UPDATE: Morales heads home after diplomatic uproar

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports
LAS PALMAS, Canary Islands (AP) - A plane carrying Bolivia

MGN Online

LAS PALMAS, Canary Islands (AP) - A plane carrying Bolivia's president is continuing on to Bolivia after a refueling stop in the Canary Islands. But controversy continues to swirl around an earlier, unscheduled stop in Austria.

The plane carrying Evo Morales from Moscow was re-routed to Austria, where it remained overnight -- allegedly because of suspicions that Morales was trying to bring NSA leaker Edward Snowden with him to Latin America.

Bolivia accused the United States of ordering European countries to block the flight from their airspace. But it's unclear whether those countries did, in fact, block the plane -- and if so, why. Officials in Spain, France and Portugal all say the plane was allowed to cross their territory.

The stop in Austria may have been caused by a dispute over where the plane could refuel, and whether European authorities could inspect it for signs of Snowden. Austrian officials say the plane was, in fact, searched early today by Austrian border police after Morales gave permission. Officials say Snowden wasn't on board.

Morales himself had sparked speculation that he might try to help Snowden get out of Moscow, where he's been in legal limbo at an international airport terminal. Morales said his country would be willing to grant him asylum.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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