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Fugitive Snowden's Fate Unclear

The fate of fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden remains unclear, with India on Tuesday becoming the latest country to reject his bid for asylum and Bolivian President Evo Morales saying he would consider such a request.

Mr. Morales was in Moscow Tuesday for a meeting of natural gas producing nations. He said he would consider granting Snowden asylum if a request is made.

After President Morales left Russia to return to Bolivia, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said France and Portugal closed their airspace to Mr. Morales' plane because of a "lie" that Snowden was on board. Choquehuanca said the Bolivian president's plane made an "unscheduled" stop in Austria.

Snowden has been stuck in the international transit area at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since fleeing Hong Kong for Russia nine days ago.

Reports say Snowden is seeking political asylum in at least 19 countries, including Russia.



On Tuesday, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman announced his country had turned down an asylum request from Snowden. Poland and Brazil have also said "no" to him.

Also Tuesday, a Russian official said Snowed dropped his bid for asylum in Russia after President Vladimir Putin said he could stay in the country only if he stopped leaking sensitive U.S. intelligence.

Mr. Putin has said Russia has no plans to turn Snowden over to the United States.

The anti-secrecy group that has supported Snowden, WikiLeaks, says it has submitted more asylum requests on Snowden's behalf. It said these requests were in addition to earlier asylum requests to Ecuador and Iceland.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Snowden "deserves the world's protection." He said Snowden did not kill anyone and did not "plant a bomb." President Maduro commented in Moscow, where he met with Mr. Putin.

Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret intelligence information, faces U.S. espionage charges.
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