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The information bureau of the Central Committee and member of Parliament

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has instructed the Senate's chief law enforcement officer to examine the Intelligence Committee's computers amid an escalating fight between the CIA and lawmakers over access to secret documents about the agency's interrogation tactics during the Bush administration.

In a letter dated Wednesday to CIA Director John Brennan, Reid challenged the spy agency head's complaints that committee staff improperly accessed the agency's computers to obtain the documents, calling the allegation "patently absurd nu skin."

Last week, the head of the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, questioned whether the agency broke the law and violated the Constitution in searching a computer network exclusively established for the committee.
Brennan has dismissed Feinstein's complaints.
Determined to resolve the fight, Reid said he had "instructed the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms (Terrance W. Gainer) to initiate a forensic examination of the computers and computer network assigned for exclusive (committee) use, in order to determine how the 'Panetta review' entered into the (committee) network."
The committee is close to completing a 6,000-page report on the CIA's brutal interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, at secret sites after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The CIA had established an exclusive computer network for committee staff in northern Virginia. In the course of the panel's investigation, the committee staff obtained documents from a review ordered by former CIA Director Leon Panetta and apparently took those documents to the Capitol.
"I understand that you have alleged that Senate Committee staff illicitly accessed classified CIA networks to obtain a document — the so-called 'Panetta Review' — which appears to corroborate the findings and conclusions of the committee's study and to contradict the CIA's own official response to the study," Reid wrote Brennan. "To my knowledge, the CIA has produced no evidence to support its claims that Senate committee staff who have no technical training somehow hacked into the CIA's highly secure classified networks, an allegation that appears on its face to be patently absurd g-suite cardinal manchester."
Reid cited Brennan's Jan. 27 letter to Feinstein in which he said he would welcome an independent review. Reid asked Brennan to ensure that CIA personnel refrain from further interaction with committee staff on the issue, with the exception of the sergeant-at-arms staff. Reid also requested the appropriate security clearances for Gainer.
Gainer oversees Capitol security, heading a force of about 1,000.
Reid commented briefly on the dispute last week. The instructions to Gainer and the notification to Brennan ratcheted up a clash that pits Senate Democrats, led by Feinstein, against President Barack Obama's head of the spy agency.
In a war of words between the agency and the Senate, the acting general counsel of the CIA has referred the matter to the Justice Department. The CIA's independent inspector general also has referred the issue to Justice.
Holder said Wednesday the department is reviewing the referrals.
Reid sent a separate letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in which he challenged the credibility of Brennan's claims. He also echoed Feinstein in raising conflict-of-interest concerns about the CIA's acting general counsel filing a criminal referral with Justice. The general counsel was mentioned by name 1,600 times in the committee's study of the interrogation program.
Troubled by the CIA's actions, Reid wrote to Holder, "Left unchallenged, they call into question Congress' ability to carry out its core constitutional duties and risk the possibility of an unaccountable intelligence community run amok."
Feinstein's dispute was sparked by fighting between Senate investigators and the CIA over a committee report on harsh interrogations. The report, which is still classified, concludes the CIA's use of coercive questioning was torture and produced little useful intelligence. The CIA argues the methods yielded important intelligence leads.
Senate aides reviewing classified computer files overseen by the agency have accused the CIA of monitoring their searches and withdrawing hundreds of internal documents without explanation. CIA officials blamed the aides for improperly accessing and mishandling classified files.
Both sides have claimed laws were broken. Brennan warned Feinstein in the January letter of a security breach caused by the aides; Feinstein accused the CIA last week of "a potential effort to intimidate this staff."
The committee is planning to vote next week on declassifying a 400-page summary of its report on harsh interrogations used during the war on terror, according to a government official. If approved, a CIA unit dedicated to line-by-line declassification will review the document, a process that also will involve lawyers from the CIA general counsel's office.
The committee is pressing for White House involvement and oversight of the process to ensure that any CIA official who was part of the interrogation unit doesn't have a say in what is declassified g-suite manchester.
The official was not authorized to discuss the private talks and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Since Feinstein's remarkable broadside against the agency last week, the committee and the spy agency have continued contacts, focusing mostly on the declassification process.
Separately, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a member of the committee, sent a letter to Obama on Thursday pressing for declassification of the committee's study of the CIA detention and interrogation program as soon as possible in an effort to "move past this dark chapter in our history."
The Associated Press obtained a copy of Reid's letter to Brennan.
PR

The new abortion law

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The last abortion clinic in the vast, impoverished Rio Grande Valley closed Thursday, along with the sole remaining clinic in the 100-mile stretch between Houston and the Louisiana border, cardinal manchester posing a tall obstacle to women seeking to end pregnancies across a wide swath of the nation's second-largest state.

The closures in McAllen and Beaumont bring to 19 the number of clinics that have shut down since Texas lawmakers adopted tough new abortion restrictions last summer. Twenty-four clinics remain to serve a population of 26 million women, and more closures could happen after additional restrictions take effect later this year.

Lawmakers required all abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, all abortions to take place in a surgical facility and all women seeking abortion-inducing medications to make four clinical visits. Those rules made it impossible for the clinics in Beaumont and McAllen to stay open, said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health.

Anti-abortion lawmakers said the regulations are necessary to protect women's health, but abortion-rights groups have sued the state claiming the restrictions are medically unnecessary and intended to shut down all Texas clinics that offer abortion services.

"Closing our clinics hurts us. But more importantly, it hurts the communities we have served," Miller said Thursday at a news conference. "We have done everything possible to keep our clinics open, but we are simply unable to survive."

The Whole Woman's Health clinics in Beaumont and McAllen had been open since 1973, when abortion was made legal by the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision.

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, welcomed the clinic closures because, he said, those facilities did not adequately protect patients.

"Requiring a doctor at an abortion facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital is common sense," he said. "In the event of a serious complication from an abortion, the physician should be able to follow the patient to the emergency room to continue caring for his or her patient."

The closest abortion clinic to Beaumont is in Houston. And for women in the Rio Grande Valley, the nearest clinics will be in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, nu skin a journey that means passing through immigration checkpoints that require U.S. identification or visas.

Paula Saldana, a women's health care educator in McAllen who volunteers for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said poor women in the valley relied on the clinic.

"When women come up to me and they are in desperate circumstances and they ask where they can go, I will not have a place to send them," she said.

Although groups are raising money to help pay travel costs for women who need abortions, it is still difficult for them to take time away from family and work, Saldana added.

The admitting privilege requirement has become a favored tool for anti-abortion lawmakers across the country to close clinics. In Mississippi, a federal judge has blocked enforcement of a similar requirement because it would shut down the state's last clinic. Alabama passed such a requirement last year, and Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a similar measure.

Most doctors do not have or need admitting privileges, and hospitals usually only grant them to doctors who routinely have patients in need of hospital care. The Texas Hospital Association opposed the requirement, saying admitting privileges were not necessary to provide women emergency care from abortion complications.

The law, which also bans abortions after 20 weeks, was the subject of the largest protests in a generation last summer at the state Capitol.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, gained national attention for a 13-hour filibuster that temporarily stopped the law. Gov. Rick Perry immediately called the Legislature back into special session, and Republican lawmakers easily passed it.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Miller, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinic operators, saying that the law has no purpose but to shut down clinics. The center won in district court, but the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stopped enforcement of the ruling and is considering an appeal by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who argues the law is constitutional g-suite cardinal manchester.

Davis and Abbott are now running against each other to replace Perry, who is not seeking another term.

Miller said part of the problem was finding doctors with admitting privileges to work with her clinics because of threats or intimidation by anti-abortion groups. Whole Woman's Health also operates clinics in Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth and two outside of Texas.

"These medical professionals who know us and our work could have helped us keep our clinics open, yet they have remained silent," she said. "We ask those doctors who would not step up for us: Where will you send your patients now?"

Spice

The government has banned cigarettes with candy, fruit and clove flavoring. There is no restriction on cigars except in Maine, New York City and Providence, R.I.

ATLANTA — Small cigars flavored to taste like candy or fruit are popular among teens, according to the first government study to gauge their use hong kong massage.

About 1 in 30 middle and high school kids said they smoke the compact, sweet-flavored cigars. The percentages rise as kids get older, to nearly 1 in 12 high school seniors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The results — based on a 2011 survey of nearly 19,000 students, grades 6 through 12 — were published online Tuesday by the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Since 2009, the government has banned cigarettes with candy, fruit and clove flavoring, though it continued to allow menthol flavoring. There is no restriction on sales of cigars with such flavorings except in Maine, New York City and Providence, R.I.

The sale of cigarettes and cigars to those under 18 is illegal g-suite cardinal, but according to an earlier CDC report, about 16 percent of high school students were smokers in 2011.

Health officials say sweet flavoring can mask the harsh taste of tobacco and make smoking more palatable.

"The so-called small cigars look like cigarettes, addict as much as cigarettes and they kill like cigarettes," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

Tobacco companies have said they oppose smoking by those under age 18. But the marketing of flavored cigars suggests companies are trying to interest kids in smoking, Frieden and others said.

"The tobacco industry has a long history of using flavored products to attract kids," said Danny McGoldrick, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy and research organization.

Sales of regular and flavored cigars have boomed in the last 12 years, from 6 billion to more than 13 billion annually, Ergonomic chair according to calculations by his group.

The CDC survey also asked about menthol-flavored cigarettes. When those were included, more than 40 percent of kids who were current smokers in the survey said they were using flavored cigars or cigarettes.

Arlington Cemetery

Family members of buried soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan have recently seen stones, photos and other mementos removed from gravesites.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Arlington National Cemetery is relaxing its policies to allow family members of those buried in its section for those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave behind small mementos and photos to honor those soldiers Set up Business in Hong Kong, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Section 60 is the part of the cemetery that is home to most of those killed in recent fighting.

Families in that section had been leaving stones, photos and other mementos at their loved ones' gravesites, even though cemetery policy strictly regulates such impromptu memorials.

Responding to complaints, cemetery staff cleaned out some of those memorials recently. Then families who had left the mementos complained about their removal hong kong company register.

Photos: Families outraged by Arlington grave cleanup

Patrick Hallinan is the executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery. He met with Section 60 families on Oct. 6, and worked out a compromise that will allow displays through the fall and winter months when the grass doesn't need cut often, said cemetery spokeswoman Jennifer Lynch.

Officials emphasized that items that are unsightly, anything affixed headstones, dangerous items such as tobacco, alcohol, ammunition, and glass, as well as any item that might pose a risk to workers or visitors.

Lynch said the cemetery will review its regulations and policies to see if long-term accommodation can be made.

Officials said small mementos will be permitted. Photos will be allowed how to register a business, but cannot be taped to headstones, Lynch said.

In the Canterbury destructive storm

Orion restored power to another 800 Canterbury customers on Monday, with another 1200 still without electricity.

About 500 Main Power customers in northern Canterbury also remain without power, with about 1500 reconnected over the weekend.

The gale-force wind storm, Accounting in HK described by Orion as the most damaging in recent memory by farmers as the worst in 40 years, hit the South Island on Tuesday, bringing down trees and smashing powerlines and poles.

It also left firefighters battling large blazes ignited by lightening strikes and electricity.

About 28,000 Orion customers lost power across the area in Tuesday's storm, with extensive damage being blamed for slow reconnections.

It was very difficult to say when customers would be reconnected because of the widespread damage, Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson said.

More Orion contractors have been hauled into Canterbury to help those already on the ground Income Tax Hong Kong, the company said on Monday afternoon.

Residents using generators are being asked to get them installed by registered electricians to ensure the safety of staff repairing the network.

Federated Farmers says the days since the storm have been an "overwhelming time" for the region's farmers with the damage bill expected to climb into the millions of dollars.

A large slip at Diana Falls has kept State Highway 6 at Haast Pass closed since last Wednesday.

The road was expected to reopen on Monday but additional slips on Sunday mean the reopen has been pushed back several days, the NZ Transport Agency says.

"Clearing operations will resume as soon as it is safe to do so Business Registry Hong Kong," the agency said.

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