(Reuters) - Six Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials were found guilty on Tuesday of obstructing a federal investigation into violence and other misconduct against prisoners at county jails, California media reported. The six defendants - two lieutenants, two sergeants and two deputies - were convicted by a federal jury in Los Angeles of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, charges which carry a possible maximum prison sentence of 15 years, media reported. City News Service, a California news agency cited U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. as saying: "(The defendants) participated in a scheme to thwart a federal grand jury investigation into violations of basic constitutional rights guaranteed to both prisoners and visitors to county jails." Accusations ranged from conspiring to obstruct a 2011 federal investigation including an effort to prevent contact between federal investigators and an inmate informant after his cover was blown.
An independent panel says the National Security Agency's collection of Internet data within the United States passes constitutional muster and employs "reasonable" safeguards designed to protect the rights of Americans.
Their Senate majority in peril, anxious Democrats have seized the Supreme Court decision that some companies need not provide birth control to women as fresh evidence of the GOP's "war on women" -- an argument they hope will energize female voters who could decide the balance of power on Capitol Hill.