Among the files are several relating to the activities of GCHQ, the agency responsible for signals interception in the UK. “They were hopeful that we would relinquish any material that we might be reporting on, relating to Edward Snowden. Needless to say I considered what they told me, and said no,” Abramson told the Guardian. The incident shows the lengths to which the UK government has gone to try to discourage press coverage of the Snowden leaks. In July, the government threatened to take legal action against the Guardian that could have prevented publication, culminating in the destruction of computer hard drives containing some of Snowden’s files. Abramson said the spectacle of angle grinders and drills being used to destroy evidence in a newspaper basement was hard to conceive in the US, where the First Amendment offers free speech guarantees. “I can’t imagine that. The only equivalent I can think of is years ago when the New York Times was enjoined by a lower court from publishing the Pentagon papers, but the supreme court came in and overruled that decision. Prior restraint is pretty much unthinkable to me in this country.” Abramson has been executive editor of the New York Times, America’s largest and most influential newspaper, since 2011. She said that the conversation with the UK’s Washington embassy was the extent so far of British attempts to influence the paper’s editorial decisions in relation to Snowden. Within the US, the Obama administration has asked on several occasions for the New York Times to consider withholding certain information from its stories, and the paper always gives sober consideration to the requests, she said, based on a careful assessment of the possible damage to national security accruing from publication. “Our default position is usually to weigh on the side of informing the public.” In both the US and Britain, Abramson argued, “there’s a war on terror being waged in the name of the public, and the public has a right to have information about it. That’s critical. The Guardian as well as the New York Times are providing a very valuable service, allowing people to decide for themselves whether the intelligence agencies are being too intrusive in their data collection. “President Obama has said he welcomes such a debate, and I think it’s not only healthy but vital to have that.” Abramson added that she found the reaction of the Daily Mail to the series of stories published by the Guardian on the back of the Snowden leaks “unusual to me”.
New York biker bash and attack on SUV a polarizing event
A camera positioned on a rider’s helmet showed hundreds of motorcycles chasing Lien’s SUV up Manhattan’s West Side Highway. It showed Lien, 33, running over a rider. It showed a swarm of bikers smashing Lien’s car windows and dragging him onto the street for a beating. But there is no consensus on how the event, which Lao said was planned as a simple “ride throughout the city” for motorcyclists from across the country, turned into this. “We are not bad people,” Lao, who did not respond to requests for comment, said in an interview posted Tuesday by the online magazine Global Grind. “We’re family people. We’re working people. We just look for the good in what we do, as far as riding motorcycles.” Lao’s online profile on stuntlife.com describes him as a “stunter” whose best stunt is “wen i turn on my bike…” His interests are: “RRRAAAOOOooWWW!!!” To hear him tell it, police were out in such force to prevent this year’s Hollywood’s Block Party that the event never got off the ground. Instead, Lao said, smaller packs of riders spread out across the city, with the goal to reach Times Square as the rally had done in previous years. Lao said he was not among the riders, because he was deterred by the police presence. The fact that the event turned ugly shouldn’t come as a surprise, said Steve Cook, an expert on motorcycle gangs at the Heartland Law Enforcement Training Institute. The organization, in Independence, Mo., trains law enforcement in how to deal with motorcycle gangs. Cook compared rides such as Hollywood’s Block Party to mobile flash-mobs, with groups of riders on powerful motorbikes performing wheelies and other stunts as they weave through traffic.
New York will match the global departure 34 years from now and tropical areas will get there sooner. The research highlights the urgency of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions because the warming climate may drive some species to extinction, threaten food supplies and spread disease, according to the study. By 2050, 5 billion people may face extreme climates, and migration and heightened competition for natural resources may trigger violence and instability. The results shocked us: regardless of the scenario, changes will be coming soon, Camilo Mora , a geographer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and lead author of the study, said in a statement. Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past. The global point of climate departure will be 2047, with tropical areas reaching it earlier. The tropics will experience unprecedented warming 15 years earlier than the rest of the world, Mora told reporters on a conference call. We were very conservative when we started this index and were pretty surprised how early some of these change would take place. Two Forecasts The forecast assumes that carbon emissions will continue at a business-as-usual pace, according to the study. Under a separate scenario that assumes greenhouse gases are stabilized, the global climate departure is delayed more than two decades, until 2069. New York, under the more optimistic scenario, would experience unprecedented warming by 2072. The city was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy a year ago, leading to insured losses of about $25 billion in the U.S. according to Munich Re estimates. President Barack Obama cited the storm in his State of the Union address this year as a sign of the urgent need to address climate change.