Monday, April 27, 2009


A Senate inquiry published on Wednesday directly implicates senior members of the Bush administration in the extensive use of harsh interrogation methods against al-Qaida suspects and other prisoners round the world. The 232-page report, the most detailed investigation yet into the background of torture, undercuts the claim of the then deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq was the work of "a few bad apples".

The report says: "The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of "a few bad apples" acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees." The report says that instructors trained CIA and other military personnel early in 2002 on the use of harsher interrogation techniques but warned that information obtained might be unreliable.

World losses top $4 trillion says IMF report

Financial institutions in the United States, Western Europe and Japan face credit losses of more than $4 trillion as the global economy continues to deteriorate during its deepest and longest recession in more than 60 years, the International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday. U.S. financial institutions face asset write-downs totalling $2.7 trillion, nearly double the $1.4 trillion in write-offs that were projected in October, the IMF said in its latest Global Financial Stability report. The gloomy report, released in advance of this weekend's IMF meeting in Washington, predicted that "the global credit crisis is likely to be deep and long lasting." The report said capital flows to emerging markets have "come to a halt." IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard predicted at a briefing that "it is going to take quite a while until we see a return to capital outflows" to emerging markets, even "if the banking system is slowly repaired in advanced countries." As financial institutions see their credit losses soar, they face "further pressure" to "raise capital and shed assets," the IMF said

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