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Senate report on CIA interrogation methods has tortured history

CIA torture reportAfter a long and drawn-out process involving multiple branches of the U.S. government, the summary of an exhaustive report detailing Bush-era CIA detention and interrogation policies could be released as early as Monday. The report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) examines the CIA’s use of torture after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and looks at the efficacy of such intelligence-gathering methods.

The report, which cost the federal government more than $40 million to produce, is said to cast doubt on intelligence gains gleaned from an interrogation program that embraced torture.


Warren Joins U.S. Senate Democratic Leadership Team

Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senate Democrats elevated first-term Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to an expanded leadership team as they prepare to become the chamber’s minority party in January.

Warren, who will act as a bridge to the party’s liberal wing, said she’ll use her role to focus on financial equality in the U.S.

“Wall Street is doing very well; CEOs are bringing in more and more, yet families everywhere are struggling,” Warren told reporters at the Capitol in Washington.


Senate passes funding for Israel's Iron Dome

Iron Dome

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) got unanimous consent in the Senate Friday for legislation to give Israel emergency funding for its Iron Dome missile defense system.

“This is a good example of us putting aside partisan considerations,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after passage.

Israel has been battling the terrorist group Hamas for weeks and the conflict continued Friday after Hamas broke the latest cease-fire agreement.


House panel opposes giving SEC documents for insider trading probe

SECA U.S. House of Representatives panel said on Friday it should not have to comply with a federal regulator's demand for documents sought for an insider-trading probe involving the staff director of a subcommittee and a lobbyist.

The House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing that U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York should deny the Securities and Exchange Commission's attempt to subpoena documents from the committee and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter.


Facebook study manipulated News Feeds in January 2012 to investigate emotional contagion

Facebook-More than 680,000 Facebook users were part of a psychology experiment in January 2012 without their knowledge.

In order to investigate whether the emotions of other social media users could lead "people to experience the same emotions without their awareness," researchers manipulated 689,003 users' News Feeds to show statuses that were especially positive or negative.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article called "Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks."


U.S. student loan refinancing bill fails Senate hurdle

US loan refinance bill failsDemocratic-sponsored legislation to allow student loan borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

The Senate voted 56-38 to end debate and move to a final vote, short of the 60 votes required.

Democrats had said their measure would let holders of both federal and private undergraduate loans - some with rates of 9 percent or higher - to refinance at 3.86 percent.


GOP-run House votes 274 to 131 to make business tax break permanent--and increase deficit

GOP votes business tax break permanentThe House of Representatives voted 274 to 131 Friday to make the research and development tax credit permanent--and add $155.5 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years.

Republicans, who have consistently complained about deficit spending, nevertheless were nearly unanimous in backing the plan. Only one Republican voted no. Sixty-two Democrats joined those in favor, while 130 voted no.


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