July 12, 2013
Snowden Seeking Temporary Russian Asylum
Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is seeking temporary asylum in Russia until he can travel to Latin America, where three countries have offered him asylum.
Snowden met Friday with human rights activists and Russian lawyers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, where he has been stuck for nearly three weeks. Later, the secret-disclosing group WikiLeaks posted a statement from Snowden saying he wanted to stay in Russia until he could safely go to Latin America.
Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have offered have offered Snowden asylum. But he has been unable to go anywhere because American officials revoked his passport.
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone Friday on the Snowden case and other matters. No details of their talks have been released.
The United States wants to put Snowden on trial for leaking details of clandestine National Security Agency surveillance programs.
The NSA says such spying has stopped several terrorist plots. Snowden says U.S. citizens have the right to know their government has them under surveillance.