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April 25, 2009

McClatchy Washington Bureau’s 10 Best

Filed under: News — hypeplug @ 3:31 am

McClatchy Washington Bureau

McClatchy’s 10 Best Read

5:00pm Friday, April 24, 2009 EDT

  • Retailers and consumers say there may be several reasons gun stores are running out of ammunition and the cost of what is available is rising. Some people fear that taxes on ammunition, guns and other firearms-related materials might drastically increase, as they have on cigarettes.

  • Robots are gaining on us humans. Thanks to exponential increases in computer power — which is roughly doubling every two years — robots are getting smarter, more capable, more like flesh-and-blood people. Matching human skills and intelligence, however, is an enormously difficult — perhaps impossible — challenge.

  • The use of abusive interrogation — widely considered torture — as part of the Bush administration’s quest for a rationale to invade Iraq came to light as the Senate issued a major report tracing the origin of the abuses and President Barack Obama opened the door to prosecuting former U.S. officials for approving them.

  • A growing number of U.S. intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials have concluded that there’s little hope of preventing nuclear-armed Pakistan from disintegrating into fiefdoms controlled by Islamist warlords and terrorists, posing a greater threat to the U.S. than Afghanistan’s terrorist haven did before 9/11.

  • In a direct challenge to President Barack Obama’s commitment to rejuvenate moribund Mideast peace talks, Israel on Thursday dismissed American-led efforts to establish a Palestinian state and laid out new conditions for renewed negotiations.

  • A new ethics complaint filed Wednesday against Gov. Sarah Palin says her role in the political action committee SarahPAC poses a conflict with her official duties as governor.

  • After Gov. Rick Perry’s recent comments about some Texans talking secession from the union made national news, legislators are considering issuing a “cease and desist” order to the federal government.

  • A newly declassified narrative of the Bush administration’s advice to the CIA on harsh interrogations shows that the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques were operating not on their own but with direction from top administration officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

  • The Alaska Legislature adjourned for the year Sunday night with an end to the nasty fight between Gov. Sarah Palin and lawmakers over an open state Senate seat. Palin ended the long stalemate by giving the Senate Democrats the appointee they wanted, former Juneau mayor Dennis Egan.

  • A hundred miles northwest of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, the Swat valley offers a chilling vision of what much of the country could become.

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