The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, September 17, 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, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and Carrie Halperin

NAVY YARD SHOOTING ABC News' Abby. D. Phillip, Alyssa Newcomb and Anthony Castellano: " Navy Yard Shooting Suspect Only Gunman In Rampage" Investigators believe Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist, was the lone gunman in the shooting spree at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. earlier today in which 12 people were killed before the suspect was killed in a firefight with police, and authorities have lifted a shelter in place for the remaining residents in the area. The 12 deceased shooting victims range in age from 46 to 73 years old, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said at an evening news conference. Officials are still notifying the families of about half of the 12 people who were killed, he said. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett, Dion Nissenbaum and Rebecca Ballhaus: " Ex-Sailor's Rampage Leaves Dozen Dead, Stuns Capital" A man who had been forced out of the military after a 2010 gun arrest opened fire inside a Navy building Monday morning, killing 12 people and injuring about eight more as he sprayed bullets into a cafeteria of unsuspecting military workers, officials said. Authorities said the alleged gunman, Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, was killed in a shootout with police at the scene, but that wasn't the end to a chaotic day in the nation's capital that saw security officials lock down military buildings and the U.S. Senate, and cancel the Washington Nationals game scheduled later in the evening. LINK

The USA Today's Tom Vanden Brook: " Base Security Tightened After 2009 Ft. Hood Shooting" The Pentagon ordered the military to be on the lookout for troubled troops and civilians after the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 people. One of the recommendations of a special commission was intended to alert authorities about troubled troops and military civilian employees like the former sailor-turned-contractor suspected of fatally shooting 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington. LINK

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN The New York Daily News' Adam Edelman: " Vice President Joe Biden sparks 2016 speculation with visit to Iowa steak-fry" Vice President Joe Biden made a rousing appearance Sunday night at Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's annual steak-fry fundraiser - often an early testing ground for presidential runs - but kept his cards close to his chest when asked about his possible 2016 plans. Biden, 70, mostly shot down questions over whether he was using the visit as an early stump for a future White House bid, preferring instead to make jokes and emphasize President Obama's record in office. LINK

ECONOMY The Los Angeles Times' Cathleen Decker: " Obama economic speech: Worry persists, overshadowed by gun attack" At one time, President Obama's speech Monday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the fiscal collapse that helped usher him into office might have taken on the tone of a victory lap. And there were elements of that in what Obama said as he sought to claim credit for his administration's handling of the rockiest period, economically speaking, since the Great Depression. LINK

Bloomberg's Roger Runningen & Margaret Talev: " Obama Accuses Republicans of Blocking Progress on Economy" President Barack Obama accused congressional Republicans of ignoring what needs to be done to ensure broad-based prosperity and focusing instead on slashing government spending even while the deficit is narrowing. "Congress's most fundamental job is passing a budget," Obama said in remarks at the White House to mark the five-year anniversary of the financial crunch touched off by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. "And Congress needs to get it done without triggering another crisis, without shutting down our government, or worse, threatening not to pay this country's bills." LINK

BENGHAZI The Hills' Julian Pecquet: " Democrats and Republicans spar over motives on Benghazi investigations" Democrats and Republicans are trading accusations of crass political opportunism as the House rekindles its investigation into the terror attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) leaked a report over the weekend taking aim at the State Department's independent probe. LINK SYRIA The Washington Times' Guy Taylor and Ashish Kumar Sen: " Obama was warned of earlier chemical attacks in Syria, stayed mum until deaths hit masses" Well before last month's sarin nerve gas attack in a Damascus suburb, the Obama administration had gathered intelligence that chemical weapons had been used in Syria on multiple occasions but did not take action because there were debates about who was responsible and there was little public outcry, according to officials familiar with the intelligence. A congressional official familiar with U.S. intelligence assessments told The Washington Times on Monday that evidence of the earlier attacks was what prompted senior administration officials to agree in June to a covert plan by the CIA to deliver small American arms to rebels in their fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad. LINK

The New York Times' Rick Gladstone and C. J. Chivers: " Forensic Details in U.N. Report Point to Assad's Use of Gas" A United Nations report released on Monday confirmed that a deadly chemical arms attack caused a mass killing in Syria last month and for the first time provided extensive forensic details of the weapons used, which strongly implicated the Syrian government. While the report's authors did not assign blame for the attack on the outskirts of Damascus, the details it documented included the large size and particular shape of the munitions and the precise direction from which two of them had been fired. LINK

DEMOCRATS The Boston Globe's Matt Viser and Noah Bierman: " Liberal Democrats putting pressure on Obama" Lawrence H. Summers' decision to bow out of contention for the Federal Reserve chairmanship represented a triumph for liberal Democrats, putting on powerful display their ability to pressure the White House in a way that could spell further complications for President Obama. In just the last two weeks, liberal Democrats have joined with key Republicans to oppose his request for congressional authorization to launch a military strike against Syria as well as the prospective Summers nomination. LINK CIA LOBBYING Politico' s Byron Tau: " CIA won't disclose lobbying reports" The Central Intelligence Agency won't make public lobbying disclosures by its contractors, claiming that release could compromise classified information or intelligence sources and methods. In a response to a Politico Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA could "neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records" related to federal government contractors and their lobbying activities. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Eugenio Derbez Addresses Comparisons To Tyler Perry" LINK

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