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Report: NSA spied on French citizens, Mexican government

Source: Al Jazeera

Newly released documents show the NSA accessed the emails and phones of French civilians and Mexican officials.

The National Security Agency (NSA) recorded 70.3 million French civilian telephone conversations in a span of 30 days, from Dec. 10, 2012 to Jan. 8 this year, French newspaper Le Monde reported Monday.

The agency also intercepted communications of the Mexican government for years, has read text messages and listened to phone calls of its current President Enrique Pena Nieto, and has hacked into the email servers of private companies in Latin America, according to a report published on Sunday by Der Spiegel, a German newspaper. read more

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The Battle for the Arctic

Source: Al Jazeera, Fault Lines

Fault Lines looks at the potential environmental impact of resource extraction in the Arctic, and what that might mean for the people who live there. The UN has imposed a 2013 deadline for the submission of scientific claims to the Arctic seabed. It is the precursor to a resource boom which would see Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Greenland all attempt to exploit the region’s resources. These Arctic countries are desperately mapping out their territories so they can tap into the fossil fuels and minerals locked beneath the fast melting ice. And with global warming speeding up the melting of the Polar ice caps, potential shipping routes are opening up – raising concerns about oil spills, and control over these new passageways. Fault Lines’ Josh Rushing heads to the Far North to see first-hand how Arctic countries are responding to the potential bonanza. read more

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Iraq: After the Americans

Source: Al Jazeera, Fault Lines

“For the first time in nine years there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. After a decade of war that’s cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is our own.”

Barack Obama, the US president

In keeping with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign promise, the US has withdrawn its troops from Iraq and by the end of 2012 US spending in Iraq will be just five per cent of what it was at its peak in 2008. read more

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History of an Occupation

Source: Al Jazeera

In the fall of 2011, New York’s Zuccotti Park grabbed the world’s attention as the hub of Occupy Wall Street, a movement that set off a chain of rage against the country’s financial and political elite.

Even in the face of police repression and media ridicule, the movement mobilised thousands of people fed up with the deep economic divide in the US. And within two months hundreds of Occupy Wall Street camps swept across the country changing the political discourse in the US. read more