HARI SREENIVASAN: A diplomatic incident involving the fugitive National Security Agency leaker escalated today. Spain said it was warned by an unnamed party that Edward Snowden was on board the Bolivian president’s plane on Tuesday. That plane was rerouted and forced to land in Austria with no sign of Snowden.
The rerouting brought demands for apology from a bloc of South American nations, and Bolivian President Evo Morales threatened to close the U.S. Embassy.
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES, Bolivia: My hand wouldn’t shake if it came to closing the embassy. We have dignity. We have sovereignty. Without the United States, we are better off politically and democratically. Without the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, we are better off economically. We do not need them. We have other allies.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Snowden has reportedly applied for asylum in six new countries. The website WikiLeaks reported that, adding the countries won’t be identified to try to keep the U.S. from interfering in the applications.
Pope Francis signed a decree today clearing the way for two former popes to become saints. Pope John Paul II led the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 27 years before his death in 2005. His would mark the fastest elevation to sainthood in centuries. Pope John XXIII, who served from 1958 to 1963, will also be canonized, even though the Vatican has yet to confirm a requisite second miracle.
Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter said Pope Francis’ choices were very deliberate.
MICHAEL SEAN WINTERS, National Catholic Reporter: Pope Francis is a very astute man who is trying to send a signal that there are certain Catholics who are always invoking John XXIII and other Catholics who are always invoking Pope John Paul II. And Francis is trying to say there are two ways of living out the Christian vocation and the church needs them both. And I think that’s a very important message that we need to hear.
HARI SREENIVASAN: It was Ray Suarez who spoke with Winter earlier today. Find the full interview on our website, along with Ray’s blog post on the church’s saint-making process.
In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law requiring that women who want abortions must first have an ultrasound. Abortion providers would have to point out the features of the fetus on the ultrasound before performing the procedure. The law takes effect on Monday, and Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have already filed lawsuits against it.
Police in California are investigating a fireworks accident that injured more than 30 people overnight in — northwest of Los Angeles. Officials said a firework at a Simi Valley park appeared to detonate prematurely and knock over a row of mortars. That sent live pyrotechnics into the crowd of some 10,000 Independence Day revelers. A triage area was set up at the site to treat many of the wounded. The victims ranged in age from 17 months to 78 years old.
The prosecution rested its case in the neighborhood watch murder trial of George Zimmerman in Florida. The defense argued for acquittal, claiming Zimmerman was defending himself and the state had failed to prove its case. Family members of the slain teenager, Trayvon Martin, took the witness stand, along with the coroner.
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, dismissed questions from the defense that the screams heard in a 911 recording on the night of the killing were not her son’s.
MARK O’MARA, Attorney for George Zimmerman: You certainly had to hope that that was your son screaming even before you heard it, correct?
SYBRINA FULTON, Mother of Trayvon Martin: I didn’t hope for anything. I just simply listened to the tape.
MARK O’MARA: And in your mind, as his mother, there was no doubt whatsoever that it was him screaming, correct?
SYBRINA FULTON: Absolutely.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Late today, Zimmerman’s mother testified on his behalf. She said it was her son screaming on the 911 call. It is still unknown if Zimmerman himself will take the stand in his own defense.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy