The Daily Muck

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Despite making some moves toward a different approach to the fight against terrorism, President Obama has issued executive orders recently preserving the practice of rendition. While advanced interrogations have been stopped and Obama has announced his intention to close Guantanamo Bay, the administration has chosen to preserve the rendition program because it, along with missile strikes from Predator drones, allows the U.S. to keep terrorists off the streets, according to intelligence officials. (Los Angeles Times)

An investigation of visa applications by the Associated Press revealed that major U.S. banks, many of which now receive bailout money, sought to get visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers. Applicants were sought for positions ranging from senior vice presidents to legal counsel to junior analysts. Foreign workers are attractive to banks because they can be paid less. (Associated Press)

The union for employees of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is alleging that Border Patrol agents working in Riverside, California were given monthly arrest quotas. Agents were told last month that they had to make 150 arrests, two leading to prosecutions, or supervisors would “change [their] weekends off,” according to the president of a local union. A spokesperson for the agency said that quotas run counter to agency policy. (Associated Press)In a chilling case of corporate malfeasance, a federal court has revived two lawsuits brought by Nigerian families against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The lawsuits allege that the company tested a new antibiotic on children from their families without their knowledge in a 1996 clinical trial. 11 children died during the trials and others were left with brain damage and crippling arthritis. Separate criminal and civil actions in Nigeria are seeking damages of more than $8 billion. (Washington Post)

Bank of America, one of the largest recipients of federal bailout money, sponsored a five-day-long Super Bowl party this weekend. The bank defended its sponsorship as a “business proposition” and in line with its “growth strategy,” according to a spokesperson for the company. The event was held in an 850,000 square foot space and featured sports games and interactive entertainment. (ABC News)

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