Putin: U.S. Leaker Snowden is "Noble"
Russian President Vladimir Putin says former U.S. national security contractor Edward Snowden is "noble," but that neither he nor Russian security agencies have had any contact with him. Snowden disclosed classified U.S. documents to media outlets, and was later granted asylum in Russia.
Putin made the comment during a wide-ranging annual question-and-answer session with reporters in Moscow Thursday that also covered missile deployment, U.S. eavesdropping on its own citizens, and Russian aid to Ukraine.
He said Moscow has not made a decision on deploying missiles in Kaliningrad, a prospect that has caused concern in neighboring Poland and Lithuania as well as Washington.
Regarding the U.S. National Security Agency's admission that it collected phone records from U.S. citizens, Mr. Putin said such surveillance is necessary to fight terrorism, although he cautioned that government needs to "limit the appetite" of national security agencies to prevent them from becoming too powerful.
Rodman Back in NKorea, Won't Discuss Politics
Retired U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman is in North Korea for his third visit in recent months, but says he will not raise political issues with the country's leader, Kim Jong Un.
Rodman's visit comes at another tense moment in Pyongyang, just days after the shocking execution of Kim's uncle, mentor and second in command, who was accused of trying to overthrow the state.
Speaking to Reuters at a Beijing hotel before departing for the North, Rodman said the execution of Jang Song Thaek had nothing to do with his visit, which he said was purely for "fun."
The five-time National Basketball Association champion is expected to help train North Korea's national basketball team during his trip, which is sponsored by the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.
During past visits, the eccentric Rodman has held extended personal meetings with Mr. Kim, who he has called a "friend for life" and a "good guy." He is thought to be the highest-profile American to have met the North Korean leader.