The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, June 06, 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, Janine Elliot and Cristian Roscher

BERGDAHL BACKLASH ABC News' Luis Martinez and Martha Raddatz: " Bowe Bergdahl Had Left Unit Twice Before, Probe shows" U.S. officials also indicate that Bergdahl may have escaped from his captors more than once before being recaptured, though the U.S. has never been able to definitively confirm that the escapes took place.While training for his unit's deployment to Afghanistan, Bergdahl had briefly walked away from his unit while it was conducting training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, located in the Mojave Desert, according to a U.S. official briefed on the contents of that investigation said. The investigation also found that Bergdahl had wandered away from his unit while deployed to eastern Afghanistan prior to his eventual disappearance on June 30, 2009, the official said. LINK

The Hill's Alexander Bolton: " Dems: Bergdahl backlash shouldn't stop prisoner talks" Some Senate Democrats say President Obama should not let the angry backlash over Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deter him from negotiating with al Qaeda for other American prisoners. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate, is pressing the Obama administration to renew its efforts to secure the freedom of a government contractor held captive by al Qaeda. LINK

The New York Times' Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt: " Bergdahl is Said to Have History of Leaving Post" A classified military report detailing the Army's investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before - both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan - and then returned, according to people briefed on it. LINK

The Washington Post's Anne Gearan: " Sources Outline Conditions on Taliban Leaders' Release in Exchange for Bergdahl" The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. LINK

NORTH KOREA The New York Times' Choe Sang-Hun: " North Korea Detains Another American" North Korea said on Friday that it has detained an American citizen who visited the country as a tourist, and that it was investigating him on charges of violating its laws. The man, Jeffrey Edward Fowle, entered North Korea on April 29 and "perpetrated activities that violated the laws of our republic, which did not fit his stated purpose of visiting our republic as a tourist," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said. "Our related agency has detained him and is investigating him." LINK

The Washington Post's Chico Harlan: " North Korea says it is Holding American Tourist for Unspecified Violations" North Korea said Friday that it had detained an American tourist for unspecified violations, marking the latest in a string of legal problems and arrests for those visiting the authoritarian nation. In a two-sentence statement, the North's state-run news agency said that a U.S. citizen it identified as Jeffrey Edward Fowle had entered the country April 29 and acted "contrary to the purpose of tourism." LINK

VETERANS AFFAIRS ABC News' Jake Lefferman and John Parkinson: "McCain and Sanders Strike Bipartisan Agreement to Overhaul VA" Sens. Bernie Sanders and John McCain unveiled a bipartisan deal to overhaul veterans' health care and access to benefits in the wake of the recent scandal at Veterans Affairs. "We have a crisis on our hands," Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said on the Senate floor as he announced the deal. "It is imperative that we deal with that crisis."The pact aims to fix the systemic issues that have drawn headlines in recent weeks on Capitol Hill, allocating $500 million to hire new doctors and nurses. The proposal seeks to increase access to medical facilities, and addresses long wait times and medical treatment for military sexual assault victims. It also provides veterans and their families with financial assistance to pursue new education opportunities. LINK

Bloomberg's Michael C. Bender: " Senate Deal Would Reduce Health Wait Times For Veterans" Military veterans would have more options to seek medical care outside government-run hospitals under a deal struck by U.S. Senate negotiators amid reports of systemic mismanagement. The proposal would let Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals hire more doctors and nurses and pay to lease 26 new medical facilities in 18 states. It will cost more than $1.5 billion, lawmakers said yesterday in announcing the deal. The rare show of bipartisan compromise in Washington came a week after an inspector general reported that records were falsified to hide treatment delays throughout the health system that treats 8.3 million U.S. military veterans. LINK

The Washington Times' Jacqueline Kilmas: " Senator Announce Bipartisan Bill To Reduce VA Wait Times" Senators struck a bipartisan deal Thursday to begin cleaning up some of the problems at the VA, announcing a bill that would let veterans see a doctor outside the department's health system if they faced excessive wait times or live far away from a facility. Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, merged Democratic and GOP proposals together, rushing to strike a final deal ahead of Friday's commemoration of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON USA today's Catalina Camia: " Clinton book covers Bergdahl, Benghazi, Iraq but not 2016" Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about negotiations with the Taliban to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, noting that such talks "would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war." Hard Choices, Clinton's book about her years as secretary of State and working alongside her onetime rival President Obama, is being released Tuesday. CBS News bought a copy of the book at a store and reported on some of its contents Thursday night. (Simon & Schuster, Clinton's book publisher, is also owned by CBS Corp.) The book and Clinton's interviews related to it are bound to be scrutinized intensely as she decides whether to run for president in 2016. On Bergdahl, whose controversial release last week in exchange for five Taliban prisoners has become a headache for the White House, Clinton writes that the Taliban's "top concern seemed to be the fate of its fighters being held at Guantanamo Bay and other prisons." LINK

The New York Times' Amy Chozick: " Clinton's Hectic Pace Acts as Retort to Health Fears" It was roughly 7 a.m. the day after Hillary Rodham Clinton had left her job as secretary of state. She had been up for a while and called a friend. "O.K., I'm rested!" Mrs. Clinton told her friend. When she left the State Department after four years on a job that included travel to 112 countries and near-constant jet lag, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly said she wanted to relax and catch up on sleep. LINK

Politico's Maggie Haberman: " Hillary Clinton Writes of Bowe Bergdahl, Joe Biden in Memoir" Hillary Clinton, in her book out next week, reflects on her split with President Barack Obama over how to handle conflict-riven Syria, describes her role in the early-stage discussions about a prisoner swap with the Taliban for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and recounts her first date-like rapprochement with her former primary rival, according to a new report. CBS News obtained a copy of "Hard Choices," Clinton's memoir about her time as Secretary of State that's set to hit book shelves on Tuesday. LINK

MISSISSIPPI SENATE RACE The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Mascaro: " Another twist in Mississippi Senate race triggers sheriff's probe" The already odd GOP Senate primary in Mississippi just kicked it up a notch. Sheriff's officials in Hinds County confirmed Thursday they were investigating a "bizarre" incident that left three supporters of tea party front-runner Chris McDaniel temporarily locked inside the county courthouse where ballots had been counted on election night. Sheriff's spokesman Othor Cain said the department was trying to figure out how the three people gained access to the building after hours and ended up temporarily trapped inside around 2 a.m. - long after election workers had put the ballots in a vault and gone home for the night. LINK

GOP The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman: " GOP says President Obama has given Iran reason to mock U.S." Republican critics of President Obama said Thursday they were not surprised Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believes the U.S. is becoming a paper tiger. "The President has to realize that . . . when foreign leaders hear him constantly say, especially at places like West Point, how he is reluctant to use military force, that is interpreted as weakness," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.). Khamenei spoke Wednesday, standing before a banner that said, "America cannot do a damn thing." LINK

CANADIAN OIL Wall Street Journal's Chester Dawson: " Canada Aims to Sell Its Oil Beyond U.S." Last fall, Canadian oil producer Husky Energy Inc. sent a batch of crude on a journey to India. It was just a drop in a sea of global oil transactions, but a step toward reshaping North American energy trading. The million-barrel shipment to Indian Oil Corp. 530965.BY +3.47% , described by Husky as a test sale, foreshadowed what Canadian producers hope will become many new overseas markets for their oil. "We are doing it opportunistically to have the wheels greased" for more exports far afield if they become feasible, said Asim Ghosh, Husky's chief executive. Recently, Husky also shipped a batch of oil to Italy's Eni ENI.MI +1.56% SpA. LINK

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