A probe looking at the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques
in the United States military is expected to conclude that the methods
didn’t produce breakthroughs. One official familiar with the
investigation says they found no evidence that the tactics aided
long-term antiterrorism operations. Democrats from the Senate
Intelligence Committee have spent three years examining records charting
daily operations of investigations to disprove claims by Bush
supporters that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and other tactics led
to counterterrorism coups. The CIA had began starting to pull back from
these techniques before Obama banned them upon taking office.
Sergeant Gary Stein will be kicked out of the Marines for Facebook
comments he made criticizing President Obama on a page used by Marine
meteorologists. He'll get an other-than-honorable discharge and lose
most of his benefits, three months before his contract would have been completed. Service members are allowed to criticize political
candidates, but not as representatives of the Armed Forces.
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One of the largest death rows in the United States may shut down if California voters approve a measure in November that would replace death with life in prison without parole as the state's toughest penalty. More than 700 people on death row would have their sentences commuted if the measure passed. Part of the motivation is financial since the legal process takes so long. Most of the 700 prisoners are more likely to die of old age than by injection, and the 13 inmates that California has successfully executed in the last 23 years cost taxpayers $4 billion.
A North Carolina judge ruled last week that an African-American man who killed a white
teenager in 1991 was sent to death row in part because of racial discrimination. The judge ordered that the man be immediately taken off death row and instead serve a life sentence without parole.
Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks found that black jurors were excluded from Robinson's trial. His case is the first of many that will likely be filed under the state's new Racial Justice Act, which allows death-row inmates and capital-murder defendants to present
evidence of racial bias in court.
A solider from the U.S. Army released photos this week of soldiers posing with the remains of Afghan suicide bombers. The soldiers are smiling and appearing to be enjoying their clean-up duty. Defense Secretary Panetta has apologized for the actions while President Obama has requested an investigation into the photos.
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Animal rights have been an ever increasing topic of media and public skepticism. This week, Mitt Romney found himself in potentially hot water after admitting he used to travel with their family pet strapped to the roof of their car. As would be expected, this admission has led to many negative perceptions.
Mitt Romney has long been presumed to have a problem with female voters--especially when considering economic issues. Recently, a spat between Hilary Rosen and Romeny's wife, Ann, has drawn even more attention to potential gender gaps in results. Rosen publicly claimed that Romney, a stay at home mom, had never worked a day in her life.
Rick Santorum has launched the first dramatic attack against President Obama in the 2012 campaign season with the first of eight ads entitled "Obamaville." The ad is quite negative and plays on many current American fears.
South Korean intelligence officials have warned that the North is preparing a
nuclear weapons test to follow its long-range missile
test. North Korea is reportedly preparing a site, where nuclear tests were
held in 2006 and 2009, for a third demonstration to come after the
missile test. The 2006 and 2009 tests put an end to an agreement reached
in 2005 for the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Japan has already prepared its missile-defense system in response to the these actions.
John Derbyshire, a write for the conservative National Review, has come under fire after he wrote a column for Taki’s Magazine. Derbyshire wrote that white parents should advise their
children not to attend “events likely to draw a lot of blacks” and that
the “mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites.” White parents should give their children this advice, Derbyshire writes,
because it “may save their lives.” Derbyshire has since been terminated.
Each year the Masters rolls around, the Augusta National Golf Club is forced to ask why it has no female members. The club, which claims it does not "talk about [their] private
recently been scrutinized because one of its three tournament sponsors,
IBM, has a recently appointed female CEO, Virginia Rommetty. The past
four male CEOs at IBM have all received member invitations.
Despite a rough time before the Supreme Court, President Obama remains confident that his healthcare plan will be found constitutional. Recently, he has reminded the justices that they are an
“unelected group of people,” and said he could not see them taking the
“extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong
majority of a democratically elected Congress.” Yet the outcome will not be determined till the judges rule sometime in early June.
Canada has recently decided to eliminate its penny in the next few months--calling the coin nothing but a nuisance. "The penny is a
currency without any currency in Canada, and it costs us 1.5 cents to
produce a penny," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said. He went on to say that during a Senate
committee hearing last year, not one witness said the penny should be
spared, and that New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway,
Finland, Sweden and other countries have transitioned to being
penny-free. Many Americans would like to see the U.S. follow suit.