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Judge says CIA can cover up destruction of interrogation tapes

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NEW YORK — A judge cited national security concerns in ruling Wednesday that the CIA does not have to release hundreds of documents related to the destruction of videotapes of Sept. 11 detainee interrogations that used harsh methods.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he believed he had an obligation to let the CIA director decide what should be released when it pertains to methods used to make uncooperative detainees divulge information.

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“The need to keep confidential just how the CIA and other government agencies obtained their information is manifest, and that has to do with the identities of the people who gave information and who were questioned to obtain information,” the judge said from the bench.

He ruled after reviewing in private 65 of roughly 580 documents sought by the American Civil Liberties Union, including 53 field reports to CIA headquarters about interrogations.

An ACLU lawsuit already has forced the release of legal memos authorizing harsh methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning, and slamming suspects into walls, techniques described by critics as torture.

The judge said he expects to order the release of six pages of written notes from a CIA field officer who spoke about the interrogation videotapes with a CIA lawyer, but he gave the government two weeks to submit new arguments opposing the release.

He said it was only important that he decide whether the issue before him was a fit subject for intelligence gathering, not whether it was legal.

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“If so, my job is to defer to the extent appropriate — and that is substantial — to the decision of the director of the CIA,” he said.

CIA Director Leon Panetta had told the judge in court papers that releasing documents about the agency’s terror interrogations would gravely damage national security.

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This billionaire Republican governor has been sued dozens of times for millions in unpaid bills

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Raymond Dye had a buildup of blood behind his left eye that prevented him from seeing. David Polk had an abnormal heartbeat, and his wife had high cholesterol. Roger Wriston’s wife had a bad back.

All the men had worked for a collection of coal companies owned by Gov. Jim Justice and his family, which had pledged to provide health insurance after the miners retired. Last year, though, the retirees learned that those firms had stopped paying their premiums. And as a result, their coverage had been terminated. Polk skipped doctor appointments.

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2020 Election

‘Recipe for disaster’: NC doctor slams Trump’s hopes for a packed GOP convention as ‘an incredibly bad idea’

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A North Carolina strongly cautioned his state's governor from caving in to President Donald Trump's wishes for a packed Republican National Convention.

The president has threatened to move the RNC this summer from Charlotte if Gov. Roy Cooper did not ease coronavirus restrictions to allow for a full-scale event, but a local physician told WCNC-TV that Trump's plan was unreasonable.

"What do we know about infections?" said Dr. Jeffrey Galvin, of the Vitality Medical Wellness group. "Infection requires two things, exposure plus time."

Trump wants to pack 20,000 Republicans, journalists and others into Spectrum Center in August, but Galvin said infected people shed small amounts of the virus every time they breathe.

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Trump Tower’s profits magically grew by $3 million in 2010 — which helped them borrow another $73 million

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A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously.

The next year’s earnings for the building also “improved” between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp.

ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures.

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