Morning Reads

Good morning! 

On this date in 1962, Air Force vet James Meredith became the first African-American to enroll at the University of Mississippi. The night before saw massive, deadly riots by white segregationists who attacked the 500-plus federal deputies President Kennedy had sent to Oxford, MS, to keep order. Meredith required round-the-clock protection for the following year. Four years later, he was shot and wounded by a sniper at a “March Against Fear” to encourage black voter registration in the South.

Stat of the day: 72 percent — the share of Americans who think the US “will end up using its own combat troops against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria,” according to an NBC News/WSJ/Annenberg poll.

Thirteen years and counting –> Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, signed a pact allowing US troops to remain in the country after 2014 — an agreement his predecessor had refused to sign. Kay Johnson reports for Reuters.

Oops –> At The Daily Beast, Josh Rogin reports that “last week, an airstrike from the American-led coalition nearly hit a command-and-control facility affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the moderate rebels the Obama administration says are America’s ‘boots on the ground.'”

More campaign dollars, less voting –> In a 5-4 decision on Monday, the Supreme Court blocked a lower court’s order restoring Ohio’s early voting program. Lyle Denniston has the details at SCOTUSBlog. ALSO: Dawinder Sidhu reports for The Atlantic that an upcoming case involving a Muslim’s “religious liberty” claim will test whether the court’s conservative majority really believe the principle established in Hobby Lobby is universal, or just applies to Christians. 

A blatant effort to discourage journalists and civil rights groups” –> Officials in Ferguson, Missouri, are charging “exorbitant, unnecessary fees for information related to Michael Brown’s death” — including information that would be free of charge if officials deemed it to be in the public interest. Joanna Rothkopf has the story for Salon.

Somewhat related –> At GQ, Amanda Robb takes a close look at the heavily armed, somewhat paranoid, and potentially dangerous George Zimmerman family.

Unsecured –> With the news that an armed intruder got much further into the White House than Secret Service officials previously acknowledged, Margaret Hartmann looks back at the “7 weirdest White House Security Breaches” for NY Mag.

The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” –> The New Yorker’s Jennifer Gonnerman with the awful story of a 16-year-old black teen who spent three years in jail awaiting trial for a crime he insisted he didn’t commit before charges against him were dropped.

Correlation isn’t causation –> At The Boston Review, Phillip Cohen knocks down the popular myth that the decline of marriage is a cause of poverty, calling it “a politically convenient simplification.”

Gunsanity –> Psypost: “A new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher has found that states with higher estimated rates of gun ownership experience a higher incidence of non-stranger firearms homicides – disputing the claim that gun ownership deters violent crime.”

Does the NFL have a culture of aggression? –> According to Gothamist’s Christopher Robbins, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s bodyguard, a former police officer, assaulted a NY Daily News photographer — and then walked away while police arrested the victim for multiple felonies. (We’d find this story interesting even if our own writer, Joshua Holland, hadn’t witnessed the incident).

Robotic chili-sniffer –> The Thai government has developed a machine that “can scientifically evaluate Thai cuisine, telling the difference, for instance, between a properly prepared green curry with just the right mix of Thai basil, curry paste and fresh coconut cream, and a lame imitation,” according to the NYT’s Thomas Fuller.

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