The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, August 16, 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, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and J.P. Lawrence

NSA The Hill's Jonathan Easley: " Report: New Snowden documents show years of NSA overreach" The Washington Post late Thursday published a report based on documents obtained from leaker Edward Snowden that show thousands of cases of the National Security Agency (NSA) breaking privacy rules or illegally overstepping its authority. LINK

The Washington Post's Barton Gellman: " NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands Of Times Per Year, Audit Finds" The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls. LINK

The New York Times' Charlie Savage: " N.S.A. Often Broke Rules On Privacy, Audit Shows" The National Security Agency violated privacy rules protecting the communications of Americans and others on domestic soil 2,776 times over a one-year period, according to an internal audit leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden and made public on Thursday night. The violations, according to the May 2012 audit, stemmed largely from operator and system errors like "inadequate or insufficient research" when selecting wiretap targets. LINK

Politico's Alex Byers: " Report: NSA Violated Privacy Rules" The National Security Agency's surveillance efforts have run afoul of privacy rules thousands of times each year since 2008, according to a report in the Washington Post. The new disclosures come from documents provided by Edward Snowden, who ignited the NSA controversy months ago through a series of leaks and is now living in Russia under temporary asylum. The revelations increase pressure on the Obama administration, which has been defending the importance of the surveillance programs even as it offers new reforms and oversight measures to appease critics. The new disclosures come from documents provided by Edward Snowden, who ignited the NSA controversy months ago through a series of leaks and is now living Russia under temporary asylum. LINK

ECONOMY The Los Angeles Times' Andrew Tangel and Tiffany Hsu: " Stocks drop sharply on Fed stimulus fears" Encouraging signs for the labor market caused alarm on Wall Street as investors sped up a broad sell-off, fueled by worries the Federal Reserve will soon scale back its stimulus. Major U.S. indexes closed sharply lower Thursday as yet another hopeful sign of a recovering U.S. economy led traders to believe the central bank will begin slowing its morphine drip of easy money as early as next month. LINK

EGYPT ABC News' Mary Bruce: " Obama Cancels US-Egypt Military Exercises but Not Foreign Aid" In a widely expected move, President Obama today canceled next month's joint U.S.-Egyptian military exercises, saying "our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back." More significant, however, is what the president is not doing, despite the interim government's crackdown on Egyptian protesters that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured. The Obama administration is not pulling the $1.3 billion in annual foreign aid the U.S. provides to Egypt and the military-backed interim government responsible for the violence, which the president described as "deplorable." LINK

USA Today's Oren Dorrell: " Analysts: U.S. should rethink impartiality on Egypt" The Obama administration needs to revamp its entire Middle East strategy of remaining impartial in conflicts in Egypt and elsewhere because it risks giving anti-American radicals an opening to take over, analysts said. "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure," President Obama said Thursday in his first statement on a crackdown by Egyptian police on anti-government protests that left more than 500 supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi dead. LINK

GOP Bloomberg's John McCormick: " Gingrich Scolds Republicans for Not Offering Alternatives" Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich rebuked his fellow Republicans for not being more positive and failing to offer better alternatives to the health-care measure steered into law by President Barack Obama. Gingrich, who unsuccessfully sought his party's 2012 presidential nomination, made his remarks yesterday at the opening session of a four-day gathering of the Republican National Committee in Boston. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Christie to Republicans: Get over 2012, learn from what I've done in New Jersey" Gov. Chris Christie, saying it's time to get over 2012 and begin working toward 2016, told Republicans on Thursday that the party could learn from what he has done in New Jersey Sounding more and more like a presidential candidate for 2016, the blunt-spoken governor told a closed-door Republican National Committee meeting that he has won strong support from minority groups, labor unions and voters of all stripes because he stood up to Democrats, held firm to conservative policies and convinced voters that he does what he says. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " President Obama: 'The Egyptian People Deserve Better'" LINK " President Obama Urges Embrace of Democracy as Hundreds Killed in Egypt" LINK

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