The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, April 04, 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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin and Jordan Mazza

BUDGET CUTS ABC News' Arlette Saenz and Jonathan Karl: "Obama to Return 5 Percent of Salary" President Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury Department, a senior White House official tells ABC News, a sign of solidarity with the federal workers who face furloughs due to the sequester cuts. LINK

The Washington Post's Lisa Rein and Ed O'Keefe: " Obama to take pay cut to draw attention to plight of federal workers facing furloughs" President Obama plans to give up 5 percent of his salary this year to draw attention to the financial sacrifice of more than 1 million federal employees who will be furloughed by automatic spending cuts starting in less than three weeks, the White House said Wednesday. The gesture comes as the president has struggled for weeks to convince Americans that the $85 billion sequester that kicked in across the government a month ago is having dire consequences for government services. LINK

GUN CONTROL The Hills' Amie Parnes: " Obama makes case vs. NRA for tougher background checks" President Obama on Wednesday cast expanded background checks - the core of a bill the Senate is set to begin debating next week - as a common-sense approach that would make gun violence less common. "If you want to buy a gun…you should at least have to show you're not a criminal," he said in an address at the Denver Police Academy, where he stood before several dozen police officers. "That's just common sense. LINK

USA Today's Doug Stanglin: "Conn. passes toughest U.S. gun laws" Connecticut has approved far-reaching gun control legislation that will be the toughest in the United States. LINK

The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman: " In danger of losing momentum, President Obama talks gun control in Colorado" Evoking famous mass shootings in Colorado and the school massacre "just over 100 days ago" in Newtown, President Obama used a speech in Denver Wednesday to ask Americans to ditch irrational fears and hardline stances and push Congress to pass what he called common sense measures to stem gun violence. "If there is even one step we can take to prevent more Americans from knowing" pain of victims' families, "don't' we have an obligation to try?" Obama asked at Denver's Police Academy, as uniformed cadets and relatives of victims of a mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater looked on. LINK

The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer: " Upstart Group Pushes Harder Than the N.R.A." When word surfaced in February that Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, was plotting with Democrats on a bill to expand background checks for gun buyers, Larry Pratt got really mad. Then, Mr. Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, got busy, mounting a lobbying blitz that helps explain why a bipartisan Senate deal on background checks remains elusive. LINK

HOUSE The Los Angeles Times' Michael A. Memoli: " Obama back to fundraising in effort to retake House" President Obama is fond of saying that he's run his last campaign for public office. But the quest for cash continues even though he'll never appear on a ballot again, as he heads to California on Wednesday for party fundraisers. Obama's two San Francisco events to benefit the House Democrats' campaign committee come as the party eyes a potential pickup opportunity in South Carolina's first congressional district, after Mark Sanford emerged as the Republican nominee in a Tuesday runoff vote for the right to face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a May 7 special election. LINK

NORTH KOREA Bloomberg's Larry Liebert & Sangwon Yoon: " North Korea Warns U.S. It's Authorized Nuclear Attack" North Korea escalated its threats against the U.S, authorizing the military to conduct a potential "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike" while again restricting South Korean access to a joint industrial zone. Kim Jong Un's regime, which hasn't demonstrated it is capable of putting a nuclear device on a ballistic missile, didn't specify what kind of weapon could be used, according to a statement by a military spokesman in the state-run Korean Central News Agency early today. LINK

IMMIGRATION Politico's Anna Palmer: " Business balks at immigration deal" A deal between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups on visas for low-skilled workers was supposed to clear a path for an immigration reform package in the Senate. Instead, some business groups are grumbling about the deal and they're gearing up for a lobbying battle on Capitol Hill - where powerful interests helped doom immigration reform over the same issue before. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "Hillary Clinton Appearance Sparks Presidential Rumors" LINK

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