Donald Trump's pick to lead the CIA has passed a crucial Senate committee vote, all but guaranteeing she will be confirmed as the first female director of the agency. Gina Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran and current acting director of the agency, passed her Senate Intelligence Committee vote easily, with 10 senators in favour and five opposing. Thanks to five Democratic senators who've said they'll support her nomination, she is widely expected to pass a forthcoming full Senate vote. Ms Haspel was a controversial choice for CIA director given her involvement in the agency's post-9/11 interrogation programme. In her Senate confirmation hearing, Ms Haspel refused to disavow techniques previously used by the CIA – such as waterboarding – or to deem them "immoral". Read more Trump's pick for CIA director secures enough votes for confirmation But in letters to Democratic senators ahead of the committee vote, Ms Haspel said the CIA … [Read more...] about Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to run the CIA, passes crucial Senate committee vote
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Donald Trump’s pick to lead the CIA has secured enough votes to be confirmed, despite concerns over her involvement in a controversial post-9/11 interrogation programme that some have called torture. Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Heidi Heitkamp pledged their support for nominee Gina Haspel on Tuesday, all but ensuring that the career intelligence officer would be confirmed as CIA director in her forthcoming Senate vote. Mr Warner had been critical of Ms Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran and the first woman nominated to lead the agency. He called the decision to support her nomination “difficult,” but said it was informed by her decades of service at the agency. Read more Who is the woman Donald Trump wants to take over the CIA? “Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ms Haspel in her role as Deputy Director, and I have always found her to be professional and forthright with the Intelligence Committee,” said Mr … [Read more...] about Gina Haspel: Trump’s pick for CIA director secures enough votes for confirmation
There’s lots of chatter in the travel blogs about low fares from the US to Europe this summer and how Americans should rush to take advantage. Many will and I wish them a lovely time. But maybe they should steer clear of politics lest their hosts give them a roasting they won’t forget. Some more seasoned American travellers will recall there have been other moments in time when a trip across the pond carried the risk of being lectured upon arrival about the errors of their country’s ways, notably during the Bush-Cheney era and the war in Iraq. With you-know-who in the White House now, we almost forget how divisive a time that was, some of us even catching ourselves reflecting that old George W. was a decent sort really. You know, by comparison. But then last week’s confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill for Gina Haspel to become the next director of the CIA jolted us out of that little daydream. We were reminded all at once about the last time the United … [Read more...] about Trump’s new crusade against the NHS has the potential to destroy his reputation in Europe once and for all
For decades, presidents have publicly released their tax returns each year – an act of transparency and a way to connect and commiserate with Americans on Tax Day. On Tuesday, president Donald Trump did not even file his taxes. White House officials said Mr Trump, who has steadfastly refused to make any of his previous tax returns public, requested a six-month extension because of the complexity of preparing his 2017 returns. He plans to file by mid-October, officials said. Read more Trump says US and N Korea speaking directly at ‘extremely high levels’ Trump wants to review files seized from lawyer before investigators Donald Trump ‘morally unfit’ to be president says James Comey Trump defends boasting ‘mission accomplished’ over Syria air strikes Trump says if Syria uses poison gas again it is ‘locked and loaded’ The announcement came on a day that the president and his allies used to remind people about Mr Trump’s … [Read more...] about Trump requests extension for submitting 2017 tax returns
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepared for his appearance before Congress this week, he is unlikely to have anticipated facing so many questions about Diamond and Silk. The Silicon Valley giant - quizzed by members of the House Commerce Committee over his company's role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the social network's vulnerability to exploitation - was asked repeatedly about the Republican commentators and accused of banning their videos for political ends. "Why is Facebook censoring conservative bloggers such as Diamond and Silk? Facebook called them 'unsafe' to the community. That is ludicrous. They hold conservative views. That isn’t unsafe," said Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, reading aloud a message from a constituent. Read more Fact-checking some of Zuckerberg's strangest claims to US politicians Mr Zuckerberg responded by explaining that, "in that specific case, our team made an … [Read more...] about Diamond and Silk: Who are the Donald Trump super-fans and why are they angry with Facebook?