France's foreign minister says "it's not the time" to grant a new asylum request from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the AP reports. Snowden has been living in Russia to escape US prosecution after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. Asking France again for asylum this week, he argued that "protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act."
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television Thursday that when Snowden first asked for French asylum in 2013, the French government "considered it was not the time. I don't see what has changed." Snowden has also sought asylum in several other countries. His memoir, Permanent Record, was released in about 20 countries this week, including France. (The Justice Department wants the proceeds from Snowden's book.)