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Berlin (AFP) – The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has collected sensitive data on key telecommunications cables between Europe, north Africa and Asia, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday citing classified documents.

Spiegel quoted NSA papers dating from February and labelled “top secret” and “not for foreigners” describing the agency’s success in spying on the so-called Sea-Me-We 4 undersea cable system.

The massive bundle of fibre optic cables originates near the southern French city of Marseille and links Europe with north Africa and the Gulf states, continuing through Pakistan and India to Malaysia and Thailand.

“Among the companies that hold ownership stakes in it are France Telecom, now known as Orange and still partly government-owned, and Telecom Italia Sparkle,” Spiegel said.

It said NSA specialists had hacked an internal website belonging to the operator consortium to mine documents about technical infrastructure including circuit mapping and network management information.

“More operations are planned in the future to collect more information about this and other cable systems,” Spiegel quoted the NSA documents as saying.

Der Spiegel has over the last several months reported on mass NSA spying on targets in the United States and abroad using documents provided by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

A White House-picked panel this month recommended curbing the secretive powers of the NSA, warning that its spying sweeps in the “war on terror” had gone too far.

President Barack Obama plans to address the report in January.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz

Sean Parnell, the Trump-anointed candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, dropped out of the race a week ago after a custody hearing that featured lurid details of his relationship with his ex-wife. Laurie Snell alleged that Parnell had struck her, choked her, left her by the side of the road and hit one of their sons hard enough to leave a welt on the boy's back. Parnell countered that she had invented all of it.

Custody battles are infamous for exaggerated accusations and heated denials, and it's difficult for outsiders to know whom to believe and how much. But Parnell's comments off the witness stand didn't burnish his credibility. Appearing on Fox Nation, for example, Parnell opined, "I feel like the whole 'happy wife, happy life' nonsense has done nothing but raise one generation of woman tyrants after the next." He wasn't finished. "Now there's an entire generation of men that don't want to put up with the BS of a high-maintenance, narcissistic woman." Well. Someone seems to be dealing with anger issues. The would-be — er, rather, won't-be — senator concluded with a short sermon on biology: "From an evolutionary standpoint, it used to be, you know, women were attracted to your strength because you could defend them from dinosaurs." Where does the GOP find these geniuses?

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