The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mar 23, 2011 5:27am

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

President Obama:
ABC News’ Huma Khan: “Health Care Law’s First Anniversary: Why Haven’t Americans Seen Changes Yet?” It was a year ago that President Obama, after months of heated rhetoric, fiery debates and partisan wrangling, signed the historic health care bill into law.  "The bill I'm signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see," the president said, as he swiftly turned the contentious bill into the law of the land.   LINK

USA Today’s Susan Page: “Global crises overshadow Obama’s 2011 agenda” President Obama returns to the White House today after a six-day trip to Latin America that was intended to focus on jobs, trade and the economy — but the world just wouldn't cooperate. LINK

The Washington Time’s Kara Rowland: “Obama vows Salvadoan aid, immigration reform” Making his first visit to Central America, President Obama brought promises of crime-fighting money and a vow to push the U.S. Congress to pass an immigration bill to aid El Salvador, a once war-torn country that has emerged as a stable democracy and a friendly ally. LINK

The Hill’s Christina Marcos: “President’s veto threats are on the rise” President Obama this year has threatened to veto nearly as many bills as he did in 2009 and 2010 combined. Obama has issued six veto threats in 2011, four of them this month. Working with a Democratic House and Senate over the last couple of years, Obama issued eight during the entire 111th Congress.   LINK

LA Times’ Julie Mianecki: “Obama administration calls on United Nations to support gay rights” The Obama administration Tuesday called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world.  "Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love," Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, U.S. ambassador to the council in Geneva, said in a statement.    LINK

ABC News’ David kerley, Jon Garcia, and Jose Cohen: “Obama on Libya: ‘We Have Already Saved Lives’ President Obama insists it will still be a matter of “days not weeks” before the United States hands over control of the Libyan military operation, which he says “has already saved lives.”  In El Salvador, the last stop on his Latin American swing, Obama said he was relieved that two American pilots whose F-15 fighter jet went down in Libya after a mechanical failure are safe.  LINK

The Hill’s Sam Youngman, John T. Bennett, and Russell Berman: “Obama administration struggles to define American mission in Libya” The Obama administration scrambled to define the U.S. mission in Libya on Tuesday amid congressional criticism that it has not clearly explained its endgame for the war-torn country.  The White House strongly denied that regime change is part of its mission after a statement earlier in the day characterized the goal there as “installing a democratic system.”  LINK

NY Daily News’ Larry McShane and Bill Hutchingson: “Khadafy rails against U.S., vows victory in address on Libyan television: ‘We will not be defeated” Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy called his enemies "crazed fascists" Tuesday night and defiantly vowed "we will win this historic battle."  As missiles rained down on strategic targets in his divided country, Khadafy deplored the "unjust aggression" by his foes and lashed out at the United Nation's intervention.  LINK

LA Times’ Julie Makinen and Don Lee: “Power lines reconnected to Japan’s quake- damaged nuclear plant” Control room lights were on and electronic thermometers were functioning Wednesday at several of Japan's stricken nuclear reactors, marking small but potentially critical steps toward controlling overheated fuel that has been spewing radioactivity for more than a week.  Firefighters continued to spray spent-fuel pools and containment vessels with water after connecting power lines late Tuesday to all six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, about 150 miles north of Tokyo.  LINK

Bloomberg’s Keiko Ujikane Japan's Quake Damage May Swell to $309 Billion, Four Katrinas”Japan’s government estimated the damage from this month’s record earthquake and tsunami at as much as 25 trillion yen ($309 billion), an amount almost four times the hit imposed by Hurricane Katrina on the U.S.  The destruction will push down gross domestic product by as much as 2.75 trillion yen for the year starting April 1, today’s report showed. LINK

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Motor City Blues: Detroit Loses 25% of its Population”  With trouble brewing in the auto industry and more people moving to the suburbs, the Motor City experienced a staggering loss in its population, shrinking by one quarter in a decade.  While New Orleans lost 29 percent of its people due to natural disaster, Detroit experienced a 25 percent population decrease in part because of a disaster of another sort – economic strife. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Ianthe Jeanne Dugan: “Public Employees Rush to Retire” Public employees are retiring at a quickening pace around the U.S., providing a mixed blessing for state and local governments seeking to save money.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Peter Schworm and Matt Carroll “In census, a decade of growth by state’s minorities” Massachusetts grew more racially diverse over the past decade amid a surging number of Asian and Hispanic residents and a slight decline in the white population, according to new figures from the US Census Bureau. Bay State minorities’ numbers increase, census says The Asian and Hispanic populations both climbed 46 percent from a decade ago, while the number of blacks rose 26 percent. LINK

ABC Videos:
“ABC News Exclusive: Sec. Clinton on Libya” LINK
“Obama Faces Critics on Libya” LINK
“Gadhafi Goes Into Hiding” LINK

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