Nation & World News

Rumors Lead To Day Of Confusion In Edward Snowden Search

By Steve Mullis on July 3rd, 2013

Update at 6 a.m. ET, July 3. Bolivian Leader’s Plane Takes Off.

From Reuters:

“Bolivian President Evo Morales’ government plane took off from Vienna on Wednesday after an unscheduled overnight stop, an airport spokesman said without giving more details. The plane was forced to land in Austria after France and Portugal abruptly cancelled air permits for it while en route from Moscow on Tuesday, apparently due to fears fugitive ex-U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden could be on board. Bolivian and Austrian officials denied this.”

Our original post:

After a day of ambiguous statements, confusion and a rerouted plane carrying Bolivia’s leader, it seems the U.S. is no closer to pinning down the location of Edward Snowden, the fugitive former security contractor who is desperate to find asylum.

As Mark reported earlier, Snowden, with help of WikiLeaks, had sent out requests for asylum to some 20-plus nations, including China, Austria, Germany, Venezuela and Bolivia. Snowden is currently believed to be in a Moscow airport transit area awaiting word that one of these nation will harbor him.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, where he was attending an energy conference, Bolivian President Evo Morales said that his South American nation would be willing to consider granting asylum to Snowden.

It’s what happened when Morales left Moscow, however, that caused an even bigger stir, as The New York Times reports:

“It escalated into a major diplomatic scramble in which the Bolivian president’s plane was rerouted on Tuesday because of suspicions that Mr. Snowden was aboard.

“By day’s end, outraged Bolivian officials, insisting that Mr. Snowden was not on the plane, were accusing France and Portugal of acting under American pressure to rescind permission for President Evo Morales’s plane to traverse their airspace on the way back to Bolivia. Low on fuel, the plane’s crew won permission to land in Vienna.

“They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane,” the Bolivian foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, told reporters after the touched down in Vienna, where Mr. Morales was spending the night.”

Choquehuanca said they didn’t know “who invented this lie,” and added that the rerouting of Morales’ plane was an injustice and that it put the president’s life at risk.

Also in Russia, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro dodged the question of whether his nation would grant asylum to Snowden if requested. But he also defended Snowden’s actions, reports The Associated Press.

“Who must protect Snowden? This is the question. This young man of 29 was brave enough to say that we need to protect the world from the American imperial elite, so who should protect him?” Maduro said in response to a question from journalists at a ceremony to rename a Moscow street after Chavez. “All of mankind, people all over the world must protect him.”

Snowden also withdrew a bid for asylum in Russia. President Vladimir Putin had set terms Monday that he was ready to shelter Snowden so long as he stopped leaking U.S. secrets. Putin, however, also said he had no plans to turn the former National Security Agency analyst over to the U.S.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

The fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling a number of health issues. He was 78.


Ferguson Grand Jury Will Reportedly Meet Again Monday

A community is holding its breath, awaiting a decision on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Brown’s family is calling for calm.


UVA Bans Fraternities Until January In Wake Of Campus Rape Article

In a recent article, a student named Jackie describes how her initial excitement of being invited to a party was replaced by fear and violence, after a group of men trapped her in a room.


Tiny Texas Town Sees School’s Record-Setting Football Season End

The 29 players on Booker High School’s football team include two cousins who became the state’s all-time leading passer and leading receiver this season.


Highway Bandits Steal Blood Believed To Contain Ebola Virus

A roadway robbery in Guinea resulted in an alarming haul this week, as thieves made off with cash, personal items — and a batch of Red Cross blood samples.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments