News you may have missed #0119

  • CIA opens center on climate change. The CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security is a small unit led by senior specialists from the Directorate of Intelligence and the Directorate of Science and Technology. It focuses on “the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts, and heightened competition for natural resources”. Methinks the emphasis will probably be on the latter.
  • Brazilian political figures spied on after dictatorship. Senior Brazilian politicians, religious leaders and activists were spied on illegally for 16 years after the 1964-1985 military regime, according to recent allegations in the country’s press. Major surveillance targets included Brazil’s current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, opposition leader and Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, and others.
  • New book examines life of Franco-sympathizer British spy. Jimmy Burns has written a biography of his father, Tom Burns, an anti-communist sympathizer of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who organized the British intelligence network in Spain during and after World War II.

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South African spy chief’s wife implicated in drugs arrest

Sheryl Cwele

Sheryl Cwele

The wife of Siyabonga C. Cwele, South Africa’s Minister of Intelligence, has been implicated by South African and Brazilian authorities in an international drugs trafficking case. Sheryl Cwele, whose husband has headed South Africa’s intelligence Ministry since last September, was found to have exchanged dozens of emails, letters and text messages with a woman arrested last June in Brazil, while secretly transporting over $300,000-worth of raw cocaine. The woman, Tessa Beetge, from Margate, a resort town in KwaZulu-Natal, traveled last summer from South Africa to Colombia and Peru, and from there to São Paulo, Brazil, where she was arrested on June 13, while transiting through on a flight to Johannesburg. Read more of this post

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