Illustrator Josh Cochran posted the following, a veritable visual crossword highlighting the year in pop culture, two weeks ago on his Tumblr. The artist has generously allowed us to republish the image, on which we'll highlight two China-related elements: Edward Snowden ("there are 10 Edward Snowdens here," Cochran writes; see how many you can find), and the sharks. We really hope it's an allusion to this shark story from Shanghai.
It's only five minutes and the acting is notional, but Verax is officially the first dramatization featuring NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film, made by Hong Kong-based videographer Edwin Lee and friends, isn't completely about Snowden -- it's as much a paean to Hong Kong -- but it's received ample media attention nonetheless.
Edward Snowden -- ever elusive, unidentifiable -- is reportedly leaving Moscow for either Cuba or Ecuador. Reports AP:
The former National Security Agency contractor and CIA technician fled Hong Kong and arrived at the Moscow airport, where he planned to spend the night before boarding an Aeroflot flight to Cuba. Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his government received an asylum request from Snowden, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would help him.
We don't really have an explanation for this. Edward Snowden is back in the news in a big way -- he left Hong Kong and is traveling to either Cuba or Ecuador via Moscow -- but check out what the Independent did with the front page of its newspaper, which hits newsstands today. The caption reads: "A red-shirted Edward Snowden, the man who leaked classified documents revealing US internet surveillance, among passengers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport yesterday after he flew in from Hong Kong. Reports say Mr Snowden has asked Ecuador for asylum. BARCROFT MEDIA."
And he's gone. Screams the latest SCMP headline (all-caps theirs):
SNOWDEN LEAVES HONG KONG ON COMMERCIAL FLIGHT TO MOSCOW
The report isn't confirmed, but SCMP notes that Snowden "would continue on to another country." The Hong Kong government issued a short statement today, in which it said the US's request for extradition "did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law."
Dick Cheney, former vice president, bad quail hunter, to Fox News:
"I'm suspicious because he went to China. That's not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty, and so forth.... It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this."
"A few hundred" people showed up to a pro-Edward Snowden rally in Hong Kong on Saturday, the city where the NSA whistleblower is believed to still be residing. Reports Reuters:
Marchers gathered outside the U.S. consulate shouting slogans denouncing alleged spying operations aimed at China and Hong Kong, but the numbers were modest compared to rallies over other rights and political issues.
"Arrest Obama, free Snowden," protesters shouted outside the slate grey building as police looked on. Many waved banners that said: "Betray Snowden, betray freedom", "Big brother is watching you" and "Obama is checking your email".
Edward Snowden sat down with the South China Morning Post yesterday, causing the editors of that Hong Kong-based paper to somewhat lose their minds with SCOOP FEVER. (Which article do I link to? The 3:31 am one that has EXCLUSIVE splashed across the headline -- even though Snowden's spoken with several media outlets already -- or the one from 19 minutes later, or the one from 7:37 am on the same subject? There's another version from earlier, 12:52 am.)
Here's Ai Weiwei writing in the Guardian on Tuesday:
Intrusions can completely ruin a person's life, and I don't think that could happen in western nations.
But still, if we talk about abusive interference in individuals' rights, Prism does the same.