Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, said that the United States should not have used the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" program in a letter to Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Why it matters: During her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel repeatedly refused to state whether she believed enhanced interrogation techniques were immoral. Her pivot could secure her additional Democratic votes during her committee vote, which is currently scheduled for tomorrow. While Haspel is expected to be confirmed, only two Senate Democrats — Indiana's Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin, have said they will vote in her favor.

What she said:

"Over the last 17 years, the Agency and I have learned the hard lessons since 9/11. While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world. With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior Agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken. The United States must be an example to the rest of the world, and I support that."

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

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Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

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In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

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Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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