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Morning Reads: US on the Attack in Libya; Trump’s Sketchy Draft Record

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: US on the Attack in Libya

Smoke billows from buildings after a recent air attack targeting Islamic State group positions in Libya. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Latest offensive –> At the request of the UN-backed Libyan government, US planes are bombing regions of Libya where ISIS has taken hold. Alex Eammons reports for The Intercept that this action was not approved by the current Congress but instead relies on the authorization Congress passed back in 2001, a week after the 9/11 attacks.

And: Trevor Timm at The Guardian: “It’s yet another episode of the War on Terror Circle of Life, where the US bombs a country and then funnels weapons into the region, which leads to chaos and the opportunity for terrorist organizations, which then leads [to] more US bombing… The pattern of bombing-chaos-bombing in Libya follows the same pattern as Iraq, which was largely free of al-Qaida members before the US invasion in 2003, only to see it become a terrorist hotbed for the group once the US military arrived, eventually leading to the formation of Isis. Iraq War III has been quietly but steadily increasing for months now — the US has well over 5,000 troops back in the country after leaving at the end of 2011. The US troop presence went up again recently, recently reaching battalion-level numbers.”

Draft deferred –> Trump’s criticism of a fallen military hero’s parents sparked a New York Times look at the candidate’s own record. They found he had been given five draft deferments during the Vietnam era; four for school, and the final after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968. At that time, “he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels. The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall, exempting him from military service as the United States was undertaking huge troop deployments to Southeast Asia, inducting about 300,000 men into the military that year.” Nearly 60,000 Americans died during the decade-long conflict.

But: On the Howard Stern show in 1993, Buzzfeed notes, Trump joked about a different “Vietnam” he was involved with: “You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam. We have our own Vietnam. It’s called the dating game.”

Reparations –> A coalition of 60 organizations affiliated with Black Lives Matter, under the umbrella name “The Movement for Black Lives,” has released six platform demands that the groups will push for together. Among them is a call for reparations for slavery and a demand for infrastructure investment in black communities while divesting from businesses that profit from mass incarceration, including private prisons, and fossil fuel companies that harm low-income communities. (Via: The New York Times)

Not dead yet –> Even with both parties’ presidential candidates and the majority of Democrats opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, President Obama will continue to advocate for it and hopes to get TPP passed before his term ends in January: “I’ll continue making the case for TPP, and I’m optimistic that the United States Congress will ultimately support this landmark agreement,” Obama said in an email interview with a Singaporean newspaper ahead of a state visit from the city-state’s prime minister.

Dispatches from a melting Arctic –> Dozens of nomadic herders have been sickened, and some have died, after an anthrax outbreak in Siberia, reports Alec Luhn for The Guardian: “Authorities said the outbreak was linked to climate change. For the past month, the region has been experiencing abnormally high temperatures that have reached 95F. Anthrax spores can survive in frozen human and animal remains for hundreds of years, waiting to be released by a thaw, according to Alexei Kokorin, head of WWF Russia’s climate and energy programme. ‘Such anomalous heat is rare for Yamal, and that’s probably a manifestation of climate change,’ he said.”

Oops –> Pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now seems to have done some outsourcing in making one of its ads. The spot, “America Soaring,” touted Trump’s plans to bring back American jobs but featured footage of a bridge in Europe. “It appears the bridge shot came from a stock footage library where its location was not noted,” the super PAC’s strategist, Alex Castellanos conceded by email. As of this morning, the ad has been taken down from YouTube — but fortunately The Washington Post still has it.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light, Kathy Kiely and Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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