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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

UPDATES: International Incident Over Snowden 'Escape' Heightens

UPDATE Wednesday 8:00 a.m.  Morales plane takes off with Vienna (this time surely without Snowden). Glenn Greenwald tweets:  "Austrian journalist tells me: Bolivia did not give permission to have Morales' plane searched, but airport policeman allowed to walk through." Some wonder if Snowden really was onboard?   Other South American nations furious about incident--especially since new evidence emerges that the plane might have really been low on fuel.   Oddly:  France and Spain deny refusing to let plane use their air space.  Julian Assange co-authors op-ed calling on EU nations to protect Snowden.   AP on Bolivia's UN ambassador:
Sacha Llorenti told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday that France, Portugal, Spain and Italy "violated international law" when they blocked President Evo Morales's plane that was returning from a trip to Moscow, based on suspicions NSA leaker Edward Snowden might be aboard.  "We interpret this as an aggression," and will ask the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to intervene, he said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ecuador says it found hidden microphone at embassy where Assange is staying.

More from The Guardian.

UPDATE  9:15 p.m. Snowden not on plane.  Venezuela joins in condemning, saty Morales' life put at risk due to possibly running out of fuel.  White House with no comment on whether it ordered, refers journos to countries involved.  The Guardian with live-blog. NYT covers.  Remember when Obama last week said he wouldn't "scramble" any jets over this "hacker" Snowden?

Earlier:  Trying to catch up with this.  It seems that a plane carrying Bolivia's president Evo Morales was diverted tonight, refused permission to land, because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was board.  France and Portugal refused use of their air space.   Finally allowed to land in Spain for refueling, then on to Austria.  Bolivia calls it "a hostile act."  Morales had been meeting with Putin in Moscow.

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