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Wikileaks’ Julian Assange says Ecuador seeking to end his asylum

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FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that Ecuador is seeking to end his asylum in its London embassy and hand him over to the United States, citing a new set of rules governing his residence at the Andean nation’s diplomatic mission as evidence.

Assange spoke from the embassy via teleconference at the first hearing of a lawsuit in Quito that was initiated by his legal team against the Ecuadorean government. The lawsuit challenges the new rules, which require him to pay for medical bills, phone calls and clean up after his pet cat.

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During the hearing, Assange said the new rules were a sign Ecuador was trying to push him out, and said Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno had already decided to end his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

His comments prompted the South American country’s top government attorney, Iñigo Salvador, to interrupt him and warn him not to make political statements during the proceedings.

Court officials told journalists they could not record any of the statements made during the hearing.

Salvador did not directly respond to Assange’s allegations, but he had told reporters last week Assange was welcome to stay in the embassy with the new rules. He also said the United Kingdom in August had assured Assange would not be extradited if he left the embassy, where he has lived since 2012.

Assange took refuge in the embassy after British courts ordered his extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault case. That case has been dropped, but supporters have said that Assange fears he could be extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy.

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WikiLeaks, which published U.S. diplomatic and military secrets when Assange ran the operation, faces a U.S. grand jury investigation.

In a departure from its previous practice of maintaining dialogue with British authorities over Assange’s situation, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister José Valencia told Reuters last week that the government would no longer intervene on Assange’s behalf, adding that the government was “frustrated” by the lawsuit.

Reporting by Alexandria Valencia; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Lisa Shumaker

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Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN

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CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."

CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."

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2020 Election

Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

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President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."

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2020 Election

Kamala’s family ridicules ‘idiot’ Trump for comments on Sen. Harris at Virginia rally

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President Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic Party vice presidential nominee during a Friday night campaign speech in Newport News, Virginia.

Maya Harris, the sister of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), was pleased that Trump noted the differences between the two VP choices.

Praise the Lord! https://t.co/6B4Z2qxE8a

— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) September 26, 2020

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