World News Brief, Wednesday July 3

India rejects Edward Snowden's asylum request as he waits in Moscow airport; protesters in Hong Kong demand universal suffrage; North Korean foreign minister says high-level nuclear talks should be held "without preconditions"; Morsi rejects army ultimatum; Greek bailout threatened by lack of progress; and more

Top of the Agenda: India Rejects Snowden's Asylum Request

The Indian government rejected a request for asylum (ZeeNews) by fugitive former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden, who is believed to still be in a Moscow airport transit zone since his departure from Hong Kong on June 23. India's rejection came hours after a WikiLeaks report that Snowden had applied for political asylum in twenty countries (AP), although several European countries said they would not consider asylum applications made from abroad. Russian media reported that Snowden had withdrawn his request there after Putin agreed to shelter him under the condition that he would stop leaking U.S. secrets. Snowden accused President Barack Obama of putting diplomatic pressure (Reuters) on the countries from which he requested asylum.


"Vladimir Putin's warning to Mr Snowden that he should stop 'harming our American partners' is indicative of a significant shifting of gear. Russia now has ownership of the Snowden affair. What happens to Mr Snowden will depend upon Russia's calculations and what serves Russia's interests," writes Jonathan Marcus for the BBC.

"Part of what's complicated the U.S. position in the Snowden case is definitely some hostility and bitterness on the part of the Chinas and Russias of the world to the very conduct that the U.S. now wants to prosecute Snowden for disclosing," says Stephen Vladeck in a CFR interview.

"Lawyers in the region say that he could have sought bail. Additionally, had he applied for asylum after detention, he would have stopped the clock on surrender proceedings, some lawyers believe, and having lodged his appeal he could not be detained indefinitely," write Tania Branigan and Miriam Elder for the Guardian.



Direct Elections Focus of Hong Kong Rally

Tens of thousands of protestors joined an annual protest on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China demanding universal suffrage and the resignation of Leung Chun-ying, the region's chef executive (WSJ).

NORTH KOREA: Pak Ui-chun, the North Korean foreign minister, told his counterparts at the ASEAN Regional Security Forum that high-level nuclear talks should be held "without preconditions." U.S. secretary of state John Kerry was in attendance; the U.S. position is that North Korea must demonstrate its sincerity before talks occur (Yonhap).

CFR's Scott Snyder discusses China's role in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula in this blog post.


Egypt's Morsi rejects army ultimatum

Greek bailout threatened by poor progress

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