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September 21, 2013

Bolivian president announces legal action over Obama\’s \’crimes against humanity\’

Bolivian president announces legal action over Obama’s ‘crimes against humanity’

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Correction — October 4, 2013
 
The last paragraph of this article should say “President Maduro” rather than “President Morales”. We apologize for the error.
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crime and law
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Crime and law
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The Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Thursday he will file legal charges against the United States President Barack Obama for crimes against humanity. President Morales announced he was preparing litigation after Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro‘s plane was allegedly denied entry into U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico.

File photo of Evo Morales.
Image: Agência Brasil.

Official portrait of Barack Obama.
Image: Pete Souza.

President Morales called Obama a “criminal” violating international law. Morales called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), made up of 33 member states including Argentina, Mexico and Chile, and encouraged member states to remove their ambassadors from the U.S. to show their solidarity. He asked Bolivarian Alliance member states to boycott the next United Nations meeting, to be held in New York on September 24. He also said the U.S. had pursued a policy of “intimidation” and have a history of blockading presidential flights.

In July this year, the Bolivian presidential aircraft was prevented from landing in Portugal to refuel, allegedly at the request of the U.S. administration. After Italy, Spain and France each banned the aircraft from entering their airspace, it was ultimately forced to land in Austria. Here, the plane was boarded as part of the search for U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden. Several Latin American heads of state promptly condemned the actions.

President Evo Morales is in his second presidential term after first being elected in 2005. He campaigned on the promise of alleviating Bolivia’s crippling poverty — Bolivia was Latin America’s poorest nation at the time he was elected — and is Bolivia’s first indigenous leader. He became internationally recognisable for the striped jumper he wore while meeting with high level dignitaries, including kings and presidents, around the world. His actions as President have included halving his own salary and those of his ministers, seizing Bolivia’s gas and oil reserves, and redistributing the nation’s unused countryside to the poor.

President Morales had been bound for bilateral talks in China. He maintains he will not be prevented from attending them.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 26, 2013

United States spies accused of illegally bugging the United Nations headquarters

United States spies accused of illegally bugging the United Nations headquarters

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Monday, August 26, 2013

File photo of the sign of the National Security Agency headquarters.
Image: National Security Agency.

German weekly publication Der Spiegel yesterday accused the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) of spying on the United Nations headquarters in New York. The magazine claims to have access to official NSA documents, provided by former NSA and CIA computer specialist and current fugitive Edward Snowden.

If the allegations of bugging are confirmed, it would mean that the United States has breached International Treaties including the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. The Treaty states that countries must not carry out covert operations that relate to the UN’s activities.

“The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action”, the Convention stipulates.

The documents analysed by Der Spiegel indicate that the NSA runs bugging programs in more than 80 embassies and consulates across the globe, in what is reportedly called the “Special Collection Service”.

Der Spiegel claimed that, according to their intelligence, the NSA was able to bug the UN headquarters by hacking into its video conferencing system in the summer of 2012. Their article included quotes from the leaked documents like ““The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)”.

Allegedly, decoded UN communications rose from 12 to 458 within three weeks of the NSA gaining access. Analysed documents also indicated the NSA found evidence Chinese spies were also monitoring the UN, and began logging what the Chinese were accessing.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union are said to be among the organisations NSA spies have been targeting. The US government has previously denied any wrongdoing by the NSA, although President Barack Obama this month announced plans to curb government spying activities.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 3, 2013

Wikinews interviews a Restore the Fourth organizer

Wikinews interviews a Restore the Fourth organizer

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

United States
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A grassroots movement known as Restore the Fourth, dedicated to the protection of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, are to hold protests countrywide on July 4. The planned protests come in the wake of information about NSA surveillance leaked last month, notably the PRISM surveillance program and the collection of Verizon phone records. Wikinews interviewed Jett, a national organizer from this recently created movement.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png First of all, could you explain what Restore the Fourth is all about?

Jett: At its core, RestoreTheFourth is about protecting citizens’ constitutional rights. Specifically, we’re dedicated to bringing awareness and action to the expanding overreach and elimination of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Logo of the PRISM surveillance program.
Image: NSA, Adam Hart-Davis.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What is your role at Restore the Fourth?

Jett: My job at RestoreTheFourth could be summarized as ‘project coordinator’. Every person who wants to help can help in a tremendous way. I simply make sure that their skills get used in a way that would be most beneficial to the movement: web development, public relations, etc. I also field questions from the press and promote knowledge of our cause.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your plans for direct action, outreach, etc.?

Jett: Our press release includes a list of ‘demands’ for what we want to see in order to restore our privacy rights, including reform of the PATRIOT Act and increased accountability for public officials. In the very short term, these protests and demonstrations bring awareness to the issue, something that’s really important in enacting reform. In the long term, however, we expect to create a legal organization dedicated to restoring these rights inherent to every American. By partnering with various other organizations that share our moral values, we can further these goals.
On July 4, we will have over 100 protests in all 50 states, showing that the citizens of America are truly serious about protecting their rights.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png By what means do you hope to achieve such change?

Jett: This movement started only a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve experienced exponential growth and progress. Since the movement is still very young, plans diverge in the long term on what we hope to achieve. Personally, I’d like to see a combination of legislative and litigative action (something like what the ACLU does), and others want to see further plans of action. With organizations such as the BORDC, stopwatching.us and the EFF behind us, I feel that we can achieve all of this and much more.
HAVE YOUR SAY
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What do you think is the right balance between surveillance and privacy?
Add or view comments

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is the movement US-only or will it extend to other jurisdictions as well? Do you think it would be fair for the US to spy on non-citizens?

Jett: I believe that rights are inherent to all humans, not only United States citizens. In the long term I’d certainly like to see people of all nations protected from the slow elimination of privacy that we’re all experiencing.
Cquote1.svg He’s [Edward Snowden] being treated as a ‘martyr’ of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in. Cquote2.svg

—Jett

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you think about Edward Snowden‘s whistleblowing?

Jett: I think that too much attention is being given to his personality instead of what he fought for. He’s being treated as a ‘martyr’ of sorts. It seems to distract from what he truly believed in — transparency for the government and inherent privacy for all Americans.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What do you think about his future, given the legal grey zone in which he currently is?

Jett: Hard to say. He may be captured by any number of agencies, or he may live a free man. Whatever happens, he has the eyes of millions of people on him, all of whom will yell very loudly if anything occurs.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much for your time.

Jett: Thanks for the opportunity.

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Edward Snowden#NSA surveillance disclosures
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Verizon Communications#NSA Collection of Phone Records

Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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