First Drip (12/09/14): Arson building missed permits, Senate wrestles with torture report



The city of Charlotte and the Charlotte Fire Department did not obtain necessary permits to renovate a building on North Graham Street, even though a former employee and a City Council member raised questions about safety there and whether the city had followed county regulations.

On the eve of a long-awaited Senate report on the use of torture by the United States government — a detailed account that will shed an unsparing light on the Central Intelligence Agency’s darkest practices after the September 2001 terrorist attacks — the Obama administration and its Republican critics clashed on Monday over the wisdom of making it public, and the risk that it will set off a backlash overseas.

More than two years after arriving on Mars, Curiosity--NASA's mobile laboratory the size of a Mini-Cooper--is climbing a mountain of sedimentary rock, reading the story of how the young planet turned dry and cold.

In a case of life imitating art, this time the art being independent November movie Dear White People, a Clemson University fraternity has been suspended indefinitely by its national organization after some of its members threw a gang-themed Christmas party over the weekend. The Saturday night off-campus party, dubbed "Clemson Cripmas," was thrown by the South Carolina school's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which school officials say has no black members. "Clemson is better than this," the university president said in an email to students.