The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Public Opinion May Give Russia An Edge In Snowden Case

Jul 27, 2013
Originally published on July 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.

But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.

A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.

For its part, the Obama administration seems to be trying to chip away at Russian objections to returning Snowden to the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter to Russian officials this week in which he gave assurances that Snowden would not face the death penalty and would not be tortured if Russia sends him back. He said the former NSA contractor would have the full protection of the U.S. civilian court system.

Some Russia officials who favor giving asylum to Snowden have cited all those concerns as reasons why he should be given refuge. But some Russian commentators say those aren't the real barriers to giving Snowden up.

"It's quite clear that it's morally impossible for Russia to turn Snowden in to the United States because it would look like Russia is weak and can be easily manipulated or pressured by the United States," says Dmitri Babich, political analyst for Voice of Russia Radio. "On the other hand, Snowden is clearly disliked by Putin, and he is seen as a liability."

Putin has said repeatedly that it would better for everyone if Snowden moved on to another destination as soon as possible.

Russian media reported on Wednesday that Snowden might receive a document that would allow him to officially enter Russia while officials consider his application for political asylum.

But that possibility was dashed by Snowden's Russian advisor, a spotlight-loving lawyer named Anatoly Kucherena. Kucherena emerged from a brief meeting with his client to say that the paperwork takes time, explaining that Russia's federal migration service has three months to consider Snowden's request.

In terms of U.S.-Russian relations, though, the timeline may be less leisurely. Russia will host a summit of leaders from the G-20 industrial nations in St. Petersburg in early September, and President Obama is expected to be there. Obama was also planning a side trip to Moscow for direct talks with Putin.

White House officials have said little about that trip, but some in Russia worry that it would be tempting for Obama to cancel that part of the visit as an expression of displeasure.

"It would be a huge embarrassment and a bad development if Obama doesn't come to Moscow because of Snowden." Babich says.

But Babich believes that the embarrassment would fall on Obama, not Putin, because Obama would be alienating part of his own liberal voter base in the United States.

In fact, many Russian analysts believe that Putin, for once, is on the right side of Western public opinion.

Mikhail Remizov, head of the Institute of National Strategy, a think tank in Moscow, told Radio Russia that providing Snowden with asylum would look good to people in Western Europe, where sympathy for Snowden is strong. That kind of sentiment could make it harder for Putin to give Snowden up.

On the other hand, U.S. officials seem determined to make it easy. Although Putin said he would never extradite Snowden, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said on his Twitter account that the United States isn't asking Russia to extradite Snowden, but simply to return him.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he does not want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to damage relations between Russia and the United States. But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport. A spokesman for President Putin said yesterday that the FBI and its Russian counterpart, the FSB, are discussing his status, but it may be the problem of what to do with Edward Snowden can only be resolved by the Russian and American heads of state. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: For its part, the Obama administration seems to be trying to chip away at Russian objections to returning Snowden to the United States. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter to Russian officials this week in which he gave assurances that Snowden would not face the death penalty and would not be tortured if Russia sends him back. He said the former NSA contractor would have the full protection of the U.S. civilian court system. Some Russia officials who favor giving asylum to Snowden have cited all those concerns as reasons why he should be given refuge. But some Russian commentators say those aren't the real barriers to giving Snowden up.

DMITRI BABICH: It's quite clear that it's morally impossible for Russia to turn Snowden in to the United States because it would look like Russia is weak and can be easily manipulated or pressured by the United States.

FLINTOFF: This is Dmitri Babich, a political analyst for Voice of Russia Radio.

BABICH: On the other hand, Snowden is clearly disliked by Putin, and that he is seen as a liability.

FLINTOFF: Putin has said repeatedly that it would better for everyone concerned if Snowden moved on to another destination as soon as possible. There were Russian media reports on Wednesday that Snowden might receive a document that would allow him to enter Russia while officials consider his application for political asylum. That possibility was dashed by Snowden's Russian advisor, a spotlight-loving lawyer named Anatoly Kucherena.

ANATOLY KUCHERENA: (Foreign language spoken)

FLINTOFF: Kucherena emerged from a brief meeting with his client to say that the paperwork takes time, explaining that Russia's federal migration service has three months to consider Snowden's request. In terms of U.S.-Russian relations, though, the timeline may be less leisurely. Russia will host a summit of leaders from the G-20 industrial nations in St. Petersburg in early September, and President Obama is expected to be there. Obama was also planning a side trip to Moscow for direct talks with Putin. White House officials have said little about that trip, but some in Russia worry that it would be tempting for Obama to cancel that part of the visit as an expression of displeasure. Again, Dmitry Babich.

BABICH: It would be a huge embarrassment and a bad development if Obama doesn't come to Moscow because of Snowden.

FLINTOFF: But Babich believes that the embarrassment would fall on Obama, not Putin, because Obama would be alienating part of his own liberal voter base in the United States. In fact, many Russian analysts believe that Putin, for once, is on the right side of Western public opinion. This is Mikhail Remizov, head of the Institute of National Strategy, a think tank in Moscow.

MIKHAIL REMIZOV: (Foreign language spoken)

FLINTOFF: Speaking to Radio Russia, he says providing Snowden with asylum would look good to people in Western Europe, where sympathy for Snowden is strong. That kind of sentiment could make it harder for Putin to give Snowden up. On the other hand, U.S. officials seem determined to make it easy. Although Putin said he would never extradite Snowden, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said on his Twitter account that the U.S. doesn't ask Russia to extradite Snowden, but simply to return him. Corey Flintoff, NPR News, Moscow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.