Edward Snowden has been granted entry into Russia, U.S. Congress is set to vote on limiting NSA surveillance powers, and the last Boston bombing victim is being discharged, 100 days after the attack; here are a few things you need to know today.
SNOWDEN SET TO LEAVE MOSCOW AIRPORT TODAY
Russia has issued whistleblower Edward Snowden immigration documents that will allow him to leave the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport—whilst officials consider his application for permanent political asylum—Russian media have reported.
"Permanent residence in Russia is the current wish of Edward Snowden," lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax News.
The 30-year-old former U.S. spy agency contractor, who first fled to Hong Kong and then Russia, has been holed up at Sheremetyevo airport for more than a month; Snowden currently faces U.S. charges under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information to media regarding the National Security Agency’s mass-surveillance and data-gathering network.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that the majority of Americans—53 percent—now say that Snowden should be formally charged for disclosing the NSA surveillance programme. That’s up from 43 percent less than a month ago.
U.S. CONGRESS SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON NSA DATA MINING
The Obama administration is scrambling to tackle an ever-growing backlash over the NSA’s controversial electronic surveillance programs, urging the defeat of a legislative measure to curb the program ahead of a high-profile vote in the House of Representatives.
Voting is scheduled for later today, as part of an unwieldy $512 billion defence appropriations bill, which will be the first real test of political sentiment since Snowden exposed the NSA program earlier this year.
CLASHES IN WESTERN MEXICO LEAVE AT LEAST 22 DEAD
At least 22 people were killed, the majority of them assailants, in clashes between heavily-armed gang members and police officers in Mexico’s western Michoacán state, the interior ministry announced overnight.
The Associated Press is reporting that the gunmen “concealed themselves in hills above checkpoints” after blocking at least four sections of highway with vehicles, before “swooping” on their targets, “wielding grenades”.
"So far, we have two federal police killed, 20 presumed criminals shot dead and another 15 people under arrest," the Interior Ministry’s National Security Council said in a statement early this morning; local authorities are currently searching for those responsible and reinforcing security to ensure the region is safe, the Council added.
LAST HOSPITALISED BOMBING VICTIM HEADS HOME
The last Boston bombing victim to be discharged, Marc Fucarile, 34, is scheduled to leave Boston’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital later today, for the first time in more than three months, the facility said.
Fucarile, who lost his right leg and suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds when the second of two bombs exploded near him and a group of friends, was one of more than 260 who were wounded in the ordeal that took place over 100 days ago.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t want to die. I’ve got a little boy and I’ve got, you know, my fiancée. I don’t want to die,’” he told NBC News earlier this year, reliving the moment a firefighter put a tourniquet over his right leg that was “completely blown off”.
“He was like, ‘Just think of them. Just think of them. Keep them on your mind. Just hang in there,’” Fucarile said.
Family members have said they have been by Fucarile’s bed-side every day since the bombing, taking off whole weeks from work and using up their vacation days to help him recover.
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