World News Brief, Thursday November 7

Germany wants answers over UK role in US spying; homemade bombs cause of explosion outside Communist Party office in China; Indonesia's GDP lifts slowly in face of inflation; lower petrol prices in US boost consumer confidence; general strike brings Greece to a halt; and more 

Top of the Agenda: Germany Summons UK Ambassador Over Spying Row

Germany's foreign minister called in Britain's ambassador after reports indicated that the British embassy in Berlin was being used as secret listening post, the latest fallout from the leaks of former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden (Independent). Revelations about the scale of U.S. spying are undermining Washington's effort to keep the Internet loosely governed, rather than fall under the authority of governments and the United Nations, which is preferred by China and Russia (Reuters). Meanwhile, Brazil's justice minister defended his country's spying on foreign diplomats operating in the country, and said the scope of surveillance differs from the United States' practice of mining emails and phone calls (BBC).


"Even after West Germany's economic recovery and its rise to NATO membership, the United States and Britain excluded it from the 'SIGINT' inner circle. The potential benefits of including the Bonn government were outweighed by the risks of Soviet and East German infiltration. West German governments gave the NSA access to U.S.-occupied German territory, anyway," Charles Lane writes in the Washington Post.

"The US clearly wants to maintain a strong counter-terrorism capability. But protecting the role and reputation of US communications companies—and their place in a seamless worldwide web—is a crucial economic goal. As the controversy over the NSA continues, the risk that the US faces is that the unfettered power of the agency will ultimately damage America's internet companies—the symbol of US technology leadership," the Financial Times writes in an editorial.

"It has been a full year since federal agents snooped through the private emails of my husband and me, setting in motion a series of events that ultimately led to the resignations of Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan. The anniversary is a somber reminder of the unintended consequences and harsh realities that can result from unrestrained government probing into Americans' personal communications," Jill Kelley writes in the Wall Street Journal.


China Blast Hits Communist Party Office

Explosions that killed at least one person outside a provincial office of the Communist Party in northern China were caused by self-made bombs (Xinhua), according to local police. Last week a car ploughed through a crowd in Tiananmen Square in what was described as a terrorist attack.

INDONESIA: Gross domestic product grew less than 6 percent in the third quarter in Indonesia as the economy grapples with a depreciated currency and elevated inflation (Bloomberg).


Lower petrol prices in US boost consumer confidence

 General strike brings Greece to a halt

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