tv Headline News RT January 17, 2014 9:00am-9:30am EST
no sweeping changes for sweeping surveillance president obama is expected to introduce some limits to the infamous intelligence programs but there is little hope of any fundamental reform. syria says it's ready to unite with moderate rebel groups in the fight against hardline radicals according to the country's foreign minister who is in moscow ahead of the peace talks. and scotland's police day britain's foreign secretary is on a charm offensive to convince undecided scots not to quit the u.k. as among stick to a decisive referendum. this
expanded moscow watching r.t. international with me marina joshie and has been embroiled in some pretty dirty business now president obama could be about to clean up america's the tory asli invasive intelligence reforms and friday which could impose limits on the n.s.a. after whistleblower edward snowden revealed to us all just how far he had gone into our private lives but expectations of any fundamental change are pretty low as are g.'s sam sachs reports from washington d.c. . today president obama heads to the department of justice just a few blocks from here and he'll deliver a speech on n.s.a. reforms specifically what he supports from the forty six recommendations his own review panel put forward a few weeks ago the president is expected to devote a large portion of his speech to the privacy concerns of non-u.s. citizens and businesses basically trying to assure foreign consumers that their privacy will be protected when they communicate using american tech companies like
google and yahoo now you may remember when it was disclosed that allied world leaders like brazilian president dilma rousseff were spied on by the n.s.a. the president was quick to order a review of that program but the president has not shown the same concern for tens of millions of non u.s. citizens in germany and brazil and france who are also being spied on so there's a high likelihood that he will finally tackle that issue today now the big question is what happens to the most controversial n.s.a. program revealed by edward snowden and that's the n.s.a.'s bulk telephone metadata collection program the president could order an end to that program right now you could do it today if you wanted to and he wouldn't need congress's approval instead the president is expected to introduce some limited reforms to the ball collection program and then kick at the congress to have the final say on whether or not it should continue and lawmakers on capitol hill are divided over where the spying programs boundaries should be democratic congressman rush holt proposed his own
bill for reining in the ana say we don't want those who are doing the surveillance to be the very same ones who decide who the bad guys are getting a warrant to do with the n.s.a. has diluted it's the usual partisan rivalry between democrats and republicans with bills defending the surveillance and calls to restraint coming from both sides just erratic campaigns for government accountability doesn't believe that any of the proposed changes will make a genuine difference. so far what has been telecast through government leaks look a lot like a lot of cosmetic changes in other words it does not appear that the president will be reigning in the largest controversy with this probably the bulk collection of american data nor will he be adopting any recommendation to
house and store that data in for example a telephone company rather than the national security agency again i think a lot of these changes are are really discuss magic and they're contrary to what his own internal review panel recommended of the global spread of america's all seeing eye it's of cost taxpayers a pretty penny as well the actual figures are as you'd expect top secret but here is some leaked information that lifts the lid on spy spending the so-called black budget reportedly amounts to fifty two point six billion dollars for twenty thirteen and out of that over tam building the went to the n.s.a. and its funding has grown by a staggering fifty three percent in a decade yet sources say terrorist attacks in methods only involve n.s.a. surveillance seven point five percent of the time and i washington correspondent is to count looks into the agency's effectiveness for years the u.s.
government had been hiding its dragnet surveillance of entire nations under the national security rug in fear of another nine eleven americans had no idea of just how pervasive the government spying program became but following edward snowden's revelations lice came to the surface does the n.s.a. collect any type of data. on millions or hundreds of millions of americans. no sir. we know of at least. fifty threats that have been averted because of this information. there is only one case where this was useful somebody somebody thought eighty five hundred dollars to somalia to an al qaeda affiliate not to be encouraged but even in that case the government wait of two months to investigate this case so you know the idea that this is kind of critical to stopping terrorism is overblown public policy group the
new america foundation has analyzed hundreds of terrorism related cases and says traditional investigative methods such as the use of informants in tips work best. the n.s.a. sweeping surveillance did nothing to prevent the bombings in boston last year even despite multiple tips from abroad concerning one of the perpetrators the president's own surveillance policy review board has concluded the n.s.a. bulk data collection was quote not essential to preventing attacks the head of the n.s.a. was eventually pressed to admit that the government had exaggerated the effectiveness of the program would you grant the fifty four cases you keep getting cited by the administration for not all plots how the verge of war my thirteen had some nexus of us do you agree with that yes or no. yes the obama administration found itself in hot water when edward snowden revealed that the n.s.a. was busy spying on allies and trading partners and not just terrorists the n.s.a.
has built a vast new center you talk to store people's private data and much of it will have nothing to do with terry's what we're doing is said to catering to tele tarion procedures which is gathering information about all the individuals in the world. thousands have been taking to the streets to protest against what they see is their government becoming big brother when in the wake of nine eleven the patriot act are for dating and to privacy many americans thought at least they'd be safe but with recent revelations even that tradeoff is on the question in washington i'm going to check out our case now there are reports that president obama may announce a ban on the n.s.a.'s bulk phone data collection and that's according to an unnamed white house official read about that dot com as well as details of fresh leaks revealing that the u.s. and u.k. are have been harvesting millions of mobile phone text messages worldwide and every
day. the enemy. the syrian government says is ready for a limited ceasefire with rebel fighters as well as a prisoner swap foreign minister announced the readiness to cooperate with moderate opposition groups against radical islamist after meeting with his moscow counterpart at the same time sergey lavrov raised the issue of the opposition taking part in next week's peace conference. dilutes i believe those who are backing the syrian national coalition and those who consider it the only legitimate representative of the syrian people which does not correlate to the real political situation all of them need to consider the role they're playing in preparing the geneva two peace conference. the opposition syrian national coalition is meeting in istanbul to decide whether it will attend upcoming peace talks next week reports say
a decision won't be announced until saturday or the analyst chris bambery is whether it's now to talk about this in more detail. so mr bambery a why is the syrian opposition stalling the decision on attending the talks. well the truth is the syrian national council do not represent those people no fighting in syria against the government increasingly they are looking to was al qaida groups who are in the spearhead of that military campaign and the syrian national council cannot really speak no for the opposition in total and we have the american secretary john kerry desperately quitting with them to come to an evil for the same time many of those people engaged in the fighting who are radicalizing as a consequence of all this and are looking towards the harvey type groups reject any role for the geneva talks to not want to go to geneva so the national council of caught between the back of the united states and their own people who wanted to
write its claim to represent in syria the opposition who are inclusive become disenchanted from that process and i think today they're known for by the assad regime the offer of a cease fire in a web board will put the onus on them as well not just to go to geneva but will you respond to this gesture by it's similar to calling a ceasefire and an exchange of exchange of prisoners so the syrian national council or in the back foot and also they're increasingly being challenged do they actually represent the people who are doing the fighting in the killings inside inside syria and yes there is. of course there is a complexity of issues is just mentioned and there are there's a i mean it's just the tip of the iceberg what we see but a lot of is under water but you know speaking of the conference that's had of us i mean just only a few days if again the opposition refuses to participate if it doesn't come to the conference then is there any real point to holding the peace talks. you know i think there is a point in holding talks i think we should be encouraging talks anyway of all but i
think the truth is as well as it's been widely recognized that inside the west and inside the united states there is growing and over what is happening in rebel held areas of syria and the group of. groups and they're becoming more and more concerned about this they look at libya and see the mess that was created there by western intervention these see the growth of these groups in syria and indeed in neighboring iraq and i think it's important to see there for these to how this groups the conflict in syria and the conflict in iraq are not separate the one conflict and the west is becoming increasingly concerned in addition today was that i was there one canadian jihad is that one of those that being killed fighting for the rebel forces this again puts a spotlight on the number of people from north america australasia and europe who travel to fight inside syria british government claims some three four hundred british joggers of fighting and so does syria and western governments are becoming
afraid of what will happen when these people return home but you know what let me just really for any way to think what the mood is very different from six months ago mr bambery you just said that the west is getting more and more concerned but to what extent did the support from the west played a part in rebel support and in what's happening in the country now. prevention of the way without the americans in particular at the end of day is very difficult for the rebels to win this so days of the guitarist can provide money but they cannot provide the heavy weaponry they need to defeat the regime the only people who can provide that weapon the americans the americans have provided military the providing training and so on but that hesitated to provide the heavy weapons that the opposition needs and of course reports that weapons they have supplied the talks in a supply have been seized by al-qaeda linked groups will make them even more reluctant to step in so what we're seeing here is a retreat for the position six months ago when the americans wanted to physically
attack syria with cruise missiles we're talking about ongoing the rebels full on that has been a really quite a major retreat towards that and of course those taught in the security services in the west are actually talking to the asad regime about the job isn't there is open discussion in washington about how to be better for us to keep with the devil we know assad rather than the devil we don't know these are the regimes it's completely different from six months ago when the americans if you will govern the whole mrs embury to topple the masters really we are running out of time yeah we're running out of time so we have to leave it there but go analyst chris bambery thanks for your views here while america's top diplomat has come out with a sharp condemnation of terrorist activity in syria syria has become the magnet for jihadists and extremists human rights group says that up to sound people have been killed in fighting between al qaeda linked militants and other rebel groups with some civilians even being executed former french prime minister dummy divil pound
spoke to r.t. at of the geneva two peace talks and he said that dropping all preconditions is essential for any dollar to take place next week. i believe that we have two problems today one is we need of cause the opposition to take part in this discussion because how can we have any settlement without having everybody around the table but also we have within the opposition a very strong. very strong fights between the two parts of the political opposition and the jihadists are fighting very strongly on the ground i think we should take away the jihadist all the people that are behind al qaeda and we should not focus on the problem of assad that we should not have any preview condition. before starting this political discussion the are you really believing that iran should be as much as possible part of the talks because you were uneasy very
regional players and if we can have iran on board in discussing the crit crises of the region we'd of course we will be much more efficient. now versace twenty fourteen advantages are ready and the outlets are primed by you need a whole heap of help to make sure they all run smoothly. that's right because up in the mountains of present president putin has given a pep talk to the army of volunteers the sochi twenty four to. be interviewed.
speak or language. programs or documentaries in arabic it's all here on all t.v. reporting from the world talks about six of p.r.p. interviews intriguing story to tell you. the. arabic to find out more visit our big. dog called. welcome back you're watching r.t. international and over the next eight months scotland's pondering whether to cut
the cord was britain and having weights of westminster are there warning there in northern neighbors to stay as far as the public's concerned the decision is far from a done deal boyko looks at the an easy choice the scots have to make. the u.k. foreign secretary william hague is in glasgow today to outline the case for why scotland should stay within the united kingdom. unveiling the latest scotland analysis papers which are a response to scotland's white paper which came out last november and propagated voting yes in the referendum in september now the analysis today is doing the direct opposite and it's focusing on the breath and the u.k.'s diplomatic networking just how much scotland currently benefits from it so take for example business based in scotland they say that it benefits directly from efforts to protect the u.k.'s economic interests like defending the world famous scorching
whisky against counterfeits against excessive taxation and against trade barriers but the battle from both the yes and the no is really heating up in the run up to the referendum in september and we've had accusations of propaganda war being waged from both sides of the barricades certainly critics of westminster have accused the british government of fear mongering in order to secure a no vote to come september but let's take a listen to what the minister for europe said about scotland's independence bid just yesterday first of all of scotland quits walks it leaves behind all that it gets as part of the united kingdom not just about membership of the e.u. the un security council the commonwealth the g eight the g twenty but in very concrete terms we've got this very large international network of embassies and high commissions around the world the scottish business including things like
scotch whisky scottish agricultural produce beef and so on. the analysis on bail today is this is your minding well it's about the relatively modern day in pleasures that they currently enjoy as british citizens such as consular services when they travel abroad but we know that westminster is better together campaign is really stepping up the fight for the union and sort of love forming the scots with p. to stay in the united kingdom from english celebrities prominent business figures and sports stars but in reality scottish independence is quite a remote possibility according to the latest polls just twenty six percent of scots plan on voting yes come september so the war of words on both sides of the horse you know we're going to be watching as it progresses in the run up to the historic vote on the eighteenth of september or correspond ali boyko reporting there now
let's see how the yes scotland movement plans to counter the westminster romancing in his turn for that to the campaigner and scottish pop star pat came think it's a much mr king for joining us here on our to international to talk about this as we have just heard from this report less than thirty percent of scots are up for independence well you only have eight months to go so what's your plan to try and win them over. well to some extent that kind of truth can annoy sense of people william hague coming up to school and i'm talking about all the difficulties of scotland being an international separate nations the incidentally william hague thought that five years after the scottish parliament was founded in one thousand nine hundred would be a disaster situation actually doing extremely well so it's some of the mess we have to dispel it number one scotland would have ninety n.b.c.'s as a share of the u.k. i say it's diplomatic i say it's what scotland can do with those ninety embassies
is really to target and focus scottish produce scottish culture really give a give the scottish brand which will have you know an amazing promotional opportunity come the hundreds of september with a declaration of and it was established none of us will fit in and it's we will detail. and ready to trade and ready to sail with the rest of the world so actually independence is a huge business opportunity as huge global and diplomatic or percentage of us call it to progress well you know listening to william hague we have to say that he's got some valid points here outlining why he thinks scotland should stay in the u.k. and why benefits from britain's global influence in terms of trade and diplomacy so of course you can deny that so when that independence called him lose that clout. no independence to say independent scotland as if you're looking at it from a purely business perspective and i'm a cultural entrepreneur it's probably the most propitious brundle launch you could
ever have for for for a company here we are what a speaking brand we have incredible produce to sell to the world with its whiskey on one side or renewable energy technology on the other. you know the eighteenth of september is actually an amazing promotional opportunity for the country and we already have access to diplomatic sources for example if you are a citizen anywhere in the world you can turn up any e.u. diplomatic and receive assistance so that all of meths scotland will be released into the world with the uki actually for many of us it's a huge entrepreneurial opportunity well i mean you sound attractive on the surface but you know speaking in business terms and commercial terms of course this is not a very you know cheap thing to do to go independent to go it alone and you know that the burden will weigh on the tax. you know again another mess that we painstakingly trying to dispel from the scotland say scotland over the last
forty years has contributed more to the u.k. than they've taken over and social benefits we have actually contribute to if you include oil and you include all the natural losses to scotland so number one will essentially really economically viable to go forward for the independence but it's not just about being viable and it's not just about being the same as the westminster government who would want to eat those policies its progress and we look not just to mainland europe you'd be welcoming a very obvious european member with an independent scotland but we're looking to scandinavia look into those small countries that have the best indicators of wellbeing economy society through what any any anything from the economics and to the cia index would would recognise these are countries to emulate that's what scotland's benchmark against is the best in the world not really a rather broken record from the westminster problem aipac a member of yes scotland's organisation thank you so much for joining us here is
your national to talk about your views and plans thank you now it's a topsy turvy world at the best of times but take a look at this. for anyone who needs a roof under their feet russian hard to detect after hearing the whole idea of homeowning on its head its war at our t.v. dot com. the computer hackers who are to get in your kitchen it seems they're branching out from computers and now targeting smart household appliances from high fives to for ages. to give a major of and like the winter olympics running like clockwork you need more than top end news and world class athletes to make that happen you need a small army of helpers and the such a twenty four thousand recruits have been getting a presidential pep talk are descended farmer has more. but that meeting was also an opportunity for
a question and answer session and one particular question of note came from a forum volunteer he was asked why did the official tracksuits for saatchi contain the rainbow colors of russia is against gay propaganda well mr putin initially jokes saying he did not design the tracksuits but then on a serious note pointed out that it was a law against gay propaganda to minors and also stress that being gay in russia is not a criminal offense but he also had plenty more to talk about in that meeting he joins me now i get your name right you're against now what was his message to you will. be so for this says there. is holiday for everyone but volunteers first pick taters for for resisters for the country for people who are going to avoid them but for us it's. quite hard and i say and that makes the question why have you become a volunteer because it's many months hard work and it's also one paid. for military is very important because you give something to
a country and you get something back you get experience you get friends to get a lot of things actually a lot of skills and i think it's very important for everyone of you is just one of twenty five thousand volunteers it sounds like a huge number actually they are the chosen few because organizers did receive applications from one hundred fifty thousand people from all around the world and over the majority of volunteers are russian the rest are made up from people from or from around about sixty different countries as we've heard that they do have different responsibilities in general they're here to meet and greet the athletes as well as the delegates as well as members of the public and also help them find their way around sochi but other responsibilities do include things like translating press conferences and also escorting athletes to doping control so there's a lot for them to think about and do more importantly all of them to have a very nice. because they do and will try their best to make us all feel very
welcome and he won't miss them either because they will be wearing those like the color trixie's during his and going visit to moscow the foreign minister of iran said down there to discuss the future of the peace efforts in syria and plenty more that it is coming right up here in our senior international. the majority of congress are now millionaires for the first time in history according to the center for responsive politics which sounds pretty insulting when the average american is not doing so well financially this seems bad like a bunch of rich guys rule the country which they kind of do but one could argue that congress isn't rich enough first off due to inflation a billion dollars is not as much as it used to be especially the cost of
a campaign to get in the congress costs around one million six hundred thousand dollars so you're a million dollars of net worth may sound pretty rich to you or me but the expensive game of us politics these guys can't even afford the costs related to getting the work electoral campaigns are a big money affair so it is no surprise that people like you or me can't get into the law making business without selling at least a little piece of our souls to someone who has very deep pockets so again the problem isn't that congressmen are wealthy it is that many of them have to get constant financing in order to maintain their positions and as you average folks know once you're in debt they've got you by the throat well that's just my opinion .
hello and welcome to sofia and co i'm serving shevardnadze the foreign minister of iran is in russia had of the next round of syria peace talks when the nuclear negotiations finally progress and tehran is seeing diplomatic doors open can't help solve the syria question what is being discussed with moscow and we'll hear read name in richmond continue we caught up with mr sowry of to find out the answers first hand. drawn is on the verge of a diplomatic breakthrough with decades of deadlock old would tell her its nuclear program may be over. the group of crippling sanctions seems closer than ever and world powers are even asking for iran's help in ending the war in syria on top of that there is a new billion dollar trade deal with moscow in the works. diplomatic trouble.