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Assange: I signed $1.5 million-worth of book deals

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LONDON — WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange said in an interview published Sunday he had signed deals for his autobiography worth more than one $1.5 million.

Assange told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper that the money would help him defend himself against allegations of sexual assault made by two women in Sweden.

“I don’t want to write this book, but I have to,” he said. “I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.”

The Australian said he would receive $800,000 from Alfred A. Knopf, his American publisher, and a British deal with Canongate is worth $500,000.

Money from other markets and serialization is expected to raise the total to 1.1 million pounds, he said.

The latest project of Assange’s whistleblower website is the gradual release of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

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Since this latest project began Assange, who is on bail in Britain fighting a bid by Sweden to extradite him over the sex assault claims, has faced problems financing WikiLeaks.

Credit card companies Visa and MasterCard and the Internet payment firm PayPal have blocked donations to WikiLeaks, prompting Assange to label them “instruments of US foreign policy.”

The Bank of America, the largest US bank, has also halted all transactions to WikiLeaks.

Washington has been infuriated by WikiLeaks as the site slowly releases the cache of around 250,000 secret US State Department cables. The US is believed to be considering how to indict Assange over the the huge leak.

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Assange has been staying at a friend’s country mansion in eastern England since his release from jail on December 16 on strict bail conditions that include reporting to police daily and wearing an electronic tag.

A court in London is due to hold a full hearing on the Swedish extradition request starting February 7.

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Longtime Ohio news anchor retires after dispute with Sinclair Broadcasting over forced pro-Trump commentaries

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Rob Braun, a fixture on local Cincinnati television for over 35 years, is retiring after stating it was "time to move on" because "I don't fit well with the Sinclair News model," reports WVXU.

The reports states that Braun -- the dean of Cincinnati's WKRC news broadcasting -- made the comments on his Facebook page and assured loyal fans that he was not fired by the conservative news organization.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: "I want you to know that I am not retiring. Ch 12 is NOT forcing me out. In fact, they offered me a generous contract. I am choosing to leave. There is no 'real story but .... Sometimes in life, you just know, it's time to move on. I don't feel I fit well with the Sinclair News model."

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Downed drone was some 34 km (21 miles) from Iran coast: US general

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A US spy drone was some 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest point in Iran when it was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile Thursday, a US general said.

"This dangerous and escalatory attack was irresponsible and occurred in the vicinity of established air corridors between Dubai, UAE, and Oman, possibly endangering innocent civilians," said Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella, who commands US air forces in the region.

The Pentagon released a graphic pinpointing the position of the drone on a map of the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage through which much of the world's oil passes.

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Alex Jones attacks Sandy Hook families’ lawyer as a ‘little white Jewboy’ in latest unhinged outburst

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Alex Jones is dealing with ongoing legal battles with families of victims and survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Jones is being accused of sending child pornography to the families and leading an ongoing attack on the families using his InfoWars network. However, his legal defense seems to hinge on attacking the plaintiffs' attorney, AboveTheLaw reported Thursday.

It was the child pornography that prompted Jones to lose his mind over attorney Chris Mattei. During the discovery phase of the trial, Mattei found the images and contacted the FBI, which he is required to do by law. But it sent Jones into an outright ragegasm in a video that was shown in court.

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