World Wrap

American spy chiefs appear before House Intelligence Committee

U.S. spy chiefs attend hearing over snooping allegations, India blames Muslim militants for rally blasts, Chinese officials say Tiananmen crash may have been a suicide attack. Today is Tuesday, October 29, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

A computer with a series of numbers and the logo of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Spy hearing starts. U.S. spy chiefs, including the NSA director, appear at a House Intelligence Committee hearing following a slew of accusations charging Washington with spying on European allies. The allegations are the latest stemming from documents revealed by wanted NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and have earned the White House much criticism abroad:

More than any previous disclosures from material given to journalists by Snowden, the reports of spying on close U.S. allies have forced the White House to promise reforms and even acknowledge that America’s electronic surveillance may have gone too far. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate’s intelligence committee, joined the ranks of critics on Monday, expressing outrage at U.S. intelligence collection on allies, and pique that her committee was not informed.

A senior Obama administration official said that the review could result in a ban on snooping on allied leaders. According to Feinstein, President Obama did not know that Merkel’s communications had been tracked since 2002, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the NSA stopped the program snooping on Merkel over the summer, when a government review of the program began. The program targeting Merkel also monitored - and in some cases continues to monitor - up to 35 other world leaders. Reuters columnist Jack Shafer argues that spying on allies is a long-held and largely harmless tradition. Below, see world leaders react to the spying scandal on Capitol Hill on Monday:

Fears rise that Muslim Brotherhood crackdown may backfire

Muslim Brotherhood dismantling could accelerate Islamist violence in Egypt, Spain bristles over U.S. spying allegations, and South Korea considers nuclear energy alternatives. Today is Monday, October 28, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

A student sets fire to sticks during clashes with riot police in front of the main offices of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, October 20, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Brotherhood breakdown. As Egypt’s military-backed government cracks down on the Muslim Brotherhood and prevents its small, local groups called usras from meeting, analysts fear unmoored Brothers will turn to violence:

Exploited Fukushima workers speak out

Fukushima workers share their experience, Norway rejects U.S. request for help with Syria’s chemical disarmament, and Madagascar votes for a new president. Today is Friday, October 25, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Tetsuya Hayashi, former worker in Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, poses with a photo showing his ID for the plant issued by TEPCO in Tokyo, July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Over-radiated and underpaid. The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co are relying on unvetted subcontractors  to recruit underpaid workers to clean up the worst nuclear disaster in decades. One former Fukushima employee spoke to Reuters about his experience:

U.S. spying allegations loom large as Brussels summit kicks off

France, Germany to question U.S. over snooping accusations, Chinese regulator offers rare support for detained journalist, and Poland’s infrastructure investment offers dire returns. Today is Thursday, October 24, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Spy summit. French and German leaders are likely to push a discussion of U.S. spying during a summit, which starts today and is overshadowed by new snooping accusations based on documents revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden:

Turkey’s Kurdish ceasefire breaks down

Kurdish insurgents in Iraq threaten to resume fighting in Turkey, the U.S. and Afghanistan have yet to agree on security pact, and Brunei prepares to enforce sharia criminal law. Today is Tuesday, October 22, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Cemil Bayik, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Qandil mountains near the Iraq-Turkey border, October 19, 2013.REUTERS/Stringer

Return to arms. Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq are ready to abandon a ceasefire with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in their native Turkey, threatening to restart an insurgency within its borders if Ankara does not step up its peacemaking efforts:

France angered by massive U.S. spying claims

Le Monde reveals new U.S. spying allegations from Snowden documents, Smog paralyzes Chinese city, and female Pakistani police officers face challenges. Today is Monday, October 21, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

People use masks with pictures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden during Glenn Greenwald’s testimony before a Brazilian Congressional committee on NSA’s surveillance programs in Brasilia, August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Latest Snowden documents roil France. France summoned the U.S. ambassador to speak to allegations by Le Monde that the NSA recorded 70.3 million French phone calls from December 2012 to January 2013, a move French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said would be “totally unacceptable.” Le Monde reports on the latest revelations by wanted NSA leaker Edward Snowden:

Libya fights for control

Libya battles militia forces, Assad forces drop bombs after general’s killing, Saudi Arabia opts out of U.N. Security Council. Today is Friday, October 18, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Members of the Libyan Army special forces who took military action against a militia group that took over public land arrive on their vehicles in Benghazi, October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Tripoli troubles. Last week’s brief kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan shed light on the volatile situation in Libya, where militia forces are more powerful than the army and vie for supremacy in the unstable country:

Iran nuclear talks end on optimistic note, but without a clear path

Iran nuclear talks end to mixed reviews, Turkey’s Syria policy threatens its national security, and Laos plane crash investigated. Today is Thursday, October 17, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses a news conference following nuclear negotiations with European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading talks with Iran on behalf of the six world powers, at the United Nations in Geneva, October 16, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Nuclear talks conclude. American leaders described two days of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers as the most open and honest ever, but stopped short of saying that tangible progress was made:

Search continues for Philippines earthquake victims

Rescuers in the Philippines continue search for survivors of Tuesday’s earthquake, China sends riot police to stop flood victims from protesting, and Russian opposition leader Navalny’s sentence is suspended. Today is Wednesday, October 16, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Vendors and shoppers run to safety after an earthquake hit Mandaue town in Cebu City, central Philippines, October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Philippines death toll rises. Rescue workers search through the remains of buildings destroyed by the 7.2 earthquake that killed at least 144 people and injured 300 when it hit the Philippines yesterday. Roughly 3 million people were affected by the disaster, which damaged roads, bridges, and ancient churches in the Bohol and Cebu islands, and has caused more than 840 aftershocks. Officials fear more bad news:

Iranian leaders present a nuclear plan

Nuclear talks with Iran begin in Geneva, powerful quake strikes Philippines, and Russia increases Moscow security during Eid. Today is Tuesday, October 15, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a photo opportunity before the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva, October 15, 2013.REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

Nuclear PowerPoint. Iran used a PowerPoint presentation to outline what it called a “logical” nuclear plan to representatives from the six world powers. Details of the plan are not available, but Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany “welcomed” the proposal, adding that the plan to solve the nuclear standoff  ”has the capacity to make a breakthrough.” But global leaders have tempered expectations:

  • # Editors & Key Contributors