Britain's government agreed to give extracts of letters from Tony Blair to George W. Bush to an inquiry into the Iraq war, overcoming the main hurdle to publication of the long-awaited report. The probe will receive "gists and quotes" of communications from former prime minister Blair to ex-president Bush in the run-up to the conflict in 2003, inquiry chief John Chilcot said in an official letter. But Bush's replies will not be included in the report, which is examining Britain's involvement in the war, Chilcot said.
The US government released an email written by Edward Snowden, in a bid to debunk his claim that he raised concerns about mass spying programs before fleeing and engineering huge media leaks. Snowden, now exiled in Russia, said in an interview aired by NBC Wednesday that he had gone through official channels to question the legality of National Security Agency surveillance. The former intelligence contractor mentioned a specific email he had written to the NSA General Counsel's Office detailing his concerns. In response, the agency released what President Barack Obama's administration said was the only such communication found in the archives from Snowden on the issue, and said it did not prove his claims.
Twenty-five years after the West condemned the "butchers" who crushed protesters in Tiananmen Square, China's astonishing economic and military transformation means the world has largely set aside concerns on human rights as it courts the former pariah. Outraged Western nations imposed economic sanctions and banned arms sales after troops killed hundreds of people during the night of June 3-4, 1989 as they cleared Beijing's streets of students agitating for democracy. But then US president George H.W. Bush -- a former ambassador to China who had worked to jump-start the relationship -- resisted calls for more sweeping punishment and secretly sent senior officials to Beijing to reassure supreme leader Deng Xiaoping. His successor Bill Clinton -- whose 1992 campaign denounced the "Butchers of Beijing" -- initially tied China's trading status to progress on human rights, but the link was soon dropped.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised constitutional concerns about National Security Agency surveillance internally, but an NSA search turned up a single email in which Snowden gently asks for "clarification" on a technical legal question about training materials, agency officials said Thursday.
By Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An email exchange released on Thursday shows Edward Snowden questioned the U.S. National Security Agency's legal training programs, but provides no evidence the former contractor complained internally about vast NSA surveillance programs that he later leaked to the media. Snowden responded in an email to the Washington Post that the release by U.S. officials "is incomplete." The release of the April 2013 emails between Snowden and the NSA's legal office is the latest round in a battle between Snowden, who casts himself as a crusading whistleblower, and U.S. security officials, who say he failed to report his concerns to superiors before acting. In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Snowden said he had raised alarms at multiple levels about the NSA's broad collection of phone, email and Internet connections. In a statement, the NSA said: "The e-mail did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse, but posed a legal question that the Office of General Counsel addressed." "There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations.
The head of the US Chamber of Commerce said the time has come to start a new chapter in relations between Cuba and the United States. "For too long, the relationship between our nations has been defined by our differences and shackled by our past," Thomas Donohue said on a visit to the communist-ruled island. Washington has had an economic embargo clamped on Cuba since 1962, and the two have never moved off a Cold War footing in their ties. Donohue, speaking at the end of a three-day visit accompanied by a high-ranking business delegation, noted that Cuba was changing some of its economic policies and that its private sector was "clearly growing."
US lawmakers called Thursday for the street outside China's embassy to be renamed in honor of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. A diverse group of US House members said that a name change on at least a section of the street in Washington would embolden Chinese rights campaigners as Beijing authorities work hard to censor any mention of the 1989 pro-democracy uprising which was crushed with deadly force. "This modest effort would undoubtedly give hope to the Chinese people who continue to yearn for basic human rights and representative democracy and would remind their oppressors that they are in fact on the wrong side of history," the lawmakers said in a letter to Mayor Vincent Gray and the District of Columbia Council.