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German spy chiefs to head to US as snooping row widens

German spy chiefs will travel to the United States next week to demand answers following allegations that US intelligence has been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, as a row over widespread US snooping threatened to hurt transatlantic ties. Documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden showing sweeping US surveillance on ordinary citizens' Internet searches and telephone records have already sparked outrage worldwide.

Snowden leaks sparked welcome debate: US spy chief

Leaks from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have generated a much needed debate about surveillance even though his disclosures have jeopardized national security, America's spy chief said Thursday. "As loathe as I am to give any credit for what's happened here, which is egregious..." said National Intelligence Director James Clapper, "I think it's clear that some of the conversations that this has generated, some of the debate... actually probably needed to happen."

Lithuania accused of stonewalling over CIA jail case

By Christian Lowe and Andrius Sytas WARSAW/VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lawyers for a man who alleges he was held in a secret CIA jail in Lithuania have accused the Baltic state of failing to give proper answers to judges considering the case at the European Court of Human Rights. Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah alleges that he was held, seven years ago, in Lithuania as part of a global CIA program to detain and interrogate suspected al Qaeda operatives.

Nerd farm no more: Speech offers rare glimpse into eavesdropping agency

OTTAWA - According to geek-laden lore, Canada's top-secret eavesdropping agency was once staffed by such a crew of oddball science nerds that one intelligence analyst cut her hair at her desk. Another built a chicken-wire enclosure around his work area to keep other people away. And there was a popular joke among the codebreakers and computer wizards of Communications Security Establishment Canada. How do you tell an extrovert at CSEC? He's the one looking at the tops of other people's shoes, not his own.

Survey reveals that UK residents admit they behave badly abroad

It seems UK holidaymakers are the first to call themselves out when it comes to their own behavior abroad. According to a poll carried out by British travel association ABTA, 65 percent of UK holidaymakers are unwilling to learn the local language while more than half, or 55 percent, said they consider the UK holidaymaker to be guilty of raucous, drunken behavior. This was particularly true for respondents in Northern Ireland, 53 percent of whom described themselves as rowdy rabble-rousers, compared to the overall average of 27 percent.

Survey reveals that UK residents admit they behave badly abroad

It seems UK holidaymakers are the first to call themselves out when it comes to their own behavior abroad. According to a poll carried out by British travel association ABTA, 65 percent of UK holidaymakers are unwilling to learn the local language while more than half, or 55 percent, said they consider the UK holidaymaker to be guilty of raucous, drunken behavior. This was particularly true for respondents in Northern Ireland, 53 percent of whom described themselves as rowdy rabble-rousers, compared to the overall average of 27 percent.

INTERVIEW-Clapper says budget cuts would be disastrous for U.S. spy agencies

* U.S. intelligence budget classified except overall figure * Cutbacks would include informants, electronic surveillance By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.S. spy agencies are making preparations for potentially sweeping budget cuts that could drastically limit their ability to respond to crises, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Thursday.
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