tv Headline News RT January 17, 2014 1:00pm-1:30pm EST
headlines at ten pm from moscow president obama introduces curbs on the n.s.a.'s bulk phone data collection program but there's concern that surveillance isn't being scaled back enough to comment on that coming up this hour also ahead lining syria's says it's ready to unite with moderate rebel groups in the fight against hardline radicals now according to the country's foreign minister who is here in moscow head of the peace talks. and scotland says police scotland please stay rather britain's foreign secretary and charm offensive to convince undecided scots not to quit the u.k. as the months take down that decisive referendum live coming on that coming up as well.
it's exactly ten zero one here in moscow my name's kevin oh and thanks for being with us this hour it's appreciated our top story that president obama has outlined a few changes to how america conducts its controversial surveillance tactics which had ensnared millions of people's phone calls texts and e-mails around the globe but there was still praise on the less for the n.s.a. its importance to security even though it mitigated made mistakes when he was speaking just last hour how does report now has been listening to what i had to say as catch up with her. well take us a little bit what he had to say finished about an hour ago didn't he was an extensive speech went on for an hour take a search for the highlights. it was an extensive speech and it was highly anticipated this is the moment that u.s. president barack obama was expected to really introduce some sweeping reforms on and say surveillance that did not happen instead the u.s. president defended and applauded and applauded the job of the national security
agency and made it clear that the indiscriminate collection of everyone's mehta data will continue obama's so-called reforms did not address the prism program which allows the n.s.a. to monitor everyone's online and city including e-mails chats web searches and video calls us president also didn't address the n.s.a.'s counter encryption activities or any geo location information that the agency may have or may be collecting so what's changing here's what's changing obama doesn't want the government to control the method data storage anymore proposing that phone logs belonging to all americans be moved into the hands of a third party the u.s. president says that his attorney general eric holder and other intelligence officials will craft a report on who should hold the metadata announcing various options in late march so this essentially means that the same u.s. officials who spearheaded and authorized the expansion of america's surveillance
practices are now in charge with curbing their own authority also effective immediately obama says that the n.s.a. will now have to get permission from the foreign intelligence surveillance court known as every time it wants to query or access the phone records database that is compiled but we have to keep in mind that the fisa court is a secret or it's hearings or close to the public and records of proceedings are classified in during its history the fi support has only reportedly denied only eleven out of nearly thirty four thousand requests that it's received so many critics would say that the n.s.a. is not going to have a hard time making requests to buy support for each time it wants to access someone's metadata now the u.s. . president is also calling for a public advocate's panel to be created for the purpose of representing come consumers before the fight supports now some of the reforms that i just outlined on the telephone metadata and other practices the president announced requires an act
of congress now given the congress's general support of the n.s.a. over the past seven months of this controversy in the past decades few people are confident that obama's proposals will get much traction but we have to say if not for n.s.a. whistleblower edward snowden the u.s. president would not have been forced to make the speech that he made today and according to information that we're getting in part from wiki leaks edward snowden is preparing to respond to president obama's speech sometime next week yeah that's the rub exactly what you're saying that if it wasn't for edward snowden this wouldn't have happened in the last few would it we had. a former f.b.i. agent just noted whistle blow she said she saw this is baby steps made today but some progress nonetheless however what about a total moment was that really atonement for what had gone on here he did say that the other side overstepped the mark but what about that apology to all those people that have been needlessly spotted on what was. it wasn't
i didn't sense from the tone of obama's speech very lengthy speech that was any apologies made as a matter of fact he said the u.s. will not make any apologies for continuing its surveillance practices overseas he did say that spying on foreign friends and allies the heads of state will stop unless there is necessary need for it unless significant evidence is given for why u.s. officials would have to spy for example the head of seat in germany angle of merkel that was a huge controversy not probably lead to obama saying you know what the u.s. is not going to spy on its friends and allies anymore but you did insist that the efforts that the n.s.a. has made over the past decade have prevented multiple attacks and saved innocent lives around the world but a study actually released this week by the new american foundation actually concluded the opposite it found that the bulk data collection by the n.s.a. has had no discernible impact preventing acts of terrorism researchers at the new
american foundation actually analyzed two hundred twenty five terrorism cases in the u.s. post nine eleven and found that an essay met a data program this controversial program helped provide evidence to initiate only one case out of two hundred and twenty five so right now that obama can make whatever claims he wants but the study and the research is not supporting his words about himself new york thank you very much for the. so then president obama described his reforms as colin created a substantial this is what he had to say it's more of. i am therefore ordering a transition there was an end of the section to fifteen bulk metadata program as it currently exists. former f.b.i. agent was mentioned just now colin rowley spoke to soon afterwards he says the program which tackled in his speech is just a drop in the ocean though. well i think the speech was a few baby steps in the right direction but it was
a lot of dissemble lane and certainly it was a reassurance to the n.s.a. and its employees that they have been doing the right thing he talked really focus was on the two fifteen telephone metadata program that is just one of dozens of massive collections nothing in obama's speech put any rain rain the end this collected all approach and yesterday that there was a big revelation of our call dish fire program that just fire program was collecting all tax calls literally hundreds of thousands of text calls every day are going into the n.s.a.'s vacuum it's gigantic hoover. when we come back to the story throughout the my biggest mistake heard another quick look at some of the facts and figures that we were talking about in new york just know the global spread of america's all seeing eyes is cost taxpayers a pretty penny to the actual figures you'd expect are top secret but here is some
leaked information that lifts the lid on the spice but it was taken out of the news for the so-called black budget reportedly amounts to fifty two point six billion dollars for one year twenty thirteen out of that over ten billion went to the n.s.a. in fact it's funding grew by a staggering fifty three percent in a decade yet sources say terrorist attacks in methods are only making use of the n.s.a. surveillance capabilities seven point five percent of the time they're telling with what reno was saying it earlier on about the cost effectiveness doesn't it thanks for being with us for more analysis of barack obama's n.s.a. reform we invite you of course to head to our web site. also the details as well the kemah yesterday we got more on it of those leaks revealing that the u.s. and u.k. of been harvesting millions of mobile phone text messages worldwide every day in. the in the. next the syrian government says it's ready for
a limited ceasefire with rebel fighters as well as a prisoner swap may be to the foreign minister announced a readiness to cooperate with moderate opposition groups against radical islam is after a meeting with his moscow counterpart at the same time to survey lavrov raise the issue of the opposition taking part in next week's peace conference. i believe all 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 situations all of them need to consider the role they're playing in preparing the geneva two peace conference. but. there will be opposition national syrian coalition is seeking meeting and seeking in istanbul to decide whether it's going to attend next week's peace talks is still up in the air sort of decision now to be honest about that or not on saturday some comments from former french prime minister dominique de villepin spoke to r.t. ahead a geneva two he told us that dropping all preconditions though is essential here
for any dialogue to take place next week. i believe we have two problems today one is we need of course 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 so the political opposition and the jihadists are fighting very strongly on the ground while 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 we should not have any preview condition. before starting this political discussion the i really believe that iran should be as much as possible part of the talks because you were uneasy very
regional players and if we can have you run on board in discussing the credit crisis of the region we'd of course we will be much more efficient. well made to feel powerful french prime minister went to calling syria a magnet for terrorists an extremist comment too from u.s. secretary of state john kerry he's now glad we did it all on president assad let's take a listen here of self has even been funding some of those extremists even purposefully shooting some territory to them in order to make them more of a problem so we can make the argument that he is the protector against them nobody is going to be fooled america's top diplomat was speaking at a news conference in washington earlier fred let's cross live now to a political is very great says that he's got to think about it either eric thanks for being with us the interesting words from john kerry does not tally up with the foreign funding of rebels the you know the funding i'm going to already know he's sort of turning the corner here how to tally up
why i think that part of the reason why kerry was forced say that is because the united states has backed itself into a diplomatic corner up until this point we've seen washington continuing with the narrative that the opposition the so-called moderate opposition is really the key and that they are the true representatives of the syrian people but of course it's that same opposition which refuses to take part in the geneva two conference and it's certainly a lot of fun unless the precondition of assad's yeah this is going to say it's just this mixed picture is saying that the terrorists but he's saying the terrorists have been infiltrated at the same time those rebels have been funded by america to really confuse picture coming out of this. well of course it's a confused picture because it's a confused policy this is an aggressive policy by the united states and its proxies in the region such as saudi arabia and qatar on the one hand they've been funding funding and funneling weapons to the extremists that if infiltrated into syria on
the other hand they claim to be playing diplomatic matchmaker as if they're going to somehow resolve the crisis so what you're seeing is this sort of dual diplomacy but this is all collapsing because as assad is regaining control of territory and as the world opinion has shifted against the jihadi elements and against those backing them the united states is forced to then put the blame on to assad is sort of a pot calling the kettle black situation and another bit of confusion for me certainly don't you think about it the in the initial geneva one didn't say that assad to go no it hearing from kerry that there will be no political breakthrough at all in geneva two unless assad goes what's changed well it's that all important what they called the geneva communique which basically established the precondition that there had to be some kind of a transition. in which assad would not take part of course this is a nonstarter from the perspective of the syrian government from the perspective of
tehran and from the perspective of russia and it's that precondition which is sort of framed this entire conflict this entire diplomatic situation and of course that is why the united states pushes the geneva communiqué because it's the only way that they're going to be able to control the flow the diplomatic relations to control the negotiating process because they understand that if it were left up to a true democratic election assad would win. the rebel side of it he is still just a week to go we still don't know who is going to take one group or said they definitely wote still so many question marks about the others why at this late stage if they really mean business. was precisely for what you're alluding to they don't mean business the idea is to subvert the peace process not to participate in it to put whatever obstacles they can in its way so that the war can continue the saudis and the qataris and those who have been pushing the the
jihadi elements they still believe that they can win this war they still believe that if they can finance if they can funnel the weapons and if they can use the cia which is of course related by the washington post in the new york times has been funneling weapons into the country since two thousand and twelve if they can continue that process that they can still effect regime change in the country or at the very least chaos chaos that they can then manage of course that flies in the face of any idea of a political solution or a diplomatic settlement eric first give a shit. about just how much thanks for the time being on our eric draitser there now in a few minutes we're going to be looking at the tough choices facing the scottish people later this year news that wooing who in the battle over independence.
seventy minutes past and i over the next eight months scotland's pondering whether to cut the cold with britain and the heavyweights of westminster are there for willing the northern neighbors to stay as far as the public is concerned the decisions fall from a done deal. looks to be an easy choice the scots have got to make. westminster's new scotland analysis paper set out the british government's position on why scotland is better off within the united kingdom so part of the focus of today's analysis is britain's extensive diplomatic network and how much scotland benefits from it so the document even goes as far as reminding scots about some of the relatively modern day in pleasures that they enjoy as british citizens such as consular services when they travel abroad which they might be taking for granted at the moment and of course william hague was keen to remind scots that should they
vote for independence there their membership within the european union would have to be renegotiated nor would they be able to use the pound and of course you also spoke about the u.k. protecting scottish business interests for example the world famous scotch whiskey and the salmon industry protecting it from excessive taxation and so forth but today scotland analysis comes off the scottish government produced its white paper back in november which propagated why scotland should vote yes to independence it was somewhat of a road map by discount to government despite everything that william hague said today about scotland being better off within the united kingdom the white paper back in november argued that independence would boost scotland international profile it would deliver new opportunities for exports and it also said that scotland has contributed more tax per head of population than the u.k.
suggesting that scotland is certainly wealthy enough to go it alone but what we're seeing is two very big campaigns getting very much bigger in the run up to that historic vote on the eighteenth of september and i suspect that you case foreign secretary william hague is going to be making a few more trips up to scotland it's all part of westminster's intensified no campaign in the run up to the vote is going to see celebrities sports stars and business figures with scots to vote no to independence on the eighteenth of september. well let's hear how the yes scotland movement plans to counter the westminster romance and when she will go to scotland where gordon macintyre comes in glasgow thankfully pro independent scottish business network an economics think tank business for scotland joins us now live hi sir thanks for being on our to international the majority of people in scotland though and i still seem inclined to stay within the u.k. are they going to change their mind come the time do you think or not oh absolutely
what we're finding is that people are actually engaged with the arguments they're moving more and more towards yes fought we basically find that people are a long way away from the actual referendum date they've got their everyday lives to lead they've got other things that are interesting them and they're watching the not changing their minds until the actually hear the evidence but what's actually happening in debate after debate especially the ones who were to occur. beforehand and avoid afterwards is that we're finding that beforehand we're averaging about thirty to forty percent yes but after wards we have been averaging about fifty five to sixty percent yes and i want you to eventually hear the evidence that even if you're told you have to cut spending and raise taxes. i'm sorry after we've even after you've told. me things that you'd have to cut spending and raise taxes this still doing a farm's up i just know that's just absolutely not the case scotland is
a wealthy nation we're just not a wealthy society and the reason for that is that we have for the last thirty two years generated more tax in every single year per head than the rest of the u.k. but that money doesn't stay here it's actually taken from scotland given to the treasury in westminster and then a small budget comes up to scotland for us to spend if we had been investing in scotland then we don't actually have a much better economy than we actually have right no so on can more than afford to be independent and actually the scottish government's white paper mentions we have a commercial tax freeze here in scotland but avoid people actually also mentions a plan to reduce corporation tax and we can also see that the scottish government itself has been helping about thirty eight thousand businesses with business rates relief so actually the trend is that taxation didn't go up the revenues then we wouldn't need to actually raise taxes at all well there is talk about what william
hague had to say to those of those red roses to the scots he's been tossing up to today and he's pressing the scotland's part of britain's extensive and powerful diplomatic network and they just wouldn't have that same clout as a small standalone nation it's got a point no. not really because the embassies that we do have around the world are not actually representing scotland as much as they should be business for scotland call twenty embassies there the embassies in the countries where we do most of the business for scotland exports to and we asked them just before and we said are you planning any activities around scotland's national be to promote exports to promote scottish business to promote scottish culture and every single one of them said no in fact that the most common answer that we actually had was always it's an under. what about being part of europe you could you've got to look over your borders of course as far as business is concerned according to the u.k. minister for europe scotland would not get a free pass the e.u.
would have to undergo a long lengthy negotiation process it could take years could scotland really wait that long. well you know the westminster politicians in a new campaign would say that they're bluffing they're trying to create a to scaremonger the scottish public into not making a decision that would be of a huge benefit to them and the reason they're doing this is because that is no positive case for scotland to stay within the union saw nothing positive to see they have to try and make the process of independence independence which is exactly like almost every other country in the world the system every other country in the world uses to try to make it sound more complicated than it is don't trust me on this ask the campaign's advisers professor stuart crawford the cambridge academic asked to write a report on the difficulties of negotiating with need to in the e.u. by the new campaign actually said that he thought eighteen months was a reasonable time frame in the should it be any barriers to knit or any protective
protracted negotiation of europe and just over the the new senior advisor to the new campaign professor jim gallacher actually said that he saw absolutely no reason for scotland in its negotiations with the e.u. to have to join schengen or to be forced into the euro as well saw their own advisers are saying this but that doesn't fit with the scare story narrative saw that just ignoring their own advisors and trying to scare the scottish people gordon thanks carol a program putting your point of view so clearly gordon. chief executive of business for scotland economics think. now there are details of building a very different kind of future over on our website r.t. dot com complete code want to turn how to construct a home from scratch one day that's what california and scientists say will be reality very soon if this happens next generation giant three d. printed could make the house of the day amazing isn't it you can read up more on
that online and get a lot of interest like that story plus to the computer hackers cheat to get into your kitchen it seems they're branching out there from p.c.'s. topical story today no they're targeting smart household appliances everything from high fives to frigid scary. it's emerged tonight that twin blasts have struck the capital of russia's dagestan republican the caucasus several casualties have been reported here let's get up to speed on this with r.t. if you go piskun off now what more do we know about these blasts the incident happened near one of the restaurants in the dagestan capital of the city or first an unidentified person fired a grenade launcher at the restaurant and then when police and other security services arrived at the scene a parked car exploded and nine people are reported to have been injured but thankfully no one was killed in this incident police say the bomb was not packed with things like nails and other elements to increase the number of casualties or
the same or slightly this is a case of underworld violence rather than a terror attack with much guy is situated around five hundred kilometers away from source you were just getting ready to host the winter olympics due to start in less than a month the city was visited by the president earlier on friday who wants to get reassured the security a ring around the city and the olympic venues to ensure the safety of the athletes and spectators. and that story throughout the night before i go for this news update nother story coming in we know about a suicide note. in the afghan capital it's killed thirty people apparently there be a bomber blew himself up at a restaurant and foreigners are reported to be among the big tims their news tonight from there then the interior ministry saying the guards killed two other attackers who tried to storm the restaurant which is apparently a popular venue with afghan officials and foreign diplomats as well we could get to
speed on that for the night thanks for being with us ryan was the foreign minister has been here in moscow to talk diplomacy on syria the last couple of days we spoke to him too about what the future holds to achieve peace in the stricken region that's coming up right after this break. 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 the 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 around 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 ever folks know once you're in debt they've got you by the throat well that's just my opinion. hello and welcome to said i'm sitting shevardnadze the foreign minister of iran is
in russia had of the next round of syria peace talks one thing it clara negotiations finally progress in tehran is saying to put us in doors open can't help solve the syria question what is being discussed with moscow and we'll hear read name in. sprint continue. to find out firsthand. iran is on the verge of a diplomatic breakthrough. 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. troubles over the islamic republic on its way back into the international scene. into a lasting spring. form.