World News Brief, Wednesday October 30

Obama administration considers ending surveillance of allied heads of state; China suspects Tiananmen Square crash a suicide attack; North Korea at work on missile launch site; India raises interest rates to curb inflation; US intensifies efforts to capture Joseph Kony; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Mulls Spying Constraints

The Obama administration is considering ending its surveillance of allied heads of state, a move that came one day after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called for a "total review of all intelligence programs" (AP). White House officials said President Obama was not briefed on many details of the National Security Agency's spying programs, but some current and former intelligence officials said the practices were approved by the White House and State Department (LATimes). Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose mobile phone was allegedly tapped by the NSA, said the spying issue shouldn't hinder EU-U.S. trade negotiations despite calls from her own party to freeze talks (DeutscheWelle).


"The damage is hard to overstate. This is not just the US bugging a head of government who happens to be a close ally and Europe's pivotal leader. She also grew up under the German Democratic Republic and the surveillance of the Stasi secret police. She is right to regard this revelation as a serious breach of trust," writes the Financial Times in an editorial.

"There is much talk today about the risks of a new era of American isolationism and a lack of U.S. leadership in the world. It is important to remember that isolationism can be triggered not only by a potential retreat from global affairs, but also by the rather imprudent use of America's hard and soft power on the world stage," writes Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg for Project Syndicate.

"We are not reassured by the often-heard explanation that everyone spies on everyone else all the time. We are not advocating a return to 1929 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson banned the decryption of diplomatic cables because 'gentlemen do not read each other's mail.' But there has long been an understanding that international spying was done in pursuit of a concrete threat to national security," the New York Times writes in an editorial.


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China Suspects Tiananmen Crash a Suicide Attack

Chinese police are looking for two suspects, possibly ethnic Uighurs from the restive Xinjiang region, who might be connected to an attack on Tiananmen Square on Monday that killed five people and injured dozens (Reuters).

NORTH KOREA: Recent satellite images suggested major construction work at a main missile launch site in North Korea, which could allow the country to use larger rockets (Telegraph).


India raises interest rates to curb inflation

US intensifies efforts to capture Joseph Kony