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Assange aide arrested trying to leave Ecuador: official

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A collaborator of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday in Ecuador while trying to flee to Japan, the South American country’s interior minister said.

Maria Paula Romo did not identify the person but told Sonorama radio he was very close to Assange, who was arrested Thursday in London on a US extradition request after spending seven years in the Ecuadoran embassy there.

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Channel Teleamazonas identified him as Ola Bini, a software developer focused on privacy, security and cryptography, but did not name its source.

Earlier Thursday, the minister had linked the collaborator with alleged attempts to destabilize the government of President Lenin Moreno.

He “has been detained simply for investigation purposes,” she said, adding he had taken foreign trips with former Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patino, who gave political asylum to Assange in 2012.

“We have sufficient evidence that he was collaborating in attempts to destabilize the government,” she said.

Romo’s announcement followed the arrest of Assange earlier Thursday.

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British police moved in after Ecuador pulled its asylum for Assange and cancelled his citizenship, granted in 2012.

He had been living in the embassy, fearing arrest, but the Ecuadoran government says that Assange “repeatedly violated” the conditions of his protection.

The US Justice Department said Assange was being charged with a computer hacking conspiracy relating to his work with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in March 2010.

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‘You’re lying again’: Twitter fires back at Lindsey Graham’s claim that ‘Biden’s behavior was harmful to the United States’

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In a series of tweets this Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) gave his opinion that additional testimony in the impeachment effort against President Trump is "unnecessary," regardless of the leaked revelations from an unpublished manuscript of John Bolton's upcoming book. According to Graham, "one could assume everything attributable to John Bolton is accurate and still the House case would fall well below the standards to remove a president from office."

Graham then turned the focus of his thread to Joe Biden, writing that "there is ample evidence for the President to be concerned about conflicts of interest on behalf of Hunter Biden and that Vice President Joe Biden’s failure to take appropriate action was unacceptable."

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Harvey Weinstein demanded threesome from aspiring actress, trial hears

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Former Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein demanded a threesome from an aspiring actress in return for movie roles, his rape and sexual assault trial heard Wednesday.

The ex-Miramax boss said he had asked the same of Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman, accuser Dawn Dunning told the New York court.

There is no suggestion that any of the three actresses ever acquiesced to the alleged request.

Dunning, 40, testified that she first met Weinstein when she was waitressing at a New York nightclub in 2004.

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Trump signs long-awaited North American trade deal

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the new USMCA North American trade pact with Canada and Mexico into law, pronouncing a "glorious future" for US industry.

The USMCA, crafted over years of negotiation between the three countries, replaces the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Trump has long campaigned against NAFTA, which he said resulted in shipping US jobs abroad.

"Today, we are finally ending the NAFTA nightmare," he said at the new treaty's signing ceremony in the White House.

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