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Reuters live coverage of events around the world. Follow @ReutersWorld on Twitter for top news and @ReutersLive for live video events.


  • Wikileaks Twitter feed releases "Statement read by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow airport today," full text below:

    Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC

    Edward Joseph Snowden delivered a statement to human rights organizations and individuals at Sheremetyevo airport at 5pm Moscow time today, Friday 12th July. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The human rights organizations included Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and were given the opportunity afterwards to ask Mr Snowden questions. The Human Rights Watch representative used this opportunity to tell Mr Snowden that on her way to the airport she had received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr Snowden that the US Government does not categorise Mr Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law. This further proves the United States Government’s persecution of Mr Snowden and therefore that his right to seek and accept asylum should be upheld. Seated to the left of Mr. Snowden was Sarah Harrison, a legal advisor in this matter from WikiLeaks and to Mr. Snowden’s right, a translator.

    Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013. (Transcript corrected to delivery)

    Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

    It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

    I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

    Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

    That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

    Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

    Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

    I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

    This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

    If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

    Thank you.
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  • Correction from Russian journalist Olaf Koens on a tweet pulled in earlier:

    My bad, the haircut-quote was Vyacheslav Nikonov, not Lukin. Still very funny.

    — Olaf Koens (@obk) July 12, 2013


    Lukin adds: 'He doesn't look very well fed, a skinny guy. But he has a great haircut'

    — Olaf Koens (@obk) July 12, 2013

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  • Anatoliy Kucharena will represent #snowden for his application for political asylum in Russia (via @IFAXnews)
  • Snowden says that USA is persecuting him, that he will write #Obama a letter informing him that Declaration of Human Rights being violated
  • World Wrap: July 10

    A Reuters report exposes massive Pentagon inefficiencies, details of Asiana crash revealed, and U.S.-China cyber talks make progress. Today is Wednesday, July 10, and here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

    Click here for more photos of Aiken’s life at home in   Army combat medic Shawn Aiken poses for a portrait as he holds a photo of himself while on patrol in Iraq, in El Paso, Texas, May 20, 2013.S.U. 

    The battle at home. Months after wounded veteran Shawn Aiken returned from duty as a medic in the U.S. Army, he saw a sharp, unexplained decline in pay from the Department of Defense, leaving him and his family struggling against poverty without recourse. Through a series of errors, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) had docked Aiken’s pay. A Reuters investigation reveals that the department is mired in inefficiencies, wasting a massive amount of government funding and robbing Aiken, and others like him, of benefits they deserve:

     A review of individuals’ military pay records, government reports and other documents, along with interviews with dozens of current and former soldiers and other military personnel, confirms Aiken’s case is hardly isolated. Pay errors in the military are widespread. And as Aiken and many other soldiers have found, once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected – or just explained – can test even the most persistent soldiers… Reuters found multiple examples of pay mistakes affecting active-duty personnel and discharged soldiers. Some are erroneously shortchanged on pay. Others are mistakenly overpaid and then see their earnings drastically cut as DFAS recoups the money, or, like Aiken, they are forced to pay back money that was rightfully theirs.

    Watch Aiken tell his story here, and check out the first installment of a Reuters series on the Defense Department’s mishandling of funds.

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator in Charge Bill English (R) and Chairman Deborah Hersman discuss the progress of the Asiana Airlines flight 214 investigation in San Francisco, California, in this picture provided by NTSB on July 9, 2013. REUTERS/NTSB/Handout via Reuters 

    Auto-crash. The pilots who crash-landed an Asiana Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend relied on an auto-throttle system to maintain airspeed, neglecting to see that the plane was flying too slowly to land properly until it was too late. Deborah Hersman, head of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said on Tuesday that questions remain on the incident:

    The South Korean airline’s flight crew members were not tested for drugs or alcohol after the crash, a requirement for pilots of U.S.-based carriers involved in accidents, she said. The accounts given to investigators by the pilots, as relayed by Hersman, confirmed information from the plane’s flight data recorder that showed the plane was traveling 25 percent below its target airspeed as it came in for landing. While she has declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, much of the information released by the NTSB suggests pilot error as a main focus of the investigation.

    The pilot manning the flight was in training, and his co-pilot was serving as instructor for the first time. The world’s largest pilots union criticized the investigation for releasing early information on the crash that could fuel “rampant speculation.

    Cyber progress. U.S.-China talks on cyber security went well, according to Chinese state media, despite NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s recent allegation that the U.S. hacked into key networks at universities in Hong Kong and China:

    Cyber security is one of the main topics for high-level talks this week between the world’s two largest economies, as both countries trade accusations about hacking attacks on each other… The talks follow the positive tone struck by President Barack Obama and new Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit last month in California. Nevertheless, Obama demanded Chinese action to halt what he called “out of bounds” cyber spying.

    Both the U.S. and China said they would improve communication, and work to increase trust and reduce suspicion. Both countries have faced - and lobbed - accusations of cyber hacking over the past few months, making cyber security a major point of contention.

    Nota Bene: Egypt’s prosecutor orders the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leaders for inciting violence as Gulf allies give billions of dollars in aid.

    Standouts:

    Computed coup - Egyptian computer scientist Ahmed Amer discusses the computer systems behind Mursi’s ouster. (Reuters)

    Devoted Drinkers - Architects in Denmark build a Church of Beer. (The Atlantic Cities)

    Mother’s milk - A niche breast milk market emerges in China after safety scares. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

    Snake in the ceiling - Australian police seize a 37-pound python that fell through a shop’s ceiling. (BBC)

    Insecure sources - How a filmmaker accidentally gave up his sources to Syrian spooks. (Columbia Journalism Review)

    From the File:

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  • Egyptian army soldiers stand guard in front of the Egyptian museum in Cairo, July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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  • U.S. aid to Egypt: Where does the money go and who decides how it's spent? This ProPublica article explains.
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  • Rocket fired from Egypt found in Israel

    JERUSALEM - Israeli troops found the remains on Tuesday of the first rocket to be fired from Egypt since the July 3 overthrow of the Islamist government there, a military official said.

    Israelis reported hearing several explosions in the southern city of Eilat on Thursday, the day after Mohammed Mursi was toppled from power in Egypt.

    Israel detected no signs of any cross-border shooting, but found the remains of a rocket on Tuesday, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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  • Egypt summons Turkish ambassador over comments on Mursi

    CAIRO - Egypt summoned Turkey's ambassador to Cairo on Tuesday in protest at what it viewed as Ankara's interference in Egyptian affairs, after Turkey described the Egyptian army's overthrow of elected President Mohamed Mursi as an "unacceptable coup", state news agency MENA reported.

    Turkey's response to last week's military intervention was seen in Egypt as the strongest reaction from overseas.

    (Reporting by Ali Abdelaty, writing by Yasmine Saleh; editing by Mike Collett-White)
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  • U.S. encouraged Egypt has laid out path forward -State Department

    WASHINGTON - The United States is encouraged that Egypt's interim government had laid out a path forward and wants all sides to participate in the transition, a State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday after the government said it plans to hold elections.

    "We are encouraged that the interim government has laid out a plan for the path forward," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, declining to comment on a statement by interim head of state Adli Mansour that elections are planned in about six months.

    Psaki said, however, that elections "should move forward with the maximum possible inclusion and consensus."

    (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by David Brunnstrom)
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  • REUTERS: Al Arabiya reports Saudi Arabia approves $5 billion aid package to Egypt.
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  • Ramadan begins on Wednesday evening, but bloodshed in Egypt has soured the mood:

    Lights going out on Egypt's Ramadan joy

    The start of Ramadan is a time of joy for Muslims, launching a month of night feasts and parties. But in Cairo this week, Ali Mohamed isn't stringing up his multicoloured lanterns in the street, instead he is taking them down.

    He's in no mood to celebrate as Egypt veers into bloodshed and anxiety following the military overthrow of elected President Mohamed Mursi last week.

    Read the full story by Yasmine Saleh here.
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  • A vendor cleans Ramadan lanterns, or Fanoos Ramadan, which are displayed for sale at a shop a day ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Cairo July 9, 2013. Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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  • White House says it will not immediately cut off aid to Egypt 

    Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler

    WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that it is not in the best interests of the United States to immediately change its aid program to Egypt.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States government will take the time it needs to determine whether or not to label the Egyptian military's overthrow of the government as a coup, which would determine whether aid would continue. 

    "We do not believe it is in our interest to make a precipitous decision or determination now," Carney told reporters at a briefing. 

     
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  • #June30 Front press statement sent 4 hours ago makes no reference to the clashes or the 50+ dead and bashes the Brotherhood. Bit odd. #Egypt
  • A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi holds a blood stained Koran after clashes around Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo July 8, 2013. At least 51 people were killed on Monday when demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt's elected Islamist president said the army opened fire during morning prayers outside the Cairo barracks where Mursi is believed to be held. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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  • Man: "#egypt TV should be here, to see people were killed during prayers, Sisi says he's guardian of the ppl but he shot us,he shot us"
  • A woman just starting screaming 'oh God, oh God' and sobbing, as she's just found out her relative is dead at the morgue #egypt
  • A pro-democracy protester burn an image of Lieutenant- General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Egypt's Commanding General and Minister of Defense and Military Production, during a demonstration against what they said was a military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, in Sanaa July 8, 2013.REUTERS/Mohammed al-Sayaghi

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  • Depressing update from Egypt Health Ministry: 51 dead an 435 injured in shooting at pro-Morsi sit-in this morning
  • Horrific here at zeinhom morgue. The bodies in black bags still coming in& coffins still coming out. People breaking down everywhere #egypt
  • Sudanese and Egyptian Islamists shout slogans against the ousting of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi during a rally after midday prayers, as they march from King Farouq Mosque to the Egyptian embassy in central Khartoum July 8, 2013. Sudan's Islamist government had welcomed last year's election of Mursi, who was ousted along with his Muslim Brotherhood by the army after millions of Egyptians demanded he go. The banner reads, "Legality and truth call for Mursi's return". REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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  • Sudanese and Egyptian Islamists shout slogans against the ousting of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi during a rally after midday prayers, as they march from King Farouq Mosque to the Egyptian embassy in central Khartoum July 8, 2013. Sudan's Islamist government had welcomed last year's election of Mursi, who was ousted along with his Muslim Brotherhood by the army after millions of Egyptians demanded he go. The banner reads, "Legality and truth call for Mursi's return". REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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  • I'm at zeinhom morgue now. Where families are waiting for the bodies. One coffin just came out #egypt
  • Aaron David Miller on the winners and losers in #Egypt http://atfp.co/12MtSlx
  • A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi cries during a protest outside Raba El-Adwyia mosque in Cairo July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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  • Blood, anger and bewilderment among the wounded after Cairo attack

    By Alexander Dziadosz

    CAIRO, July 8 (Reuters) - The Cairo hospital is full. Men are crammed two, three, four to a room. Their clothes are soaked with blood. Their story starts the same way. It was dawn, they were praying. Then someone shouted, and they found themselves under fire by the military from all directions.

    "They shot us with teargas, birdshot, rubber bullets - everything. Then they used live bullets," said Abdelaziz Abdel Shakua, a bearded 30-year-old who was wounded in his right leg.

    He came from outside Cairo, like many people protesting against what they say was a military coup against the democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi. With thousands of others, he says he went to camp peacefully outside the Republican Guard barracks where Mursi is being held. The attack by the army, he says, took the protesters by surprise.

    His is one of two opposing narratives of the violence that left more than 50 people dead, the deadliest episode since Mursi's overthrow on Wednesday and a sign of the widening rifts in the Arab world's most populous state.

    Full Article
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  • Iran says Egyptian army interference in "unacceptable"

    DUBAI, July 8 (Reuters) - Iran on Monday called the Egyptian army's ousting of president Mohamed Mursi "unacceptable" and said Israel and the West did not want to see a powerful Egypt.

    The comments from Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi were more disapproving than his immediate reaction last Thursday, when he merely called for the Egyptian people's "legitimate demands" to be fulfilled.

    Iran welcomed the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, calling it an "Islamic awakening" inspired in part by its own 1979 revolution, and after Mursi's election victory last year it sought to repair its strained ties with Egypt.

    However, the two countries now have found themselves supporting opposite sides in the civil war in Syria. While Shi'ite Iran is President Bashar al-Assad's closest Arab ally, largely Sunni Muslim Egypt under Mursi has voiced its support for the mostly Sunni rebel groups seeking to overthrow Assad.

    On Monday, Araqchi said: "What is important is giving significance to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people," according to the Mehr news agency.

    "However, military intervention in politics is unacceptable and a cause for concern."

    Araqchi warned against greater divisions in Egyptian society, adding: "Certainly foreign hands are also at work, and ... the West and the Zionist regime (Israel) will not want a powerful Egypt."

    Several dozen people were killed on Monday when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the Mursi's overthrow said the army opened fire on them at the Cairo barracks where he was being held. The military said a group of armed assailants had tried to storm the compound and soldiers returned fire.

    (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Jon Hemming and Kevin Liffey)
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  • Death toll in Cairo incident rises to 51, says the head of the emergency services
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  • At Raba'a el-adiwaya mosque for funeral of those killed this morning. Signal will go in the crowds,let's hope this is peaceful #egypt
  • Medics prevents supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi from entering a field hospital as they treat the wounded victims after clashes with the army soldiers, in Cairo, July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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  • Egypt's revolutionaries should heed lessons from Algeria's bloody civil war http://gu.com/p/3h49y/tw via @guardian
  • Last sentence of @diehlj's WaPo piece: "The ultimate losers in this week’s coup will be those who cheered it on." #egypt #pt
  • McCain calls Morsi ouster a coup, calls for blocking Egypt aid http://j.mp/183zHji
  • Rt @ElBaradei: Violence begets violence and should be strongly condemned. Independent Investigation a must. Peaceful transition is only way
  • Funerals for those killed early this morning will start in about half an hour from Rabaa Al-adawiya mosque. #egypt
  • Army soldiers stand guard near the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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  • Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi help a wounded supporter outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, July 8, 2013. REUTERS/ Asmaa Waguih

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  • Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi build a brick barrier near the Republican Guard headquarters, in Cairo, July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in front of army soldiers at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, in the suburb of Cairo July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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  • Driving through Manial. Army has blocked off the Gamaa bridge leading to Cairo University. #egypt
  • A bunch of people at Raba'a earlier were showing me pictures of dead children on their phones. Turns out the images are from Syria. #egypt
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Malaysian court to rule on women accused of killing brother of North Korean leader

KUALA LUMPUR A Malaysian court will decide on Thursday whether to continue hearing a case against two women charged with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, or acquit them.