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October 24, 2013

Around the World and Nation

Merkel complains to Obama that US spies targeted her phone

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel complained to President Barack Obama on Wednesday after learning that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone, saying that would be “a serious breach of trust” if confirmed.

For its part, the White House denied that the U.S. is listening in on Merkel’s phone calls now.

“The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges.”

However, Carney did not specifically say that that U.S. had never monitored or obtained Merkel’s communications.

The German government said it responded after receiving “information that the chancellor’s cellphone may be monitored” by U.S. intelligence. It wouldn’t elaborate, but German news magazine Der Spiegel, which has published material from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, said its research triggered the response.

Marathon suspect may try to pin most of blame on brother

BOSTON (AP) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers may try to save him from the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bombing by arguing he fell under the murderous influence of his older brother, legal experts say.

The outlines of a possible defense came into focus this week when it was learned that Tsarnaev’s attorneys are trying to get access to investigative records implicating the now-dead brother in a grisly triple slaying committed in 2011.

In court papers Monday, federal prosecutors acknowledged publicly for the first time that a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tamerlan participated in the unsolved killings of three men who were found in a Waltham apartment with their throats slit, marijuana sprinkled over their bodies.

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