Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.

November 18 2016, 3:35 p.m.President Obama indicated on Friday that he won’t pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even as President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick to run the CIA: Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, who has called for “the traitor Edward Snowden” to be executed.

Fuente: Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.


German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian

Checking smartphones of those without passports among measures announced by the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière

Fuente: German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian


ONU teme más atentados si intensifica guerra contra terrorismo en Siria e Irak – El Mostrador

Laborde insistió en la importancia de avanzar en el intercambio de información entre los servicios de inteligencia de los gobiernos para acelerar lo más posible la detección de individuos potencialmente peligrosos.En esa misma línea, abogó por profundizar los lazos entre la comunidad internacional y las grandes empresas tecnológicas para “ganar la batalla de la información y la interconexión”.

Fuente: ONU teme más atentados si intensifica guerra contra terrorismo en Siria e Irak – El Mostrador


Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of Raef Badawi for third week | World news | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of Raef Badawi for third week | World news | The Guardian.

Raef Badawi

 Raef Badawi’s case has prompted worldwide criticism from human rights groups. Photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty

Saudi Arabia has postponed for a third week in a row the flogging of a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, his wife said.

Raef Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, added that the reason why he was not flogged was unclear.

The 30-year-old received the first 50 lashes of his sentence outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on 9 January.

The next round of the punishment was postponed for two weeks on medical grounds.

Badawi’s case has prompted worldwide outrage and criticism from the UN, US, the EU and others.


Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN 

Featured photo - Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by “immigrants from West Africa,” many of whom “speak little or no English.”

The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”

Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” 


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian.


King said to have stepped in amid flogging clamour as second round of 50 lashes delayed on health grounds

Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands
Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Rex

The wife of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticising leading clerics, says King Abdullah has referred his case to the supreme court amid an international clamour over his flogging.

Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada with the couple’s three children, told the BBC the decision had raised hopes that the authorities wanted to end her husband’s punishment. But there has been no official statement from the Saudi government.

The authorities had already postponed Badawi’s flogging on medical grounds after a doctor said wounds from a previous lashing had not healed. Campaigners said the move exposed the “outrageous inhumanity” of his punishment.


Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian.

 

Wife of Raif Badawi says he may not be able to withstand more punishment as second installment of 1,000-lash sentence nears

 

Raif Badawi with his children
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with his children. Photograph: Handout

Raif Badawi, the Saudi liberal convicted of publishing a blog, has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on Friday – the second part of his 1,000-lash sentence which also includes a 10-year jail term.

The US, Britain and other western governments had all called for the punishment to be dropped but there has been no sign of any diplomatic action against Riyadh. Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the UK government to challenge Saudi Arabia, which has ignored all protests over the case.

Badawi will be given 50 more lashes outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah unless a Saudi prison doctor determines he is not yet fit to face the punishment owing to injuries sustained last Friday. If nothing changes, he will be flogged every Friday for the next 19 weeks.


Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian

Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian.

Kingdom stays silent as protesters contrast its opposition to Paris attacks on free speech with its own attacks on free speech
US Secratery of State John Kerry (2L) an
US secretary of state John Kerry attends a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally of the US and UK. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is remaining silent in the face of global outrage at the public flogging of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, who received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes on Friday, part of his punishment for running a liberal website devoted to freedom of speech in the conservative kingdom.

Anger at the flogging – carried out as the world watched the bloody denouement of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket jihadi killings in Paris – focused on a country that is a strategic ally, oil supplier and lucrative market for the US, Britain and other western countries but does not tolerate criticism at home.

Badawi was shown on a YouTube video being beaten in a square outside a mosque in Jeddah, watched by a crowd of several hundred who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and clapped and whistled after the flogging ended. Badawi made no sound during the flogging and was able to walk back unaided afterwards.

“Raif was escorted from a bus and placed in the middle of the crowd, guarded by eight or nine officers,” a witness told Amnesty International.

“He was handcuffed and shackled but his face was not covered. A security officer approached him from behind with a huge cane and started beating him.

“Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain.”

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told the Guardian from Montreal on Sunday: “Many governments around the world have protested about my husband’s case. I was optimistic until the last minute before the flogging. But the Saudi government is behaving like Daesh [a derogatory Arabic name for Islamic State or Isis].”

Saudi Arabia joined other Arab and Muslim countries in condemning the murder of 12 people at the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo but angry comments highlighted its double standard in meting out a cruel punishment to a man who was accused of insulting Islam.


With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech – The Intercept

With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD 

Featured photo - With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech

On March 6, 2012, six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside explosive device, and a national ritual of mourning and rage ensued. Prime Minister David Cameron called it a “desperately sad day for our country.” A British teenager, Azhar Ahmed, observed the reaction for two days and then went to Facebook to angrily object that the innocent Afghans killed by British soldiers receive almost no attention from British media. He opined that the UK’s soldiers in Afghanistan are guilty, their deaths deserved, and are therefore going to hell:

The following day, Ahmed was arrested and “charged with a racially aggravated public order offense.” The police spokesman explained that “he didn’t make his point very well and that is why he has landed himself in bother.” The state proceeded to prosecute him, and in October of that year, he was convicted “of sending a grossly offensive communication,” fined and sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

As demonstrators demanded he be imprisoned, the judge who sentenced Ahmed pronounced his opinions “beyond the pale of what’s tolerable in our society,” ruling: “I’m satisfied that the message was grossly offensive.” The Independent‘s Jerome Taylor noted that he “escaped jail partially because he quickly took down his unpleasant posting and tried to apologize to those he offended.” Apparently, heretics may be partially redeemed if theypublicly renounce their heresies.


Saudi blogger receives first 50 lashes of sentence for 'insulting Islam' | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger receives first 50 lashes of sentence for ‘insulting Islam’ | World news | The Guardian.

Raif Badawi has been given 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes to be carried out over 20 weeks

  • The Guardian
Raif Badawi with his children in a picture supplied to Amnesty.
Raif Badawi with his children in a picture supplied to Amnesty. Photograph: Amnesty

A Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam was brought after Friday prayers to a public square in the port city of Jeddah and flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators, a witness to the lashing said.

The witness said Raif Badawi’s feet and hands were shackled during the flogging but his face was visible. He remained silent and did not cry out, said the witness, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity fearing government reprisal.

Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticized Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded. The blog has since been shut down. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 1m riyals or about $266,600.


Mil latigazos para silenciar la crítica | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Mil latigazos para silenciar la crítica | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

Las monarquías de la península Arábiga recurren a leyes antiterroristas para encarcelar a los activistas

Raef Badawi, el bloguero saudí preso desde 2012 por insultar al islam, con sus tres hijos. / ENSAF HAIDAR (BLOOMBERG)

Ensaf Haidar tiembla ante la mera perspectiva de los 1.000 latigazos que aguardan a su marido, Raef Badawi, condenado en Arabia Saudí por “faltar al respeto al islam”. Su delito fue defender la libertad de expresión y haber fundado un portal en Internet donde se podía debatir sobre religión. El brutal castigo, que se ejecutará en tandas de 50 azotes propinados en sucesivos viernes y que se suma a 10 años de privación de libertad, busca disuadir a otros activistas de los derechos civiles en el Reino del Desierto. Como en el resto de las monarquías de la península Arábiga, el temor a que la mínima apertura socave su poder absoluto se ha exacerbado desde la primavera árabe.

“En otros países se denuncia la reducción del espacio para la sociedad civil, en esta parte del mundo no hay espacio que reducir”, lamenta Khalid Ibrahim, codirector del Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR). “Los defensores de derechos humanos son tratados como criminales, les resulta imposible encontrar un trabajo y no se les permite organizarse. De Omán, donde detienen a un activista y no sabemos dónde está, a Arabia Saudí, donde encarcelan a cualquiera que discrepa, pasando por Emiratos, que no tolera la crítica, y Bahréin, donde siguen las protestas; la situación es muy mala”, resume durante una conversación telefónica.

“Raef no es un criminal. No es un asesino o un violador. Es un bloguero. Su único delito es ser una voz libre en un país que no tolera ni entiende la libertad”, repite una y otra vez la citada Haidar quien, tras la detención de su esposo en 2012 se exilió con sus tres hijos en Canadá.


Saudi digital generation takes on Twitter, YouTube … and authorities | World news | theguardian.com

Saudi digital generation takes on Twitter, YouTube … and authorities | World news | theguardian.com.

Conservative country boasts world’s highest use of sites per capita, but criticising Islam remains a clear red line
A Saudi woman films an Islamic ceremony on her phone

A Saudi woman films an Islamic ceremony on her phone. Photograph: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Turki al-Hamad paid a heavy price for a tweet. Last year the novelist told his followers that Islam as practised in Saudi Arabia was not the “message of love” preached by the Prophet Muhammad. The outcome was six months in prison without trial.

Conditions were immeasurably better than when he was detained in the 1970s, but the hazards of speaking out in the digital age were still painfully clear.

Hamad’s case was unusual though not unique. Like Hamza Kashgari, a journalist from Jeddah, he had provoked conservative religious zealots who oppose change in the kingdom – or provide the government with a handy excuse to do so. But Twitter is immensely popular and largely tolerated. According to recent research, Saudi Arabia has the world’s highest Twitter and YouTube use per capita – a staggering 90m views of the latter a day. It also has the highest Facebook use in the Gulf.

On the face of it, it may seem surprising that an absolute monarchy with no parliament or political parties, tame newspapers and TV channels, enforced gender segregation and an official morality police should have such a flourishing social media world. But Saudis tweet in their millions to swap jokes, whinge about salaries, government waste and inefficiency – and corruption.

“Twitter has raised the ceiling of our freedoms,” said Hamad. For Hatoon al-Fassi, an Islamic feminist who campaigns for womens’ right to drive, social media has created a “virtual space” that compensates for Saudi Arabians’ lack of legal freedom of assembly or association.

“Twitter helps us breathe,” said the columnist Ahmed al-Najjar. Digital media have also blurred the boundaries between what is permissible and what is not – though criticising religion remains a clear red line.