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Senators demand investigation of reports of torture in Yemen

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The leaders of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday to investigate any involvement of U.S. interrogators at secret prisons in Yemen where inmates have reportedly been tortured.

The Associated Press published a report on Wednesday that nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or Yemeni forces trained by the Gulf nation, where they have been abused and tortured.

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The UAE denied the allegations in a statement to AP.

The AP report said U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees, citing senior American defense officials.

The U.S. officials denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses, but obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture.

Senators John McCain, the Senate committee’s Republican chairman, and Jack Reed, its ranking Democrat, asked Mattis to conduct an immediate review of the alleged abuses, including of U.S. support to the forces involved.

McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has been a leader of anti-torture efforts in Congress. In the letter, he and Reed argued that any suggestion the United States is complicit in torture hurts national security.

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They also asked Mattis to assess what, if anything, U.S. forces knew about the alleged abuses and to provide a briefing to the committee as soon as possible.

“We are confident that you find these allegations as extremely troubling as we do,” McCain and Reed wrote.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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‘Virtual terrorism’: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

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On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.
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Trump’s baffling and cowardly press conference reveals a president completely unable to lead

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When the White House announced President Donald Trump would hold a press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday, many political reporters held on to their seats. Trump's performances are often unpredictable whirlwind displays, filled with lies, distractions, and attacks.

Already this week, Trump had tweeted a video in which a supporter of his said: "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat." And Twitter decided to obscure one of his tweets on Friday morning because he had written "When the looting starts, the shooting starts" — a clear threat of violence toward the protesters in Minneapolis.

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WATCH: Protester scales Secret Service building to spray-paint profane anti-Trump message

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On Friday, protests around the country continued against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As CNN covered shots of protests in Washington, D.C., one demonstrator could clearly be seen scaling a Secret Service building, before taking out a can of spray paint and writing "F**K TRUMP" on the edifice.

Watch below:

Some commenters on social media noticed, and tweeted their support for the protester.

Just watched this white boy hero climb these bars & spray paint "FUCK TRUMP" on live TV. #BlackLivesMatter @CNN pic.twitter.com/89nLCK52fc

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