Morning Must Reads: February 20

In the news: Ukraine truce fails and body count rises; U.S. government considers enlarging NSA's collection of Americans' phone records; ObamaCare enrollment crash looms; John Kerry finds his calling; Facebook spends $19 billion on a messaging app; what's prettier in print

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • “KIEV, Ukraine — At least 35 people died in the bloodiest day of clashes here yet Thursday morning, as armed protesters shattered a truce agreed last night between Ukraine’s government and opposition by attacking police and reclaiming Kiev’s central square.” [BuzzFeed]
    • “President Barack Obama condemned Wednesday in the ‘strongest terms’ a bloody crackdown on protesters that spiraled out of control into the worst violence the country has seen since its independence from Russia in 1991.”  [TIME]
    • “The two sides in what is developing into an East-West clash over Ukraine hardened their positions on Wednesday, with Russian officials denouncing what they called a coup by right-wing extremists, even as the United States and Europe threatened to impose sanctions on those responsible for the violence that has erupted in the capital, Kiev, and spread to other cities.” [NYT]
  • “The government is considering enlarging the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of Americans’ phone records—an unintended consequence of lawsuits seeking to stop the surveillance program…” [WSJ]
  • Why Facebook Just Paid $19 Billion for a Messaging App [Wired]
  • “House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp appears determined to take one last stab at making good on his promise to pass an overhaul of the nation’s tax code by the end of the 113th Congress. On Wednesday, the Michigan Republican told GOP members of the committee that he would, next week, release a “comprehensive discussion draft” of a tax code rewrite…” [Roll Call]
  • The ObmaCare Enrollment Crash is Coming [National Journal]
  • John Kerry Finds His Calling [Yahoo!]
  • Senate Battle in Michigan: Whiskey and Sled Rides [Politico]
  • Four Reasons the GOP has a Huge Advantage in the 2014 Elections [TPM]
  • Dems Seek to Tie Walker to Christie [Hill]
  • Why the Tea Party Doesn’t Have a Chance in Texas [Slate]
  • Prettier in Print
  • Christian Pot Dispensary Takes on IRS [TIME]