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Wednesday, Jul 01st

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Former Bush Official With Ties To CIA Torture Program Now Advises Obama Interrogators

CIA torture programA government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation.

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Omar Khadr, once a Guantanamo inmate, freed on bail in Canada

OmAr KhadrOmar Khadr, a Canadian who was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, will be released on bail from an Alberta prison on Thursday while he appeals a murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal.

A judge in an Alberta court ruled that Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 and pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier, can be released on bail, denying an appeal by the Canadian government to keep him in custody.

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US citizen fights to sue FBI agents for ‘inhuman’ detention abroad

US citizen sues for renditionA U.S. citizen’s six-year fight to hold FBI operatives accountable for his detainment and torture in East Africa is again at risk of being quashed by the government, in a move that risks denying judicial remedy for those mistreated by U.S. officials abroad.

Amir Meshal, a 32-year-old man born in New Jersey to parents of Egyptian descent, remains “deeply traumatized” from being held in “stark and inhuman conditions without charges or legal basis” by U.S. officials, his lawyers say.

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Gaza war policies favored safety of soldiers over civilians, Israeli veterans group says

Gaza war policiesIsraeli troops who served in last summer’s war in Gaza were ordered to shoot people on sight, shelled homes and reduced neighborhoods to rubble as part of a deliberate policy of force protection that cost the lives of Palestinian civilians, according to soldiers’ testimonies published Monday by an Israeli veterans group.

The Gaza testimonies, taken from 60 soldiers who took part in the fighting, provide an insight into the tactics the Israeli military employed during the 50-day war against the militant Islamist group Hamas that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and destroyed large swaths of the Gaza Strip.

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Ethiopian-Israelis bring anti-racism protest to Tel Aviv

Ethiopian Jews protestAt Thursday’s protest in Jerusalem, which was officially staged in order to highlight police brutality against members of Israel’s Ethiopian community, police deployed tear gas, stun grenades and water hoses against the protesters. Meanwhile, pockets of demonstrators threw stones and bottles at police and blocked streets as well as the city’s light rail tracks as they attempted to march on the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Three police officers were injured at the protest, along with as many as 13 demonstrators. Two were arrested. Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, the last of the protesters went home.

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Islamic State crisis: US-led Syria strikes 'kill dozens of civilians'

syria air strikesAir strikes by the US-led coalition targeting Islamic State militants have killed more than 50 civilians in northern Syria, activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group, says Birmahle village was hit on Friday and that some people were still trapped in rubble.  The coalition has so far not commented.

Earlier this month, the Observatory said the US-led air campaign had killed more than 2,000 people in total, including at least 1,922 IS fighters.

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Echoes of Baltimore on the streets of Jerusalem

Baltimore in IsraelThe pictures that consumed the attention of Israelis overnight Thursday seemed grimly in tune with those that filled American and international airwaves over the past two weeks: Young men and women, overwhelmingly black and some with their hands raised high to indicate they were unarmed, clashing with heavily armed police.

But instead of happening in places like Ferguson, Baltimore or New York, these confrontations took place in the center of Jerusalem, and the protesters weren’t African-Americans but Ethiopian Israelis.

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