Category Archives: Uncategorized

Obama and Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance

British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President barack Obama addressing the world press at the East Room in the White House on Friday.

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron struck different notes on surveillance powers after the president conceded that there is an important balance to be struck between monitoring terror suspects and protecting civil liberties. As Cameron warned the internet giants that they must do more to ensure they do not become platforms for terrorist communications, the US president said he welcomed the way in which civil liberties groups hold them to account by tapping them on the shoulder. Obama agreed with the prime minister that there could be no spaces on the internet for terrorists to communicate that could not be monitored by the intelligences agencies, subject … Continue reading

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Europe set for showdown with President Putin at G20 summit

Russian President Putin with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in Brisbane Friday.

A showdown between Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely at the G20 summit in Australia starting today (Saturday), following fresh reports of Russian troops pouring into eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has accused Russia of sending soldiers and weapons to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine launch a new offensive in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people. British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday blasted Russia’s actions as unacceptable, warning that they could draw greater sanctions from the United States and the European Union. “If Russia takes a positive approach towards Ukraine’s freedom and responsibility, we could see those sanctions removed. If Russia continues to make … Continue reading

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Kumaratunga protests against overzealous Secret Service

Former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga says she is finding it difficult to even visit her friends because it was tantamount to being visited by officers introducing themselves as the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB)

By Staff Writer Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has protested the constant surveillance illegally placed on her by the country’s secret service. The protest was made in a letter she wrote early this month to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the letter, a copy of which was handed to The London Evening Post, Kumaratunga complained of harassment and violation of her privacy and infringement of her fundamental rights of freedom of movement and association. She said since she retired from the Presidency in 2005, the government secret services directly under the authority of President Rajapaksa and  his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, have … Continue reading

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Aleppo residents call for lifting of Syrian rebel siege

Syrian rebels fighting in Aleppo.

Dozens of Syrians in Aleppo have staged protests against a rebel siege of government-held areas in the city, residents have said. Rebels stopped supplies from entering western parts of the city in a bid to weaken the supply routes for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, they add. They say the blockade has led to severe food and medicine shortages. The World Health Organization has urged Syrians to protect a convoy carrying medical supplies to the city. One protester was reportedly shot dead at a demonstration on Tuesday, according to the UK-based activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group says it was not clear whether the man was shot … Continue reading

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Chinese hackers ‘compromise’ US weapon systems designs

Chinese hackers have accessed designs for more than two dozen US weapons systems, a US newspaper has reported. Designs for combat aircraft, ships and missile defences were among those compromised, a Pentagon paper found, the Washington Post reported. A public version of the same Defence Science Board report said in January that the US was unprepared for a full-scale cyber attack. A Pentagon spokesman said “intrusions” had not eroded its technological edge. The Defense Science Board did not return requests for comment from the BBC. The Washington Post report comes as Australia discloses Chinese hackers stole floor plans for the new headquarters of its domestic intelligence agency. The compromised US … Continue reading

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Venezuela’s opposition leader to challenge vote in court

Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has vowed to challenge President Nicolas Maduro’s narrow victory in the 14 April presidential poll in the Supreme Court. Mr Capriles announced on Thursday his movement would pull out of an audit of the vote, which he agreed on last week. He said the proposed conditions for the audit were unfair, calling the process a “joke”. The opposition leader claims votes were “stolen” by Mr Maduro’s government. Mr Capriles said his movement would boycott the audit because the electoral authorities had not accepted his demand for voter signatures and fingerprints to be examined. The electoral council failed to meet his “deadline” of 25 April to … Continue reading

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Gen Musharraf avoids treason charge by caretaker government

The caretaker government in Pakistan has said it will not put former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on trial for high treason. The government said such a move exceeded its mandate and a decision should be taken by the winner of next month’s polls. The former president, who led Pakistan for nine years, is currently under house arrest in Islamabad. He was held last week over the illegal detention of judges in 2007. Mr Musharraf has described all the cases against him as politically motivated. In a written reply at a court hearing, the interim government said that its mandate was limited to organising elections and tackling the security threats in … Continue reading

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U.S. commander discloses Afghan troop recommendation

A top U.S. military commander said on Tuesday he has recommended keeping 13,600 American troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when the NATO combat mission ends and most Western troops withdraw. General James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee he believed that properly designing the residual force would be “critical” for a good outcome to America’s longest war. “I have made my recommendation,” Mattis said in response to a question from Republican Senator John McCain. “That recommendation is for 13,600 U.S. forces.” The figure provided by Mattis, who leads the U.S. military’s Central Command, is above the range of troop levels U.S. officials have said were being considered by the White … Continue reading

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Missile blast wounds Syrian rebel commander – activists

 A missile struck the command centre of the main Syrian rebel force near Damascus on Wednesday, wounding its leader, activists said, and a football player was killed when a mortar bomb hit a stadium in the centre of the capital. The missile attack on Liwa al-Islam Brigade, which is spearheading a three-week-old offensive that has given the rebels a foothold inside Damascus, deals a blow to efforts to undermine President Bashar al-Assad in his seat of power. A rebel spokesman said Sheikh Zahran Alloush, founder of the brigade, was wounded but declined to give further details. “We cannot disclose Sheikh Zahran’s condition,” said the spokesman, Islam Alloush, who is also … Continue reading

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US wary of Africa “terrorist” threat as Senegal detains suspects

Senegal has detained a Mauritanian and a Malian for suspected terrorist links, its government said on Friday, and a top U.S. defense official called for international teamwork to counter a growing presence of al Qaeda and its allies in Africa. The United States and African governments are backing a five-week-old French military campaign against Islamist rebels in Senegal’s neighbor Mali, calling it a blow against jihadists who threaten attacks in Africa and elsewhere. After driving the bulk of the rebels from north Mali towns such as Gao and Timbuktu, French, Malian and African troops are pursuing the insurgents in the remote mountainous northeast where they are thought to be holding … Continue reading

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