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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Snowden Wins Temporary Asylum, Leaves Moscow Airport

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. (The Guardian/AP)

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. (The Guardian/AP)

One of the big questions hanging in the air today is whether President Obama should cancel his scheduled trip to Moscow next month, now that Russia has granted temporary refugee status to Edward Snowden.

Snowden is the former intelligence contractor wanted by the U.S. for leaking information about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs.

After he received the asylum documents from his lawyer this morning, Snowden reportedly took a cab alone as he left the Moscow airport for the first time in a month. He’d been stranded there since June 23, when the U.S. revoked his passport.

His departure from the airport comes one day after The Guardian newspaper published more of his leaks.

The U.S. has demanded that Russia turn over Snowden for prosecution, but Russia has refused.

Attorney General Eric Holder assured Russia last week that Snowden will not face the death penalty or be tortured in the U.S.

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