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First Read Flash: Climate heat

In the hot seat.
President Obama at the G-8 Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)
President Obama at the G-8 Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013.

In the hot seat. "President Barack Obama will direct his administration on Tuesday to begin addressing the issue of climate change with a series of ambitious executive branch actions, sidestepping a Congress that has displayed little appetite for addressing the issue," NBC News reports on the president's speech at 1: 55 p.m. ET. "Among a range of initiatives aimed at cutting carbon emissions both at home and internationally, the president will announce a directive for the Environmental Protection Agency to establish carbon emission standards for both new and existing power plants. The speech he will deliver at Georgetown University is being billed as a major policy address by the White House on one of the top priorities of his second term. And the administration made it clear they are more than willing to do what they can to bypass Congress."

Broader and wider. "The Internal Revenue Service’s screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency acknowledged Monday," the AP reports. "Terms including 'Israel,' 'Progressive' and 'Occupy' were used by agency workers to help pick groups for closer examination, according to an internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press....While investigators have said that agency screening for those groups had stopped in May 2012, Monday’s revelations made it clear that screening for other kinds of organizations continued until earlier this month, when the agency’s new chief, Danny Werfel, says he discovered it and ordered it halted."

International man of mystery. "Russia angrily denied it was involved in Edward Snowden's attempts to evade U.S prosecutors Tuesday, saying the fugitive had not crossed its borders as Washington became mired in a diplomatic spat with Moscow and Beijing," NBC News reports. "The former defense contractor, who fled Hong Kong on Sunday, is believed to be in transit in Moscow awaiting approval for his safe passage to Ecuador - the latest move in a global manhunt that has humiliated U.S. authorities. Russia rejected pressure from Secretary of State John Kerry, who on Monday called on it to “do the right thing” and prevent Snowden from leaving Moscow."

Everyone's a winner? "The Supreme Court’s decision to send a thorny affirmative action case back to the lower courts for additional review left both sides claiming victory on Monday," the New York Times reports. "Civil rights groups that favor race-conscious admissions cheered the ruling, arguing that the court had upheld its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. That decision supported the principle that states have a compelling interest in achieving student diversity but required that any plan to include race as a factor in admissions should be subjected to strong scrutiny."