win' state in Illinois primary
Here we go again - another Tuesday, another "must-win" primary state for Mitt Romney. Fifty-four delegates are up for grabs Tuesday when Illinois votes for the Republican presidential nominee. But for the former Massachusetts governor, capturing the popular vote might be just as important as increasing his lead in the battle for delegates.

CNN Money: House GOP budget chief aims at tax code
In a year when political stalemate is expected to block any real progress on fiscal reforms, House Republicans will take a swing at tax reform in their fiscal year 2013 budget proposal due out on Tuesday morning. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the lead writer on the budget, and his caucus will call for a reduction in individual tax rates and brackets. Instead of today's six brackets, with rates from 10% to 35%, they are calling for just two - 10% and 25%. It's not clear how much income would fall under each bracket.

CNN: The fight for the Republican nomination, by the numbers
As the Republican primary reaches its halfway point, the question of inevitability is a main topic of conversation. Is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who holds a sizable lead in delegates, destined to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012? While Romney's campaign says yes, his three rivals argue otherwise.

CNN: Report: Most states do poor job in guarding against corruption
Most American states are doing a subpar job in protecting against corruption and assuring accountability, according a study released Monday. The joint report - from the Global Integrity nonprofit advocacy group, Public Radio International and Center for Public Integrity investigative news organization - used data on a host of measures to score all 50 states.


CNN: Suspect in Afghan massacre has memory loss, lawyer says
An Army soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians was not drunk but doesn't remember what happened and is in shock, his attorney told CBS News on Monday. The network reported Staff Sgt. Robert Bales met with three of his lawyers, including lead attorney John Henry Browne, for more than seven hours.

CNN: Justice Department, FBI to probe Florida teen's death
Federal prosecutors and the FBI have opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed teen by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. The death drew protesters Monday to the courthouse in Seminole County, north of Orlando, to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed last month while walking back to his father's fiancee's house in Sanford.

CNN: Video of toddler at airport screening fuels criticism
A 2010 video of an airport screener patting down a wheelchair-bound 3-year-old boy has become the latest Rorschach test of the public's attitude towards the TSA, pitting agency defenders against those who say the video shows the child being treated like a terrorist.

CNN: Justices at odds over benefits for child conceived after death of a parent
Shocking as it may sound, the seemingly endless federal bureaucracy can get confusing, especially when interpreting statutory procedure. When that happens, federal courts - including the Supreme Court - by precedent normally give the government the benefit of the doubt, what is called "administrative deference." That ambiguity was on display Monday in an unusual legal dilemma: Can a child conceived after the death of the biological father be eligible for survivor benefits under Social Security?


CNN: Bodies of France school shooting victims to be sent to Israel
The bodies of the four victims of the Jewish school shooting in France will be flown to Israel for burial. "The government of Israel has decided to transfer the coffins to Israel as soon as possible, with the cooperation and assistance of Israel's representatives in France," the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.

CNN: Pakistan debates future U.S. engagement
A joint session of Pakistan's parliament will meet Tuesday to discuss new terms of engagement with the United States. The parliament will debate the recommendations of a special commission and will vote whether to accept them or not, said Akram Shaheedi, a spokesman for the Pakistani prime minister.

CNN: North Korea invites nuclear inspectors to return
North Korea has invited the International Atomic Energy Agency to return, nearly three years after it kicked U.N. nuclear inspectors out of the country, the IAEA said Monday. IAEA officials are considering the offer, which was sent Friday, agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor told reporters. No details of the invitation were released.

CNN: Men convicted of watching Arab Spring videos to be sentenced in Zimbabwe
Six Zimbabweans convicted of conspiracy to commit public violence after they were caught watching footage of Arab Spring protests will be sentenced Tuesday. The men face six to 10 years in prison or a $2,000 fine.


CNN Money: Internet accounts for 4.7% of U.S. economy
The Internet contributes more to the American economy than the entire federal government, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group. The Internet accounted for $684 billion, or 4.7% of all U.S. economic activity in 2010, Boston Consulting Group found. By way of comparison, the federal government, contributed $625 billion, or 4.3%, to the nation's output.

CNN Money: Wendy's overtakes Burger King as No. 2 U.S. burger chain
Wendy's is taking a bite out of Burger King in the fast food business. Dave Thomas's restaurants became the No. 2-selling hamburger chain in the country last year, industry research firm Technomic said Monday, pushing Burger King back to the No. 3 spot. Burger King had been No. 2 spot since at least 1972, the earliest year for which Technomic has data.

CNN Money: Apple sells 3 million new iPads in 4 days
Apple announced late Monday that it has sold more than 3 million new iPads since the new version's March 16 launch, making this the most successful launch yet for Apple's tablet.

In case you missed it…
Tax refund fraud is rampant, and officials blame the IRS for not doing enough to stop it. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

Filed under: Political Hot Topics
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. king

    Hey, repubs have fought to over throw American veheicles doubling their gas mileage standards, to save drivers money at the pump. They've blocked the keystone oil pipeline giving America their oil, they've push war on Iran and caused them to cut oil production, they don't want the president to prosecute speculators on wall street, pushing up oil prices, shouting free market violations. Lesson folks the repubs are doing every thing in their power to make this president look bad, I wonder how much the oil companies are paying these folks. Obama need to publickly audit, and find out if they're any evidence why they are raping the american people so much, then prosecute these speculators.

    March 20, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    CNN Money: House GOP budget chief aims at tax code
    I listened to Paul Ryan on satelllite raddio this morning repeat the conservative delusion that significantly cutting taxes somehow increases revenue. ???
    Ryan continued with the flip side delusion, that the tax increases will decrease revenue. ???

    March 20, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |