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Senate Investigation of Bush-Era Torture Erupts Into Constitutional Crisis

Senate investigationA gripping battle between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee broke into public view Tuesday morning, as Senator Dianne Feinstein openly accused the CIA of spying on congressional staffers as they investigated the agency’s illegal detention and interrogation programs under President George W. Bush.

Feinstein’s allegations raise grave questions about how the executive branch interprets constitutional separation of powers, along with raising serious concerns about the integrity of congressional oversight of US intelligence agencies. And lurking in the background is the country’s dirty history of torture following the September 11 terror attacks, which top officials—including those appointed by President Obama—seem determined to brush into the dustbin of history.

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Guantánamo hunger-strikers endure 'water cure' torture, federal court hears

Emad HassanHunger-striking Guantánamo detainees are being subjected to a form of torture known as the “water cure” that was widely used in the Spanish Inquisition, lawyers are claiming, in the first legal challenge to force-feeding at the military base brought before a US federal court.

The case was lodged on Tuesday in the US district court for the DC circuit that has jurisdiction over Guantánamo. It was brought on behalf of Emad Abdullah Hassan, a Yemeni who has been on hunger strike in the detention camp intermittently since 2005 and continuously since 2007.

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Immigrant detainees on hunger strike in Washington state

detainees hunger strikeHundreds of detainees at an immigration holding center in Tacoma have gone on hunger strike to demand better conditions at the facility and an end to U.S. deportations, their attorney said on Saturday.

While advocates for the strikers put their numbers at 1,200, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement that, on Friday evening, meals had been refused by 750 of a total 1,300 inmates at the Northwest Detention Center, operated by the GEO Group.

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Congo Rebel Leader Found Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

Germain katangaThe International Criminal Court found Democratic Republic of Congo rebel leader Germain Katanga guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Judge Bruno Cotte said.

Katanga, 35, stood accused of seven counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity for attacks against ethnic-Hema villagers in the town of Bogoro in Congo’s northeastern Ituri district in February 2003. He was cleared on counts of rape and sexual slavery, as well as using child soldiers, The Hague-based court said.

The court found Katanga guilty “as an accessory to the crimes committed” on Feb. 24, 2003, Cotte said. Katanga’s role in providing arms to the rebels was essential to the crimes committed in Bogoro, he said.

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Probe sought of CIA conduct in Senate study of secret detention program

CIA secret dentention and interrogation programsThe CIA Inspector General’s Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned.

The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study. The monitoring may have violated an agreement between the committee and the agency.

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Courts Take A Kinder Look At Victims Of Child Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking We've all seen them: the public service announcements about sex trafficking in America. They're plastered on buses and billboards; images of young women exploited for their bodies, with hotlines to call for help.

The numbers are staggering. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S., and it is said to generate upward of $32 billion a year.

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Innocence Project: New evidence in Texas execution case

Cameron ToddThe Innocence Project argued Friday that newly discovered documents undermine the credibility of a key witness against a Texas man executed for the deaths of his three children based in part on arson evidence that has since been deemed faulty.

The New York-based nonprofit said it has discovered a handwritten note that suggests a prosecutor gave a lesser charge to jailhouse informant Johnny Webb, who testified that Cameron Todd Willingham told Webb he killed his daughters in 1991.

That would contradict claims made at trial by Webb and prosecutor John Jackson that Webb did not receive consideration for his testimony.

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