MOSCOW (AP) — The father of former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow Thursday morning to meet with his son who has received asylum in Russia and has been living at a secret location.
Lon Snowden told Russian television outside Moscow's airport that he doubts his son, Edward Snowden, will return to the United States, where he is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing NSA's highly classified surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.
"I'm not sure that my son will be returning to the U.S. again," Lon Snowden said but added that "that's his decision." He also said he has not had direct contact with his son and would not say when or where he will be meeting him.
Edward Snowden was stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month after his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23. He was granted asylum in Russia in August. His whereabouts remain secret although his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, insists that Snowden lives in Russia.
Lon Snowden said that it is his understanding that his son has now stopped leaking information.
He thanked Russia and President Vladimir Putin for sheltering his son.
Edward Snowden's asylum status has strained the already tense relationship between the U.S. and Russia, and President Barack Obama called off a meeting with President Putin at a Russia-hosted summit in September.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man who insisted he was not bound by U.S. tax laws faces up to two decades in federal prison after being found guilty of falsely claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted 47 year old Destry Marcotte of Belleville of four counts of filing false claims for federal tax refunds.
Federal prosecutors say evidence presented at trial showed that Marcotte submitted the false claims for refunds for years, claiming a total of more than $600,000.
Marcotte claimed to be a "sovereign citizen," contending he was not subject to U.S. tax laws.
After the jury's verdict, Marcotte was ordered detained pending his Jan. 17 sentencing.
The first and busiest Ronald McDonald House in the St. Louis area is open again after a five-month, $1.5 million renovation.
The 20 bedroom mansion on West Pine in the Central West End opened its doors in 1981. It provides lodging for families who live more than 50 miles from the hospital where their seriously ill children are being treated. Families are asked to contribute $5 a night.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the three St. Louis area Ronald McDonald Houses served nearly 1,700 families last year, with almost half staying at the West Pine home.
According to the charity, major renovations at the West Pine house include: rehabbing both kitchens and most bathrooms, adding new carpet and furniture in the bedrooms, and replacing the entire HVAC system.
More information about the house, and Ronald McDonald Charities of St. Louis can be found on their website: www.rmhcstl.com.