Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
US formally requests UK to extradite Julian Assange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has formally asked Britain to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face charges that he conspired to hack U.S. government computers and violated an espionage law, the U.K has confirmed.
"Mr Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America. He is accused of offenses including computer misuse and the unauthorized disclosure of national defense information," a spokesperson for the Home Office, Britain's internal security department said.
"We have now received the full extradition request," the official told Reuters.
Lawyers for Assange had no immediate comment.
U.S. and British security sources said U.S. prosecutors sent the formal extradition request to UK authorities last week, shortly before the expiration of a legal deadline. The formal submission of the request was first reported on Tuesday by the Washington Post.
On April 11, police forcibly removed the WikiLeaks founder from the Ecuadorean Embassy near Harrods department store in central London. Assange took refuge in the embassy there in 2012 while being sought by Swedish authorities for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.
Sources familiar with the U.S. extradition request said that it is based on an indictment federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia filed against Assange in May. That indictment added 17 criminal counts to an earlier indictment, filed under seal in March 2018.
The new charges include violation of a U.S. espionage statute. The previous indictment alleged that Assange conspired with former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning to hack into a U.S. government computer system.
Manning was arrested and convicted by military court martial for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. government reports to WikiLeaks. But her 35-year prison term was reduced to seven years by President Barack Obama and she was released from custody.
However, Manning has now been jailed for refusing to testify before a Virginia-based federal grand jury which is continuing to investigate WikiLeaks. She faces potential daily fines if she continues to refuse to testify.
After his removal from the Ecuadorean Embassy, Assange was jailed by a British court for 50 weeks for jumping bail while being sought by Swedish authorities in the sexual assault case.
Britain will now consider the U.S. extradition request and any possible new request from Sweden. A European government source familiar with British extradition procedures said it could take anywhere from two to five years for the U.S. request for Assange's extradition to be resolved.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and David Gregorio)
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.