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Wednesday, Jul 29th

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Is The CIA's Case For Torture Unraveling?

Osama bin LadinIn the immediate aftermath of Seymour Hersh’s winding narrative on the killing of Osama bin Laden and an alleged cover-up by the U.S. government, officials, spies and even other journalists have been quick to label the story a sham.

But now, multiple news sources are backing up at least one aspect of Hersh’s controversial account on the 2011 raid: It was a Pakistani tipster who ultimately led U.S. special forces to the fugitive’s Abbottabad compound, not the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whose identity was supposedly revealed by CIA detainees.

Which, if true, would mean the key to bin Laden’s location was not, as the agency tells it, torture.

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Obama Administration Faces Mounting Pressure To Answer For Torture

tortureThe Obama administration is facing renewed pressure to answer for its track record on torture after the relative calm that followed the release of the Senate torture report’s damning executive summary in December.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Friday, human rights group Amnesty International pressed the Justice Department to revisit its decision not to prosecute former officials from the CIA and the George W. Bush administration for their involvement in the agency’s post-9/11 torture program. The new evidence from the report prepared by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence merits another look, says Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, in the letter.

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'Thousands' of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea

Immigrants strandedThousands of refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar are stranded at sea close to Thailand, according to an international migration agency.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) told the BBC a Thai crackdown on recent arrivals meant many smugglers were now reluctant to land.
As many as 8,000 people are believed to be stuck on boats, the IOM said.

In the past two days more than 2,000 have arrived in Malaysia or Indonesia after being rescued or swimming ashore.

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Ethiopia demands explanation from Israel for racism

Ethopia demands explanation of israeli racismThe Ethiopian government has expressed concern over Israeli authorities' treatment of Ethiopian-Israelis. It appears Addis Ababa has been following the violent clashes over the past few weeks between Israelis of Ethiopian origin and police, while several Ethiopian news outlets accused Israel of racism and brutality towards Ethiopian Israelis.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry issued a statement several days ago that, while cautious of openly criticizing the Israeli government, extensively quoted Israeli leaders admitting the mistakes made in the integration of Ethiopian Jews. Among others, President Reuven Rivlin is quoted as saying that "Israel has made mistakes in handling the Ethiopian Jewish community," and described their suffering as an "open and bleeding wound in the heart of Israeli society."

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Former Bush Official With Ties To CIA Torture Program Now Advises Obama Interrogators

CIA torture programA government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation.

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Omar Khadr, once a Guantanamo inmate, freed on bail in Canada

OmAr KhadrOmar Khadr, a Canadian who was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, will be released on bail from an Alberta prison on Thursday while he appeals a murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal.

A judge in an Alberta court ruled that Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 and pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier, can be released on bail, denying an appeal by the Canadian government to keep him in custody.

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US citizen fights to sue FBI agents for ‘inhuman’ detention abroad

US citizen sues for renditionA U.S. citizen’s six-year fight to hold FBI operatives accountable for his detainment and torture in East Africa is again at risk of being quashed by the government, in a move that risks denying judicial remedy for those mistreated by U.S. officials abroad.

Amir Meshal, a 32-year-old man born in New Jersey to parents of Egyptian descent, remains “deeply traumatized” from being held in “stark and inhuman conditions without charges or legal basis” by U.S. officials, his lawyers say.

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