Channel: Amanpour

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Egypt now not on a ‘correct route to democracy,’ suggests Egypt deputy PM, who blames Morsy

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On the day former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy emerged from four months of military captivity to face trial, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din implied to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Egypt is not on a “proper path to democracy,” while blaming that state of affairs on Morsy. Bahaa el-Din said that it was under Morsy’s presidency that “freedoms began to be taken” and “the constitution was no longer upheld.” “Having said this,” he said, “we need to keep our eyes fixed on not continuing in that road, and as quickly as possible, as strongly as possible, going back to a proper path of democracy.” The deputy prime minister represents a voice of moderation in the interim government at a time when Egypt has become hyperpolarized, violent, and politically bewildering. He admitted to Amanpour that compromise had become a “dirty word” in Egypt.

Malaysia PM: Obama’s cancelled Asia shuttle a “ignored probability”

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The cancellation of U.S. President Barack Obama’s trip to Southeast Asia earlier this month because of the government shutdown was a “missed opportunity,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. “It was a missed opportunity for Obama to assert his leadership, particularly in the context of his policy pivot towards Asia,” Najib told Amanpour in London. “I know he regrets it.” “When he called me he said, ‘By hook or by crook, I will visit Malaysia next year,’” the prime minister said. “So we’re looking forward to receiving him.” Najib leads a nation of nearly 30 million – a diverse, majority-Muslim country that wants to be viewed as a modern Islamic democracy. It is an appealing destination for tourists and investors alike – though the global recession did take its toll, and with tension between various ethnic groups and allegations of election fraud, it is not without controversy. “My priority is to ensure peace and harmony in Malaysia. That is uppermost in my mind,” Najib said.

German FM Westerwelle: U.S. “can not battle terrorism” by using taping Merkel’s telephone

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The U.S. “cannot fight terrorism” by listening to German Chancellor Angel Merkel’s personal cell phone, the foreign minister of that country, Guido Westerwelle, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. “I understand that it is necessary to fight against terrorism,” he said, “but you cannot fight terrorism by taping the Chancellor’s cell phone.” When asked if Westerwelle believed that his own phone was being tapped, the foreign minister demurred. “I cannot exclude it,” he said.

In Yorkshire, the moor the merrier

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With Halloween upon us, imagine a world where the landscape of nightmares is now one of the world's top tourist destinations. The lonely moors and fog-swept dales of Yorkshire in the north of England have long been a source of gloomy inspiration. Bram Stoker was drawn to the ruins of Whitby Abbey and made it the setting for his horror classic, Dracula. And Sherlock Holmes famously roamed those same moors in pursuit of the dreaded hound of the Baskervilles. Not to mention Heathcliff and Jane Eyre, who wandered through the imagination of the Brontë sisters. But Yorkshire is more than gloom; more even than a puffy pudding that goes with roast beef at Sunday lunch; more than the name of a cute little terrier that you can fit in a purse.

Greenwald: NSA chief didn’t supply ‘any proof’ to Congress

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Glenn Greenwald on Wednesday said that the head of the U.S. National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, did not offer “any evidence” when he told Congress on Tuesday that the NSA did not collect data on millions of citizens in Europe. “Notice what he didn’t offer, which is any evidence for the truth of what he’s is saying,” Greenwald said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Greenwald is the activist and journalist who broke the story of NSA snooping and has a trove a leaked documents from former intelligence staffer Edward Snowden. “This, remember, is an agency that is extremely beleaguered, in the middle of a very intense scandal both at home and abroad,” he said. “It is an agency whose top officials have a record of lying to the Congress and to the American people through the media, including General Alexander.” On Tuesday, General Alexander went before Congress and batted down media reports that the NSA had collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in a single month in France and Spain. “The assertions,” General Alexander said, “are completely false… But both they and the person who stole the classified data did not understand what they were looking at.”

Creativeness beneath chance

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Neil Gaiman is many things: A writer, a screenwriter, a storyteller. But before all that, he is first and foremost and defender of imagination. And imagination, he says, is under threat. “The imagination – it's a muscle,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday. “It's a really important thing. If you want to build the future, if you want to create a literate generation, if you want to create a generation that is not criminal.” Gaiman says that libraries – those endangered stockpiles of, yes, physical books – are a critical wellspring for imagination. “I was a booky kid,” he said. “I will never forget the joy of getting my parents to drop me off at the local library on their way to work, and just going in and reading my way through the children's library, going and exploring in the card catalog back when they had card catalogs.” “Pulling books off the shelf and then nervously edging out into the adult world” – and “discovering the joy” of the inter-library loan system! It was – and is – “absolute magic.”

Will NSA revelations relax intelligence gathering?

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Revelations over American spying methods may have a chilling effect on the West’s ability to gather intelligence from terrorists Richard Barrett, the former director of global counter terrorism for British intelligence, suggested in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. On the one hand he said, terrorists – like ordinary people who send emails – know that their exchanges could probably be monitored but continue nonetheless to communicate. “Obviously they’re much more careful than the average person,” he said. “But they will use communication methods, they’ll get careless occasionally – they’ll make slip-ups, they’ll reveal telephone numbers and things like that.” It is something that Glenn Greenwald, the columnist who broke the NSA spying story, suggested to Amanpour on Monday.

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