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In brief: Snowden seeks asylum in Russia

MOSCOW – A Russian consular official confirmed that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden asked for political asylum in Russia, the Interfax news agency said.

Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23. The U.S. has annulled his passport, and Ecuador, where he has hoped to get asylum, has been coy about hosting him.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but adds that Snowden has no plan to quit doing so.

Germany wants to repair trust with U.S.

BERLIN – The German government wants “trust restored” with the United States following reports that American intelligence agencies bugged European Union offices and has invited the U.S. ambassador in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting on Monday.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the leader was “alienated” by reported eavesdropping conducted by the National Security Agency.

Der Spiegel reported Sunday that the NSA bugged offices in New York, Washington and Brussels.

The report cited secret U.S. documents allegedly obtained by the NSA leaker, former contractor Edward Snowden.

Israeli puppeteers protest cancellation

JERUSALEM – Puppeteers from the Israeli version of “Sesame Street” are protesting Israel’s closure of a Palestinian puppet festival.

Ariel Doron, who plays Elmo on the Israeli version of the children’s television show, created a Facebook group named “Puppets4All” calling on Israel to permit the festival.

Israeli police shut down the Palestinian national theater in Jerusalem last week and canceled the festival, saying the theater illegally took funds from the Palestinian government in the West Bank.

Former Chad leader could face charges

DAKAR, Senegal – Preliminary evidence collected against former Chad President Hissene Habre could lead to charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture, according to the prosecutor at a special court established more than 20 years after Habre fell from power.

Judges will decide Tuesday whether to charge Habre or to extend his provisional detention by 48 hours, prosecutor Mbacke Fall said at a press briefing Monday.

Habre ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990. Human rights and victims groups say that soon after coming to power, he promoted members of his Gorane ethnic group to head a ruthless torture and killing apparatus.


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