Sunday, Oct 04th

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Judge pushes to speed up release of force feeding videos at Guantánamo Bay

Forced feeding at GuantanamoA federal judge appears ready to defy the Obama administration and accelerate the release of potentially inflammatory videotapes depicting the force-feeding of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

Judge Gladys Kessler has accused the administration of launching baseless legal challenges to delay or minimize the impact of a court-ordered release of videotapes showing what lawyers who have viewed them say is brutal and shocking treatment.


Waiting to Die in Prison—for Selling a Couple of Bags of Pot

Life inprison for selling potIt's just after 9 p.m. near the corner of Fourth and Marshall, a poor part of Shreveport, Louisiana. A homeless man approaches a guy on the street and asks him what he's looking for. That guy, an undercover cop, says he wants "two dimes" and promises a $5 commission. And Fate Vincent Winslow, knowing that $5 buys a meal, if not a great one, agrees.

Minutes after he returns carrying two crumpled bags of marijuana, worth $10 each, he's in the backseat of a squad car. Three months later, Winslow is found guilty of selling a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance. Another three months and the sentence lands: life imprisonment at hard labor with no chance for parole.


HK clears last pro-democracy protest camp

Hong Kong protestsHong Kong authorities began clearing away the last pro-democracy encampments settled by protesters near government headquarters on Wednesday, watched by a handful of demonstrators.

The protests failed to persuade China to allow a fully democratic vote for the city's next leader in 2017, instead of a list of pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates.


CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

CIA human experimentsThe Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.


Israeli leader criticizes upcoming UN report on Gaza war

NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized an upcoming United Nations report into last year's war in the Gaza Strip, calling it a waste of time.

Instead, he said an in-depth Israeli report — and another unofficial report compiled by a group of retired Western generals — show "the truth" behind the fighting. Both documents say Israel did its utmost to avoid civilian casualties and said Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers deliberately attacked Israeli civilians while using their own people as human shields.


Underage ‘enemies’ of the US: Omar Khadr and the kids of Gitmo

Kids at Gitmo“I have memories, but I don’t know if they’re mine, if they are accurate or not,” said Omar Khadr recently, recalling the events for which he was convicted by a U.S. military tribunal. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, spent almost nine years at Guantánamo Bay after being captured in Afghanistan at age 15.

His father, Egyptian-Canadian Ahmed Said Khadr, who had connections to Al Qaeda’s elite, sent Omar Khadr to Afghanistan to work mainly as an interpreter with those fighting U.S. forces who had dispersed the Taliban government in early 2002.


It’s Time for America to Pardon Martha Stewart

Martha StewartOn Wednesday, five of the largest banks in the world agreed to pay a combined $5.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury and then pleaded guilty to a series of criminal charges that they had operated for years as a secret cabal to manipulate currency exchange rates, in many cases directly ripping off clients in the process.

The new felons are J.P. Morgan Chase (the largest bank in the U.S. by assets), Citigroup (the third largest by assets), Barclays (the largest U.K. bank), UBS (the largest bank in Switzerland) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (a bank in Scotland).


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