World News

EU Furious Over Reported NSA Surveillance

Senior European Union officials have angrily demanded answers from the United States after a German magazine alleged the U.S. National Security Agency bugged EU offices and gained access to its internal computer networks as part of its spying activities.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said Sunday that if the reports are true "it would have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations." He called for "full clarification" from U.S. authorities.

Germany's justice minister accused Washington of using "Cold War" methods against its allies, saying it is "beyond comprehension that our friends in the U.S. see Europeans as enemies."

Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement.

On Saturday, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the NSA placed listening devices in European Union offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations in New York, and infiltrated EU computers to monitor telephone conversations, e-mails and other documents.

It quoted secret U.S. documents obtained from fugitive whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.



Snowden fled the U.S. to Hong Kong in May and then disclosed key documents about the surveillance programs being conducted by the National Security Agency to thwart terrorism.

Earlier this month, he flew to Moscow and is believed to be staying in a transit zone at the airport while seeking asylum in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Sunday that Snowden's fate is in the hands of Russian authorities because he cannot leave the airport without a valid U.S. passport. He said his government cannot begin considering asylum for Snowden until he reaches Ecuador or an Ecuadorian embassy.

Russia has repeatedly stated that Snowden is not on Russian territory in the airport's transit area and he is free to depart whenever he wants. Russian authorities repeated that position Sunday in response to Mr. Correa's comments.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden asked Mr. Correa in a telephone call Friday to reject Snowden's asylum request.

According to an NSA document dated September 2010, only a few countries labeled as close friends by the U.S. are explicitly exempted from monitoring - Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Der Spiegel reported that on an average day, the NSA monitored about 20 million German phone connections and 10 million Internet data sets, with the rate rising to 60 million phone connections on busy days.

The magazine said that in France the U.S. taps about two million data connections per day.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs