Morning Must Reads: January 17

In the news: Syrian rebels speak out on cease-fire; President Obama to reform the NSA; Senate passes appropriations bill; Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to retire; W.Va. spill site was inspected in 2010

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • Syrian Rebels Say Cease-Fire Deals Prove Deceptive [NYT]
  • “President Obama will call Friday for significant changes to the way the National Security Agency collects and accesses telephone metadata of U.S. citizens, moving to transition away from government control of the information and requiring the government to obtain a court order to access it..” [WashPost]
    • America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead [BuzzFeed]
  • “Despite the passage Thursday of a massive budget bill to fund the government, Congress is unlikely to pass any other major piece of legislation this year—with the possible exception of a long overdue farm bill.” [TIME
    • “Obama’s signature health care and Wall Street reforms will endure but with far less money than he had wanted. About $20 billion is restored for domestic programs cut under sequestration last spring. But measured in real dollars adjusted for inflation, Obama is still left with less than Congress approved six years ago for his Republican predecessor— President George W. Bush.” [Politico]
    • “President Obama has told Senate Democrats he expects Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to pass immigration reform this year, defying predictions the issue is dead for 2014.” [Hill]
    • A Bill Stokes Debate, and and Doubt, on Iran Deal [NYT]
  • How Washington Beat Wall Street [Politico]
  • “There has been a rash of military chopper crashes recently—including a so-called “hard landing” that killed a U.S. soldier late Wednesday in Georgia—but Pentagon officials and helicopter experts say they’re random, coincidental occurrences.” [TIME]
  • “U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)—the self-styled ‘country doctor from Muskogee’—will leave the Senate due to health and other concerns after serving out the remainder of the current session…” [TIME]
  • “West Virginia inspectors visited the site of last week’s chemical spill in 2010, when a nearby resident complained about a strong odor of licorice, the same smell that led officials to the spill Jan. 9…” [AP]
  • What Happens When the President Sits Down Next to You at a Cafe [Atlantic]