Confusion over Snowden asylum acceptance

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MOSCOW -- The Wiki-Leaks secret-spilling site said yesterday that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest the confusion over the matter.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered asylum and says his country received a request from the former NSA systems analyst. But Snowden, who is believed to be in a Moscow airport's transit zone, has applied for asylum elsewhere as well, and it is not clear how easy it would be for him to travel to the Latin American country.

A prominent Russian lawmaker, Alexei Pushkov, tweeted that Snowden had accepted Venezuela's offer, then deleted the posting a few minutes later.

WikiLeaks, which has been advising Snowden, said on Twitter that any decision on asylum would be announced by the "states concerned" and "then be confirmed by us."

Snowden, who revealed details of a U.S. intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, came to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport June 23. He has not been seen since.

The presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua have said Snowden was welcome in their countries.

Last week, some European countries refused to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow because of suspicions Snowden was on his plane.

On Tuesday, Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero denounced that as an "act of aggression." He called for apologies from European nations and an explanation of the July 2 incident. -- AP

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