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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- A grand jury plans to begin hearing evidence today in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Police arrested 47 people overnight, fewer than the number arrested on Monday. Some protesters lobbed bottles of ice and rocks, but Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson said he believed a positive turning point was at hand. Attorney General Eric Holder arrives in Ferguson today. (Washington Post) Holder wrote an op-ed pledging an independent investigation in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
-- St. Louis police on Tuesday shot and killed a man they said brandished a knife at officers at an intersection just two miles from protests in Ferguson. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay called for an open and transparent investigation. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
-- Islamic State militants claimed to have beheaded American photojournalist James Foley, who had been kidnapped while covering the civil war in Syria almost two years ago. The executioner who appeared in a YouTube video spoke English with a British accent. President Obama was briefed on the video, and U.S. intelligence agencies were still trying to confirm its authenticity. Another U.S. journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, also appears in the video. (Washington Post)
-- A nine-day cease-fire broke down Tuesday afternoon after Israel said Hamas militants lobbed more than 50 rockets into southern Israel. Hamas fired more rockets on Wednesday, Israeli officials said. Israel responded with airstrikes, including one early Wednesday that killed the family of Hamas's top military commander, Mohammed Deif. Israel recalled its negotiating team from Cairo. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 2,000, while 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the six-week conflict. (New York Times)
-- Unidentified airplanes attacked an arms depot controlled by Islamist militias in Tripoli on Monday, killing at least six people. The Libyan Air Force doesn't have the capability to carry out such an attack, and the United States, France, Italy and Egypt all denied responsibility. The attacks represent an escalation of the fight between Islamists and forces loyal to former Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who is trying to boot Islamists out of eastern Libya. (New York Times)
-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with a grand jury that will begin hearing testimony in Ferguson, Mo. NYT: "Shooting Accounts Differ As Holder Schedules Visit." St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "A Day of Recovery." USA Today leads with the slaying of an American photojournalist by the Islamic State. WSJ reports on a billion-dollar forecasting error at Walgreens. The Alaska Dispatch News went to bed before the Senate race was called.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- Alaska: With 98 percent of precincts reporting, former state attorney general Dan Sullivan (R) took 40 percent of the vote to claim the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, besting attorney Joe Miller (R) by eight points. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) finished in third place. A measure to repeal gas tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sean Parnell (R) is losing by a 48 percent to 52 percent margin, though the race hasn't been called. (Alaska Dispatch News, Associated Press)
-- Wyoming: Gov. Matt Mead (R) won renomination with just 55 percent of the vote Tuesday night, besting two Republican challengers. Physician Taylor Haynes (R) took 32 percent, while Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill (R) took 13 percent. (Casper Star-Tribune) Mead faced problems with his conservative base; three county Republican Parties tried to censure him at the state convention earlier this year. Also: Remember when Sen. Mike Enzi (R) was going to have a tough year? He won his primary last night with 82 percent of the vote. (Associated Press)
-- Texas: Gov. Rick Perry (R) turned himself in at the Travis County Courthouse on Tuesday to be booked on abuse of power charges and have his mugshot taken. Supporters rallied outside the courthouse. Perry then went for ice cream at Sandy's. (Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post). Forget the mugshot, check out two other must-see photos: The two other guys in the ice cream photo, and Perry pointing in the Houston Chronicle lead photo, which is the most Rick Perry photo ever taken.
-- Ohio: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald has lost a handful of top aides just 11 weeks before the November elections. FitzGerald campaign manager Nick Buis, communications director Daniel McElhatton and consultants Aaron Pickrell and Louis Capobianco have all quit the campaign. Political director Chip Shannon will run the campaign. (Columbus Dispatch) The Democratic candidate for attorney general, David Pepper, racked up nearly $10,000 in parking ticket fines over a 14-year period, and 169 of those fines went to collections agencies after he failed to pay. (Columbus Dispatch) Two candidates from the same state, competing for Worst Campaign of the Year.
-- Louisiana: A judge in Baton Rouge ruled Tuesday that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education can move forward with implementation of Common Core standards, over Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) objections. Jindal had issued a freeze to Common Core implementation, which the judge said would case "irreparable harm" to students and schools. Jindal said he would appeal. (New Orleans Times-Picayune) Something to watch in the future: Sen. David Vitter (R), who will run to replace Jindal next year, supports implementing Common Core in Louisiana, and tea party groups aren't happy. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
-- Hawaii: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) said Tuesday she will not challenge results of her primary loss to Sen. Brian Schatz (D), even after tropical storm damage delayed voting in two precincts for almost a week. Hanabusa called on the state legislature to make fixes to the election process. (Honululu Star Advertiser)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama returned to Martha's Vineyard last night after a day and a half of meetings at the White House. He's on vacation through Sunday.
-- Vice President Biden travels to East Hartford, Conn., to visit a workforce development program at Goodwin College. Biden has fundraisers scheduled for the Democratic Governors Association in Greenwich and for the Connecticut Democratic Party in Stamford before heading back to D.C.
-- Uber will begin testing a so-called corner store feature in Washington, D.C. Subscribers can request anything from diapers to toothpaste to gum through the Uber app, though the service area is limited to downtown, most of upper Northwest and Capitol Hill(!). (WTOP)
-- Happening tonight: Democratic digital firm NGP VAN is hosting a webcast at 7 p.m. to show off their new tech tools aimed at giving Democrats an edge in November. Livestreaming here at 7 p.m. ET.
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is kicking off a week-long $215,000 ad buy today, spread across broadcast and cable stations in seven markets. A pro-McConnell super PAC, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, is spending $615,000 of its own money this week, while Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) went on air yesterday with a week-long $380,000 buy.
-- Iowa: Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has locked down $2.5 million in air time between Labor Day and Election Day, on top of the $1 million he's already spent on airtime. Branstad is way ahead of state Sen. Jack Hatch (D), whose campaign has raised only $1 million. (Des Moines Register)
-- NRA: The National Rifle Association today kicks off a national ad campaign aimed at painting former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) as an out-of-touch elitist. The first round of ads, running on nationwide cable and on Colorado broadcast, will cost $500,000, NRA official Chris Cox said. (USA Today) Side note: The NRA hasn't spent that much this cycle, even as gun control issues bubble closer to the surface than they have in a decade or more.
-- Colorado: We love stories like this: Candidates up and down the ballot have bought a combined 15,000 television ads in the Denver market over the five weeks before Election Day, according to a review of TV station records. Together, the spots are worth $19.6 million. In the first six months of the year, Denver TV viewers were inundated with more than $53 million in political ads. (Denver Post)
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- The $16 billion Veterans Affairs measure President Obama signed into law last month includes a provision that will allow veterans to qualify for in-state tuition at any public school in the country, starting next July. That represents savings of up to $20,000 a year for vets who want to go back to college. At least 32 states already offer veterans in-state tuition rates. (Stateline)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Is lobbying spending actually going down, or is it just transitioning from reportable activity to dark money groups allowed to spend on campaigns in the wake of Citizens United? Through the first half of the year, federal lobbying has cost $1.6 billion, $4 million less than the year before. Lobbying spending has gone down every year since its peak in 2010, the last year Congress allowed earmarks. (Washington Post)
-- Speaking of Uber (above), and speaking of lobbying: The San Francisco-based company has hired former White House senior adviser David Plouffe to run grass-roots campaigns as the company fights taxi unions in cities across the globe. Obama's 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, introduced Plouffe to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. (Washington Post)
-- Markets are flat in pre-bell trading after gaining about half a percentage point on Tuesday. Asian markets closed slightly higher today, while European markets are trading lower. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- One quarter of all U.S. military households use food banks to help them get by, according to a new survey conducted by Feeding America. About one in seven Americans used a food bank last year, including 620,000 military families. The Pentagon said it disagreed with the survey's methodology. (NPR)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Missouri Republicans are upset that someone is registering voters near the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Activists urged Ferguson residents to sign up to vote, given the dismal 12 percent turnout in this summer's primary election. Missouri GOP executive director Matt Wills: "If that's not fanning the political flames, I don't know what is. ... I think it's not only disgusting but completely inappropriate." (Breitbart) Because registering to vote is an inappropriate response to anger with one's government? Maybe this should have gone under the "outrages liberals" category.
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today.
-- What do Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Martin O'Malley, Mike Huckabee and President Obama have in common? They've all spoken out on the death of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson, Mo. Conspicuously absent from that list: Hillary Clinton. What has Clinton spoken out on? Obama's foreign policy, Gaza, the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine, the Islamic State, arming Syrian rebels, Stephen Colbert and Hard Choices. So, just about everything but Ferguson. (Huffington Post)