Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 11:55 AM

Kenyan authorities have charged four in connection with the siege of the Westgate Mall in September. Read the Daily Nation story.

Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Bond v. United States, a case addressing the scope of Congress' power to pass a criminal law to help enforce a treaty. John spoke on NPR's Morning Edition today about the case, and Senator Ted Cruz penned a Washington Post op-ed expressing his view of the case, which is: the treaty power does not "trump" federalism.

David Sanger's Times piece today recaps White House ruminations over whether to change the NSA's collection activities under FISA.

Newsflash: Brazil spied on the United States, among other countries, about a decade ago. Simon Romero explains the country's intelligence operations in the Times.

Saudi Arabian leaders have been very vocal in their criticism of U.S. policy regarding Syria, Iran and Egypt. SecState Kerry met with King Abdullah to say that we share some common ground; so reports Michael Gordon in the Times.

Karen DeYoung likewise reports on SecState Kerry's other travels, including to Poland, where he of course confronted questions about ... NSA surveillance programs.

And the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Privacy and Technology and the Law will hold a hearing on Wednesday the 13th of November to discuss subcommittee chair Senator Al Franken's FISA reform bill. Witnesses TBD.

Even though the chemical weapons cache in Syria nearly has been decommissioned and a mediator has been appointed, the violence in Syria continues. Somini Sengupta writes about the mediating style and approach of Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations' special envoy on Syria, in the Times.

Yesterday, President Obama met with the two "Let's Close GTMO" envoys, Clifford Sloan and Paul Lewis. Need proof beyond a press release and a few media reports? Here's a photo snapped during the meeting.

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Tony Romm writes in Politico about the latest Inspector General Report coming out of the Department of Homeland Security. In short, cybersecurity activities are not going so well. Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of cyber personnel.

A Bengali court has announced decisions in a trial of over 800 soldier-defendants.  The case arose from a 2009 mutiny, over pay, that resulted in the deaths of 74 people. At least 152 of the defendants have received death sentences, and over 150 received life sentences. Here's a BBC News story.

My semi-obsession with bitcoin continues: Mashable reports on a study that demonstrates how allied bitcoin miners can "game" the system so as to amass large swaths of the virtual currency. Yikes.

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