Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Article excerpt

Greece, creditors move toward deal

Greece's talks with its creditors have ended without a final agreement on a reforms package, but both sides say such a deal is likely to be finalized in Brussels before today's Eurogroup meeting.

Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund representative at the talks, and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, told journalists Sunday after the talks that they were "hoping" for a final agreement before the meeting of the eurozone's finance ministers.

At stake is a $10.4 billion installment of bailout aid that keeps debt-strapped Greece afloat.

It is the first time Greece heads into a crucial Eurogroup meeting without a prior agreement.

Central to the talks is the creditors' demand for 12,500 civil servants to be put on administrative leave by the end of the year, with the possibility of dismissal.

Russian official tells Snowden to take Venezuela's offer * An influential Russian parliament member who often speaks for the Kremlin encouraged NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Sunday to accept Venezuela's offer of asylum.

Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in Russia's parliament, posted a message on Twitter saying: "Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum."

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Saturday that his country hadn't yet been in contact with Snowden, who Russian officials say has been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong two weeks ago. He has been unable to travel further because the U.S. annulled his passport. Jaua said he expected to consult with Russian officials on Monday about Snowden's situation.

Pushkov's comments appeared to indicate that the Kremlin is now anxious to be rid of the former National Security Agency systems analyst, whom the U.S. wants returned to face espionage charges.

The presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua also said over the weekend that Snowden was welcome in their countries. …

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