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: Arlen Specter - 'one of the few truly wild cards' - dead at 82
Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who embodied a dying breed of liberal Republicanism before switching to the Democratic Party at the twilight of his political career, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer, his family announced. Specter died of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at his home in Philadelphia, his family said. He was 82.
CNN: Obama expected to 'come out swinging' at Tuesday's debate
After near-universal bad reviews of his first presidential debate with Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama will bring more energy and passion to his second showdown with the GOP nominee, advisers to the president said Sunday. Yet the come-out-swinging attitude many Democrats crave could be hindered by the debate's town hall format, which requires a likability factor not completely compatible with aggressive attacks.
CNN: Campaign advisers spar on Libya
The assault on an American diplomatic post in Libya that left four Americans dead provided surrogates for both presidential candidates with fodder for political attacks Sunday, two days ahead of a critical debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
CNN: Romney message this week: 'A clear choice on debt and deficits'
Aside from Tuesday's pivotal town hall debate in New York, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will use the upcoming week to focus on the issues of debt and deficits. Polls show voters trust Romney over President Barack Obama on the question of who would better handle the national debt, one reason the Romney campaign has launched a new television ad attacking the president on the issue. Romney will also deliver a speech on government spending this Friday.
CNN: Skydiver breaks speed of sound in historic jump from edge of space
The sky proved no limit for Felix Baumgartner. The Austrian daredevil, in fact, rose to the edge of space Sunday - 128,100 feet, or 24 miles, above the Earth - before plunging faster than the speed of sound. Minutes later, he landed in southeastern New Mexico and, dropping to his knees, pumped his fists to the sky.
CNN: Space Shuttle Endeavour rolls into new home as crowds cheer
The space shuttle Endeavour's journey of 123 million miles ended Sunday afternoon when it rolled into its final resting place at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will go on public display later this month. It took more than two days for the shuttle to inch its way across the 12 miles from the Los Angeles International Airport to the science center, navigating around trees and light poles along the narrow path.
CNN: Police: 10-year-old Colorado girl missing for week is dead
A 10-year-old Colorado girl reported missing one week ago is dead, police said Friday, spurring a manhunt for the person who killed her. Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk told reporters that a body found earlier this week "has been positively identified" as that of Jessica Ridgeway.
CNN Security Clearance: Analysis: Debate leaves unanswered national security questions
Foreign policy will get increased attention in the two debates left between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, with the final debate set to be entirely devoted to the subject. The vice presidential debate left a number of questions unanswered about how each side distinguishes itself when it comes to national security. Here's a look at a few of those issues.
CNN: Pakistani teen activist on way to Britain to recover from shooting
Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist shot in the head by the Taliban, is on her way to Britain for treatment as she struggles to recover from her injuries, the Pakistani military said Monday. "The medical team is pleased with her present condition which has been described as optimal," the military said in a statement Monday. That provided the window of opportunity to transfer her to a facility in Britain specializing in care for children with severe injuries, it said.
CNN: Libyan assembly selects new prime minister, a week after ousting earlier pick
A week after dismissing the nation's prime minister, Libya's General National Congress late Sunday selected a new man - Ali Zeidan - to assume the post. Mohamed al-Magariaf, the head of the North African nation's national assembly, announced Zeidan's ascension to prime minister in a statement Sunday.
CNN: Report: 'Generals for hire' scandal snares retired military figures in UK
Some of Britain's most influential former military figures are under investigation after allegedly boasting about their ability to secure arms contracts for private firms in violation of British law.
CNN: Indian state's battle to build up its babies
Nurse Shaikh is part of a community of health workers leading the battle against malnutrition in Ahmednagar, a poor district in the western state of Maharashtra. Back in 2006, Maharashtra fared poorly in the Indian government's National Family Health Survey. The India-wide report showed that 40% of Maharashtra's children were underweight, an indication of general malnutrition.
CNNMoney: Bernanke defends Fed against international criticism
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the central bank Sunday, insisting that its actions had not hindered economic growth in developing countries. Fed policies - especially continued quantitative easing - have been criticized by some in the international community who say the actions are distorting currency markets and capital flows in emerging economies.
CNNMoney: Inflation slows in China
Chinese consumers paid 1.9% more for goods in September than they did a year ago, the government's National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. That's down from a 2% increase in August. Food prices, which account for more than a third of the inflation calculation, rose 2.5% during the month. Household finances in China are especially susceptible to fluctuations in food prices, as many poor families spend large percentages of their income on food. Still, inflation remains at very low levels.
Financial Times: IMF warns recovery could be derailed
The International Monetary Fund on Saturday sounded a note of cautious optimism on the global economy, but warned that recovery will be derailed if officials relent on policy commitments.
In case you missed it…
Sr. Romney Campaign adviser Ed Gillespie says Gov. Romney will be ready for a "more aggressive Obama" in Tuesday's debate.