G20, Internet privacy unlocked by the NSA, Scottish independence and Bucharest's stray dogsby Prospect Team / September 6, 2013 / Leave a comment
President Barack Obama has described the Irish-born Samantha Power as “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy” © Reuters US envoy Power criticises Russia as G20 splits on Syria. Samantha Power, US envoy to the UN has publicly condemned Russia for “[continuing] to hold the Council hostage”, the BBC reports. As the final day of the Russian G20 Summit begins, world leaders remain divided over the Syrian conflict. As a result, Power has stated that the Security Council was no longer a “viable path” for holding Syria accountable for war crimes. Indeed, due to the avid resistance of China and Russia to military intervention in Syria, Power believes that international responsibilities are beginning to be shirked. Prospect has previously reported on the US ambassador’s intention to intervene in the world’s worst humanitarian tragedies. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama continues to try and build an international coalition at the summit that will back strikes against military targets in Syria. However, according to correspondents in St Petersburg, opponents of US military intervention appear to far outnumber supporters within the G20. Internet privacy and security unlocked by NSA and GCHQ The Guardian has today published findings that a $250m-a-year US program covertly liaises with tech companies in order to insert weaknesses into products. This fundamentally compromises the guarantees that Internet companies have given consumers regarding the protection of certain sensitive online material, such as medical records. Security experts say such programs “undermine the fabric of the internet”, as the NSA and GCHQ are able to unlock encryptions used to protect emails, banking and medical records. The evidence of such covert technical operations by the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ was revealed in top-secret documents provided by former contractor Edward Snowden. Bucharest’s scourge of stray and feral dogs There is now one stray for every 31 people in the Romanian capital of Bucharest according to the Independent. Recent official figures have estimated that the number of canines could be as high as 60,000, although their numbers are continuing to grow rapidly. Following the death of four-year-old Ionut Anghel, who was killed by a pack of five strays as he played with his brother in a park in the centre of the city, Romanian President, Traian Basescu, has announced plans to euthanise thousands of strays. Such an announcement has been condemned by animal rights groups as ‘barbaric’. Patten mislead MPs over payoffs, states former BBC chief (£) The former Director-General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, has made a devastating attack on Lord Patten of Barnes, chairman of the BBC trust, accusing him of giving “fundamentally misleading” evidence of controversial severance deals for executives to the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in July, The Times reports. Scottish Independence would create ‘economic dislocation’, according to CBI chief Sir Mike Rake, using his first speech as CBI President at the CBI Scotland annual dinner in Glasgow, has warned that the break-up of the UK would be a bad economic move for the Scottish nation, reported the Telegraph. The head of the CBI, the UK’s leading business lobbying organisation, stated that “the economic case for independence remained unconvincing”, which raises “important questions of the Scottish Government”. Click here for an exclusive background by Andrew Marr in Prospect on whether Scots want to break up Britain.