First on CNN: More on NSA surveillance programs to be declassified
July 29th, 2013
08:44 PM ET

First on CNN: More on NSA surveillance programs to be declassified

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. intelligence community plans to declassify additional information about surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, possibly as soon as Tuesday, CNN has learned.

A senior U.S. official tells CNN the information includes "white papers" on surveillance programs but also previously undisclosed information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The official declined to be identified because the information has not been made public yet and because of the sensitive nature of the information. He would not offer further details in advance of the declassification process, which could extend into later this week.

It is unclear how the additional information would be released. FULL POST

Pentagon rethinking cut to "danger pay" for troops in Mideast
July 29th, 2013
05:39 PM ET

Pentagon rethinking cut to "danger pay" for troops in Mideast

By Barbara Starr

The Pentagon is reconsidering whether to end "imminent danger pay" for troops in several regions of the Middle East and Persian Gulf in the wake of increasing violence there in recent weeks, according to a Defense Department official.

The Pentagon had been considering the move, which would save about $120 million each year, the official told CNN. He declined to be identified because there is no final decision on the matter.

In addition, the Pentagon quietly is considering whether to proceed with a planned September U.S. military exercise with Egypt. That exercise would send thousands of U.S. troops to Egypt with aircraft and land-based weapons. For now the exercise remains on the calendar, but a second Pentagon official said it's certain to be re-examined in light of the recent violence. FULL POST

Verdict in Manning trial to be revealed Tuesday
July 29th, 2013
01:40 PM ET

Verdict in Manning trial to be revealed Tuesday

By CNN Staff

After spending three years in custody, the man accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history will learn Tuesday whether he has been found guilty of aiding the enemy.

A verdict from the judge in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning will be announced at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman for the military district of Washington.

If found guilty on the aiding the enemy charge, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison. He has pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen lesser charges that carry a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars.

Whether Manning is a whistle-blower or a traitor who betrayed his country has been hotly debated.

Authorities have accused Manning of delivering three-quarters of million pages of classified documents and videos to the secret-sharing site WikiLeaks - which has never confirmed the soldier was the source of its information. The material covered numerous aspects of U.S. military strategy in Iraq, gave what some called a ground view of events in the Afghanistan war and revealed the inner workings of U.S. State Department diplomacy in leaked cables.

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Filed under: Bradley Manning • WikiLeaks
July 29th, 2013
01:38 PM ET

A flicker of hope as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set for Monday

By Michael Schwartz and Ashley Fantz from Jerusalem

For the first time in three years, Israelis and Palestinians will come to the negotiating table in Washington on Monday night.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated praise for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday morning.

The talks will be "a difficult process," but he added that the consequences of not trying could be worse. Kerry said the goal is to seek "reasonable compromises" on "tough, complicated, emotional" and symbolic issues, then he announced former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, as U.S. envoy to the talks.

Indyk understands that peace will not come easily, but that "there is now a path forward, and we must follow that path with urgency," Kerry added.

FULL STORY