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Friday, Dec 19th

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Ex-Madoff aide gets 6-year prison sentence

Annetter BorgianoBernard Madoff's longtime assistant was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for helping the Ponzi scheme mastermind steal as much as $20 billion from investors rather than look at the massive fraud that happened "in front of her."

Annette Bongiorno, 66, was also held jointly liable for nearly $155.2 billion in forfeitures, representing the cumulative amounts taken in and distributed by one of the largest frauds in history. She is the second of five former Madoff employees convicted in March on fraud charges to receive a prison sentence for the crime.

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The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’

Torture reporthe CIA’s rendition, interrogation, and detention programs were even more nightmarish than you could imagine.

Interrogations that lasted for days on end. Detainees forced to stand on broken legs, or go 180 hours in a row without sleep. A prison so cold, one suspect essentially froze to death. The Senate Intelligence Committee is finally releasing its review of the CIA's detention and interrogation programs. And it is brutal.

Here are some of the most gruesome moments of detainee abuse from a summary of the report, obtained by The Daily Beast:

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TVNL warned you years ago: The Absurd Debate Over Torture

Dick CheneyAmerica consistently proclaims itself a nation of laws where justice is blind to privilege or class. And yet, as the world watches in disbelief, this country has become inextricably mired in non-stop debates that defy reason.

It is absolutely insane to discuss the possibility that a crime has some Machiavellian validity simply because it ‘works.’ And it is equally incredulous to engage in discussions about the propriety of prosecuting those who have openly admitted their heinous actions.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

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Israel indicts American over plot to bomb Muslims

adam everett livixAn Israeli court has indicted an American Christian for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.  The ministry identified the man as Adam Everett Livix of Texas. It said he was indicted Monday and was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

In a statement, the ministry said Livix told friends he had strong anti-Arab sentiments. The ministry said Livix later cooperated with his roommate, a serving soldier in the Israeli military, to obtain 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of explosive material to use to blow up the unidentified Jerusalem holy sites. The ministry said police discovered the plot in October.

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Maldives capital in crisis as water supply dries up

Maldives out of waterThe Maldives, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, has run out of water. A popular tourist destination surrounded by pristine seas and turquoise-blue ocean vistas, the archipelago has declared a state of emergency after a fire at its only desalination plant led to the shortage that has affected the 130,000 inhabitants of the capital, Male.

Residents of Male are receiving bottled and desalinated water provided by neighboring countries via public taps and mobile vehicles, according to a statement issued by the United Nations on Monday.

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NYPD misconduct claims at record highs

NYPD misconduct complaintsComplaints of alleged police wrongdoing in New York City have hit a record level of 5,601 — a 150 percent increase from 2006 — and when the claims were settled or went to trial they have cost the city over $315 million dollars from 2006 to 2012, according to latest figures released by the city.

The numbers reflect concerns spotlighted in recent days by rising public anger over incidents including the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, and the police chokehold death of New York City resident Eric Garner in July. In both cases, grand juries recently declined to indict the police officers involved, triggering major nationwide protests by demonstrators accusing police of excessive force and racism.

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U.S. bases, embassies prepare for violence with release of Senate torture report

war criminalsU.S. forces and diplomatic missions overseas braced on Monday for the release of the public version of a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s use of torture after a U.S. intelligence community warning of a “heightened potential” for a “violent response,” U.S. officials said.

The report’s roughly 500-page executive summary, which the White House said would be unveiled on Tuesday, excoriates the CIA, concluding that it didn’t gain significant intelligence or the cooperation of detainees by using the harsh interrogation methods, had wrongly subjected some people to the procedures and misled the White House and Congress about the results.

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Lies, Secrets and Silences: Fracking Costs Jobs and Lives

FOX liesFive Stars: Fracking Misstatement of the Day from FOX

In its otherwise unusually excellent coverage of the surge in fracking bans in six states (PA, OH, TX, NY, CA and CO) FOX News, in More Municipal Bans on Fracking Pose Setbacks to Domestic Energy Boom, credits the shale gas and oil boom with having already created “millions” of jobs in this cagily crafted lead sentence:

The surge in domestic-energy production that has created millions of new jobs and abundant natural gas and oil is now facing a potential setback, with cities across the country imposing bans on the widely-used deep-drilling process known as fracking.

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Extinction Rate Rivals That of Dinosaurs, 2014 Likely Hottest Year Ever

Polar bearsRecent studies show that current animal extinction rates from anthropogenic climate disruption now rival the extinction that annihilated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Once again, this month's survey of the planet shows how climate disruption is continuing to intensify.

"The supreme reality of our time is ... the vulnerability of our planet."
- John F. Kennedy

Recent studies show that current animal extinction rates from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) now rival the extinction that annihilated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

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