Today’s top foreign news from The Washington Post:

Today’s top foreign news from The Washington Post:


- Taliban surge expected to continue-- In the latest in a series of dramatic Taliban attacks across Afghanistan, a team of seven heavily armed fighters staged a bold raid on NATO’s operational headquarters at the Kabul airport Monday before being fought off and killed by Afghan security forces. The incident served as an example of what coalition and Afghan military officials say is the Taliban’s renewed determination to carry out nationwide attacks well after their annual spring offensive, in a bid to disrupt plans for next year’s national elections and expose Afghan security forces as incapable of defending the country ahead of the withdrawal of most NATO troops by the end of 2014. By Pamela Constable


- Israeli drivers forgo GPS to ride Waze craze-- Israelis have a reputation as some of the most aggressive drivers in the world. The tanned guy with the shaved head and wraparound sunglasses leaning on his horn, three inches from your bumper? He’s in a hurry. But even the most competitive lane-changers in Israel have fallen in love with a homegrown satellite navigation system for their smartphones, called Waze, that is helping them cope with traffic jams, speed traps, road hazards — and maybe one another. According to Bloomberg, Google has agreed in principle to acquire Waze for $1.1 billion, a person with knowledge of the pending deal said. The companies aren’t talking. The Israeli business news site, TheMarker reported a possible hitch: European regulators may seek guarantees that user info held by Waze not be exploited by the spies at the U.S. National Security Agency. By Ruth Eglash and William Booth


- Militants attack Kabul’s international airport, hours after Karzai criticizes U.S. policies-- A group of assailants shut down Kabul’s airport for several hours Monday in a brazen pre-dawn attack that shook the Afghan capital hours after President Hamid Karzai delivered a speech in which he implied that U.S. counterterrorism policies have radicalized Muslims around the world. Afghan police snapped into action moments after residents of the city awoke to thundering blasts around 4:30 a.m. At least seven gunmen, including two wearing suicide vests, had taken refuge in buildings under construction adjacent to the northern tip of the airport compound, which includes an international military base. By Ernesto Londoño



-Investigators looking into how Snowden gained access at NSA-- Counterintelligence investigators are scrutinizing how a 29-year-old contractor who said he leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents was able to gain access to what should be highly compartmentalized information, according to current and former administration and intelligence officials. Edward J. Snowden worked as a systems administrator at an NSA Threat Operations Center in Hawaii, one of several such facilities that are tasked with detecting threats to government computer systems. He has previously worked for the CIA, U.S. officials said. By Peter Finn, Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima


- NSA leaks put focus on intelligence apparatus’s reliance on outside contractors-- The unprecedented leak of top-secret documents by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden raises far-reaching questions about the government’s rush to outsource intelligence work to contractors since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Never before have so many U.S. intelligence workers been hired so quickly, or been given access to secret government information through networked computers. In recent years, about one in four intelligence workers has been a contractor, and 70 percent or more of the intelligence community’s secret budget has gone to private firms. Booz Allen Hamilton, which hired the 29-year-old Snowden three months ago to work at the NSA, has been a leader among more than 1,900 firms that have supplied tens of thousands of intelligence analysts in recent years, including technologists and field spies. By Robert O’Harrow Jr., Dana Priest and Marjorie Censer

- Will NSA leaks put surveillance programs in legal jeopardy? Experts have doubts. By Jerry Markon

-FEDERAL DIARY: NSA leaks raise question: Should contractors should do sensitive government work? by Joe Davidson

-Merkel, other European leaders raise concerns on U.S. surveillance by Michael Birnbaum

- Edward Snowden faces strong extradition treaty if he remains in Hong Kong by Jia Lyn Yang


- Obama administration drops fight to keep age restrictions on Plan B sales-- The Obama administration on Monday abandoned its fight to keep age restrictions on sales of a widely used morning-after contraceptive pill, a stark legal reversal that ended years of court battles but did little to extinguish political passions on both sides of the issue. In a letter Monday to U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York, who has called the age restrictions “politically motivated” and “scientifically unjustified,” the administration said it would drop its appeal in the case and abide by Korman’s order to make Plan B One-Step contraceptive pills available to women and girls of any age without a prescription. President Obama has not changed his position and still opposes over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptives for young girls, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity Monday to describe the White House’s reasoning. But the Justice Department decided to drop the case after multiple setbacks in federal courts in recent months. By Brady Dennis and Sarah Kliff


- Hillary Clinton’s arrival on Twitter leaves followers wondering what’s next-- Her Twitter followers signed up fast, almost 1,000 of them a minute, to see what she had to say. And Hillary Rodham Clinton, debuting on the social-media site Monday with a biography identifying her as a “hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker,” kept them guessing. The end of her bio read: “TBD . . . ” To be determined. Perhaps no figure in American political life has surfaced on Twitter quite the way Clinton did. But none shares her position in the public arena right now as a potential president-in-waiting. Everything the former secretary of state does now is met with anticipation and parsed for clues that might answer the question: Will she or won’t she run? By Philip Rucker



- Carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012, IEA report says-- Global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent to 31.6 gigatons in 2012, setting a record and putting the planet on course for temperature increases well above international climate goals, the International Energy Agency said in a report scheduled to be issued Monday. The agency said continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Fatih Birol warned “would be a disaster for all countries.” By Steven Mufson


- Rules to curb overdraft has mixed results, CFPB says-- Americans are encountering a wide variation of overdraft charges on debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals because of a patchwork of policies at the nation’s biggest banks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in a report to be released Tuesday. The bureau said that while some banks limit the number of times customers can overdraw on their accounts to twice a day, others allow as many as 12 overdrafts that can trigger hundreds of dollars in fees. Some banks waive penalties for purchases under $5 that overdraw an account, but others charge fees for every one, regardless of size. “What is marketed as overdraft protection can, in some instances, put consumers at greater risk of harm,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said Monday on a call with reporters. “Consumers need to be able to control their costs and expenses, and they deserve clarity on those issues.” By Danielle Douglas


- Can investors make money in social services?-- Six states are moving to develop so-called social impact bonds, marking a broad expansion of an experiment that taps private investors to fund capital-hungry social programs. Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Colorado won a competition initiated by Harvard University and the Rockefeller Foundation, which will provide them technical assistance with developing bond programs. In the coming months, the states plan to write contracts for social service programs that taxpayers would pay for only if they prove to be successful. The initial outlays for the programs would be financed by private investors, who would reap a profit years later if the programs work as promised. By Michael A. Fletcher


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