Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Obama: Some actions in CIA report ‘constituted torture’
The release Tuesday of a much-anticipated Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation tactics is being publicly parsed over the use of possible "torture" techniques. The 6,000-page report, which took six years to produce, concluded that interrogation techniques used after 9/11 were essentially useless and far more brutal than the spy agency had previously told Congress and the public. Among the techniques described were waterboarding so severe it produced convulsions, sleep deprivation, the denial of medical care and unnecessary rectal feeding. In response, President Barack Obama told MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart on Tuesday that some of the techniques mentioned “constituted torture” and were “counterproductive.” At least one former CIA director, Michael Hayden, disagreed. Read more in NEWS.
2. 9/11 mastermind ‘fabricated’ intel under CIA torture
One glaring part of the CIA report involves what interrogators did to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11. Mohammed was captured on March 1, 2003, and was immediately taken to a CIA-operated base and subjected to “forced rectal feeding” within two days of his capture. He was also waterboarded 183 times in a single month to force him to reveal potential targets. But the report says his intel was largely fruitless and sent agents on wild goose chases. Read more in NEWS.
3. Heavy rains, winds wallop both coasts
Both the Northeast and the West Coast are being socked by major storm systems that are expected to cause more travel headaches Wednesday. After rain caused flooding along the East Coast on Tuesday, the same system dumped heavy snow on parts of New England, with Killington Ski Resort getting 14 inches of the white stuff. Snow also fell overnight in northern New York state. Meanwhile in California, residents were gearing up Wednesday for possible floods, rock slides, mud slides and ground debris flows as an atmospheric system called the Pineapple Express slowly tracks south through the state. Read more in NEWS.
4. Federal government makes plan to avoid shutdown
The federal government’s lights can stay on. Congressional leaders filed legislation to fund the government past the Dec. 11 deadline, and the House could vote on it later this week. The $1.1 trillion spending package would fund almost all of the government until next fall but would only allow short-term funds for the Department of Homeland Security, which heads up immigration policy. Read more in POLITICS.
5. Ebola caregivers selected as TIME’s Person of the Year
TIME magazine chose those fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as their "person of the year." The honor — revealed on the TODAY show — had included Ferguson protesters, Russian President Vladimir Putin and pop star Taylor Swift on the shortlist. TIME also unveiled multiple versions of its cover — each highlighting a different Ebola fighter to represent the group. Among those featured: Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, Dr. Jerry Brown and nurse aide and survivor Salome Karwah. Read more at TODAY.
6. Missouri, Georgia execute inmates with low IQs
Two inmates on death row were executed overnight Tuesday despite pleas that their IQs were too low and their executions would violate a U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the death penalty for the mentally disabled. Robert Wayne Holsey was executed at 10:51 p.m. ET — an hour after the court rejected the plea. Paul Goodwin's execution began at 1:17 a.m. Wednesday, more than an hour after it was scheduled, and he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m. Read more in NEWS.
And now this …
Dust off your old iPod — it’s back in style. Since Apple is no longer making its iPod Classic, which first went into production in 2001, it’s now worth more than it originally sold for. The mp3 players are finding a resurgence on eBay and Amazon.