Each day, Wolf Blitzer scours several news sources to stay on top of the day's most important stories. Below are some of his top recommended reads for today. Tune in from 5- 7 PM on CNN for the latest on these stories and more.
CNN: Obama to outline Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan
President Barack Obama will deliver a nationally televised address Wednesday night outlining his long-awaited plan to begin U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan - a move meant to appeal to a war-weary public without damaging American security interests. The president's speech is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
CNN Opinion: West: The real question: How to achieve Afghanization
President Obama's expected decision to reduce our troop level in Afghanistan from 100,000 to 90,000 by the end of 2011, and to 70,000 by the end of 2012, seems reasonable.The more important issue - how to do it - is likely to be quietly decided this fall based on recommendations from a new military team consisting of the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States Central Command, and the commander in Afghanistan.
CNN: GOP reps mull resolutions as Kerry, McCain back Libya campaign
On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner proposed two resolutions on the Libya mission that could come up for votes on Thursday. One would be the same as a Senate resolution introduced by bipartisan senators who support the mission, and the other would limit U.S. involvement in the mission to a noncombat role while allowing many of the same functions being performed now by U.S. forces to continue.
CNN: Suspected al Qaeda militants escape from Yemeni jail
Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants escaped from a jail in the Yemeni city of Mukalla Wednesday, according to a senior security official. CNN could not independently verify that the escapees were members of al Qaeda.
New York Times: Blocks From the President, Developers Plan Big
Since the late 1990s, the once-desolate section of downtown Washington east of the White House has undergone a striking transformation. About $10.6 billion has been invested in more than 150 real estate projects. Some 56,000 people now live downtown, up from 38,000 in 2000.
CNN: Gore: Obama has 'failed'
Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama's "failed" approach to global warming Wednesday. Gore was supportive of Obama's action in the first six months of his administration, but the former Democratic presidential nominee said the administration has not made the case for action among the American people.
POLITICO: Can Barack Obama cash in on small donors?
President Barack Obama has built history’s largest machine for scooping up the $20, $50 and $100 contributions that could catapult his reelection campaign to the billion-dollar mark next year. One question mark remains: the fuel.
Washington Post: Senate budget chairman says $2 trillion not enough
The debt-reduction package emerging in talks between the White House and congressional leaders would not “fundamentally change” the alarming rate of growth in the national debt, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Tuesday. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said the goal of slicing more than $2 trillion from the federal budget by 2021 falls far short of the savings needed to stabilize borrowing, reenergize the economy and avert the threat of a debt crisis.