Here is tonight’s Snowmail from Krishnan, including the latest on the Brazil protests, spying charges for the US whistleblower, and the Lions beat the Aussies.
Krishnan here – and we’re on at 6.30pm tonight.
We’re live in Brazil tonight with Washington Correspondent Matt Frei where the people are trying to work out how much to believe of a remarkable address by the president, directly addressing their anger and concerns. Dilma Rousseff has promised new transport plans, reform to services and to make democracy more transparent. As a former street activist herself who was jailed in the past she referred to these protests as an “awakening”, but condemned any violence and insisted the World Cup, which is the source of much anger, is a vital thing for Brazil to do well. Incidentally if you haven’t seen this video on Youtube, it’s an explanation by a Brazilian filmmaker, made before the protests, as to why Brazilians are not happy.
The Friends of Syria including US and UK have met in Qatar and agreed to send equipment and support to the Syrian opposition. Britain is still sticking to the line that it has not yet deciding whether to arm the rebels and each country in the “Friends” will do their own thing, but the Qatari prime minister today made plain his view that sending arms may be the only way to bring peace. Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller is on Doha.
The United States has, without any sense of irony, filed spying charges against the former security contractor who’s now in hiding in Hong Kong after revealing the extent of American surveillance programmes. The US authorities are now expected to seek the extradition of Edward Snowden, who’s also accused of theft of government property and unauthorised communication of defence information and classified intelligence. But the Hong Kong authorities may yet ask Beijing to step in and decide what to do – if they decide he’s a potential political prisoner he almost certainly won’t be handed over. It comes as the Guardian and Snowden revealed more claims about the extent of snooping carried out by GCHQ who, it is alleged, tap into fibre optic cables carrying all our communication and store vast amounts of it. I hope they’re reading this.
Ed Miliband says Labour will not pledge to reverse any cuts announced before the next election without finding the money from a cut somewhere else or new revenue. It is the next step in Labour’s re-definition but is it working? Are you convinced? Or just depressed at the lack of political choice between the three main parties now. We’ll be taking a close look at the words and wondering whether it will work.
Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom which pass a microscope over the American way of life, has been spending a lot of time in Europe recently pursuing his other passions for birdwatching and campaigning against the illegal trapping and killing of migratory songbirds. Our reporter, Katie Razzall, caught up with him in South Yorkshire for a fascinating encounter.
The British and Irish Lions held on for a thrilling 23-21 victory over the Australian Wallabies in the first Test in Brisbane. Australia’s Kurtley Beale had two late penalty chances to turn the game round, but missed them both. But nerves are still high. History suggests the winner of the first Test does not win the series.