US spied on 35 world leaders

US spied on 35 world leaders

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The National Security Agency eavesdropped on hundreds of phone numbers belonging to dozens of world leaders, newly leaked documents supplied by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden reveal.Britain’s Guardian newspaper wrote Thursday that a classified memo provided to them by Mr. Snowden suggests that the NSA encouraged officials within the United States government and intelligence community to share among their colleagues contact information pertaining to international heads of state.
According to the Guardian, the memo made reference to an unnamed US official who had reportedly supplied the NSA with over 200 numbers, including 35 belonging to world leaders.
“These numbers plus several others have been tasked,” or monitored, reads the memo.
The leaders themselves are not identified in the memorandum, but classified documents previously disclosed to the media by Mr. Snowden have suggested that the NSA spied on conversations involving citizens of France, Germany, Brazil and elsewhere.
Guardian reporter James Ball writes that senior officials in the NSA’s “customer” departments — or officials within the White House, State Department and Pentagon — were asked in the memo to share their own collection of international contacts, as their unnamed colleague had, in order for the agency to add the numbers to its list of intelligence targets.
“This success leads S2 [signals intelligence]to wonder if there areNSA liaisons whose supported customers may be willing to share their ‘Rolodexes’ or phone lists with NSA as potential sources of intelligence,” Ball quotes from the memo. “S2 welcomes such information!”
“From time to time, SID [Signals Intelligence Directorate] is offered access to the personal contact databases of US officials,” it continues. “Such ‘Rolodexes’ may contain contact information for foreign political or military leaders, to include direct line, fax, residence and cellular numbers.”
When asked by the Guardian to comment, White House press secretary Jay Carney referred to comments made earlier Thursday during a briefing in which he acknowledged the NSA disclosure and said, “The revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries, and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels.”
Last month, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a scheduled meeting at the White House after leaked documents showed the NSA spied on her country’s state oil company. This week it was reported that officials in both France and Germany summoned the US envoy over similar allegations in the wake of Mr. Snowden’s leaks.
On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called allegations the NSA spied on her private communications “not at all acceptable” during a summit of European leaders in Brussels. Germany’s Der Spiegel paper reported previously that leaked NSA documents indicated Merkel’s mobile phone number had been on the radar of American intelligence.
Carney, the White House press secretary, said, “The president spoke with Chancellor Merkel, reassured her that the United States is not and will not monitor the chancellor’s communications.”
The White House has not, however, gone on the record to dismiss allegations that German leaders were not previously the subject of US-administered surveillance.
“It’s not just about me but about every German citizen,” Merkel said during Thursday’s conference.
“This is not how you should treat your partners,” said Stephanie Hilebrand, a 38-year-old German woman who spoke to reporters with Reuters on Thursday from Berlin. “We’re not terrorists. Nor is our chancellor.” – Eurasia Review
Genes behind preschool, child care centre behavior problems?
A new study suggests that some children may be genetically predisposed to developing behavioral problems in child care and preschool settings.
Previous research has found that some children develop behavior problems at child care centers and preschools, despite the benefit of academic gains. It was never known, however, why some youngsters struggle in these settings and others flourish. The new study indicates that some children may be acting out due to poor self-control and temperament problems that they inherited from their parents.
The study’s lead author Shannon Lipscomb, an assistant professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University-Cascades, said the findings point to the reason that some children develop problem behavior at care centers, despite the best efforts of teachers and caregivers. The results are published online today in the International Journal of Behavioral Development.
“Assuming that findings like this are replicated, we can stop worrying so much that all children will develop behavior problems at center-based care facilities, because it has been a concern,” she said. “But some children (with this genetic predisposition) may be better able to manage their behavior in a different setting, in a home or smaller group size.”
Researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions collected data in 10 states from 233 families linked through adoption and obtained genetic data from birth parents as well as the children. They found that birth parents who had high rates of negative emotion and self-control, based on a self-reported temperament scale, were more likely to have children who struggled with behavioral issues such as lack of self-control and anger, in child care centers. They controlled for adoptive parent’s characteristics, and still found a modest effect based on the genetic link.
“We aren’t recommending that children are genetically tested, but parents and caregivers can assess a child’s needs and help them get to a setting that might be more appropriate,” Lipscomb said. “This study helps us to explain why some children struggle so much with large peer groups and heightened social interactions. It may not be a problem with a teacher or parent, but that they are struggling on a biological level.”`
Lipscomb is in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. She is an expert on early childhood development and school readiness, and is particularly interested in adult influences on young children.
Researchers from the University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California, Riverside, Yale Child Study Center, and Oregon Social Learning Center contributed to this study, which was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. – Eurasia Review
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