World News

NSA Leaker Snowden Leaves Hong Kong for Moscow

The South China Morning Post is reporting that U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight to Moscow, heading to a third destination.

The paper said the Aeroflot flight carrying the former National Security Agency contractor left Hong Kong Sunday morning and is scheduled to arrive in Moscow after 5 p.m. .

Various media reports have said that Snowden could take refuge in either Iceland or Ecuador. A spokesman for Iceland's Interior Ministry told VOA Friday that Snowden has not formally applied for asylum, and that such requests would need to come from someone who is already in that country.

On Saturday, White House officials said Washington had asked Hong Kong to extradite Snowden, who is facing espionage charges for exposing secret U.S. surveillance programs.

National Security Adviser Tom Donilon cited an extradition treaty and historically good diplomatic ties with the semi-autonomous Chinese city and said, "We expect them [Hong Kong authorities] to comply with the treaty in this case." But the Hong Kong government said Sunday that the extradition request did not fully comply with legal requirements.



Earlier Saturday, a senior administration official warned that any failure on the part of Hong Kong to act on the U.S. request will "complicate...bilateral relations."

The White House pressure came less than 24 hours after U.S. prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint Friday charging Snowden with espionage and the theft of government property.

The secret NSA documents leaked to reporters earlier this month show the agency and other U.S. intelligence units have gathered data for years about patterns of telephone and Internet use at home and abroad.

Snowden says his actions were based on a belief that it is important to reveal massive surveillance of private citizens.

Senior U.S. officials say the surveillance does not monitor phone conversations, but looks for patterns in the metadata, including information on the time, date and numbers called.

Authorities say those measures have prevented at least 50 terrorist plots worldwide since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. They also say Snowden's actions have weakened their ability to foil future plots.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs