Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’

USA Today, August 1

President Obama said Friday that some CIA officials who interrogated suspects after the 9/11 attacks “crossed a line” into torture.

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks,” Obama said while discussing a forthcoming Senate report on enhanced interrogation techniques.

“We did some things [...]

Reebok jumps on Paleo bandwagon with its own brand of bacon

Washington Post, By Marissa Payne, August 1

The phrase “tastes like shoe leather” is about to get a whole new, much more delicious meaning thanks to Reebok. The athletic clothing and footwear company has came out with its own bacon during the Reebok-sponsored CrossFit Games, which took place last month just outside of Los Angeles.

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Gagging in Australia

The Twitterverse and FB are alive with the sounds of Wikileaks latest release, the text of a gag order imposed on any revelation of an ongoing investigation into multinational bribery.

The case concerns allegations of multi-million dollar payments to persons with high-level political connections in AMalaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia in order to secure contracts for [...]

Coordinated Sanctions Aim at Russia’s Ability to Tap Its Oil Reserves

New York Times, By Peter Baker, Alan Cowell and James Kanter, July 29

Washington — The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin’s premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its intervention in [...]

Virginia Is for Gay Lovers

On Monday, a federal court ruled the state’s same-sex-marriage ban unconstitutional—the latest to be overturned. What makes the decision in the Old Dominion different?

The Atlantic, By Emma Green, July 29

“[T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free [...]

Cameroon deputy prime minister’s wife kidnapped by Boko Haram

(Reuters) – The wife of Cameroon’s vice-prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said.

A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town’s mayor, was kidnapped in a [...]

The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police

The Intercept, By Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain, July 25

The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide [...]

Jihadists seize Syria army base, behead soldiers

AFP, July 26

Damascus – Islamic State fighters have seized a Syrian army base in the northern province of Raqa, killing scores of troops and beheading some of them, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But in the central Homs region, government forces recaptured Al-Shaar gas field, seized by IS a week before, the monitor and [...]

Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles

New York Times, By David E. Sanger & Eric Schmitt, July 26

The Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are developing plans that would enable the Obama administration to provide specific locations of surface-to-air missiles controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine so the Ukrainian government could target them for destruction, American officials said.

But the [...]

US military asked to help fight wildfires in the West

Reuters, July 26

Wildfire managers have turned to the U.S. Department of Defense for immediate access to two military C-130 aircraft retrofitted to carry retardant, boosting their forces to face the largest blaze in Washington state history.

The U.S. Forest Service has its own fleet of more than 20 air tankers, but has in the [...]

Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

New York Times, By Mark Mazzetti, July 25

Washington — Just after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to declassify hundreds of pages of a withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program, C.I.A. Director John O. Brennan convened a meeting of the men who had played a role overseeing the [...]

It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All

The New Yorker, By Katie Zavadski, July 25

When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the [...]

‘Freewheeling Militia Violence’ Forced US to Evacuate Embassy in Libya, Kerry Says

ABC News, By Ali Weinberg, July 26

The U.S. State Department was forced to suspend operations at its embassy in Libya because of “freewheeling militia violence” there, Secretary of State John Kerry said today.

Kerry, who spoke to reporters before a meeting with the Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers about Gaza, made the comments after [...]

Report: All But Four Of The High-Profile Domestic Terrorism Plots In The Last Decade Were Crafted From The Ground Up By The FBI

TechDirt, By Tim Cushing, July 23

Human Rights Watch has just published a report containing the facts needed to back up everyone’s suspicions that the FBI counterterrorism efforts are almost solely composed of breaking up “plots” of its own design. And the bigger and more high-profile the “bust” was, the better the chance that FBI [...]

UN human rights chief: Israel may be committing war crimes in Gaza

Despite Israeli lobbying, Palestinians have managed to call for a vote on Wednesday on severe condemnation of IDF operation in Gaza.

Ha’aretz, By Barak Ravid, July 23

The UN human rights chief said Wednesday during an emergency meeting that Israel may be committing war crimes in Gaza.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [...]

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