The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday October 30, 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, Will Cantine and Amanda VanAllen

NSA SPYING ABC News' Arlette Saenz and Mary Bruce: " Obama 'Should Have Known' About Spying On Allies, Senator Says" Friends shouldn't spy on friends, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told reporters on Tuesday, noting that she is troubled by reports that the National Security Agency was collecting intelligence on U.S. ally leaders. "The reports are very disturbing. Friends don't spy on friends," Collins said before entering a closed Senate Intelligence Committee meeting on Capitol Hill. "I think that is totally inappropriate. There's absolutely no justification for our country to be collecting intelligence information on the leaders of some of our closest allies." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman: " Europeans Shared Spy Data With U.S." Millions of phone records at the center of a firestorm in Europe over spying by the National Security Agency were secretly supplied to the U.S. by European intelligence services-not collected by the NSA, upending a furor that cast a pall over trans-Atlantic relations. The revelations suggest a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, in conjunction at times with the NSA. The disclosures also put European leaders who loudly protested reports of the NSA's spying in a difficult spot, showing how their spy agencies aided the Americans. LINK

The New York Times' Mark Landler and Michael Schmidt: " Spying Known at Top Levels, Officials Say" The nation's top spymaster said on Tuesday that the White House had long been aware in general terms of the National Security Agency's overseas eavesdropping, stoutly defending the agency's intelligence-gathering methods and suggesting possible divisions within the Obama administration. The official, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the N.S.A. had kept senior officials in the National Security Council informed of surveillance it was conducting in foreign countries. He did not specifically say whether President Obama was told of these spying efforts, but he appeared to challenge assertions in recent days that the White House had been in the dark about some of the agency's practices. LINK

The Washington Times' Guy Taylor: " Clapper contradicts White House, says Obama was aware of spying on allies" America's top intelligence official acknowledged Tuesday that President Obama and other senior White House officials were well aware of U.S. surveillance activities targeting leaders of friendly foreign nations - a stark contradiction of the administration's insinuation in recent days that the president was unaware of such spying. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper described the targeting of foreign leaders, including American allies, as a "fundamental" aspect of intelligence gathering, and said neither the CIA nor the National Security Agency can tap into a given leader's private communications without White House oversight. LINK

HEALTH CARE ABC News' Jim Avila: " Keep Your Coverage Under Obamacare: Fact Or Fantasy?" Today, for the first time, the Obama administration issued a direct apology for the snafus that have hampered signups to "I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should," Marilyn Tavenner , chief for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. But there is no apology for the latest dustup over Obamacare-the claim that no one will force you to change your current insurance plan. LINK

The Washington Post's Lena Sun and Sandhya Somashekhar: " Obama accused of breaking promise to consumers as health plans cancel policies" A new controversy over the president's health-care law is threatening to overshadow the messy launch of its Web site: Notices are going out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance polices are being canceled as of Dec. 31. The notices appear to contradict President Obama's promise that despite the changes resulting from the law, Americans can keep their health insurance if they like it. Republicans have seized on the cancellations as evidence that the law is flawed and the president has been less than forthright in describing its impact. LINK

Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown: " White House playing defense on Obamacare" President Barack Obama's soundbites are coming back to bite him. As he attempted to sell a complex health care reform plan to skeptical voters during the 2008 campaign and his first year in office, Obama boiled down the benefits to a series of pithy promises: If you like your existing insurance, you can keep it. Shopping for a plan would be as easy as buying a plane ticket on Expedia. Annual premiums would drop by $2,500 for the typical family. LINK

The Hill's Jonathan Easley: " Oversight documents: Contractor kicks blame back to HHS" House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released documents late Tuesday from one of the primary ObamaCare contractors that show the company warned a key government agency that there wasn't adequate time to test the system before going live. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Louise Radnofsky and Timothy W. Martin: " Canceled Policies Heat Up Health Fight" Problems surrounding the launch of the federal health-care law broadened Tuesday, as concerns that thousands of Americans are getting insurance-cancellation notices bubbled over at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Highlighting a growing number of such notices, Republicans trained their fire on President Barack Obama, who said in 2009, "If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period." The president repeated that message numerous times before the law passed in 2010, and some Democrats said he had left them ill-prepared to respond to the latest charge, which follows the botched launch of the website intended to help Americans sign up for new policies. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama To Hail Romney's Health Care Plan" President Obama promotes his health care plan Wednesday by praising the efforts of a political rival: Mitt Romney. The president visits Romney's home base of Boston for a speech in which he'll say that Obamacare is based largely on the health care plan that Romney installed as governor of Massachusetts, officials said. LINK

Bloomberg's Michael C. Bender: " Republicans Fault Obama for Breaking Vow on Health Plans" Republicans in Congress are citing the cancellation of thousands of health insurance plans, after President Barack Obama told Americans they could keep their policies, as a reason to delay the federal health-care law. "If the president knew that these letters were coming and still indicated that you could keep your health care plan if you liked it, now that raises some serious questions about the sales job of Obamacare," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters today after a party leadership meeting. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " 1 st Obama Administration Official Testifies On 'Obamacare'" LINK " Trayvon Martin's Mother Assails 'Stand Your Ground' On Capitol Hill" LINK " Christie On Sandy Recovery: 'My Mission To Finish The Job'" LINK

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