Over Easy

In tribute to Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner, the Over Easy community gathers to discuss news of the day of a morning.

The U.S. surveillance of allies aroused protests from the German government, with charges of a tapping of Chancellor Merkel’s phone coming under public comment.

Merkel has made it clear “that if the information should materialize such practices clearly disapproved of and sees as completely unacceptable,” said her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

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Sharp criticism came from Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU).”If this is true, what we hear because that would be really bad. Americans are and remain our best friends, but that’s not the point,” he said in an ARD “Morning Magazine”. Although he go for years assumed that his phone was being tapped: “However, I did not expect the Americans.”

Greek lawmakers have voted to cut off government funding of the far right Golden Dawn party.

The provision passed by 235 votes in the 300-seat parliament suspends state funding to political parties if their leaders, or a tenth of its members, are charged with involvement in a “criminal organization” or “acts of terrorism.”

The move could deprive Golden Dawn of up to $1.2 million next year.

Golden Dawn’s popularity had steadily risen on the back of an anti-austerity and anti-immigrant sentiment to become Greece’s third-most popular party, until the killing of a left-wing musician by a party supporter last month triggered the government crackdown.

Russia has dropped charges of piracy against Greenpeace activists, replacing the charges with ‘hooliganism’, after a few weeks of keeping its ship in custody.

The new charge has a maximum penalty of seven years rather than 15, Russian news website Lenta reports.

The Arctic Sunrise was seized more than four weeks ago by Russian security forces after activists tried to scale an offshore oil platform.

All 30 people on board – including two freelance journalists – were detained.

So far all bail applications in the case have been refused.

Pope Francis has suspended a bishop whose extravagance has brought him the nickname of ‘bling bishop’.

Tebartz-van Elst has been under fire since an estimated cost of €31m (£26m) for the building, described by some newspapers as “palatial”, emerged this month. In addition, he is facing legal action for allegedly lying under oath about a first-class flight to India in a row with the news magazine Der Spiegel.

First snow here, with flowers weighed down under white fluffy stuff.

Never.Give.Up.