Top news: The diplomatic stand-off over the fate of NSA leaker Edward Snowden continued Tuesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to refuse to extradite Snowden or arrest him in the "transit zone" in the Moscow airport in which he remains.
Since Snowden's escape from Hong Kong -- and the decision by Chinese leaders to allow his departure -- American officials have been publicly castigating both China and Russia for their seeming unwillingness to arrest and extradite Snowden to the United States, where he is charged with espionage. But on Tuesday Putin showed an unwillingness to get dragged into the conflict, even as he confirmed that Snowden remains at the Moscow airport. "Assange and Snowden consider themselves human rights activists and say they are fighting for the spread of information," Putin said. "Ask yourself this: should you hand these people over so they will be put in prison?"
"In any case, I'd rather not deal with such questions, because anyway it's like shearing a pig -- lots of screams but little wool," he added.
U.S. officials, meanwhile, remain insistent that Russia intervene and hand over Snowden but have toned down the intensity of their comments somewhat as the stand-off threatens to further sour what is already a tense relationship between Russia and the United States. "We are not looking for a confrontation," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said while in Saudi Arabia. "We are not ordering anybody. We are simply requesting under a very normal procedure for the transfer of somebody."
The next flight from Moscow to Havana leaves Thursday.
Australia: Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ousted the current prime minister, Julia Gillard, as the leader of the Labor Party. With elections expected for the fall, the Labor Party has been trailing in the polls and the shake up is aimed at reclaiming a shot at victory at the polls. Formally, Gillard remains prime minister until she chooses to resign the post.
- Riots in Xinjiang province in China, home to the country's Uighur Muslims, left 27 dead and three injured.
- Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai reaffirmed their commitment to peace talks with the Taliban following an attack in central Kabul carried out by the group.
- A rescue helicopter crashed, killing eight, in the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand, where the death toll from devastating floods has topped 820.
- According to a McClatchy report, fighters from the Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra took part in recent battles with the Lebanese army in Sidon.
- The new emir of Qatar is set to reshuffle his cabinet after being handed power by his father.
- Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy will address the nation tonight as he fights for political survival.
- French and German authorities claimed to have foiled separate terror plots, one of which involved remotely controlled planes and explosives.
- French regulators fined the French arm of UBS for failing to tighten their money laundering and tax-evasion schemes.
- Pope Francis set up a commission to review the activities of the Vatican's bank, which has been repeatedly accused of wrong-doing.
- Brazil's Congress rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited the power of federal progress and which was a key grievance of protesters who have flooded the streets recently.
- An investigation by Foreign Policy revealed that Russia has systematically stymied attempts to root out at corruption at the U.N. in order to protect its commercial interests with the body.
- The journal belonging to Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in the attack on the Benghazi consulate, reveal his brooding, hopeful final days.
- The U.N. Security Council approved the July 1 deployment of a peacekeeping force to Mali.
- The presidents of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda agreed to build pipelines allowing South Sudan to export its oil through the south.
- A South African archbishop who visited Nelson Mandela in the hospital said he hoped for a "peaceful, perfect end" for the former president.
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