Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Friday!

On this date in 1783, the last action of the American War of Independence came to an end. The Siege of Cuddalore was fought thousands of miles away from our shores, in Southeastern India, and no American units were involved in the engagement — it was the British, their hired German mercenaries and the French and Mysores. The six-week siege ended when word arrived that the British and French had struck a preliminary peace agreement.

Arrested –> Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, his wife and two American photographers have been arrested in Iran. It’s unclear how this will affect the ongoing negotiations between Tehran and Washington. Saeed Kamali Dehghan has the details at The Guardian.

Gaza –> Michael Gordon reports for The New York Times that John Kerry is pushing a two-step process to end the fighting which would begin with a week-long ceasefire starting this Sunday. AND: As the overall death toll passes 800, Noah Rayman reports for TIME that at least 16 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on a UN-run school that served as a shelter. It was the fourth time the shelter has been hit since the fighting began. ALSO: A massive protest in the West Bank against the Israeli incursion — one of several — turned deadly when Israeli troops opened fire, killing at least two and wounding 200, according to the BBC. Israeli officials say some protesters were armed. And all eyes will be on new protests Friday as the Fatah government has called for a “day of outrage.”

Slavery –> The Nation’s Michelle Chen reports that 1,200 migrant workers — some of them effectively modern-day slaves — have died so far building new facilities in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.

New Cold War? –> At Slate, Masha Gessen writes that Vladimir Putin is waging a new Cold War against the West, and the downing of Malaysia Airways flight 17 is just a temporary setback in that conflict.

Expect sewage in your drinking water” –> Rebecca Leber looks at some of the “consequences of climate change” that “are flying under the radar” for The New Republic.

The other shoe –> In the wake of Hobby Lobby, Peter Montgomery reports for The American Prospect that the religious right is arguing that “the Tea Party’s anti-government, anti-union, anti-welfare agenda” is grounded in the Bible, and says that belief could lead to some disastrous “religious liberty” claims by American companies.

Scary –> At CNN, Laurie Garrett, author of Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, explains why an ebola epidemic in West Africa is “spinning out of control.”

Every election is unique –> Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley preview the November midterms at Sabato’s Crystal Ball. While they give Republicans good odds of taking the Senate, they add that the signs of a “wave election” aren’t showing up just yet.

Toxic –> Salon’s Jim Newell writes about how the Chamber of Commerce became the nemesis of the tea party movement.

Disparaging –> The ACLU of Michigan and two other groups are suing Jim Fouts, the Republican mayor of Warren, Michigan, for viewpoint discrimination after he refused to allow an atheist organization to set up a “reason station” next to a religious group’s “prayer station” in the city hall atrium. Fouts said that he “will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here” before comparing atheists to Nazis and the KKK.

Send in the clowns –> Wonkette’s Beth Ethier visited a goofy anti-Obamacare “carnival” set up by the Koch-funded youth group Generation Opportunity. Hilarity ensued.

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