The Note's Must-Reads for Friday July 26, 2013

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

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin,Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and J.P. Lawrence

DRONES IN THE US The Hill's Brendan Sasso: " The FBI has flown drones ten times in US" The FBI revealed to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that it has flown drones in U.S. airspace ten times since 2006. In a letter released by Paul on Thursday, Stephen Kelly, the FBI's director of legislative affairs, said that the agency uses drones in "very limited circumstances" for aerial surveillance. None of the drones are armed with either lethal or non-lethal weapons, Kelly said. LINK

BRADLEY MANNING The Los Angeles Times' Richard A. Serrano: " Bradley Manning 'not a naive soldier,' prosecution says" Bradley Manning purposely joined the Army and deployed to Iraq to parlay his extensive computer skills into disclosing a treasure trove of protected U.S. secrets that he knew would assist terrorist organizations in their efforts to attack the United States, the chief prosecutor in Manning's military court-martial said Thursday. LINK

HALLIBURTON DESTROYED EVIDENCE USA Today's Michael Winter: " Halliburton admits destroying Gulf oil spill evidence" Halliburton has admitted destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and will plead guilty to a criminal charge, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Under the plea agreement, which requires court approval, Houston-based Halliburton will also face three years' probation, pay the maximum fine of $200,000 and continue to cooperate in the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the April 2010 explosion and fire on the drilling platform, which killed 11 rig workers off Louisiana. LINK

CONGRESS The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett: " Holder Targets Texas in New Voting-Rights Push" The Obama administration moved to retain some oversight of the way states conduct elections after the Supreme Court invalidated part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, setting up a new fight with Republican governors. The legal strategy, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday, is directed initially at Texas' voting procedures, but it promises to have much broader impact. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Bykowicz: " Pelosi Says It Would Be 'Great' for Woman to Be Fed Chair" House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that while Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen, considered two of the frontrunners for chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, are well-qualified candidates, "it would be great to have a woman."Yellen is "extremely talented," the California congresswoman said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital with Al Hunt," airing this weekend. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION ABC News' Dana Hughes and Shushannah Walshe: " Obama Admin: Egypt's 'Coup or Not' Question May Never Be Decided." Senior administration officials tell ABC News that the Obama administration has not determined whether a military coup occurred in Egypt earlier this month, and legally may never have to. According to U.S. foreign aid funding law, the designation of a coup would mean an automatic cut-off in aid to the country, which is roughly $1.55 billion a year, with $1.3 billion of that going to the military. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Obama's 'phony' scandals line draws GOP retort" With his job-approval numbers plummeting, President Obama is trying to reclaim the advantage in Washington by convincing the public that congressional Republicans are obsessed with "phony" scandals such as Benghazi and the Internal Revenue Service at the expense of economic progress. But that could prove to be a narrow hole to thread with the public. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "Nancy Pelosi Calls Anthony Weiner's Sexting 'Reprehensible'" LINK "President Obama Pitches Road to Economic Recovery" LINK "Weiner Mayoral Campaign Sparks 'Is It Cheating' Debate" LINK

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