The Slatest

Slatest PM: Wendy Davis Goes to Washington

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis signs autographs after speaking at the National Press Club August 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Wendy Goes to Washington: Dallas Morning News: “Headlining a National Press Club luncheon, state Sen. Wendy Davis said she’s considering only two options: run for governor, or seek reelection. ‘A lot of people are asking me that question lately, as you can imagine,’ she said, when the emcee asked her whether — having just lambasted Gov. Rick Perry — she plans to run for his job next year. ‘I’m working very hard to decide what my next steps will be,’ she said, adding that many Texans seek a change from the state’s divisive, partisan Republican leadership.”

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Instant Analysis: NPR News: “Davis’s white-hot political celebrity is undeniable, at least in Washington, where her single-mom-to-Harvard Law School story has provided a new and compelling party narrative in a state where Democratic success stories have been few in recent years. But there remains a very open question as to how that will translate electorally for Davis, 50, back home, where Republicans thoroughly control the political structure, and where she barely held her legislative seat in a 2012 contest and is not even a shoo-in for re-election next year.”

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Happy Monday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories and nursing a serious case of the Mondays. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.

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What Prompted This Week’s Terror Alert: New York Times: “The Obama administration’s decision last week to close nearly two dozen diplomatic missions and issue a worldwide travel alert resulted from intercepted electronic communications in which the head of Al Qaeda in Pakistan ordered the leader of its affiliate in Yemen, the terrorist organization’s most lethal branch, to carry out an attack as early as this past Sunday, according to American officials. The intercepted conversations last week between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of the global terrorist group, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, revealed one of the most serious plots against American and other Western interests since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, American intelligence officials and lawmakers have said.”

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Obama Claims Housing Turnaround: Reuters: “With images of vacant, half-built residential developments that gathered dust after the Great Recession, the U.S. Southwest once symbolized the 2008-2012 housing bust that wiped out $7 trillion in homeowner equity and wrecked the finances of many Americans. But as housing stages a recovery around the United States, including the hard-hit Sun Belt, President Barack Obama goes back to the region on Tuesday to claim some of the credit while urging further action to keep the housing winning streak alive. More than four years after Obama outlined his plan to halt the housing market free fall in February 2009, he returns to Phoenix, where he will again talk about housing.”

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Calming Down Egypt: BBC: “Diplomats are continuing efforts to defuse Egypt’s political crisis, with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visiting Muslim Brotherhood deputy head Khairat al-Shater in jail. US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have also arrived in Cairo to take part in two days of talks. Egypt has been deeply polarised since the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood member, on 3 July. Thousands are taking part in sit-ins in Cairo demanding his reinstatement.”

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World’s Most Expensive Hamburger: New York Times: “A hamburger made from cow muscle grown in a laboratory was fried, served and eaten in London on Monday in an odd demonstration of one view of the future of food. According to the three people who ate it, the burger, which contained no fat or salt, was dry and a bit lacking in flavor. One taster, Josh Schonwald, a Chicago-based author, said ‘the bite feels like a conventional hamburger’ but that the meat tasted ‘like an animal-protein cake.’ … The two-year project to make the one burger, plus extra tissue for testing, cost $325,000. On Monday it was revealed that Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, paid for the project.”

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Radioactive Water at Fukushima: Reuters: “Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an ‘emergency’ that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said on Monday. This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.”

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A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:

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