WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange facing string of new criminal charges in US

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing 17 new criminal charges in the US, including receiving and publishing classified information. …

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing 17 new criminal charges in the US, including receiving and publishing classified information.

The Justice Department made an initial indictment against Assange last month, which accused him of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by Wikileaks. 

The string of new charges, brought under the Espionage Act, also accuse Assange of conspiring with Manning to obtain and disclose classified national defence documents, including State Department cables and reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It says his actions «risked serious harm» to the United States.

The 47-year-old is in prison in London for skipping bail after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April, where he had been since 2012.

The US is seeking his extradition and only had a 60-day window from the date of Assange’s arrest in London to add more charges.

After that, under extradition rules, foreign governments do not generally accept superseding charges.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the 18-count indictment on Thursday.

It said: «WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange charged in 18-count superseding indictment for alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history.

«Superseding indictment alleges Julian Assange published classified documents on WikiLeaks containing the unredacted names of human sources, including journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents from repressive regimes.»

Wikileaks hit back after the announcement, tweeting: «This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the first amendment.»

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor in chief of WikiLeaks, said: «I find no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have scorned us for warning this moment would come. I care for journalism. If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a worthless coward or you defend​ Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism.»

Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack also said the «unprecedented charges» against his client threaten all journalists. 

He said the indictment charges Assange with «encouraging sources to provide him truthful information and for publishing that information.» 

Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret military files to Wikileaks, but her sentence was commuted.

She is currently back in jail after refusing to testify.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange facing 18 new criminal charges

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in the US with receiving and publishing classified information. …

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in the US with receiving and publishing classified information.

The charges, brought by the US Justice Department, are contained in an 18-count indictment announced on Thursday.

The new charges go far beyond an initial indictment against Assange made public last month that accused him of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in a conspiracy to crack a Defence Department computer password.

The new indictment says Assange conspired with Manning to obtain and disclose classified national defence documents, including State Department cables and reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It says his actions «risked serious harm» to the United States.

The 47-year-old is in prison in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April. The US is seeking his extradition.

First Pictures of Proposed New Federal Courthouse in Des Moines Released

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The US Justice Department is releasing the first pictures of the proposed new federal courthouse in downtown Des Moines that is already being protested by civic leaders.

The courthouse is being built on the former site of the Riverfront YMCA.

Des Moines leaders had hoped for private development on the parcel.  A recently formed group lead by Christine Hensley and Eric Branstad are calling for the federal government to scrap the courthouse plan.  They say it is an unneeded waste of federal money that will actually employ fewer people than the current courthouse.

Chief Judge John Jarvey released a statement along with images of the proposed courthouse on Thursday.  That statement addressed the building and its place in the community.

“The building is designed to be recognizable as an important civic structure. The design embraces the river, the Principal Riverwalk, our immediate neighbors and the city of Des Moines as a whole. It reflects the dignity and solemnity customarily associated with a courthouse. It evokes images of transparency in government and will provide an intuitive experience for all who attend court functions. It provides the security necessary for a modern courthouse, utilizing mature trees as a significant security feature.”

-Chief Judge John A. Jarvey

Millions of Americans are only $400 away from financial hardship. Here’s why

A woman enters an All American Check Cashing location in Brandon, Miss., May 12, 2017. 

Rogelio V. Solis | AP

Many Americans describe their situation as financially stable, but economic fragility is persistent across the U.S., especially related to income level, educational attainment, and ethnicity and race. An unexpected expense of $400 can force more than one-third of American adults into a difficult financial situation.

That’s according to the just-released «Report on the Economic Well-being of U.S. Households for 2018,» a study that Fed has been conducting since 2013. The Fed survey finds that many families have experienced substantial gains since 2013, but the decade-long economic expansion and the low unemployment has done «little to narrow the persistent economic disparities by race, education, and geography.»

The Fed indicated that a primary goal of the 2018 study was to explore the reasons behind persistent financial fragility across much of the U.S.

Seventy-five percent of adults say they are either doing «okay» or «living comfortably,» up 12 percentage points from the first study in 2013. The picture changes when race is factored into the responses. Nearly 8 in 10 whites are at least doing okay financially versus two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics, and that gap has not budged since 2013.

Emergency expenses

If faced with an unexpected expense of $400, 61% of adults could cover it with cash, savings, or a credit card paid off at the next statement. But 27% would have to borrow or sell something to pay for the expense; 12% would not be able to cover the expense.

Seventeen percent of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full, led by credit card bills. Another 12 percent of adults would be unable to pay their current month’s bills if they also had an unexpected $400 expense that they had to pay.

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A recent survey from the New York Fed found an alarming rise in credit card delinquencies among younger Americans of 90 days or more.

Medical expenses remain a point of financial stress, with one-fifth of adults saying they had major, unexpected medical bills to pay in the prior year. One quarter of adults said they skipped necessary medical care in 2018 because they were unable to afford the cost.

Race and limited access to financial services

The percentage of American adults who remain unbanked and underbanked are higher among minorities. Fourteen percent of blacks and 11% of Hispanics are unbanked, versus 4 percent of whites. The unbanked or underbanked also are more likely to have low income, and less education. One percent of those with incomes over $40,000 are unbanked, versus 14 percent of those with incomes under that threshold.

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Being unbanked leads to reliance on higher-cost financial services. One-fifth of adults still cannot access traditional banks and credit unions. and 89% of people who use alternative financial services purchase a money order or cash a check at a place other than a bank. Twenty-eight percent borrowed money, including payday loans, paycheck advances, pawn shop or auto title loans, and tax refund advances.

Thirty-five percent of blacks and 23 percent of Hispanics use alternative financial services, compared to 11 percent of whites.

More than one-fourth of blacks are not confident that a new credit card application would be approved if they applied—over twice the rate among whites.

Retirement savings remains a struggle

Only 36% of non-retired adults think that their retirement saving is on track. One-quarter have no retirement savings or pension. Among non-retired adults over the age of 60, less than half (45%) believe that their retirement saving is on track.

Even among Americans with access to 401(k) and IRA plans, Six in 10 told the Fed they have little or no comfort in managing their investments.

Education and race

The ballooning student loan debt, now at roughly $1.5 trillion and the second-largest source of debt in the U.S. after mortgages is a national crisis, with a typical monthly payment between $200 and $299 per month. But higher education remains a key to economic well-being.

Adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher are significantly more likely to be doing at least okay financially (87%) than those with a high school degree or less (64%). However, the Fed survey finds that minorities are much more likely to attend for-profit schools, and struggle with student loans after graduation and question their educational choices.

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More than twice as many Hispanics went to a for-profit institution as did whites; this rate was five times the rate of whites among African-Americans. Over one-fifth of borrowers who attended private for-profit institutions are behind on student loan payments, versus 8 percent who attended public institutions and 5 percent who attended private not-for-profit institutions.

Half of those who attended a private for-profit institution say that they would attend a different school if they had a chance to go back and make their college choices again. By comparison, about one-quarter of those who attended public or private not-for-profit institutions would want to attend a different school.

Check out 3 Things Experts Say to Do if You Win the Lottery via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

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Seven Kings Mosque: Man charged in investigation into firing of gun outside east London mosque

A man has been charged in an investigation into the firing of a gun outside an east London mosque. …

A man has been charged in an investigation into the firing of a gun outside an east London mosque.

Jermaine Wright, 28, was arrested on Wednesday following the incident at Seven Kings Mosque in Ilford on May 9.

The charges against him include possession of a prohibited weapon and two counts of assaulting a police officer. 

Wright, of Tottenham, north London, will appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday after being charged today.

He was also charged with possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Trident and Area Crime Command continue to investigate.