Morning Must Reads: April 30

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

In the news: Iraq's election; Mideast peace process; New poll shows 47% of Americans want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs; China's economy could overtake U.S. this year; Oklahoma temporarily halts executions; Los Angeles Clippers owner banned for life from NBA

  • Unshaken by the latest surge in violence, Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and attacks to vote Wednesday in key elections for a new parliament amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife.” [CBS]
  • “Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov has admitted his forces are ‘helpless’ to quell unrest driven by pro-Russian activists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.” [BBC]
  • The deadline for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians expired without a deal on Tuesday, with the two sides blaming each other for the lack of a breakthrough in the negotiations brokered by the U.S.” [TIME]
    • How Secretary Kerry’s “apartheid” warning set back the cause of peace. [Politico]
  • China Could Overtake the U.S. as the World’s No. 1 Economy This Year [TIME]
    • “The nation’s gross domestic product in the first three months of 2014 increased at just a 0.1% annual pace, down from 2.6% in the fourth quarter, the [U.S.] government said Wednesday. That’s the weakest pace since late 2012.” [USA Today]
  • “Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.”
    • Nurturing Egyptian Democracy with Helicopter Gunships [TIME]
  • “The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in two cases tackling the same difficult question: If you get arrested, should the police be allowed to search your cellphone without a warrant?” [TIME]
  • “With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this summer, the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.” [WashPost]
  • “General Electric and Alstom, the struggling French conglomerate at the center of a politically charged takeover battle, finally said publicly on Wednesday what the business world has known for a week: G.E. is ready to acquire Alstom’s energy business in a $13.5 billion deal.” [NYT]
  • Oklahoma Halts Executions After Botched Lethal Injection [TIME]
  • “Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers for secretive campaign spending have become a virtual plank in the party’s platform, but it turns out big-money liberals can be just as defensive when their own closed-door activities are put in the spotlight.” [Politico]
  • Senate Democrats Weigh Vote Backing Keystone XL [Bloomberg]
  • “Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner who has been at the center of a national firestorm since a recording emerged last week depicting him making racist comments, was punished Tuesday with a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine.” [TIME]
    • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics [TIME]
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