Morning Reads

Good morning — and a happy 64th to Arianna Huffington! Here are some of the stories we’re reading this a.m….

Stat of the day: 90.4 per 100,000 — Honduras’ murder rate, which the UN says is the world’s highest. For perspective, the United States’ homicide rate is 4.8 per 100,000.

De-escalation? –> Israel has accepted an Egyptian proposal to halt its offensive in Gaza, according to the BBC. Hamas’ political leaders are still “discussing the plan,” but its armed wing opposes the ceasefire unless Israel lifts its blockade.

Refugees –> At TNR, Saul Elbein writes that Guatemala is not only violent, but a failed state where large parts of the country are out of the government’s control. AND: Pope Francis said of the refugees showing up at our door: “Such a humanitarian emergency demands as a first urgent measure that these minors be protected and duly taken in.” AND: Justin Sink reports for The Hill that “the White House said Monday it was ‘likely’ that immigrant children facing mortal danger in their home countries would be allowed to stay in the United States.” ALSO: At The Village Voice, Roy Edroso marvels at the apocalyptic conspiracy theories these desperate children are inspiring among some conservative bloggers.

Tragic –> Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz report for the NYT that “brutal attacks by correction officers on inmates — particularly those with mental health issues — are common occurrences inside Rikers [Island], the country’s second-largest jail.”

Your tax dollars at work –> An Arizona charter school is using a book by tea party “historian” Cleon Skousen, a favorite of Glenn Beck, that “actively promote[s] and endorse[s] specific religious views and ideologies.” TPM’s Dylan Scott reports that, among other things, the book features essays that “appear to paint slavery in a positive light.”

Carnage –> Agence France Presse reports that 31 people were slain in a violent attack on a Baghdad brothel (via: The Raw Story).  ALSO: The Islamic State seized control of the last town in eastern Syria that wasn’t under its rule. Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee report for McClatchy that the takeover in “the heart of Syria’s oil and gas producing zone marked a major advance” for the group, “which now controls a large swath of territory in eastern Syria and more than one-third of Iraq.”

Strategizing –> Heather “Digby” Parton writes at Salon that the real goal of John Boehner’s lawsuit against Barack Obama is to invest more political power in the courts, throwing off the balance between the judiciary and the elected branches of government.

Q goes too far –> Glenn Greenwald reports for The Intercept that British intelligence “has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information.” It’s the latest revelation from Edward Snowden.

Fair share –> At CAF, Dave Johnson offers a simple way to tax multinational corporations that are increasingly seeking “citizenship” in low-tax countries.

Battlelines –> Robin Marty reports for In These Times that supporters of legal abortion are fighting a difficult battle in Alabama, which may soon have only one operating clinic.

Going out strong –> Archie, the beloved comic character, will die saving his gay best friend from an assassin’s bullet, according to the AP (via: TPM).

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