The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday February 6, 2013

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' Carrie Halperin , Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

DRONE DEBATE ABC News' Mary Bruce: " Drone Strikes on US Terror Suspects 'Legal,' 'Ethical,' 'Wise,' White House says" The White House today defended the use of targeted drone strikes against U.S. citizens abroad suspected of high-level terrorist activity, but declined to detail the criteria for ordering such an attack. "Sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. LINK

IRAN The Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter: " Iran agrees to nuclear talks with six world powers" Six world powers and Iran agreed to hold talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program this month in Kazakhstan in the latest attempt to avoid a military confrontation over the issue. After three months of negotiations, Iran's national security council reached agreement with the office of the European Union's foreign policy chief and point person for the six. LINK

GUN CONTROL Boston Globe: " President Obama presses for gun measures" President Obama declared Monday on his first trip outside Washington to promote gun control that a consensus is emerging for universal background checks for purchasers, though he conceded a tough road lay ahead to pass an assault weapons ban over formidable opposition in Congress. "We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines," Obama said in a brief speech Minneapolis. LINK

USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Bipartisan House group pushes gun trafficking bill" A bipartisan group of House lawmakers reintroduced a bill Tuesday that would make trafficking in firearms a federal crime and strengthen the penalties for those who purchase guns for people prohibited from owning them. Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Penn., and Scott Rigell, R-Va., joined Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Elijah Cummings of Maryland in co-sponsoring the bill - one of the few gun-related measures to start with support from members of both parties. LINK

ENVIRONMENT The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nichols and Keith Johnson: " White House Weighs Emission Rules" President Barack Obama in next week's State of the Union speech will lay out a renewed effort to combat climate change that is expected to include using his authority to curb emissions from existing power plants, people who have talked to the administration about its plans said.The action, building on a pledge in the second inaugural address, fits within Mr. Obama's larger strategy of making full use of his executive authority in areas where Congress is putting up obstacles to his agenda. LINK

SPENDING CUTS The New York Times' Michael D. Shear and Jackie Calmes: " Obama Urges Congress to Act to Stave Off Cuts" President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax increases to head off substantial across-the-board reductions to domestic and military spending set to begin on March 1, but his appeal for more revenue was dismissed by Republicans. Trying to gain the upper hand in the latest fiscal clash, Mr. Obama said Congress should delay the reductions for at least a few months to give lawmakers a chance to negotiate a full deficit reduction package that permanently resolves the threat of a so-called sequester. LINK

Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla and Roger Runningen: " Obama Urges Congress to Delay Automatic Spending Cuts" President Barack Obama urged Congress to postpone automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin March 1 to avoid "real and lasting impacts" on U.S. economic growth. Obama said lawmakers should act on a short-term package of spending cuts and changes to the tax code that would increase revenue, such as limiting tax breaks, to replace part of the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board reductions. LINK

The Hill's Amie Parnes and Erik Wasson: " Obama demands sequester delay" President Obama on Tuesday demanded that Congress approve legislation to replace at least some of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the government on March 1. Obama offered no concrete plan on how to replace the cuts, but warned that if Congress allowed them to go forward, it would hurt the economy. LINK

GOP The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty: "Republicans try a softer focus - on life issues" After years in which the Republicans' answer to almost every question was to reduce spending and lower taxes, some of the party's most influential voices are beginning to suggest that it is time to take a broader - and softer - focus. The latest to join that movement is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), who in a speech on Tuesday called for Republicans to "focus our attention really on what lies beyond the fiscal debates" and to create "conditions for health, happiness and prosperity." LINK

Politico's Kate Nocera: " House GOP takes piecemeal approach on immigration" House Republicans on Tuesday suggested Congress take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform and work on everything but a pathway to citizenship. GOP members of the Judiciary Committee used the year's first hearing on immigration to discuss border security, background checks and the possibility of giving illegal immigrants a permanent legal status without granting full citizenship. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Cantor shifts stance on immigration reform, backs pathway for 'Dreamers'" House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on Congress on Tuesday to carve out a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers - illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age - making him the highest-ranking Republican leader to embrace the legalization of a broad category of people living in the U.S. illegally. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " California, Texas Governors Spar Over Jobs" LINK

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