The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, October 25, 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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and Carrie Halperin

SHUTDOWN ABC News' Dana Hughes: " Kerry Blasts Shutdown: Warns Washington 'The World Will Not Wait For Us'" Secretary of State John Kerry used his remarks at the Center for American Progress' 10-year Anniversary Policy Conference on Thursday to sharply criticize the U.S. government shutdown this month, saying that it hurt America's credibility abroad. Kerry relayed stories about global leaders on a trip he took during the shutdown, making jokes about pay for the U.S. delegation's dinner since they weren't sure the delegation was being paid. But he said the undertones of the message were no laughing matter. LINK

IMMIGRATION REFORM The Hills' Amie Parnes: " Business leaders meet with White House officials on immigration" White House chief of staff Denis McDonough met with business leaders and associations Thursday afternoon to discuss tackling immigration reform, sources tell The Hill. The meeting with business and association leaders, including the Chamber of Commerce, comes hours after President Obama spoke on the hot-button issue at the White House. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Brian Bennett and Christi Parsons: " Obama softens tone on immigration reform " After months of insisting the House should take up the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate in June, President Obama changed tactics Thursday and said he might consider GOP proposals to overhaul separate parts of the immigration system. The White House is hoping that public anger at the 16-daygovernment shutdown has so badly damaged the GOP that House Republican leaders will consider immigration reform as a way to improve their popularity with moderate voters. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer & Roxana Tiron: " Republicans After Shutdown Seen Losing Again on Immigration" Shortly after the U.S. government shutdown ended, President Barack Obama declared that he wanted immigration legislation back on Congress's agenda, with the goal of passage by year's end. Some fellow Democrats are in no hurry. Their concern: a compromise with Republicans might take the edge off an issue that tops the agenda for Hispanics, a group that gave Obama 71 percent of its votes in the 2012 presidential election. Democrats want to hold onto that decisive margin in their bid to keep control of the U.S. Senate and win a House majority in next year's congressional races. LINK

HEALTH CARE The New York Times' Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg: " In White House, Rosy View Of Health Care Site" Just days before went live with disastrous results, top White House officials were excitedly briefing lawmakers, reporters, Capitol Hill staff members and Washington pundits on their expectations for the government's new health care Web site. Led by David Simas, a senior communications adviser in the West Wing, and sometimes joined by Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, and others, the fast-paced PowerPoint briefings showed images of a shiny new Web site that was elegantly designed, simple to use and ready for what officials hoped would eventually be a flood of customers on Oct. 1. One lawmaker recalled comparisons to Travelocity, the travel booking site. LINK

The Washington Posts' Sandhya Somashekhar and Amy Goldstein: " Full Testing Of Began Too Late, Contractors Say" Private contractors in charge of building the federal online health insurance marketplace testified Thursday that the administration went ahead with the Oct. 1 launch of despite insufficient testing. In their first public remarks since the debut of the problem-ridden insurance exchange, executives of the main IT companies told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that full tests of the Web site that should have been carried out months in advance, but began just two weeks before its rollout. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn and Jason Millman: " Contractors Grilled On The Hill" Top Obamacare contractors said Thursday they never recommended that the Obama administration delay the Oct. 1 launch of - even though some of them harbored doubts about a website that would crash shortly after it went live. Republicans pressed four contractors appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on why they had told Congress in September that Obamacare's online enrollment system was on track, only to go off the rails in October. LINK

USA Today's Jon Swartz : " McAfee says he spurned request on" John McAfee said he turned down a request from a House committee to remedy because it has "no interest in fixing anything." The software pioneer, who started anti-virus company McAfee (now part of Intel) but gained notoriety as a "person of interest" in a bizarre murder case in Belize, said officials scoffed at his suggestion that the beleaguered website be rebuilt from scratch. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Despite Benghazi, Libyans may train with U.S. military" The Obama administration has drawn up draft rules that would end a decades long ban on Libyans getting military training in the U.S., according to documents obtained by House Republicans who said Thursday that it's the wrong move after last year's Benghazi attack. The administration says relations with Libya have "normalized" over the past two years and that the Libyan government has earned the right to have better access to the U.S., which imposed the ban in 1983 after a wave of terrorist attacks involving Libyans. LINK

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON The Boston Globe's Chelsea Conaboy: " Clinton lauds Harvard's public health partnerships" Progress made on global health problems in this millennium, in particular through partnerships forged by groups such as the Harvard School of Public Health and his family's foundation, serve as a model for addressing the world's wider troubles, President Clinton said during a visit to Boston Thursday. LINK

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT The Wall Street Journal's Justin Scheck and Selina Williams: " BP Ramps Up Drilling After Asset Sales, Legal Costs" Three years after BP PLC's Deepwater Horizon disaster, the oil company is still fighting to keep damage claims and regulatory fines in check. But outside the courtroom, BP is spending to leave behind one of the biggest retrenchments in its 100-plus-year history. LINK

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