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The American intelligence director and the White House have finally confirmed what insiders have long known: The Obama administration is spying on the entire world. Politicians in Germany are demanding answers.
South of Utah's Great Salt Lake, the National Security Agency (NSA), a United States foreign intelligence service, keeps watch over one of its most expensive secrets. Here, on 100,000 square meters (1,100,000 square feet) near the US military's Camp Williams, the NSA is constructing enormous buildings to house superfast computers. All together, the project will cost around $2 billion (€1.5 billion) and the computers will be capable of storing a gigantic volume of data, at least 5 billion gigabytes. The energy needed to power the cooling system for the servers alone will cost $40 million a year.
Britain on Monday dismissed as "baseless" accusations that security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by PRISM, a secret U.S. eavesdropping program.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government has been under pressure from the opposition and the media to reassure the public after U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of PRISM last week.
His disclosure lifted the lid on what he said was a vast surveillance system that stretched across the world, vacuuming up emails, electronic communications and phone data - including that of some Britons- that leaked documents showed was sometimes handed over to Britain's security services.
White House refers Snowden's case to Justice Department while Republicans in Congress call for whistleblower's extradition
Washington was struggling to contain one of the most explosive national security leaks in US history on Monday as public criticism grew of the sweeping surveillance state revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Political opinion was split with some members of Congress calling for the immediate extradition of a man they consider a "defector", but other senior politicians on both parties questioning whether US surveillance practices had gone too far.
Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who revealed secrets of the Vietnam war through the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, described Snowden's leak as even more important and perhaps the most significant leak in American history.
In London, the British foreign secretary William Hague was forced to defend the UK's use of intelligence gathered by the US, and other European leaders also voiced concern.
Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA worker who revealed a secret U.S. electronic surveillance program, says he likes Hong Kong’s independence and free speech. He may be about to learn about its extradition deal with the U.S.
The 29-year-old American, a former technical assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency, provided the information to journalists and revealed his identity voluntarily, according to a video interview posted on the website of the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. Snowden, an employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp (BAH)., has been working at the National Security Agency for the past four years for various contractors, according to reports by the Guardian and the Washington Post, which said he provided them with documents.
Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant who has stepped forward to say he's the source of explosive leaks about government surveillance programs was among "thousands upon thousands" of such analysts hired to manage and sift through "huge amounts of data," NPR's Tom Gjelten said Monday on Morning Edition.
He's "what we'd normally call a geek," Tom added.
Indeed, The Guardian on Monday shares more about the young man who it says was behind last week's leaks concerning National Security Agency programs that sweep up data on phone calls and Internet activity. It paints a portrait of a mediocre student with a GED degree who joined the Army in 2003, but was discharged after breaking his legs in a training accident. Snowden says he later wound up working with the CIA and then a contractor because he's skilled at computer programming.
According to the Guardian, "by 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents."
President Obama was in California over the weekend for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and according to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, the discussions "were positive and constructive, wide-ranging and quite successful in achieving the goals that we set forth for this meeting."
Of course, that kind of diplomatic description is routine and largely unhelpful. What, exactly, was "quite successful" about the bilateral talks? Well, for one thing, there was an agreement on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which Jon Chait saw as a "big deal," in part because it will help combat the climate crisis, and in part because of what it tells us about the near future.
The Justice Department announced on Monday that it will allow the most popular morning after pill, Plan B, to be available over the counter to women of all ages, dropping its appeal of a federal court order.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that it has “asked the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step to submit a supplemental application seeking approval of the one-pill product to be made available O.T.C. without any such restrictions” and “intends to approve it promptly.” Generic versions may also be eventually approved. The morning after pill prevents conception “if taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse.”
Standard & Poor's on Monday revised its credit outlook on the United States government to stable from negative, citing Congress's avoidance of the year-end 2012 "fiscal cliff" and the higher-than-expected tax receipts that followed.
Additionally, the ratings agency, the only one to have cut the United States from the coveted AAA status, said it does not expect the debate later in 2013 regarding a raising of the debt ceiling to result in "a sudden unplanned contraction in current spending - which could be disruptive - let along debt service."
S&P estimates the government will need to authorize a further increase in the amount of debt it can issue near the end of the fiscal year in September.
The chances of a ratings downgrade is now "less than one in three" as improvements in tax receipts and economic performance are helping to bring down the country's debt levels.
The United States could make a decision as early as this week on whether to arm Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said on Monday, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put off a Middle East trip to attend meetings on the subject.
However, the U.S. government has debated for months whether to provide weaponry to the rebels in their civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and has so far decided against.
One U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity stressed that while a decision on whether to start arming the rebels is possible as soon as this week, deliberations on the issue could easily take longer.
Kerry put off a planned trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories to attend the White House meetings, an Obama administration source said.
Heda Umarova first encountered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones while scouring the Internet to understand how her friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went from free-wheeling student to terrorism suspect.
Umarova, a 21-year-old Chechen native from Chelsea, Massachusetts, found logic and comfort in Jones, who uses his 17 hours of weekly radio broadcasts and a sprawling online empire to advance the idea that the U.S. government played a part in the April 15 explosions that killed three and injured more than 260 at the Boston Marathon.
“A lot of it is ‘Oh my god, he is crazy,’ but a lot of stuff he says make sense,” said Umarova, who grew up knowing the Tsarnaev family. “He brings up a lot of valid points.”
The mother of the gunman who killed five people in a Santa Monica rampage Friday said several years ago that she was the victim of domestic abuse, according to his former teacher.
Several law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the gunman, 24-year-old John Zawahri, had struggled with his parents' bitter divorce several years ago. He also had a history of mental issues, the sources said, but they could not be more specific.
Sources say the rampage began in the Zawahri home when the gunman killed his father, Samir Zawahri, 55, and brother, Chris, 25. Police arrived to find the home on fire and the two bodies inside.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Tens of thousands of acres in Oregon's drought-stricken Klamath Basin will have to go without irrigation water this summer after the Klamath Tribes and the federal government exercised for the first time newly confirmed powers that put the tribes in the driver's seat over the use of water.
Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor said Monday they were making what is known as a "call" on their water rights for rivers flowing into Upper Klamath Lake in Southern Oregon.
A core of Turkish protesters showed little sign of easing their occupation of a central Istanbul square on Monday after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned his patience may run out over the worst anti-government unrest in years.
Protesters, many camped out in tents, now control a large area around Taksim Square, with approach roads barricaded by masonry, paving stones and steel rods. Police have withdrawn completely from the area, water cannon kept hundreds of meters away by the side of the Bosphorus waterway.
The unrest has unnerved investors who have long viewed Turkey as one of the more stable emerging markets. Ratings agency Moody's said prolonged uncertainty could hit tourism revenues and slow investment in its capital markets.
Car bombs and a suicide attack tore through food markets in two Iraqi towns north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 21 people in unrest apparently caused by militants determined to provoke civil war.
No group claimed responsibility for Monday's attacks, but officials blame most of the sectarian violence that has killed nearly 2,000 people since April on Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda's local wing.
Officials said two car bombs exploded and a suicide bomber in another vehicle detonated his explosives in a food market in the mostly Shi'ite Muslim town of Jadidat al-Shatt in Diyala province, 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital.
The triple blasts left 13 dead and more than 50 wounded among the wreckage of fruit and vegetable stalls, local officials and police said.
An increasing number of establishments in France are serving pre-made food to their customers. Old-school foodies want to put a stop to the practice with an initiative to apply the term "restaurant" only to places that serve fresh food made on site.
Be it Boeuf Bourguignon, rack of lamb with garlic, Bouillabaisse or Quiche Lorraine, classical regional French cuisine has done as much to ensure France's legacy abroad as champagne, wine or Airbus jets. But some argue the culinary delights that secured the "gastronomic meal of the French" a place in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 2010 is under threat.
Ignazio Marino, a former transplant surgeon turned centre-left politician, was elected the new mayor of Rome on Monday, giving a boost to the Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, and dealing a blow to Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right.
In the most closely watched of a host of local elections, Marino and the capital's incumbent, Gianni Alemanno, battled each other and record voter disillusionment for one of the most prominent political jobs in Italy.
Asked what the effect of his heavy loss would be on Berlusconi's Freedom People party, Alemmano replied: "Not positive."
Alemmano, a former neo-fascist youth leader whose election in 2008 was celebrated among supporters with straight-arm salutes and fascist-era chants, took 36% of the vote to Marino's 64%.
Marino, a former Democratic party senator who entered politics in 2006 after an international medical career, told supporters that Rome should act as a "moral guide" for the rest of the country.
Al Jazeera English
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has said he would refer oil arguments with neighbouring Sudan to African Union mediators, vowing not to take the country back to war.
Speaking on Monday, he said Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir was mobilising for war, something he would not inflict on South Sudan if it could be avoided.
"The people of South Sudan should remain calm and patient as we work with the African Union to resolve this impasse with Sudan," Kiir told reporters, while condemning the "aggressive attitude" of Khartoum.
Sudan on Sunday put on hold nine security and economic pacts with South Sudan, including vital oil shipments, but said Khartoum remained committed to good relations if Juba ended support for rebels.
The move followed an order from Bashir to shut the pipeline carrying South Sudanese crude for export.
South Sudan denies supporting fighters in the north, and in turn has accused Khartoum of backing rebels on southern territory.
"This latest turn of events brings into question the credibility" of the African Union mediators, Kiir said, but added "we remain optimistic that they will intervene accordingly.
A coordinated suicide and grenade attack on the Kabul airport has ended with all seven attackers being killed, the Afghan interior ministry has said.
The Taliban earlier claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack on Monday, telling Al Jazeera that the target was the military airport.
"There were seven assailants...two (suicide bombers) died detonating themselves and five others were killed in fighting," Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, chief of Kabul police, said.
"There have not been any casualties to the security forces, and we have not received any report of civilian casualties so far," he said.
Loud explosions and bursts of small-arms fire were heard during the attack, with the US embassy sounding its "duck and cover" alarm and its loudspeakers warning that the alarm was not a drill.
Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from the Afghan capital, said that a large police reinforcement was rushed to the airport which is shared by civilians and the NATO-led international force.
She also reported that the Kabul international airport was reopened, after all national and international flights were stopped for several hours.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple unveiled an Internet radio service called iTunes Radio on Monday and said the service will personalize listeners' music based on what they've listened to and what they've purchased on iTunes.
Apple said iTunes Radio will be available this fall in the U.S. It will be free with advertisements included, although subscribers of Apple's iTunes Match music-storage service will get a commercial-free version of iTunes Radio. That service costs $25 a year.
In unveiling the long-expected service Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple enters a crowded field. Google Inc. started an on-demand subscription music service called All Access last month. Other leading services include Spotify, Rhapsody and Pandora.
UN News Centre
10 June 2013 – With United Nations-backed climate talks underway in Germany, the UN climate change body today reiterated that international efforts to mitigate the phenomenon are insufficient to meet the goal of keeping global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The statement from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) follows the release earlier today from the International Energy Agency (IEA) of a report which shows that unless more is done to tackle energy sector emissions, the international community will see a spike in temperature increase of between 3.6 and 5.3 degree Celsius.
“The IEA report comes at a crucial moment for the UN Climate Change negotiations and for global efforts to address climate change at all levels,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Cristina Figueres, said from Bonn, where UNFCCC is spearheading two-week discussions that started on 3 June, on scientific, technological and methodological matters related to climate change.
According to the IEA’s “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” global energy industry-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 rose 1.4 per cent in 2012 to a record 31.6 billion tons.
China experienced the largest growth of carbon dioxide at 300 million ton, but the increase was one of the lowest in a decade, the IEA said. Meanwhile, the United States’ carbon output fell by 200 million tons amid a switch to gas from coal in power generation.
Barton Holmes was 16 months old when he had his first seizure. "He was convulsing and his eyes were rolling in the back of his head," his mother, Catherine McEaddy Holmes, says. "His lips were blue. I thought he was dying."
The seizure ended in less than a minute. And by the time an ambulance arrived, Barton was back to his old self. Even so, doctors at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where the family lives, kept him overnight while they tried, without success, to figure out what had caused the seizure.
When Barton had a second seizure 10 days later, doctors didn't hesitate. "They were very aggressive and wanted us to start medication immediately," Holmes says. So Barton, who is 2 now, began taking an antiepileptic drug called Keppra.
Apple unveiled its new Mac OS X Mavericks operating system at its developers conference Monday, showing off the ability to create tabs in the finder and tag items to aid in search.
Craig Federighi, the chief of iOS and OS X, said the new system aims at extending battery life and improve responsiveness.
When saving a file, users can add tags that will show up in finder's sidebar, which should aid users when searching for files, Federighi said. The tabs feature allow users to open up multiple windows in different tabs and multiple displays. Users can even connect to Apple TV on a second display.
Microsoft has announced the lineup of games for its upcoming Xbox One console at its 2013 E3 press conference in Los Angeles with highlights including Ryse of Rome and the God-sim Project Spark.
The first game announced at Microsoft's E3 press conference in Los Angeles was Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain featuring the voice talents of Kiefer Sutherland as Snake.
The trailer opened with a scene on horseback reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption and detailed gameplay elements such as "Deeper Stealth Action" and Tactical Espionage".
Homomorphic encryption is one of the most exciting new research topics in cryptography, which promises to make cloud computing perfectly secure. With it, a Web user would send encrypted data to a server in the cloud, which would process it without decrypting it and send back a still-encrypted result.
Sometimes, however, the server needs to know something about the data it’s handling. Otherwise, some computational tasks become prohibitively time consuming — if not outright impossible.
In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors at Duke University Hospital helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease.
The procedure, the first U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vessel, is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering. The new vein is an off-the-shelf, human cell-based product with no biological properties that would cause organ rejection.