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Ecuadorian Embassy in Britain scales back security for Assange

Ecuadorian Embassy in Britain scales back security for Assange

World
May 18 (UPI) -- Ecuador announced on Friday it will remove extra security at its British embassy, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has received asylum since 2012. The country's National Communications Secretariat said the embassy will have "normal security similar to Ecuador's embassies in the world." The announcement follows a change in Ecuador's political leadership, with the election of President Lenin Moreno in 2017. It was also revealed this week that Ecuador spent $ 5 million protecting Assange by monitoring visitors, embassy personnel and British police. The operation to house and protect Assange was supported by former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. In March, Assange's Internet connection at the embassy was withdrawn to prevent him from interfering in other countries' ...
EU gets tough with U.S. on Iran, trade at summit meeting

EU gets tough with U.S. on Iran, trade at summit meeting

World
May 18 (UPI) -- European Union members meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, prepared a united front against U.S. decisions to exit the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and impose steel and aluminum tariffs. The European Commission, the EU executive branch, announced Friday it "launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of U.S. sanctions on Iran falling within its scope." The blocking statute, created in 1996 to evade the U.S. embargo of goods to Cuba, will be remodeled to reflect Iran-related sanctions that were reinstated after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the accord on May 8. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javas Zarif met with his British, French and German counterparts in Brussels earlier this week. "What we demand is no conditi...
'Urban Ebola' could see cases rise exponentially

'Urban Ebola' could see cases rise exponentially

World
There is a "very high" public health risk from Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organisation has said.  The health agency has raised its earlier assessment after one patient in a major city was confirmed as having the disease.Although the global risk of an Ebola outbreak remains low, the WHO says the risk to countries neighbouring the Congo is now "moderate".On Thursday, a case was confirmed in Mbandaka - a city of about 1.5 million people.The city lies about 93 miles from Bikoro, a remote area where the current outbreak was announced last week.Now the disease has been reported in a highly populated urban area, it is expected to spread more quickly."The confirmed case in Mbandaka, a large urban centre located on major national and interna...
Assad tells Putin: 'Door open to political process'

Assad tells Putin: 'Door open to political process'

World
Syrian President Bashar al Assad has had talks in Russia with Vladimir Putin. The two leaders spoke in the Black Sea coast resort of Sochi to discuss their "next mutual steps", according to the Kremlin.A transcript released by the Russian government claimed Mr Assad said the situation in Syria was becoming "more stable". Image: Syria has been plagued by civil war for seven years He also reportedly hailed progress in fighting "terrorism", which "opens the door to the political process".Mr Putin's spokesman said Mr Assad had decided to "send a delegation to the UN" to discuss reforming the country's constitution.Russia has been a crucial ally of the Syrian regime throughout the Middle Eastern country's seven-year civil. ...
DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to Mbandaka city

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to Mbandaka city

World
The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly hard to control. Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million people about 130km (80 miles) from the area where the first cases were confirmed earlier this month.The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa. Forty-two people have now been infected and 23 people are known to have died.Ebola is a serious infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.Why is the spread to a city such a...