Scrolling news:

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Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

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Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

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Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Germany and France call for talks over US spying allegations

25th Oct 2013

France and Germany have called for talks to agree on new rules for intelligence relations with Washington. The call follows allegations that the US spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone.

Following the first night of European Union summit talks, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said the bloc’s 28 leaders “took note of the intention of France and Germany to seek bilateral talks with the United States” on what their secret services should and cannot do.

The demand from Berlin and Paris follows reports that the US spied on German Chancellor Merkel’s cell phone. The reports are only the most recent to emerge from information divulged by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of a US spy program run by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Anger has also been registered outside Europe in Brazil and Mexico where revelations of alleged US snooping have caused a diplomatic headache for the US.

Van Rompuy said the call for talks comes “with the aim of finding before the end of the year an understanding on mutual relations in that field.” He also stressed that any new understanding applies to “relations between European countries as well as to relations with the US.”

French President Francois Hollande told reporters that a special European cell was already set up to deal with the wave of snooping disclosures.

These experts have to “accelerate their work with our American allies”, he said, adding that this issue is not going away and that there will be more revelations in the future. Earlier this week, the French newspaper Le Monde published an article claiming that Washington had monitored about 70 million phone calls inside France.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Merkel told a separate press conference that despite the ongoing snooping scandal she did not agree with suggestions the EU should suspend flagship free-trade talks with Washington.

However, Merkel had strong words in response to the spying allegations. She spoke to Obama on Wednesday after receiving information her cell phone may have been monitored. The allegations first arose on the website of the news magazine Spiegel.

As she arrived for the two-day EU summit she told reporters, “Spying between friends is simply unacceptable… We need trust between partners and such trust needs to be re-established.”

Merkel added that the allegations, if proven, would constitute a serious breach of trust.

“We are allies facing challenges together. But such an alliance can only be built on the basis of trust. I repeat that spying among friends is not at all acceptable against anyone and that goes for every citizen in Germany.”

hc/lw (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)


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