Monday, July 1, 2013

 

Snowden seeking asylum in 15 countries

With NSA leaker Edward Snowden still spilling secrets and Europe angry over reports of U.S. surveillance, Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned him.


Edward Snowden leaks, Putin stop leaking to stay Russia
NSA leaker Edward Snowden is seen on a train television screen in Honk Kong, but hasn't been seen in public since landing at a Russian airport last week.
MOSCOW — Russia's President Vladimir Putin says that National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who the LA Times says is seeking asylum in 15 countries, will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia.

According to a Reuters source, Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia. However, Putin insisted during a news conference Monday that Snowden doesn't want asylum in Russia, isn't a Russian agent and that Russian security agencies haven't contacted him.

"If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips," Putin told reporters after a gas exporters' conference in Moscow.

Putin wouldn't say if any of the leaders attending the summit could offer Snowden shelter.

Obama hopeful Russia will extradite SnowdenPresident Barack Obama said there have been high-level discussions between the U.S. and Russia about Snowden's extradition, but Putin repeated Russia's stance that it has no intention of sending Snowden back to the United States.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a Wikileaks activist who is traveling with Snowden handed his application to a Russian consulate in the transit area at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport late Sunday.
Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in Sheremetyevo's transit zone where he arrived from Hong Kong eight days ago. The U.S. has annulled his passport.

Putin says Snowden considers himself a rights activist, a "new dissident," and compared him to Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov.
"Just because he feels that he is a human rights defender, rights activist, he doesn't seem to have an intention to stop such work," Putin said.

Obama's administration is facing a breakdown in confidence from key allies over secret programs that reportedly installed covert listening devices in EU offices. Europe's outrage was triggered by a Sunday report by German news weekly Der Spiegel that the NSA bugged diplomats from friendly nations — such as the EU offices in Washington, New York and Brussels.

The report was partly based on the ongoing series of revelations of U.S. eavesdropping leaked by Snowden.

Many European countries had so far been muted about revelations of the wide net cast by U.S. surveillance programs aimed at preventing terrorist attacks, but their reaction to the latest reports indicate Washington's allies are unlikely to let the matter drop without at least a strong show of outrage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, Russian asylum"We cannot accept this kind of behavior from partners and allies," French President Francois Hollande said on French television Monday.

In a sign of the distrust the report had sowed, the German government launched a review of its secure government communications network and the EU's executive, the European Commission, ordered "a comprehensive ad hoc security sweep."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he didn't know the details of the allegations, but tried to downplay them, maintaining that many nations undertake various activities to protect their national interests. He failed to quell the outrage from allies, including France, Germany and Italy.


At a gas summit Monday, July 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin says Edward Snowden must stop spilling US surveillance secrets if he wants asylum in Russia.
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Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.



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