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Friday, November 1, 2013

German Government Wants to Question Snowden About US Spying Activities

US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden met German politician Hans-Christian Ströbele in Moscow on Thursday and said he is willing to travel to Berlin and help the German government investigate the alleged US surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German politician is a member of the German parliament’s control committee, which monitors the work of the country’s intelligence agencies. “He made it clear he knows a lot and that as long as the National Security Agency (NSA) blocks investigations, he is prepared to come to Germany and give testimony, but the conditions must be discussed”, said Ströbele. Snowden’s asylum conditions prevent him from revealing information while in Russia, so German parliamentarians are looking for ways to include him in the country’s witness protection scheme, potentially allowing him to travel to Berlin and brief lawmakers there.

Israel Destroys Syrian Missile Site

Israeli warplanes attacked a cache of Russian missiles near the government-controlled coastal city of Latakia in Syria on Thursday, according to unnamed US officials. Israel decided to take action after estimating that the missiles could soon be transferred to the Islamist militia Hezbollah. In addition to the missiles, Israeli planes also struck Damascus. A press statement by the Lebanese army seemed to give credence to the Israeli strike, informing that various Israeli planes were sighted in the south of the country and circling over Lebanese airspace before leaving hours before the attacks in Syria were alleged to have occurred. An Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman said that he would not comment on the reports. Israel had previously struck a Syrian missile storage site in July.

UK to Protest to Spain Over Gibraltar Stand-Off

The UK is to protest to the Spanish government after an armed stand-off between a Royal Navy patrol boat and a vessel belonging to Spain’s Civil Guard. A report in the Gibraltar Chronicle says the Spanish crew sailing too close to a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker in Gibraltar territorial waters, prompting the HMS Scimitar patrol boat to come to its aid and order the Spanish vessel to leave the area. The warning was ignored, leading to the stand-off. “We can confirm that there was an incident which involved a Guardia Civil vessel manoeuvring in a dangerous and provocative manner in the vicinity of Royal Naval vessels”, said a Royal Navy spokesman. “It was a stupid thing to do, completely and utterly dangerous”, said another source heard by the newspaper.

Europe Must United Against Sceptics, Says Italian PM

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has warned that next year’s European elections could usher in the “most anti-European parliament in history“, potentially damaging hopes of a long-term economic recovery. Letta cited the growing popularity of eurosceptic parties such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP), France’s National Front (FN) and Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) as a “dangerous phenomenon” that was being “greatly underestimated”. “I see that, yes, it’s being talked about in European countries, but timidly. And above all I do not see a European initiative to combat this trend, this phenomenon, which seems to me to be the most obvious and most dangerous phenomenon”, said Letta. He added that part of the problem could be a general feeling of not being represented by the European bureaucracy. “European citizens have to feel they are being represented by Europe and at the moment there is clearly a problem. This, I believe, is the winning issue for Grillo, for Farage, for Marine Le Pen, for all European populism – that, to the question ‘Who represents Europe? Who represents us in it?’ the response, unfortunately, is stuttering”, he concluded.

Weekend Read: I Challenged Hackers to Investigate Me

“They got into our checking and savings accounts, a corporate bond account, our credit card statements and online bills. They could, if they had wanted to, wipe us out financially.” In PandoDaily.

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