Morning Reads

Good morning – and a Happy Reconciliation Day to our friends in South Africa!

Stat of the day –> 51 percent – By a 51- 29 margin, Americans say that the CIA’s interrogation methods are justified, according to Pew Research Center. The poll has come under criticism for not defining what those methods were, failing to mention that they violate the law and avoiding the word “torture.”

Pakistan’s 9/11
 –> In their worst attack in Pakistan ever, Taliban gunmen have reportedly killed as many as 135, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar. AND: Live updates at the BBC.

Race and the police –> Sam Collins at ThinkProgress reports that a new study finds that people of color have so much distrust of the police that they may not call for an ambulance when faced with an illness or injury. ALSO: Vox’s German Lopez reports that after police killed John Crawford, a black man carrying a toy gun he’d picked up inside a Wal-Mart store, they threatened his girlfriend with jail and subjected her to over an hour of aggressive interrogation before informing her that he had died. AND: Reuters reports that the NYPD’s union is campaigning to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio from attending cops’ funerals, charging that he has offered insufficient support for the force amid protests of the grand jury’s decision in the Eric Garner case.

Militarized cops –> Nadia Prupis reports for CommonDreams that the National Lawyers Guild has warned the NYPD that the “use of long range acoustic devices (LRADs) against peaceful street protesters violated numerous constitutional amendments.” LRADs are non-lethal weapons that use blasts of sound for crowd control, designed by the US military.

Imminent –> New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been dragging his feet on a decision about whether to allow fracking in the state for over a year now, but Phillip Anderson reports for The Albany Project that Cuomo promises a decision – and the result of a scientific study of fracking’s impact – will be coming in the next few weeks.

Better late than never –> If Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam gets his way, the Volunteer State will become the first within the deep South to expand Medicaid coverage. But don’t call it “Medicaid” — he’ll do it with a private insurance scheme in order to get the conservative legislature to buy in. Dave Boucher has the details at The Tennessean.

Would Congress filibuster the Almighty? –> Pope Francis is offering the US help in relocating the remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and closing the facility, according to AFP.

Disappearing –> At Grist, Kate Sheppard tells of her visit to Shishmaref, “a remote village of 563 people… located 30 miles south of the Arctic Circle” that is disappearing as a result of global warming, and says its experience is a harbinger of what will come in low-lying areas in the lower 48.

When you’re deep in the hole, stop digging –> Citigroup has responded to criticism over the amendment to the recent spending bill that its lobbyists wrote – including Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call for the mega-bank’s break-up – with some ill-advised spin. At The Medium, Alexis Goldstein parses the bank’s defense and summarizes it thusly: “Citigroup is making an important admission: if you under-police me, I will over-offend.”

Petty cash –> In other banking news, FT reports that London banker Jonathan Paul Burrows, a managing director at BlackRock Asset Management Investor Services, has been banned for life from the financial services business and fined the equivalent of $68,000… for dodging railway fares.

What could possibly go wrong? –> “York County, Pennsylvania, could become the second school district in the country to offer only charter schools to the area’s residents,” reports Peter Moskowitz for AJA.

Threat –> Lee Fang at Republic Report: “Shell Warns Oil Industry May Join Big Coal’s War on EPA to Prevent ‘Precedent’ of Carbon Regulation.”

More fact-checking needed –> Another day, another viral story gone bad. On Monday, NY Mag ran a juicy story about a genius high school kid who had made tens of millions playing the market during his lunch hour. The NY Post did a follow up story. Then The New York Observer reported that the kid created the entire story out of whole cloth. Ken Kurson did the debunking.

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