Feb 23 2015

Newsflash: 7-year Old Suicide Bomber in Nigeria, US-Iran High-Level Talks Start in Geneva, Al Jazeera Obtains Classified “Spy Cables”

Daily News Flash | Published 23 Feb 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: 7-year Old Suicide Bomber in Nigeria, US-Iran High-Level Talks Start in Geneva, Al Jazeera Obtains Classified “Spy Cables” -

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Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A seven year old girl with bombs strapped to her body was killed in a market in the Yobe state of Nigeria yesterday. Five others were also killed and nineteen others injured in the suicide bombing, prompting fears once more of a rise in attacks by the militant group Boko Haram. Already Nigeria’s elections, slated to take place a few days ago, were postponed to early March because of instability. President Goodluck Jonathan, who is running for reelection, conceded that his government had once more underestimated Boko Haram’s strength. The killing at the market was not the first time bombs had been strapped to young children. Since 2009, more than 10,000 people have been killed and a million Nigerians left homeless. Nigeria is home to major oil and gas operations owned by multinational corporations like Royal Dutch Shell. Click HERE for a Guardian article about this story.

US and Iranian negotiators gathered in Geneva last night for a high-level meeting. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz are meeting this morning with Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the director of Iran’s atomic energy program, Mr. Ali Akbar Salehi. The two country energy representatives are for the first time, part of US-Iran negotiations. At stake is the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. The US has insisted for years that Iran has tried to secretly develop nuclear weapons, while Iran has maintained it is only interested in peaceful energy operations. Negotiations under Iran’s new leadership of Hassan Rouhani began last year and have already been extended twice. Israel has presented the strongest opposition to a warming of US-Iran relations, claiming that Iran is a threat to Israel. Click HERE for a NY Times article about this story.

And finally, Al Jazeera has announced today that it has obtained a trove of classified intelligence documents from national spy agencies of several countries. Collaborating with the Guardian newspaper, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit says it will begin publishing what it is calling, “The Spy Cables.” The documents are from 2006 to 2014, and include files from South Africa’s Secret Service and its dealings with agencies like the US CIA, Britain’s MI6, and Israel’s Mossad. Justifying their publication, Al Jazeera wrote, “intelligence agencies are over-classifying information and hiding behind an unnecessary veil of secrecy. This harms the ability of a democratic society to either consent to the activities of their intelligence agencies or provide adequate checks and balances to their powers.” The cables contrast with those that Edward Snowden leaked to the press, in that they are focused on human intelligence, rather than electronic intelligence. Meanwhile, the documentary Citizenfour by Laura Poitras, based on Snowden’s story won the Best Documentary award at yesterday’s Academy’s Awards ceremony. Click HERE for an Aljazeera story and HERE for a Common Dreams article about this story.

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