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Hackers take down website of bank that froze WikiLeaks funds

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A group of Internet activists calling themselves Operation Payback have taken credit for shutting down the website of a bank that earlier Monday froze funds belonging to WikiLeaks.

Announcing its successful hack on a Twitter account, the group declared, “We will fire at anyone that tries to censor WikiLeaks.”

Earlier in the day, Swiss bank PostFinance issued a statement announcing that it had frozen 31,000 euro ($41,000 US) in an account set up as a legal defense fund for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The bank said it had frozen the account because, in opening it, Assange had claimed residency in Geneva.

“Assange cannot provide proof of residence in Switzerland and thus does not meet the criteria for a customer relationship with PostFinance,” the bank said.

As of Monday evening, the PostFinance website was unavailable.

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Operation Payback also promised a hack attack on PayPal, the online payment service that last week cut off WikiLeaks, denying the group a major tool for collecting donations from supporters.

With the financial noose tightening around WikiLeaks even as a legal one tightens around its founder’s neck, Operation Payback has effectively declared war on the organizations working to hobble WikiLeaks.

“In these modern times, Internet access is fast becoming a basic human right,” the group says in a video posted to YouTube. “Just like any other basic human right, we believe it is wrong to infringe upon it.”

The video continues: “To move to censor content on the Internet based on your own prejudice is, at best, laughably impossible. The unjust restrictions you impose on us will meet with disaster, and only strengthen our resolve to disobey and rebel against your tyranny.”

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WikiLeaks has in recent days been under a deluge of cyber-attacks that led to its DNS registration for its .org URL being taken down, but by mid-Monday the site had reappeared on more than 500 different domains.

News sources in Britain reported late Monday that Assange has arranged to meet with British police on Tuesday, and will likely face a court hearing over an international warrant issued by Sweden in connection with accusations of sexual assault. The criminal probe does not allege non-consensual sex, only that Assange had sex with two women without a condom.

Supporters of the secret-spilling organization argue that the controversies surrounding WikiLeaks — from the unusual criminal probe against Assange, to banks freezing their funds — are part of a global campaign to shut down a website that has embarrassed world leaders on numerous occasions.

With earlier reporting by Stephen C. Webster

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The following video was posted to YouTube by Operation Payback.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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John Oliver perfectly explains the Mueller report in a way all Americans can understand

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The overwhelming majority of Americans have not read the 400-plus-page report from special counsel Robert Mueller. As it stands, it's unclear how many elected officials have either. It's become a problem for Democrats, who would like to impeach the president but can't get the American people to pay attention long enough.

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver has a solution. In his Sunday show, Oliver outlined a vital piece of the report that outlined just one of many obstructions of justice at the hand of President Donald Trump.

After he outlined what impeachment is, he showed Trump talking about the law that claims it's for "high crimes and misdemeanors." According to Trump, he has to be accused of both because it says "and." An annoyed Oliver corrected the president's incorrect assessment.

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John Oliver unleashes epic supercut of Fox News host who can’t stop bragging about learning German in high school

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Fox News host Brian Kilmeade took German as his foreign language in high school. If you didn't know that, then you likely don't watch Fox News, because the host has made a claim several dozen times.

HBO host John Oliver spent a few moments out of his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight" to mock Kilmeade for his desire to remind people of his three years of classes frequently.

Kilmeade has talked about it so many times that his co-hosts began preempting his comment every time the country of Germany is mentioned, or the German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears on the screen.

Watch the hilarious mockery below:

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Trump thinks he can create his own healthcare law that will take the issue off the table for Democrats

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One of the significant issues Republicans lost on in 2018 was their nearly decade-long crusade to unmake the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

This week Trump will announce that he's running for president again, and he promises a surprise announcement while there. While it's unclear what he intends for the surprise, one thing he is talking about is a better healthcare law than the Democratic one.

According to The New York Times, Trump is "vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest."

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