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EARLYBIRD

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Obama reschedules Netanyahu visit, and Egypt lifts its side of the Gaza blockade. Plus: U.N. reports Iran has fuel for two nukes.

White House: Obama To Reschedule Netanyahu Talks

• "President Barack Obama voiced 'deep regret' over Monday's deadly Israeli commando raids, and the White House said he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed by phone to reschedule White House talks 'at the first opportunity,'" AP reports.

• "The ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continued Sunday to call for an independent investigation into the administration position offered to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), and stressed that he would accept the results of that probe even if it exonerated the White House," The Hill reports.

 

• "Attorney General Eric Holder will survey the damage from the Gulf Coast oil spill" today "and meet with federal prosecutors and state attorneys general, the Justice Department said on Monday," Reuters reports.

Energy & Environment: BP Tries Dome Again

• "Unable for six weeks to plug the gushing oil well beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP renewed an effort Monday to use a dome to funnel some of the leaking crude to a tanker on the surface," the New York Times reports.

• "A federally convened group of scientists is set to recommend that BP PLC and the government continue spraying chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico to help prevent leaking oil from washing ashore, even though the scientists have serious concerns about the potential long-term damage to sea life," the Wall Street Journal reports.

 

• "The Obama administration is taking new steps to demonstrate it is in control of efforts to stem the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, amid dimming prospects for plugging the leak soon," the Wall Street Journal reports. Attorney General Eric Holder will visit the Gulf Coast, and starting today, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen "will give daily televised briefings -- without BP's participation."

World: Egypt Lifts Its Side Of Gaza Blockade

• "An Egyptian official says the government is temporarily lifting its blockade of the Gaza Strip to allow aid into the area a day after Israel raided an international flotilla carrying supplies to the Palestinian territory and killed nine activists," AP reports.

• "President Horst Köhler of Germany resigned Monday amid a barrage of criticism for remarks he made during a visit to Afghanistan," the New York Times reports. "Mr. Köhler set off the criticism when he said in an interview with Deutschland Radio, the public broadcasting station, that German soldiers serving in Afghanistan or with other peacekeeping missions were deployed to protect German economic interests."

Economy: What's The New Normal On Unemployment?

Bloomberg News reports on the clash between the Federal Reserve's assertion that "full employment means a long-term jobless rate between 5 percent and 5.3 percent" and some leading economists' estimate that "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression has pushed the so-called natural rate of unemployment to between 6.3 percent and 7.5 percent."

 

• "For omens of the midterm congressional election results, watch the amount of money going into people's pockets. In the language of economists, that's real disposable personal income per capita -- and the numbers aren't encouraging for Democrats," Bloomberg News reports.

Politics: Davis Enters Primary With An Improbable Tactic

• If Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., "wins the Democratic primary" today "placing him within one step of becoming the first black governor of Alabama, he will have reached this milestone in the most improbable of ways: bypassing the hierarchy of the state's oldest civil rights organizations," the New York Times reports.

• "It might be called recess, but Senators from both parties are spending their week away from Washington furiously working to shore up their electoral prospects and auditioning closing arguments for the highly anticipated November elections," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

• "Californians will vote next week on a bold experiment: a ballot measure that aims to make their politics less fractious by replacing two-party primary elections with a system backers say can help fix the state's notorious legislative dysfunction," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Congress: Delegations Take Fewer Recess Trips This Year

• "Lawmakers say that heightened election-year politics and harsher travel rules are behind the decrease in member CODELs over the Memorial Day recess," The Hill reports. "Those members who opted to go on congressional delegation trips this week will travel to hotspots and combat zones around the world, according to lawmakers familiar with the count of CODELs."

• "Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) on Sunday urged" Obama "to 'demonstrate the political will and courage' to fight for comprehensive immigration reform, dismissing the president's decision to send 1,200 additional National Guard troops to the border with Mexico as a gesture that 'isn't going to solve the problem,'" Roll Call (subscription) reports.

National Security: Inspectors Say Iran Has Fuel For Two Nukes

• "In their last report before the United Nations Security Council votes on sanctions against Iran, international nuclear inspectors declared Monday that Iran has now produced a stockpile of nuclear fuel that experts say would be enough, with further enrichment, to make two nuclear weapons," the New York Times reports.

• "A Senate analysis of the intelligence community's handling of the would-be Christmas bomber bears a closer reading in the wake of the replacement of Dennis C. Blair as director of national intelligence," the Washington Post reports.

Health Care: Berwick Will Face Tough Nomination Battle

• "Senate Republicans are vowing to press their case against Obama's sweeping new health care law by challenging" the nomination of Harvard professor Donald Berwick to run Medicare and Medicaid, Politico reports.

• "Planned Parenthood has begun a quiet campaign to ensure that birth control is counted among the free preventive services that health insurers must cover under the Affordable Care Act," Politico also reports.

Transportation: British Airways And Union Resume Negotiations

• "British Airways PLC and Unite, the union representing cabin crew," today "will return to the negotiating table to try to hammer out a deal and end the bitter dispute over working practices that has resulted in a series of strikes at the U.K. flag carrier," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Technology: Intel Developing New Supercomputer Chips

• "Intel Corp. announced plans for a new class of chips aimed at the supercomputer market, while a big machine in China neared the top spot of the world's fastest systems," the Wall Street Journal reports.

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