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Obama sends Susan Rice to Hill to brief lawmakers

About a year ago, the White House put Susan Rice, then the ambassador to the United Nations, on TV to read CIA talking points that turned out to be false about the attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The backlash poisoned her relationship with Republicans in Congress and dashed her chances of becoming secretary of state. President Obama instead named her national security adviser, which didn’t require Senate confirmation.

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Nearly 20 million illegal immigrants in U.S., former Border Patrol agents say

The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is actually closer to 20 million, according to former Border Patrol agents who issued a letter this weekend disputing the count of 11 million that the government and most top private demographers use.

“The more likely figure is 18-20 million and rising daily,” Zack Taylor, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, Inc., said in an open letter dated Sunday.

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REPORT: Nearly Half of Births Covered by Medicaid

According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up. Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period.

Lead investigator Anne Markus, an associate professor of health policy at GWU, said, “As states expand coverage, low-income women of childbearing age will be able to obtain more continuous coverage before and between pregnancies. Now, for the first time, researchers will have a comprehensive baseline that will help them determine how increased access to services might change pregnancies and ultimately birth outcomes.”

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Benghazi Whistleblower: I’ve Been ‘Punished’ for Speaking Out

Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya who testified before Congress about the 9/11 attacks on an American diplomatic facility earlier this year, believes he has been “punished” for speaking out about the Obama administration’s response the night of the attack. He said he believes at least two of the Americans lost that night could have been saved if the United States had responded in time.

“I don’t know why I was punished,” Hicks said in an interview with ABC’s This Week. “I don’t know why I was shunted aside, put in a closet if you will.”

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Feds to give SC money to improve gun background checks

COLUMBIA — The federal government will spend nearly $1 million to improve background checks for South Carolina gun purchases.

The Department of Justice awarded the State Law Enforcement Division a grant of more than $900,000 to improve the National Criminal Background Check System, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced Friday. NICS is used to verify who is eligible to purchase a firearm.

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Report: DC denies permit for 9/11 bikers; Planners move ahead anyway

Washington DC has DENIED our permit for a no-stop ride through Washington DC. We find this regretful for the residents and businesses of that great city, and humbly offer our apologies. What could have been a one or two hour ride through will now likely be an all day event. We will be obeying all laws. We will be stopping at all stoplights, stop signs, and yielding to all pedestrians.

RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES OF WASHINGTON DC: On behalf of the National “2 Million Bikers to DC” Team, please accept our sincere apologies. We did the right thing and went through the proper channels to secure a no-stop permit to ride through your great city. We wanted to ride an established route, which would have taken us past the Viet Nam Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, across the bridge into Virginia, and that’s it! We would have been completely out of Washington DC, and your city would have been back to normal.

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BOOTS ON THE GROUND — IN JORDAN; U.S. TO ‘TRAIN’ REBELS

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Any training would take place outside Syria, and one possible location would be Jordan.

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NSA Foils Internet Encryption

The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents.

The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show.

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Temporary Visitors to U.S. At All-Time High, Nobody’s Keeping Track of Them

Visas for temporary visitors entering the United States have increased 61 percent since 1992, according to data released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But the federal government has no way to make sure they leave when their visas expire.

Out of 165 million non-immigrant admissions to the U.S. last year, 53.9 million were “temporary visitors for business and pleasure,” according to the Office of Immigration Statistics’ 2012 Annual Flow Report. In 1992, this number was 20.9 million, marking a 61 percent increase in temporary admissions over the past 21 years.

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PAPER: Libya left in lawlessness and ruin…

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

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