The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, January 13, 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, Jordan Mazza and Janine Elliot

FOREIGN AFFAIRS ABC News' Chris Good: Iran Nuclear Deal Will Finally Kick In The sixth-month nuclear deal announced in November is finally ready to go into effect, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today. For months, U.S. and Iranian technical negotiators have been hammering out what, exactly, each side is obligated to do over the six-month agreement. Negotiations in Geneva broke off in mid-December. But the U.S. and Iran finally do have a deal: The six-month interim agreement will kick in on Jan. 20, Kerry announced today, after the under-secretary for political affairs - the U.S. official in brokering this deal - traveled to Geneva and met with Iranian and EU counterparts on Thursday, apparently laying the groundwork for the six-month clock to at last begin ticking. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon, Carol E. Lee and Laurence Norman: Iranian Nuclear Accord Advances, Obama Threatens Veto of Sanctions World powers and Iran agreed to begin implementing a pact to curb Tehran's nuclear program on Jan. 20, setting the stage for six months of diplomacy intended to end Tehran's atomic weapons threat, officials said. Under Sunday's deal, Iran will stop producing near-weapons grade nuclear fuel and start rolling back or freezing other nuclear work next week, said U.S., European and Iranian officials. In turn, the U.S. and European Union will start easing some of their punitive economic sanctions on Iran, starting next week with suspending a ban on Iran's trade of petrochemicals, autos and precious metals. LINK

The Washington Times' Rowan Scarborough: " Chaos in Iraq could be omen for Afghanistan without U.S. troops" Afghanistan's war planners trying to picture their country without U.S. troops next year might want to cast an eye toward Iraq. Since the U.S. pullout two years ago, a defeated al Qaeda in Iraq has reassembled, brought in fresh fighters, freed prisoners and unleashed waves of deadly car bombings. Last week, al Qaeda claimed control of Fallujah, the town in western Anbar province where scores of Americans lost their lives in house-to-house fighting in 2004. LINK

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE USA Today's William M. Welch: GOP leaders: Christie's presidential hopes not dashed Republicans defended embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday, saying a bridge traffic scandal hasn't knocked out his 2016 presidential chances. But the mayor whose city became choked as a result of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge into New York City says that while he takes Christie at his word, he is having a hard time buying the story that the governor wasn't part of a plot to tie up traffic in his city out of political revenge. "If he didn't know, he certainly should have known" his aides had ordered the lane closings, Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, said on NBC's Meet the Press. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Heather Haddon: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Aides Pressed Hard for Endorsements New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie's ability to secure Democratic endorsements supported his overwhelming re-election last year and helped establish him as a 2016 presidential contender, but now a traffic scandal has put the spotlight on his campaign's tactics with local officials across the state. Interviews with mayors and other New Jersey Democratic officials show that Mr. Christie's allies in conversations that swung from friendly to persistent fostered a perception of better access to the governor's office and state commissions for those who cooperated, while a few who stayed neutral or endorsed Mr. Christie's opponent said they felt locked out. Others suffered no harm. LINK

The New York Daily News' Adam Edelman: " Chris Chirstie's career will be over if he's lying about Bridgegate involvement: Ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani" Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can kiss his career - and his White House dreams - goodbye if he is lying about not being personally involved in the burgeoning Bridgegate scandal, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Sunday. "He's held a press conference; he's flatly denied it," Giuliani said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" of Christie's assertion he didn't know at least two of his top confidantes had conspired to wreak havoc on the George Washington Bridge. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Don Lee: " Politicians give Chris Christie the benefit of the doubt, for now" A growing number of Republican and some Democratic leaders said Sunday that, for now, they are accepting at face value New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's word that he knew nothing about the George Washington Bridge traffic-jam scheme that has rocked his political career. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he found it "pretty darn credible" that Christie was unaware that his aides shut down lanes to the bridge in September in what was apparently an act of political retribution. Noting the road closures occurred in the midst of Christie's reelection bid, Giuliani said "during campaign mode you miss a lot of things. You're not paying as much attention." LINK

Katie Zernike: " Adding to Christie's Troubles, a Rift With a Former Mentor Widens " Gov. Chris Christie often dates his entry into politics to age 15, when, driven by his mother, he arrived at the doorstep of Thomas H. Kean, a state assemblyman who was pondering a run for governor, and asked for advice about getting involved. "If you want to find out, get in the car," Mr. Kean replied, he recalled in a 2010 interview. LINK

The Washington Post's Chris Cilizza: " Christie is still atop 2016 GOP field - for now" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just endured the worst week of his five years in elected office, battered by a scandal involving traffic jams as political payback and implicating several top - and now former - aides. And yet, Christie still holds down the top spot in our rankings of the 2016 Republican field - a sign of both the considerable strengths he retains in the race and the lack of an obvious challenger to his dominance. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON The Hill's Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen: " Hillary's hit list" Inside a cramped third-floor office of Hillary Clinton's once-bustling presidential campaign headquarters in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, Kris Balderston and Adrienne Elrod put the finishing touches on a political hit list.It was late June 2008, and Hillary had dropped her bid for the presidency. The war room, where her brain trust had devolved into profanity-laced shouting matches, was empty. The data crunchers were gone. The political director had drifted out. A handful of Hillary's aides had already hooked up with Barack Obama's campaign in Chicago. LINK

ROBERT GATES Politico's Andrea Drusch: " Jim Inhofe: Robert Gates wasn't being honest" Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe slammed Robert Gates in an interview that aired Sunday for not being honest with the American people during his tenure as secretary of defense. Responding to descriptions from Gates' memoir, "Duty" about staying quiet on his disagreements with the administration, Inhofe said Gates failed on his responsibility to inform the American people about what he knew. LINK

MINIMUM WAGE BATTLE The Boston Globe's Kimberly Railey: Minimum wage battles are shifting to the states President Obama pledged in his 2013 State of the Union message to pursue a minimum wage increase nationwide, an issue all but forgotten since his first White House run. Declaring that "no one who works full time should have to live in poverty," Obama called for boosting the hourly minimum to $9. Nearly a year later, that goal remains unfulfilled, derailed by a slowly recovering economy and opposition from Republicans in Congress. So with the federal rate stuck at $7.25 and few prospects for change, the real focal point for wage battles in 2014 is moving to individual states. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " NJ Democrat Alludes to Possible Chris Christie Impeachment" LINK " 'This Week': New Jersey Scandal" LINK " 'This Week': Chris Christie's Crisis" LINK

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