World News

    German Officials at White House for Spy Talks

    Key German and U.S. national security officials are meeting in Washington Wednesday over allegations that American spies tapped into the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The German delegation includes Ms. Merkel's intelligence coordinator, Guenter Heiss. They were set to meet at the White House with U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper, national security adviser Susan Rice and other officials.

    Washington says it is not now listening in on Ms. Merkel's calls and won't in the future, but has brushed off questions whether it has monitored her calls in the past, possibly as far back as 2002, three years before she became the German leader. Chancellor Merkel voiced her personal protest about the U.S. surveillance of her cell phone in a call last week to President Barack Obama, saying such snooping among friends cannot be condoned.

    Now, Berlin wants the U.S., along with France, to agree by the end of the year to a "no spying" deal among the allies.

    Meanwhile, the European Parliament's civil liberties committee continues its visit to Washington, meeting with a European affairs specialist with the National Security Agency. They are set to discuss the impact the spying scandal has had on European citizens.

    The head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, told a U.S. congressional panel Tuesday that reports that it collected telephone records of millions of Europeans are completely false.



    Alexander said that European spy agencies shared those records with the NSA, part of their joint effort to defend U.S. and European forces in the field and citizens at home.



    "To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens. It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations."



    The NSA chief said European newspapers misinterpreted documents stolen from the NSA by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the U.S. fugitive now living in asylum in Russia.

    Reports that the NSA collected U.S. phone records and monitored communications of 35 world leaders have outraged foreign governments.

    But Alexander said the NSA's massive worldwide collection of telephone and Internet data stopped 13 terrorist plots in the United States and 25 plots in Europe in recent years.

    Intelligence chief Clapper told the U.S. lawmakers that collecting information about foreign leaders is a "basic tenet" of U.S. spying. He said it is necessary to know the policies of foreign leaders and how their intentions might affect the U.S.

    When Clapper was asked if U.S. allies also have spied on the United States, he said, "Absolutely."

    Clapper called Snowden's disclosures "extremely damaging to our ability to protect the country." But he said "we do not spy indiscriminately," only for "valid intelligence purposes."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora