Morning Reads

Good morning! On this very day in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick announced that they’d discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

For some newer news, here are our morning reads…

Ukraine –> Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s fugitive president, showed up in a swanky Moscow hotel asking Russia for protection against ‘extremists.’ Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials are calling the sudden appearance of Russian soldiers at two airports an “invasion.” David Stout reports for TIME.

A little Guantanamo right here at home –> Steven Hsieh reports for The Nation that hunger-striking inmates at a federal “supermax” prison in Colorado are being force-fed.

Way to support those troops –> Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would increase funding for veterans’ health care and education, insisting that it must also contain new sanctions against Iran. Ramsey Cox has the story for The Hill.

Little democracy, please? –> The Electoral Integrity Project released its annual report which found that the US ranked last among Western democracies. “Experts highlighted concern over American practices of district boundaries, voter registration and campaign finance,” according to The Monkey Cage.

Related –> Bill Clinton is leading a nationwide Democratic initiative to fight back against restrictive voting laws, reports John Whitesides for Reuters.

Still fighting –> At ABC News, Abby Phillip writes that after five years, the tea party movement is still tangling with the Republican establishment.

Getting weirder every day –> At Slate, Katy Waldman looks at a new bill in Iowa that would allow women to sue doctors for “abortion regret.”

Fitting –> The only person to be found liable for fraud in the lead up to the 2008 crash, a notorious Goldman Sachs trader who still owes over $1 million in fines, will teach a class at the University of Chicago — a school that’s notorious for advancing conservative economic theory. Patrick Caldwell reports for Mother Jones.

Someone’s gotta get rich –> At The American Prospect, Virginia Eubanks looks at how big banks are raking in serious profits from food stamps.

Trigger happy –> Tim Johnson reports for McClatchy that a number of killings by Border Patrol officers have raised questions about training and accountability.

Great #LongRead –> Alok Jha, one of the people stuck on that scientific vessel stuck for days in the Antarctic, has written a great piece about the experience in The Guardian.

Some atheists are OK –> At Salon, Elizabeth Stoker notes the disconnect between CPAC’s ban on atheists and conservatives’ fondness for rabid anti-Christian Ayn Rand.

De Blasio –> NYC mayor fulfills a campaign promise by blocking three new charter schools, reports Rebecca Fishbein at Gothamist.

Losing clout –> At Foreign Policy, John Judis offers a fascinating historical perspective to explain why the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is no longer able to get its way so easily on Capitol Hill.

We saw that movie –> Mississippi man pronounced dead in his home on Wednesday alarms funeral workers when he starts kicking around in the body bag on Thursday. Via: AP.

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