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News Wrap: Countries Offer Asylum to Snowden

July 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Another fatal air crash was under investigation today in Alaska. An air taxi went down Sunday at a small airport, killing all 10 people on board. The plane apparently was taking off, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage, when it crashed and exploded into flames. There was no immediate word on the cause.

The man who leaked details of U.S. government surveillance has been heard from again. A British newspaper today posted comments that Edward Snowden made before Washington began efforts to capture and prosecute him. The statements are from the interview Snowden gave in Hong Kong last month to London’s Guardian newspaper. In it, he insists he was motivated only by his concern that surveillance has gone too far.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, Leaked Details of U.S. Surveillance: I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded. And that’s not — that’s not something I’m willing to support.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The National Security Agency says it monitors only communications linked to foreign targets. Snowden claims it is far more extensive, and he accuses U.S. officials of misleading the public.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: We’re compounding the excesses of prior governments and making it worse and more invasive. And no one is really standing to stop it.

HARI SREENIVASAN: He also predicts the reaction to his disclosures.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: I think they are going to say I have committed grave crimes, you know, I have violated the Espionage Act. They are going to say, you know, I have aided our enemies in making them aware of these systems. But that argument can be made against anybody who reveals information that points out mass surveillance systems, because fundamentally they apply equally to ourselves as they do to our enemies.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Since then, Snowden has indeed been charged with espionage, and is now a fugitive, holed up in a transit area at a Moscow airport. Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered him asylum.

The defense opened its case today for Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, who admits giving thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. His court-martial is now in its sixth week at Fort Meade, Md. Defense lawyers began by showing a 39-minute cockpit video from a U.S. helicopter attack that killed 11 men in Iraq, including two journalists.

The governor of Texas, Republican Rick Perry, has announced he will not seek reelection next year. Perry has been in office nearly 13 years, the most in Texas history. He made a failed attempt last year to win the Republican presidential nomination. And, today, in San Antonio, he left the door open for another try.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-Texas: I will also pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path. I make this announcement with a deep sense of humility and appreciation for the time and the trust the people of this state has given me.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Perry has championed conservative causes, including gun rights and opposed — opposition to abortion. He tried last month to have the state legislature adopt strict new limits on abortion. A Democratic filibuster defeated the effort, but Perry called a special session again to try.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 89 points to close at 15,224. The Nasdaq rose five points to close near 3,485.

Britain celebrated today as tennis star Andy Murray basked in the glory of his Wimbledon victory. The 26-year old Scotsman is the first British winner of the men’s singles title in 77 years. On Sunday, he beat the number one tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, in straight sets to capture the crown. Today, Murray visited 10 Downing Street to meet with David Cameron, the prime minister. He and the Scottish first minister witnessed the historic win yesterday.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Gwen.