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US eavesdropping on hundreds of key German figures: report BERLIN: US intelligence has stepped up eavesdropping on hundreds of key figures in Germany, including a government minister, after Chancellor Angela Merkel was dropped as a direct target, a German report said on Sunday.Bild am Sonntag newspaper said that 320 political and business leaders in Germany were being monitored by the US National Security Agency (NSA), including Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere."We have the order not to allow any loss of information whatsoever after the communication of the chancellor no longer being able to be directly monitored," Bild quoted an unnamed high-ranking US intelligence employee in Germany as saying.US-German ties soured amid revelations leaked by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden that US intelligence agencies had allegedly eavesdropped on Merkel and collected vast amounts of online data and telephone records from average citizens.Last month, US President Barack Obama said the US intelligence service would continue to spy on foreign governments but ...

Ukraine interim leader: 'number two' man loyal to Tymoshenko KIEV: Oleksandr Turchynov is considered the faithful "number two" man who, for now, has a stab at the top spot in Ukraine.A politician and evangelical preacher who has authored psychological thrillers, Turchynov was named interim president on Sunday by the opposition-controlled parliament in a bid to fill a political void left by the impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych and to end a three-month-long crisis.The right-hand man of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, who walked free on Saturday after ...
Blast in Russia kills 3, authorities suspect gas MOSCOW: An explosion that investigators said may have been caused by gas killed three people at a shopping complex in Russia's remote Altai region in southern Siberia on Sunday, law enforcement authorities said. Russian authorities are on alert for any attacks during the 2014 Winter Olympics, which end on Sunday in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Initial reports gave no information about the cause of the blast, raising fears it could have been ...
Police fire tear gas at Istanbul anti-government protest ISTANBUL: Turkish riot police fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse thousands of demonstrators in central Istanbul protesting against what they see as authoritarian new laws from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government. Battling a corruption scandal, Erdogan's AK Party has pushed through laws tightening government control over the Internet and courts this month, and has proposed a bill envisaging broader powers for the national intelligence agency. Officers backed by water cannon cleared demonstrators from the ...
Removal of 1,000 police since graft probe is 'routine' ISTANBUL: Turkey's interior ministry said 1,000 police officers have been removed in the wake of a major corruption probe against key government allies but said these were only "routine" re-assignments.The government has embarked on a mass purge of police and prosecutors in the wake of the probe launched on December 17 targeting several members of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inner circle. "While 15,000 police were subjected to such a shakeup last year, this number ...
Germany finds foreign policy voice in Ukraine crisis BERLIN: Germany, often accused of stepping too lightly on the world stage, has taken an unusually vocal and active stand over the Ukrainian crisis and is helping mediate an end to the turmoil.In the EU's relations with eastern Europe and Russia, Berlin has increasingly acted as a voice for the 28-nation bloc, drawing on geographic proximity and old communication channels, say analysts.Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up under communism in the former East Germany, became ...
British storms 'have changed coastline forever' LONDON: The huge storms and powerful winds that have battered the coast of Britain in recent weeks have caused years' worth of erosion and damage, authorities said on Friday.On some stretches of coast, the extreme weather has stripped away sand from stretches of beaches to reveal ancient forests, leaving the stumps of 6,000-year-old oaks protruding.The National Trust, the body which manages much of Britain's most scenic coastline, said the storms have caused problems that it ...


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