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

164 people formed this flower as they jumped from a height of nearly 20,000 feet.

Watch: 164 Skydivers Fall Into Formation, Breaking World Record

One of the dangers was that parachutes or people could collide. The previous skydiving record was set by 138 people in 2012.


Chimps In Habeas Corpus Case Will No Longer Be Used For Research

Hercules and Leo were used for researched at Stony Brook University will be retired. They were at the center of a court case that tested whether chimps had the same legal “personhood” as humans.


Zimbabwe Official Calls For Extradition Of American Lion Hunter Walter Palmer

Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Oppah Muchinguri wants Palmer to face justice in Zimbabwe, wire services report. U.S. authorities are investigating whether any American laws were broken.


Decades Of Limbo Ends For Some Indians, Bangladeshis Along Border

The fate of pockets of Bangladeshis and Indians living on opposite sides of the border was left unresolved after the partition of the former British colony in 1947. A new agreement has changed that.


A drone similar to this one was shot out of the sky in Kentucky this week, by a homeowner who said his privacy was being invaded. He's now facing criminal charges in the case.

Dispute Emerges Over Drone Shot Down By Kentucky Man

William Meredith, 47, of Bullitt County, Ky., was arrested Sunday after he used his shotgun to bring down a drone that he said hovered above his property in a suburb of Louisville.


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
Underwriting Payments