The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, January 10, 2013

ECONOMY ABC News' By Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross, and Stuart Johnson: " US Officials: China Refuses to Help Stop Investment Scams" The Chinese government snubbed a U.S. request for help in cracking down on a string of alleged investment frauds that have cost Americans billions, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro told ABC News.The lack of cooperation has stymied efforts to recoup investor losses, she said, in one of the largest sprees of alleged financial crimes in recent memory - one that has gone largely unnoticed by most Americans. LINK

GUN CONTROL The Hills' Amie Parnes: "Biden: Obama prepared to take executive action on gun control" President Obama will likely take executive action in an effort to tamp down the recent rash of gun violence, Vice President Biden said Wednesday. "The president is going go act," said Biden, who is conducting meetings all week on gun control. "There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet, but we're compiling it all." LINK The New York Daily News' Kenneth Lovett: " Lawmakers close to deal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's gun-control package following State of the State address" A charged-up Gov. Cuomo Wednesday demanded that state lawmakers "stop the madness" of firearms violence and lead the nation by passing America's toughest gun controls. He used his State of the State address to detail a sweeping plan that includes banning assault weapons with military features, limiting large capacity magazines to a maximum of seven bullets and allowing police to confiscate the guns of anyone considered mentally unstable. LINK

The Washington Post's Philip Rucker: " In campaign for tougher gun laws, Obama and allies work to tilt public opinion" The White House is working with its allies on a well-financed campaign in Washington and around the country to shift public opinion toward stricter gun laws and provide political cover to lawmakers who end up voting for an assault-weapons ban or other restrictions on firearms. With President Obama preparing to push a legislative agenda aimed at curbing the nation's gun violence, pillars of his political network, along with independent groups, are raising millions of dollars and mapping out strategies in an attempt to shepherd new regulations through Congress. LINK

CABINET/DIVERSITY The Los Angeles Times' Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli: " Obama Cabinet may not meet his own diversity standards" Wednesday's "photo of the day" on the White House website showed an unusual sight in Oval Office history - the president surrounded by top advisors, only half of whom are white men. The picture seemed calculated to counter criticism that President Obama's new set of Cabinet appointees so far all are white and male. LINK

The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Solis joins exodus of diversity in Cabinet" Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced Wednesday that she will leave the administration - a surprise resignation that adds to what is turning into a major shake-up among President Obama's team. The White House was already poised to announce that Mr. Obama will promote White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to the Treasury secretary post, setting up another contentious confirmation battle on Capitol Hill, where the president's selection this week of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon is already running into opposition. LINK

The New York Times' Jackie Calmes: " Obama's Pick for Treasury Is Said to Be His Chief of Staff" With his choice of Jacob J. Lew to be the secretary of Treasury, President Obama on Thursday will complete the transformation of his economic team from the big-name economists and financial firefighters hired four years ago to budget negotiators ready for the next fiscal fights in Congress. LINK

Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman: " Lew Taking Over at Treasury Puts Perennial Aide at Head" President Barack Obama had just won re-election and his top advisers were in Chicago for the victory party. As they savored the moment, hugging one another and drinking champagne, Chief of Staff Jack Lew killed the buzz. "Now, we get the fiscal cliff to deal with," he said. It was back to reality, Lew's specialty. He had spent the year quarterbacking at the White House when the rest of the team was zeroed in on the campaign. Win or lose, Lew already had scheduled conference calls for the following morning and an evening meeting to prepare for the looming budget fight. LINK

AIG Politico's Ben White, MJ Lee and Anna Palmer: " AIG backs down, won't sue the government" That didn't take long. In the face of furious criticism from Washington and elsewhere, American International Group's board of directors announced Wednesday the firm would not participate in a shareholders lawsuit against the government over the terms of a taxpayer bailout that saved the company from ruin. AIG took a $182 billion bailout during the financial crisis and the idea that it would join a lawsuit arguing the terms of taxpayers' largesse were unfair sent steam coming out of the ears of many lawmakers and government officials. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " New York Governor Calls for Assault Weapons Ban" LINK

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