POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, August 17, 2012
August 17th, 2012
04:48 AM ET
9 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, August 17, 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: Some political ads to pause on 9/11
The campaigns of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as well as at least one of the major super PACs supporting their candidacy, will not run television commercials on September 11 this year, the campaigns and organization confirmed Thursday evening. Priorities USA Action, the primary pro-Obama super PAC, also said Thursday they will not run spots on the day.

CNN: Ryan says his letters in support of stimulus 'should have been handled differently'
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan responded Thursday to his previous statements that he had not requested stimulus funding after reports emerged that he had sent letters to federal agencies in support of stimulus grant requests made by a Wisconsin non-profit.

CNN: Romney shows 'penchant for secrecy,' Axelrod says
Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "has a penchant for secrecy" and is holding himself to a different standard by not releasing more years of tax returns. Following criticism and allegations from Democrats suggesting that the presumptive GOP nominee had not been paying taxes, Romney said Thursday that he has paid no less than 13% in personal income taxes over the past ten years.

CNN: Top Democrat on House Budget Committee to play Ryan in Biden debate prep
In his preparation to face Republican vice presidential candidate and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Vice President Joe Biden will rehearse by debating the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a source with knowledge of the debate preparations told CNN. The decision signals the central role budget and entitlement issues may play in the debate and fall election, and follows the central role those issues have played since Paul was announced as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's No. 2 nearly a week ago.


CNN: After D.C. shooting, fingers point over blame
Accusations of blame abounded Thursday, a day after a 28-year-old man who had volunteered for a center that serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people was taken into custody for allegedly shooting a building manager at the headquarters of a Christian conservative group.

CNN: Brothers 'elated' to be free, thanks to Facebook
Two brothers who were released from prison Monday after nearly 25 years say their convictions were based on mistaken identity. Raymond and Thomas Highers, appearing on "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Thursday, said they were in the neighborhood the 1987 night a drug dealer was killed in a Detroit home. The brothers were granted bond after a chance Facebook encounter led to new testimony from a man who says he was one of those two white teens who were at the house to buy drugs that night.

CNN: Louisiana 'ambush' kills 2 deputies, wounds 2
Two sheriff's deputies died and two were wounded in a series of apparently linked shootings early Thursday in LaPlace, Louisiana, authorities said. The first shooting - where one deputy was wounded - happened in a parking lot at a steel plant in LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said. The second happened when deputies went to a nearby trailer park to investigate the first shooting and were ambushed by a man armed with what Tregre described as an assault rifle, he said.

CNN: Pa. swim club - accused of racial discrimination - agrees to settlement
A now defunct suburban Philadelphia swim club has agreed to a settlement more than three years after being accused of racism and discrimination for denying children from a largely minority day-care center access to their facility, the U.S. Justice Department said.


CNN: Standoff at embassy after Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks' Assange
Great Britain and Ecuador remained in a standoff early Friday, following the South American nation's decision to grant Julian Assange asylum - a decision British authorities are refusing to honor, saying they are committed to extraditing the WikiLeaks founder to Sweden.

CNN: Reclusive Taliban leader says fighters infiltrating Afghan forces
The Taliban's elusive leader boasted fighters are infiltrating Afghanistan's security forces, saying they are attacking NATO-led forces on their bases, according to a statement purported to be from Mullah Mohammed Omar. The statement posted Thursday to militant websites follows news that six Americans troops and one British soldier were killed in "green-on-blue" separate attacks, the latest in a series of assaults this year carried out by Afghans clad in security force uniforms.

CNN: Gu Kailai set to hear fate over murder of British businessman
Chinese authorities will announce the verdict Monday morning in the murder trial of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Communist Party leader Bo Xilai, and former household aide Zhang Xiaojuna friend of her family told CNN. Gu has admitted to poisoning 41-year-old Neil Heywood last November in a hotel room in the southwestern city of Chongqing, blaming a "mental breakdown" for her actions.

CNN: Official: Soldiers loyal to Yemen's ex-president accused in attack
Dozens of soldiers loyal to Yemen's former president face charges of trying to take over the Ministry of Defense in an attack that left five people dead and 16 wounded, a military official said Thursday. Sixty-two members of the Republican Guard will stand trial for their alleged roles in Tuesday's assault on the ministry in the capital city of Sanaa, said Gen. Ali al-Obaidi of the High Security Committee.


CNN: Visa coming to Myanmar
In a sign of the world's growing rapprochement with Mynamar, credit card giant Visa has announced it is entering the market of the once isolated Southeast Asian nation."The first priority for Myanmar will be preparing for the influx of international visitors resulting from the relaxation of international sanctions," the company said in a press release Friday.

CNNMoney: Bank customers – you're being tracked
Beware bank customers: Your bad behavior is following you. If you've bounced too many checks, owe money on an overdrawn account or engaged in fraud, banks can find out about it and deny you a checking account in an instant. In fact, millions of people are blocked from opening checking accounts each year because they were flagged as high-risk by a massive but little-known database maintained by a company called ChexSystems.

CNNMoney: DOJ approves major Verizon spectrum deal, with amended terms
The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday that it will approve a controversial spectrum sale deal between Verizon, Comcast and three other cable companies, after some revisions to remove terms that the DOJ considers anti-competitive. Verizon wants the spectrum to help build out its 4G network. In return, the cable companies will be able to buy access to Verizon's 4G services and bundle it with their own triple-play offerings.

In case you missed it…
John King and David Gergen discuss how Paul Ryan will change the race in Wisconsin, critical states and for the party.

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