The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, June 18, 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 and Carrie Halperin

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY ABC News' Abby D. Phillip: " President Obama: NSA Spying Programs 'Transparent'" President Obama said that two National Security Agency programs recently revealed through leaked secret documents were "transparent" and, in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose on Sunday, he dismissed concerns that the programs were vulnerable to abuse by government officials. "It is transparent," Obama said in the interview, broadcast Monday night. LINK

The Hills' Jeremy Herb: " NSA leaker Snowden says more's coming" National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden resurfaced on Monday in an online chat where he dismissed critics who see him as motivated by publicity. Snowden said his actions meant the U.S. government couldn't cover up surveillance activities by "by jailing or murdering me." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Shashank Bengali and Ken Dilanian: " Edward Snowden vows more disclosures about U.S. surveillance" Defiant and apparently unbowed by threats of prosecution, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden vowed Monday to release more secrets about U.S. intelligence surveillance systems that he described as "nakedly, aggressively criminal." Snowden, who has been hiding in Hong Kong, said NSA analysts routinely obtain emails and other Internet communications of Americans as part of the cyber-spying agency's surveillance of global telecommunications and Web traffic. LINK

G-8 SUMMIT Bloomberg's Mike Dorning & IIya Arkhipov: " Obama Joins G-8 Allies Isolating Putin Over Assad" President Barack Obama and European allies moved to further isolate Russian president Vladimir Putin for supporting the regime in Syria even as the leaders sought a way to push both sides in that nation's civil war into talks. "Of course, our opinions do not coincide, but all of us have the intention to stop the violence in Syria," Putin said yesterday after meeting with Obama on the sidelines of a summit in Northern Ireland. LINK

The Washington Times' Ben Wolfgang: " Obama at G-8: Northern Ireland peace an example for war-torn world" The peace that's settled over Northern Ireland over the past 15 years gives hope to other nations embroiled in conflict and is "proof of what is possible," President Obama said Monday morning during a speech at Belfast's Waterfront Hall. But he said the people of Northern Ireland- where "peace lines" still divide neighborhoods and where Catholic-Protestant tensions still simmer beneath the surface - have much work to do if they want their peace to remain intact. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS The New York Times' Rod Nordland: " Afghan Forces Struggle as U.S. Weans Them Off Support" When the American-led NATO coalition officially transfers security responsibility for all of Afghanistan to government forces in a ceremony on Tuesday, it will in part be a formality. Already this year, Afghan forces have been in the lead in fighting the Taliban in more than three-quarters of the country - and they have been killed and wounded at a record pace, accordingly. LINK

The Washington Post's JOby Warrick and Jason Rezaian: " Rouhani, Obama sound positive but indicate progress on nuclear issue is likely to take time" President Obama and the newly elected president of Iran signaled willingness to improve ties between their nations Monday, but both leaders made clear that a positive tone may not easily translate into progress in resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. In his first news conference since being elected president of Iran on Friday, moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani said he wanted better relations with Washington. But he ruled out suspending Iran's nuclear enrichment program, the biggest source of tensions between the two governments over the past decade, saying, "Those days are behind us." LINK

SURVEILLANCE Politico's Maggie Haberman: " Surveillance programs create chasm among Democrats" Revelations about the Obama administration's expansive domestic surveillance programs have opened a chasm between Democratic elected officials and their progressive base - one that could be tricky for the party's future presidential hopefuls to bridge. Have Democratic voters become more accepting of surveillance tactics after blasting them during the Bush administration? Or could this become the 2016 version of the 2008 Democratic Party brawl over who voted for the Iraq War, a debate that helped sink Hillary Clinton's candidacy and elect Barack Obama? It is too soon to say. LINK

IRAN The Wall Street Journal's Farnaz Fassihi and Jay Solomon: " New Iranian Leader Offers Opening to U.S." Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani said that with his election his country had entered an era of cooperation and would take concrete steps to resolve its nuclear standoff with the West-promises that would require a shift by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " NSA Leaker Alleges US Spied on Allies" LINK

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