Morning Must Reads: November 4

3 minute read

5 Things to Watch in the Midterms

Americans go to the polls Tuesday to close a midterm election campaign that could give Republicans control of the Senate. But there’s more at stake than that, and regardless of the outcome, the results will yield hints about the future of American politics

Where Pot Is on the Ballot

A handful of states and cities will vote to loosen restrictions on the drug Tuesday, setting the stage for bigger battles in 2016

Where Abortion Is on the Ballot

Abortion rights are on the ballot in three states Tuesday as voters in Tennessee, Colorado and North Dakota weigh state-constitutional amendments

Would-Be Senate Leader Makes Closing Argument

A lot rides on Mitch McConnell’s reelection race in Kentucky on Tuesday, which could either end his long career in the Senate or finally elevate him to Majority Leader after years of trying to get there

Richard Branson Says Space Tourism Worth the Risk

The crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on Friday, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury, does not deter the company’s founder Richard Branson. Test pilots “know the risk they’re taking, they know the importance of what they’re doing,” Branson said

Spotify Tries to Lure Taylor Swift Back With a Playlist

The singer pulled most of her catalog from Spotify, prompting the streaming-music service to respond like only an awkward high-school boyfriend would: with a 15-track mixtape titled “Come back, Taylor!” Swift has been a strong critic of Spotify’s business model

The World’s Best Whisky Isn’t Scottish

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 has awarded 97.5 out of 100 to a whisky from Japan’s oldest distillery—the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013. For the first time in the 12 years that the Whisky Bible has been published, no Scottish whisky made the top five

Police Deny No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson Targeted Media

St. Louis County police denied on Monday that a no-fly zone established over the suburb of Ferguson during protests in August was set up to keep news helicopters away. “It’s always all about safety,” St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar said at a press conference

WHO Chief Slams Drug Industry Over No Ebola Vaccine

Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, castigated the “profit-driven” pharmaceutical industry on Monday for failing to develop an Ebola vaccine over the some 40 years that the virus has threatened parts of Africa

Feds Probe J.P. Morgan Over Foreign Exchange Trading

The Department of Justice is leading a criminal investigation into the foreign-exchange trading of J.P. Morgan Chase, the bank announced on Monday in a regulatory filing, saying it “continues to cooperate with these investigations”

Disaster Declaration Signed for Lava-Threatened Hawaiian Town

President Barack Obama signed a Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance on Monday to help the small Hawaiian town of Pahoa cope with the ongoing lava flow from Kilauea Volcano. The declaration comes in response to Governor Neil Abercrombie’s request for federal aid

Iraq Confirms ISIS Massacre of Sunni Tribe

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria slaughtered 322 members of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribe, including women and children, during one of the militant group’s latest killing sprees in Iraq’s Anbar province

Get TIME’s The Brief e-mail every morning in your inbox

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at