13 Jan

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


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Obama at the FTC

Privacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation have questioned the proposed legal immunity. Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/EPA

Cybersecurity bill: privacy activists warn of unnecessarily ‘broad legal immunity’

White House hoping legislation will toughen private sector response by allowing companies to share information with government agencies including NSA

Barack Obama plans to announce new cybersecurity measures on Tuesday amid warnings from privacy campaigners about unnecessarily “broad legal immunity” that could put personal information at risk in the wake of attacks like the Sony Pictures hack.

Just a day after the Pentagon’s own Twitter account was compromised and Obama pushed a 30-day window for consumer security breaches, his administration was hoping the proposed legislation would toughen the response of the private sector by allowing companies to share information with government agencies including the NSA, with which the White House admitted there were “overlapping issues”…………………..


Memorial service held for police killed in Paris attacks

François Hollande leads tributes as coffins of three police officers carried at solemn ceremony

The three police officers killed in last week’s attacks were honoured by French president François Hollande at a sombre and emotional ceremony at the Prefecture de Police in Paris on Tuesday.

Hollande and prime minister Manuel Valls met members of the victims’ families before the ceremony in the Cour d’Honneur of the prefecture. The officers were awarded posthumous Légion d’honneur.

The ceremony came as four Jewish victims of the attack on a kosher supermarket were buried in Jerusalem.

In Paris, distraught relatives wept as three coffins, draped in tricolour flags, were carried into the courtyard to the sombre sound of a single drum and placed on three podiums.


An image of Angela Merkel manipulated to make it look like she's wearing a hijab, at a Pegida rally in Dresden.

An image of Angela Merkel manipulated to make it look like she’s wearing a hijab, at a Pegida rally in Dresden. Photograph: Jens Meyer/AP

Angela Merkel to join Muslim community rally in Berlin

German chancellor is attending vigil for tolerance, in response to marches by far-right group Pegida in parts of country

Angela Merkel is joining a Muslim community rally in Berlin to promote tolerance, condemn the attacks in Paris and send a rebuke to Germany’s growing anti-Islamic movement.

“Hatred, racism and extremism have no place in this country,” she said in a speech earlier in the day. “We are a country based on democracy, tolerance and openness to the world.”

The vigil at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday evening is organised by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany under the banner “Let’s be there for each other. Terror: not in our name!”

The ceremony is starting with a wreath laying outside the French embassy, where the ground is covered with flowers, candles and condolence cards.

The wreath is made of coloured pens, a symbol of freedom of expression in honour of the 17 victims of the attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo and subsequent bloodshed that shook France last week………………



Jewish victims of Paris attacks laid to rest in Jerusalem ceremony – video

Mourners gather in Jerusalem on Tuesday to pay respects to Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada who were murdered on Friday at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. The bodies of the four men were flown to Israel from France on Monday night for a ceremony attended by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and French environment minister Ségolène Royal


Sara’s story: ‘Shooting, fighting, dying: Syria is horrible’ – video

‘Before the war started, nothing worried me. Then our home got bombed,’ says Sara, 14, from Damascus, who now lives in a cardboard shack with 14 relatives in a border refugee camp in Lebanon. She shares her memories of her father, who was killed in 2012. A photo album and a watch he gave her are all she now has to remember him by. World Vision provides water to the camps and education – a catchup school, which Sara attends – as well as psychosocial support


Other News

  • FAA spokesman says Flight 2116 experienced the problem after departure from LAX this morning, but the nature of the problem is not yet known




emerson says things

Emerson said “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in”, while appearing on the Fox News channel. Photograph: Fox News/PA

How did Fox News’ Birmingham blunder make it to air? Because everything else does

For some hosts and producers at a network that traffics in outrage and over-the-top, factually questionable claims, Steven Emerson is an irresistible guest

Where does Fox News get its facts? I could show you, but we’d need an extra-powerful flashlight and several cocktails to loosen up Steve Doocy.

Now that I’ve ruined your day by putting the thought of that horrifying, hypothetical spelunking excursion in your head, let me hit you with a totally unsurprising and predictable bit of information: Fox is making headlines this week for a wildly inaccurate assertion made on its air.

In other news, sky is blue, grass is green, dog bites man.

But something about this one has resonated. This time it was so obviously, demonstratively false, that it cut through the usual stink cloud of dubious accuracy that hovers over Fox at all times, and caused international outrage as opposed to just tweaking American liberals.

The falsehood came courtesy of terrorism “expert” Steven Emerson, who stated on Sunday that the British city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim” and that non-Muslims simply did not enter the city. Of course, this came as news to the roughly 80% of Brummies who are not Muslim…………..


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