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Old 2013-07-02, 02:53   Link #29201
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
While I sympathise with his difficulties, I can't help but sense a trace of petulant pique in between the lines of Snowden's statement from Moscow. He would have to be very naive to think he could escape from this whole affair scot-free.

The other story that is rarely heard outside of the United States is the impact of Snowden's escapade on his father, Lon Snowden.
Quote:
"My son has made his own bed," Mr Snowden said on Friday in one of a series of interviews with The Washington Times over several days. "I have three other children to worry about. You won't believe what these attorneys wanted in money from me just to see what is possible with the government."
EDIT:

Meanwhile, The Washington Post has published an AP article by a good friend of mine.

First openly gay S'pore politician says anti-gay law will be history
Quote:
Singapore (July 2, Tue): This conservative city-state convicted men for homosexual behavior as recently as seven years ago, and the British colonial-era law it used is still on the books. The government shows no interest in making a change. The prime minister's advice has been to just let things be.

Opposition official Vincent Wijeysingha (wee-jay-sing-ga) isn't taking that advice. On his Facebook page last week, he became the first Singaporean politician to come out of the closet, and he advocates that the law be scrapped.

He told AP yesterday that although the government resists decriminalising homosexuality, "society will eventually overtake it on this question".

"I am entirely convinced the law will eventually be repealed," said the treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party.

The decades-old law[1] makes "gross indecency" between men punishable by up to two years in prison. It has not been actively enforced in recent years, but 185 men were convicted under the law between 1997 and 2006, according to government data.

Singapore's High Court in April rejected a bid by a gay couple to scrap the city-state's law, ruling that Parliament should be responsible for making any changes.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said earlier this year that these were "not issues that we can settle one way or the other, and it's really best for us just to leave them be, and just agree to disagree".

Gay-rights activists said that is unacceptable to a growing number of Singaporeans. They noted that Saturday's Pink Dot gay advocacy rally drew more than 20,000 people to a Singaporean park, the best showing for the event, which has been held every year since 2009.

Mr Wijeysingha said the best response he has received is from young people who have told him that he has given them courage by coming out. But he said he will work on more than gay rights.

"My value system is one of equal rights to all," he said. "Human rights are indivisible."

AP

[1] Singapore Penal Code, section 377A. Outrages on decency: Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

EDIT2:
I don't think anyone will deny that Snowden's dramatic expose has all the elements of a spy thriller. These indie film-makers have already made a pilot.


Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2013-07-02 at 04:50.
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Old 2013-07-02, 05:26   Link #29202
ganbaru
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Iranian Arms ship seized by Yemen may have been Somalia-bound.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96101E20130702
With all the sanctions than they got, I have to wonder how they still manage to get the money to waste on weapons for terrorists, rebels and Syria.

Exclusive: Greece has three days to deliver or face consequences - EU officials
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96107A20130702
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Old 2013-07-02, 20:49   Link #29203
solomon
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After reading the Der Speigel article, I understand more about why the Europeans are up in arms about it.

That being said, I wonder just how much of the populace is really concerned about this. Especially those in Southern Europe who have much bigger bread and butter issues facing them in the day.

Also, do we REALLY think that this will derail US-EU free trade talks? Maybe delay sure, but derail?
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Old 2013-07-03, 04:53   Link #29204
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
My point is that people who aren't at the top income brackets aren't spending because they know they shouldn't. Because they don't want to go into debt. And that no matter how much politicians try to encourage spending, in either China or Japan, neither country's citizens will be willing to spend more than what they earn. Because neither have the debt culture to encourage it.

By all means, the billionaires should be spending as much as they can. That's the only part of Trickle Down that mattered. I just made the point that it is wrong to tell the average Japanese/Chinese family to spend more to boost the economy, when it would only end in tears that way.
Back to the point of debt, while Singapore isn't at all similar to China, in terms of the level of economic development, we have much in common with Japan. With that in mind:

Singapore debt levels 'among highest in Asia'
Quote:
Singapore (July 3, Wed): Singapore households are among the most indebted in Asia relative to what they earn, according to a Standard Chartered report this week.

Households had borrowings worth 151 per cent of their annual income last year, second in the region only to Malaysia, with debt at 182 per cent of income.

This is mainly because consumers here take on large dollops of property debt, amounting to 111 per cent of household income — the highest level in the region, Stanchart said.

On the bright side, households have a robust buffer of financial assets from high savings, so their debt levels are relatively low compared to these assets, the bank added.

"We are not concerned about household solvency in Singapore," it said.

Thanks to low interest rates, the repayments that Singapore households make on loans are also among the lowest in the region as a share of income.

However, Stanchart warned that as rates rise, debt servicing may become more difficult for home owners who are over-leveraged.

Stanchart's data shows that the overall debt service ratio for Singapore households has been rising since 2008. But they remain moderate, with total debt repayments coming up to only 13 per cent of total household incomes.

This is lower than in Malaysia, South Korea and Australia, although higher than in the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Taiwan, which have debt service ratios between 2 and 7 per cent, it added.

But the report also highlighted the danger of the rapid increase in debt levels recently.

Singapore's housing loans grew at an annual rate of 12.1 per cent between 2000 and last year, but picked up pace in recent years to grow at an annual rate of 15.8 per cent between 2006 and last year.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has recognised the risk of rising rates and last week introduced caps on total debt service ratios for property buyers.

They can take new mortgages only when their total monthly repayments, including other outstanding debt obligations, do not exceed 60 per cent of their monthly income.

THE STRAITS TIMES
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Old 2013-07-03, 05:18   Link #29205
Dhomochevsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
After reading the Der Speigel article, I understand more about why the Europeans are up in arms about it.

That being said, I wonder just how much of the populace is really concerned about this. Especially those in Southern Europe who have much bigger bread and butter issues facing them in the day.

Also, do we REALLY think that this will derail US-EU free trade talks? Maybe delay sure, but derail?
The idea of canceling/postponing the trade talks is a practical one.
You can't do such talks while the other side spys on you and knows all your strategies beforehand.
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Old 2013-07-03, 06:17   Link #29206
don_Durandal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
the French.

we know the French are willing to shelter pedophiles lets see if they are willing to shelter whistleblowers.
That doesn't apply to Snowden as, unlike Roman Polanski, he doesn't have French citizenship.

It's not a question of what they did or are accused of doing. The French constitution forbids the extradition of French citizens to other countries. No more, no less.
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Old 2013-07-03, 06:22   Link #29207
ganbaru
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China slowdown, Portugal tensions spook markets
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...88901C20130703

Rivals play down China's overture in S.China Sea, no breakthrough
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96206020130703
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Old 2013-07-03, 08:51   Link #29208
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Also, do we REALLY think that this will derail US-EU free trade talks? Maybe delay sure, but derail?
It changes the balance of power in brokering deals. Just the simple fact that world governments now have a much better idea of the US spying capabilities is damaging to the leverage the US has in discussing any kind of matter with them.

That's why the government is pissed at Snowden. They're far less worried about what the American public thinks about the leaks in comparison to the damage it causes in pursuing political, corporate, and military interests around the world.

When a leader talks about "national interests" or "national security" in the US, they're rarely talking about it in relation to the public interest or security. They're concerned about getting, keeping, and maintaining power, resources, and money, nothing more.

Having such in depth and advanced spying and data storage capability is a big deal for those interests, one they're not keen on letting other countries know about or have access to, either literally or technologically. Hence the increase in cyber warfare under the Obama administration, where we've seen its influence grow as the program has matured.

What Snowden did was incredibly damaging to the US elite, in that regard, which is why he's basically a dead man walking.
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Old 2013-07-03, 10:31   Link #29209
ganbaru
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For those than can read French : Surveillance électronique: "On ne peut pas reprocher aux Américains de faire mieux leur métier que nous" ( Electronic surveillance: ' we can't blame the American to do their job better than us )
http://www.latribune.fr/opinions/tri...-que-nous.html
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Old 2013-07-03, 21:51   Link #29210
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
That's why the government is pissed at Snowden. They're far less worried about what the American public thinks about the leaks in comparison to the damage it causes in pursuing political, corporate, and military interests around the world.
That's what the government is mad about, but if they never spied on American citizens Snowden would never have leaked. The fact is Americans expect to be treated better than the filthy foreigners outside their lands. They broke that promise, so the leak happened. Cause and Effect.
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Old 2013-07-03, 21:55   Link #29211
ganbaru
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Egypt army topples president, announces transition
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...95Q0NO20130704
I'm surprised than nobody posted it sooner.
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Old 2013-07-03, 22:03   Link #29212
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Egypt army topples president, announces transition
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...95Q0NO20130704
I'm surprised than nobody posted it sooner.
At this point this was expected, so no big deal. The moderates better have a unified candidate this time.
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Old 2013-07-03, 22:39   Link #29213
solomon
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somehow I think the military will be at the forefront (or at least THE big dog in the shadows) for a WHILE. Muslim Brotherhood is NOT going to sit down and take a secular type government down the throat.
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Old 2013-07-03, 23:01   Link #29214
sa547
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Speaking of Snowden, how the hell he managed to punch through the security screening and obtained high clearances? I mean, I'm amazed that the agency he now turned his back on somewhat neglected to comb through his background and could've flagged him as an intelligence risk early on. But then history showed us Marchetti, Manning, and many others.

It is of no surprise that the US intelligence services have made themselves the laughingstock of the world, and their presence have only served to magnify foreign mistrust towards that nation.
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Old 2013-07-03, 23:01   Link #29215
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
somehow I think the military will be at the forefront (or at least THE big dog in the shadows) for a WHILE. Muslim Brotherhood is NOT going to sit down and take a secular type government down the throat.
B can complain all they like, they only took power the first time because of a fragmented moderate faction.
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Old 2013-07-03, 23:47   Link #29216
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Speaking of Snowden, how the hell he managed to punch through the security screening and obtained high clearances? I mean, I'm amazed that the agency he now turned his back on somewhat neglected to comb through his background and could've flagged him as an intelligence risk early on. But then history showed us Marchetti, Manning, and many others.

It is of no surprise that the US intelligence services have made themselves the laughingstock of the world, and their presence have only served to magnify foreign mistrust towards that nation.
I really dunno how they work in the US intelligence services nor what is the overall philosophy, but I agree that they are completely shit unlike their counterparts in the Mossad or even formerly what was once called Military Intelligence Section 6 during the Cold War.

No wonder how they completely missed the boat with former FBI agent and pro-USSR/Russia mole Robert Hanssen for 22 years before they arrested him.
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Old 2013-07-04, 00:02   Link #29217
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Speaking of Snowden, how the hell he managed to punch through the security screening and obtained high clearances? I mean, I'm amazed that the agency he now turned his back on somewhat neglected to comb through his background and could've flagged him as an intelligence risk early on. But then history showed us Marchetti, Manning, and many others.

It is of no surprise that the US intelligence services have made themselves the laughingstock of the world, and their presence have only served to magnify foreign mistrust towards that nation.
1. the company that was responsible for investigating security background checks decided to cut corners.

2. Snowden became disilluion while on the job. Before he had both a military background and work for the NSA. And had express views online that are close to the governments.
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Old 2013-07-04, 01:14   Link #29218
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
That's what the government is mad about, but if they never spied on American citizens Snowden would never have leaked. The fact is Americans expect to be treated better than the filthy foreigners outside their lands. They broke that promise, so the leak happened. Cause and Effect.
Filthy foreigners? Don't ascribe to the American citizenry something so sweeping. I wouldn't do the same about the people of your nation.

We'll never know the whole story, and I doubt what he leaked is all he knows. But he took employment for a spying company, he had to have known some of that spying would be on America itself. But Snowden clearly saw something he felt was so bad he had to take action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Speaking of Snowden, how the hell he managed to punch through the security screening and obtained high clearances?
The privatizing of government. It's worse than you think.
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Old 2013-07-04, 01:16   Link #29219
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Well, it wasn't my shift and I was out at a party last night when the news broke. So, yeah, that's why I didn't post about the latest Egyptian coup.

Anyways, the story has moved on:

Egypt army confirms it is holding Mursi
Quote:
Cairo (July 4, Thu): Egypt's army is "preventively" holding ousted president Mohamed Morsi after his ouster by an army decree, a senior army official told AFP.

"He is being held preventively for final preparations," the official said, suggesting that Mr Mursi might face formal charges over accusations made by his opponents.

Mr Mursi was detained along with senior aides after issuing a defiant call for supporters to protect his elected "legitimacy", in a recorded speech hours after the military announced he had been ousted yesterday.

The military official said "we had to confront it at some point, this threatening rhetoric... He succeeded in creating enmity between Egyptians".

At least 50 people were killed in clashes in the days leading to massive protests on Sunday (June 30) calling for his departure.

That prompted the army to issue the president a 48-hour ultimatum to find an agreement with the protesters.

Mr Mursi has been summoned for questioning by a court over his escape, along with other inmates, from prison during the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The military official suggested he may now be charged by prosecutors in the case.

AFP

By the way, happy Fourth of July to all Americans out there. I thought there was an Independence Day thread, but I can't seem to find it any more.
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Old 2013-07-04, 01:17   Link #29220
Anh_Minh
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Background check isn't mind reading. What was there to find?
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