TIME National Security

Snowden: NSA’s Email Release Is Incomplete

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is interviewed by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a still image taken from video during an interview by the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong on June 6, 2013 Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras—The Guardian/Reuters

The former intelligence contractor says he wrote many more emails that officials have chosen not to reveal, and that the single release after so many denials “shows the NSA feels it has something to hide”

The email released by the National Security Agency (NSA) that Edward Snowden sent to its Office of the General Counsel is only one of many, the whistle-blower said in an interview with the Washington Post.

“Today’s strangely tailored and incomplete leak only shows the NSA feels it has something to hide,” Snowden said.

On Thursday, the NSA released the email dated April 5, 2013, in which Snowden — who then worked as an intelligence contractor — asks whether regulations from different institutions take precedence over each other, and whether Executive Orders can outweigh federal statute.

The email’s release is the first acknowledgement that Snowden did contact officials before leaking information about widespread surveillance by the agency, though the NSA maintains that he did not raise concerns about mass data collection before going rogue.

“I’m glad they’ve shown they have access to records they claimed just a few months ago did not exist, and I hope we’ll see the rest of them very soon,” Snowden said.

As the release comes “after more than a year of denying any such contact existed,” he added, it “raises serious concerns” about the NSA.

“It reveals as false the NSA’s claim to Barton Gellman of the Washington Post in December of last year, that ‘after extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention,’” the 30-year-old told the Post.

Snowden says he sent many more emails to other officials raising concerns about illegal surveillance.

[The Washington Post]

TIME

The Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula Are Going to Collide

But don't panic, it's not going to happen for quite a while

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In about two billion years, the universe is going to experience an epic light show when two galaxies collide, the New York Times reports.

Around that time, the Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula – which became the center of the Twitterverse this week when it was mistakenly reported that a cosmic-level explosion had taken place in the galaxy – will collide, causing new stars to form.

The Hubble Space Telescope’s newest measurements have confirmed that the two galaxies will run into each other head-on before merging into one single galaxy after the collision, the NYT says.

Sadly, no one will be around to witness it, as the Earth will have been burned up by the sun by then.

[New York Times]

TIME Drugs

Marijuana Could Help Prevent Meth-Related Brain Damage

David Sutherland—Getty Images

A new study shows that giving marijuana to rats partly protects their brains against the damage caused by methamphetamine

Researchers from the University of Cagliari in Italy have suggested that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, could partially protect the brain from the damage caused by meth.

However, it’s early days, and the study was not conducted on humans but on rats.

Methamphetamine damages the brain in various ways, among others by stimulating micrologia to eat living brain cells. It can also cause inflammation in the brain, and it is against this latter effect that THC may be helpful.

“A neuroprotective effect of cannabinoid was likely mediated, at least in part, by its anti-inflammatory properties,” the researchers found.

TIME Canada

Kidnapped Baby Found ‘Thanks to Facebook’

A woman has been arrested for kidnapping a newborn baby from a Canadian hospital after a Facebook user recognized the suspect from an alert that went viral on social media

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A baby that was kidnapped Monday in Canada has been found thanks to four Facebook users.

Newborn infant Victoria was abducted from hospital in in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, by a young woman disguised in a nurse’s uniform. Alerts by the local police, featuring details of the suspect’s vehicle, together with a security image of her, went viral on Facebook and Twitter. A Facebook user thought she recognized her former neighbor in the picture and decided to drive, together with three friends, to the former neighbor’s apartment building. They found the wanted car parked outside and called the police.

One of the friends, Mélizanne Bergeron, told Canadian public broadcaster CBC, “The patio door was open. The lights were on. It was clear that she was there.”

The police arrived on the scene within minutes and found the suspect and the unharmed baby.

In an emotional Facebook update, the mother of the child described how she and her husband lived through “the worst time of their lives” until their baby was found.

“Four wonderful people, who we’ve had the chance to meet, identified this woman thanks to Facebook. It is the only reason that explains why Victoria is in my arms at this time,” Mélissa McMahon wrote in a Facebook update that has been shared more than 20,000 times, before going on to thank people who shared and retweeted the police alerts.

“In less than an hour, the photo [of the suspect] was everywhere … You were among the more than thousands of people who shared the photo of this woman on social media … Know that it was this that saved her, our little Victoria. Every click, every share made the difference.”

The suspect is in custody and has been hospitalized for mental evaluation. The hospital where the baby was kidnapped has issued a statement saying risk-assessment experts will analyze the incident to prevent similar cases in the future.

TIME cities

Teenager Holds His Breath While Driving in Tunnel, Then Faints and Crashes

A local police officer said that some people hold their breath in tunnels as part of a game or superstition

A 19-year-old man caused a three-car crash in Oregon Sunday when he fainted after holding his breath while driving through a tunnel.

The teenager, Daniel J. Calhon, lost consciousness and control of the car as he drove through a tunnel close to Portland, the Associated Press reports.

Some people hold their breaths in tunnels as part of a game or superstition, State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings told the Associated Press.

Calhon’s car drifted over the centerline and had a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle. A pick-up subsequently hit Calhon’s car. Four people were injured — Calhon and his passenger as well as the two passengers in the oncoming car — though none of them seriously.

Calhon has been cited for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

[AP]

TIME celebrities

Christina Ricci Is Pregnant With First Child

Actress Christina Ricci arrives at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles
Actress Christina Ricci arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on June 3, 2012. Danny Moloshok—Reuters

The actress was spotted with a big baby bump while walking through LAX this past week

The actress Christina Ricci is expecting her first child with husband James Heerdegen.

The 34-year-old actress sported a large baby bump when she walked through the international airport in Los Angeles this past week, revealing a pregnancy she has managed to keep off the radar for some time, E! news reports.

The couple married in October after having dated for two years.

[E! News]

TIME society

In Germany, You Can No Longer Keep Nude Photos of Your Ex

When you split with your partner, you have the right to demand that all intimate images they have of you be deleted, a German court ruled this week. The court found that one person's right of privacy was more important than another person's ownership rights to intimate photos taken during the relationship

Ex-partners must delete all intimate or nude photos if one of the partners asks for it, a German court ruled Tuesday.

The case had been brought by a woman in central Germany who demanded that her partner, a photographer, delete all intimate photos of her after the couple split.

During the course of the relationship, the photographer had made several erotic videos and taken many naked pics of the woman with her consent.

A higher court in Koblenz decided that she had the right to demand the material be deleted, because her personal rights were more important than his ownership rights to the material, theLocal reported.

However, the court rejected the woman’s demand that her ex delete all photos taken of her, as it said that clothed pics had “little, if any capacity” to compromise her privacy.

[The Local]

TIME medicine

Illinois House Approves Medical Cannabis for Epileptic Kids

A home-grown marijuana plant is seen at an undisclosed location in Israel
A homegrown marijuana plant is seen at an undisclosed location on Jan. 28, 2014 Baz Ratner—Reuters

Minors suffering from epilepsy should be allowed to use medical marijuana to reduce seizures, the Illinois house voted on Wednesday

Kids under 18 could be allowed to use medical marijuana after the house in Illinois expanded the state’s medical-pot law to include epileptic children.

The plan to let minors use medical marijuana passed 98-18 in the house on Wednesday and will now go back to the state’s senate. It was passed there in April but will now be reviewed as the house made an amendment stipulating that the marijuana must not be smoked.

“These people are not interested in getting high,” Democratic state representative Lou Lang, who sponsored the bill, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “These are folks that are interested in alleviating their seizures.”

The active ingredient in marijuana can help reduce the seizures of epileptic minors, parents have said.

TIME Iran

Six Iranians Arrested for Dancing to Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ on YouTube

It's dangerous to be "Happy" in Iran

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Six Iranians have been arrested for posting a video on YouTube featuring themselves dancing and singing to the Pharrell Williams monster hit “Happy,” local police said Tuesday.

In the video, three men and three unveiled woman get groovy on the streets and rooftops of the Islamic republic’s capital, Tehran.

“After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip,” the city’s police chief Hossein Sajedinia told the Iranian news agency ISNA, Agence France-Presse reports.

“Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested.”

The six Iranians have “confessed to their criminal acts,” Sajedinia said.

Women in Iran are required to cover themselves in public in accordance with Islamic law imposed after the revolution in 1979.

Since the release of the official music video of “Happy,” featuring ordinary people and celebrities dancing in the streets of Los Angeles, more than 1,500 cover versions of fans from all over the world have appeared on YouTube.

TIME Companies

U.S. Court Upholds Ruling in BP Oil spill Case

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg
BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012. Alexander Demianchuk—Reuters

BP is faced with billions of dollars in payments for claims the company says are 'fictitious' after an appeals court rejected its bid to revisit the case

A U.S. appeals court has rejected BP’s bid to revisit a decision made by the court in March on payments to companies affected economically by the 2010 oil spill.

BP had asked the 5th circuit to hear the case again, claiming that it was being forced to pay money to businesses that could not demonstrate that their losses were related to the spill, Reuters reports.

The court rejected BP’s bid 8-5. The company is now left with two options, to either pay billions in claims or to appeal the case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The company is considering the options, spokesman Geoff Morell said in a statement.

[Reuters]

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