News Updates from CLG
25 March 2015

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Previous edition: Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Talks With U.S.

Pilot of doomed Flight 4U 9525 jet was ‘locked out of cockpit before crash’, black box recorder reveals | 25 March 2015 | One of the two pilots on board the ill-fated Germanwings plane was locked out of the cockpit minutes before the aircraft crashed into a remote region of the French Alps, it has been reported. Audio taken from the black box voice recorder that was salvaged from the wreckage of the Airbus A320 indicates the pilot left the cockpit and could not re-enter, according to the New York Times. The pilot is heard knocking lightly on the door of the cockpit before trying to ‘smash the door down’ when his colleague fails to answer, a senior military official told the newspaper. The revelation is the first insight into what took place on the aircraft in the moments before the plane plummeted into the mountainside, killing all 150 people on board.

Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France –‘You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.’ | 25 March 2015 |As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in. A senior military official involved in the investigation described "very smooth, very cool" conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Corporate Suits Against U.S. to Be Heard in Secret World Bank Tribunals | 25 March 2015 | An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment "expectations" and hurts their business, according to a classified document. The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s remaining economic Wall Street agenda — would grant broad powers to multinational companies operating in North America, South America and Asia. Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.

5 Syrian chemical facilities to be destroyed by June – report | 25 March 2015 | A new report says all five of Syria’s underground production facilities for chemical weapons will be destroyed by June. The latest report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, also notes that work continues toward the destruction of seven aircraft hangars that were used as additional production facilities.

Netanyahu’s Spying Denials Contradicted by Secret NSA Documents | 25 March 2015 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vehemently denied a Wall Street Journal report, leaked by the Obama White House, that Israel spied on U.S. negotiations with Iran and then fed the intelligence to Congressional Republicans…Israel’s claim is not only incredible on its face. It is also squarely contradicted by top secret NSA documents, which state that Israel targets the U.S. government for invasive electronic surveillance, and does so more aggressively and threateningly than almost any other country in the world. Indeed, so concerted and aggressive are Israeli efforts against the U.S. that some key U.S. Government documents — including the top secret 2013 intelligence budget — list Israel among the U.S.’s most threatening cyber-adversaries and as a "hostile" foreign intelligence service.

Bowe Bergdahl faces life in prison after being charged with desertion | 25 March 2015 | The longest-held US prisoner of war of the post-9/11 era will be charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and faces a potential penalty of life in prison. An expected court martial proceeding for Sgt Bowe Bergdahl will initiate a dramatic fall from grace for a soldier whose release after five years in Taliban captivity was a top priority for Barack Obama. Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, confirmed to the Guardian that the army charged Bergdahl on Wednesday afternoon. A preliminary hearing in a military court is scheduled for 22 April in San Antonio, Fidell said.

US military to charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion – official | 25 March 2015 | The Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years will be court-martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will also be charged with misbehavior before the enemy, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the announcement on the record and spoke only on condition of anonymity…The U.S. military planned an announcement at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, which is expected to include the location of the court-martial.