Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law – YouTube

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Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law – YouTube.

Data surveillance is an acceptable measure if done within the law, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told RT while visiting the channel in the capital.

Speaking to RT the Russian president stressed that Snowden revealed “nothing we didn’t know before”, adding that surveillance “is becoming a global phenomenon in the context of combatting international terrorism”, and that “such methods are generally practicable”.

But Putin pointed out that “the question is how well those security agencies are controlled by the public.”

“I can tell you that, at least in Russia, you cannot just go and tap into someone’s phone conversation without a warrant issued by court,” Putin said answering the question of RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

“That’s more or less the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism with modern-day technology. As long as it is exercised within the boundaries of the law that regulates intelligence activities, it’s alright. But if it’s unlawful, then it’s bad.”

Commenting on Obama’s statement that “You can’t have 100 per cent security and 100 per cent privacy,” Putin disagreed, saying it is possible if done within the law.

Earlier on Tuesday, Putin’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov told to a newspaper that Russia could consider the possibility of granting political asylum to 29-year-old Edward Snowden, if such a request is made. The ex-CIA worker is behind one of the biggest leaks of our time as he disclosed the existence of PRISM, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data-mining surveillance program, to The Guardian last week.

The whereabouts of whistleblower remain unknown after he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel on Monday after revealing his identity and making a public statement in a interview with The Guardian a day earlier.

‘Syria should have undertaken reform in due time’

Speaking about the conflict in Syria, the president said it was possible to avoid the civilian war by conducting reforms in due time.

“Syria as a country was rife for some kind of change. And the government of Syria should have felt that in due time and should have undertaken some reform,” Putin said. “Had they done that, what we’re seeing in Syria today would have never happened.”

However, he added, one should take into account that the entire Middle East is currently finding itself in a state of uncertainty and conflict — and it’s wrong to try and interfere from outside.

“From the outside some people think that if you bring the entire region in compliance with someone’s specific idea of democracy, things will settle down, and everything will be all right in that region. But that’s not true. Considering that region’s background history, culture, religion — you cannot interfere with it from the outside.”

Putin pointed out that the West is supporting some certain organizations that are fighting Assad in Syria, and they are countering “those very same groups” in Mali.


via Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law – YouTube.



UK government lining up with Islamist radicals in Syria


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UK and France’s compulsion to lift the EU arms embargo will only lead to further bloodshed, and any weapons exports may fall into the hands of extremists, British journalist Neil Clark tells RT.

The more weapons they send to Syria, the greater the danger they will be used to strike against their own citizens and across the world, he explains.

Britain and France’s lone push to end the arms embargo on Syria is not conducive to a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict and preparations for negotiations cannot come with the condition of Assad’s resignation. A drive for peace in the region shouldn’t be decided based on an immediate change of government, especially one which still has a strong support base within the country.

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Turkey Faces Turmoil As Syrian Rebel Support Backfires


Terrorist attacks on Turkish soil won’t stop until the country’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, gives up on his support of rebel forces in Syria, British broadcaster, Neil Clark, told RT.

Turkish police have fired tear gas at protesters in a town near the Syrian border, which was the scene of a deadly double car bombing a week ago.

Demonstrators are angry over Ankara’s support for the Syrian rebels, which they say is putting Turkey in the firing line.

World affairs journalist and broadcaster, Neil Clark, believes Erdogan must reconsider his policies and stop accusing the Syrian government of targeting the Hatay province, as it would’ve been an “absolutely absurd” move from Damascus.


Iraq in ruins: Post-war life overshadowed by crumbling infrastructure, corruption, poverty


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Despite Iraq being rich in natural resources and the US pouring money into its economy for over a decade, Iraqi infrastructure is constantly failing and the people are forced to beg, as RT’s Lucy Kafanov reported from the war-torn country.

Read on Friday and Thursday bombings in Iraq here

In spite of billions of dollars spent on reconstruction following the decade-long conflict, many neighborhoods lack sewerage systems and trash collection services. In some settlements, there are barely any streets. Water is also a big problem, locals pointed out.

“Nobody drinks the city water because we know it’s not clean. Since the war, I’ve had to rely on bottled water. What comes out of the tap is contaminated and makes us sick. How can we drink it?” local resident Umm Muhammad indicated.

Central power is another issue, with the system sometimes on for as little as two hours a day.

Electrician from Baghdad Abu Meria is sure the new government is to blame for the chaos that reigning in his homeland.

“It’s the citizens who suffer in the end, not the government. The services are so bad and the power system has really deteriorated. There were billions spent on fixing the grid but there’s little to show for it.”

Abu Meria now earns four times more than before the war due to the frequent failures and blackouts all over the city.

As RT’s Lucy Kafanov also discovered, the crumbling infrastructure is closely entangled with rampant corruption.

Transparency International group has ranked Iraq as the eighth most-corrupt state in the world. In the latest scandal, the country’s Electricity Ministry was involved in a $1.7 billion fraud case.

On the backdrop of this, most Iraqis remain impoverished, struggling to make their ends meet. In the Al Tajiat landfill, on the outskirts of Baghdad, people are actually forced to live — without any proper living conditions.

“There are no schools for the kids here, no electricity, no real houses. To get a drink of water we have to travel 4km. It’s very difficult to live here.” Watch RT’s Lucy Kafanov’s full report.


‘Chaos and destabilization as a way to maintain control in Libya’


The West has never had much use for stability in Africa and the Middle East, and having rogue states run by fundamentalists has always been a better deal than meaningful, long-lasting peace, says Lawrence Freeman of Executive Intelligence Review.

Libya is in turmoil, as was evident in the latest deadly blast in the city of Benghazi on May 13. As all hell breaks loose and armed militias run amok, Western diplomats are pulling out of a chaos they had helped create. Freeman discusses their pullout and further Mid-East strategy with RT.


Syria involved in Turkish Bombings? Probably Not

The claim Damascus is behind the deadly blasts in Turkey should be taken with skepticism, believes Dr Hallinan of Foreign Policy in Focus, who says the Syrian govt is not suicidal and it makes no sense to pick a fight with the biggest NATO army in Europe.


Saturday’s deadly blasts, which rocked the Turkish city of Reyhanli on the Syrian border, fell at a significant time considering Syria’s current place in global politics, and even raise suspicion Dr. Conn Hallinan of Foreign Policy in Focus told RT.


Massive explosions shake Damascus — state TV


Strong blasts have hit the Syrian capital, according to media and eye witness reports. According to state TV a military research center was targeted. It also says that the explosions have been caused by an Israeli rocket attack.

The blasts reportedly occurred in the area around Mount Qasioun in Damascus in the early hours of Sunday.

The area hosts a military research center in Jamraya, which came under Israeli attack earlier in January.

The Israeli Air Force conducted an airstrike on Syrian territory on Friday reportedly targeting a shipment of advanced missiles.

Video footage uploaded onto the Internet showed a massive ball of fire rising into the sky. RT could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.



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