Julian Assange who has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, was arrested by British authorities Thursday morning. Assange had been granted asylum at the embassy. In recent weeks there were public reports that Assange and his Ecuadorian handlers had, had a falling out. Rumors had been floating around for awhile that Assange would be evicted from the Embassy at some point.
The New York Times (@nytimes) reported, the United States charged Assange with one count of conspiracy to hack a government computer, hours after he was taken into custody by British authorities. The charge stems from Assange’s role in the 2010 release of reams of secret American documents. The charge stated that Assange agreed to break a password to a classified United States Government computer. “The Times” also stated that Assange had been on the United States Government’s radar since at least 2010 after he released American documents and videos about wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, along with confidential “cables” sent among diplomats.
Assange may be best known as the founder of the website Wikil-leaks. The site gained national attention when it was accused of releasing thousands of emails that had been stolen from the computer systems of the Democratic National Party during the United States’ 2016 presidential election. United States investigators say the system was hacked by Russians.
Assange has the right to fight extradition to the United States to face the charges. In November of 2010, after questioning two months prior, Sweden issued a warrant for Assange’s arrest over allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange denied the charges, and also refused to stand trial in Sweden because he claimed he would be extradited to the United States for his role in publishing secret American documents if he did. Assange eventually surrendered to U.K authorities on December 7th of the same year. He was released on bail in less than 10-days. Assange challenged the extradition to Sweden, but was denied. Before he could be arrested, Assange fled and absconded. Gaining himself another charge. This time in the UK, for skipping out on bail. In 2012 Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador. He stayed at the Ecuadorian Embassy until his arrest Thursday morning. The United States may not be the only Country that wants to speak with Mr. Assange.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian Intelligence officers on Friday afternoon. The revelation that those charged in the indictment were Russian intelligence officers suggest that the group’s orders came directly from the top. The indictments come days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin.
ABC News (@ABC) reports, the 12 Russian Intelligence Officers, all members of the Russian government’s official intelligence agency, GRU, are suspected of carrying on a sustained campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hilary Clinton’s campaign.
The GRU allegedly began a “spearphishing” campaign in 2016 against volunteers and employees of the Hilary Clinton campaign. The spearphishing campaign by the GRU allowed them access to the DNC servers and networks, which they used to steal emails, documents, and also covertly monitor the activity on the compromised computers and employees. The spearphishing campaign also allowed GRU to implant malicious files and steal passwords and maintain access to the networks.
Some of the stolen emails were then made public by GRU posing as online personas “Gucifer 2.0” and “DCLeaks.” GRU also passed the stolen emails along to an unnamed third party online source in an effort to undermine the Clinton campaign. A source close to the Trump campaign is alleged to have been in direct contact with the third party and Gucifer 2.0.
In the press conference, Rosenstein stated that no Americans have been named in this indictment against the Russian Intelligence officers. The Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election is still ongoing.
The United States may very well be at the beginning of a trade war with multiple countries. A trade war that will likely get worse before it even looks like it wants to get any better. A trade war that will likely have a drastic impact on some of the products every day Americans go to the store to buy daily.
BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) reports, Donald Trump will level steel and aluminum tariffs on three of the United States’ closest trading partners at midnight on Thursday, overruling his own party and stoking fears of a trade war.
American consumers will almost certainly be hit with higher prices due to the tariffs. Some major industries are already warning of mass layoffs due to the increased costs and retaliation from trading partners.
Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross announced today that the exemptions that had been placed on Canada, Mexico, and the EU that excluded them from United States tariffs until March, would now take place at midnight on Thursday. Mexico has already announced counter-tariffs on the United States. They will target American steel as well as food items like pork, sausage, apples, grapes, blueberries, and cheese. The EU has also said that it has “no choice” but to impose counter-measures against the United States. Canada has not yet said what its counter-measures will be, but an announcement is expected as early as Thursday afternoon.
The last president to attempt steel tariffs was George W. bush, back in 2002. He abandoned the thought a year later because the cost, from increased prices and job losses in related industries, outweighed the benefit to the steel industry.
North Korea has threatened to call off the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea leader King Jong-Un, over military drills the U.S and South Korea are currently engaged in, South Korean news agency, Yonhap reported.
ABC News (@ABC) reports, North Korea has also canceled high-level talks with South Korea that were scheduled for Wednesday local time over those same drills. The summit between Trump and Kim was first announced in March and Trump tweeted the scheduled date: June 12th, and location: Singapore, last week.