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Friday, Apr 18th

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CIA’s use of harsh interrogation went beyond legal authority, Senate report says

CIAA classified U.S. Senate report found that the CIA's legal justification for the use of harsh interrogation techniques that critics say amount to torture was based on faulty legal reasoning, McClatchy news service reported on Thursday.

The Central Intelligence Agency also issued erroneous claims about how many people it subjected to techniques such as simulated drowning, or "water boarding," according to the news service, citing conclusions from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report obtained by McClatchy.

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Senate GOP blocks pay equity bill

GOP blocks equal pay bill in SenateSenate Republicans banded together on Wednesday to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a Democratic bill aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women.

The legislation failed to clear a 60-vote threshold to open debate on the bill, falling short, 53-44. Immediately following the vote, senior Democrats vowed that they will bring the bill up for future votes, daring the GOP to continually block a bill meant to appeal to women voters in a tight mid-term election-year.

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Feinstein: CIA should not lead declassification review of report about interrogation tactics

Dianne FeinsteinThe Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has called for the White House—not the Central Intelligence Agency—to lead the declassification process of the executive summary of the Committee’s massive 6,600-page study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

In a letter to the President dated April 7 and obtained by McClatchy, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for swift action on the summary and the findings and conclusions of the report, which members voted last week to declassify. The summary, Feinstein said, should be released “quickly and with minimal redactions.”

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Ron Johnson did not tell police of assault allegations against Rep. Bill Kramer three years ago

Bill KramerU.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, his chief of staff and a Waukesha County GOP official were all told three years ago of allegations that a then-aide to the senator had been sexually assaulted by state Rep. Bill Kramer, but none of them took the matter to the police or Assembly leaders.

The woman told her supervisor in Johnson's office and a number of other people, but decided at the time to have her attorney send a letter to Kramer rather than go to the police, records show. Last month — nearly three years after the alleged assault outside a Muskego bar — the woman learned of Kramer's alleged mistreatment of other women and filed a complaint with Muskego police that has resulted in two felony charges of second-degree sexual assault.

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Senate Passes Unemployment Benefits Extension

US SenateThe Senate approved a bipartisan unemployment benefits extension Monday, with six Republicans joining Senate Democrats to clear the measure.

The measure passed 59 to 38 with all Democrats in attendance voting for the bill. The five Republicans who helped negotiate the measure — Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio — joined the Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

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CIA torture report: Nancy Pelosi blames Dick Cheney

CIA torture reportA senior Democrat has fuelled an acrimonious row over a Senate report into torture by the Central Intelligence Agency, by blaming the abuses on former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Nancy Pelosi on Sunday raised the stakes over the landmark study by shifting responsibility from the agency to Cheney, who steered much of the Bush administration's response to the September 11 2001 attacks.

The House minority leader said Cheney, a Republican, set the tone of CIA actions during an era of harsh interrogation methods, a controversy which has flared anew in the runup to congressional elections in November.

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Rep. Steve King thinks Dreamers who want to join military should be deported

Peter KingRep. Steve King, R-Iowa, says that instead of allowing children of undocumented immigrants to join the military, the U.S. should tell them, "We have a bus for you to Tijuana."

"As soon as they raise their hand and say, 'I'm unlawfully present in the United States,' we're not going take your oath into the military, but we're going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana," said King. "That's the law."

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