Sweden drops rape investigation against Julian Assange
Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, the infamous co-founder of the popular document-leaking Wikileaks.
The Australian native has avoided extradition to Sweden for close to eight years, having stayed in refuge at an Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
Assange, who denies the allegations, was evicted from the embassy and has been sentenced to 50 weeks of jail time for breaching bail conditions, is being held at Belmarsh prison in London.
Swedish prosecutors originally intended to drop the rape investigation nearly two years ago, stating that they did not have the means to move forward with the investigation while Assange stayed in the Ecuadorian embassy, according to the BBC.
In May of 2019, Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, publicly announced the reopening of the case, due to their being “probable cause to suspect” that Assange had committed the alleged rape.
The alleged rape case against Assange was from a woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted at a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. Assange has vehemently denied all allegations against him, saying the sex was consensual.
In June of 2019, though, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javed approved the U.S.’ extradition request against Assange, where he is wanted on 18 counts of leaking American secrets, including the famous Podesta emails. Those leaks led Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to say Assange must “answer for what he has done.”
Now, though, that same Director of Public Prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson says they will no longer be moving forward with the investigation.
“The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question.”
He also previously faced investigations for accusations of molestation and unlawful coercion. These cases were dropped in 2015 due to statute of limitations laws.
A ten-month-old baby in the United Kingdom has surprised doctors by waking up with a grin on his face from a seemingly irreversible five-day coma. The baby boy was discovered to have heart failure at just fourteen weeks old, according to Fox 2.
After this discovery, the parents set up a GoFundMe page describing the trauma they went through: “We watched our baby breathless, gasping for air while his heart stopped and paramedics worked to save his life. At that moment I did not think Michael would make it through.”
Despite suffering a cardiac arrest, an affliction in which only 7 percent of people survive, the baby made it through. Nevertheless, for his safety, the doctors thought it was necessary to put the baby in a medically induced coma.
Doctors were certain that the baby was not going to regain consciousness, and yet, five days later, the baby was wide awake with an equally large smile.
To thank the hospital, the parents of the baby have established another GoFundMe page to benefit the hospital in which the baby was treated.
“This picture was taken moments after Michael awoke from his coma. The first thing he did was smile at his daddy He truly is our miracle,” wrote the mother on the GoFundMe, which you can donate to here.
Doctors had previously been recommended to only attempt to save premature babies after 23 weeks; however, new data shows that babies born earlier can be saved, and the overall rate for premature survival has doubled as medical technology improves.
According to the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, while it’s still likely that those born before 22 weeks will pass away, experts believe that at least one-third of children born at 23 weeks may now be savable, and, thus, doctors should at least attempt to administer life-saving treatment.
The data shows that those born at 22 weeks only have a 10 percent survival rate. However, those born at 23 weeks were shown to have a survival rate of 38 percent in 2016, which is double the rate found in 2006. Furthermore, each additional week only adds to the likeliness that a child will be successfully delivered.
This latest news in health science has already prompted pro-life advocates to push for a reduction in the latest date that a child can be aborted.
“There is a real contradiction in British law, “ Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said.
“In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive before 24 weeks whilst in another room, a doctor could perform an abortion which would end the life of a baby at the same age. Surely this contradiction needs to end?”
Conversely, a spokesperson for British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a pro-choice charity, said, “There is no contradiction between doing all we can so that babies born long before they are ready for the world have a chance of living, and ensuring that the very small number of women who need to end pregnancies in the final weeks of the second trimester, often in incredibly tragic and desperate circumstances can do so.”
“We must not pit women who have premature babies and women who have later abortions against one another.”
On Wednesday, October 23, Essex Police discovered a transport truck containing the dead bodies of 39 people believed to be from Bulgaria. 38 have been identified as adults, while one was a teen. All 39 were pronounced dead on site.
According to police, one 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, the driver of the vehicle, has been arrested and remains in custody on suspicion of murder.
“We believe the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead on Saturday 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate,” says Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills in a press release.
“We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue. I appreciate this cordon is going to disrupt the activity of local businesses in the area and we will work to ensure that disruption is kept as short as possible. We are working with Thurrock Council to mitigate against any impact our investigation scene will have locally.”
Police say they were alerted to the existence of the truck shortly before 1.40 am Wednesday morning. They received reports that a number of people had been found inside a lorry’s container at the Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays.
A full murder investigation into the tragedy and role the driver played is now underway. Police say that they have so far been unable to identify any of the victims and anticipate that it will be a lengthy process.
The circumstances surrounding the truck and the transport of so many people remain unknown to the public.
“This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened,” says Mills.
“We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”