First thing: Court examines Assange’s latest attempt to fight US extradition | US News

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Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will begin a final bid on Tuesday to prevent his extradition to the United States, where, if convicted, he could face life in prison.

A two-day High Court hearing will consider whether Assange can be allowed to appeal against a 2022 extradition decision made by the then UK Home Secretary.

In the United States, Assange faces 17 espionage charges and one computer misuse charge for his alleged role in obtaining and disclosing classified documents. The WikiLeaks revelations revealed information about US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Where is Assange now? He has been detained at Belmarsh prison, south-east London, for almost five years.

  • What will his lawyers argue? That his extradition would be a punishment for political opinions and a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • What could his sentence be in the United States? His lawyers say that if convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.

Russian pilot found dead in Spain after defecting to Ukraine was a ‘moral corpse,’ Moscow says

Captain Maksim Kuzminov. Photography: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Russia’s intelligence chief says a Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine last year and was found shot dead last week in an underground car park in Spain was a “moral corpse” from the moment he planned his desertion.

The official Spanish news agency EFE reported that the body of pilot Maksim Kuzminov, who landed in Ukraine last August, was found on February 13 in the town of Villajoyosa, near Alicante.

Asked about Kuzminov, Sergei Naryshkin, director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said: “This traitor and criminal became a moral corpse at the very moment he was planning his dirty and terrible crime. »

The statement comes as Russian security services also said a Russian-American woman had been arrested in Russia on suspicion of treason for raising money for Ukraine.

US urges Israel to abandon plans for Rafah ground offensive as Unicef ​​warns of ‘unbearable’ level of child deaths

Smoke rose above Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardments on Monday. Photograph: Saïd Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has proposed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire – the first time it has done so explicitly – and for Israel to abandon its plans ground invasion of the city of Rafah, where more than a million Gazans have sought refuge. .

It is proposed as an alternative to an Algerian draft resolution, which will be debated on Tuesday and calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The US text says the ceasefire should begin “as soon as possible”, giving Israel more leeway.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Unicef ​​warned that Gaza was facing an increase in the “already unbearable level of child deaths” due to malnutrition. More than 90% of children under five live in extreme food poverty.

  • What will the American project mean? It is not yet clear: we do not yet know whether it will be adopted or even put to a vote. But it could serve as a basis for negotiations with other Council members and indicate that the United States is ready to use the UN to pressure Israel.

In other news…

At least 54 people were killed in an inter-tribal ambush in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, in the remote village of Akom in Enga province. Photo: Betsy Joles/Getty Images
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape faces calls to declare a state of emergency as authorities fear an escalation of violence following Sunday’s tribal massacre. At least 54 people have been killed in an inter-tribal ambush in Enga province.

  • Vladimir Putin gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a car “for his personal use,” state media reported. This gift could constitute a violation of the UN ban that Moscow had agreed to adopt against Pyongyang, and comes in a context of rapprochement between the two countries since the meeting of their leaders in September.

  • A growing number of people on middle incomes in the UK are struggling to maintain a decent standard of living due to an unstable job market and high housing costs, according to a report. Precarious work meant there was a one in three chance that someone on an average income today would not be able to benefit from it next year.

  • A Haitian judge investigating the 2021 assassination of the country’s last president, Jovenel Moïse, has indicted 50 people, including his widow and a former prime minister, a leaked document shows this. Moïse was shot dead when armed men broke into his room in Port-au-Prince on the night of July 7, 2021.

Statistics of the day: scientists discover an “object” 500,000 billion times brighter than our sun

Astronomers identify the brightest, fastest-growing quasars Photography: ESO/M. Kornmesser/EPA

Scientists have discovered a quasar 500 trillion times brighter than our sun ‘hidden in plain sight’. The quasar – the brightest known object in our universe – consumes the equivalent of a sun per day and is powered by the fastest expanding black hole ever discovered.

Don’t Miss This: The Groundbreaking Stories of Black Astronauts

Victor Glover, Ed Dwight and Leland Melvin.
Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

A a new documentary tells the story of black American astronauts, exploring how the space race and the civil rights movement coexisted. The National Geographic documentary “chronicles the first black pilots, engineers and scientists who served their country in space, even though equality for them on Earth was not assured.”

Last thing: “Tease him to Jesus!” » – the return of big hair

American singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus received the award for Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammys earlier this month. Photograph: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Get out your Velcro rollers and your hairspray, because bouffant is back in a big way. From Miley Cyrus to Kendall Jenner, we’re entering a midcentury revival that legendary hairstylist Guido Palau called “subversive” after the reign of the messy bun. Or, as some say in the South: “The higher the hair, the closer it is to heaven – so “tease it to Jesus.” »


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