Top Stories: Obama News Conference; Defense Budget Passes : The Two-Way Also: The Senate reaches a deal to move presidential nominations forward; Russian financier Mikhail Khodorkovsky is freed after Putin's pardon; a credit rating agency cuts the European Union's rating; and a truck spills thousands of roasts on a Georgia highway, triggering a "ham jam".

Top Stories: Obama News Conference; Defense Budget Passes

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- If Obama Takes Questions Today, What Should He Be Asked?

-- 'Huge Win For Victims Of Sexual Assault' In Defense Budget.

And here are more early headlines:

Senate Reaches Deal On Presidential Nominations; Yellen's In Jan. (Los Angeles Times)

Jailed Russian Financier And Dissident Pardoned By Putin, Goes Free. (Guardian)

Credit Rating Agency Lowers European Union's AAA Rating. (Bloomberg)

Firefighters Gain More Control Over California's Big Sur Blaze. (AP)

Gunmen Slay Philippines Mayor In Airport Shooting. (CNN)

California School To Test Hundreds For Tuberculosis. (Desert Sun)

Oklahoma Suspect Finishes Marriage Proposal Before Arrest. (AP)

"Ham Jam" After Truck Spills 40,000 Roasts On Georgia Highway. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)