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World/National News

July 26, 2013

Around the World and Nation

Debate over America’s national security apparatus, muted after 9/11, is now back at full roar

WASHINGTON (AP) — After 9/11, there were no shades of gray. There are plenty now.

The vigorous debate over the collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, underlined by a narrow House vote upholding the practice, buried any notion that it’s out of line, even unpatriotic, to challenge the national security efforts of the government.

Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, joined in common cause against the Obama administration’s aggressive surveillance, falling just short Wednesday night against a similarly jumbled and determined coalition of leaders and lawmakers who supported it.

It’s not every day you see Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi facing off together against their own parties’ colleagues — with an assist from Rep. Michele Bachmann, no less — to help give President Barack Obama what he wanted. But that’s what it took to overcome efforts to restrict the National Security Agency’s surveillance program.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush warned the world “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” period, and those few politicians who objected to anything the U.S. wanted to do for its national security looked like oddballs.

80 dead, 31 critical after Spain train crash blamed on high speed; 1 American among the dead

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (AP) — A Spanish train that hurtled off the rails and smashed into a security wall as it rounded a bend was going so fast that carriages tumbled off the tracks like dominos, killing 80 people and maiming dozens more, according to eyewitness accounts and video footage obtained Thursday.

An Associated Press analysis of video images suggests the train may have been traveling at twice the speed limit, or more, along that curved stretch of track. The unanswered question is: Why?

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