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Nov 6, 2015

Russia suspends Egypt flights, US boosts security as intelligence points to bomb

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Moscow suspended
passenger flights to Egypt and Washington imposed new air travel
security requirements in the wake of the crash of a Russian jet
in Egypt, as Western officials pointed on Friday to the
conclusion it was brought down by a bomb.

A group affiliated with Islamic State has claimed
responsibility for the crash of an Airbus A321 operated by a
Russian carrier on Saturday bringing holidaymakers home from a
resort on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Nov 6, 2015

U.S. says to seek airport security enhancements overseas after Egypt crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will boost security checks overseas for U.S.-bound flights as a precaution following the recent Russian passenger jet crash in Egypt, including asking foreign airports to tighten screening of items before they are brought on board aircraft, U.S. officials said on Friday.

Jeh Johnson, the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, said in a statement that he and the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), “out of an abundance of caution, have identified a series of interim, precautionary enhancements to aviation security with respect to commercial flights bound for the United States from certain foreign airports in the region.”

Nov 6, 2015

Britain, U.S. intercepted ‘chatter’ supporting theory bomb took down Russian jet: officials

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – British and U.S. spies intercepted “chatter” from suspected militants and at least one other government suggesting that a bomb, possibly hidden in luggage in the hold, downed a Russian airliner on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board, Western intelligence sources said.

Prime Minister David Cameron halted flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh on Wednesday after intelligence shown to him indicated that it was likely that the Airbus A321 heading towards St Petersburg was brought down by a bomb.

Nov 5, 2015

Egyptian airport security under scrutiny as bomb suspicions mount

CAIRO/WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Egypt insisted on
Thursday its airports were secured to international standards,
despite growing concerns that its screening procedures may be
flawed and that Islamist militants may have downed a Russian
plane by smuggling a bomb on board.

Earlier Britain said a bomb planted by an Islamic State
affiliate active in the Sinai Peninsula may have caused the jet
to crash on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board. It halted
flights to Sharm al-Sheikh – from where the doomed plane flew –
pending security checks, a move quickly followed by Ireland,
Germany and the Netherlands.

Nov 4, 2015

Bomb by Islamic State likely caused Russian plane crash: security sources

NEW YORK/LONDON/CAIRO (Reuters) – Evidence now suggests that a bomb planted by the Islamic State militant group is the likely cause of last weekend’s crash of a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, U.S. and European security sources said on Wednesday.

Islamic State, which controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and is battling the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula, said again on Wednesday it brought down the airplane, adding it would eventually tell the world how it carried out the attack.

Nov 3, 2015

Candidate for FIFA presidency Sexwale warns against ‘sponsor activism’

NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Major sponsors of world soccer went too far when they issued calls last month for the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale and candidate to succeed Blatter, said on Tuesday.

In September, Swiss authorities said they were opening a criminal investigation into Blatter, who has led FIFA since 1988. It was the latest blow to FIFA’s reputation after U.S. prosecutors announced indictments in May accusing top soccer officials and marketing executives of multi-million dollar bribery schemes over 24 years.

Nov 3, 2015

FIFA reform will be limited, says head of panel proposing changes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Swiss lawyer heading up a committee charged with reforming the structure and management of world football body FIFA says major changes to the organisation’s voting structure and imposing term limits on executive committee members will be difficult to achieve in the short term.

Francois Carrard, a former International Olympic Committee (IOC) director general, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that his committee supports a 12-year term limit for FIFA’s president, but such limits on executive committee members may not be the best course of action.

Nov 3, 2015

Soccer-FIFA reform will be limited, says head of panel proposing changes

NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The Swiss lawyer heading up a committee charged with reforming the structure and management of world soccer body FIFA says major changes to the organization’s voting structure and imposing term limits on executive committee members will be difficult to achieve in the short term.

Francois Carrard, a former International Olympic Committee (IOC) director general, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that his committee supports a 12-year term limit for FIFA’s president, but such limits on executive committee members may not be the best course of action.

Oct 31, 2015

With Syria escalation, Obama may win leverage on and off battlefield

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to send special operations forces to Syria is a calculated military escalation that could increase U.S. leverage, both on and off the battlefield, say current and former U.S. officials.

The policy shift coincides with an expanding clandestine CIA program that channels weapons to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a new diplomatic push led by Secretary of State John Kerry to find a political solution to the conflict.

Oct 30, 2015

Pentagon spy agency hires first British deputy director

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s principal spy agency is appointing a British Air Force officer as its first deputy director in charge of improving “integration” between U.S. intelligence units and spy agencies of other English-speaking countries.

U.S. intelligence agencies have long had close relationships with their British counterparts, but former and current U.S. intelligence officials said this is the first time they knew of a U.S. spy agency naming a foreigner to a top executive position.