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Senate Democrats Block Recess Appointment of Author of Torture Memo

Senate Democrats Block Recess Appointment of Author of Torture Memo

On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats are attempting to block President Bush from giving a recess appointment to a government attorney who authored two of the Bush administration’s secret torture memos. The Senate is usually in recess this week but on Wednesday, the Senate held a nine-second session in order to prevent Bush from promoting Steven Bradbury to become the chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Council. Bradbury is currently the acting chief but his nomination has not been approved by the Senate. In 2005 Bradbury signed two secret memos approving the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques.

Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto Assassinated

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benezir Bhutto has been assassinated just two months after returning to Pakistan from exile. She died after an apparent suicide attack in the city of Rawalpindi. She had just addressed an election rally when gunfire and an explosion occurred. Listen/Watch full segment

Teenager Dies After Cigna Refused To Pay For Transplant

A California family is seeking murder or manslaughter charges against the health insurance company Cigna following the death of 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan.
On December 11 doctors at UCLA determined Sarkisyan needed a liver transplant. But Signa refused to pay for the transplant, saying the procedure was experimental and outside the scope of coverage. After 10 days of refusing to cover the transplant Cigna bowed to public pressure and agreed to cover the costs of the surgery. But Nataline’s family said by then it was too late. The teenager died less than an hour after Cigna reversed its decision. The family’s attorney Mark Geragos said he plans to ask the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to consider manslaughter or murder charges against Cigna.
Geragos said Cigna signed the girl’s “death warrant” by delaying approval for a transplant.

Deans of Journalism Schools Warn Against Media Consolidation

And a group of deans from some of the most prominent journalism schools in the country are encouraging journalists to speak out against last week’s FCC’s ruling allowing cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcasting stations. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, the deans said the future of the profession of journalism and its public mission is at stake. The deans write: “We do not believe that the market can be absolutely trusted to provide the local news gathering that the American system needs to function at its best.” The deans warned that deregulation has led to cutbacks in newsrooms across the country. “Television and radio stations generally have smaller news staffs today than they did in the era before deregulation,” they wrote. “That represents a real loss for American democracy.”

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