The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, March 14, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Mar 14, 2014 4:31am

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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Janine Elliot

UKRAINE
The Hill’s Ramsey Cox: “McCain: GOP senators opposing Ukraine bill are ‘dead wrong’” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he is “embarrassed” by members of his own party who are running “a fools errand” by blocking a bill that would help Ukraine and place sanctions on Russia. “The people from Ukraine are crying out,” McCain said. “Where are our priorities?” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to get unanimous consent to set up a vote on S. 2124 — a bipartisan bill that would provide $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine and allow for sanctions against Russians who helped invade Ukraine. McCain said that bill was better than a House version because it actually incentivizes Russia to back down. LINK

FBI
The Washington Times’ John Solomon: “FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee” FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation. The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News. LINK

WAR ON DRUGS
ABC News’ Ryan Struyk: “War on Drugs Will Stall Without More Ships, Says Commander” American efforts to curb the flow of drugs coming into the country won’t come close to reaching officials’ goals without about a dozen more ships off the waters of Latin America, said Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command. Kelly said that he needs 16 ships in the region to reach the administration’s 40 percent drug reduction goal – but he won’t make a bigger dent in the multibillion-dollar industry with the three or four ships he’s averaged in past years. LINK

UNEMPLOYMENT
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Unemployment Benefits” A month after the Senate failed to extend unemployment insurance, a bipartisan group of senators has struck a new deal to provide benefits to the long-term unemployed. The deal would reauthorize unemployment insurance benefits for five months and allow for retroactive payments dating back to Dec. 28.The proposal is paid for with a combination of offsets — including extending “pensions smoothing” provisions included in the 2012 highway bill and by extending customs users fees through 2024. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson: “Senators Strike Deal on Long-Term Jobless Benefits” A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday announced a deal to restore emergency jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed through late May. Lawmakers were optimistic that the latest five-month agreement could lead to an extension of the benefits, which lapsed in late December. The Senate has been working since last year to secure enough votes to restore the program but several times has fallen short of the 60 votes needed. “We’re not at the finish line yet, but this is a bipartisan breakthrough,” said Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.), who joined with Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) to reach the agreement. LINK

OVERTIME PAY
Wall Street Journal’s Jarod A. Favole: “Obama Orders Labor Department to Improve Overtime Rules” President Barack Obama on Thursday signed an order that directs the Labor Department to create new overtime protections for many salaried workers, saying the rule will help raise wages at a time when U.S. businesses have been growing but salaries for average Americans haven’t. “Overtime’s a pretty simple idea,” Mr. Obama said from the White House while some workers stood behind him. “If you have to work more, you should get paid more.” The new rule is part of a series of unilateral actions he has taken to help put more money into the pockets of Americans. But, much like his push for raising the minimum wage, this move has raised questions about whether helping increase pay for some might come at the expense of jobs for others.  LINK

IMMIGRATION
Politico’s Seung Min Kim and Reid J. Epstein: “Obama Calls For Review Of Deportations” President Barack Obama finally bowed to pressure from immigration rights activists and signaled on Thursday that he may change his deportation policy. The president changed course after months of claiming there was nothing his White House could do to stem the flow of deportations of undocumented immigrants. Obama announced in a meeting readout that he has requested a review of his administration’s enforcement policies for immigration laws to see if that enforcement can be done “more humanely within the confines of the law,” the White House said Thursday. LINK

The Washington Post’s David Nakamura: “Under Pressure, Obama Calls For Immigration-Enforcement Review” President Obama on Thursday ordered his administration to review its immigration policies to determine ways to make it more humane, a response to mounting pressure from advocates to stem deportations of illegal immigrants. The move came after Obama met at the White House with three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has been drafting a letter to the president expressing concerns about the administration’s deportation policy. LINK

The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear: “Obama, Citing A Concern For Families, Orders A Review Of Deportations”  President Obama said Thursday that deportations of illegal immigrants should be more humane, and to make that happen, he has ordered a review of his administration’s enforcement efforts. Mr. Obama revealed the effort in an Oval Office meeting with Hispanic lawmakers on Thursday afternoon, telling them that he had “deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system,” according to a White House statement. LINK

SCOTT BROWN
ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny: “Scott Brown Poised to Launch Exploratory Committee For New Hampshire Senate Run” Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren, is poised to open an exploratory committee to run for the Senate again — but this time, in New Hampshire.Three Republican officials tell ABC News that Brown is nearing a decision to jump into the New Hampshire Senate race to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The contest would instantly become one of the hottest races in the country and could give Republicans one more path to winning control of the Senate. Brown could announce his plans as early as Friday, one source said. But two others said the timing was not immediately clear and could be next month. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Scott Brown said to be ready to run in New Hampshire” Republican Scott Brown reportedly will form an exploratory committee as soon as Friday to run against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, according to several news reports. The Associated Press, CBS News and WMUR in New Hampshire are all reporting the news about Brown, a moderate Republican who shot to national fame in 2010 when he won a special election in Massachusetts to succeed the late Edward Kennedy. Brown recently moved to New Hampshire, where he has long had a vacation home and family ties. LINK

DEMOCRATS
The Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Mascaro: “In Georgia, a Senate race is central to Democrats’ hopes” In an Atlanta hotel ballroom, Republican candidates vying for one of this year’s most competitive Senate seats sparred recently over who could best impress a mostly white, conservative-leaning audience. Among the contenders: a gun rights advocate who made a national splash with plans to raffle an AR-15 rifle; a doctor who once agreed with the suggestion that pregnancy rarely results from rape; and a third who wanted poor students to sweep cafeteria floors to pay for their government-subsidized school lunches. LINK

JEFFREY CORZINE
The New York Daily News’ Jennifer Fermino, Adam Edelman and Nancy Dillon: “Jeffrey Corzine, youngest son of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, dead at 31” The youngest son of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine – described as a “lost” soul who battled addiction – was found dead in a Mexico City hotel through a search initiated by his family, a well-placed source told the Daily News. Jeffrey Corzine, 31, whose body was found in Mexico’s largest metropolis “several days ago,” had failed to respond to messages from his loved ones, the source said. The family launched a search that tracked him down by following his credit card usage, the source added. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Film Screening at the White HouseLINK
Chris Christie to Heckler: ‘Keep Quiet or Get Out’”  LINK
Athletes, Doctors Talk Concussions at Congressional HearingLINK
Chris Christie Riles Tesla MotorsLINK

BOOKMARKS
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ABC News Politics: LINK
George Stephanopoulos’ Blog: LINK
ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics
ABC News Mobile: LINK
ABC News Apps: LINK
ABC News YouTube: LINK

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