The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, August 9, 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' Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Hill's Justin Sink: " 10 questions for Obama's presser" President Obama will hold his first solo press conference in more than three months on Friday before he departs for a weeklong vacation at Martha's Vineyard. The summer has been unkind to Obama, with controversies at home and abroad wearing down his approval rating. His poll numbers have dipped 5 points since he last spoke to the media in April, according to a Fox News survey released Thursday, and his overall approval rating is at 42 percent, just 2 percent points above the low point in his presidency. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' David Savage: " Obama administration backs prayer at local government meetings" The Obama administration and congressional Republicans have found something to agree on: Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer. Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, nearly all Republicans, separately made that argument in briefs to the Supreme Court this week. The high court should relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings, they argued. LINK

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Bill Clinton to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom" Bill Clinton, one of only two presidents in history to be impeached, will be among 16 honorees to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, the White House announced Thursday. Mr. Clinton, who was widely condemned for having sex with a young intern during his presidency, will receive the nation's highest civilian honor along with prominent feminist Gloria Steinem, talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, country music legend Loretta Lynn and others in a ceremony later this year. LINK

US CONSULATE IN PAKISTAN EVACUATED : ABC News' Dana Hughes: " State Department Evacuates Staff From US Consulate In Pakistan" The State Department has ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. Government personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, due to threats against the post. Most officials have been moved to the capital city of Islamabad. The evacuation comes after a different, more local threat stream than the current threat emanating from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, the official confirmed. That threat has led to the closure of 19 embassies and consulates until Saturday. LINK

GOP: The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan: " Tea Party Takes Aim At GOP" Tea Party activists are mounting a nostalgia tour of sorts this month, a campaign across the country to recapture the magic from the summer of 2009 in hopes of pressuring members of Congress to strip funding from the movement's public enemy No.?1: "Obamacare." There is a key difference from the fervent Tea Party protests of four years ago: Instead of targeting Democrats, conservative groups are confronting members of the Republican Party whom they perceive as weak in their commitment to kill the national health care overhaul. LINK

CLIMATE AND ENERGY: The New York Times' Erin Banco: " Cut Emissions? Congress Itself Keeps Burning a Dirtier Fuel" As part of the climate change agenda he unveiled this year, President Obama made a commitment to significantly reduce the federal government's dependence on fossil fuels. The government, he said in a speech in June at Georgetown University, "must lead by example." LINK

TERROR THREAT: The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman: " Al Qaeda Yemen Branch Plan Prompted U.S Terror Alert" The terror plot that has temporarily shut down 19 U.S. diplomatic posts wasn't ordered by al Qaeda's leader Ayman al Zawahiri, but proposed by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch and approved by the global Qaeda chief, a senior U.S. official said Thursday in a more specific description of the plot's origin. The intercepted communications of exchanges between Mr. Zawahiri and the leader of the Yemen branch, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, showed Mr. Wuhayshi presenting his plan of attack in order to seek tacit approval, and he received it, several current and former U.S. officials say. LINK

Politico's Staff: " U.S. evacuates Pakistan consulate, issues travel warning" Citing "specific threats," the State Department Thursday ordered all non-essential staff to leave the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, and issued a travel warning to Americans in the region. The statement continues: "The presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan. Across the country, terrorist attacks frequently occur against civilian, government, and foreign targets. LINK

NSA: The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima: " NSA cites case as success of phone data-collection program" He was a San Diego cab driver who fled Somalia as a teenager, winning asylum in the United States after he was wounded during fighting among warring tribes. Today, Basaaly Moalin, 36, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction on charges that he sent $8,500 to Somalia in support of the terrorist group al-Shabab. LINK

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