QUITO, ECUADOR – Ecuador’s government acknowledged on Tuesday it had partly restricted internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks who has lived in the South American country’s London embassy since mid-2012. WikiLeaks said Assange lost connectivity on Sunday, sparking speculation Ecuador might have been pressured by the United States due to the group’s publication of hacked material linked to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In a statement, Ecuador’s leftist government said WikiLeaks’ decision to publish documents impacting the U.S. election campaign was entirely its own responsibility, and the South American country did not cede to pressure from other nations. “In that respect, Ecuador, exercising its sovereign right, has temporarily restricted access to part of its communications systems in its UK Embassy,” it added in a statement. “The Ecuador government respects the principle of non-intervention in other countries’ affairs, it does not meddle in election processes underway, nor does it support any candidate specially.” Earlier on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said it had no role in restricting Assange’s internet access. “While our concerns about WikiLeaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary (John) Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. Assange was granted asylum four years ago by Ecuador after a British court ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case involving two female supporters. He’s been staying in Ecuador’s London embassy ever since. Ecuador has delayed until Nov. 14 its questioning of Assange in the Swedish assault investigation, at the Wikileaks founder’s request.WikiLeaks said it activated “contingency plans” after Assange’s cut-off, and Ecuador said that its action did not stop the group continuing “journalistic activities.” Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has long backed Assange’s right to free speech and has also supported Clinton publicly. “For the good of the United States and the world … I would like Hillary to win,” he told broadcaster Russia Today last month.
ATLANTA Brain cancer is now the deadliest form of childhood cancer in the United States, surpassing leukemia as treatment advances have allowed doctors to cure many blood-related cancers, the Centers for Disease Control and […]
RALEIGH Tropical Storm Hermine barreled through southeastern North Carolina over the weekend, dropping as much as eight inches of rain in some areas. State Emergency management officials said the storm’s quick path through the […]
RALEIGH Traditional conservatives are doing some soul-searching about the direction of their party after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, with establishment GOPers facing an upswing in Trump-supporting populists who have a different […]