In written testimony before the European Parliament, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he is seeking asylum in the European Union but he has not received "a positive response to the requests I sent to various EU member states."
Snowden continues: "Parliamentarians in the national governments have told me that the US, and I quote, 'will not allow' EU partners to offer political asylum to me, which is why the previous resolution on asylum ran into such mysterious opposition. I would welcome any offer of safe passage or permanent asylum, but I recognize that would require an act of extraordinary political courage."
Snowden sent the parliament a 12-page document in which he answers the questions of some MPs.
Snowden, again repeated, that he had "no relationship" with China and Russia.
When he was asked if he was approached by the Russian secret service, he said, "Of course." He went on:
"Even the secret service of Andorra would have approached me, if they had had the chance: that's their job.
"But I didn't take any documents with me from Hong Kong, and while I'm sure they were disappointed, it doesn't take long for an intelligence service to realize when they're out of luck. I was also accompanied at all times by an utterly fearless journalist with one of the biggest megaphones in the world, which is the equivalent of Kryptonite for spies. As a consequence, we spent the next 40 days trapped in an airport instead of sleeping on piles of money while waiting for the next parade. But we walked out with heads held high.
"I would also add, for the record, that the United States government has repeatedly acknowledged that there is no evidence at all of any relationship between myself and the Russian intelligence service."
Below we've embedded the full document.
Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with an aircraft carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members.
The airline says that the Boeing 777 departed from Kuala Lumpur on early Saturday morning local time and was expected in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., so it is now close to three hours overdue.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft," the airline said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
This is a breaking news story. We'll update as soon as we have more.
On today's show, how a policy that made natural gas very cheap for every household in Ukraine almost bankrupted the nation. And how that led, in part, to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
If any two issues illustrate how difficult it could be for the part of the Republican Party represented by the social and national security conservatives to bridge their differences with libertarians, same-sex marriage and National Security Agency intelligence are good candidates
Discussions at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference got testy Friday, when libertarians defended positions out of synch with the more traditional stances that have defined the Republican Party for decades.
At a panel on privacy, for instance, centering on Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's data gathering, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore dramatically held aloft a New York Post front page with photos of Snowden and Russian president Vladimir Putin under the headline "Comrades."
"Edward Snowden is a traitor and a coward," Gilmore said. "The fact is, Edward Snowden betrayed his trust."
Gilmore, who once served as a military intel officer, said Snowden seriously damaged U.S. intelligence efforts. He also accused political leaders who've used Snowden's disclosures to suggest that there's widespread surveillance of average citizens by the federal government of "demagoguery."
Responding to Gilmore, Bruce Fein, a libertarian lawyer who's been involved in a lawsuit against the federal government, said that he ignores the more rampant lawlessness which is "government violating the rule of law."
"All these examples of government lawlessness, total silence on Gov. Gilmore's side," Fein said. "And when the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man and woman to become a law unto themselves."
If there was common ground, it wasn't much on display during this session. That debate also displayed the tricky territory Republicans are going to have to navigate if they are to find a compromise on this issue.
Gilmore represents a Republican establishment long defined by its hawkish stance on national-security matters. But the party's libertarian wing, represented by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, breaks from that tradition. It questions many of the national-security tenets establishment Republicans long have taken for granted.
Pulling these two sides together won't be easy as the edgy debate between Gilmore and Fein attested to.
No less difficult to smooth over is the social conservative-libertarian split over same-sex marriage.
At a panel discussion titled "Can Libertarians and Social Conservatives Ever Get Along?" same-sex marriage dominated the conversation. But the answer seemed to be: not on this issue.
Both the pro and con sides on the same-sex marriage issue used religious liberty to defend their argument.
Using a more traditional argument, Matt Spalding, an official at Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian school in Michigan, said it's a violation of religious freedom for a state or the federal government to force anyone to recognize same-sex marriage.
"Even if we disagree, and we clearly do, we must have an agreement on religious liberty," Spalding said. "There's a profound, deep and moral and religious objection to redefining marriage. Giving that power to that state is a destruction of the very liberty we cherish."
Alexander McCobin, president of Students for Liberty, a libertarian group, didn't agree. He used a less common version of the religious liberty argument to state his case.
"The kind of religious liberty that has been infringed upon for decades has been the liberty of those whose religious practices support same-sex marriage," McCobin said. "The government has prohibited them from engaging in the religious practices that they want. This is the civil rights of the 21st century."
That was a sign of the generational split in the party. Many younger Republicans of the type who support libertarian ideology of individual freedom and are more tolerant of same-sex marriage were in the hall waiting for Paul to speak.
A federal judge has dismissed a Federal Aviation Administration fine against a man who flew a drone near the University of Virginia to film a commercial video in 2011.
The Associated Press reports that the FAA fined the man $10,000 because commercial operators of "Unmanned Aircraft Systems" are required to obtain a permit from the agency before taking flight.
The AP adds that Patrick Geraghty, a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge, said FAA regulations don't classify model aircraft as an unmanned aircraft, so they have no authority to fine Raphael Pirker.
"Thursday's ruling is believed to be the first to address the issue, but it was not immediately clear whether the FAA would appeal, or what impact it would have on others hoping to use drones for profit.
"As recently as last week, the FAA had publicized its restrictions on commercial use of drones. In a press release headlined 'Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft,' it stressed that UAS enthusiasts could not use drones for commercial purposes.
"'A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria, using Insitu's ScanEagle, and authorization was limited to the Arctic,' the FAA's Busting Myths release said."
Today, the FAA said it would appeal the judge's decision to the full National Transportation Safety Board.
"The agency is concerned that this decision could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground," the FAA said in a statement.
CNN reports Pirker was piloting a $130 RiteWing Zephyr II.