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: Poll: Obama, Romney tied as race heats up
Less than six months ahead of November's general election, Americans are split between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Tuesday. The Washington Post/ABC News survey showed the two candidates statistically tied with 49% of Americans backing Obama and 46% supporting Romney. When asked which contender would best handle the economy, Obama and Romney were tied at 47%.
CNN: Palin endorses Utah's Hatch in Senate race
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has weighed into another race for the U.S. Senate, this time endorsing the incumbent seeking reelection to the Utah seat he has held since 1976. Palin announced her backing for Orrin Hatch in a post to her website Tuesday evening, calling him "part of the one percent of national politicians who I think should be reelected."
CNN: 'Other-ness': What Obama and Romney have in common on religion, race
Two very different candidates joined by similar, yet hollow, attacks on their faith illustrate the intense mix of identity politics simmering just beneath the surface of the presidential race. When it comes to faith and race, there are some who want to paint both candidates as outside the mainstream, not members of the traditional American club. They want to paint them as "others."
CNN: CNN projects Romney will win GOP primaries in Arkansas, Kentucky
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, already the presumptive Republican nominee, will win Tuesday's GOP presidential primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas, CNN projects. With 119 of Kentucky's 120 counties reporting, Romney led with 67% of the vote, according to the website of the Kentucky State Board of Elections.
CNN: Arrest made in shooting of 8 persons after Oklahoma City Thunder playoff win
A 19-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of eight counts of shooting with intent to kill in the violence following the Oklahoma City Thunder's playoff victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, authorities said. Rodney Dewon Hill was arrested about 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. ET), Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said. The investigation will continue as police have "outstanding suspects," he said.
CNN: Passenger's implant claim triggers flight diversion
A passenger who claimed to have a device surgically implanted inside her spurred authorities to divert a North Carolina-bound jetliner to Maine on Tuesday, federal officials said. Doctors aboard US Airways Flight 787 examined the woman and found no sign of recent scars, according to the office of Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. A federal law enforcement source who had been briefed on the matter told CNN the woman would likely receive a psychological evaluation and posed "basically no threat."
CNN: Flotsam from 2011 Japan tsunami reaches Alaska
Residents of towns in the Alaska Panhandle have begun picking up plastic bottles, chunks of foam insulation and floating buoys from Japan's 2011 tsunami. "This is urethane spray building foam," Chris Pallister, president of the conservation group Gulf of Alaska Keeper, said as he picked through trash on Montague Island, about 200 miles north of Juneau. "We just never got much of that before. But if you walk up and down this beach, you see big chunks."
CNN: Historic launch of private rocket heralds new era
A new era in space exploration dawned Tuesday as a slender rocket shot into the dark Florida sky before sunrise, carrying the first private spacecraft bound for the International Space Station. "We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated."
CNN: Egyptians votes in historic presidential election
Egypt's historic presidential election started Wednesday, a monumental achievement for those who worked to topple longtime leader Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago. Roughly a dozen candidates are running in the race, which is considered the nation's first free and fair presidential election in modern history.
CNN: World powers to hold nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad
Officials from six world powers are due to hold talks with Iranian representatives in Baghdad on Wednesday about Tehran's controversial nuclear program. The meeting takes place the day after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said he would soon sign an agreement with Iran, a sign that Tehran may have agreed to broader inspections of its nuclear facilities.
CNN: North Korea says it will 'expand' nuclear program in face of U.S. 'hostility'
North Korea has said it will press on with its nuclear program as a response to what it described as hostility from the United States after an analysis of satellite images indicated increased activity at its nuclear test site. "We had access to nuclear deterrence for self-defense because of the hostile policy of the U.S. to stifle the DPRK by force and we will expand and bolster it nonstop as long as this hostile policy goes on," an unidentified spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a report Tuesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
CNN: Interpol targets 55 suspects using social network sites for child sex abuse images
An Interpol investigation into social networking groups exchanging child abuse material has targeted 55 key suspects in 20 countries, including the United States, and 12 children have been identified and removed from harm, the agency said Tuesday. An unspecified number of the suspects have been arrested, said Interpol, the world's largest international police organization.
Financial Times: Germany rules out common euro bonds
Germany refused to share the debt burden of stressed eurozone peers on Tuesday, ignoring two of the most influential international economic bodies which offered support for proposals championed by Paris, Rome and Brussels ahead of a summit.
CNN Money: Facebook plunges 18% below IPO price
Facebook continued to plunge as its stock dropped nearly 9% Tuesday. Facebook (FB) fell as low as $30.98 per share just minutes after the opening bell. That's 18% below $38, the price of its initial public offering, which debuted on the Nasdaq on Friday. The stock ended the day down 8.9% at $31.
CNN Money: Americans still relying on credit cards to get by
The economy may be growing again, but many Americans are still in a cash crunch. In the past year, 40% of low- and middle-income households used credit cards to pay for basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage bills, groceries, utilities, or insurance, according to survey released Tuesday by think tank Demos.
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