The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
CNN: Some Democrats see immigration inaction as expedient, Rubio says
The congressional impasse on immigration may be a political calculation by some Democrats, Sen. Marco Rubio said in a television appearance on Wednesday. "I think there are some in the Democratic Party – not all – but I think there are some people in the Democratic Party that think that the immigration issue is more valuable to them unsolved," the first term Florida senator said on Fox News.
CNN: Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%
After repeatedly pinning the president for the unemployment level, which now sits at 8.1%, Mitt Romney pledged he could cut the rate by two points if he makes it to the White House. "I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we'd put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower," the presumptive GOP nominee said in a TIME interview published Wednesday.
CNN: Senator pushes clearer limits on presidential war powers
As Congress debates the size and scope of defense budgets in a looming age of austerity, one senator is seeking to resolve a much older question about the president's ability to exercise military power without the consent of the House and Senate.
CNN: Despite a frustrated GOP, anti-Obama 'birthers' still persist
Dark theories about President Barack Obama's citizenship show no signs of fading away. But "birthers," as those skeptics of Obama's heritage are known, no longer seem relegated to tinfoil hat fringes of American politics. Instead, it's Republican members of Congress, elected officials and state party organizations - in Arizona, Iowa and Florida - that are responsible for the latest round of conspiracy-mongering. And the loose talk could cause a headache for Mitt Romney this election season.
CNN: Secret Service scandal: systemic problem or abberation?
Time after time Wednesday, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan insisted last month's prostitution scandal in Colombia was an aberration - just poor choices by a dozen agents under the influence of alcohol. "This is not a cultural issue, this is not a systemic issue," Sullivan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, arguing that similar misconduct hasn't occurred on thousands of other overseas trips by Secret Service agents. "On this particular trip, we had individuals who made very bad decisions."
CNN: Zimmerman's relationship with police evolved, city files show
George Zimmerman gave a scathing review of the Sanford Police Department when he spoke at a public meeting in January 2011, describing what he'd seen in ride-alongs with officers as "disgusting." On September 18, 2011, he wrote an e-mail thanking the city's police chief and praising the department's "professionalism."
CNN: Lawmakers to investigate disabled veterans charity
The Senate Finance Committee is launching an investigation to determine whether a charity intended to help disabled veterans deserves its tax-exempt status after doling out millions of dollars to a direct-mail company. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, chairman of the committee, announced the investigation into the Disabled Veterans National Foundation on Wednesday. He said the committee will seek to determine whether the foundation, the subject of a two-year CNN investigation, should keep its status as a 501(c)3 charity under Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
CNN: Fire on nuclear sub smolders six hours on
Firefighters were still battling a blaze in a nuclear submarine late Wednesday at a U.S. Navy shipyard in Maine – six hours after their initial response to it, a shipyard spokesman said. Six people sustained injuries and subsequently received treatment either on the scene or at "a local medical facility", said Captain Bryant Fuller, Shipyard Commander for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.
CNN: Pakistani doctor accused of helping U.S. gets 33 years in prison
A Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA track down Osama bin Laden was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years in prison for treason, officials told CNN. Shakeel Afridi was also fined $3,500 for spying for the United States, said Nasir Khan, a Khyber Agency official, and Fazal Mehmood, an official from the tribal court that handed down the sentence.
CNN: North Korea ready to carry out nuclear test at any moment, Seoul says
North Korea appears to be ready to carry out a nuclear test whenever leaders of the reclusive state give the green light, a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry said Thursday. The comment follows an analysis of recent commercial satellite images by the defense publication IHS Janes, which suggested activity was being ramped up at North Korea's nuclear test site.
CNN: Iran, world powers tight-lipped in nuclear talks
A stalemate in the latest round of nuclear negotiations with Iran pushed talks into an additional day, with diplomats from Tehran and six world powers agreeing to meet again Thursday. Tight-lipped diplomats on both sides offered little insight as to why negotiations were extended, with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meeting behind closed doors for the second time in as many days.
CNN: IOC selects three cities as candidates for 2020 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid have made it on to the short list of cities bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Baku and Doha were rejected for the second time in a row after failing to make the 2016 games.
CNN Money: Oil prices slide to 7-month low
Oil prices fell below $90 a barrel for the first time in seven months Wednesday as tumult in the eurozone, excess supply and positive news out of Iran weighed on prices. Crude oil for July delivery fell as low as $89.55 a barrel, marking a 2% decline before settling at $89.90. The selling spilled across multiple commodities, with gold dropping more than $28 to $1,548.4 an ounce.
CNN Money: Silicon Valley shrugs off Facebook IPO woes
While Wall Street freaks out about an IPO it views as a disaster, the view of Facebook's rocky public debut is much sunnier in Silicon Valley. Some in the tech trenches are shrugging off the problems - Nasdaq's meltdown, the stock's volatility, the questions about whether Facebook tipped some analysts off about its dimming financial prospects - as Wall Street business as usual.
CNN Money: HP to cut 27,000 jobs
Hewlett-Packard announced Wednesday that it is slashing 27,000 jobs in a widely expected maneuver aimed at slimming down the struggling tech giant. The company expects the layoffs, which amount to 8% of its worldwide workforce, to save $3 billion to $3.5 billion by the end of 2014. The majority of those savings will be reinvested in research and development, HP said.
In case you missed it…
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says he has "no problem" with gay marriage.
What are you talking about handouts? 20 billion dollars to PAKISTAN every year even though Bin Laden hid there is a handout. Not given to American poor/needy. Given by greedy GOP. Obama12. Period.
Rubio has a vivid imagination, almost to the extent of being delusional. Those who thought that 'hanging chads' were an embarrassment in 2000 ought to see Rubio and Rick Scott.
Rubio is one of the most divisive political characters that the baggers have spawned. He is a Sarah Palin without the pumps.
The mitt is about free erprise and.f aree market globally, problem is that free market will not help the American people na global society. American make 20 dollars an hour, compare to China 5 dollars an hour, the americann people will be. Left out in the cold. Businesses will to China, just like in the bush years, when they get incentives and deregulated to do so. The only left for America to do, is get rid of our middle class, and compete with China wages at 5 dollar an hour. The problem is China still has 6 times more spenders than we have. I see dark days for America if Romney wins.