What we’re watching Sunday
Israeli officials call for end to US spying
Following the revelation that former Israeli officials had been spied on by the National Security Agency, several Israeli cabinet members and lawyers demanded a halt to US spying in their country.
The allegations, which became public Friday following the release of documents leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, also renewed calls by Israeli officials for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard is the former US intelligence analyst who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for spying on behalf of Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the call for Pollard’s release, but emphasized that it was a matter that has been “discussed with every US President” and that Israel didn’t need “any special occasion” to discuss it with Washington.
Fighting in South Sudan
Violence and ethnic tensions are on the rise in South Sudan, as the central government reported Sunday it had lost control of the capital of Unity, the country’s key oil-producing state.
Two sides are at the center of the conflict which began last week: supporters of President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, and supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, who was ousted from his office earlier this year.
The US and other foreign countries have been evacuating their citizens from South Sudan as the violence spreads and the fledgling country teeters on the brink of civil war.
Saturday, three US military aircraft were hit with gunfire while trying to evacuate American citizens from the town of Bor. Four US service members were wounded.
Colorado school-shooting victim dies
A 17-year-old Colorado student died Saturday, more than a week after being shot at school.
Claire Davis was sitting with a friend outside the Arapahoe High School library in suburban Denver on December 13, when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.
The shooter was 18-year old senior, Karl Pierson, who legally purchased the shotgun one week earlier and who bought the ammunition on the day before the shooting.
Authorities believe Pierson originally meant to target a librarian at the school who had disciplined him in September, but that the amount of arsenal on the teenager — including Molotov cocktails and a machete — suggests he may have intended to hurt many others.
Pierson set off one of his explosives and fired five shots before killing himself just over one minute after entering the school. Davis was the only other person harmed in the attack.
In a statement, the Davis family said, “The grace, laughter and light [Claire] brought to this world will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger.”