Germany Sends Delegation to Washington Over Spy Claims
A delegation including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s intelligence coordinator has been sent to the US for conciliatory talks with White House officials after revelations made by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel alleged that the NSA had monitored Merkel’s mobile phone. The revelations were based on documents leaked by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. The meeting happens hours after NSA director Gen Keith Alexander and US director of national intelligence James Clapper testified before the House of Representatives’ intelligence panel about the country’s espionage practices. Clapper said that foreign leaders were spied upon as a matter of routine and that the intelligence was mainly gathered to discern what their intentions were. “This is a basic tenet of what we collect and analyse”, said the US director of national intelligence.
China Arrests ‘Tiananmen Suspects’
Chinese police officers, investigating what could be Beijing’s first suicide attack, arrested five suspected Islamist militants from Xinjiang on Wednesday. The suspects are thought to be involved in the car that burst into flames and killed five people in Tiananmen Square on Monday. Authorities also released details of the occupants of the car. The driver was identified as Usmen Hasan, an ethnic Uyghur, and he was said to have been accompanied by his wife and his mother. The car was filled with gasoline, knives and a flag with “religious extremist content”, according to the police. Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, said that China’s side of the story should not be accepted as the truth. “Beijing has always made these kind of accusations, but they refuse to make public the reasoning behind them. They will not make the story behind the accusations transparent”, he told the Reuters news agency. “If an attack is committed by a Han Chinese, it’s not terrorism, but if a Uighur commits it, it is”, he added.
NSA Spied on Pope Francis During Conclave
Italian weekly news magazine Panorama has published an article alleging that the NSA intercepted over 46 million telephone calls in Italy in a period from mid-December 2012 to early January 2013, including calls made to and from the Vatican. The magazine says that calls relating to the Vatican may have continued up to the period of the Conclave, including telephone calls to and from Santha Martha House, the building where cardinals were housed during the Papal election process. Among the calls intercepted would have been those of the future Pope Francis, then Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. “We don’t know anything about this, and in any case we don’t have any concerns about it“, said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
Spain Emerges from Recession After Two Years
Spain’s economy grew between July and September by 0.1 percent, marking the first time the country had grown since the beginning of 2011. The country’s statistical office (INE) said that the figure was mainly supported by exports, the only area of growth since the recession began, as well as a busy tourist season as holidaymakers filled the country instead going to resorts in the Middle East or northern Africa. “They say these macroeconomic numbers are not the real economy. But of course they are the real economy. This is the basis for economic growth. Of course the population is feeling its effects. Perhaps not all of it, because we are not growing, but people are already noticing a difference”, said Cristóbal Montoro, Spanish Minister of Finance and Public Administration.