UK Government Ordered Guardian To Destroy Snowden Material



LONDONGuardian editor Alan Rusbridger has accused the British government of raiding the newspaper’s London offices last month to destroy hard drives and computers in a attempt to prevent further reporting on the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister,” he wrote in a piece published Monday evening. “There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on.”

Despite threats of legal action against the publication, Rusbridger refused to relinquish or destroy the documents. “And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred — with two GCHQ the British intelligence agency security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement.”

According to the BBC, Downing Street said it would not make any comments about the allegations from Rusbridger, who promised the newspaper would “continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents,” though it would do so outside London.

These revelations follow Sunday’s British police detention of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who has penned most of the NSA stories. Miranda was held at Heathrow Airport for the maximum nine hours the UK Terrorism Act allows. He was eventually released, but his electronic equipment was taken, including his mobile phone, laptop and memory sticks.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest conceded Monday that U.S. authorities had been given notice of Britain’s plan to hold Miranda, but he claimed the decision came from the British government alone, the Washington Post reports.

Interviewed by Russia Today, Venezuelan-American lawyer and editor of the newspaper Correo del Orinoco International Eva Golinger said she believed the U.S. was the “intellectual author behind the detainment of Miranda.” She added, “Clearly there has been a decision made that everything related to Edward Snowden must be captured no matter what, violating anyone’s right under any country’s laws.”

Photo: gruntzooki (Flickr)

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In Argentina, A Visit To World's Highest Solar Energy Park

With loans and solar panels from China, the massive solar park has been opened a year and is already powering the surrounding areas. Now the Chinese supplier is pushing for an expansion.

960,000 solar panels have been installed at the Cauchari park

Silvia Naishtat

— Driving across the border with Chile into the northwest Argentine department of Susques, you may spot what looks like a black mass in the distance. Arriving at a 4,000-meter altitude in the municipality of Cauchari, what comes into view instead is an assembly of 960,000 solar panels. It is the world's highest photovoltaic (PV) park, which is also the second biggest solar energy facility in Latin America, after Mexico's Aguascalientes plant.

Spread over 800 hectares in an arid landscape, the Cauchari park has been operating for a year, and has so far turned sunshine into 315 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the local provincial capital of Jujuy through the national grid.

It has also generated some $50 million for the province, which Governor Gerardo Morales has allocated to building 239 schools.

Abundant sunshine, low temperatures

The physicist Martín Albornoz says Cauchari, which means "link to the sun," is exposed to the best solar radiation anywhere. The area has 260 days of sunshine, with no smog and relatively low temperatures, which helps keep the panels in optimal conditions.

Its construction began with a loan of more than $331 million from China's Eximbank, which allowed the purchase of panels made in Shanghai. They arrived in Buenos Aires in 2,500 containers and were later trucked a considerable distance to the site in Cauchari . This was a titanic project that required 1,200 builders and 10-ton cranes, but will save some 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.

It is now run by 60 technicians. Its panels, with a 25-year guarantee, follow the sun's path and are cleaned twice a year. The plant is expected to have a service life of 40 years. Its choice of location was based on power lines traced in the 1990s to export power to Chile, now fed by the park.

Chinese engineers working in an office at the Cauchari park


Chinese want to expand

The plant belongs to the public-sector firm Jemse (Jujuy Energía y Minería), created in 2011 by the province's then governor Eduardo Fellner. Jemse's president, Felipe Albornoz, says that once Chinese credits are repaid in 20 years, Cauchari will earn the province $600 million.

The Argentine Energy ministry must now decide on the park's proposed expansion. The Chinese would pay in $200 million, which will help install 400,000 additional panels and generate enough power for the entire province of Jujuy.

The park's CEO, Guillermo Hoerth, observes that state policies are key to turning Jujuy into a green province. "We must change the production model. The world is rapidly cutting fossil fuel emissions. This is a great opportunity," Hoerth says.

The province's energy chief, Mario Pizarro, says in turn that Susques and three other provincial districts are already self-sufficient with clean energy, and three other districts would soon follow.

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