Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Leif Erikson Day!

In 1001, almost 500 years before Christopher Columbus’ journey, Erikson established a short-lived settlement in Canada (his people didn’t get along with the natives after killing a few of them for no apparent reason). But he probably wasn’t the first Viking to “discover” the Americas. That honor goes to Bjarni Herjólfsson, who is believed to have spied the New World in 986 but didn’t stop to check it out.

He said, she said –> Spontaneous protests broke out overnight after an off-duty police officer working a private security job shot and killed a black teenager in South St. Louis. Police say the 18-year-old shot first, but some residents of the community insist that he was unarmed and carrying only a sandwich. Margaret Gillerman reports for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tuned out –> According to Gallup, “Turnout in the midterm elections this fall could be lower than in the past two midterm elections, based on current voter engagement.”

A mess –> Islamic State fighters once again pushed into the Syrian town of Kobani. Meanwhile, Daren Butler and Jonny Hogg report for Reuters that in Turkey, “street battles raged between Kurdish protesters and police across the mainly Kurdish southeast, in Istanbul and in Ankara, as fallout from war in Syria and Iraq threatened to unravel the NATO member’s own delicate Kurdish peace process.” Twenty-one were killed.

On the bubble –> Alexander Bolton reports for The Hill that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could be replaced if Republicans fail to take control of the chamber in November. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model gives the Republicans a 56 percent likelihood of accomplishing the feat, while Sam Wang’s Princeton Election Consortium gives them a 44 percent chance.

Ebola –> The NYT report that the US will begin screening passengers from West Africa for Ebola symptoms at five international airports. AND: A Texas sheriff’s deputy who entered the apartment where the now deceased, first Ebola patient diagnosed in the US was staying is under observation in a Dallas hospital after showing possible symptoms of the disease.

Can Karl Rove stay legal? –> Paul Blumenthal writes for HuffPo that Rove’s Crossroads GPS may have problems meeting its spending goals while staying within the law. ALSO: Larry Lessig’s Mayday Super PAC and the DSCC are “flooding South Dakota airwaves” with ads highlighting Republican nominee and former Governor Mike Rounds’ role in a scandal involving the state’s sale of visas to wealthy foreigners who never got their papers. Mark Halperin and Michael Bender report for Bloomberg Politics.

Silver lining –> At Vox, Sarah Kliff argues that Wal-Mart’s decision to deny health insurance to 26,000 part-time workers will likely be a good thing because they will become eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies.

Scary legends –> Media Matters: “The Department of Homeland Security definitively debunked the persistent right-wing media conspiracy theory that Islamic State fighters have attempted to cross the US-Mexico border, saying… knocking the claim that the terrorists have been apprehended at the border as ‘categorically false.'”

Pinkwashing –> Headline in Salon: “Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits ‘for the cure.'” Lindsay Abrams reports.

Good guy with a gun –> An Oregon “open-carry enthusiast” was robbed of his gun at gunpoint on Saturday, according to David Ferguson at The Raw Story.

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