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 endorses Romney in e-mail to supporters
Rick Santorum told supporters in an e-mail Monday he was endorsing his one-time rival for the GOP presidential nomination Mitt Romney. Santorum, who met with Romney in Pittsburgh Friday, told supporters the meeting was "productive," and that he was able to fully determine where the likely GOP nominee stood on a wide swath of issues.
CNN: Referendum banning same-sex marriage in spotlight as 3 states hold primaries
A referendum that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriages in North Carolina is in the spotlight Tuesday, as three states hold primaries. Amendment One would alter North Carolina's constitution to say that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
CNN: Senate showdown over student loan rates looms
The fight over a potential doubling of student loan interest rates this summer hits the Senate floor Tuesday with Republicans promising to block a White House-backed plan unless Democrats allow a vote on a GOP alternative. Interest rates on federal student loans are scheduled to rise to 6.8% from the current 3.4% in July unless Congress acts. But Democrats and Republicans disagree over how to offset the $6 billion it would cost to keep the rates down.
CNN: Romney: 'I'll take a lot of credit' for auto industry success
Democrats and Republicans have slammed Mitt Romney for his 2008 view that Detroit should "go bankrupt," but the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said Monday his views played a big part in the auto industry's recovery. "I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back," Romney told WEWS-TV in Cleveland.
CNN: Clinton on foiled al Qaeda plot: 'Terrorists keep trying'
The latest foiled bomb plot targeting an airliner is an indication that, while the device did not ultimately pose a threat, terrorists remain determined, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Tuesday. "These terrorists keep trying ... to devise more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people, and it's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant at home and abroad in protecting our nation and in protecting friendly nations," she told reporters at a news conference in New Delhi.
CNN: U.S. won't bargain for release of man held by al Qaeda, officials say
The United States will not bargain with al Qaeda over the life of an American worker filmed making an emotional plea to President Barack Obama to save his life, U.S. officials said Monday. "We don't make concessions to terrorists," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said when asked whether the United States would meet the demands contained in a video posted Sunday to several Islamist websites featuring Warren Weinstein.
CNN: 'Help me,' homeless man begs as cops fatally beat him in videotaped incident
A graphic video played at a hearing Monday to determine whether two California police officers should stand trial in the beating death of a homeless man showed them kicking and punching the mentally ill man as he lay on the ground - screaming in pain and begging for help. The victim, Kelly Thomas, died five days after the beating on July 5.
CNN: Racial profiling law passes in Connecticut
A few months after four East Haven police officers were arrested for allegedly targeting and harassing Latinos, Connecticut's state legislature passed a bill Monday to beef up safeguards against racial profiling.
CNN: Israel forms unity government, wards off September elections
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party have agreed to form a unity government with the rival centrist political faction Kadima in a move that would put off elections until next year. The deal was reached early Tuesday morning, a day after Netanyahu had publicly called for early elections to be held September 4.
CNN: U.N. chief: Syrian crisis among 'gravest concerns'
International envoy Kofi Annan will brief the U.N. Security Council on the Syrian crisis Tuesday, a day after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the situation has become one of the "most serious and gravest concerns of the international community."
CNN: Activist says attacks by Chinese media are 'nonsense'
Reiterating his deep concern about the safety of members of his family, the Chinese activist at the center of a recent diplomatic storm on Tuesday dismissed personal attacks against him in state media as "utter nonsense." "It's painting black as white," Chen Guangcheng told CNN by phone from his hospital bed in Beijing, where he is undergoing medical examinations and treatment after escaping more than 18 months of house arrest in eastern China some two weeks ago.
CNN: Japan shuts down last nuclear reactor
As Japan began its workweek Monday morning, the trains ran exactly on time, the elevators in thousands of Tokyo high-rises efficiently moved between floors, and the lights turned on across cities with nary a glitch. What makes this Monday so remarkable is that for the first time in four decades, none of the energy is derived from a nuclear reactor.
CNN Money: Greece could drop euro but tragedy won't follow
The results of the latest elections in Greece may make it more likely that the country will eventually leave the eurozone. But such an exit would probably be more orderly than Greece's default, experts said. Over the weekend, Greece was unable to pull together a cohesive government, as voters signaled their displeasure with the spate of harsh austerity measures thrust upon them.
CNN Money: Empire State Building cuts energy use 20%
The Empire State Building is on an energy diet. The hulking building, a symbol of American power and, to some, excess, has cut its energy use by 20%. And that's just due to changes to the building's exterior. Once retrofits are made to tenant spaces on the inside, the second tallest building in Manhattan will be nearly 40% more efficient.
CNN Money: Investors swarm Facebook's pre-IPO road show kickoff
Ahead of what's expected to be the biggest technology IPO in history, Facebook's executive team entered its first round of investor meetings to crowds befitting the arrival of a boy band. Facebook's power trio - CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and chief financial officer David Ebersman - used a side entrance to duck into a Sheraton hotel in Manhattan early Monday afternoon. The group then spent 25 minutes answering about a dozen questions from some 400 investors packed into a ballroom, according to three attendees who described the presentation to CNNMoney.
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