Daily Dispatches
Edward Snowden
Associated Press/Photo by The Guardian
Edward Snowden

Globe Trot: Snowden gets asylum in Russia


Shower much? Edward Snowden has received documents allowing him to leave the Moscow airport, according to his lawyer, but it’s unclear whether he will remain in Russia or move on to another country offering asylum.

In the ongoing NSA controversy, ProPublica (not an unbiased outlet) discovered the agency has “antiquated” computers and can’t do email searches among its 30,000 employees.

After announcing last month that he would seek deep cuts in American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, President Barack Obama should consider the words of his vice president. The administration is considering a Russian deal on reducing nuclear weapons (otherwise known as New START) without Senate approval. By not calling it a treaty, Obama can avoid the constitutional requirement that it receive a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate—something it’s unlikely to do. Author John Bolton served as undersecretary of state for arms control and his argument on why now is not the time to cut nuclear stockpiles is cogent and worth reading.

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Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for large scale attacks on the infamous Abu Ghraib prison facility north of Baghdad, freeing 500 to 600 prisoners. Many of them are reportedly al-Qaeda operatives captured by the United States between the 2007 surge and the 2011 U.S. exit from Iraq. “This is a significant milestone in the resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq,” said Middle East Forum fellow Aymenn al-Tamimi. “A good deal of the progress achieved from 2006 onwards has essentially been undone now.”

The operation also will help accelerate the group’s ascendancy in Syria, where it has been rapidly expanding at the expense of more-moderate rebel groups, said Charles Lister of the London-based IHS Jane’s defense consultancy.

We’re just learning that sentences were handed down in Iran on July 16 in the cases of Iranian Christians arrested in a raid on a house church last October.  Sentences for the eight believers range from six years in prison to one year in prison. The state found them guilty of “action against the national security” and “propaganda against the system.”

In honor of the newborn Prince of Cambridge, a prayer for all the world’s sons.


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