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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Edward Snowden has highly sensitive documents on how the National Security Agency is structured and operates that could harm the U.S. government, but has insisted that they not be made public, a journalist close to the NSA leaker said.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who first reported on the intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that disclosure of the information in the documents "would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it."

He said the "literally thousands of documents" taken by Snowden constitute "basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built."

"In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do," the journalist said Sunday in a Rio de Janeiro hotel room. He said the interview was taking place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden.

Greenwald said he believes the disclosure of the information in the documents would not prove harmful to Americans or their national security, but that Snowden has insisted they not be made public.

"I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed," he said.

He has previously said the documents have been encrypted to help ensure their safekeeping.

Snowden emerged from weeks of hiding in a Moscow airport Friday, and said he was willing to meet President Vladimir Putin's condition that he stop leaking U.S. secrets if it means Russia would give him asylum until he can move on to Latin America.

Greenwald told The AP that he deliberately avoids talking to Snowden about issues related to where the former analyst might seek asylum in order to avoid possible legal problems for himself.

Snowden is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow's main international airport, where he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23. He's had offers of asylum from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, but because his U.S. passport has been revoked, the logistics of reaching whichever country he chooses are complicated.

Still, Greenwald said that Snowden remains "calm and tranquil," despite his predicament.

"I haven't sensed an iota of remorse or regret or anxiety over the situation that he's in," said Greenwald, who has lived in Brazil for the past eight years. "He's of course tense and focused on his security and his short-term well-being to the best extent that he can, but he's very resigned to the fact that things might go terribly wrong and he's at peace with that."

Greenwald said he worried that interest in Snowden's personal saga had detracted from the impact of his revelations, adding that Snowden deliberately turned down nearly all requests for interviews to avoid the media spotlight.

Asked whether Snowden seemed worried about his personal safety, Greenwald responded, "he's concerned."

He said the U.S. has shown it's "willing to take even the most extreme steps if they think doing so is necessary to neutralize a national security threat," Greenwald said. "He's aware of all those things, he's concerned about them but he's not going to be in any way paralyzed or constrained in what he thinks he can do as a result of that."

Asked about a so-called dead man's pact, which Greenwald has said would allow several people to access Snowden's trove of documents were anything to happen to him, Greenwald replied that "media descriptions of it have been overly simplistic.

"It's not just a matter of, if he dies, things get released, it's more nuanced than that," he said. "It's really just a way to protect himself against extremely rogue behavior on the part of the United States, by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it's just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivized to do that."

He declined to provide any more details about the pact or how it would work.

Greenwald said he himself has beefed up his own security, particularly since a laptop went missing from his Rio home.

"I don't really feel comfortable discussing the specific measures, but one would be really irrational and foolish to have thousands of top-secret documents from the most secretive agency of the world's most powerful government and not be thoughtful about added security," said the 46-year-old former constitutional and civil rights lawyer who has written three books contending the government has violated personal rights in the name of protecting national security.

Greenwald has also co-authored a series of articles in Rio de Janeiro's O Globo newspaper focusing on NSA actions in Latin America. He said he expected to continue publishing further stories based on other Snowden documents over the next four months.

Upcoming stories would likely include details on "other domestic spying programs that have yet to be revealed," but which are similar in scope to those he has been reporting on. He did not provide further details on the nature of those programs.

It was not immediately clear whether Russia would take Snowden up on his latest request for asylum, which could further test U.S.-Russia relations.

Following Friday's meeting between Snowden and human rights activists, U.S. officials criticized Russia for allowing a "propaganda platform" for the NSA leader.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Russia should instead send Snowden back to the U.S. to face the felony charges that are pending against him.

Carney said Snowden is not a human rights activist or a dissident. "He is accused of leaking classified information, has been charged with three felony counts and should be returned to the United States," the spokesman said.
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  ST. LOUIS (AP) - A law that takes effect Aug. 28 will give physicians assistants more freedom to provide care in areas of Missouri with a shortage of doctors.

 

   Currently, physician assistants must be supervised by a doctor located within 30 miles of where they practice. And a doctor must be present 66 percent of the time they are caring for patients.

 

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/13dFcav ) the new law will allow the supervising doctor to be up to 50 miles away. The doctors also will have to spend only half of a day on site for every 14 days the physician assistant practices.

 

   Supporters of the new law say it allows physician assistants to provide more affordable care for people living in rural areas or in urban areas with understaffed clinics.

Monday, 15 July 2013 10:28
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Metro East police are asking for the public's help finding the hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 9-year-old boy.

St. Clair County sheriff's detectives say Fabian Teson was hit while riding his bike in the 2400 block of Lorraine in the Cahokia area around 12:30 Thursday afternoon.  

Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center confirmed Sunday morning that the boy had died.  Witnesses told police the child was struck by a late 1990s silver or grey Pontiac Grand Am, Grand Prix or Chevrolet Malibu.  

Anyone with information is urged to call police.

 
Monday, 15 July 2013 09:02
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri counties will be allowed to approve ordinances enacting burn bans when the state fire marshal determines doing so would be appropriate.

 

   Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law broad legislation that included the burn ban issue.

 

   Burn bans approved by counties could carry a penalty of up to one year in jail for any violations. Burn bans also could prohibit use of skyrockets and missiles but not other consumer fireworks.

 

   Republican House member Donna Lichtenegger, of Jackson, sponsored the legislation. She says allowing county officials to enforce a ban on burning is an important safety step - particularly during droughts.

 

   The legislation takes effect Aug. 28.

 
Monday, 15 July 2013 08:31
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