Scrolling news:

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Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Germany: NSA spying on Merkel aides

24th Feb 2014

Bundestag Sitzung Debatte Untersuchungsausschuss Euro-Hawk


A major newspaper in Germany claims that the US National Security Agency has switched to monitoring officials close to Chancellor Angela Merkel. They include Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

US intelligence switched to spying on senior German officials after last year’s order from President Barack Obama to stop  eavesdropping on Merkel, the Bild am Sonntag (BamS) newspaper said on Sunday.

“We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor’s communication directly,” said a source described by BamS as a high-ranking employee of the National Security Agency (NSA).

The paper also said it had information that the US agency currently had 297 employees stationed in Germany who were tasked with keeping watch on 320 individuals.

Most of them were German decision-makers in the fields of politics and business.

Eavesdropping on confidant

Interior Minister de Maiziere (pictured) was watched because he was a cabinet confidante of Merkel, who often sought his advice, and because of past talk that the former defense minister was tipped for the post of NATO secretary-general, BamS said.

During one moment of alleged eavesdropping, BamS said Merkel reportedly asked de Maiziere: “What shall I think?”

A German interior ministry spokesman declined on Sunday to comment on the apparently indiscretion.

SAP targeted?

BamS said an example of firms targeted in Germany was the data concern SAP, a competitor of the US concern Oracle.

This allegation was, however, rejected by the US National Security Council spokeswoman and adviser to Obama, Caitlin Hayden.

She told BamS that the United States collected no intelligence information to give US firms competitive advantages.

For months, Berlin has pushed, so far in vain, for a “no-spy” deal with Washington.

Sensitivities high in Germany

US-German ties were jolted late last year after revelations of  in Germany, including the tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone.

Sensitivity over snooping is high in Germany due to experiences during the Nazi era and latterly in former communist East Germany.

ipj/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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