World News

    FBI: Criminal Investigation Launched into NSA Leaks

    The director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, is vowing to take swift action against the former CIA analyst who has confessed to leaking documents exposing a pair of top secret government surveillance programs.

    Speaking to lawmakers Thursday, FBI chief Mueller confirmed that a criminal investigation has been opened into the leaks, which he said have dealt a blow to U.S. national security.



    "These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures."



    He did not mention the name of the confessed leaker, Edward Snowden, who is currently in Hong Kong, from where he has vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges.

    Mueller defended the surveillance programs, saying they are a legal and crucial tool in preventing terrorist attacks. He said their disclosure could prompt potential terrorists to change their behavior and become more difficult to track.

    General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, says the programs carried out by his agency have helped foil dozens of terrorist attacks. Lawmakers say the NSA will soon present details on this claim.



    Meanwhile, Snowden, an ex-NSA contractor, continues to speak with media outlets from Hong Kong. In his latest interviews, Snowden has moved beyond criticizing the domestic spying programs, and is now also focusing on what he says are widespread U.S. hacking attempts against foreign targets.

    On Wednesday, he told the South China Morning Post the NSA has been hacking computers in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009, with targets including public officials, businesses and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    The revelation threatens to further complicate relations between China and the United States, which have already been trading increasingly fierce accusations on cyber hacking and espionage.

    For the second straight day, Chinese state media, which often reflect official opinion, devoted a considerable amount of coverage to the issue.

    An editorial in the Communist Party-controlled Global Times said Beijing deserves an explanation from the U.S. on the alleged hacking attempts. It said Chinese officials should try to acquire more information from Snowden and "use it as evidence to negotiate with the U.S."

    So far, there is no evidence Beijing officials have sought out any such information from Snowden, who is in an unknown location in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous sovereign territory of China.

    But the editorials now suggest Beijing would be willing to use the leaks to deflect pressure from Washington, which had attempted to hold China accountable for its alleged hacking attacks on U.S. targets.

    A series of recent private and official reports have accused Chinese hackers of stealing information, ranging from the designs for dozens of top U.S. weapons systems to other trade secrets and commercial data that would benefit Chinese businesses.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora