Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 30th 2013 Contents A33
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storm death toll has risen to
15 after Danish police say a
driver was killed when he
crashed into a tree knocked
down by violent gusts.
Monday's storm was one of
the worst in years in western
and northern Europe.
Authorities said Tuesday that
dozens were injured in
Denmark as wind gusts up to
120 mph swept across the
In Denmark, train
passengers spent the night in
a sports facility due to fallen
trees on the tracks. The storm
left a trail of uprooted trees,
damaged buildings and
collapsed scaffoldings across
Germany had six deaths,
Britain five, Denmark two and
France and the Netherlands
had one each.
Tens of thousands of people
were without power yesterday
in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia
and Latvia. (AP)
Europe storm deaths rise to 15; huge cleanup ahead
A senior US intelligence official has
told a House committee that discern-
ing foreign leaders intentions is a key
goal of US spying operations.
Director of National Intelligence
James Clapper described such efforts
as a "top tenet" of US intelligence pol-
icy.But he told the House intelligence
panel the US did not "indiscriminately"
spy on other nations.
Clapper was reacting to a growing
international row over reports the US
eavesdropped on foreign allies.
"Leadership intentions is kind of a
basic tenet of what we collect and
analyse," Clapper said, adding that for-
eign allies spy on US officials and intel-
ligence agencies as a matter of routine.
Also testifying before the House intel-
ligence committee was National Secu-
rity Agency (NSA) Director Gen Keith
Alexander, who called media reports
in France, Spain and Italy that the NSA
gathered data on millions of telephone
calls "completely false".
The information "that lead people
to believe that the NSA or United States
collected that information is false, and
it s false that it was collected on Euro-
pean citizens," he added.
"It was neither."
Gen Alexander said much of the data
cited by non-US news outlets was actu-
ally collected by European intelligence
services and later shared with the NSA.
The testimony on Capitol Hill came
amid a series of reports in the inter-
national news media that the NSA had
spied extensively on the leaders, diplo-
mats and citizens of nations friendly
to the US, including Brazil, France, Ger-
many, Mexico and Spain.
The revelations stem from documents
leaked by fugitive ex-US intelligence
contractor Edward Snowden, who now
lives in Russia and is wanted in the US
in connection with the unauthorised
President Barack Obama has faced
significant criticism over reports he
was unaware of the extent of the spy-
In a television interview, the US pres-
ident said the country s national security
operations were being reassessed to
ensure the NSA s growing technological
capability was kept under control.
"We give them policy direction," he
told ABC s Fusion network.
"But what we ve seen over the last
several years is their capacities continue
to develop and expand, and that s why
I m initiating now a review." (BBC)
UNITED NATIONS---The UN Gen-
eral Assembly voted overwhelm-
ingly yesterday to condemn the
US commercial, economic and
financial embargo against Cuba
for the 22nd year in a row.
The symbolic vote yesterday was
188-2, with three abstentions. The
United States and Israel voted
against it. General Assembly res-
olutions are unenforceable.
The embargo was enacted in
1960 following Cuba s nationali-
sation of properties belonging to
US citizens and corporations.
Sanctions were strengthened to a
near-total embargo in 1962.
Speaking before the General
Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister
Bruno Rodriguez railed against the
embargo, saying "The economic
damages accumulated after half a
century as a result of the imple-
mentation of the blockade amount
to $1.126 trillion."
"Our small island poses no
threat to the national security of
the superpower," Rodriguez said.
"The human damages caused by
the economic, commercial and
financial blockade imposed by the
United States against Cuba are
"Seventy-six per cent of Cubans
have lived under its devastating
effects since the day they are born,"
Ronald D Godard, a senior US
adviser for Western Hemisphere
affairs, defended the embargo as
"one of the tools in our overall
efforts to encourage respect for
the civil and human rights" of
He said that while the United
States is encouraged by recent
Cuban economic liberalization on
real estate and allowing self-
employment, it is too little to jus-
tify loosening sanctions.
"Cuba s resolution seeks to iden-
tify an external scapegoat, and excuse
the Cuban government for the
island s economic problems," he said.
At the US State Department,
spokeswoman Jen Psaki said "We
don t feel that this annual debate
in the United Nations does any-
thing to add to or advance a con-
structive discussion about these
issues," she said. "And it also
obscures the fact that the United
States is a leading supplier of food
and humanitarian aid and---
humanitarian relief to Cuba, and
that s something we remain com-
The abstaining nations in the
General Assembly were Microne-
sia, Marshall Islands and Palau,
which last year voted against the
US spy goal:
Director of National Intelligence
James Clapper testifies on Capitol
Hill in Washington, yesterday,
before the House Intelligence
Committee hearing on potential
changes to the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA). AP PHOTO
UN General Assembly votes
against US Cuba embargo
Kelli Moshen, arms to side, artistic director of Project Moshen Dance Company, and her fellow dancers,
from left, Samantha Carmichael, Norissa Fell, Danielle McGilligan and Sarah Dzionmba pose for a
Christmas card image on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps Monday, in Philadelphia. AP PHOTO
CHRISTMAS CARD GIRLS
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