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US Senate committee to vote on Trump CIA pick on Wednesday

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The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will vote on Wednesday morning on President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the new director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, a committee aide said on Monday.

The vote will take place behind closed doors, as is customary for the intelligence panel.

 Haspel was grilled by lawmakers at her confirmation hearing last week over her role in the agency’s past harsh interrogation system, pledging she would never restart the program or follow any morally objectionable order from Trump.
 
The nominee, who would be the first woman director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is expected to be approved by the committee and confirmed by the full Senate, now that at least two Democrats – Senators Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly – have said they would join Republicans in supporting her.
 
Although Republicans John McCain and Rand Paul have announced opposition to Haspel, Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a 51-49-seat majority in the 100-member Senate and Vice President Mike Pence could vote to break a tie.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Bill Berkrot


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump touted Abbott Labs’ quick COVID-19 test — but HHS document shows only 5,500 are on the way for entire US

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A coronavirus test made by Abbott Laboratories and introduced with considerable fanfare by President Donald Trump in a Rose Garden news conference this week is giving state and local health officials very little added capacity to perform speedy tests needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.“That’s a whole new ballgame,” Trump said. “I want to thank Abbott Labs for the incredible work they’ve done. They’ve been working around-the-clock.”Yet a document circulated among officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week shows that state ... (more…)

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Psychologists warn coronavirus crisis has created a looming mental health disaster

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The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the world into uncharted territory, leaving people feeling helpless in the face of an invisible threat of unknown duration that could infect any of us.

With uncertainty surrounding the outbreak deepening the economic, social and health care crisis, an army of therapists is helping people cope with the brutal psychological fallout.

"People are experiencing very high levels of anxiety," Sonya Lott, a Philadelphia-based psychologist who specializes in grief counseling, told AFP.

"It's the fear of the unknown as we've never had a situation like this before."

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Leaked memo reveals Trump’s Border Patrol telling agents to simply ignore federal law during coronavirus crisis

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by Dara Lind

For the first time since the enactment of the Refugee Act in 1980, people who come to the U.S. saying they fear persecution in their home countries are being turned away by Border Patrol agents with no chance to make a legal case for asylum.

The shift, confirmed in internal Border Patrol guidance obtained by ProPublica, is the upshot of the Trump administration’s hasty emergency action to largely shut down the U.S.-Mexico border over coronavirus fears. It’s the biggest step the administration has taken to limit humanitarian protection for people entering the U.S. without papers.

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