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News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: news.europawire.eu

ROME, 15-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — On Thursday, 10 November 2016, His Holiness Pope Francis was presented with the Bambi award, a German media prize, in Rome. Every year, Hubert Burda Media presents the Bambi awards in recognition of outstanding achievements. The presentation of the Bambi to the head of the Catholic Church will be shown on Thursday, 17 November during a live broadcast starting at 20:15 on the German public TV station ARD. The Bambi was presented in the Apostolic Palace by Yusra Mardini. A Syrian swimmer who lives in Germany, she saved the lives of many people as she fled across the Mediterranean. After their inflatable boat was damaged and threatened to sink after the engine failed, she and her sister Sara swam alongside the vessel, pulling it for many kilometres before reaching the mainland. The jury explained their decision to honour the Pope’s immense charity towards the world’s poorest people: “Pope Francis’ papacy has focused on alleviating the suffering of the poor and calling on humanity to be more helpful and compassionate in the face of an increasing global flow of immigrants. People all over the world value his authenticity, his social commitment and his unfailing devotion to making the world a better place. In calling for greater tolerance and establishing a particularly close relationship with the public, he has succeeded in bringing people – especially the young – back to the church. We are honoured to present His Holiness Pope Francis with the ‘Millennium’ Bambi in recognition of his outstanding contribution to peaceful coexistence.” Previous Millennium award winners include Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Helmut Schmidt, Muhammad Ali, Queen Rania of Jordan, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Queen Silvia of Sweden.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings upgrades three classes and affirms one class of Merrill Lynch Mortgage Trust (MLMT) 2004-MKB1 commercial mortgage pass-through certificates. A detailed list of rating actions follows at the end of this release. The upgrades are the result of increasing credit enhancement from continued paydown, stable performance of the underlying collateral high percentage of loans structured with full amortization (50.8%), and greater likelihood of class repayment. As of the November 2016 distribution date, the pool's aggregate principal balance has been reduced by 98.84% to $11.3 million from $980 million at issuance. Fitch modeled losses of 3% of the remaining pool; expected losses on the original pool balance total 1.6%, including $15.4 million (1.6% of the original pool balance) in realized losses to date. Interest shortfalls are currently affecting class Q. Pool Concentration: The pool is highly concentrated with only five of the original 72 loans remaining. The largest remaining loan, which represents approximately 49% of the pool, faces tenant rollover concerns in 2018. Two loans (70.7%) are backed by office properties and the remaining three loans (29.3%) are backed by retail properties. None of the remaining loans are in special servicing. Fully Amortizing Loans: Four loans (50.8%) are fully amortizing and the remaining loan (49.2%) is an ARD loan. Maturities: Three loans (29.3%) mature in 2019, one loan (21.5%) matures in 2024 and the remaining loan (49.2%) has anticipated repayment date (ARD) in 2034. The largest loan in the pool, Georgetown Medical Plaza (49.2%), is a 71,031 square foot (sf) office building located in Indianapolis, IN. The loan reached its ARD in March 2014, and is being cash managed and accruing 2% deferred interest. The loan's final maturity date is in 2024. The loan's debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) was 1.39x as of December 2015 and occupancy has been 100% since issuance by the sole tenant. The lease expiration is July 2018. The second largest loan in the pool (21.5%) is a 20,987 sf office property in Malibu, CA. DSCR was 2.09x as of December 2015 and occupancy was 100% as of October 2016. The Rating Outlooks are Stable as no rating changes are anticipated. Further upgrades will be limited due to the concentrated nature of the pool. Downgrades are possible if pool performance declines significantly. USE OF THIRD-PARTY DUE DILIGENCE PURSUANT TO SEC RULE 17G-10 Form ABS Due Diligence-15E was not provided to, or reviewed by, Fitch in relation to this rating action. Fitch upgrades the following classes and assigned outlooks as indicated: Fitch affirms the following classes as indicated: The class A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-1A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J and K certificates have paid in full. Fitch does not rate the class Q certificates. Fitch previously withdrew the ratings on the interest-only class XC and XP certificates. Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com. Criteria for Rating Caps and Limitations in Global Structured Finance Transactions (pub. 16 Jun 2016) ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTPS://WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA, AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE, AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE CODE OF CONDUCT SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE. Copyright © 2016 by Fitch Ratings, Inc., Fitch Ratings Ltd. and its subsidiaries. 33 Whitehall Street, NY, NY 10004. Telephone: 1-800-753-4824, (212) 908-0500. Fax: (212) 480-4435. Reproduction or retransmission in whole or in part is prohibited except by permission. All rights reserved. In issuing and maintaining its ratings and in making other reports (including forecast information), Fitch relies on factual information it receives from issuers and underwriters and from other sources Fitch believes to be credible. Fitch conducts a reasonable investigation of the factual information relied upon by it in accordance with its ratings methodology, and obtains reasonable verification of that information from independent sources, to the extent such sources are available for a given security or in a given jurisdiction. The manner of Fitch’s factual investigation and the scope of the third-party verification it obtains will vary depending on the nature of the rated security and its issuer, the requirements and practices in the jurisdiction in which the rated security is offered and sold and/or the issuer is located, the availability and nature of relevant public information, access to the management of the issuer and its advisers, the availability of pre-existing third-party verifications such as audit reports, agreed-upon procedures letters, appraisals, actuarial reports, engineering reports, legal opinions and other reports provided by third parties, the availability of independent and competent third-party verification sources with respect to the particular security or in the particular jurisdiction of the issuer, and a variety of other factors. Users of Fitch’s ratings and reports should understand that neither an enhanced factual investigation nor any third-party verification can ensure that all of the information Fitch relies on in connection with a rating or a report will be accurate and complete. Ultimately, the issuer and its advisers are responsible for the accuracy of the information they provide to Fitch and to the market in offering documents and other reports. In issuing its ratings and its reports, Fitch must rely on the work of experts, including independent auditors with respect to financial statements and attorneys with respect to legal and tax matters. Further, ratings and forecasts of financial and other information are inherently forward-looking and embody assumptions and predictions about future events that by their nature cannot be verified as facts. As a result, despite any verification of current facts, ratings and forecasts can be affected by future events or conditions that were not anticipated at the time a rating or forecast was issued or affirmed. The information in this report is provided “as is” without any representation or warranty of any kind, and Fitch does not represent or warrant that the report or any of its contents will meet any of the requirements of a recipient of the report. A Fitch rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a security. This opinion and reports made by Fitch are based on established criteria and methodologies that Fitch is continuously evaluating and updating. Therefore, ratings and reports are the collective work product of Fitch and no individual, or group of individuals, is solely responsible for a rating or a report. The rating does not address the risk of loss due to risks other than credit risk, unless such risk is specifically mentioned. Fitch is not engaged in the offer or sale of any security. All Fitch reports have shared authorship. Individuals identified in a Fitch report were involved in, but are not solely responsible for, the opinions stated therein. The individuals are named for contact purposes only. A report providing a Fitch rating is neither a prospectus nor a substitute for the information assembled, verified and presented to investors by the issuer and its agents in connection with the sale of the securities. Ratings may be changed or withdrawn at any time for any reason in the sole discretion of Fitch. Fitch does not provide investment advice of any sort. Ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Ratings do not comment on the adequacy of market price, the suitability of any security for a particular investor, or the tax-exempt nature or taxability of payments made in respect to any security. Fitch receives fees from issuers, insurers, guarantors, other obligors, and underwriters for rating securities. Such fees generally vary from US$1,000 to US$750,000 (or the applicable currency equivalent) per issue. In certain cases, Fitch will rate all or a number of issues issued by a particular issuer, or insured or guaranteed by a particular insurer or guarantor, for a single annual fee. Such fees are expected to vary from US$10,000 to US$1,500,000 (or the applicable currency equivalent). The assignment, publication, or dissemination of a rating by Fitch shall not constitute a consent by Fitch to use its name as an expert in connection with any registration statement filed under the United States securities laws, the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 of the United Kingdom, or the securities laws of any particular jurisdiction. Due to the relative efficiency of electronic publishing and distribution, Fitch research may be available to electronic subscribers up to three days earlier than to print subscribers. For Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea only: Fitch Australia Pty Ltd holds an Australian financial services license (AFS license no. 337123) which authorizes it to provide credit ratings to wholesale clients only. Credit ratings information published by Fitch is not intended to be used by persons who are retail clients within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch - BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats have overtaken Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in an opinion poll by Infratest dimap for the first time since October 2006, with seven months to go before a federal election. The survey for German broadcaster ARD put the SPD, which has gained strength since nominating former European Parliament President Martin Schulz as its candidate, on 32 percent while Merkel's conservative bloc was on 31 percent. The SPD gained 4 percentage points compared with the same poll published on Feb. 2 while the "Union" made up of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), lost 3 percentage points. The reinvigorated SPD has shaken up opinion polls in recent weeks after lagging Merkel's conservatives for years. The last time the SPD won an election was in 2002, under Gerhard Schroeder. The SPD has ruled with Merkel's conservatives in a "grand coalition" since 2013 but Schulz has been in Brussels for most of this legislative period. Since returning to Germany he has campaigned against the chancellor's policies as an outsider. The poll showed the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) on 11 percent, the Greens on 8 percent and the far-left Linke on 7 percent. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) were on 6 percent. That means both the AfD and FDP would cross the 5-percent threshold needed to enter parliament - a development that will complicate coalition arithmetic. The poll of 1,047 people was carried out from Feb. 20 to 22.


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble denied on Sunday that he had said Greece would have to leave the euro zone if it failed to implement economic reforms. Schaeuble said in an ARD television interview that Greece would not have problems if it implemented agreed reforms, but would if it fails to carry these out. "I never made any ('Grexit') threats," Schaeuble told ARD's Bericht aus Berlin program just before the network played recent comments in which he said Greece was "not yet over the hill" and the "pressure needed to stay on" Greece or it "couldn't stay in the currency union". Schaeuble said he was giving Greece the same message that it has received throughout its crisis from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. "If Greece carries out the reforms, there won't be any problems. If they don't, then there will be problems." Schaeuble added: "I'm confident. Greece is on the right path." Schaeuble also said he expects the IMF to participate in a third bailout package for Greece after German magazine Der Spiegel said the Fund would contribute up to 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion). The IMF declined to comment. "I assume it will," Schaeuble said when asked about the IMF's participation. He noted the IMF had said in 2015 it would participate if Greece fulfils its reform targets. "I assume that can be achieved in the coming weeks." It remains unclear whether the Fund will be involved in the program, and this is likely to be one of the main talking points when Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde meet on Wednesday. Germany's government, gearing up for what is forecast to be a tight national election in September, opposes debt relief for Greece as sought by the IMF. Still, Berlin says the current program can only continue if the Fund joins in. "European law does not allow (national) debt relief," Schaeuble told ARD ahead of a meeting in Brussels on Monday with euro zone finance ministers. "Greece has to become more competitive. That's the what the program is for." A spokeswoman for Schaeuble had said on Friday that the German government has always considered IMF participation to be essential in Greece's third aid-for-reforms package. The Fund has insisted on debt relief and precautionary fiscal measures to ensure that Athens can meet its fiscal targets before it will consider participating in the bailout. Without new policies, the IMF believes Greece can only meet a primary fiscal surplus target of 1.5 pct of gross domestic product by 2018.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

(PRWEB) February 22, 2017 -- Best in Biz Awards International, the only global business awards program judged by an independent panel of members of the press and industry analysts, is pleased to officially announce the initial panel of judges in its fifth annual awards program. The judges being announced today have each taken part in judging panels in prior years and represent a broad array of press in countries such as Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The complete judging panel, including new additions to the high-profile group, will be announced in late March. The judges returning to the Best in Biz Awards 2017 International judging panel from previous years’ programs are: 1.    ARD (Germany), Dominique Lars Ziesemer 2.    Bennett Business Connections (Canada), Sharon Bennett 3.    Business Breakfast (United Arab Emirates), Brandy Scott 4.    Computer Hoy (Spain), Jaime Rodriguez-Guerra 5.    Data Breach Today (United Kingdom), Mathew Schwartz 6.    Gamers Intuition (United States), Didi Cardoso 7.    HTMobile (Israel), Zvi Wrobel 8.    IAA Magazine (United Arab Emirates), Manjula Ramakrishnan 9.    InBusiness (Cyprus and Greece), George Georgallides 10. Irish Independent (Ireland), Martina Devlin 11. J Arnold & Associates (Canada), Jon Arnold 12. MakeUseOf (United States), Gavin Phillips 13. Radio Ngati Porou (New Zealand), Erana Keelan-Reedy 14. TechHim (India), Himanshu Gupta 15. TechnoFILE.com (Canada), Jim Bray 16. TechRadar (United Kingdom), Catherine Ellis 17. Tune Media (Singapore), Nikki Tacata-Aborque 18. Ventures Africa and Enterprise54.com (Nigeria), Douglas Imaralu 19. Vyapar (India), Madhu Barbhaya 20. Which? Computing (United Kingdom), Kevin Pocock 21. Wirausaha dan Keuangan (Indonesia), Isdiyanto More information on the 2017 International judging panel, including short biographies of the judges, can be found on the Best in Biz Awards International website at: http://intl.bestinbizawards.com/intl-2017-judges. Entries in Best in Biz Awards 2017 International are being accepted until the regular entry deadline on March 10 and the late entry deadline on April 28, in 65 categories, including Company of the Year, Fastest-Growing Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Place to Work, Support Department, Technology Department, Executive of the Year, Founder/Entrepreneur, Innovator, Most Innovative Product, Enterprise Product, Best New Product, Best New Version, Product Line, App of the Year, PR Campaign, Film or Video, Blog and Website of the Year. Judging in Best in Biz Awards 2017 International will take place in May-June 2017, with the judges’ scores combined and averaged to determine winners for each category. Winners will be announced in July 2017. About Best in Biz Awards Since 2011, Best in Biz Awards, Inc. has made its mark as the only business awards program judged by an independent panel of renowned members of the press and industry analysts, hailing from the widest spectrum of publications. Best in Biz Awards honors are currently conferred in two separate programs: North America and International, and in 65 categories, including company, team, executive, product, and PR and media. Entries in the 5th annual Best in Biz Awards International are currently being accepted from all companies worldwide until the final deadline on April 28, 2017. For more information, visit: http://intl.bestinbizawards.com.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Search for Europe's best radio and TV programmes as well as web pages and web videos on the theme of integration and cultural diversity. Closing-date for entries is January 20, 2017. CIVIS again recognizes programme contributions on radio, film and television as well as on the Internet which promote the peaceful coexistence of people of the most varied geographic and cultural origins. In addition to migration, flight and asylum, the focus is on the latest developments of an integrated, culturally diverse society. It is a question of equality, acceptance and access to social opportunities, regardless of national, ethnic or religious origins. The European competition is open to entries which take the form of reports, documentaries, commentaries, special features, films and cartoons (http://www.civismedia.eu/conditionsofparticipation). All creative forms are permitted. The CIVIS Media Prizes are endowed. The CIVIS Media Prize 2017 is open to all TV and radio broadcasters as well as all production companies and web providers in the EU and Switzerland. As well as for all film and television colleges, academies and colleges of journalism, communication and media. Web videos can be sent by all interested persons residing in the EU and Switzerland. The CIVIS Media Prize 2017 will be awarded as Radio and TV Prize. With the "Young CIVIS Media Prize" there will be a European sponsorship prize. The "CIVIS Online Media Prize" will offer an additional award for web offers and web videos on the theme of integration and cultural diversity. Again 2017: The CIVIS Special Prize "Football and Integration". The CIVIS Media Prize is organised by the Association of the Public Broadcasting Corporations in Germany (ARD), represented by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), together with the Freudenberg Foundation. The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, SRG SSR, RTV Slovenia, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandradio, PHOENIX, ARTE, 3sat, the German Producers Alliance, the Copyright Association of Film and TV Producers (VFF) and the EBU are media partners. The German Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the WDR mediagroup are co-operation partners. The CIVIS Media Prize is held under the patronage of the European Parliament. CIVIS Media Foundation for Integration and Cultural Diversity in Europe Minoritenstraße 7  50667 Cologne  Germany Phone: +49(0)221-277-587-0  Email: info@civismedia.eu http://www.facebook.com/civismediaprize  http://www.twitter.com/civismediaprize  http://www.twitter.com/civispreis


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#ARD--America Recycles Day is a time reflect on the many economic, environmental, and societal impacts recycling has in our daily lives. It is a time to promote and celebrate the importance of recycling.


« BMW updates BMW Connected with expanded services, device support and availability | Main | NVIDIA introduces Xavier AI supercomputer designed for autonomous driving » Global Bioenergies and Clariant announced the first isobutene production from a wheat straw hydrolysate, in the industrial pilot of Pomacle Bazancourt. This success is the result of a collaboration initiated more than 18 months ago, and has been made possible by combining Clariant’s proprietary process, allowing for the conversion of agricultural residues into sugar-rich hydrolysates, with Global Bioenergies’ proprietary process for the production of isobutene from various industrial-grade sugars. Clariant has produced the wheat straw hydrolysate, rich in non food/non feed second generation sugar, in its Straubing facility in Germany. This hydrolysate was converted into renewable isobutene in Global Bioenergies’ industrial pilot operated by ARD in its Pomacle-Bazancourt facility. This result demonstrates the maturity, the complementarity, and the versatility of the two proprietary processes. Clariant has developed a process allowing for the extraction of sugars from agricultural residues. These second-generation sugars are produced as hydrolysates. Clariant’s Pre-commercial plant of Straubing can provide large amounts of such sugars and transforms them into ethanol using the sunliquid (earlier post) process, with a capacity of 1000 tons ethanol output per year. The production of isobutene opens the door for a more general use of 2G sugars, beyond the ethanol market. Global Bioenergies develops a process allowing for the production of bio-based isobutene by fermentation of various industrial-grade sugars. Isooctane, a derivative of isobutene, is an ideal additive for gasoline. Isooctane has by definition an octane rating of 100, associated with a low vapor pressure, two features ensuring better engine performances and environmental impact. Global Bioenergies has been actively investigating new potential feedstocks since 2014. The success of this approach, at the laboratory scale, was announced in March 2015, after a first round of tests using various non food/non feed sugars, including samples provided by Clariant. Scaling-up this approach in the Pomacle industrial pilot is an important milestone towards an integrated process from agricultural residues to isobutene.


News Article | December 26, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

It's easier than many people realize to modify someone else's flight booking, or cancel their flight altogether, because airlines rely on old, unsecured systems for processing customers' travel plans, researchers will explain at the Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival on Tuesday. The issues predominantly center around the lack of any meaningful authentication for customers requesting their flight information. The issues highlight how a decades-old system is still in constant, heavy use, despite being susceptible to fairly simple attacks and with no clear means for a solution. "Whenever you take a trip, you are in one or more of these systems," security researcher Karsten Nohl told Motherboard in a phone call ahead of his and co-researcher Nemanja Nikodijevic's talk. Specifically, the pair have researched so-called Global Distribution Systems (GDS). These are essentially the back-end used by travel agents and airlines to handle the allocation of tickets. When someone pays for a flight, the airline or travel agent probably gives them a six digit code. Punching this and their last name into different websites, such as that of the airline, allows flyers to then see their flight information, and in turn they can change their trip or otherwise rearrange their booking. But one issue is that these codes are incredibly easy for a computer to quickly churn out, meaning a bot could simply cycle through various options until it lands on a legitimate code for a corresponding surname. Several of the GDSs don't use any sort of rate limiting system—only allowing a certain number of requests per minute or second—so the researchers were able to swiftly process millions of possible combinations automatically. The codes don't contain ones or zeros to avoid confusion with I or O, Nohl says—they only use upper case letters and no special characters too. On top of that, in two out of the three larger GDSs, the numbers increase sequentially, Nohl explained. This means a hacker can predict when a particular set of numbers are more likely to be used at a certain time of day, or day of the week, in turn making it much more likely that they will successfully match a six digit code with the correct last name, and gain access to flight information. The codes themselves can also be easily found on people's' luggage tags or potentially on a boarding pass, as others have previously found. Armed with these techniques, a hacker might be able to track someone, finding out where they're flying to and from. Working with the German TV station ARD, the researchers were able to change the flight booking of a reporter, putting him on the same flight as, and in an adjacent seat to, a German politician. "We were able to try a couple million for a given last name, and that was enough to find this German senator," Nohl told Motherboard. There is also the potential for financially-driven fraud too. Hackers could add a frequent flyer account to expensive long haul flights, or perhaps cancel a trip, receive a coupon from the airline, and then use that to book another flight, Nohl claimed. Nohl told Motherboard that specific companies have said they will employ measures such as rate limiting to curb just how easy it is to discover flyer's six digit codes. But that still leaves a wealth of interconnected systems that were never really designed with the internet in mind, and the threat that it would pose. "Despite responsible disclosure, which we are doing right now, there doesn't seem to be a clear path to a really better system yet," Nohl said.


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.cnet.com

President Barack Obama isn't going to talk about whether he'll pardon Edward Snowden. That's because Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked government documents to journalists, has to return to the US to face trial, Obama told Der Spiegel and German broadcaster ARD in an interview published Friday. "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves," Obama said in an interview with the two news organizations, "so that's not something that I would comment on at this point." Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and other laws for taking NSA secrets and turning them over to journalists, who have since published dozens of stories revealing widespread government surveillance both in the US and abroad. He currently lives in Russia. US presidents have broad authority to pardon people, and a person doesn't need to be charged with a crime -- or stand trial -- to receive a pardon from the president. Snowden has said he believes he won't receive a fair trial because, under the Espionage Act, he can't make the argument that he sought to shine a light on government overreach with his disclosures. The Obama administration has said Snowden will have the benefit of due process under the law if he comes back. In his interview Friday, Obama said Snowden raised some legitimate issues in the documents he revealed. But he criticized Snowden for taking matters into his own hands instead of raising his concerns through official government channels. "If everybody took the approach that I make my own decisions about these issues, then it would be very hard to have an organized government or any kind of national security system," Obama said. Representatives for Snowden responded to Obama's comments in a post on the Pardon Snowden website, pointing out historical examples of presidents pardoning people who hadn't stood trial -- for example President Ford pardoned President Nixon without an indictment. "Surely President Obama is aware of this history, but he doesn't need to go so far back - he himself pardoned three Iranian American men earlier this year in the framework of the nuclear deal with Iran," the response reads. "Like Snowden, the three had been indicted but hadn't stood trial when they were pardoned." The response also took issue with Obama's stance that Snowden should have gone through official channels. "It's pure fantasy to think that his grievances -- which weren't about rogue NSA analysts, but rather mass surveillance programs approved at the highest levels of government -- would have spurred any change at all, let alone the historic reforms we have all benefited from," Snowden's advocates wrote.

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