The head of the NSA told Congress Tuesday that his agency is not collecting millions of phone records across Europe. Another official said the outrage over spying on German Chancellor Angel Merkel is overblown.
The scandal suggests US technological capabilities have outstripped prudent policy, but even friendly countries have divergent interests and 'it’s really a polite fiction' they don't spy on each other.
President Obama will not embark on a week-long trip to Asia, because of the fiscal crisis in Washington. Even before the cancellation, some analysts saw signs that commitment was waning to a US 'pivot to Asia.'
The UN Security Council on Wednesday moved to formally urge all sides in Syria's civil war to let humanitarian aid flow freely into the country. International relief for Syria has been sparse, and Western nations say the Assad regime has deliberately blocked it.