Morning Reads

Good morning! Here are some of the stories we’re reading at Moyers & Company HQ on a fine day in NYC…

Unconstitutional –> A Nebraska judge ruled that lawmakers violated the state’s constitution when they empowered Gov. Dave Heineman to approve 200 miles of the Keystone pipeline. David Lauter reports for the LAT that the ruling threatens the entire project.

Getting a raise –> Gap Inc. announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2014 and $10 in 2015. The company, which has six different brand names, estimates that 65,000 workers will get a bump. AND: Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, is “looking” at the idea of supporting a federal minimum wage hike, according to Renee Dudley at Bloomberg. ALSO: The LAT’s Michael Hiltzik writes that “the last arguments against raising the minimum wage are gone.”

Neo… pogrom? –> Members of the band Pussy Riot were attacked in Sochi yesterday by… Cossacks. Yes, you read that right. Via: AP.

Warrantless –> Julian Hattem reports for The Hill that two House Dems are pressing the DOJ to review the FBI’s practice of sending letters demanding information from companies without a court’s sign-off.

Francis –> Pope Francis has penned another missive on the injustice of poverty, according to the AP’s Nicole Winfield. ALSO: John Allen reports for The Boston Globe that Francis may relax the church’s rules and allow divorced people to receive the sacraments.

Menace to society –> Alec MacGillis writes at TNR that the NRA is fighting new “smart gun” (and ammo) technologies that could reduce gun violence and accidental shootings.

Climate denialism and the crash –> Seumas Milne writes in The Guardian that climate denialism increases when times are tough economically — at least in the US and the UK.

IRS –> The IRS is considering new rules that would clarify what political activities “social welfare organizations” can participate in. The effort is infuriating conservatives, reports Richard Rubin for Bloomberg. 

Ukraine –> Rosie Gray reports for Buzzfeed that the US has banned visas for 20 senior officials in the Ukrainian government for “ordering or otherwise directing human rights abuses related to political repression in Ukraine.”

Art or soup? –> Thinking they were trash, a cleaning woman in an Italian gallery threw away two pieces of contemporary art valued at $14,000. Via: AP.

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