Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite Washington Week panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Jul 24, 2014

  • As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support

    By Helene Cooper and Somini Sengupta, The New York Times

    As Israel’s incursion into Gaza enters its third week and Palestinian civilian deaths mount, reaction in the United States has been muted, with polls through last weekend showing most Americans still supportive — in part, analysts say, because of the failures of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East. But in a situation long familiar, Israel is losing the public relations war outside the United States.

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  • Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance makes it odd choice as cease-fire broker

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    To understand the reluctance of Hamas to accept a cease-fire plan mediated by Egypt, one needs to look no further than the coverage Egypt’s state-owned news media offers of the Israel-Hamas fight over Gaza.

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  • Did the U.S. Miss Signs Portending Airliner Shoot-down?

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    The violence in eastern Ukraine with Russia that took down a civilian airliner was not “contained,” President Obama said last week.

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  • House Republicans unveil plan to deal with border crisis

    By Ed O'Keefe and Robert Costa, The Washington Post

    A House Republican plan to address the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would cost considerably less than President Obama has requested but could get upended by the political forces that long have divided GOP lawmakers.

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  • Ready for Warren? Well, even if you are, the Democratic senator says she’s not

    With Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

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Jul 23, 2014

  • Crises Cascade and Converge, Testing Obama

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once — in Ukraine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but making the current upheaval more complicated for Mr. Obama is the seemingly interlocking nature of them all.

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  • Putin has a new headache in Ukraine: Now Europe is watching

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    It's neither pleasant nor polite to say it, but the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been the best thing to happen to President Obama's policy on Ukraine in weeks.

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  • Obamacare Subsidy Loss May Boost Premiums, Chase Insurers

    By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News

    A future court ruling that Americans in 36 states can no longer get U.S. subsidies for Obamacare’s insurance plans would boost premiums by 76 percent, allowing many to flee the program and chasing away insurers.

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  • What is the 2014 midterm election all about? You decide.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    What is this election year about? Is it jobs and the economy? Immigration and the border crisis? Obamacare? Women’s health issues? The Veterans Affairs scandal? The minimum wage? A world in turmoil? The image of House Republicans? Anger toward Washington? Power?

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  • House and Senate poised to offer competing border security plans

    By David Nakamura and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    The Senate and House are poised to act on separate emergency border security plans, likely setting up a protracted debate in Washington as the Obama administration warns that it is running out of money to address the child-migrant crisis at the southern border.

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Jul 22, 2014

  • Obama Denounces Russia and Separatists for Obstructing Crash Site

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama on Monday sternly denounced Russia and the separatists it supports in Ukraine for blocking access to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last week, declaring that “time is of the essence” to recover bodies and evidence.

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  • Does Hamas have a media strategy?

    With Jim Scuitto, CNN

    CNN's Jim Sciutto talks with former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, about Hamas' media strategy.

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  • Gov. Perry to send National Guard troops to Mexican border amid migrant crisis

    By David Nakamura and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans Monday to send up to 1,000 of his state’s National Guard troops to the Mexican border within 30 days, saying that the Obama administration has not kept Texas secure.

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  • Reid fears gridlock will upend border, veterans’ measures

    By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) openly doubted Monday that Congress will be able to complete work on measures to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and to address the growing influx of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border before the upcoming congressional summer recess.

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  • Friend of Tsarnaev Guilty of Obstruction of Justice for Hiding Evidence

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    A friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty Monday of obstruction of justice for interfering with the FBI's investigation into the latter's possible involvement in the 2013 terrorist attack.

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Jul 21, 2014

  • SA-11 Missile Batteries Moved Out of Russia Following Plane Crash

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    New evidence points to Russia's involvement in the attack on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

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  • With Jet Strike, War in Ukraine Is Felt Globally

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    From the start, the telephone call did not go well. Dispensing with pleasantries, President Vladimir V. Putin launched into an edgy and long-winded complaint about the new American sanctions imposed on Russia the day before.

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  • In U.S. gay marriage cases, children emerge in the limelight

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    With legal battles over gay marriage simmering across the United States, proponents are showcasing a group they had once sidelined: children.

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  • How Hobby Lobby Split the Left and Set Back Gay Rights

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    In the Hobby Lobby decision handed down last month, the Supreme Court was asked to strike a balance between women’s rights and religious freedom. But the major conflict that has erupted in the wake of that decision has been between religious freedom and gay rights. The resulting controversy has split gay-rights and faith groups on the left, with wide-ranging political fallout that some now fear could hurt both causes.

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  • Run, Elizabeth, Run!

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Imagine there were a political movement that was against pablum in the public square, that promoted tough debates on pressing issues, that was suspicious of coronations, and cared about a presidential candidate’s qualities as much as the ideas she would bring to office? This proud movement would engage all the right-thinking members of the citizenry, liberal and conservative. It would enliven the daily discourse and it would push Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president

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