The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Apr 24, 2014 3:11am

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 

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “Travels With Obama: Behind-The-Scenes On The President’s Asia Trip” President Obama is in the midst of a week-long trip to four Asian nations, and ABC News is with him every step of the way. In the posts below, we hope to take you along for the ride — virtually — giving you behind-the-scenes snapshots of life inside the presidential bubble. You’ll see glimpses of the massive logistical operation that supports independent U.S. press coverage of the presidency in real-time overseas. Also look for some of the lighter and quirkier moments on the road that don’t always make it into the papers or on TV. LINK

Boston Globe’s Nicholas Burns: “Obama’s longer-term foreign policy challenges” WITH 2½ YEARS left in his presidency, Barack Obama finds a series of daunting global crises filling his Oval Office in-box. Countering Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons are top priorities. He must also do more to help the millions of refugees from Syria’s bloody civil war. And he and Secretary of State John Kerry may choose to circle back to the faltering Israeli-Palestinian talks. LINK

RUSSIA
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “Obama Warns Russia Tougher Sanctions Are ‘Teed Up and Ready to Go’ President Obama warned more U.S. sanctions on Russia are “teed up and ready to go,” signaling that if Russia does not reverse course in eastern Ukraine it will face additional consequences “in days not weeks.” But even as he threatened further sanctions, Obama acknowledged it is “entirely possible” that new economic penalties will not work to change Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculus on Ukraine. “So far the evidence doesn’t make me hopeful,” Obama said.  “Assuming they don’t follow through, then we’ll follow through on what we said… which is tighter consequences on the Russians.” Further sanctions, he said, are ready go. LINK

USA Today’s Tom Vanden Brook: “Pentagon to Russia: Back away from our allies” The 600 paratroopers the Pentagon is dispatching to Poland and three Baltic nations to conduct live-fire training will also serve as a trip wire to Russian aggression in the region, according to military officials and analysts. The Pentagon considers the deployment, though small, a serious marker and called on Russia to back away from Ukraine. “Make no mistake: The Russians are the provocateurs here,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “Destabilizing eastern Ukraine is a highly provocative action. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Colleen McCain Nelson: “Obama Warns Russia the U.S. Is Ready to Ramp Up Sanctions” U.S. President Barack Obama said Russia hasn’t abided by either the spirit or the letter of an agreement to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, and he warned that the U.S. is prepared to impose additional costs.”There will be further consequences, and we will ramp up further sanctions,” he said during a news conference in Tokyo Thursday. The White House warned earlier this week that it would act if evidence of Russia’s compliance with an agreement reached in Geneva isn’t evident “in the coming days.” LINK

The Hill’s Justin Sink: “Obama: Russia sanctions ‘teed up’” President Obama said Thursday that Moscow was not abiding by “the spirit or the letter” of an agreement struck by foreign ministers last week in Geneva designed to deescalate unrest in Ukraine. The president warned that the U.S. had “teed up” additional sanctions against Russia, and said Moscow had “days, not weeks” to publicly renounce the actions of “malicious and armed” pro-Russian separatists who continue to hold government buildings in eastern Ukraine.  LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons: “Obama says Russia not abiding by agreement to defuse Ukraine crisis” President Obama says Russia is not yet holding up its side of an agreement to de-escalate tension in Ukraine, and he suggested that the U.S. and its allies are prepared to hit Moscow with additional sanctions in coming days.   “So far at least, we’ve seen them not abide by the spirit or the letter of the agreement in Geneva,” Obama told reporters at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday, the first full day of a four-country tour through Asia. LINK

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID
The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges” The head of the Louisiana GOP filed a federal ethics complaint Wednesday against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, claiming the Nevada Democrat has misused taxpayer money for campaign purposes ahead of the 2014 midterm elections as part of his ongoing crusade against GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch. Roger Villere, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, sent a letter to the heads of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics — Sens. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, and Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican — calling on the lawmakers to investigate whether Mr. Reid has engaged in “campaign activities using staff, equipment and facilities paid for with public funds.” LINK

F.D.A. AND E-CIGARETTES
ABC News’ Chris Good: “FDA Seeks to Regulate E-Cigarettes” The FDA will soon begin regulating e-cigarettes, the agency has announced. A proposed rule, which the FDA will post online at 9 a.m. Thursday, will seek to place e-cigarettes-along with cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, dissolvable tobacco products and nicotine gels-under the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products.”Right now it’s like the wild, wild west in terms of what people are doing, the products are evolving with no regulatory oversight and being marketed in ways that are very worrisome,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told ABC News. LINK

USA Today’s Wendy Koch: “FDA announces rules restricting e-cigarettes and cigars” As electronic cigarettes soar in popularity, the U.S. government Thursday is proposing historic rules to ban their sale to minors and require warning labels as well as federal approval. Three years after saying it would regulate e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to control not only these battery-powered devices but also cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs (water pipes) and dissolvable tobacco products. Currently, the FDA regulates cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless products such as snuff. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Thomas M. Burton and Mike Esterl: “E-cigarettes Face First Regulations” The Food and Drug Administration plans Thursday to impose the first federal regulations on electronic cigarettes, eventually banning sales of the popular devices to anyone under 18 and requiring makers to gain FDA approval for their products.The rules fall short of those governing traditional cigarettes. They won’t, for example, ban ads or Internet sales of the products, or the use of flavors in them, which some critics say attracts young users. LINK

The New York Times’ Sabrina Tavernise: “F.D.A. Will Propose New Regulations For E-Cigarettes” The Food and Drug Administration will propose sweeping new rules on Thursday that for the first time would extend its regulatory authority from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, popular nicotine delivery devices that have grown into a multibillion-dollar business with virtually no federal oversight or protections for American consumers. The regulatory blueprint, with broad implications for public health, the tobacco industry and the nation’s 42 million smokers, would also cover pipe tobacco and cigars, tobacco products that have long slid under the regulatory radar and whose use has risen sharply in recent years. LINK

Politico’s Natalie Villacorta: “FDA Proposes Rules On E-Cigarettes” The Food and Drug Administration is seeking to extend its regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, through provisions that would prevent minors from purchasing these products and prohibit e-cigarettes from being sold in vending machines or being passed out as free samples. The proposed rule, which is being released Thursday, follows criticism by public health advocates and many lawmakers that the agency has delayed action even as significant numbers of youth have begun using e-cigarettes. It could be another year before the restrictions go into effect, however. LINK

The Washington Post’s Brady Dennis: “FDA Outlines Plan To regulate E-Cigarettes” The Food and Drug Administration will for the first time regulate the booming market of electronic cigarettes, as well as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookahs, under a proposal to be released Thursday. The move would begin to place restrictions on e-cigarettes, a nearly $2 billion industry that for years has operated outside the reach of federal regulators. If adopted, the government’s plan would force manufacturers to curb sales to minors, stop handing out free samples, place health warning labels on their products and disclose the ingredients. Makers of e-cigarettes also would be banned from making health-related claims without scientific evidence. LINK

BOOKMARKS
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