Europe Angered By News Of NSA Spying On EU Offices

Europe Angered By News Of NSA Spying On EU OfficesEuropean officials reacted with fury Sunday to a report that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on EU offices. The European Union warned that if the report is accurate, it will have tremendous repercussions.

‘Electronic eavesdropping operation’

The outrage from European officials over the weekend was the latest fallout since Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency computer contractor, started spilling details of U.S. surveillance programs to reporters earlier this month.

Citing information from secret documents obtained by Snowden, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that several U.S. spying operations targeted European Union leaders. Der Spiegel said it had “in part seen” documents from Snowden that describe how the National Security Agency bugged EU officials’ Washington and New York offices and conducted an “electronic eavesdropping operation” that tapped into a EU building in Brussels, Belgium.


‘Seeking asylum’

The Guardian newspaper reported that one NSA document leaked by Snowden describes 38 embassies and missions as “targets” and details surveillance methods that include planting bugs in communications equipment and collecting transmissions with specialized antennae. Targets included France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey, according to The Guardian.

Snowden has revealed himself as the source of documents outlining a massive effort by the NSA to track cell phone calls and monitor the e-mail and Internet traffic of virtually all Americans. Critics slam him as a traitor. Supporters hail him as a hero. Now Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the United States, is in Russia and seeking asylum from Ecuador.

Do you believe the NSA was really spying on EU offices? What impact could this report have on the relations between the U.S. and Europe?

Source: Josh Levs and Catherine E. Shoichet | CNN

Image: International Business Times

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More Lives

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More LivesA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

‘Connection to the Middle East’

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere. However, “all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” the WHO said earlier this month. But “in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East.”

On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.


‘Tackle the virus’

Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases. However, the new virus is not SARS. The WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said. The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.

Have you experienced symptoms of infection of MERS-CoV? Do you think this virus is indeed a threat to the world?

Source: Ben Brumfield, CNN

Image: Press TV