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Report: US-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians

Civilan casualties of US attacksU.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday. The coalition had no immediate comment.

The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the extremists, said it believed 57 specific strikes killed civilians and caused 48 suspected "friendly fire" deaths. It said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State militants.

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Anti-torture reforms opposed within psychology group after damning report

Anti-torture reforms opposedOpposition is building to intended anti-torture reforms within the largest professional organization of psychologists in the US, which faces a crossroads over what a recent report described as its past support for brutal military and CIA interrogations.

Before the American Psychological Association (APA) meets in Toronto next Thursday for what all expect will be a fraught convention that reckons with an independent review that last month found the APA complicit in torture, former military voices within the profession are urging the organization not to participate in what they describe as a witch hunt.

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Israel authorizes force-feeding of prisoners

Israel forcefeeds prisonersIsrael's parliament has passed into law the ability to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike, a move that had met vehement opposition from the country's medical association.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist coalition weathered a lengthy parliamentary debate on Thursday, with 46 politicians in favour and 40 opposed in the 120-seat Knesset.

Israel says it is concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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