Russian official: Snowden accepts Venezuelan offer

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Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - The head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee says Edward Snowden has accepted Venezuela's offer of political asylum.
   
Alexei Pushkov made the statement on his Twitter account Tuesday. The message did not clarify how he learned of Snowden's purported acceptance, but Pushkov has acted as an unofficial point-man for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair.
   
Snowden, who revealed details of a U.S. intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, came to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and was believed to be headed for Cuba. But he did not board that flight and has not been seen since. He is widely believed to be still in the airport's transit zone.

Earlier story:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's president says that his country has received an asylum request from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
   
President Nicolas Maduro had already offered asylum to Snowden, who apparently is holed up in the transit lounge of a Moscow airport. Bolivia and Nicaragua also say they'll grant asylum. Ecuador says it will consider any request.
   
Maduro says it is perhaps the world's "first collective humanitarian asylum" with various countries saying "Come here!"
   
But the United States has cancelled Snowden's passport and it's unclear if he has travel documents he would need to leave Moscow.
   
Maduro says Snowden "will have to decide when he flies here, if he finally wants to travel here."
   
He made the comments late Monday in a meeting with Panama's president. The remarks were distributed Tuesday by his office.

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