USAID Defends ‘Cuban Twitter’ Program

GAO signed off on efforts to promote freedom on island nation
A woman uses her cellphone in Havana, Cuba / AP

Former and current U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials are defending the agency’s controversial social media program in Cuba as a legitimate tool for promoting freedom of expression in the communist country.

Report: Agencies Failing at FOIA

Half of federal agencies have failed to meet transparency obligations
Attorney General Eric Holder / AP

Half of the federal agencies handling the bulk of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are failing at their transparency obligations, a government watchdog group reported Monday.

Anti-Drug Efforts Succeeding in Colombia

Could serve as model for other regional countries
Anti-narcotics police in Colombia / AP

Joint anti-drug efforts between the United States and Colombia have reduced cocaine production and violence and could serve as a model for other regional countries aiming to build better democracies, experts say.

Judiciary Committee Approves Gun Trafficking Bill

Other bills on hold and their fate is uncertain
AP

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a gun trafficking bill Thursday but recessed before voting on several other contentious gun-control measures, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D., Calif.) assault weapons ban.

Leahy Denies Gutting Email Privacy Bill

Aide: 'There are not going to be any changes for allowing warrantless access to email'
Patrick Leahy / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) denied carving out broad authority for warrantless searching of Americans’ email accounts Tuesday following a news report he had rewritten a Senate bill originally intended to strengthen electronic privacy.

Pat Leahy’s Bad Faith

Vermont Democrat suggests his colleagues support Israel’s interests over the United States’ during debate over status of Palestinian refugees

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) last Thursday criticized a hotly contested proposal concerning Palestinian refugees for not putting “the United States’ interests first”—a charge that critics said evokes the “Israel firster” slur at the center of the Middle East debate.