The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, January 31, 2014

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 Matt Busekroos

IMMIGRATION ABC News' Jeff Zeleny and John Parkinson: " Republicans Open New Discussion On Immigration" House Speaker John Boehner presented a set of principles to Republican lawmakers today that would offer undocumented immigrants a pathway to legalization, but not citizenship, as he opened a new discussion to keep alive the debate over immigration reform. At a retreat for Republican lawmakers here on Maryland's Eastern Shore, immigration was a central point of discussion as Boehner and other GOP leaders unveiled a highly-anticipated list of standards to kick off debate on the controversial immigration legislation. LINK

The Hill's Russell Berman: " House Republican Leaders Back Legal Status In Immigration Push" House Republican leaders are calling for illegal immigrants to be able to "live legally and without fear in the U.S." after they have met a series of requirements and after "specific enforcement triggers" have been met, according to new principles presented Thursday to lawmakers. The endorsement of a path to legal status for many of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants is a significant step toward comprehensive immigration reform for a party that has long resisted policies that some deride as amnesty. LINK

The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman and Erica Pearson: " New GOP Guidelines Could Lead To Undocumented Immigrants Gaining Legal Status" New GOP guidelines leave the door open for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to gain legal status, but reject a path to U.S. citizenship. Top Democrats said the principles released Thursday by House Republicans may offer an opening for compromise. The one-page document of vaguely worded principles was written to guide a series of immigration-related measures House leaders may advance in spring. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Kristina Peterson and Laura Meckler: " House Republicans Unveil Their Immigration Plan" House Republican leaders released a long-awaited set of principles Thursday to guide the chamber's debate on immigration, a balancing effort aimed at drawing a majority of Republicans without alienating Democrats who also would be needed to pass a bill. The move comes seven months after the Senate passed a broad-based immigration bill, which many saw as dead amid opposition from House conservatives. But House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) appears determined to at least test whether there is sufficient support to move forward on a bill. LINK

NSA The New York Times' David Sanger and Thom Shanker: " N.S.A. Choice Is Navy Expert on Cyberwar" In nominating Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers as the new director of the National Security Agency on Thursday, President Obama chose a recognized expert in the new art of designing cyberweapons, but someone with no public track record in addressing the kinds of privacy concerns that have put the agency under a harsh spotlight. Mr. Obama's decision to pick a military officer, rather than a civilian versed in civil liberties issues, was made weeks ago, when he rejected his own advisory panel's recommendation that the N.S.A. and the United States Cyber Command have separate leaders. By law the command, the Pentagon's four-year-old cyberwarfare organization, must be headed by a military officer. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ken Dilanian: " Navy Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers Nominated As NSA Head" President Obama has nominated Navy Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, a 30-year Navy veteran, to head the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, officials said Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Rogers will take over an intelligence agency battered by leaks of classified documents from former contractor Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance and intelligence gathering programs at home and abroad. LINK

The Washington Times' Guy Taylor: " Obama Will Nominate Navy Vice Adm. Rogers To Head NSA" The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will nominate Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers to become the next director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command. A White House official said in a statement that current NSA official Rick Ledgett, who led the administration's task force responding to leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, will also be nominated to the deputy leadership of the agency. A 30-year Navy veteran, Vice Adm. Rogers is trained as a cryptologist, presently heading the Navy's cyberwarfare program. LINK

BOSTON BOMBING The Boston Globe's Milton J. Valencia: " US Cites Enormity Of Attack In Seeking Death Penalty" The Department of Justice said Thursday that it will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, citing the "heinous, cruel and depraved manner" of the attack that killed three people, injured more than 260, and sent a wave of shock and fear into the region. Noting that Tsarnaev has shown no remorse, federal prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty because of his "betrayal of the United States" and his decision to target the Boston Marathon, "an iconic event that draws large crowds of men, women, and children to its final stretch, making it especially susceptible to the act and effects of terrorism." LINK

Bloomberg's Sophia Pearson and Erik Larson: " Boston Bombing Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty" The U.S. will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he's convicted of the bombing at last year's Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 260, the first deadly terrorist attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001. The decision by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was announced yesterday by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Boston. Ortiz said Tsarnaev's intentional involvement in the "especially heinous" attack, his lack of remorse and his betrayal of the U.S. justified a death sentence. LINK

AFGHANISTAN The Washington Post's Kevin Sieff: " After Billions In U.S. Investment, Afghan Roads Are Falling Apart" They look like victims of an insurgent attack - their limbs in need of amputation, their skulls cracked - but the patients who pour daily into the Ghazni Provincial Hospital are casualties of another Afghan crisis. They are motorists who drove on the road network built by the U.S. government and other Western donors - a $4 billion project that was once a symbol of promise in post-Taliban Afghanistan but is now falling apart. Western officials say the Afghan government is unable to maintain even a fraction of the roads and highways constructed since 2001, when the country had less than 50 miles of paved roads. The deterioration has hurt commerce and slowed military operations. LINK

USA Today's Susan Page: " Poll: Grim Assessment Of Wars In Iraq, Afghanistan" As two of the nation's longest wars finally end, most Americans have concluded that neither achieved its goals. Those grim assessments in a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll underscore the erosion in support for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the loss of faith in the outcome of the wars, both launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The public's soured attitudes may make it harder the next time a president tries to persuade Americans of the value of military action when it involves putting thousands of U.S. troops in harm's way. LINK

TSA Politico's Jason Edward Harrington: " Dear America, I Saw You Naked" On Jan. 4, 2010, when my boss saw my letter to the editor in the New York Times, we had a little chat.It was rare for the federal security director at Chicago O'Hare to sit down with her floor-level Transportation Security Administration officers-it usually presaged a termination-and so I was nervous as I settled in across the desk from her. She was a woman in her forties with sharp blue eyes that seemed to size you up for placement in a spreadsheet. She held up a copy of the newspaper, open to the letters page. My contribution, under the headline "To Stop a Terrorist: No Lack of Ideas," was circled in blue pen.One week earlier, on Christmas Day 2009, a man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had tried to detonate 80 grams of a highly explosive powder while on Northwest Airlines Flight 253. LINK

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