End of the Age News
By Anthony Vandagriff
No Deal for Israeli/Palestinian Peace
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ruled out any deal with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as the Jewish state and give up their refugees’ right of return.
“I will not bring a deal that doesn’t cancel the (refugees’) ‘right of return’ and doesn’t include Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Gendelman said on his official Twitter feed.
Netanyahu’s remarks, made in an address to the ruling rightwing Likud-Beitenu faction, touched on one of the most thorny aspects of the peace talks with the Palestinians and one which looks likely to derail US efforts to extend the negotiations beyond a looming April deadline.
The Palestinians have systematically refused Netanyahu’s demand that they recognize Israel as the Jewish state, saying it would deny their historical narrative and effectively cancel out the right of their refugees to return to homes that they fled from or were forced out of during the 1948 war which accompanied Israel’s creation.
Destruction of Phone Records Stopped
A federal judge in San Francisco stopped the destruction Monday of millions of telephone records collected by the National Security Agency more than five years ago.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who is overseeing an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the agency, issued a nationwide order Monday to safeguard evidence until March 19, when he will hold a hearing on extending the deadline further.
The secret federal court that approved the agency’s surveillance has required that documents be purged after five years for privacy reasons. On Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denied the federal government’s request to keep the records for the sake of pending lawsuits.
White said he was enforcing an order he had issued in an earlier NSA surveillance case that halted evidence from being destroyed.
He wrote that “the Court would be unable to afford effective relief once the records are destroyed” and before he decided if their collection was legal. The plaintiffs in the lawsuits include civil rights, environmental and religious groups as well as gun organizations and marijuana advocates.
Snowden’s Video Conference
In other news, Edward Snowden spoke Monday via live video conference. The former NSA contractor, who remains in Moscow living in temporary asylum, faces felony charges in the U.S. after leaking thousands of classified documents to media outlets.
Snowden touched on a number of issues in the hour-long conversation. He dispensed advice on how U.S. citizens can keep their web-surfing activities more private by using a free service called Tor, which encrypts web traffic. He also called on the technology industry to create more software and services that help guard individual privacy.
He appeared to have no regrets about exposing the U.S. government’s surveillance methods. Snowden told his audience “And when it comes to would I do this again, the answer is absolutely yes,” “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I saw that the Constitution was violated on a massive scale”
These are the stories breaking in our world today, as always it’s been a pleasure.
I’m Anthony Vandagriff bringing you the latest from ETA News.