Cross More Off the List: Wall Street Journal: “The National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s options narrowed Tuesday as his globe-spanning, 21-country plea for asylum largely came up short, raising the possibility of a prolonged stay in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A few countries, including Germany, Poland, India and Brazil, rejected Mr. Snowden’s request for asylum outright. Others said he must make it to their soil to file a claim—at present an impossibility for the 30-year-old fugitive, given his lack of a valid passport or active travel documents.”
Snowden Becomes The Story: Politico: “At every turn, Snowden has drowned out the debate over privacy, security and the role of government he hoped to spark by serving up a human drama — starring himself. He’s given frequent interviews, setoff an international manhunt by jetting from the United States to Hong Kong to Russia, and then Monday he took it even further by firing off a missive over President Barack Obama’s handling of his case — without a mention of his original cause.”
His Message to Obama: “On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions. This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.”
Explainer: What’s Life Like in an Airport Transit Zone?
Happy Tuesday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories and thinking about what we’d do if we were stuck in an airport for a week. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.
Tick Tock, Mursi: Reuters: “Egypt’s army has plans to push Mohamed Mursi aside and suspend the constitution after an all but impossible ultimatum it has given the Islamist president expires in less than 24 hours, military sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Condemning a coup against their first freely elected leader, tens of thousands of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets, clashing with opponents in several towns. But they appeared to be dwarfed by anti-government protesters who turned out in their hundreds of thousands across the nation… Mursi defied a demand by the armed forces chief on Monday that he agree to share power with his opponents within 48 hours or have the generals take charge… But time has all but run out for Mursi, as liberal leaders are refusing to talk to him.”
US Auto Sales Strongest in Years: New York Times: “The nation’s automakers continued to make gains in June, reporting the strongest performance in six years as the improving economy supported a continued uptick in sales. The Ford Motor Company led the growth, reporting a 13 percent increase for its Ford and Lincoln brands. General Motors reported gains of 6 percent and the Chrysler Group of 8 percent.”
Bushes and Obamas Meet in Africa: Politico: “Michelle Obama and Laura Bush held what looked like a first ladies’ edition of ‘The View; on the final day of President Barack Obama’s Africa trip on Tuesday… Michelle Obama, appearing at the George W. Bush Institute’s first annual African First Ladies Summit, said first ladies ‘have probably the best job in the world, because while our husbands … have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we get to work on what we’re passionate about…’ The husbands — President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush — also appeared together in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday morning, but silently — in the somber setting of a wreath-laying at the memorial for victims of a terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy here in 1998.”
The Slatest: Elena Kagan Shoots A Deer, Fails to Impress Scalia
Iraq in Turmoil: BBC: “At least 40 people have been killed in a wave of bomb attacks across Iraq - most of them in the capital Baghdad. Busy Shia market areas in the capital were the main targets. In the most serious attack, nine people died when two car bombs went off in the northern Shaab district… The UN released figures on Monday indicating that over 2,500 Iraqis have died in violent attacks since April.”
North Korea “Open” to Talks With U.S.: Washington Post: “North Korea is willing to hold direct talks with the United States, but only ‘if the United States sincerely seeks to end the vicious cycle of tensions and hostility’ and has no preconditions, its foreign minister said here Tuesday. ‘The United States is responsible for pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of war,’ Foreign Minister Pak Eui-chun said in a speech to Asian foreign ministers. ‘For Washington to accuse us of provocations is nonsense.’”
The Slatest: Dennis Rodman Is Ready For His Nobel Peace Prize
Paula Deen May Benefit From Prop 8 Decision: CNN: “Celebrity chef Paula Deen hopes the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriage to be legal in California will help in her defense against a racial discrimination lawsuit. The woman alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment while working as an assistant manager at Deen’s restaurants is white and therefore doesn’t have the “standing,” or legal right, to claim racial discrimination, according to a motion filed Monday by Deen’s lawyer. The high court rejected an appeal of California’s Proposition 8 law last week on the grounds that the private parties behind the appeal did not have standing to defend the ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock.”
Saint John Paul? Associated Press: “Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said Tuesday. The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul’s case and signed off on it. A Vatican official confirmed that the decision had been taken some time back and that Tuesday’s meeting was essentially a formality.’
A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:
Bad Astronomy: Russian Rocket Crashes and Explodes After Takeoff
That’s all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.