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HK clears last pro-democracy protest camp

Hong Kong protestsHong Kong authorities began clearing away the last pro-democracy encampments settled by protesters near government headquarters on Wednesday, watched by a handful of demonstrators.

The protests failed to persuade China to allow a fully democratic vote for the city's next leader in 2017, instead of a list of pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates.


CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

CIA human experimentsThe Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.


Underage ‘enemies’ of the US: Omar Khadr and the kids of Gitmo

Kids at Gitmo“I have memories, but I don’t know if they’re mine, if they are accurate or not,” said Omar Khadr recently, recalling the events for which he was convicted by a U.S. military tribunal. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, spent almost nine years at Guantánamo Bay after being captured in Afghanistan at age 15.

His father, Egyptian-Canadian Ahmed Said Khadr, who had connections to Al Qaeda’s elite, sent Omar Khadr to Afghanistan to work mainly as an interpreter with those fighting U.S. forces who had dispersed the Taliban government in early 2002.


It’s Time for America to Pardon Martha Stewart

Martha StewartOn Wednesday, five of the largest banks in the world agreed to pay a combined $5.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury and then pleaded guilty to a series of criminal charges that they had operated for years as a secret cabal to manipulate currency exchange rates, in many cases directly ripping off clients in the process.

The new felons are J.P. Morgan Chase (the largest bank in the U.S. by assets), Citigroup (the third largest by assets), Barclays (the largest U.K. bank), UBS (the largest bank in Switzerland) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (a bank in Scotland).


Poland makes payout to alleged victims of CIA renditions

rendition site, PolandPoland is paying a quarter of a million dollars to two terror suspects allegedly tortured by the CIA in a secret facility in this country — prompting outrage among many here who feel they are being punished for American wrongdoing.

Europe's top human rights court imposed the penalty against Poland, setting a Saturday deadline.

It irks many in Poland that their country is facing legal repercussions for the secret rendition and detention program which the CIA operated under then-President George W. Bush in several countries across the world after the 9/11 attacks.


The Strange Case of the Forgotten Gitmo Detainee

Abu ZubaydahSince being seized in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, Abu Zubaydah has had his life controlled by American officials, first at secret sites where he was tortured, and since 2006 in a small cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, thanks to one of the strangest—and perhaps most troubling—legal cases to grow out of the War on Terror, it appears he’s not going to be leaving anytime soon, which was exactly what the CIA always intended.

Today, not even his lawyers understand what’s transpired behind closed doors in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.


Is The CIA's Case For Torture Unraveling?

Osama bin LadinIn the immediate aftermath of Seymour Hersh’s winding narrative on the killing of Osama bin Laden and an alleged cover-up by the U.S. government, officials, spies and even other journalists have been quick to label the story a sham.

But now, multiple news sources are backing up at least one aspect of Hersh’s controversial account on the 2011 raid: It was a Pakistani tipster who ultimately led U.S. special forces to the fugitive’s Abbottabad compound, not the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whose identity was supposedly revealed by CIA detainees.

Which, if true, would mean the key to bin Laden’s location was not, as the agency tells it, torture.


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