Scrolling news:

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

Palestine: Civilian casualties continue to rise; 15 killed Thursday night

Palestine: Israeli attacks in Gaza kill 20 on Thurs afternoon

Palestine: Twelve Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli army in Hebron, Nablus

Palestine: 33 Palestinians killed in pre-dawn Israeli attacks in Gaza

Palestine: List of 714 Palestinians killed between July 8 and July 24

Palestine: Toddler ‘killed in ICU’ as Israel bombs Gaza City hospital

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in protest march near Ramallah, W Bank

Palestine: Dozens feared dead as Israel shells UN shelter in Beit Hanoun

Iraq: UN Secretary-General meets Ayatullah Al-Sistani for the first time in Najaf

Pakistan: Allama Talib Jauhri’s son-in-law shot dead in Karachi

Palestine: 73 Palestinians killed on Wed in Gaza, total death toll at 695

Palestine: 21 Palestinians killed in early dawn strikes in Gaza

US: Obama NSA reform proposals receive mixed reaction in Berlin

18th Jan 2014

Senior political leaders in Berlin have welcomed US President Barack Obama’s NSA speech as an important first step. But many have expressed scepticism that Washington will follow through with broad surveillance reform.

President Obama’s proposals to reform US surveillance operations have been met with mixed reaction in Berlin, where trust in Washington has taken a major hit since the October revelations that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone had been tapped by the NSA.


German government spokesman Steffen Seibert welcomed Obama’s proposal to impose greater restrictions on surveillance of non-US citizens.

“Now as before, the federal government expects German law to be respected on German territory,” Seibert said on Friday.

Over the summer, the newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported that the NSA was collecting massive amounts of Internet metadata in Germany.

The chairman of the German parliamentary committee that oversees Berlin’s intelligence agencies said that the US president had “drawn the right consequences from the NSA spying scandal.”

“The speech was an important step on the way to a common understanding, which not only supports the security needs of our countries, but also data protection and citizens’ civil liberties,” said Clemens Binninger, a member of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Party (CDU).

Call for ‘binding treaty’

But German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper over the weekend that the US president’s proposal did not go far to restore the broken trust between Washington and Berlin.

“Only when we have signed a legally binding treaty that protects all citizens will the lost trust be won back,” said Maas, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

“President Obama has made the first step,” the justice minister said. “The NSA should no longer be able to collect data unrestricted.”

While Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele praised Obama for delivering a speech addressing the NSA scandal, he expressed skepticism that the reforms would be successfully implemented.

“We know that these intelligence services, above all the NSA, are a huge power in the US and they will come up with ways so that this isn’t too threatening for them,” said Ströbele, who personally met with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Moscow last October.

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Bosbach – chairman of the German parliament’s interior committee – said that Obama’s speech would “not put German citizens at ease.”

“I fear that the Americans will continue to collect data – including from allies – without cause,” said Bosbach, a member Merkel’s CDU.

slk/tj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Leave a Comment

What is 4 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more