The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.
The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.
One senior collection manager, speaking on the condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said “we are getting vast volumes” of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data are often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year.
- How the NSA is tracking people right now
- Tower Dumps Could Give Your Cell Data to Police
- Secure Smartphones: Has the NSA Scandal Created a New Industry?
- Since When Are Your Phone Calls Private, Government Lawyer Asks
- Federal government urges judge not to pull plug on massive phone data collection program
Yet again, a soldier employed by the U.S. military’s sexual assault and harassment program has been accused of being a sexual predator. And Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen did his predecessors one better: He allegedly organized a prostitution ring of young servicewomen at the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, pressuring them to have sex with their male superiors. Details are trickling out from the trial of Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, a 17-year army veteran charged with conspiring to use the ring’s services. “A young private told authorities McQueen had tried to recruit her to have sex with high-ranking soldiers and sexually assaulted her during what she termed an ‘interview,’”reported the Austin American-Statesman. Accusations that McQueen leveraged both social hierarchy and physical force to get what he wanted from female subordinates won’t surprise anyone who has followed the military’s sexual assault epidemic. But the story reveals another canker of military culture, too: the buddy-buddy refusal to report on a predatory peer.
Grimes denies the charges against him, claiming that there was no money involved, and that although he considered a rendezvous with a private, he never went through with it. But what’s not up for debate is that Grimes knew about McQueen’s scheme and did nothing to stop it; his defense attorney, Daniel Conway, has said Grimes also refused a plea deal that would have required him to testify against his colleague. Grimes’s part in the drama raises the classic question: How much guilt do we assign to the bystander (if that, indeed, is what Grimes is)? And when it comes to the military’s corrosive gender culture, bystanders may be the bulk of the problem.
“It’s the peers who don’t blow the whistle who are the biggest problem in the whole culture,” said Lory Manning, a former captain in the U.S. Navy and a director of the Women’s Research and Education Institute. “When you’re talking about a serial rapist, his friends—and I say he intentionally—generally know what’s going. It’s a huge issue in the military and it’s not much talked about, and nor are the peers held responsible for not informing the command.”
Hamid Karzai, he of the signature Karakul hat and brightly colored robes, we hardly knew ye.
Karzai, upon whom the Queen of England once bestowed an honorary knighthood, we barely recognize you.
Karzai, for whom we have overlooked the drugs, the money laundering, the election fraud, the jailing of your own women – where did you go?
Why, he is right here, just as he’s always been – and now he holds the very fate of Afghanistan in his smooth, soft hands. And frankly, Washington, it’s your own damn fault.
The Obama Administration remains desperate to secure the signature of somebody on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) which will keep them in Afghanistan beyond 2024. They’re getting less and less picky about who that somebody is.
In comments today, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is still refusing to sign, and suggested that the US could ask Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi to sign instead, or failing him, somebody else in the Afghan government might be asked.
- Why Karzai Is Stonewalling A Security Agreement With US
- When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay
- Obama’s Ludicrous Afghanistan Declarations – Killer Teams Redefined as “Advisors”
- David Swanson: 10 More Years in Afghanistan
- NATO says Karzai failure to sign pact would end Afghan mission
- Afghan Senate Chairman against signing security deal with US
- The ‘Zero Option’ Is The Best Option in Afghanistan
- Killing Unnamed Children In Afghanistan
- Afghans: September US Drone Strikes Killed 14 Civilians
- Top US commander apologises for Afghan drone strike that killed child
- Hamid Karzai says US cutting supplies to put pressure on security pact
- China And Russia Advise Afghan President Karzai To Take The U.S. Security Deal
- Attacks on Aid Workers Rise in Afghanistan, U.N. Says
- Booming Opium Trade Props Up, Plagues Afghanistan
- Stoning will not be brought back, says Afghan president
Congress has just eight days on the job between now and the start of the next session on January 7, with the House coming back on Monday and adjourning for the year by December 13 and the Senate returning on December 9 only to most likely adjourn for the year on December 20. In total, the House will have had 239 days off this year with even more scheduled for next year.
Certainly members of Congress have work to do when they’re not required to be in D.C., including meetings with constituents, running their other offices, talking to local community leaders, and doing media interviews. Some may also use those days off on other jobs for supplemental income, but most make side money by owning businesses or from investments.
The picture is very different for the rest of Americans, however. The country doesn’t guarantee its citizens any paid vacation or holiday time off, unlike 20 of its developed peers. All European Union countries guarantee workers at least 20 paid days of vacation a year, with France going so far as to lock in 30, the United Kingdom mandating 28, and Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden guaranteeing 25. Thirteen also mandate paid holidays off. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, and Sweden go even further, requiring employers to give workers an extra bonus to cover vacation expenses.
Right now, millions of Americans are still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial collapse.
That collapse was fueled by the housing crisis, when Wall Street banksters were running around betting on risky mortgage-backed securities that they could sell to investors and make billions from.
They were able to do that because the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act had blown up rational banking regulations, and, as a result, we saw things like the so-called mortgage “liar loans”.
Banksters were able to turn billions of dollars in risky mortgages into trillions of dollars in derivatives.
And then everything went to hell.
Fast forward to today, and because of Dodd-Frank there are no more “liar loans.”
Banksters can’t run the same scam as they did during the housing crisis.
So, they’ve found a new way to come up with real-estate-backed securities that can be turned into derivatives, worth billions in profits.
How? They’ve become landlords.
A majority of Americans believe the US plays a less important and powerful role in the world than it did 10 years ago, according to a long-running study that found that most people now believe America should “mind its own business internationally”.
It is the first time the survey of US foreign policy attitudes has recorded such a sentiment in almost four decades of polling.
The findings, published on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center in association with the Council on Foreign Relations, suggest Americans want their leaders to adopt a less interventionist approach, although there is a growing desire for the development of stronger trade and business links abroad.
The US is now widely seen as less respected abroad, bucking a trend in which Americans believed their reputation had recovered since Barack Obama was elected. Impressions of how the US is perceived under Obama are now, broadly, as negative as they were in the final days of the George W Bush administration.
Selling weapons used to be a cut-throat business. With a no-questions-asked policy, it has led in the past, to the selling of weapons to support African conflicts, leaving Angola, Somalia, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic Congo awash with AK-47 semi-automatic rifles and very little else.
Today’s high-tech weapons manufacturers are enjoying record sales. The State Department’s Military Assistance Report stated that it approved $44.28 billion in arms shipments to 173 nations in the last fiscal year. One of the more controversial is the Defense Department’s plans to sell Saudi Arabia $6.8 billion and the United Arab Emirates $4 billion in advanced weaponry, including air-launched cruise missiles and precision munitions. The trouble is – has anyone asked where these weapons will ultimately end up?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence committees respectively, went on CNN’s Sunday talk show yesterday to put fear into the hearts of Americans. They told us we are in more danger now than ever and the obvious corollary to this is that Americans need to take their fear of government and redirect it to nameless and faceless terrorists who are out to destroy us.
“There are new bombs, very big bombs,” Feinstain warned, “that go through (metal-detecting) magnetometers.” She warned of “huge malevolence out there.” This puts “enormous pressure” on our intelligence community, Rogers added, which means Americans have to lay off the NSA because they “are not the bad guys.”
In other words, the NSA is not your enemy. Really, it isn’t. The government is just protecting us from foreign bogeymen that are the real danger.
Kudos to Kevin Gosztola, who liberated the propaganda the NSA sent workers home with for Thanksgiving to use with family and friends.
I find 3 of the bullet points particularly interesting (all of which Gosztola also touches on).
NSA: we steal secrets, we just use them differently
NSA does not and will not steal industry secrets in order to give U.S. companies a competitive advantage.
The NSA has uttered various versions of this claim since the Snowden leaks started. But I find this formulation particularly telling. NSA is not denying they steal industry secrets (nor could they, since we know they’ve stolen data from corporations like Petrobras and have stolen secrets from a range of hacking targets).
They’re just denying they steal secrets in order to give US companies a competitive advantage.
The UN’s senior counter-terrorism official is to launch an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies following Edward Snowden’s revelations that they are using secret programmes to store and analyse billions of emails, phone calls and text messages.
The UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC said his inquiry would also seek to establish whether the British parliament had been misled about the capabilities of Britain’s eavesdropping headquarters, GCHQ, and whether the current system of oversight and scrutiny was strong enough to meet United Nations standards.
The inquiry will make a series of recommendations to the UN general assembly next year.
In an article for the Guardian, Emmerson said Snowden had disclosed “issues at the very apex of public interest concerns”. He said the media had a duty and right to publish stories about the activities of GCHQ and its American counterpart the National Security Agency.
After an eventful six months, Edward Snowden will be hoping for a quieter time ahead – but not as quiet as life in a maximum-security American jail. In Russia since fleeing Hong Kong in June, the NSA computer specialist-turned-whistleblower is living under fairly restrictive conditions. But at least he still has access to the internet – crucial to him – although the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, made it a condition of granting Snowden temporary asylum that he do nothing to embarrass the US further.
Snowden has said he no longer has the documents he leaked, having passed all of them to the journalists he met in Hong Kong in June.
On 21 June, his 30th birthday, the US indicted him on three charges, including two under the Espionage Act: theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorised person, with a possible combined sentence of up to 30 years in jail. Further charges could be added. The death penalty is also available under a section of the act but the US attorney general, Eric Holder, said in July that Snowden would not face execution.
America would “do everything in its power short of snatching him from Russia to try to have Edward Snowden put on trial in the US”, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Centre’s liberty and national security programme at New York University law school. If he was to try to move somewhere other than Russia, the US would go to great lengths to intercept him, she said.
The editor of the Guardian said Tuesday his newspaper has published just 1 percent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.
Under questioning by lawmakers on Parliament’s home affairs committee, Alan Rusbridger accused British authorities of trying to intimidate the newspaper, and warned of “national security being used as a trump card” to stifle debate.
[...] Rusbridger said the leak amounted to about 58,000 files, and the newspaper had published “about 1 percent” of the total.
“I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more,” he said.
- NSA chief says Snowden leaked up to 200,000 secret documents
- Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords
- Snowden articles ‘could be acts of terror’
- Al Gore: Snowden ‘revealed evidence’ of crimes against US constitution
- Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program Inspired Snowden to Become a Whistleblower
- Snowden: US would have buried NSA warnings forever
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger appeared before a British parliamentary committee to answer questions on how the media organization had handled the publication of National Security Agency documents from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The invitation to appear before the committee seemed to be part of an escalation in attacks on the Guardian since it began to publish stories on NSA documents, especially the NSA’s partnership with the UK spy agency, GCHQ.
Chairman of the Home Affairs Commitee, Keith Vaz, who is a Labour Party member, asked Rusbridger if he had been compelled to appear before the committee, since that had been suggested by various groups. Rusbridger was not aware that it was “optional.”
Vaz pushed Rusbridger to detail the location of all the files, which journalists had them and how many files each journalist possessed. Rusbridger did not find it sensible to answer this question but he did acknowledge that files were sent to the New York Times.
Pressed to address claims by the heads of security services, such as MI5′s Andrew Parker, that the files had caused a risk to national security, Rusbridger said the problem with these allegations is that they are vague and do not reference specific stories the organization has published. He noted multiple officials: Norman Baker the Home Office minister, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who asked not to be named, a senior Obama administration official and a senior Whitehall official.” They had not accused The Guardian of causing any damage to national security.
The hearing suddenly seemed like a House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearing as Vaz actually asked Rusbridger if he loved his country.
Let’s think through the troubling implications of the latest surveillance-state news. “The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches,” Glenn Greenwald, Ryan Gallagher, and Ryan Grim report.
NSA apologists would have us believe that only terrorists have cause to be worried. A surveillance-state spokesperson told the Huffington Post, “without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence.”
As the story notes, however, the targets are not necessarily terrorists. The term the NSA uses for them is “radicalizes,” and if you’re thinking of fiery orators urging people to strap on dynamite vests, know that the NSA chart accompanying the story includes one target who is a “well known media celebrity,” and whose offense is arguing that “the U.S. perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.” It makes one wonder if the NSA believes it would be justified in targeting any 9/11 truther. The chart* shows another target whose “writings appear on numerous jihadi websites” (it doesn’t specify whether the writings were produced for those websites or merely posted there), and whose offending argument is that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself.” That could be a crude description of what the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Ron Paul thinks about 9/11.
The Japanese government, which already has a long history of cover-ups and opaqueness, is on its way to becoming even less open and transparent after the lower house the Diet, Japan’s parliament, passed the Designated Secrets Bill on Tuesday. With new powers to classify nearly anything as a state secret and harsh punishments for leakers that can easily be used to intimidate whistleblowers and stifle press freedom, many in Japan worry that the if the bill becomes law it will be only the first step towards even more severe erosions of freedom in the country.
[...] Even politicians inside the ruling bloc are saying, “It can’t be denied that another purpose is to muzzle the press, shut up whistleblowers, and ensure that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima ceases to be an embarrassment before the Olympics.”
[...] Outspoken Upper House Councilor Taro Yamamoto, who is known to be a strong supporter of investigative journalism, minces no words: “The path that Japan is taking is the recreation of a fascist state. I strongly believe that this secrecy bill represents a planned coup d’état by a group of politicians and bureaucrats,” he warned.
While his statement may seem alarmist, even a senior official of the National Police Agency agrees. “I would say this is Abe’s attempt to make sure that his own shady issues aren’t brought to light, and a misuse of legislative power.
This month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must make its plan to shut off the internet and cellphone communications available to the American public. You, of course, may now be thinking: What plan?! Though President Barack Obama swiftly disapproved of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak turning off the internet in his country (to quell widespread civil disobedience) in 2011, the US government has the authority to do the same sort of thing, under a plan that was devised during the George W. Bush administration. Many details of the government’s controversial “kill switch” authority have been classified, such as the conditions under which it can be implemented and how the switch can be used. But thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), DHS has to reveal those details by January 13—or mount an appeal. (The smart betting is on an appeal, since DHS has fought to release this information so far.) Yet here’s what we do know about the government’s “kill switch” plan
The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.
Take, for example, Yum Brands, which operates the Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut chains. Wages for the corporation’s nearly 380,000 U.S. workers are so low that many of them have to turn to taxpayer-funded anti-poverty programs just to get by. The National Employment Law Project estimates that Yum Brands’ workers draw nearly $650 million in Medicaid and other public assistance annually.
Meanwhile, at the top end of the company’s pay ladder, CEO David Novak pocketed $94 million over the years 2011 and 2012 in stock options gains, bonuses and other so-called “performance pay.” That was a nice windfall for him, but a big burden for the rest of us taxpayers.
Under the current tax code, corporations can deduct unlimited amounts of such “performance pay” from their federal income taxes. In other words, the more corporations pay their CEO, the lower their tax burden. Novak’s $94 million payout, for example, lowered YUM’s IRS bill by $33 million. Guess who makes up the difference?
Combined, these firms’ CEOs pocketed more than $183 million in fully deductible “performance pay” in 2011 and 2012, lowering their companies’ IRS bills by an estimated $64 million. To put that figure in perspective, it would be enough to cover the average cost of food stamps for 40,000 American families for a year.My new Institute for Policy Studies report calculates the cost to taxpayers of this “performance pay” loophole at all of the top six publicly held fast food chains — McDonald’s, Yum, Wendy’s, Burger King, Domino’s, and Dunkin’ Brands.
Trying to get contraband into a prison is nothing new, but there is a new method. This week, some creative crooks tried to get tobacco to South Georgia prisoners by using a remote controlled helicopter, but they didn’t get away with it.
A lieutenant from the Calhoun State prison noticed a small helicopter flying over the gates of and a search began. Sheriff Josh Hilton says about an hour later deputies noticed a suspicious black dodge car with Gwinnett County tags on Edison Street.
“After we gained consent to search the car we found the helicopter and I don’t know exactly how much it was but probably about one or two pounds of tobacco rolled up,” said Hilton.
The War On Christmas may actually be happening this year, but it’s being waged by an unlikely culprit: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).
Last week, Walker’s campaign sent an email encouraging supporters not to buy gifts for their children and to use that money instead to support his reelection effort.
“Instead of electronics or toys that will undoubtedly be outdated, broken, or lost by the next Holiday Season, help give your children the gift of a Wisconsin that we can all be proud of,” the email read.
NSA Sent Home Talking Points for Employees to Use in Conversations with Family & Friends During Holidays
A sheet of talking points for employees of the National Security Agency and Central Security Services, was sent out ahead of Thanksgiving to help guide conversations with family and friends during the holiday season.
Firedoglake obtained a copy of a two-page document that was sent out on November 22. It was clearly put together for rebutting statements about the NSA from news stories on documents disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and it encouraged employees to “share the following points with family members and close friends.”
The “talking points” sheet suggests that employees make five key points: (1) NSA’s mission is of great value to the Nation”; (2) NSA performs its mission the right way—lawful, compliant and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy; (3) NSA performs its mission exceptionally well. We strive to be the best that we can be, because that’s what America requires as part of its defense in a dangerous world; (4) The people who work for NSA are loyal Americans with expert skills who make sacrifices to help protect the freedoms we all cherish; (5) NSA is committed to increased transparency, public dialog and faithful implementation of any changes required by our overseers. (No emphasis added. Underlines appear in the document.)
Each key point includes sub-points that presumably an employee could additionally cite if a family member disputed their main point.
Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.
Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.
In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.
U.S. corporations are not required to publicly disclose their funding of political advocacy groups, and very few do so, but since at least 2010 Google has chosen to voluntarily release some limited details about grants it makes to U.S. non-profits. The published list from Google is not comprehensive, including only those groups that “receive the most substantial contributions from Google’s U.S. Federal Public Policy and Government Affairs team.”
What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.
Google has a distinctively progressive image, but in March 2012 it hired former Republican member of the House of Representatives, Susan Molinari as its Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations. According to the New York Times, Molinari is being “paid handsomely to broaden the tech giant’s support beyond Silicon Valley Democrats and to lavish money and attention on selected Republicans.”
The European Union backed down on Wednesday from threats to suspend agreements granting the United States access to European data, rejecting calls for a tougher stance over alleged U.S. spying.
The move marks an abrupt about-turn for the European Commission, the EU executive, after warnings it issued in July to U.S. officials following revelations that Washington had spied on European citizens and EU institutions.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s commissioner for home affairs, said she had found no proof of U.S. wrongdoing, either in the sharing of flight passenger records or in the tracking of international payments.
Nearly 40 news organizations have accused the Obama administration of improperly controlling images of the president by limiting the access granted to independent photojournalists while allowing free rein by the White House’s own photographers.
In a letter and a meeting last week, the news outlets and journalism groups complained to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the practice, saying the White House has prevented an unvarnished view of government business, while encouraging officially sanctioned competition for private news organizations.
Limitations on photographers’ access to President Barack Obama create “a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing,” charged the letter from the 38 organizations, including the White House Correspondents Association and the Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times.
The White House said it has limited access by photographers only as necessitated by logistics or a desire to preserve a zone of privacy for the president and his family. Carney noted that previous presidents, including George W. Bush, battled with the media over how much of their activity to put into the public domain.
Still, in an email response to questions, Carney said the White House is “working to address some of the concerns raised by photographers covering the White House.” He added: “We certainly do not believe that official photos released by the White House are a substitute for the work of independent journalists.”
The issue has been pushed to the forefront by the expanding role of the Internet and websites like Flickr and Twitter, which allow the White House to quickly share images of Obama, his family and his staff.
- Obama’s photo policy smacks of propaganda
- McClatchy updates policy on handout photos: ‘it’s important to take a stance’
- White House Pic of the Day of Media Enrages Media
- White House Photographers Protest Most Control Freak Presidential Administration Ever
- White House rejects press access complaints
- AP editors: Obama relies on staged propaganda photos
A feisty, London-based news outlet with a print circulation just shy of 200,000 — albeit with a far bigger footprint online with readers in the many millions — the Guardian, along with The Washington Post, was the first to publish reports based on classified data spirited out of the United States by Snowden. In the months since, the Guardian has continued to make officials here exceedingly nervous by exposing the joint operations of U.S. and British intelligence — particularly their cooperation in data collection and snooping programs involving British citizens and close allies on the European continent.
In response, the Guardian is being called to account by British authorities for jeopardizing national security. The Guardian’s top editor, Alan Rusbridger, is being forced to appear before a parliamentary committee Tuesday to explain the news outlet’s actions. The move comes after British officials ordered the destruction of hard drives at the Guardian’s London headquarters, even as top ministers have taken to the airwaves to denounce the newspaper. Scotland Yard has also suggested it may be investigating the paper for possible breaches of British law.
The government treatment of the Guardian is highlighting the very different way Britons tend to view free speech, a liberty that here is seen through the prism of the public good and privacy laws as much as the right to open expression.
- In Honduras, Washington Supports Corruption, Military Repression, and Fraudulent Elections
- Honduras’s defiant left asks for presidential election recount
- Castro to call mass protests over Honduras vote ‘theft’
- Hundreds of protesters confront cops after ‘stolen’ Honduran election
- Violent Intimidation and Alleged Fraud Mar Elections in Honduras
- Security, military police dominate Honduras vote
- Political Repression Intensifies Ahead of Honduran Presidential Election
- The US Govt’s Dangerous Dance with Honduras
Kerry was a major proponent of the New START treaty with Russia, which the Senate ratified after a long debate in December 2010. As secretary of state, he has supported negotiating a follow-on treaty with Russia that could place further limits on the two countries’ stockpiles of strategic and tactical deployed nuclear weapons.
But Kerry knew last year that Russia was in violation of the INF Treaty. That pact, signed by President Reagan, bars development, testing, or deployment of missiles or delivery systems with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
[...] The exact manner of the Russian cheating remains unclear and highly classified, although there have been several reports that Russia has tested and plans to continue testing two missiles in ways that could violate the terms of the treaty: the SS-25 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the newer RS-26 ICBM, which Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called “the missile defense killer,” a reference to U.S. plans to expand ballistic missile defense in Europe.
The State Department declined to confirm or deny that it believes Russia is in violation of the treaty and declined to comment on the 2012 briefing with Kerry.
A US citizen detained for more than a month in North Korea has confessed to committing “indelible crimes” against the state, say state media.
The official Korean Central News Agency said Merrill Newman had ordered the deaths of North Korean soldiers and civilians in the 1950-53 Korean War.
It published what it described as a “statement of apology” by Mr Newman.
Mr Newman, now 85, did serve during the Korean War but his family say he is the victim of mistaken identity.