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Snowden’s lawyer says he has a new job in Russia

MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor living in asylum in Russia, now has a job at one of the country’s major Internet companies, a lawyer who has represented him since he arrived here as a fugitive from U.S. prosecution four months ago said Thursday.

Snowden, whose whereabouts here have remained secret and a matter of intense speculation, will begin working Friday at a company that the lawyer, Anatoly G. Kucherena, would not disclose. He declined to discuss details of Snowden’s life in exile, he said, “because the level of threat from the U.S. government structures is still very high.”

Kucherena’s assertion about the employment offer could not be verified. Other claims about Snowden’s secretive life here have turned out to be unsubstantiated.

In August, when Russia’s migration agency granted Snowden a one-year temporary asylum, the founder of Russia’s most prominent social network, VKontakte, publicly offered him a job, saying his expertise would help protect the personal data of the site’s users.

A spokesman for the company, Georgy Lubushkin, declined to comment; a technology site, Digit.ru, quoted the company’s technical director, Nikolai Durov, as saying he was not aware of any job offer.

Two other prominent Internet companies here, Yandex and Mail.ru, said Snowden was not working for them. Snowden’s disclosures about the global extent of eavesdropping by U.S. intelligence services have caused an international uproar, deeply embarrassing the Obama administration and creating severe frictions with some of America’s most important allies.

—Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times

Jobless high in Eurozone stays at record high

FRANKFURT — The number of people out of work in the eurozone rose slightly in September, according to official data published Thursday, showing that signs of renewed economic growth have not yet filtered through to the labor market.

The jobless rate was 12.2 percent last month, a record high and the same as the figure for August, which was revised upward. But the absolute number of jobless people in the 17 countries in the euro area rose by 60,000 from a total of about 19.5 million, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics agency in Luxembourg. The eurozone unemployment rate had stopped rising in recent months, but Eurostat revised the figure reported for August to 12.2 percent from 12 percent.

“Businesses are not yet confident enough about the growth outlook to switch to creating jobs,” Marie Diron, an economist who advises the consulting firm Ernst & Young, said in an email.

The numbers come as a disappointment after recent data fed hopes that the eurozone was slowly emerging from a downturn that effectively began in 2009. Spain, one of the countries hit hardest by the eurozone debt crisis, returned to growth in the third quarter after a recession that lasted more than two years.

There also have been signs that the European car industry, a major source of jobs, is recovering from its worst sales in two decades. On Wednesday, the Italian carmaker Fiat reported its first increase in European sales since 2010. But joblessness continued to rise in eurozone countries including France, Italy and Belgium, offsetting improvement in Germany and Portugal.

Employment is typically one of the last components of the economy to respond in an upturn, because companies tend to wait to hire people until they are sure business is really getting better.

For all 28 countries in the EU, including those like Romania and Britain that are not in the eurozone, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 11 percent for the fourth month in a row.

—Jack Ewing, The New York Times