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June 27, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:



For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.



Senate approves immigration bill in 68-32 vote, sending battle measure to House (The Hill)

The Senate voted 68-32 Thursday to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, advancing President Obama’s top second term priority and setting up a protracted battle with the House.

US. Training Syrian rebels at secret bases (CBS)

Since late last year, the CIA has been training small numbers of Syrian rebels at secret bases in Turkey and Jordan, CBS News has confirmed.

Feds' Nervy Defense of No-Fly List Meets a Skeptical Judge (Reason)

Portland, Oregon, U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown heard arguments for and against the U.S. government's due process-free procedures for denying people access to commercial air travel, and seemed distinctly unimpressed by the line taken by the Justice Department.

IRS also targeted liberal groups (CNN)

The Internal Revenue Service targeted liberal groups as well as conservatives seeking tax-exempt status, a Democratic congressman charged on Monday after the agency acknowledged the inappropriate practice continued until last month. Rep. Sander Levin said the term "progressives" was included on IRS screening lists of applicants for tax-exempt status made available to Congress on Monday.

U.S. Conference of Mayors asks Obama for flexibility on marijuana (RawStory)

The United States Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a historic, bipartisan resolution Monday calling on the Obama administration to stop interfering with state and local efforts to deal with the problems caused by marijuana prohibition.

NSA leaker charged with espionage, theft (Yahoo! News)

The Justice Department has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case.

WikiLeaks: Snowden requested legal help to safety  (Yahoo! News)

Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says it is providing legal help to wanted former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. It says Snowden is bound for an unnamed "democratic nation via a safe route for the purpose of asylum," and that he is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

U.S. warns countries against Snowden travel  (Reuters) - Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was seeking asylum in Ecuador on Sunday after Hong Kong allowed his departure for Russia in a slap to Washington's efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.  In a major embarrassment for President Barack Obama, an aircraft thought to have carried Snowden landed in Moscow on Sunday, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said he was "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum."

Pelosi's defense of NSA surveillance draws boos  (AP) -- Some of the activists attending the annual Netroots Nation political conference Saturday booed and interrupted the San Francisco Democrat when she commented on the surveillance programs carried out by the National Security Agency and revealed by a former contactor, Edward Snowden, The San Jose Mercury News reports. / The boos came when Pelosi said that Snowden had violated the law and that the government needed to strike a balance between security and privacy.

Facebook admits year-long data breach exposed 6 million users

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc has inadvertently exposed 6 million users' phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers over the past year, the world's largest social networking company disclosed late

How drones are used for domestic surveillance (Christian Science Monitor)

FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that unmanned aircraft is used minimally in domestic surveillance to monitor unmoving objects and save law enforcement officers from serious risks. Senators expressed concerns about the secrecy of the program and possible threats to privacy. 


Ten car bombs kill 39 in Iraqi capital (Reuters)

 Ten car bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing nearly 40 people in markets and garages on the evening of a Shi'ite Muslim celebration, police and medical sources said.

Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace: Reuters witnesses (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Taliban gunmen attacked Afghanistan's presidential palace and surrounding buildings, including the CIA's Afghan headquarters, early on Tuesday, with explosions and gunfire shaking the city center

Jordan hosts 900 US troops to shield against Syria (U-T San Diego)

Jordan's prime minister says the country is hosting 900 U.S. military personnel to bolster its defense capabilities against potential threats from the Syrian civil war.

Lost Maya city found in Mexican jungle (Christian Science Monitor)

Just weeks after a similar find was made in Cambodia, archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Maya city that had been hidden for hundreds of years in theYucatan’s jungle-covered Campeche province, a find that researchers said could tell us more about how the advanced, still mysterious empire presided over its vast lands at its height.

Flooding kills 3, forces 75,000 from Calgary homes (U-T San Diego)

Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least three people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena.

Markets continue to fall in China after lending freeze (

The key stock index in Shanghai fell 5.3 percent today. The loss, the worst in 4 years, comes after China’s central bank froze lending between the country's financial institutions last week. It's an effort by the government to crack down on so-called "shadow financing."

India monsoon floods kill at least 560; thousands missing (Reuters)

Flash floods and landslides unleashed by early monsoon rains have killed at least 560 people in northern India and left tens of thousands missing, officials said on Saturday, with the death toll expected to rise significantly.

Malaysia Declares Emergency From Cross-Border Blanket Of Smoke (NPR)

Malaysia has declared a state of emergency in the country's south after choking smog from slash-and-burn agriculture in neighboring Indonesia enveloped the region.  Residents in Muar and Ledang districts of Johor state have been told to stay indoors. This comes after a similar order in Singapore last week.  Smog from Indonesia is a perennial problem in Malaysia and Singapore, but the pollution levels this year have hit record levels.

Egyptian army steps in to demand political truce (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Egypt's army stepped in to a deepening political crisis on Sunday to demand that the Islamist government and its opponents settle their differences and warned that it would act to stop violence spinning out of control.

'Hamas, Hezbollah planned jail break that freed Morsi' (Jerusalem Post)

An Egyptian court on Sunday called on Interpol to arrest the heads of Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaida affiliated organizations in Sinai for their alleged role in planning and executing the prison escape of key Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Egypt’s current president, Mohammed Morsi.

Qatar emir announces transfer of power to his son  (JPost) -- Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said on Tuesday he was transferring power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, taking the rare step for a Gulf Arab ruler of voluntarily ceding power to try to ensure a smooth succession.

Militants in north Nigeria force thousands to flee (U-T San Diego)

Islamic extremists threatening a bloodbath forced thousands of people from villages along Nigeria's northeast, where refugees said Saturday the fighters have regrouped following a monthlong military crackdown.

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