Slatest PM: A Snowden Family Reunion, and the Rest of the Day's Non-Shutdown News

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 10 2013 4:14 PM

Slatest PM: A Snowden Family Reunion, and the Rest of the Day's Non-Shutdown News

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A man looks in Moscow on October 10, 2013, at a computer screen displaying Lon Snowden (R), the father of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, speaking during his interview with Russian website LifeNews upon his arrival in at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The Story of the Moment remains the ongoing government shutdown and the looming default. For the current state of play in the nation's capital, head on over to Slate's shutdown live-blog or check out the shutdown landing page. But for those of you who need a break from the constant D.C. updates, today's PM is rounding up the day's biggest non-shutdown stories.

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Snowden Family Reunion: Reuters: "Edward Snowden's father arrived in Moscow on Thursday to visit the former U.S. spy agency contractor who is living in a secret location in Russia beyond the reach of U.S. authorities. 'I am his father, I love my son and I certainly hope I will have an opportunity to see my son,' Lon Snowden told reporters at the airport, adding that he felt "extreme gratitude that my son is safe and secure and he's free." ... Lon Snowden's visit will focus international attention once again on Snowden, who was holed up in the Moscow airport for weeks over the summer, and shows the human side of a story which Washington says is a case of treachery. Accompanied by Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Lon Snowden went from the airport to a state television studio for a live interview, suggesting the visit was under government control. Kucherena said Lon would meet Edward—who has not been seen in public since July—later on Thursday but that he would have to travel 'quite a number of kilometers' to get there."

Speaking of Family Surprises: USA Today: "Ted Jorgensen, a 69-year-old bike shop owner in Arizona, is the biological father of Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, but Jorgensen never knew until he was told late last year by the author of a new book about the Internet billionaire. 'I didn't know where he was, if he had a good job or not, or if he was alive or dead,' Jorgensen told Brad Stone, a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter and author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, which will be published later this month. When shown photos of Bezos, Jorgensen's eyes filled with sorrow and disbelief, according to an excerpt of the book released Thursday. 'I wasn't a good father or a good husband,' said Jorgensen, who plans to re-establish contact with the Bezos family. ... This is one of several revelations from a book that delves deeply for the first time into the inner workings of Amazon, the world's largest Internet retailer, and how Bezos runs the $140 billion company."

It's Thursday, October 10, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

Castro's End: Associated Press: "Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro's death by hanging in his prison cell may not have been suicide after all, but an attempt to choke himself for a sexual thrill, authorities said Thursday. ...The report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction suggests - but does not conclude - that Castro may have died as the result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, whereby individuals achieve sexual satisfaction while choking themselves into unconsciousness. Castro's pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles when he was found Sept. 3 in his cell at a prison reception center south of Columbus, the report said. He had a sheet wrapped around his neck, which was attached to a window hinge, investigators said. ... Those facts were forwarded to the state highway patrol 'for consideration of the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation,' the report said."

Ex-Navy Football Players Heading to Trial: Washington Post: "The superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy set aside the recommendation of a military judge Thursday and ordered two former Navy football players to face court-martial in the alleged sexual assault of a female midshipman, attorneys for the accused men said. Joshua Tate, 21, of Nashville will be tried on a charge of aggravated sexual assault, and Eric Graham, 21, of Eight Mile, Ala., will be tried on a charge of abusive sexual contact. Both are also charged with making false statements. ... [Academy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. John] Schofield said Miller’s decision was consistent with the judge’s findings about what probably occurred at an April 2012 off-campus party, where the alleged sexual assault occurred. The victim, now a 21-year-old senior, testified that she was drinking heavily that night and could not remember much of what had happened. The Washington Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assault."

Ex-Mayor Gets 28 Years: Detroit Free Press: "Seven months after his historic conviction for public corruption, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds today to serve 28 years in federal prison. ... Kilpatrick ran what the government called a money-making racket out of city hall that steered millions to himself, his family and his friends while the impoverished city hobbled along. Edmunds said she will recommend Kilpatrick be sent to a prison in Texas, where his family lives. She told Kilpatrick he could appeal. As she issued his sentence, Kilpatrick stared at her, blinking slowly. Edmunds said restitution will be determined later and a hearing would be held within 90 days."

The End to the Baby Girl Case: NBC News: "The biological father of 'Baby Veronica' is done fighting. In a news conference Thursday in Tulsa, Okla., Dusten Brown and the assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation announced they would not pursue any more appeals in the custody case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and raised questions about tribal jurisdiction. ... The bitter cross-country custody battle began in 2009 when Veronica's parents split up. Brown signed paperwork giving custody to her birth mother, who later put Veronica up for adoption. Brown, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, objected. After invoking the Indian Child Welfare Act, which aims to keep native American children with their tribes, Brown was awarded custody and Veronica had to leave South Carolina. The girl lived with Brown in Oklahoma for nearly two years. But this summer — in a rare move —the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in, ruling that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply because Brown had 'abandoned the Indian child before birth and never had custody.'"

An Ominous Sign in Libya: New York Times: "Libya’s prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped from a hotel in the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday and briefly held in an apparent act of retaliation for his presumed consent to the capture of a suspected Qaeda leader by an American commando team. He was seized before dawn and freed by early afternoon, according to Amal al-Jarrari, a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office, who could not immediately provide details. The short kidnapping was an ominous sign for the stability of Libya’s transitional government and its cooperation with American counterterrorist efforts. Mr. Zeidan’s abductors are members of one of the semiautonomous militias that serve as his government’s primary police and security force, according to statements from the prime minister’s office and a coalition of militia leaders."

A Nobel Peace Preview? ABC News: "Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a passionate advocate for peace and education who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school, has been awarded the Sakharov human rights prize. Malala, who is from Pakistan and now lives in England, is also a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced tomorrow. In receiving the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, she will joins the likes of former Secretary General to the United Nations Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela in receiving the $65,000 prize, handed out by the European Parliament. ... Malala has become a household name around the world for her unrelenting advocacy of girls’ education. She has been outspoken on this issue for years with schools in the Swat Valley, a region of northwestern Pakistan, which is regularly attacked by the Taliban."

See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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