End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
Intelligence Reform Sought In Light Of Snowden Leaks
In an effort to give Americans assurances that their privacy is still intact, President Barak Obama along with Congressional leaders will disclose new reforms to monitor the way Intelligence Agencies operate. At the heart of the reforms is a desire that the civil liberties of every American remain intact. This will directly affect the way the National Security Agency and the Foreign Intelligence Court conduct business.
Among the reforms being considered are: disallowing direct governmental control of the storage of bulk telephone data and appointing an advocate to make sure all avenues are considered before surveillance is granted.
President Obama met Wednesday with intelligence leaders, and members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board to gain input. The PLCO is an independent panel of experts that the White House uses in an advisory capacity for privacy concerns. This is just one of the many meetings the President will hold with people of varying views as he attempts to solidify what reforms to consider.
The need for intelligence reform was brought on by former NSA analyst, Eric Snowden’s leaking of documents showing the government’s invasive storage of private individual’s phone records and emails. Obama has stated that the U.S. cannot completely do way with intelligence gathering but that some scaling back is necessary.
Syria: June Deadline For Removing Chemical Weapons
The watchdog group in charge of monitoring Syria’s toxic chemicals disposal has warned President Assad’s government that it needs to speed-up the process of turning over any existing chemicals.
On Wednesday Michael Luhan, spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said, “We are exhorting the Syrian government to intensify its efforts, so we can conclude the critical part of this mission absolutely as fast as the conditions allow.”
Syria was a week late in disposing of its most toxic chemicals. These chemicals were finally loaded onto on Danish ship on Tuesday. Syria has until the end of March to get rid of its “first priority chemicals” including over 22,000 pounds of mustard gas. Her chemical weapons program must be terminated by the end of June.
Syria most likely has used chemical weapons in several attacks that were under investigation by the United Nations100,000 people have been killed in a 3 year civil war going on in the country.
Promise Zones To Be Set-Up In Poor U.S. Communities
In an effort to close the gap between America’s rich and poor, President Barak Obama will discuss on Thursday the creation of “promise zones” in several U. S. cities. San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma are on the President’s “promise zone” list as he addresses such issues as job creation, low-income housing, law enforcement and education.
Obama has called income inequality “the defining challenge of our time” and is lobbying to increase minimum wage and aid underprivileged children in “break[ing] out of the cycle of poverty.”
This endeavor comes on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s promise to “wage a war on poverty.” This promise has helped to create programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, social security, food stamps and the Head Start program.
In recognizing this anniversary, Obama said, “In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born into poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising.”