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Sunday, Feb 26th

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Destroying C.I.A. Tapes Wasn’t Opposed, Memos Say

At a closed briefing in 2003, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee raised no objection to a C.I.A. plan to destroy videotapes of brutal interrogations, according to secret documents released Monday.

The senator, Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, also rejected a proposal to have his committee conduct its own assessment of the agency’s harsh interrogation methods, which included wall-slamming and waterboarding, the documents say.

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Iraqi campaign worker killed along with wife, six children

Assailants burst into the home of an Iraqi campaign volunteer before dawn Monday, fatally shooting the man before they stabbed his pregnant wife and their five daughters to death, relatives and authorities said. A sixth child, the only son, was found hanging from a ceiling fan with key arteries severed, a cousin said.

Over the last week and despite warnings that it was too dangerous, 47-year-old Hussein Majeed Marioush had been hanging campaign posters in the volatile mixed-sect district of Zafaraniya, a semi-rural area on the outskirts of southern Baghdad.

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War game shows how attacking Iran could backfire

Here's a war game involving Iran, Israel and the U.S. that shows how unintended consequences can spin out of control:

With diplomacy failing and precious intelligence just received about two new secret Iranian nuclear facilities, Israel launches a pre-emptive strike against Tehran's nuclear complex. The strike is successful, wiping out six of Iran's key sites and setting back its suspected quest for a bomb by years.

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Department of Justice Finds That Its Torture Lawyers Engaged in Professional Misconduct by Advocating Torture During the Bush Administration

Late Friday, the Department of Justice issued it's long awaited report on the actions of the DOJ lawyers who authored the infamous legal memos authorizing torture. The report consists of two parts: the first is a 300-page report from the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility finding that the attorneys, specifically John Yoo and Jay Bybee, engaged in "professional misconduct." The second is a 69-page cover letter from career DOJ staffer David Margolis finding that the lawyers exercised "poor judgment." The OPR finding would under normal circumstances require transmittal to the state bar for disciplinary proceedings. However, Mr. Margolis, a 17-year employee of the DOJ who was in a supervisory position when the legal memos were written, has specifically refused to allow the OPR report to be transmitted. However, he did state that "[t]he bar associations in the District of Columbia or Pennsylvania can choose to take up this matter, but the Department will make no referral."

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Leaked ACTA draft reveals plans for internet clampdown

The US, Europe and other countries including New Zealand are secretly drawing up rules designed to crack down on copyright abuse on the internet, in part by making ISPs liable for illegal content, according to a copy of part of the confidential draft agreement that was seen by the IDG News Service.

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Credit cards then and now: A look at how the new law changes the rules

The new credit card law is finally here. Starting Monday, banks will need to abide by new regulations on terms and disclosures. The idea behind the landmark law was to prevent banks from using practices that often dug borrowers deeper into debt.

A look at how the credit card law affects key aspects of your account.

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Gaza Fishermen Fight to Keep a Way of Life Alive

According to Mohammed Hessey, general secretary of Gaza's Fishing Workers Trade Union, established in 1998, Israel waited just four years before unilaterally reducing the officially allowed fishing zone to 10 miles from shore.

Then, when resistance fighters kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, the approved fishing zone was ratcheted down to six miles. Following Israel's latest attack on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, it was reduced once again to three miles. But even that zone isn't always honored. Israeli gun boats have been known to attack Gaza fishermen just one or two miles from the shore.

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Asia-produced ozone making its way to U.S., study finds

A new study further bolsters concerns that pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean from China and other rapidly developing Asian nations may swamp efforts to clean up the air in the Western United States and make it difficult for states and cities to meet federal standards.

The study, based on 100,000 measurements over 25 years and a computer model tracking air-flow patterns, found that during the spring, ozone from Asia reaches Washington, Oregon, California and other states west of the Rocky Mountains.

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Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians 'Massacred'

The chief author of the Bush administration's "torture memo" told Justice Department investigators that the president's war-making authority was so broad that he had the constitutional power to order a village to be "massacred," according to a report by released Friday night by the Office of Professional Responsibility.

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