Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Jane Chong
Monday, June 2, 2014, 8:36 AM
On Saturday, after five years in Taliban captivity, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, 28, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan, was freed in exchange for five Afghan Guantanamo detainees. See the New York Times coverage. Reuters cites U.S. officials who say that the surprise exchange was made possible after hard-line Afghan Taliban factions shifted course.
On Sunday Obama administration officials responded to criticism from Republicans who assailed the swap; here is the Timeshere is the Associated Press. The Washington Post has President Obama's remarks. According to the Times account, the risks appear to be two-fold: on the one hand, there is the fear, largely Republican, that the released detainees will strengthen the Taliban; moreover, there is the concern that the exchange could confer legitimacy on the Taliban. Pieces in the Post and Daily Beast also note the anger of military peers who consider Sgt. Bergdahl a deserter.
Hundreds of armed pro-Russia militants attacked a border guards' camp in eastern Ukraine on Monday, according to a Ukrainian government spokesman. Here is the AP by way of ABC.
No surprise here: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is running for office again, reports Reuters.
The AP cites experts who argue that al Qaeda is increasingly decentralized but not necessarily weaker.
Suspected French jihadist Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested on Friday on charges of killing three people and fatally wounding one during a shooting spree at a Jewish museum in Brussels, the AP reports.
The Times released a report on Sunday based on top-secret documents that reveal NSA's increasing reliance on facial recognition technology, which the agency believes could revolutionize how NSA locates intelligence targets around the globe.
President Obama's visit to Warsaw on Tuesday has given the Times occasion to discuss Poland's abating love for the U.S. in the years since its entry into the E.U.
Thailand's military deployed thousands of soldiers to central Bangkok to put down small protests against the May 22 coup of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's administration, reports Bloomberg.
Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, the Chinese military's deputy chief of general staff, blasted the U.S. for its hegemony and "words of threat and intimidation" after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized Chinese for its "destabilizing" actions in the South China Sea. See the Wall Street Journal coverage.
The Times  has published this new report on newly emerging accounts of military defiance against orders to crush protests at Tiananmen Square.
Google has taken steps to comply with the Court of Justice's ruling under the European Data protection Law providing that Europeans have the "right to be forgotten"---to have search queries purged where the results are "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” Threat Post has the story.
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