News you may have missed #0106

  • North Korean succession rumor mill now silent. Rumors circulated last summer by South Korean intelligence sources, that Kim Jong Il was on his deathbed and was about to be replaced with his son, Kim Jong Un, have gone quiet, after the health of the “Great Leader” appears to have miraculously improved. Some now believe Pyongyang may have deliberately fed those rumors to discern reactions among senior North Korean officials in Kim John Il’s circle.
  • UK government issues apology for treatment of gay cryptanalyst after 57 years. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he is sorry for the “appalling” way World War II code-breaker Alan Turing was treated by British authorities for being gay. In 1952, Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later, he killed himself. He is most famous for his code-breaking work at Bletchley Park, also known as Station X, during WWII, where he helped create the Bombe that cracked messages enciphered with the German Enigma machines.
  • Ex-chief of Greek secret services to stand for far-right party. Yannis Korantis, who was axed two months ago from his post as chief of Greece’s State Intelligence Service (EYP), said he will stand for extreme-right party LAOS in next month’s parliamentary elections. Notorious neo-Nazi Dimitris Zafeiropoulos, who recently joined LAOS, said he would also stand for the party in Patras, in the northern Peloponnese. LAOS entered parliament for the first time in 2007, with 3.8 percent of votes and 10 parliamentarians.

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News you may have missed #0054

  • Stasi files reveal covert war against Western musicians. Files kept by the former East German secret police indicate that they were worried about rock concerts held within listening distance of East Berlin neighborhoods by Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen, among others.
  • Greece arrests Muslim minority member for ‘spy photos’. The man was arrested last weekend on charges of spying for Turkey, following the confiscation of hundreds of photographs from his home, most of which depict Greek military facilities. Greece’s State Intelligence Service (EYP) had been monitoring his activities for nearly a year.
  • Head of Bulgaria’s national security agency resigns. Petko Sertov, director of Bulgaria’s State Agency for National Security (DANS) has handed his resignation, allegedly after Bulgaria’s “American partners were said to have lost faith” in him.

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