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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London

VIDEO: Julian Assange Arrested in London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London

London Metropolitan police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday on a charge of breach of bail conditions and an extradition request from the United States.

>> Read more trending news 

In an indictment unsealed Thursday by the Justice Department, officials said Assange was suspected of conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Assange charged in conspiracy with Chelsea Manning 

The federal charge stems from March 2010, when authorities say Assange “agreed to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on United State Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications.”

>> Julian Assange arrest: What charge is Assange facing in the U.S.?

Here are the latest updates:

Update 10 p.m. EDT April 11: A senior Ecuadorian official says a Swedish software developer living in Quito and who is allegedly close to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested as authorities attempt to dismantle a blackmail ring that in recent days had threatened to retaliate against President Lenin Moreno.

The official said Ola Bini was arrested Thursday at Quito’s airport as he was preparing to board a flight for Japan.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity and didn’t provide any additional details about Bini.

Update 12:55 p.m. EDT April 11: Despite his praise of WikiLeaks and Assange during the run up to the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that he knows “nothing about WikiLeaks.”

“It’s not my thing,” Trump said.

He said any decision about prosecuting Assange would fall to U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

Update 11:15 a.m. EDT April 11: Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s attorney, said she and her client will fight extradition to the United States.

“This sets a dangerous precedent for all media organizations in Europe and around the world,” Robinson said.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson criticized the decision to arrest Assange for “publishing work nine years ago.”

“This is journalism,” he told reporters gathered outside the courthouse in London on Thursday. “It’s called conspiracy -- it’s conspiracy to commit journalism.”

Update 10 a.m. EDT April 11: A judge in the United Kingdom found Assange guilty Thursday morning of a charge of failing to surrender in connection to a 2012 case, according to BBC News.

Assange had entered an innocent plea to a charge that he failed to surrender to custody under an order for his extradition to Sweden, where he was facing allegations of sexual assault. The sexual assault charges have since been dropped, but a charge of skipping bail remained in place.

Assange is expected to appear next in court by video link on May 2 to face extradition to the U.S. 


Update 9:35 a.m. EDT April 11: In a statement released Thursday, an attorney for Assange called his client’s arrest “an unprecedented effort by the United States seeking to extradite a foreign journalist to face criminal charges of publishing truthful information,”

“It is bitterly disappointing that a country would allow someone to whom it has extended citizenship and asylum to be arrested in its embassy,” Assange attorney Barry Pollack said.


WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson and Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s U.K. lawyer, are expected to make a statement later Thursday.


Update 9:10 a.m. EDT April 11: In an indictment released Thursday by the Justice Department, officials said Assange was accused of conspiring with Chelsea Manning in the 2010 WikiLeaks dump.

Authorities said Thursday morning in a press release that Assange was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer. 

“The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications,” officials said. “Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks.”

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT April 11: The Justice Department is expected to soon announce the charges Assange is facing after police in London arrested him Thursday on a charge of breach of bail conditions and an extradition request from the U.S.

British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Assange’s arrest while speaking to Parliament on Thursday, thanking police for their professionalism.

“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom no one is above the law,” she said.


Update 8:40 a.m. EDT April 11: Assange gave photographers a thumbs up from inside a police vehicle after he was taken into custody Thursday in London.


A spokesperson for the United Kingdom's Home Office confirmed to The Guardian that Assange "is accused in the United State of America (of) computer-related offences." Officials did not immediately elaborate on the charges Assange faces.

Update 7:56 a.m. EDT April 11: Metropolitan police have confirmed that Assange “has been further arrested in relation to an extradition warrant on behalf of the United States authorities.” 

>> See the tweet here


Update 7:42 a.m. EDT April 11: According to USA Today, Assange’s attorney, Jen Robinson, said her client was “arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request.”

>> See her tweets here


Original report: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London, Metropolitan police announced Thursday.


Officers arrested the 47-year-old Australia native at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for “failing to surrender to the court” in connection with a 2012 warrant, authorities said in a press release. Police escorted him out of the embassy, where he had been staying for nearly seven years, shortly after Ecuador withdrew his asylum Thursday, authorities said.

>> Watch the video here


Ecuador President Lenin Moreno said the country revoked Assange’s asylum because he “repeatedly violated international conventions and protocols of co-existence.”

>> See the tweet here


>> Read more trending news 

When Assange originally sought asylum, he had been facing extradition to Sweden in connection with a sexual assault case, CNN reported. Although those charges were eventually dropped, he stayed in the embassy “because he feared arrest and extradition to the United States for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks,” The Associated Press reported.

After news of Assange’s arrest broke, WikiLeaks claimed in a tweet that Ecuador “has illigally (sic) terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law.”

>> See the tweet here


Metropolitan police said Assange is now at a police station in central London and will be “presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.”

Read more here or here.

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  • An investigation is underway in Orange County after a family of four was found dead inside a home Thursday night in a suspected murder-suicide, according to Sheriff John Mina. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent assigned to the Orlando International Airport reportedly shot and killed three family members before turning the gun on himself, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  Deputies responded to the home on Corner Glen Drive Thursday evening after the agency said it had not heard from their employee for a while, Sheriff Mina said during a news conference. According to the Sheriff, some of the residents of the home had not been seen since last week.  Mina said their preliminary investigation has revealed the man shot and killed his wife and two teenage sons, before turning the gun on himself. He was reportedly a Customs and Border Protection agent working at Orlando International Airport.   Their names have not been released.
  • The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to rise, with tens of thousands of people sickened and thousands of others killed by the virus, mostly in China. The coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, was discovered late last year in Wuhan, China. Here are the latest updates: 11 of 13 people evacuated to Omaha test positive for COVID-19  Update 11 p.m. EST Feb. 20: Federal experts confirmed that 11 of 13 people evacuated to an Omaha hospital from a cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19, Nebraska officials announced Thursday night. The University of Nebraska Medical Center said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had verified test results completed Monday by the Nebraska Public Health Lab. Ten of those people are being cared for at the National Quarantine Unit while three are in the nearby Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. The medical center said only a few of the patients were showing symptoms of the disease. 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The hospital is one of 10 in the nation funded by Congress to treat new or highly infectious diseases.  “The risk to the community from this particular process is zero,” said Bob Lutz of the Spokane Regional Health District at a briefing Thursday at the hospital. WHO: ‘This is no time for complacency’ Update 2:25 p.m. EST Feb. 20: World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday that recent declines in the number of new coronavirus cases being reported in China were encouraging, but he warned, “this is no time for complacency.” As pf 6 a.m. Geneva time Thursday, 74,675 people in China and 1,076 people in order parts of the world had been sickened by coronavirus, according to WHO. Officials said 2,121 people in China and seven people outside of the country have died thus far of the viral infection. 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Thousands of people were quarantined on the ship for two weeks as it was docked off the coast of Japan due to coronavirus fears. Hundreds of people on the ship ended up testing positive for the viral infection.  Officials with the Singapore Ministry of Health said Thursday that a new case of coronavirus had been confirmed in the country. The case, involving a 36-year-old Chinese national who was in Singapore on a work pass, is the 85th reported in Singapore.  Global death toll hits 2,126  Update 7:40 a.m. EST Feb. 20: More than 2,120 people have died globally and thousands of others have fallen ill due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, according to multiple reports.  At least 2,126 people globally have died from coronavirus, CNN reported Thursday. A majority of the deaths have been reported in China, where health officials announced 114 more deaths and 394 more confirmed cases of the illness. 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Washington Insider

  • Ignoring declarations from President Donald Trump that the prosecution of his friend Roger Stone had been a 'disgrace,' a federal judge in Washington on Thursday sentenced Stone to 3 years and 4 months in prison for obstructing efforts by Congress to probe the Trump-Russia investigation. 'He was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the President,' said Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Stone. 'He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.'  “The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” the judge added. Stone was convicted in November of obstructing a Congressional investigation, making false statements to Congress, and engaging in witness tampering to stop testimony which would undercut his defense. Democrats in Congress praised the sentence, and warned President Trump not to pardon Stone. “He did it to cover up for Trump,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead House impeachment prosecutor, and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.  “It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption,” Schiff tweeted. “The President should not further taint this process by using his pardon power as a Get Out of Jail Free card,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). As the sentencing hearing got underway, President Trump was out in Las Vegas - but paying attention to the story of the morning from back in Washington. “I'd love to see Roger exonerated,” the President said at a “Hope for Prisoners” event, as he complained the foreperson on the Stone jury and the prosecution in general. “This has not been a fair process,” Mr. Trump added. But the President indicated he would not make any quick decision about clemency for Stone. “I'm going to watch the process, and watch it very closely, and some point, I'm going to make a determination,” Mr. Trump said. Republicans quickly made clear they would not oppose such a move for Stone. “Under our system of justice President Trump has all the legal authority in the world to review this case, in terms of commuting the sentence or pardoning Mr. Stone for the underlying offense,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a key Trump ally. The sentencing played out days after an extraordinary twist in the case, as the Justice Department withdrew its original sentencing recommendation for Stone, as four prosecutors then resigned from the case. That recommendation urged a sentence of between seven and nine years in jail. During the court proceedings on Thursday, Judge Jackson indicated she thought that was excessive.