Snowden 'not accepted asylum'

WikiLeaks has said US intelligence agency leaker Edward Snowden has "not yet formally accepted" an asylum offer from Venezuela. It came after a senior Russian politician clarified an earlier tweet that Mr Snowden has accepted an offer from Venezuela

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Nicaragua's 'right to help' Snowden after US 'spying'

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said today they were willing to grant asylum to US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Former National Security Agency employee Mr Snowden has asked for asylum in several countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela. Mr Ortega said the Nicaraguan embassy in Moscow received Mr Snowden's application for asylum and that it was studying the request.

We have the sovereign right to help a person who felt remorse after finding out how the United States was using technology to spy on the whole world, and especially its European allies.

Snowden asylum granted to 'avoid persecution'

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he has decided to offer asylum to US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden to "live away from imperial North American persecution".

Maduro told a televised parade marking Venezuela's independence day:

I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution.


South American leaders to discuss Morales diversion

A group of South American nations will hold an emergency summit today to discuss the "virtual kidnapping" of Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose plane was diverted in Europe.

The meeting will be held in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, the 12-nation UNASUR bloc said in a statement.

So far, the presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay and Suriname have confirmed their attendance.


Obama and Merkel discuss US spying claims

US President Barack Obama has spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone about recent allegations of US spying, the White House said.

Mr Obama was reported as saying that he takes the European concerns about the extent of its surveillance very seriously.

The leaders reiterated their strong support for trade negotiations and agreed to hold a high-level meeting of US and German security officials in the coming days to discuss the matter.

South America bloc's fury over 'unjustifiable acts'

Heads of state in the South American bloc UNASUR have condemned the diversion of Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane after several European countries refused airspace access.

In a statement from Peru's government, which holds the rotating presidency of the group, the leaders expressed their outrage and demanded an explanation for "unfriendly and unjustifiable acts."

Bolivian President Evo Morales talks to the media as he waits for his flight Credit: Reuters

Bolivian authorities said France, Italy, Spain and Portugal had denied access to their airspace because of unfounded speculation that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board.

Spanish authorities open airspace to let Morales home

Bolivian President Evo Morales and Austrian President Heinz Fischer inside Vienna International Airport in Schwechat Credit: Reuters/ Heinz-Peter Bader

Spain has opened its airspace to let Bolivia's president Morales fly home, the AFP reports. It was given the go-ahead after the plane was searched by authorities in Austria and Edward Snowden was not found on board.

Meanwhile Ecuador have accused international authorities of causing "tremendous offence" for stopping the presidential aircraft. Foreign minister Ricardo Patino said:

"This appears to be a huge offence against President Evo Morales. I know, we have had direct information from them, that they denied permission for them to fly over the air space of some European countries, this seems to me a tremendous offence."

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