Morning Must Reads: August 21

In the news: NSA; Bradley Manning; Bo Xilai; race for Fed Reserve head; Rick Perry and Obamacare; NRA's database of gun owners

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • “The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say…” [WSJ]
  • “Syrian opposition activists Wednesday accused the government of killing scores of civilians, including women and children,  in a poison-gas assault on rebel strongholds outside Damascus.” [L.A. Times]
  • Today a military judge will announce the prison sentence for Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information toWikiLeaks.
  • Bo Xilai’s trial begins tomorrow. The Atlantic reports a conviction is assured.
  • “Gov. Rick Perry wants to kill Obamacare dead, but Texas health officials are in talks with the Obama administration about accepting an estimated $100 million available through the health law to care for the elderly and disabled.” [Politico]
  • Summers, Yellen allies wage behind-the-scenes efforts to win Federal Reserve nod. [Washington Post]
  • “The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces.” [NYT]
  • Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 48 – 42 percent lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race to become Virginia’s next governor, according to today’s Quinnipiac University poll.
  • How the NRA Built a Massive Secret Database of Gun Owners [Buzzfeed]