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Police phone-tracking contracts often kept secret

police phone trackingPolice across the country may be intercepting phone calls or text messages to find suspects using a technology tool known as Stingray. But they're refusing to turn over details about its use or heavily censoring files when they do.

Police say Stingray, a suitcase-sized device that pretends it's a cell tower, is useful for catching criminals, but that's about all they'll say.

For example, they won't disclose details about contracts with the device's manufacturer, Harris Corp., insisting they are protecting both police tactics and commercial secrets. The secrecy - at times imposed by non-disclosure agreements signed by police - is pitting obligations under private contracts against government transparency laws.


CIA chief vows fast review of declassifying interrogation report

CIAThe head of the CIA on Friday promised a quick review of whether a Senate report on the agency's use of "enhanced interrogation" methods on foreign terrorism suspects can be released on an unclassified basis, apparently moving to reduce tensions with the CIA's congressional overseers.

CIA Director John Brennan's statement, contained in a message distributed to CIA employees, comes amid a fierce dispute over whether members of the spy agency secretly monitored a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of the detention and interrogation policies used under former Republican President George W. Bush.


Florida state attorney denies reports FBI agent in Todashev shooting cleared

Ibrahim TodashevFlorida state prosecutors on Friday denied that they had cleared an FBI agent who shot dead a friend of the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev while interrogating him.

The FBI is understood to have concluded that the officer who shot Ibragim Todashev, 27, was left with no alternative but to fire in self defence after being struck on the neck with a metal pole.


Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

gay marriageA federal judge has struck down Michigan's ban on gay marriage, the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the U.S.

Judge Bernard Friedman ruled Friday after a trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children. Two nurses who've been partners for eight years claimed the ban violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

It was not clear if gay marriages could begin immediately.


Bernie Madoff: 'JPMorgan knew'

MadoffThe financial world was stunned to learn in 2008 of Bernard Madoff’s years-long, multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

But according to Madoff, one Wall Street bank knew long before then that something was wrong — and chose not to do anything.

“JPMorgan knew it,” he said as part of a wide-ranging interview last week at a medium-security prison here, where Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence after pleading guilty in March 2009 to massive investment and securities fraud that devastated thousands of clients.


DOJ To Clear FBI Agent In Shooting Of Man Tied To Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

Ibragim TodashevA Florida prosecutor and an internal FBI investigation have cleared an unnamed FBI agent in the shooting of a 27-year-old man connected to the brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Huffington Post. A separate inquiry by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is expected to follow suit, the official said.

Ibragim Todashev was killed in his apartment when he allegedly got into a tussle with the agent while being questioned. The agent was probing Todashev's suspected involvement in a triple murder in 2011 that might have been connected to him and Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev was killed in the events following the bombing, and his younger brother Dzhokhar is currently facing federal charges.


Founder of Hate-Spewing Westboro Baptist Church, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. dies

PhelpsThe Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., who founded a Kansas church widely known for its protests at military funerals and anti-gay sentiments, has died according to his son Tim Phelps.

This news comes after some speculation about his health and whether or not he was in hospice care.

Members of the Westboro church, based in Topeka, frequently protest at funerals of soldiers with signs containing messages such as “Thank God for dead soldiers,” and “Thank God for 9/11,” claiming the deaths are God’s punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.


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