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It's All Politics
8:31 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Will 2nd-Term Obama Show More Mercy Through Pardons?

President Obama speaks to reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office. On Thursday, Obama announced that he was granting a series of pardons and clemencies.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:47 am

President Obama came to office after bemoaning the disparity in sentences for crack versus powder cocaine offenses, and with a background as a community organizer and constitutional law teacher that had some progressives anticipating a robust use of the Constitution's "reprieves and pardons" power.

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The Two-Way
7:55 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Update: Putin Critic Khodorkovsky Released From Prison

Former Yukos oil company CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky looks through the defendant's glass cage in a Moscow courtroom on Nov. 1, 2010.
Alexey Sazonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:24 pm

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET, Friday. Breaking News From Reuters:

"Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, left prison on Friday after a pardon from President Vladimir Putin ended a decade in jail that many saw as the fallen oil tycoon's punishment for daring to challenge the Kremlin."

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The Two-Way
7:11 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Senators Cross Aisle To Call For New Sanctions On Iran

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:43 pm

A bipartisan measure defying President Obama would impose new sanctions on Iran if it breaks an interim deal to curb its nuclear program.

The "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act" would also compel the United States to back any Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Reuters says:

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

New York City Extends Smoking Ban To E-Cigarettes

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:30 pm

New York's City Council has approved extending the city's strict smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, which emit a vapor.

The measure was pushed by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and backed by public health advocates in the city. It comes just weeks after New York became the first major city to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21.

Earlier this month, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said that "more research is needed on electronic cigarettes," but that "waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we have made over the last few years."

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All Tech Considered
6:03 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.S. Credit Card Security Lags

The U.K., Canada and other countries have been using more secure chip credit cards for years now. Why hasn't the U.S. caught up?
Martin Keene PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:47 pm

Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target. A possible weakness? The magnetic stripe on credit cards — which fraudsters can pull credit card numbers and expiration dates from to make counterfeit cards.

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