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News Wrap: U.K. Government Reportedly Hacked Email, Calls of Foreign Diplomats

June 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: As the G-8 convened, a London newspaper reported Britain has hacked into e-mails and phone conversations of foreign leaders and diplomats. The Guardian said classified documents show it happened at a 2009 summit. The report said British intelligence even set up a bugged Internet cafe. Several countries, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey, called for full explanations.

The man who leaked word of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency has spoken out again. Edward Snowden held an online chat on the Guardian website. He defended what he did, saying — quote — “It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials and the realization that Congress wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act.”

Snowden was last known to be in Hong Kong, but he said today — quote — “I have no contact with the Chinese government. I work only with journalists.” He also said he doesn’t expect a fair trial, if he is ever charged and returned to the United States.

The government of Turkey kept up the pressure today in a bid to put an end to protests. Riot police fired water cannons and tear gas at small groups of demonstrators near Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Police ousted the protesters from a park there over the weekend, ending an 18-day sit-in. Meanwhile, in Ankara, thousands of striking union workers waved banners and flags today in a peaceful rally appealing for a more democratic government.

KAZIM AYHAN, Turkish Protester: We are here to protest the ruling party’s pressures. We protest against unfair working conditions, their ignoring our demands, and limits on freedom of expression.

WOMAN: We thought that common sense was on vacation. We thought it would return, but it didn’t. We want wisdom and common sense. We’re here to protect our children and prevent people from crying. We want to live in a normal country.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In response, Turkey’s deputy prime minister suggested today the military could be called out if the police are not enough.

The most destructive wildfire ever to hit Colorado is now 75 percent contained. Rain swept through the Colorado Springs area Sunday, helping put out flames. Fire crews hoped for more of the same today. The fire has destroyed nearly 500 homes and killed two people. Authorities said today they’re getting closer to pinpointing exactly where it started.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 109 points to close well above 15,179. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to close at 3,452.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.