NSA expanded online spy program, documents show | Poll results: Should the networks limit the number of participants in presidential debates? | Obama to talk foreign policy at G7 summit
 
June 5, 2015
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NSA expanded online spy program, documents show
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
Lofren (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The National Security Agency has dramatically expanded its warrantless surveillance of Americans' cross-border Internet traffic in a bid to ensnare computer hackers, according to documents passed to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. "[U]nder this program victims of cybercrime are doubly harmed when their government collects and searches their private stolen communications and data," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/4), The Guardian (London) (6/4)
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The Business & Politics Poll
Poll results: Should the networks limit the number of participants in presidential debates?
More than two-thirds of respondents to this week's poll rejected plans by Fox, CNN and possibly other networks to limit the number of presidential candidates appearing in pre-primary debates in the coming year. So far, 20 Republicans have declared their candidacy, and at least six others have formed exploratory committees. Two of that latter category, former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush and business magnate Donald Trump, are expected to declare in the coming weeks. So, the TV cameras would have to pan a phalanx of at least 22 podiums on the debate stage, and potentially more than 30, if all candidates were included. The bulk of the readers participating in the poll, however, said they did not want the networks picking winners and losers.  One reader provided a compromise: invite all the declared candidates to the first debate, then winnow down the field according to poll numbers for future forums, an idea worth considering.  New poll Monday.
No -- TV networks should not pick winners and losers  68.32%
Yes -- including too many candidates only dilutes the process and does the voters little good  25.49%
None of the above/other  3.45%
Undecided  2.74%
Agenda Items
Obama to talk foreign policy at G7 summit
Demonstrators In Munich Protest Upcoming G7 Summit
Demonstrators In Munich Protest Upcoming G7 Summit (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama is meeting with other global leaders at the Group of Seven summit in Germany this weekend, in a bid to reassert his vision for solving foreign-policy issues through soft power rather than military clashes. Officials will discuss thorny issues including Russia's ambitions in Ukraine, the rise of Islamic State and China's role in the Pacific region. "This is the crucial time where we’re going to get some answers on whether he succeeds or does not succeed," says former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns. Bloomberg (6/4), Reuters (6/4)
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Friday Fact Check
Jeb Bush is right to envy Estonians' tax returns
Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush
Bush (Laura Segall/Getty Images)
Tax compliance is a $107 billion business in the U.S. -- but in Estonia, according to Jeb Bush, people take just five minutes to fill out their annual tax return. If anything, experts say, Bush is overestimating the time Estonians spend on their returns: pre-filled tax forms mean most people take just a minute or two to review their data and file their forms. "Just push the send button. Done," says Estonian business reporter Sirje Rank. PolitiFact.com (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (6/4)
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The Conversation
Daily Diversion
Impersonation is a serious business, says Darrell Hammond
Comic Darrel Hammond
Hammond (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Learning to impersonate people is a tricky business, says "Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell Hammond. Known for his Clinton impression, Hammond says he spends a long time learning to reproduce then selectively exaggerate aspects of his subjects' speech patterns and body language. "It’s not a photograph, but on some level it’s more telling than a photograph," he says. The Atlantic online (6/3)
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Knowing what must be done does away with fear."
-- Rosa Parks, civil rights activist
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