NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a no-show on what Russian officials said would be his flight to Havana on Monday, which also happens to be packed with journalists. Russian officials say they had no legal authority to send Snowden back to the U.S., despite the fact that the U.S. has charged him with espionage. Sources close to the situation said Monday that the Chinese government itself made the final decision to allow Snowden to flee to Russia, where he arrived on Sunday and then headed to Ecuador’s embassy, where he is seeking asylum. Ecuador’s foreign minister said the government is “analyzing” Snowden’s asylum request and no decision has been made yet.
"Meanwhile, the White House asked the Russian government to "look at all options available" to send Snowden back to the US to face espionage charges. The call has not received a positive reponse.
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said that ties with Russia and China could be affected, saying it would be "disappointed" if Snowden was allowed to board a plane. He said the US expected "reciprocity" from Russia because it had transported seven prisoners that Moscow wanted in the past two years.
"I wonder if Mr. Snowden chose China and Russia as assistants in his flight from justice because they are such powerful bastions of internet freedom," Kerry said while on a trip to New Delhi."
The U.S. reportedly finally got around to revoking Snowden's passport, however a State department official was unable to confirm...get ready, "Because of the Privacy Act, we cannot comment on Mr. Snowden's passport specifically"
The journalists aboard the 12-hour flight to Cuba will have to wait another three days before returning home due to travel restrictions there, and as Gawker notes, there is no alcohol served on board.