Saturday Morning Reads

*According to experts interviewed by The Hill, the White House isn’t as constrained in implementing the $85 billion in sequestration cuts as it claims to be. Although the law states the cuts must be applied to every government account equally, “budget experts say some nuances within the law do give the administration some room to maneuver, though they acknowledge it is limited.”

*The White House announced seventeen pardons yesterday, granting freedom to mostly minor offenders. According to the AP, the administration “offered no details on why these particular people were selected by Obama, who has issued relatively few pardons since taking office.” Twelve of the seventeen were on probation. The other five had received sentences that ranged from 54 days to five years.

*NATO forces admitted to accidentally fatally shooting two Afghan boys on Saturday. Claims that the killings resulted from a case of mistaken identity, however, will be of scant comfort to Afghan officials, who seem to be growing increasingly impatient with ISAF. A NATO airstrike last month prompted President Karzai to ban Afghan troops from calling in air support from coalition forces. And last weekend, Karzai ordered the expulsion of American special forces from the province of Wardak, after local officials alleged that they were “involved in the torture and disappearance of Afghan civilians.” The latest incident – admitted to this morning – appears to have been the fault of Australian soldiers, according to Reuters.

*A study commissioned by the Holocaust Museum in Washington has shown that the Nazis built more facilities to carry out their atrocities than previously thought. The New York Times reports that when the study began in 2000, one of the head researchers, Dr. Geoffrey Megargee “expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.” Slave labor camps made up almost three-quarters of that total number.

*Disgraced former New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer, who resigned from the magazine last year after admitting to fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works, is under fire for again. Because of “concerns over inaccuracies,” publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has decided to pull a second book of his, How We Decide. According to the Guardian, the publisher will continue to sell his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist.

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Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.