World News

Snowden Case Raises Tensions Between US and EU

European Union leaders have agreed that free trade talks with the United States should be held in tandem with discussions about U.S. surveillance.

The EU leaders announced their decision on Wednesday, in the wake of media reports that Washington had been spying on the EU.

Also Wednesday, EU justice chief Viviane Reding said she is seeking additional information on the alleged spying. She said that for the EU - U.S. trade agreements to succeed there needs to be mutual trust.

In June, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine published reports of alleged spying that it said were based on information from fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. for espionage, has been in an airport transit area in Russia's capital Moscow since fleeing Hong Kong last month.

On Wednesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales was allowed to resume a flight home from Russia after Austria diverted his plane on suspicion it was carrying Snowden.

While in Moscow, Mr. Morales had said he would consider granting Snowden asylum if a request is made.

President Morales was allowed to resume his flight after Austrian authorities searched his plane.

However, Bolivia's U.N. envoy accused Austria of "kidnapping" President Evo Morales and bowing to U.S. pressure.

Also Wednesday, demonstrators in Bolivia threw stones and burned the French flag at the French embassy in La Paz to protest France's decision to deny Mr. Morales' plane permission to enter its airspace.

French President Francois Hollande said there was initially conflicting information about who was on board the plane but that he had opened his country's airspace as soon as he knew Mr. Morales was on board.



WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that has supported Snowden, says it has submitted asylum requests on Snowden's behalf.

However, Snowden's prospects for asylum are narrowing. Several of the at least 19 countries he is considering have either said he cannot request asylum until he is on their soil or have rejected him outright.

On Tuesday, a Russian official said Snowden 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.


###

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