The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

By Jayson

Feb 2, 2011 4:51am

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants Jayce Henderson, Claudia Morales, Jacqueline Fernandez and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA / EGYPT PROTESTS:
ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “Demonstrators ‘an Inspiration, ‘Transition to New Government ‘Must Begin Now’: President Obama Continues Week-Long Walk Away From Mubarak and Towards Protestors” President Obama told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that the “orderly transition” to a new government that he’s been urging since Sunday must begin in haste, the president said in remarks delivered Tuesday night after the Egyptian dictator announced he would soon be handing over power. LINK

ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour: “A Changing Scene in Cairo: ‘People Were Clearly Terrified’” We woke up this morning wondering whether the million-person demonstrations that the protest leaders had called for today would materialize. The first thing I ran into on my way to the Square was something I hadn't seen before. A small crowd of about 150 people demonstrating for Mubarak in front of the Foreign Ministry on the Nile River.  LINK

The Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung: “Obama presses Mubarak to move ‘now’” President Obama, clearly frustrated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's intention to retain his hold on power until elections later this year, said Tuesday evening that he has told Mubarak that a transition to representative government "must begin now." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Jeffrey Fleishman, Ned Parker and Laura King "Egypt's Hosni Mubarak says he'll leave at the end of his term" Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak bent to a week of deadly anti-government unrest, announcing in a nationwide speech that he would not seek reelection this year but that he intended to stay in power "for the remaining months" of his fifth term. LINK

The New York Times’ Anthony Shadid “Obama Urges Faster Shift of Power in EgyptCAIRO — Just hours after President Hosni Mubarak declared Tuesday night that he would step down in September as modern Egypt's longest-serving leader, President Obama strongly suggested that Mr. Mubarak’s concession was not enough, declaring that an “orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.” LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Charles Levinson, Margaret Coker and Jay Solomon: “How Cairo, U.S. Were Blindsided by Revolution” Two months before Egypt exploded in popular rage, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egypt's foreign minister, in her seventh-floor offices in Washington. LINK

Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning and Julianna Goldman: “Obama Says Egypt's Transition to New Government `Must Begin Now'” President Barack Obama said Egypt’s transition to a new government “must begin now,” suggesting President Hosni Mubarak’s plan to remain in office for eight more months may not quell the protests in Cairo’s streets. Obama spoke to Mubarak for 30 minutes after the Egyptian president announced he wouldn’t seek another term in elections scheduled for September. LINK

Politico’s Glenn Thrush & Laura Rozen “Barack Obama: Transition in Egypt 'must begin now'” President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his decision not to seek re-election but said pointedly that the transition to a new government “must begin now.” Reading a statement at the White House, Obama said he had talked to Mubarak after his announcement earlier in the day and said the Egyptian leader “recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and a change must take place. LINK

SENATE / BUDGET:
USA Today’s Cataline Camia: “Senate Democrats bans earmarks in spending bills” The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said he will impose a ban on earmarks, joining President Obama and congressional Republicans in trying to eliminate funding for special projects requested by lawmakers. LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “Senate Democrats ban earmarks” Signaling defeat, at least for the moment, Senate Democrats said Tuesday they won’t allow any earmarks in spending bills this year. LINK

HEALTH CARE:
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton “GOP leader McConnell to force Senate vote on healthcare repeal” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will force an up-or-down vote on the repeal of healthcare reform on Wednesday, testing the unity of Democrats who had promised the rollback would never see the light of day in their chamber. The vote in the Senate will come two weeks to the day after the House voted, largely along party lines, to repeal the healthcare law. LINK

OTHER:
Newsweek’s McKay Coppins: “Jon Huntman’s 2012 Campaign Conundrum” What on earth is Jon Huntsman Jr. thinking? That’s the question pundits have been trying to answer ever since the U.S. ambassador to China first hinted in a Jan. 1 NEWSWEEK profile that he might resign his post and challenge his boss in 2012. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
Obama: Transition In Egypt ‘Must Begin Now’LINK
McCaskill: fed Cap ‘Could Cost me My Senate SeatLINK
Mitch McConnell Seeking Health Care Bill RepealLINK

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