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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said it would take more than two weeks to investigate the shooting death of 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., over the weekend. Protestors gathered for a fifth night on Wednesday as police trained high-caliber automatic weapons on them. The unrest has delayed the start of the local school year; school will now start on Monday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) will visit Ferguson today. (Washington Post)
-- Police arrested reporters representing The Washington Post and Huffington Post on Wednesday night at a McDonald's near the neighborhood where teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed over the weekend. Read Wesley Lowery's account of his arrest here. The reporters were later released without charges or explanation. (Washington Post) Remember the old saying: Don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
-- A team of 20 U.S. troops and aid workers have determined a rescue mission to save Yazidi minorities is unnecessary, the Pentagon said Wednesday. Officials said the remaining refugees are in better condition than previously believed. They credited U.S. airstrikes against ISIS militants with breaking the siege. France and Britain will begin delivering weapons to Kurdish forces, and Germany hasn't ruled out its own shipments. (Washington Post)
-- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) was almost $75,000 in credit card debt when he took office in 2010, prosecutors revealed as they wrapped up their case against him. The McDonnells used money from businessman Jonnie Williams to pay off that debt. Prosecutors showed some of that money paid off credit cards in the former governor's name, in hopes of proving McDonnell benefitted from Williams' money. (Washington Post)
-- DNC officials chowed down on Pat's cheesesteaks and met a Rocky impersonator on a trip to Philadelphia to inspect possible 2016 convention facilities. They toured the Wells Fargo Center, which hosted the Republican convention in 2000, when it was the First Union Center, along with former Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and Mayor Michael Nutter. (Philadelphia Inquirer) Ask your Philly-area friends where the best cheesesteaks are. No one says Pat's. Or Geno's, for that matter, but Democrats can't really be seen at the cheesesteak joint with the English-only signs.
-- Front Pages: WaPo, LA Times, NYT and USA Today all lead with a U.S. team's assessment that a mission to rescue Yazidis is unnecessary. WSJ leads with U.S. and Iranian aid to Kurdish fighters. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a remarkable photo of a protestor in Ferguson, Mo., engulfed in tear gas. Headline: "A City on Edge."
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- Hawaii: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) on Wednesday asked a state court to delay Friday's planned vote in two Big Island precincts so residents have more time to recover from a storm that delayed voting last weekend. A state judge will hear arguments in the case this morning. Hanabusa trails Sen. Brian Schatz (D) by 1,635 votes. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Plus: A nice profile of Puna, the community scheduled to vote on Friday, from The New York Times.
-- Virginia: A federal appeals court on Wednesday denied motions to stay its ruling knocking down the Commonwealth's same-sex marriage ban, paving the way for marriages to begin as early as next week. Opponents of same-sex marriage said they would appeal to the Supreme Court, which could intervene to stay the ruling. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
-- Mississippi: After another delay, state Sen. Chris McDaniel's (R) campaign intends to file a challenge to the June 24 runoff election results this morning; today is the deadline for filing such a challenge. State Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller will appoint a special judge, who will in turn pick a venue. State las suggests the case should be decided by Sept. 10, when sample ballots are supposed to be delivered to local elections officials. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
-- Massachusetts: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) is planning to join a congressional delegation to Israel after the midterm elections, her first trip abroad as a U.S. Senator. She's one of just four senators -- the others are Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) -- who have not joined a CODEL. Warren's recent book, "A Fighting Chance," doesn't mention Israel or China. (Boston Globe)
-- Wisconsin: A federal judge has denied Wisconsin's request to stay his decision striking down a voter identification law. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) has also asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay, though that court hasn't yet ruled. The state Supreme Court late last month upheld the voter ID law. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- We should just change this section's name to "Everyone Else Is Having More Fun Than You." President Obama is still on Martha's Vineyard, and Vice President Biden is still on Long Island.
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- Kentucky: For what's supposed to be the first $100 million Senate race, the TV ad war between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) isn't exactly raging. Grimes on Tuesday kicked off a week-long $260,000 ad buy, while the pro-McConnell Kentucky Opportunity Coalition starts a $600,000 buy next Tuesday. One complicating factor in the race: The Bluegrass State is deceptively huge. There are six major broadcast markets and ten cable markets to cover.
-- North Carolina: The DSCC said Wednesday it would put just over $9 million into a fall ad blitz on behalf of Sen. Kay Hagan (D) this year. Prior to their announcement, the committee had already locked down $7.8 million in airtime. This week, the Koch-connected Concerned Veterans for America is spending $720,000, mostly on cable, on behalf of state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R). Next week, Concerned Vets comes off air and Freedom Partners goes up, with a nearly identical buy.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- The Obama administration has increased its oversight of arms transfers to Israel after the White House and State Department were surprised to find the Pentagon had been shipping ammunition to the Israeli military without their approval. U.S.-Israeli relations are at their lowest point since President Obama took office after a series of leaks from Israeli officials undercut the White House's public standing. Israeli officials say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has concluded he has enough support in Congress that he doesn't need the White House's approvals for his policies. (Wall Street Journal)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Major corporations and wealthy residents have forked over $20,000 each to buy tables at a UNLV fundraiser Hillary Clinton is scheduled to attend on Oct. 13. Bank of America, NV Energy, the Wells Fargo Foundation and MGM Resorts are among the companies buying tables. UNLV said last month it had already attracted enough table sponsors to cover Clinton's $225,000 speaking fee. (Ralston Reports)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- The Pentagon has delivered tens of thousands of machine guns, about 200,000 ammunition magazines, and hundreds of armored cars and aircraft to local police departments. Since 2006, the Pentagon has sent 432 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles, MRAPs, to local police departments in 47 states as part of a military transfer program Congress created in the early 1990s to deal with a wave of violent crime. (New York Times)
-- Don't miss this Matea Gold deep dive into the North Carolina Senate race, where Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) are racing to define each other as the most unelectable candidate.
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- The town of Montezuma, Colo., has sued its 61 registered voters over an April election that was so badly run that a quarter of voters weren't even residents. The town clerk had to use a sewing machine to make ballots (what?!?), and publicly reported results didn't add up. The lawsuit asks a judge to compel every registered voter to show up in court. (Denver Post) And you thought your local elections were poorly run.
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Tweet from Eric Schultz, deputy White House press secretary, in a readout from a birthday party on Martha's Vineyard attended by both President Obama and Hillary Clinton: "Readout of tonight's social gathering coming shortly - spoiler alert: a good time was had by all." The tweet came at 10:17 p.m., as protestors clashed with police in Ferguson. (Washington Post, Twitter)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- Fear not, liberals, you'll still have a bogeyman even though Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is retiring. Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R), who narrowly leads a primary to replace Rep. Tom Petri (R), is happy to take up the mantle. Grothman has said Martin Luther King Day shouldn't be a holiday, Kwanzaa is a holiday created by liberal whites, and that money is more important to men than women. (ThinkProgress)