CIA director reverses himself on Senate spying

KEN DILANIAN AP Intelligence Writer Published:

WASHINGTON -- For months, CIA Director John Brennan had stood firm in his insistence that the CIA had little to be ashamed of after searching the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His defiant posture quickly collapsed after a devastating report by his own inspector general sided against the CIA on each key point of the dispute with the Senate.

According to an unclassified summary of the report released Thursday, five agency employees improperly accessed Intelligence Committee computers earlier this year during a disagreement over interrogation documents.

Then, despite Brennan ordering a halt to that operation, the CIA's office of security began an unauthorized investigation that led it to review the emails of Senate staffers.

Those conclusions and others prompted Brennan to abandon his defensive posture and apologize to Intelligence Committee leaders.

High-rise shooting: A demoted executive shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a high-rise office building in downtown Chicago's bustling financial district, police said. The worker pulled a gun after entering the 17th-floor office to privately meet with the CEO, and during a struggle for the weapon, the CEO was shot in his head and abdomen, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

Poultry inspections: The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year. Final rules announced Thursday would reduce the number of government poultry inspectors. But those who remain will focus more on food safety than on quality, requiring them to pull more birds off the line for closer inspections and encouraging more testing for pathogens. More inspectors would check the facilities to make sure they are clean.

Blame it on the cream: After Miami Beach Police Detective Reinaldo Casas tested positive for cocaine, he insisted that the drug had been unwittingly absorbed into his blood through an erection-enhancing cream he applied to his genitals. His defense worked. An arbitrator this week ordered Casas, who was fired last year because of this positive drug test, be reinstated with complete back pay. By law, Miami Beach police must comply with the ruling. At a grievance hearing, Casas testified that a buddy, Idilio Godinez, gave him the cream "with the advice that it would help him in his sexual liaisons." Godinez testified that he got the sex-enhancement cream from "an old Cuban guy" as a gift for giving him some political campaign signs. Godinez claimed he did not know what was in the cream, but had tried it himself and it worked.

Foreign policy poll: Foreign policy used to be a bright spot in Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama. Not anymore. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of events in Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere now matches his low overall approval rating. Forty-three percent of those polled approve of Obama's handling of relationships with foreign countries, while 40 percent approve of the job he's doing overall. The low marks are consistent with his handling of events in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine. That may benefit Republicans aiming to win control of Congress in November.

But the global problems that have consumed much of Washington's attention aren't rated as especially pressing by most Americans. Only about 4 in 10 consider the conflicts in each of those four places highly important to them.

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