Misled? Google chief legal officer David Drummond told Fox News in an exclusive interview that the public has been seriously misled by news reports about the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance programs. Contrary to articles in London’s Guardian and the The Washington Post, the government, according to Drummond, does not have open access to Google’s servers. The company has asked federal officials for permission to release more information on the number of information requests it has received—significantly less than what people have been led to believe, Drummond said. Legal restrictions prevent Drummond from giving more details about the government’s actions under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without the Obama administration’s permission. But only a tiny fraction of the company’s users have been subjected to government snooping under the surveillance programs, he said.
Not guilty? Alleged Cleveland captor Ariel Castro pleaded not guilty this morning to the 329 charges filed against him, including counts of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder. Castro, 52, is accused of luring three young girls off the streets of his neighborhood and holding them captive for almost a decade. Prosecutors have hinted they might seek the death penalty for the murder charges, which stem from allegations Castro beat one of his captives to force her to miscarry as many as five babies. Additional charges could be filed against him as the investigation continues, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said. Defense attorney Craig Weintraub described Castro’s plea as the first step in the legal process.
Spreading like wildfire. Two vicious wildfires that sprang up Tuesday outside of Colorado Springs, Colo., consumed as many as 60 homes and prompted the state to evacuate 900 prisoners as they raced through the Black Forest. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa compared the blaze to last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed 350 homes in the same area and forced mandatory evacuations for 30,000 residents. Another fire is burning in neighboring Fremont County, best known as home to the Royal Gorge. Flames have not threatened the picturesque canyon and bridge so far. Officials are investigating the cause of both blazes.
Record holder. The world’s oldest living person, Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, died today of natural causes at age 116. Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, when Queen Victoria still sat on the British throne. According to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, Kimura still holds the record for being the oldest man in modern history, beating the previous record-holder by about a year. But women still hold the ultimate record. The oldest woman in recorded history, France’s Jeanne Calment, died in 1997 at the age of 122.