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NYT Editorial Board: Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? That will depend on what an investigation finds, and as hard as it is to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation, it is harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president.

But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.

Judi Lynn

Ferguson prosecutor says he knew some witnesses were ‘clearly not telling the truth.’ They testified

(WaPo) St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McColluch knowingly placed witnesses who were not telling the truth in front of grand jurors investigating this summer’s police officer-involved shooting death of Michael Brown, according to a radio interview he gave Friday.

After nearly a month of silence following the the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, McCulloch told St. Louis radio station KTRS 550 AM that some of the witnesses were “clearly not telling the truth,” but were allowed them to testify anyway.


Obama is Finally Free

(Political Wire) “Obama’s turnaround in recent weeks – he’s seized the offensive with a series of controversial executive actions and challenges to leaders in his own party on the budget — can be attributed to a fundamental change in his political mindset, according to current and former aides. He’s gone from thinking of himself as a sitting (lame) duck, they tell me, to a president diving headlong into what amounts to a final campaign – this one to preserve his legacy, add policy points to the scoreboard, and – last but definitely not least – to inflict the same kind of punishment on his newly empowered Republican enemies, who delighted in tormenting him when he was on top.”


Obama Administration Issues Executive Order to Protect Transgender Rights in Public Employment

(Mediaite) President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday to prohibit transgender discrimination in public employment, another unilateral move by the administration in the wake of the 2014 midterms.

According to the new order, the Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act as covering transgender employees in workplace discrimination disputes, allowing the DOJ to bring suits against public employers for firing employees on the basis of gender identity.


Indiana church that booted gay choir director to close due to falling attendance

(LGBTQ Nation) A Methodist church in Indiana that suffered a massive walk-out after forcing its gay choir director to resign, will close its doors for good at the end of 2014.

David Mantor, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Ind., says the decision to close the church resulted from falling attendance, membership and financing problems, reports The Herald Bulletin.


Marco Rubio’s fury over the Cuba shift shows why Obama made the right move

(WaPo) Rubio’s emotional — and at times inaccurate — response to the policy change shows why Obama’s move to normalize ties to Cuba after more than half a century is both good policy and good politics. It’s good policy because it jettisons a vestigial policy that has stopped serving a useful purpose, and because it is a gutsy move by Obama that demonstrates strong leadership and will help revive him from lame-duck status. It’s good politics because it will reveal that the Cuban American old guard, whose position Rubio represents, no longer speaks for most Cuban Americans.


Jimmy Carter Calls US-Cuba Diplomacy 'Courageous'

(AP) Former President Jimmy Carter says he is "proud and grateful" for the president's efforts to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. Carter calls the shift in policy "courageous."

Carter rejects accusations that President Barack Obama is appeasing Cuba's communist leaders.

He said Thursday on MSNBC that the best way to bring democracy to Cubans is to let Americans "go there and trade and invest." Carter says that will show Cubans that Americans are "not the enemy."


Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

(AP) Opponents of President Barack Obama's sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba have little chance of scuttling his effort in Congress.

His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers and opened fissures in both parties. Criticism came mostly from Republicans, who say the new policy rewards Cuba's decades-long policies of repression, human rights abuses and aggression, but some prominent Democrats voiced opposition, too.

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Latest Breaking News

Islamist gunmen attack African Union base in Somalia

2 hrs ago - By Abdi Sheikh and Fiesal Omar MOGADISHU Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:19am EST (Reuters) - Eight Islamist gunmen infiltrated the main African Union (AU) base in Mogadishu on Thursday and killed three peacekeepers and a civilian contractor, the AU mission in S ... (Reuters)

Mayor, VP to speak at slain NYPD officer's funeral

3 hrs ago - By JONATHAN LEMIRE and MIKE BALSAMO Dec. 27, 2014 1:14 AM EST NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of people were expected to attend the funeral of a New York City police officer shot to death along with his partner one week ago in a brazen daylight ambush tha ... (The Associated Press)

China’s Industrial Profits Drop Most in Two Years Amid Slowdown

3 hrs ago - Dec 27, 2014 2:04 AM GMT-0330 China’s industrial profits fell the most in two years last month, the latest data to show a deepening slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy as pressure grows on the nation’s central bank to ease monetary condi ... (Bloomberg News)

Thousands Attend 8-Hour Wake For Slain NYC Officer

4 hrs ago - By MIKE BALSAMO 3 hours ago NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of uniformed police officers from New York City and around the country gathered Friday at the solemn, eight-hour wake of a city policeman who was killed along with his partner in a brazen dayti ... (Associated Press)

Local, federal investigations into gym mat death continue

4 hrs ago - By Victor Blackwell, CNN updated 9:27 PM EST, Fri December 26, 2014 (CNN) -- Despite concluding there was no foul play in the death of a Georgia teen nearly two years ago, a sheriff's office conducted additional interviews on the case as recently ... (CNN)

North Korea blasts U.S. over release of 'The Interview'

6 hrs ago - North Korea issued a statement on its official state news agency on Saturday denouncing Sony Pictures Entertainment's release of the movie "The Interview." It called President Barack Obama the "chief culprit" who forced the production company to "ind ... (CNN)

Brazilian oil company Petrobras sued by US city

6 hrs ago - The US city of Providence, Rhode Island is suing the Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras over investor losses due to a corruption scandal. Unlike other class actions, some of the company's senior executives have also been named as defendants. ... (BBC)

Obama hopes to enlist GOP in push for trade pact, despite Democratic resistance

6 hrs ago - President Obama is preparing a major push on a vast free-trade zone that seeks to enlist Republicans as partners and test his premise that Washington can still find common ground on major initiatives. It also will test his willingness to buck his ow ... (Washington Post)

Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

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LG headquarters stormed by prosecutors over washing machine debacle

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Snyder signs suspicion-based drug testing bills

12 hrs ago - LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation today that creates a drug-testing program for adult welfare recipients who are suspected of using drugs. The Republican-backed proposals, House Bill 4118 and Senate Bill 275, were among several bills app ... (Detroit Free Press)

Columbia Journalism Review Names Don Lemon 'Worst of the Worst' In 2014

12 hrs ago - The Columbia Journalism Review gave a big ol’ lump of Christmas coal to CNN’s Don Lemon by naming him among the worst of the worst in journalism for the year 2014. CJR‘s blog released its annual “worst” review, handing out its dubious “DART” awards ... (Mediaite.com)

Third priest slain in region of Mexico’s Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels

12 hrs ago - MEXICO CITY — A missing priest was found dead, a gunshot wound to the head, in an area of southern Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels, his diocese said Friday. The slaying of the Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta is the latest in series of abduct ... (Washington Post)

US-led coalition launches 39 air strikes against Isis forces in Syria and Iraq

13 hrs ago - US forces and their allies staged 39 air strikes on Islamic State (Isis) forces in Iraq and Syria on Thursday and Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force said. Fighters, bombers and remotely controlled aircraft hit 19 targets in Syria while 20 strikes ... (Guardian UK)

Box office: 'The Interview' makes $1 million theater debut

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In Oil States, Bracing for a Price Bust’s Ripple Through the Economy

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China police fire on Tibetans after self-immolations - rights group

13 hrs ago - BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have fired on Tibetan protesters demonstrating after a series of deadly self-immolations by people from Tibet campaigning against Chinese rule of their Himalayan region, a rights group said on Friday. A monk was sh ... (Reuters)

Tibetan Monk Detained After Solo Freedom Protest in Ngaba

13 hrs ago - A young Tibetan monk was taken into custody on Friday in western China’s Sichuan province after launching a solitary protest challenging Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas and calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, according t ... (RFA)

Former South Carolina Governor Edwards dies at 87

14 hrs ago - (Reuters) - James Edwards, the first Republican elected governor of South Carolina since post-Civil War Reconstruction who also served in President Ronald Reagan's Cabinet, died on Friday at age 87, his family said. Edwards' election in 1974 marked ... (Reuters)

Putin Cancels Christmas Vacation for Russian Government Employees

15 hrs ago - "The government... cannot afford such extensive holidays, at least not this year," Putin said Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he has canceled holiday vacations for members of the government, as the Kremlin struggles to address Ru ... (Time)

'DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU' Cold war between NYPD cops, de Blasio takes to skies

15 hrs ago - ?727 The bad blood between NYPD cops and Mayor de Blasio became an air war Friday. A plane trailing a banner reading "DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU" flew over the Hudson River in a show of disdain for the mayor after two officers were exe ... (NY Daily News)

Azerbaijan prosecutors raid US-funded radio station

16 hrs ago - Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) said that armed police ordered employees to leave the building of its Azerbaijani service Radio Azadliq. The raid comes amid a crackdown on journalists and human rights activists in the oil-rich ex-Soviet sta ... (BBC)

REPORT: ‘Screech’ Arrested in Ozaukee County

16 hrs ago - The actor best known for playing Screech on “Saved by the Bell” has been arrested in Wisconsin, according to a report from WITI in Milwaukee. The news station reports Dustin Diamond was taken into custody Friday morning in Ozaukee County. The report ... (WBAY, ABC affiliate in Green bay, Wisconsin)

Russia promotes conventional forces in new doctrine

16 hrs ago - President Vladimir Putin of Russia has signed a revised version of the country's military doctrine, which identifies major threats to security. The new document promotes the use of Russia's conventional, non-nuclear forces as a deterrent. <snip& ... (BBC)

Eastern Ukraine prisoner exchange underway

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US stocks edge higher in quiet trading

19 hrs ago - By ALEX VEIGA U.S. stocks edged higher early Friday as relatively quiet trading resumed a day after Christmas. The gains followed mixed action in Asian markets. Most European markets were closed. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose ... (AP-Excite)

Irish court: End life support for pregnant woman

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On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat

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City Link closure timing was disgraceful, says union

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Libya militants kill at least 22 soldiers in failed attempt to seize oil terminal

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