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The number of confirmed dead in the Washington State mudslide rose again today to 30. The local medical examiner’s office released the names of two more victims, and it lowered the number of missing to 15, down from 18 yesterday. Meanwhile, the search continued in the tiny community of Oso. It was buried last month when a hillside collapsed.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to declassify parts of a report on CIA interrogations after 9/11. The report concludes methods such as water-boarding were often cruel and ineffective. Today’s vote comes as senators accuse the CIA of spying on their investigation and deleting files. The CIA says Senate staffers accessed the information illegally.
Hopes for progress in Middle East peace talks are fading. Israel announced today it will not release another group of Palestinian prisoners after all. It blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for resuming a push for U.N. recognition. Abbas had cited delays in the prisoner release for his decision.
In Algeria today, Secretary of State John Kerry appealed to both sides.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State:
The leaders have to lead. And they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there. There’s an old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Now is time to drink, and the leaders need to know that.
Kerry had set the end of April as the deadline for getting a framework peace agreement.
The government of Chad announced today it’s withdrawing more than 800 peacekeepers from the Central African Republic. The troops had been accused of opening fire on a crowd there last week, killing 32 civilians. Chad’s forces also allegedly backed a Muslim rebel government that was forced from power in the CAR in January.
At least one million Syrian refugees have now fled to Lebanon to escape civil war in their homeland. The United Nations Refugee Agency announced the figure today and called it a devastating milestone.
NINETTE KELLEY, UNHCR Representative, Lebanon:
We have now a million refugees here in Lebanon, which is one-quarter of the population. And every single refugee reflects a life that has been absolutely devastated by this crisis. We’re doing our best to keep up. The Lebanese society is incredibly strained by the additional burden that these refugees are bringing to bear.
The U.N. also warned the total is likely higher, since many of those who fled to Lebanon never registered as refugees. It’s estimated at least 2.5 million Syrians have fled to neighboring states.
Turkey lifted its ban on the social media site Twitter today. The country’s constitutional court ruled yesterday the ban violated basic freedoms. It was imposed two weeks ago, after users posted allegations of government corruption. The video-sharing Web site YouTube remains offline.
Wall Street had a relatively quiet day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost about half-a-point today to close at 16,572; the Nasdaq fell 38 points to close at 4,237; and the S&P 500 slid two points to finish at 1,888.