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 15, 2014

  • U.S. Flies 38 to Honduras as Part of Expedited Deportations

    By Dudley Althaus in Mexico City and Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

    Thirty eight women and children recently detained at the U.S. border were flown home to Honduras on Monday, in what U.S. officials say is the first of an expected increase in expedited deportations.

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  • Citigroup to Pay Billions in Mortgage Settlement

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

    One of the nation's biggest banks agreed to pay $7 billion to settle claims brought by the Justice Department over its conduct in the housing crisis.

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  • Has the establishment won the GOP’s civil war?

    Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps, ABC News

    No one has fired up Republicans more than one person: President Obama.

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  • Progressives turn from Obama to embrace Warren

    By Robert Costa, The Washington Post

    Populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) got a rock-star reception during a standing-room-only campaign rally here Monday, as hundreds of liberal activists cheered her broadsides against corporate interests and voiced hopes that her presence might shift the political winds in an increasingly Republican state.

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Jul 14, 2014

  • Americans and Iranians See Constraints at Home in Nuclear Negotiations

    By David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here early Sunday in an attempt to rescue negotiations with Iran that have stalled on the question of how large a nuclear infrastructure that nation will be permitted to have over the next decade or two. But he quickly confronted the fact that the problem might be less at the negotiating table here than with mullahs in Tehran and members of Congress in Washington.

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  • GOP keeps House edge in Democratic-leaning states

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Democrats have long claimed that Republicans abused their legislative powers to elect a disproportionate number of U.S. House members. Now a Florida court is lending credence to their complaint.

    The full impact of the Florida ruling — plus a similar lawsuit pending in North Carolina — won't be known for some while. For now, at least, they shine light on the fiercely partisan practice of gerrymandering, in which state officials draw congressional districts to help their party.

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  • The Rise of the Fusion Republicans

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    Primary season is almost over, and as you may have heard, the Republican establishment mostly won. Other than the shocking defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, GOP incumbents largely survived primary challenges, and the candidates preferred by party strategists and moneymen in Washington won their nominations.

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  • Emily's List Candidates Are Quiet on Abortion

    By Beth Reinhard, Wall Street Journal

    Emily's List is backing more Senate candidates in the South than ever in its three-decade history. The group, which raises money for Democratic women who support abortion rights, is the largest single contributor to four Southern candidates, including North Carolina's Sen. Kay Hagan.

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  • DOJ Set to Fight Gay-Marriage Bans in Supreme Court

    By Pierre Thomas, Mike Levine, Jack Date and Jack Cloherty, ABC News

    The Justice Department is set to urge the Supreme Court to uphold a lower-court ruling and block states from banning same-sex marriage, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

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Jul 11, 2014

  • Obama’s Plan to Deal With Unaccompanied Minors Is Aggravating Immigration Advocates

    By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

    An obscure human-trafficking law that passed Congress under the Bush administration with no objection is likely to be changed, much to the chagrin of refugee and immigration advocates.

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  • Border-state lawmakers work on plans to reverse federal policy on young migrants

    By David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Border-state lawmakers have begun talks on Capitol Hill to reverse current federal policy on the processing of young immigrants from Central America, a change that could accelerate the return of the children to their home countries.

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  • Germany Demands Top U.S. Intelligence Officer Be Expelled

    By Alison Smale, Mark Mazzetti and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    The German government on Thursday demanded the removal of the top American spy in the country, the strongest evidence yet that mounting revelations about widespread American intelligence operations in Germany have gravely damaged relations between once close allies.

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  • Sanctions Vows Against Russia Called a Paper Tiger

    By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

    Four months after Vladimir Putin’s government annexed Crimea, the U.S. and European Union have failed to deliver on threats to cripple Russia’s economy, penalizing fewer than 100 people and companies.

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  • What If There's No Hillary in 2016?

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    Given that her book tour looked more like a campaign roll-out, it's hard to believe that Hillary Clinton will forgo a run in 2016. However, those close to the former Secretary of State continue to insist that her entry into the presidential race is not a foregone conclusion. Those we've talked with in Hillary's orbit give it a 70-80 percent chance that she jumps in. That there is some hesitation is understandable. The woman has spent nearly 25 years in national politics and knows what she's in for: the grueling campaign trail, the loathsome media, the never-ending scrutiny. Plus, she'd be the standard bearer for a political party that (at least for now) failed to improve the economy.

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Jul 10, 2014

  • Obama defends immigration policy, meets with Texas governor

    By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama faced sharp criticism for his immigration policies here Wednesday even as the White House stepped up efforts to cope with the tens of thousands of children and teens from Central America who have poured into Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

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  • Obama Presses Perry to Rally Support for Border Funds

    By Jackie Calmes and Ashley Park, The New York Times

    President Obama on Wednesday directly challenged Gov. Rick Perry of Texas to rally Republicans in support of a $3.7 billion emergency measure aimed at solving the humanitarian crisis caused as thousands of Central American children have crossed the Mexican border.

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  • New gun-control fight could upend plan to help vulnerable Democrats

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    This was going to be a quiet week in the U.S. Senate, one during which the majority Democrats would take the opportunity to help a colleague facing a tough reelection race.

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  • Chinese Hackers Pursue Key Data on U.S. Workers

    By Michael S. Schmidt, David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times

    Chinese hackers in March broke into the computer networks of the United States government agency that houses the personal information of all federal employees, according to senior American officials. They appeared to be targeting the files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances.

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  • Unprepared U.S. officials missed Baghdadi’s likely al Qaida connection during 2004 detention

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    When the U.S. military detained Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in Iraq in 2004, it was too inexperienced at dealing with suspected terrorists to know what kind of threat he potentially posed when it released him just 10 months later, those who worked in the military detention system at that time now concede.

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Jul 09, 2014

  • Obama's $3.7-billion border request reflects deepening concern

    By Christi Parsons, Lisa Mascaro, Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding Tuesday to help confront what he called an “urgent humanitarian situation”: the unprecedented influx of children and teens arriving without parents on the Southwestern border.

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