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Condoleezza Rice’s top deputy: ‘I do regard the [enhanced] interrogation practices .. as torture’

A senior Bush administration official and former head of the 9/11 Commission has described CIA interrogation techniques used on alleged terrorists as torture and said he warned in a secret memo at the height of the “war on terror” that they breached the US’s own war crimes laws. Philip Zelikow,…

‘Justified’ homicides up 25 percent since states passed Stand Your Ground laws

Rising numbers of civilian justifiable homicides across the US are closely linked to states with both weak gun controls and stand-your-ground laws, according to a Guardian analysis of FBI and other data, which show a 25% increase in such killings since the controversial self-defence laws started being introduced around 2005.…

Congressional commission: U.S. underestimates China’s military strength

The United States has underestimated the growth of China’s military as policymakers have taken public statements at face value or failed to understand Beijing’s thinking, a study said Thursday. The report prepared for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the United States had a mixed record on predicting…

Obama: Women should be admitted to Augusta golf club

President Barack Obama says that it’s past time for the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, to admit women. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the president told him “women should be admitted” to the all-male club. “I happened to have a…

Judge says denying benefits to same sex spouse is discriminatory

A federal judge in California ordered another court to pay the health insurance costs of an employee’s same sex spouse, in a finding that called denial of equal benefits to the couple discriminatory. It’s still not clear whether the ruling will actually result in payments for the court employee’s spouse,…

Coke and Pepsi abandon conservative group over voter ID, gun laws

Though the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was formed almost 40 years to organize conservative state legislators and allow them to share and replicate one another’s legislative ideas — and has been “soliciting more input from private sector members” about what is good for them for more than 20 years…

Waitress sues after police seize $12,000 tip

A struggling waitress in Moorhead, Minnesota is suing after police seized a $12,000 tip because they suspected it was drug money. The Forum of Fargo-Moorehead reported on Wednesday that Stacy Knutson was working at the Moorhead Fryn’ Pan restaurant when she discovered a wad of cash wrapped in rubber bands…

RNC chair: GOP ‘war on women’ fictional like ‘war on caterpillars’

The chairman of the Republican National Committee is denying that his party is waging a war on women, saying it’s as fictional as the “war on caterpillars.” In a interview that will air on Saturday, Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt asked RNC Chairman Reince Priebus how big of a problem it…

Gingrich think tank files for bankruptcy

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank on Wednesday filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, with up to $10 million in debt and as little as $50,000 in assets. The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported on Thursday that The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation,…

Sequel to SOPA could see NSA spy on journalists, media pirates

If you download and distribute copyrighted material on the Internet, or share any information that governments or corporations find inconvenient, you could soon be labeled a threat to national security in the United States. That’s the aim of a bill in Congress called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act…

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