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Ex-CIA and NSA chief Hayden tells Maher: Troops would not obey if Trump ordered death to terrorists’ families

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Former National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency director Michael Hayden criticized Donald Trump’s threats to reinstate waterboarding during an interview on Friday with Real Time host Bill Maher.

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that Candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Hayden said, quoting Trump’s remark that “‘We’re gonna do waterboarding and a whole lot more because they deserve it” during a GOP candidate debate.

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“What about killing the terrorists’ families?” Maher replied. “That never occurred to you, and you’re a real badass.”

“God no,” Hayden answered. “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

“That’s quite a statement there. I thought the whole thing was, you had to follow orders,” Maher said.

“You cannot — in fact, you are required not to follow an unlawful order. That would be in violation of all the international laws of conflict,” Hayden replied.

Trump has argued that he could make waterboarding legal by “declassifying it,” and has also played along with supporters mocked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for not embracing the practice.

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Watch the interview, as posted online, below.


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COVID-19

White House adds 20 percent increase to ‘best case’ projection of coronavirus deaths

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The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state's governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.

On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done "a very good job."

On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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