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: Santorum's decision came down to odds and his daughter
Rick Santorum's decision to drop out of the Republican presidential race came after he spent the holiday weekend evaluating the race with his family, who were grappling with the latest hospitalization of his 3-year-old daughter Bella. Santorum's path to the nomination hinged on three puzzle pieces falling neatly in place, multiple sources close to the campaign told CNN, a prospect that grew dimmer with each passing day.
CNN: Social conservatives don't rush to Romney after Santorum news
Some leading social conservative groups are praising Rick Santorum following his suspension of his Republican presidential campaign. But their reaction Tuesday didn't mention Mitt Romney, the all-but-certain GOP nominee with Santorum out of the race. That could spell trouble for Romney as he tries now tries to consolidate the Republican base by reaching out to the social conservative voters who backed Santorum and other candidates during the long and divisive battle for the nomination.
CNN: Obama raises $1.75 million in Florida
In his first big trip of the second fund-raising quarter, President Barack Obama hauled in at least $1.75 million at three fund-raisers in Florida on Tuesday. At all three campaign events – and during his one official event at Florida Atlantic University – the president told supporters that this election will feature one of the starkest contrasts in history between any two candidates running for president.
CNN: Romney on Dems' "war on women"
As the Republican field winnowed Tuesday, Mitt Romney made an appeal to a voting bloc key to any candidate's success in November: women. Though the day's headlines revolved around a decision by former Sen. Rick Santorum to suspend his campaign, Mitt Romney barreled forward with a push against Democrats as to who could best appeal to female voters.
CNN: Charles Manson to have parole hearing, but he may not attend
When a two-member panel holds a California parole hearing for notorious murderer Charles Manson on Wednesday, he will be represented by state-appointed attorney DeJon R. Lewis, who will urge the state to put Manson in a mental hospital, Lewis told CNN.
CNN: Prosecutor to make announcement soon in Martin case
The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case says she will release new information soon, an announcement that came the same day George Zimmerman's attorneys made the bombshell statement that they were resigning.
CNN: NTSB: Pilot overwhelmed by g-forces in Reno crash
The pilot of the P-51 Mustang that crashed at the Reno Air Races last September experienced overwhelming g-forces at the outset of the incident, and likely was incapacitated almost instantly, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.
CNN: Marlins' Guillen learns of free speech and consequences
Ozzie Guillen's remarks on Fidel Castro may be constitutionally protected, but he has learned there is nothing shielding him from the ire of Miami's large Cuban community. His comment to Time magazine that he loves Fidel Castro and later comment that he "respects" him rankled some members of the Cuban-American community in Miami, home to the baseball team Guillen manages, the Marlins.
CNN: North Korea says fueling of rocket is under way
North Korea has started fueling a long-range rocket it plans to launch in the coming days, a senior national space official said Wednesday. Fueling of the rocket, which North Korea says will put a satellite in orbit, is under way and will be completed at the "appropriate time," said Paek Chang Ho, head of the North Korean General Satellite Control and Command Center.
CNN: Having to deal with the 'now what?' on Syria
No one in the Obama administration seems ready to say out loud that the Syria peace plan has failed, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came close. Asked whether the six-point plan on which U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan supposedly won agreement from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is failing, Clinton told reporters the plan has not achieved a main goal of stopping the attacks. "In fact, the violence has only got worse over this last week" she told reporters at the State Department.
CNN: China, Philippines locked in naval standoff
The Philippines said Wednesday that its largest naval vessel is engaged in a standoff with two Chinese maritime surveillance ships in a remote lagoon in the South China Sea. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the country's navy had sent the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a 378-foot cutter, to the area of Scarborough Shoal on Sunday after surveillance aircraft spotted eight Chinese fishing boats anchored inside the lagoon.
CNN: Bomb threat causes emergency landing in British Columbia
NORAD jet fighters intercepted a Korean Air passenger jet carrying 147 people and escorted it to a safe emergency landing at a military base in British Columbia after the airline received a bomb threat, officials said Tuesday.
CNN Money: Stocks: Worst day since November 2011
The fear trade picked up steam Tuesday, as investors grew increasingly worried about Europe's fiscal health. All three indexes closed down more than 1.5%, marking the fifth straight losing day for stocks.
CNN Money: Best Buy CEO steps down following
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn unexpectedly resigned Tuesday amid an investigation into his "personal conduct," the company acknowledged Tuesday, hours after the initial announcement of Dunn's departure.
CNN Money: Facebook-Instagram deal: Smart buy or bubble?
The two-year old company Instagram agreed to sell itself to Facebook for $1 billion Monday, making it Facebook's biggest acquisition to date. The deal immediately sparked a debate as to whether buying Instagram was a bargain for Facebook or a sign that we're nearing the top for social media valuations.
In case you missed it…
Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for president, saying the race is over but he'll continue to fight.