Former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to life in prison for espionage.
Ex-President Mohamed Morsi was accused of spying on behalf of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militants Hezbollah and Iran.
The court is yet to decide on whether to uphold death sentences given to Mohamed Morsi and 100 others over a mass prison break in 2011.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have described the charges against him as “farcical”.
The former leader was deposed in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule and is already serving a 20-year jail term for ordering the arrest and torture of demonstrators.
The judge said on June 16 that the Muslim Brotherhood “collaborated with Palestinian Hamas to infiltrate Egypt’s eastern borders and attack prisons”, state TV reported.
Mohamed Morsi was given life, while 16 other Muslim Brotherhood members – including leader Khairat al-Shater – were sentenced to death on charges of delivering secret documents abroad between 2005 and 2013.
In Egypt, a life sentence is 25 years in jail.
A final ruling on Mohamed Morsi’s death sentence for the 2011 prison break is expected after a court recess. It has been awaiting the opinion of Egypt’s highest religious figure, the Grand Mufti.
The National Security Agency (NSA) phone data collection is illegal, a US appeals court has ruled.
Overturning a 2013 ruling, the judges did not, however, halt the program but urged Congress to take action.
The NSA’s spying was leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, who has since fled to Russia.
The NSA has collected data about numbers called and times, but not the content of conversations. It also allegedly spied on European firms.
Among individuals targeted was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The latest verdict, by The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, came after New York District Judge William Pauley had dismissed a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which argued that the way the NSA tracked million of calls contravened the US constitution.
The 97-page ruling says that “a provision of the USA Patriot Act permitting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to collect business records deemed relevant to a counterterrorism investigation cannot be legitimately interpreted to permit the systematic bulk collection of domestic calling records”.
However, the appeals court stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of the program, launched after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
Edward Snowden’s revelations in June 2013 caused an international outcry, despite US administrations insisting the program has been fully authorized.
The measures – repeatedly approved in secret by a national security court since 2006 – are set to expire on June 1st.
Leaders of the lower US House of Representatives would prefer to pass a bill to end the government’s bulk collection of phone records and replace it with legislation that supporters say protects civil liberties. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to extend the Patriot Act and retain the bulk collection program.
The White House supports “an alternative mechanism to preserve the program’s essential capabilities without the government holding the bulk data”, said Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
ACLU’s deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said: “The appeals court’s careful ruling should end any debate about whether the NSA’s phone-records program is lawful.”
Five Chinese army officers have been charged in US with hacking into private-sector American companies in a bid for competitive advantage, in the first cyber-espionage case of its kind.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the alleged breaches were “significant” and demanded “an aggressive response”.
US prosecutors say the Chinese officers stole trade secrets and internal documents from five companies and a labor union.
China denied the charges and warned the case would harm US-China relations.
Eric Holder said a grand jury had laid hacking charges against the Chinese nationals, the first against “known state actors for infiltrating US commercial targets by cyber means”.
He identified the alleged victims as Westinghouse Electric, US Steel, Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies, SolarWorld and the US Steelworkers Union.
“The alleged hacking appears to have been conducted for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China, at the expense of businesses here in the United States,” Eric Holder said.
In response, the Chinese government said its “stance on the issue of internet security is consistent and clear”.
Eric Holder said the US government categorically denounces economic espionage as a trade tactic
Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the allegations were “made up” and would “damage Sino-American cooperation and mutual trust”.
“China is a staunch defender of network security, and the Chinese government, military and associated personnel have never engaged in online theft of trade secrets,” he said.
In an indictment in the western district of Pennsylvania, the heart of the US steel industry, the US named Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, all officers in Unit 61398 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), as the alleged conspirators.
FBI officials said the hacking in the years 2006-14 caused “significant losses” at the companies and that there were likely many more victims.
Eric Holder said the US government “categorically denounces” economic espionage as a trade tactic.
“As President Obama has said on numerous occasions, we do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to US companies, or US commercial sectors,” he said.
The move is seen as largely symbolic, as five men accused are unlikely to be extradited to the US to faces the charges in court.
John Carlin, head of the justice department’s national security division, said: “For the first time, we are exposing the faces and names behind the keyboards in Shanghai used to steal from American businesses.”
“While the men and women of our American businesses spent their business days innovating, creating, and developing strategies to compete in the global marketplace, these members of unit 61398 spent their business days in Shanghai stealing the fruits of our labor,” he said.
Last year, cyber-defense company Mandiant published a report on a Chinese military unit the firm said was behind the vast majority of significant attacks on American federal agencies and companies.
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