Snowden could expose intelligence operations
WASHINGTON — Two Western diplomats say U.S. officials have briefed them on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that might expose the intelligence operations of their respective countries and their level of cooperation with the U.S.
Word of the briefings by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence comes amid questions swirling around overseas surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has angered allies on two continents and caused concern domestically over the scope of the intelligence-gathering.
The two Western diplomats said officials from ODNI have continued to brief them regularly on what documents the director of national intelligence believes Snowden obtained. Some of the documents Snowden took contain sensitive material about collection programs against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China. Some refer to operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.
Soldiers shot, wounded at National Guard armory
MILLINGTON, Tenn. — A member of the National Guard opened fire at an armory outside a U.S. Navy base in Tennessee, wounding two soldiers before being subdued and disarmed by others soldiers, officials said Thursday.
Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback said the shooter was apprehended Thursday by other National Guard members, and that he did not have the small handgun used in the shooting in his possession by the time officers arrived. Stanback said two National Guard members were shot, one in the foot and one in the leg.
Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s adjutant general, said at a news conference that the victims were being treated at a local hospital and he expected them to be released. Authorities haven’t released the names of the vcitims or the shooter.
European leaders denounce US spying
BRUSSELS — European leaders united in anger as they attended a summit overshadowed by reports of widespread U.S. spying on its allies — allegations German Chancellor Angela Merkel said had shattered trust in the Obama administration and undermined the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship.
The latest revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency swept up more than 70 million phone records in France and may have tapped Merkel’s own cellphone brought denunciations from the French and German governments.
Merkel’s unusually stern remarks Thursday as she arrived at the European Union gathering indicated she wasn’t placated by a phone conversation she had Wednesday with President Barack Obama, or his personal assurances that the U.S. is not listening in on her calls now.
FDA backs tighter controls on painkiller
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is recommending new restrictions on prescription medicines containing hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the U.S.
In a major policy shift, the agency said in an online notice Thursday that hydrocodone-containing drugs should be subject to the same restrictions as other narcotic drugs like oxycodone and morphine.
The move comes more than a decade after the Drug Enforcement Administration first asked the FDA to reclassify hydrocodone so that it would be subject to the same restrictions as other addictive painkilling drugs. The FDA did not issue a formal announcement about its decision, which has long been sought by many patient advocates, doctors and state and federal lawmakers.
For decades, hydrocodone has been easier to prescribe, in part because it is only sold in combination pills and formulas with other nonaddictive ingredients like aspirin and acetaminophen.
That ease of access has made it many health care professionals’ top choice for treating chronic pain, everything from back pain to arthritis to toothaches.
By wire sources