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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Guardian Forced to Destroy Hard Drives by British Government

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger revealed on Tuesday that a senior British government official contacted him after the newspaper published its series of NSA leak stories to demand that he destroy the original files or turn them over. According to Rusbridger, his refusal to carry out either of the demands led to “one of the more bizarre moments in The Guardian’s long history – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in The Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents”. The revelation comes days after David Miranda, partner of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours before being allowed to travel on to Rio de Janeiro. Greenwald broke most of the stories concerning the revelations brought forth by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Senior MB Leader Arrested in Cairo

Mohammed Badie, the most senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the party of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, was arrested in Cairo by the country’s military regime early on Tuesday. He was charged with incitement to murder in relation to the protests before Morsi was toppled and will stand trial alongside two deputies. He was shown on local media sitting near a man with a rifle following his detention. Meanwhile, the National Salvation Front (NSF), an anti-MB coalition of political parties, said that Egypt is facing attacks from what it described as “organised terrorist groups”. “Egypt is facing violence and attempts to overthrow the state by the Muslim Brotherhood. Both the state with all its institutions along with its people are facing one enemy and that is terrorism”, said a statement released by the coalition.

Greece Will Need a Third Aid Deal, Says German Finance Minister

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble admitted on Tuesday that Greece would need a third financial aid package, but that the sums involved would be much smaller than the two previous rescue deals. “There will have to be another programme for Greece”, he said at an election campaign event in Hamburg, but added that “the public was always told so” and that Greece was “not over the hill yet”. This is in contrast to a denial issued by the German government to a report published by the weekly Der Spiegel magazine, which stated that the German government had already agreed on the need for another aid package for Greece and that the current programme carried “extremely high” risks.

Pakistani Court Indicts Former President Musharraf in Bhutto Assassination

Former Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf was indicted on Tuesday over his failure to prevent the 2007 murder of opposition leader and former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf was charged with murder and conspiracy to murder and pleaded not guilty. His spokesman, Reza Bokhari, said that the charges were “false, fabricated and fictitious” and also called them “an undignified attempt to smear the honour and integrity of the former president”. Another six people were indicted alongside Musharraf, including two police officers who were accused of sanitising the crime scene after Bhutto was killed. Measures included hosing down the street and also cleaning out the car where Bhutto died. “The police deliberately botched the investigation into Bhutto’s assassination”, wrote Heraldo Muñoz, a Chilean diplomat who led an United Nations investigation into the case.

CIA Documents Acknowledge Role in 1953 Iran Coup

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has released documents that formally acknowledge it had a role in the 1953 coup that toppled the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadeq. The prime minister had renationalised the country’s oil production, a serious concern to the US and UK amidst the post-war economic rebuilding. “It was estimated that Iran was in real danger of falling behind the Iron Curtain; if that happened it would mean a victory for the Soviets in the Cold War and a major setback for the West in the Middle East. No remedial action other than the covert action plan set forth below could be found to improve the existing state of affairs”, wrote Donald Wilber months after planning the overthrow of the Mossadeq regime.

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