TPM News

NBC News reports:

The United States has frozen $700 million in aid to Pakistan until it gets assurances that Islamabad is helping fight the spread of homemade bombs, a move likely to further strain ties between the countries.

A British Parliamentary committee on Tuesday published emails that call into question how much News International executive James Murdoch knew about the company’s practice of hacking phones, Reuters reports.

Jon Corzine and the other two chiefs of MF Global repeatedly denied on Tuesday that they have any knowledge of what happened to $1.2 billion in segregated customer assets that disappeared shortly before the company went bankrupt. Corzine and the others have not yet been charged with a crime, but there is speculation that the firm may have violated laws that require futures firms to segregate client money from money used to bankroll the company.

In a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee that wrapped up Tuesday afternoon, Corzine denied that any of these laws were broken under his instructions. “I never directed anyone at MF Global to misuse customer funds,” Corzine said. “I never intended to, and as far as I’m concerned I never gave instructions that anyone could misconstrue.”

“To the best of my recollection,” he later said, “I do not recall participating in any conversation about the use of customer segregated funds or assets for any purpose other than what they were intended to be used for.”

Corzine will appear at another hearing before the House Financial Services subcommittee on Thursday.

Every time a Blackwater centurion discharged his weapon in Iraq, the company filed a written report with the U.S. State Department. Blackwater shot Iraq to shit. Here are the reports.

Blackwater, the private mercenary firm that became synonymous with Bush-era war profiteering and reckless combat-tourism, announced yesterday that it has changed its name to Academi (after a previous incarnation as Xe Services) in a bid to distance itself from its history of wanton lawlessness. We've obtained a 4,500-page record of that history in the form of State Department incident reports documenting every time a Blackwater guard shot at an Iraqi between 2005 and 2007.

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Some new ads are providing a sneak preview of the 2012 general elections for the Senate, with Tim Kaine and George Allen set to slug it out in Virginia.

Already, the two presumptive nominees met last week for a very heated debate, which provided the same spectacle we would expect in the final month of the general election -- when it fact the election is 11 months away!

And now, in the last couple days the two have also released dueling Web videos. Though they are only on Youtube, the ads do provide a sneak preview of the general election themes for these two candidates, and potentially for many other Senate candidates in the coming cycle.

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The GOP race in the first caucus state of Iowa is in flux, but new polling from Pew shows the national race in the same place it’s been for a few weeks: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 35 percent of Republican voters, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney 21 and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in third with 8 percent.

The Pew data shows that while the GOP contest seems to have been defined by a weak frontrunner in Mitt Romney and party faithful attempting to coalesce around one anti-Romney candidate, there’s no difference in enthusiasm between the two groups. But there is a new dynamic on perceived electability: the Pew poll shows that Republicans are starting to see Gingrich as the candidate who can win in 2012. From Pew:

There is no difference in intensity between those who support Gingrich and those who support Romney. About three-in-ten among both groups (33% Romney, 29% Gingrich) say they support their candidate strongly; far more say they support their candidate only moderately (66% Romney, 69% Gingrich)....As Gingrich has moved into the lead for the GOP nomination, he also is increasingly viewed as having the best chance of any Republican to defeat Barack Obama. Currently, 35% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say that Gingrich has the best chance of beating Obama next November, up from just 13% a month ago.

Wisconsin's voter ID law imposes the equivalent of a poll tax on individuals with out-of-state drivers licenses and discriminates against the poor, students and the elderly, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday.

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