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Jul 1, 201303:12 PM

Cheat Sheet: June 29-30: Weekend Roundup

NSA espionage scope widens

According to a German newspaper, the United States has been targeting European Union governments with espionage tactics. The information, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, shows US surveillance of government buildings in Washington as well as internet conversations and emails. The “top secret” documents also label Europeans as “targets” and outlines the ways in which each were spied upon, including tracking the espionage to a building in Brussels used specifically by NSA officials who used sophisticated surveillance equipment to monitor internet and telephone communications from EU and European Council members. This latest leak of spying by the US government is another layer of mistrust between the United States and foreign allies which will have global repercussions. (Source)

A public bench to question faith

In an effort to parallel the growing presentation of Judeo-Christian iconography on public, government-owned property, the American Atheists unveiled the first atheist monuments outside the courthouse in Starke, Florida on Saturday. The plan is to erect similar monuments in each state, funded by an anonymous donor. The move comes after a lawsuit by the American Atheists to remove a monument depicting the Ten Commandments, citing that it violated the separation of church and state. The court disagreed, the monument remains, but the courts did grant permission to build a separate monument at the site. The 1,500-pound granite monument is inscribed with quotations from famous and historic people such as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and others. (Source)

Carnival cruise lines leaving Norfolk

The International Maritime Organization, a branch of the United Nations, approved restrictions for ships sailing in waters 200 miles of the United States coastline to cut the amount of sulfur emitted from their engines by 2015.  Because of this, Carnival Cruises has said they will no longer be able to use Norfolk as a port. The decision by Carnival has highlighted a growing rift among residence and city officials as to the returns on the 37.4 million dollar investment and the future of the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center. Some wish to continue to bid for new cruise lines to port in Norfolk, as the visitors from the ships are a boost to retail and restaurant traffic downtown. Others look to repurpose the center for other options to generate the multi-million dollar yearly operating cost for the building. (Source)

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