Morning Reads

Good morning! It’s Johnny Appleseed Day — and Rupert Murdoch’s 84th birthday.

And on this date in 1965, James Reeb, a 38-year-old Unitarian minister from Boston, succumbed to his wounds in a Selma, Alabama hospital. Two days earlier, Reeb and two other white preachers from the North had joined a protest over Bloody Sunday. That evening, after the three men dined at an integrated restaurant, they were attacked by club-wielding white supremacists. Four men were charged with Reeb’s murder; three were acquitted by an all-white jury, and the fourth fled to Mississippi — and Alabama officials didn’t attempt to return him for trial.

Drama –> Hillary Clinton addressed the brouhaha over her private email server during a press conference at the UN, where she had been scheduled to give a speech to a conference on women. John Harris writes for Politico that, “unspoken publicly in this latest controversy, but clearly understood among veterans of Hillary Clinton’s circle, is her belief that the pious clamor for more disclosure and more revelation is fundamentally insincere.” AND: The WSJ’s Peter Nicholas and Natalie Andrews report that some political reporters were irked by the choice of venue, which they found inconvenient due to the UN’s credentialing process. ICYMI: HuffPo’s Dana Liebelson and Amanda Terkel think you may be interested in the speech Clinton gave to the UN conference on women, which the networks didn’t broadcast.

Trashboxes” –> The US Marshals Service and the CIA have developed an airborne system that mimics cellphone towers in order to scan large swaths of territory for suspects’ unique cellular identifiers. Devlin Barrett reports for the WSJ that “some law-enforcement officials are concerned the aerial surveillance of cellphone signals inappropriately mixes traditional police work with the tactics and technology of overseas spy work that is constrained by fewer rules,” and that “civil-liberties groups say the technique amounts to a digital dragnet of innocent Americans’ phones.”

Surgically deconstructed” –> A defense attorney for alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cross-examined an FBI agent and a witness for the prosecution and made their testimony “look like the result of cynically selective representation by the prosecution,” according to Nicky Woolf at The Guardian.

Detente –> The fallout from an open letter to the government of Iran by 47 GOP senators seeking to undermine a possible nuclear agreement continues. TNR’s Brian Beutler writes that the overheated rhetoric of treason has “drowned out most substantive criticisms of [Republicans’] inept strategy and the GOP’s unspoken foreign policy objective — regime change in Iran.” AND: At The Guardian, Ali Gharib writes that the letter may help defeat the hardliners’ goals by making more moderate allies less likely to oppose the deal. ALSO: Lee Fang reports for The Intercept that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who organized the letter, will appear today “at an ‘Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution’ event with the National Defense Industrial Association, a lobbying and professional group for defense contractors.”

Progress –> WaPo’s Erin Cunningham reports that an “unusual alliance” of Sunni tribesmen and Shiite militias is making progress beating back Islamic State forces in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. Cunningham writes that “bringing Sunnis and Shiites together to battle the Islamic State is a linchpin of U.S. strategy in Iraq,” and “Tikrit could be a model for future battles.” But “such alliances are rare, and revenge attacks by Shiite militias on local residents could quickly destroy the goodwill.”

He wasn’t ‘going for his waistband’ –> A police officer in Atlanta, Georgia, shot and killed an unarmed, naked black man who may have been suffering from bipolar disorder on Monday. Officials say 27-year-old Anthony Hill ran toward the officer, but witnesses disputed that account. The shooting has sparked concern not only among local residents, but mental health experts across the country. Richard Fausset has more for the NYT.

Stacking the deck –> Dave Weigel reports for BloombergPolitics that Republican lawmakers in Michigan are considering a scheme to split the state’s electoral college votes according to the vote in local districts, rather than using the winner-take-all approach. Since the districts are heavily gerrymandered, this would give the GOP nominee a leg up in the next presidential contest. Weigel calls it “a new flush of Republican chutzpah.”

The Aloha State –> “Hawaii is on track to pass legislation this year requiring the state to go 100 percent renewable by 2040,” reports Ari Phillips for ThinkProgress.

Doesn’t mean you’d want to hang out with them –> Researchers in Brussels have concluded that cockroaches have their own unique personalities, which could “help explain why cockroaches are considered such great survivors and able to adapt to inhospitable surroundings,” according to Reuters. (Via: Raw Story.)

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