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Wednesday, Jul 29th

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Senate strikes deal to pass fast-track trade bill

senate passes trade billSenate leaders have reached a deal to advance President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after a failed vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.

After trading offers throughout the night, party leaders agreed to vote on a fast-track trade bill that was blocked just 24 hours before by Democrats who’d wanted more assurances that their priorities would also be considered.

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Sally Yates confirmed as No. 2 at Justice Department

Sally YatesThe Senate easily confirmed a veteran federal prosecutor from Georgia as deputy attorney general Wednesday, despite a protest by some Republicans angry over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Senators voted, 84-12, to confirm Sally Yates in the Justice Department's No. 2 job — a post she has filled on an acting basis since January.

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CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Speaks Out Upon Sentencing to 3.5 Years in Prison

Jeffrey SterlingOn Monday former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to 42 months in prison for leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen about a failed U.S. effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.

Risen later exposed how the risky operation could have actually aided the Iranian nuclear program. In January Sterling was convicted of nine felony counts, including espionage. He becomes the latest government employee jailed by the Obama administration for leaking information.

Since he was indicted four years ago, Jeffrey Sterling’s voice has never been heard by the public. But that changes today. We air an exclusive report that tells his story, "The Invisible Man." We are also joined by Norman Solomon, who interviewed Sterling for the piece and attended both his trial and sentencing. Solomon is a longtime activist, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, co-founder of RootsAction.org, and coordinator of ExposeFacts.org.

More + Democracy Now Video...

Obama's plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote

Senate rejects trade billBarack Obama’s ambitions to pass sweeping new free trade agreements with Asia and Europe fell at the first hurdle on Tuesday as Senate Democrats put concerns about US manufacturing jobs ahead of arguments that the deals would boost global economic growth.

A vote to push through the bill failed as 45 senators voted against it, to 52 in favor. Obama needed 60 out of the 100 votes for it to pass.

Failure to secure so-called “fast track” negotiating authority from Congress leaves the president’s top legislative priority in tatters.

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Republicans put plans to reauthorize Patriot Act on hold after court ruling

US SenateSenate Republicans have conceded they may have to temporarily suspend plans for a long-term reauthorization of the Patriot Act after a court ruling against its use by the National Security Agency dramatically turned around the prospects for surveillance reform in Washington.

Three US appeal court judges threw the existing plan – to extend the NSA’s power to collect bulk metadata from American phone records for five years – into chaos on Thursday when they ruled that it was unlawful even under the old legislation.

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Senate votes overwhelmingly to pass Iran nuclear bill

Mitch McMcConnellThe US Senate on Thursday advanced legislation that would allow Congress to review a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, clearing a major hurdle after weeks of Republican infighting threatened the bill’s passage.

Senators overwhelmingly voted 98-1 in favor of the bill, with only Tom Cotton against its passage. Under the compromise, Congress would have 30 days to both review any nuclear accord with Iran and pass a resolution of disapproval. In the event that lawmakers passed such a resolution, Barack Obama would be unable to lift some of the congressional sanctions on Tehran.

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Prosecutor in Eric Garner chokehold case elected to Congress

Prosecutor in NY police chokehold electedA U.S. House seat in deeply Democratic New York City will remain under Republican control.

Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan — who empaneled the grand jury that declined to indict a white police officer who placed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a fatal chokehold — on Tuesday captured a vacant congressional seat that spans Staten Island and a small part of Brooklyn.

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