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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Bolivia rejected a U.S. request to extradite former security contractor Edward Snowden should he approach that country, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

Bolivia's foreign ministry released a statement Wednesday calling the extradition request "strange, illegal, unfounded" and asserting that President Evo Morales never spoke with Snowden while he was in Russia, according to Bloomberg. 

Morales appeared on Bolivian television after returning Wednesday night to La Paz from Vienna, Austria, where his plane had been diverted.

“This is an open provocation to the continent, not just the president,” Morales said in his remarks, as quoted by Bloomberg. “They will never intimidate us, never make us afraid because we are a unified and sovereign people.”

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday that U.S. officials had contacted countries Snowden may approach for asylum or transit through en route to a third country, providing "reasons why Mr. Snowden should be returned to the United States and face charges," according to Bloomberg.

Al Jazeera on Thursday demanded the release of its staff members detained overnight in its Cairo, Egypt bureau.

Twenty-eight of the media network's staff members were detained and the bureau's broadcast equipment seized by Egyptian forces in a raid, according to a press release. While most of the staff members detained were released, the channel's managing director Ayman Gaballah and broadcast engineer Ahmad Hasan remain in custody.

“Ayman and Ahmad must be released unharmed immediately," the acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, Mostefa Souag, said in the press release. "We are seeking urgent clarity on the status of other members of our staff. Media offices should not be subject to raids, and journalists should not be detained for informing the public."

"There are big events taking place in Egypt and the world tunes in to Al Jazeera at times like these. The viewing public will not accept being cut-off from news and information. Regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld."

President Barack Obama delivered his weekly address Thursday, wishing Americans a happy Fourth of July and reflecting on the importance of the American Revolution of 1776.

"For the first of many times to come, America proved the doubters wrong," Obama said of the nation's first patriots. "And now, 237 years later, the United States, this improbable nation, is the greatest in the world."

Obama also took a moment to thank the military, who he said played a "vital role" in protecting both the U.S. and countries around the world who are "living in peace today, free to write their own futures" thanks to America's soldiers.

Watch Obama's address below: 

The European Parliament on Thursday resolved to block two agreements that would give the U.S. access to European financial and travel data unless the Obama administration reveals the extent of its surveillance operations in Europe, Reuters reported.

The parliament passed a non-binding resolution that said Washington should address reports it monitored European Union members' email and communications data if it wants to preserve the information-sharing deals, according to Reuters. One agreement would provide the U.S. Treasury with European data on international financial transfers, while the other would pass on passenger data from booking plane tickets and checking in on flights to the Department of Homeland Security. 

The parliament cannot scrap the agreements altogether without backing from E.U. governments and the executive Commission, however, according to Reuters.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that she'll resist any pressure from liberals to retire from the bench so that President Barack Obama may nominate her replacement before the November 2016 presidential elections, Reuters reported Thursday.

"It really has to be, ‘Am I equipped to do the job?'" Ginsburg told Reuters in an interview Tuesday. "I was so pleased that this year I couldn't see that I was slipping in any respect."

Ginsburg, 80, said her new "model" was Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired after almost 35 years on the bench at 90 years old, according to Reuters.

In an interview with The New Yorker earlier this year, Ginsburg said she wouldn't be stepping down in 2013.

Witnesses said the Egyptian army on Wednesday secured a military barracks where President Mohammed Morsi was working with barbed wire and barriers, Reuters reported.

Armored vehicles and troops were also deployed to prevent Morsi supporters from marching to the presidential palace, according to witnesses. A Reuters journalist saw troops in formation close to a rally where tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered.

The army said that it was securing the area and denied what it said were reports that the military is attacking Morsi supporters.

"The Egyptian army belongs to all Egyptians," the military said in an official statement, as quoted by Reuters.

Unconfirmed reports of tanks on the move outside Cairo surfaced Wednesday after the Egyptian military's ultimatum expired without a resolution to the country's political crisis. NBC's Richard Engel reported via Twitter, citing a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson, that some Brotherhood members had been arrested and that tanks are moving on Cairo in a "coup." 

The New York Times has learned that travel bans were placed Wednesday on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as well as the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide and deputy supreme guide. The Times' Cairo bureau reported the development on Twitter, citing Egyptian security officials.

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