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Wednesday, Jul 27th

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Uncovered: Dark New CIA Torture Claims

New torture documentsThe CIA said it would only torture detainees to psychologically break them, according to a previously-unreported passage from a 2007 Justice Department memo. It’s a claim that’s at odds with how congressional investigators say the agency really handled captives in the early days of the war on terror.

And it’s not the only eye-opening assertion found in newly declassified portions of Bush-era documents on the CIA’s use of torture. A second document says that the CIA believed itself to be legally barred from torturing others countries’ detainees—but not from using so-called enhanced interrogations on its own captives.

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San Diego sex trafficking industry worth $800m annually, federal report finds

Sex trafficking industryA federal report on sex trafficking in San Diego has revealed a vast underground industry worth more than $800m annually, eight times higher than previously estimated.

The report, considered the best measure of the problem’s scope to date, has shocked researchers and law enforcement officers in the region.

“I didn’t realize the amount of money involved,” said Bill Gore, the San Diego County sheriff.

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First Man Convicted Of Sexual Violence In War By Global Court Gets 18 Years

Bemba gets 18 yearsCongolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the International Criminal Court on Tuesday for heading a 2002-03 campaign of rape and murder in neighboring Central African Republic.

Bemba, a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice-president, is the first person that the global war crimes court has held directly responsible for his subordinates’ crimes.

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UN: 24 people displaced per minute in 2015

24 people displaced every minuteThe United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says persecution and conflict in places such as Syria and Afghanistan raised the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million at the end of last year.

The previous year, 2014, had already seen the highest number of refugees worldwide since World War II, with 60 million displaced people.

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CIA’s new torture documents: Fresh details of the horrors of “enhanced interrogation techniques”

CIA's new torture documentsThe CIA just released a cache of newly declassified documents relating to the since-discontinued program of “enhanced interrogation” it conducted at the behest of George W. Bush. They make for a bracing read, even if much of the information they contain was previously made public.

But there are a few fresh details contained in the document dump, and they help strengthen the broadly accepted case that the Bush administration’s torture regime was both brutal, slipshod, and ineffective.

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Israel cuts water supplies to West Bank during Ramadan

Israel cuts water supply to West BankIsrael's national water company has cut crucial water supplies to large areas of the occupied West Bank, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Mekorot, the main supplier of water to Palestinian towns and cities, siphoned off water supplies to the municipality of Jenin, several Nablus villages and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.

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Israel extends detention of Palestinian clown

Mohammad Abu Sakhasrael has renewed the administrative detention of a Palestinian circus performer for another six months after arresting him without charge in December 2015.

Mohammad Abu Sakha, 23, teaches at the Palestinian Circus School in Birzeit, near Ramallah.

His case stirred global calls for his release after he was arrested on his way to work at the Zaatara checkpoint near Nablus and taken to Israel's Megiddo prison in the north. He was later transferred to Ketziot prison in the Negev, the country's south.

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