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Technology US

Cyberpunk 2077 discs are $30 today for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

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Only the best deals on Verge-approved gadgets get the Verge Deals stamp of approval, so if you’re looking for a deal on your next gadget or gift from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more, this is the place to be.

If you’ve already nabbed a next-gen PlayStation or Xbox — or are willing to give developer CD Projekt the benefit of the doubt that it’ll eventually work on your current-gen machine — you can now pick up the standard disc edition of Cyberpunk 2077 for half-price at Amazon and Best Buy. It’s $30, instead of $60.

To be clear, that’s the price for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, which work on PS5 and Xbox Series X far, far better than they do on current-gen consoles. (There’s no PS5 or Xbox Series X-specific version of the game so far, but the disc will include a free upgrade.) Amazon also has the PC version for $40; compare to its normal price of $60.


Cyberpunk 2077

Prices taken at time of publishing.

CD Projekt Red’s much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 is here. While the game is in need of some bug fixes, the PC version is especially gorgeous.

Sony actually took the unprecedented step of removing Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation Store, and it still isn’t back, so we wouldn’t blame you if you want to hold off. Five days ago, CD Projekt Red promised the first major update for the game would arrive “within ten days,” but suggested it may still be weeks before additional fixes roll out. Even the PC version of the game is still riddled with bugs and half-baked systems, for that matter, although some of them are quite hilarious.

A free next-gen console update that’ll turn your disc into a true PS5 and/or Xbox Series X copy of the game will arrive later in 2021, according to CD Projekt Red’s latest roadmap. You can see that, hear the company’s apology, and decide for yourself by watching the video below.

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Headline USA

Today, January 15, is the BIG day of the second $ 600 stimulus check | The State

The Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 allows less than a month for the IRS and Treasury to complete the distribution of most second round stimulus checks.

Photo:
William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

This Friday, December 15, the deadline established by law for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in coordination with the Treasury Department complete second stimulus check mailing to most eligible Americans.

The Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations in Response and Relief Act of 2021 approved in the United States Congress at the end of December stipulates that by today the agencies in charge of distributing direct payments to those economically affected by the pandemic must have completed the process in the case of beneficiaries over whom they have information in your files.

So, if your stimulus check was sent this Friday, the next few days would be key to knowing if it will finally arrive or if you will have to take additional steps to claim the money.

If by the end of this month, you being eligible, do not receive the funds that correspond to you, you must request the refund through a credit on your tax return for this taxable season.

First deposits on December 29

The first direct deposits with the minimum check of $ 600 were made on December 29, as reported by his Twitter account on Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin.

More than 100 million payments processed

Along with depositing into bank accounts to the people who provided that information to the IRS, the agencies began sending paper checks and some 8 million prepaid debit cards.

The IRS has processed more than 100 million payments, according to preliminary reports.

“Refund Recovery Credit”

In the event that January ends and you do not receive your check, the IRS option is to request the payment due through the “Refund Recovery Credit” as part of the tax return you will file this year.

The alternative also applies to recipients who received the base payment of $ 600 from the second check plus no additional funds for dependents.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Allowances Act of 2021 provides for payments of $ 600 per individual and $ 1,200 per couple filing jointly, plus an additional $ 600 for each minor dependent in the household.

People who have not yet received their first stimulus check can also use credit to request payment due.

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Categories
Entertainment USA

‘TODAY’ Show Hosts Through The Years: See Savannah Guthrie, Katie Couric & More Then & Now

‘TODAY’ premiered nearly 7 decades ago in 1952. The iconic morning news show has featured many notable hosts and anchors over the years. Take a look back at ‘TODAY’s biggest names then and now.

TODAY is a morning news staple for millions of Americans every single morning. The anchors and hosts provide the latest on what’s happening in the United States and the world. The show first premiered on Jan. 14, 1952. Through the years, TODAY has had some of the best journalists at the news desk.

Katie Couric was a ‘TODAY’ co-host from 1991 to 2006. (The Everett Collection/AP)

One of the most recognized TODAY co-hosts is Katie Couric, 64. She first started at TODAY in 1989 as a national political correspondent. She became the main co-host in 1991 after Deborah Norville left. Matt Lauer, 63, became her co-host in 1997. She left her position as TODAY co-host in 2006 after 15 years.

Since she was on a weekly morning news show, viewers were very invested in Katie. In her earlier years at TODAY, Katie rocked a short, coiffed hairstyle that was incredibly popular in the 1990s. During her later years at TODAY, Katie grew her hair out and became a blonde.

Savannah Guthrie
Savannah Guthrie is one of the current co-hosts of ‘TODAY.’ (The Everett Collection/AP)

Savannah Guthrie, 49, is the current main co-anchor at TODAY, a position she’s held since 2012. Similar to Katie, Savannah’s co-host was Lauer until he was fired in 2017 due to allegations of sexual misconduct. On Nov. 29, 2017, Savannah was the one to break the news to TODAY viewers that Matt had been fired. During her time on TODAY, Savannah has welcomed two kids: Vale and Charles.

TODAY hosts come and go, but Al Roker, 66, has never left. Al has been TODAY’s weather anchor since 1996. The loveable weatherman is beloved amongst TODAY viewers. He also currently co-hosts the third hour of TODAY. Al has experienced major life changes while on TODAY. He underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and lost over 100 pounds. He has chronicled his weight loss journey over the years. In 2019, he revealed that he had lost 40 pounds on the keto diet.

Al Roker
Al Roker has been the weather anchor of ‘TODAY’ since 1996. (The Everett Collection/AP)

Al revealed in Nov. 2020 to TODAY’s audience that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery to have his prostate removed and returned to work two weeks later. “I’m very fortunate. I just went to the doctor yesterday and they checked everything and everything is fine,” he said when he returned.

Categories
Gadget

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series to Launch Today, Here’s How to Watch Live


Samsung Galaxy S21 series launch is expected at the Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event later today. The virtual event will take place through Samsung’s social media channels as well as via YouTube. The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is likely to include the Galaxy S21 as well as the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung is also speculated to unveil the Galaxy Buds Pro (its next-generation truly wireless (TWS) earbuds) as well as the Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth tracker at today’s event.

Samsung Galaxy S21 launch time, livestream details

The Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event where the Samsung Galaxy S21 series is expected to debut will take place at 10am EST (8:30pm IST) today. It will be live streamed through the Samsung Newsroom and Samsung.com sites as well as YouTube. Specifically for Indian consumers, the company will also host a Galaxy India Unpacked event at 8pm that will include India-specific announcements. The Global Unpacked event will continue on the same broadcasting channels following the closure of its Indian version.

Samsung Galaxy S21 series price in India (expected)

Samsung Galaxy S21 series price in India is yet to be revealed. Recent reports suggest that the regular Galaxy S21 could start at EUR 849 (roughly Rs. 75,600), while the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra are rumoured to carry initial price tags of EUR 1,049 (roughly Rs. 93,400) and EUR 1,399 (roughly Rs. 1,24,600).

Alongside the Galaxy S21 series, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are also likely to debut at today’s event with a price tag of around $199 (roughly Rs. 14,500) or CAD 264.99 (roughly Rs. 15,200). The Galaxy SmartTag is also expected to arrive at the event, though its pricing is yet to be revealed.

Samsung Galaxy S21 series specifications (expected)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is expected to come in multiple colour options and feature a hole-punch display design. The series is also likely to have Exynos 2100 SoC in global markets — or Snapdragon 888 in the US. In terms of differences, the Galaxy S21 is rumoured to have a 6.2-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) Infinity-O Display with Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen and 421ppi pixel density, while the Galaxy S21+ is speculated to have the same screen in 6.7-inch size and 394ppi of pixel density. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is, on the other hand, said to have a 6.8-inch (1,440×3,200 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display and 515ppi pixel density.

On the part of optics, the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ both are rumoured to have the same triple rear camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary sensor, 12-megapixel secondary sensor with an ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel tertiary sensor with a wide-angle lens. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is, however, rumoured to have a quad rear camera setup that could include a 108-megapixel primary camera sensor, a 12-megapixel secondary sensor, and two sensors at 10-megapixel resolution with a telephoto lens on top.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ both are expected to have a 10-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra may come with a 40-megapixel selfie camera.

Samsung is also rumoured to offer S Pen support on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The phone is also likely to have three distinct finishes to provide a premium look-and-feel to customers.

The Galaxy S21 is rumoured to have a 4,000mAh battery, whereas the Galaxy S21+ could come with a 4,800mAh battery and the Galaxy S21 Ultra could include a battery of 5,000mAh capacity.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Headline USA

Alina Mayo Azze on her departure from Univision: “Today this long chapter in my life closes” | The State

Alina Mayo Azze.

Photo:
Alina Mayo Azze / Courtesy

Yesterday we told you that the emblematic journalist of Univision News, Alina Mayo Azze, who spent 30 years at the helm of the local Miami newscast, was fired.

Yes, the same day the new executives and positions were introduced Univision, began a wave of layoffs, especially in local stations, both television and radio.

Through her Instagram account, Mayo Azze herself confirmed the news by writing these moving and at the same time inspiring words:

“The day has come… Today this long chapter in my life as a television journalist closes. Thank you all for your support, trust, and love during my nearly 40 years of TV reporting in Spanish in South Florida. Of those years, 30 have been as presenter of the news of channel 23. This journey has been a privilege in which I learned a lot from my community and from those who form it. Here I will share my new projects.

For the moment I am going to dedicate myself to rest and charge batteries after such a difficult 2020. I am calm and happy! I ask from my heart that you continue to support the local press, especially my colleagues on television who bring you the news every day. At a time when the press is under siege by so many, the local television newscasts work very hard day by day and they do it for you, and for the well-being of your families. I don’t like goodbyes … from me, this is just a see you later … Peace, health and love to all ❤️ Alina ❤️ “, he concluded.

Alina Mayo Azze, who graduated from the University of Miami, began her career as a reporter on Univision Miami’s Channel 23 in 1981. She then joined Telemundo Miami as a presenter in 1988, and returned to Univision in 1991 to lead Noticias 23 until yesterday.

During his career, he has interviewed world leaders such as President Barack Obama, and has covered stories such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the death of the Princess Diana. He has received six EMMY Awards, four ACRIN Awards, and two ACCA Awards.

Categories
Technology US

Grab a two-pack of the latest Echo Dot for $50 at Amazon today

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Only the best deals on Verge-approved gadgets get the Verge Deals stamp of approval, so if you’re looking for a deal on your next gadget or gift from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more, this is the place to be.

The new ball-shaped fourth-gen Amazon Echo, which was released last year, was frequently discounted over the holiday season. If you missed those deals and are looking to grab two Echo Dots, Amazon is currently running a promotion that allows you to buy two for $50 (before tax) when you enter the code DOT2PACK at checkout.


Amazon Echo Dot (2020)

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The fourth generation of the Echo Dot features a more spherical design than an actual dot.

If you are looking to pick up Apple’s flagship earbuds, there are a few deals currently available. Right now, if you want the lowest price for these wireless earbuds and don’t mind buying refurbished, they are $190 at Best Buy (Geek Squad Certified). If you want a new pair, they are $219 at Amazon, or you can shell out an extra dollar and get them at Verizon and choose in-store pickup.


Apple AirPods Pro

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Apple’s flagship earbuds with better sound quality, noise cancellation, and spatial audio.

At Best Buy, you can buy a pair of Beats Solo Pro headphones in light blue for $170 or in red or navy blue for just $180. Normally $300, the Beats Solo Pro are great if you are looking for a pair of wireless headphones because of their effective noise cancellation and increased sweat resistance.


Beats Solo Pro

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Our top pick for best on-ear noise-canceling headphones. The Beats Solo Pros are ideal if you need a durable pair of headphones while you work out.

Preorders for the OnePlus Nord N100 phone began last Friday. If you pre-purchase the phone through B&H Photo, you will also receive a $30 gift card for the retailer at no additional cost. Or if you want to preorder through the OnePlus’ website, the company will throw in a pair of black OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z earbuds for free.


OnePlus Nord N100

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The OnePlus Nord N100 is a $180 phone that features a 6.52-inch display and a 5,000mAh battery.

Categories
Technology US

Get two years of PlayStation Plus for only $58 today

If you were gifted a PS5 over the holidays or still own a PS4 and need to renew your PlayStation Plus membership, you can snag two one-year PlayStation Plus subscriptions at Eneba for $58 when you enter the discount code 2021PLUS at checkout (while supplies last). Usually, one year of PlayStation Plus would set you back $60, so getting two one-year subscriptions for less than the normal retail price is a real bargain, and this promotion will likely sell out quickly.

Ideally, this is great for a PS4 or PS5 user looking to stack up on PlayStation Plus subscriptions for the next two years, or if you want to gift one PlayStation Plus membership to a friend and keep the other one for yourself. If you don’t need more than one PlayStation Plus membership, Eneba has another promotion allowing you to buy one year for just $30 with code JANDEALS. Otherwise, it’s $31 without the code.


PlayStation Plus membership (one year)

Prices taken at time of publishing.

One year of PlayStation Plus allows PS4 and PS5 gamers to play games online and receive perks such as free games each month and exclusive discounts on the PlayStation Store. You can get two one-year subscriptions for $58 with code 2021PLUS entered at checkout.

When testing out the deal, I found that the 2021PLUS discount code will only work if you have two PlayStation Plus one-year subscriptions in your cart. The codes are also region-locked, so you will need a US PlayStation Network account to redeem the membership.

PlayStation Plus is a paid online subscription service that comes with a ton of perks for members, including occasional discounts during PlayStation Store sales and free games that usually switch up on a monthly cadence, among other things. A PlayStation Plus subscription is compatible with both the PS4 and PS5.

Additionally, PS5 owners receive an additional incentive for having an active PlayStation Plus subscription: access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, a digital library of “generation-defining” first- and third-party games that were released on the PS4, such as Bloodborne, God of War, and Ratchet and Clank.

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Entertainment USA Headline USA Politics

WikiLeaks founder could walk free TODAY as he faces bail hearing

Julian Assange will discover today if he will become a free man after almost 10 years of prison and self-imposed confinement after his dramatic legal victory against the US bid to extradite him. 

US officials were left ‘extremely disappointed’ after a British judge ruled on Monday that the WikiLeaks founder cannot be extradited to face spying charges due to the risk of him taking his own life in an American jail.

The US government has given notice that it will appeal against the decision and has two weeks to lodge grounds, while Assange has been remanded in custody at HMP Belmarsh ahead of his bail application today. 

Stella Moris – with whom he shares two young sons – was seen arriving at this morning’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court alongside two senior WikiLeaks employees. 

Ms Moris, who fell in love with Assange while she was his lawyer, said outside the Old Bailey on Monday: ‘Today is a victory for Julian. Today’s victory is a first step towards justice in this case.’

She also issued a direct appeal to Donald Trump, which references President Ronald Reagan’s 1987 appeal to Soviet lead Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘tear down’ the Berlin Wall. 

‘Mr President tear down these prison walls,’ she said. ‘Let our little boys have their father. Free Julian. Free the press.’

Julian Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, is seen arriving at this morning’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court with Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, left, and Joseph A Farrell, an ambassador for the organisation 

On Monday, Assange won his legal battle against US officials who wanted to put him on trial for helping hack government computers and violating an espionage law by releasing confidential cables (he is seen in a court sketch)

On Monday, Assange won his legal battle against US officials who wanted to put him on trial for helping hack government computers and violating an espionage law by releasing confidential cables (he is seen in a court sketch) 

A prison van arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court this morning ahead of Assange's bail application hearing, as photographers try to picture Assange inside

A prison van arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court this morning ahead of Assange’s bail application hearing, as photographers try to picture Assange inside 

Assange’s defence team, including celebrity barrister Jennifer Robinson, will be in court for today’s hearing. If they successful, their client could be a free man immediately afterwards.

However, this is thought to be unlikely given the US government’s pending appeal. 

Had Assange been convicted in the US, he would have been held in isolation at the notorious Supermax jail in Colorado, which has been described by a former warden as a ‘clean version of hell’ and a ‘fate worse than death’.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser said there was an ‘unmanageable high risk’ of Assange taking his own life if he was housed amid the grim conditions as she revealed he has autism, Asperger’s and a severe depressive disorder.

She accepted the evidence of medical experts who revealed that Assange had spoken openly about suicide while in Belmarsh and had prepared for it by writing a will. A razor blade was also found in his cell.

‘This is a victory for Julian’: How Assange’s partner Stella Moris greeted Monday’s verdict

Ms Moris, who fell in love with Assange while she was his lawyer, said outside the Old Bailey: ‘I had hoped today would be the day Julian would come home. Today is not that day but that day will come soon.

‘As long as Julian has to endure suffering in isolation as an unconvicted prisoner at Belmarsh prison, as long as our children continue to be robbed of their father’s love and affection, we cannot celebrate.

‘We will celebrate the day he comes home. 

‘Today is a victory for Julian. Today’s victory is a first step towards justice in this case.

‘On behalf of Julian and myself, I want to thank the millions of people around the world and the institutions that are already calling for this persecution to end.

‘I ask you all to shout louder, you lobby harder, until he is free. I call on everyone else to come together to defend Julian’s rights; not just Julian’s rights, they are your rights too. Julian’s freedom is coupled to all our freedoms and our freedoms are lost in the blink of an eye.

‘I call on insiders to come forward to expose the full extent of the misconduct that has led to Julian’s imprisonment. And I call on the president of the United States to end this now.

‘Mr President, tear down these prison walls. Let our little boys have their father. Free Julian, free the press, free us all.’ 

Mexico offered political asylum to Mr Assange earlier this week. The country’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said: ‘I’m going to ask the foreign minister to carry out the relevant procedures to request that the UK government releases Mr Assange and that Mexico offers him political asylum.’

He said Mexico would ensure ‘that whoever receives asylum does not intervene or interfere in the political affairs of any country.’ 

The country has previously offered political asylum to high-profile international figures such as former Bolivian president Evo Morales. 

Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister said Assange can remain a free man if he chooses to return to his native country when his legal battle is over.  

Scott Morrison avoided passing judgement on the decision but said Assange would be able to travel home if he his freed.

‘I note the decision overnight and like any other Australian I understand that’s subject to appeal… assuming that all turns out, he’s like any other Australian, he’s free to return home to Australia if he wishes,’ Mr Morrison told 3AW radio.

‘Consular support has been offered to Assange… it’s a matter for him [if he returns] when proceedings and processes end,’ the prime minister added. 

On Monday, Assange’s supporters were overjoyed at the decision not to extradite him to the US but expressed dismay that the ruling was made on health grounds rather than in defence of freedom of expression.

The activist has been backed by a raft of celebrities including Pamela Anderson, artist Al Weiwei and designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Assange’s mother, Christine urged the US not to appeal, saying her son had suffered enough.

She tweeted after Monday’s ruling: ‘UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against extraditing my son Julian to the US on medical grounds.

‘US prosecutors state they will appeal. I implore Pres Trump & Pres elect Biden to order them to stand down. The decade long process was the punishment. He has suffered enough.’

Conservative MP David Davis said: ‘Good news Julian Assange’s extradition has been blocked. Extradition treaties should not be used for political prosecutions.’

Jeremy Corbyn, whose brother, Piers, was outside the Old Bailey on Monday, said: ‘Good news that the extradition of Julian Assange has been refused – my congratulations to him and his legal team. Extradition would be an attack on press freedom.

‘And it is alarming that the judge has accepted US government arguments threatening freedom of speech and freedom to publish. There remains much at stake in his case, which is being observed by so many around the world. Assange should be released.’

Assange, 49, faced an 18-count indictment, alleging a plot to hack computers and a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information

Assange, 49, faced an 18-count indictment, alleging a plot to hack computers and a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information 

A large crowd is now gathered outside the court today, with several police officers urging people to adhere to social distancing rules

A large crowd is now gathered outside the court today, with several police officers urging people to adhere to social distancing rules

Moris, with whom Assange shares two young sons, speaks to the media outside the Old Bailey in London on Monday

Moris, with whom Assange shares two young sons, speaks to the media outside the Old Bailey in London on Monday

How Assange is being defended by celebrity lawyer Jennifer Robinson – while judge overseeing case extradited Sarkozy fraud suspect

Jennifer Robinson, a key member of Assange’s defence team, is the go-to barrister for the rich and famous, most recently walking hand in hand with actress Amber Heard in her showdown against her ex-husband Johnny Depp in his acrimonious libel trial.

She counts the Hollywood elite among her inner circle, travelling to George and Amal Clooney’s wedding on a speedboat with actor Bill Murray.

A self-confessed Kyle Minogue fan, who has ‘nothing in her fridge but Champagne’ , the human rights lawyer once set headlines alight after she was spotted canoodling with Jeremy Corbyn’s former spin doctor, Seumas Milne.

Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson (left) with Assange's partner Stella Moris (right) at an earlier Old Bailey hearing

Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson (left) with Assange’s partner Stella Moris (right) at an earlier Old Bailey hearing

Ms Robinson and Mr Milne – a then-married father-of-two – were photographed in a passionate embrace on the terrace of the Courthouse hotel in East London in 2017. The 39-year-old, who came from humble beginnings in Australia, has been known to use her social media as an outlet to criticise the Tories on their human rights record and tweet support for Corbyn.

Less is known about Vanessa Baraitser, the district judge overseeing Assange’s case. 

She appears to be a specialist in extradition cases and last year gave the go ahead for an associate of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to be returned to France for trial. 

Alexandre Djouhri, who was arrested at Heathrow last year after arriving on a flight from his Swiss home, and is accused by French prosecutors of nine offences relating to money laundering and corruption. These are alleged to have been committed in circumstances connected to Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.   

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser delivering her verdict on Monday

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser delivering her verdict on Monday

The journalist Glenn Greenwald added a note of caution, saying the judge had endorsed most of the arguments put forward by the US in favour of extradition – including dismissing the idea that it was an attack on freedom of speech.

He said: ‘This wasn’t a victory for press freedom. Quite the contrary: the judge made clear she believed there are grounds to prosecute Assange in connection with the 2010 publication. It was, instead, an indictment of the insanely oppressive US prison system for security ‘threats.’

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden – the whistleblower who worked with Wikileaks and is currently living in Russia after leaking U.S. surveillance secrets – called for an end to the proceedings, tweeting: ‘Let this be the end of it.’

Amnesty International tweeted: ‘We welcome the fact that Julian Assange will not be sent to the USA, but this does not absolve the UK from having engaged in this politically-motivated process at the behest of the USA and putting media freedom and freedom of expression on trial.’

Judge Baraitser ruled that Assange risked being held under Special Administrative Measures (Sams), which would have seen him in solitary confinement with limited access to family and only two phone calls per month.

She said: ‘Faced with the conditions of near total isolation without the protective factors which limited his risk at HMP Belmarsh, I am satisfied the procedures described by the US will not prevent Mr Assange from finding a way to commit suicide and for this reason I have decided extradition would be oppressive by reason of mental harm and I order his discharge.

‘Despite his lighter spirit at times, he’s a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely fearful of his future. He represents an unmanageable high risk of suicide, both in Belmarsh and the US.’

She revealed that in 1991 Mr Assange had tried to take his own life and that there was a history of depression in the family.

His maternal grandmother and uncle both died by suicide, and Assange phoned the Samaritans most nights while in jail.

Australian-born Assange had been charged under the US’s 1917 Espionage Act for conspiring with Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, to hack into a Pentagon computer network and publish secret documents related to ‘national defence.’

The WikiLeaks founder faced a total of 18 charges and was also accused of putting the lives of US informants at risk by publishing the material.

Assange has been locked in a bitter dispute with US authorities since July 2010 when WikiLeaks started publishing hundreds of thousands of classified US military and political documents from the Afghan and Iraq wars.

As US officials pursued him through the British courts, in June 2012, Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy, requesting political asylum, which was granted two months later.

Assange remained holed up at the embassy until April 2019 when Ecuador revoked his asylum status, leading to his arrest and kickstarting a legal battle that culminated in Monday’s judgment.

During his time in the embassy, the WikiLeaks founder fathered two children with his partner Stella Morris.

For the past 19 months, Assange has been held at Belmarsh top security jail.

He first appeared at the Old Bailey last February, but the case was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If Assange had stood trial in the US, he faced a possible 175 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

The controversial WikiLeaks founder has attracted a number of high-profile supporters including Pamela Anderson and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who visited him at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Others to have lent their support include the artist Al Weiwei and designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Assange was represented at his Old Bailey trial last year by eminent lawyer Jennifer Robinson.

The court head extraordinary details of the lengths US authorities were prepared to go to ensure that Assange stood trial in the country.

Stella Moris, the mother of Julian Assange's children, Max and Gabriel (pictured left and right) this weekend said Britain 'would no longer be a haven for free speech' if he was extradited

Stella Moris, the mother of Julian Assange’s children, Max and Gabriel (pictured left and right) this weekend said Britain ‘would no longer be a haven for free speech’ if he was extradited

This included hiring a US security contractor to bug Assange’s meetings in the Ecuadorian embassy and even a possible kidnap or poison plot to end the stalemate.

Judge Baraitser heard that if convicted, Assange faced the prospect of being held in a Supermax ADX facility in Colorado, where convicted terrorist Abu Hamza has been housed under Sams in solitary confinement.

Psychiatrists for the defence said Assange had suffered from severe depression and was a high suicide risk.

But lawyers for the US Government claimed that the prospect of Assange being held under Sams was ‘speculative’ and the sentence was likely to be much lower.

Chelsea Manning had been sentenced to 35 years over her role in leaking classified material but was given clemency after seven years.

However, she was jailed again for contempt in 2019 and fined for refusing to testify in court about Assange.

Timeline: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s long legal battle 

2006

Assange creates Wikileaks with a group of like-minded activists and IT experts to provide a secure way for whistleblowers to leak information. He quickly becomes its figurehead and a lightning rod for criticism.

2010

March: U.S. authorities allege Assange engaged in a conspiracy to hack a classified U.S. government computer with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. 

July: Wikileaks starts releasing tens of thousands of top secrets documents, including a video of U.S. helicopter pilots gunning down 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.  What followed was the release of more than 90,000 classified US military files from the Afghan war and 400,000 from Iraq that included the names of informants. 

August: Two Swedish women claim that they each had consensual sex with Assange in separate instances when he was on a 10-day trip to Stockholm. They allege the sex became non-consensual when Assange refused to wear a condom.

First woman claims Assange was staying at her apartment in Stockholm when he ripped off her clothes. She told police that when she realized Assange was trying to have unprotected sex with her, she demanded he use a condom. She claims he ripped the condom before having sex.

Second Swedish woman claims she had sex with Assange at her apartment in Stockholm and she made him wear a condom. She alleges that she later woke up to find Assange having unprotected sex with her.

He was questioned by police in Stockholm and denied the allegations. Assange was granted permission by Swedish authorities to fly back to the U.K.  

November: A Swedish court ruled that the investigation should be reopened and Assange should be detained for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. An international arrest warrant is issued by Swedish police through Interpol.

Wikileaks releases its cache of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.  

December: Assange presents himself to London police and appears at an extradition hearing where he is remanded in custody. Assange is granted conditional bail at the High Court in London after his supporters pay £240,000 in cash and sureties.

2011

February: A British judge rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden but Wikileaks found vows to fight the decision.

April:  A cache of classified U.S. military documents is released by Wikileaks, including intelligence assessments on nearly all of the 779 people who are detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

November: Assange loses High Court appeal against the decision to extradite him.

2012

June: Assange enters the Ecuadorian embassy in London requesting political asylum. 

August: Assange is granted political asylum by Ecuador.

2013

June: Assange tells a group of journalists he will not leave the embassy even if sex charges against him are dropped out of fear he will be extradited to the U.S.

2015

August: Swedish prosecutors drop investigation into some of the sex allegations against Assange due to time restrictions. The investigation into suspected rape remains active.

2016

July: Wikileaks begins leaking emails U.S. Democratic Party officials favoring Hillary Clinton.

November: Assange is questioned over the sex allegation at the Ecuadorian Embassy in the presence of Sweden’s assistant prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and police inspector Cecilia Redell. The interview spans two days. 

2017

January: Barack Obama agrees to free whistleblower Chelsea Manning from prison. Her pending release prompts speculation Assange will end his self-imposed exile after Wikileaks tweeted he would agree to U.S. extradition.

April: Lenin Moreno becomes the new president of Ecuador who was known to want to improve diplomatic relations between his country and the U.S. 

May: An investigation into a sex allegation against Assange is suddenly dropped by Swedish prosecutors. 

2018

January: Ecuador confirms it has granted citizenship to Assange following his request. 

February: Assange is visited by Pamela Anderson and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

March: The Ecuadorian Embassy suspends Assange’s internet access because he wasn’t complying with a promise he made the previous year to ‘not send messages which entailed interference in relation to other states’.

August: U.S. Senate committee asks to interview Assange as part of their investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

September: Assange steps down as editor of WikiLeaks.

October: Assange reveals he will launch legal action against the government of Ecuador, accusing it of violating his ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’.

November: U.S. Justice Department inadvertently names Assange in a court document that says he has been charged in secret. 

2019

January: Assange’s lawyers say they are taking action to make President Trump’s administration reveal charges ‘secretly filed’ against him.

April 6: WikiLeaks tweets that a high level Ecuadorian source has told them Assange will be expelled from the embassy within ‘hours or days’. But a senior Ecuadorian official says no decision has been made to remove him from the London building. 

April 11: Assange has his diplomatic asylum revoked by Ecuador and he is arrested by the Metropolitan Police; he is remanded in custody by a judge at Westminster Magistrates Court.

April 12: He is found guilty of breaching his bail terms.

May 1: Sentenced to 11 months in jail.

May 2: Court hearing takes place over Assange’s proposed extradition to the U.S. He tells a court he does not consent to the extradition and the case is adjourned until May 30.

May 13: Swedish prosecutors reopen rape case saying they still want to question Assange. 

June 3: Swedish court rules against detaining him in absentia, setting back the extradition case.

June 12 Home Secretary Sajid Javid signs an extradition request from the US.

June 13 A hearing sets out the date for Assange’s full extradition hearing – February next year.

November  Swedish prosecutors stop investigation into an allegation of rape against Mr Assange 

November 25 – Medics say without correct medical care Assange ‘could die’ in Belmarsh 

December 13 –  Hearing in London hears he is being blocked from seeing key evidence in case

December 19 – Appears at Westminster Magistrates Court via video-link where his lawyer claims US bid to extradite him is ‘political’. 

2020   

February 24 –Assange faces an extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Assange’s representatives argue he cannot legally be handed to the US for ‘political offences’ because of a 2003 extradition treaty.

March 2 – Assange appears by video link at Westminster Magistrates Court, where he is refused bail amid the coronavirus crisis.

April 11 – Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, who gave birth to his two children while he was living inside the Ecuadorian embassy, issues a plea for his release amid fears for his health.

June 24 – The US Department of Justice issues an updated 18-count indictment, over Assange’s alleged role in ‘one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States’.

August 25 – Ms Moris visits her partner in Belmarsh prison for the first time in almost six months.

September 7 – Assange’s extradition hearings resume at the Old Bailey. They are expected to go on for up to four weeks.

October 1 – Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned the case at the Old Bailey until January 4. 

January 4 – Judge Baraitser strikes down US extradition bid. 

Categories
Sports UK

Horse racing tips today as Newsboy Nap goes for Wolverhampton win

TORONADO QUEEN can rule in the Bombardier Handicap (2.55, NAP) at Wolverhampton.

The Midlands track hosts one of just two UK meetings on Wednesday after Ayr was abandoned – and the selection is part of Richard Fahey’s six-strong team.

Runner-up in a higher grade last time, Toronado Queen has her sights lowered to a Class 4 contest over a mile and half-a-furlong.

Before that, she finished second behind the progressive Amniarix and looks up to winning this.

Hollie Doyle recently returned from a well-deserved break after an excellent 2020 and she should reach the number one spot on AMTIYAZ at Kempton.

The Frankel colt was short of room racing over course and distance four weeks ago, but stayed on well for third.

Given his chance in a higher grade in the Try Our New Super Boosts At Unibet Handicap (6.15, NB), he gets plenty of weight from the majority of his rivals.

The race is likely to be run to suit and this could be a good bit of placing from John Gosden.

Hollie Doyle pictured at Lingfield

Wednesday’s racing tips

KEMPTON

3.40 TREPIDATION

4.10 FUWAIRT

4.40 MAMMASAIDKNOCKUOUT

5.10 BANOFFEE

5.45 GREAT ESTEEM

6.15 AMTIYAZ (NB)

6.45 STREAMLINE

7.15 GLOBAL WARMING

WOLVERHAMPTON

12.45 SUPER JULIUS

1.15 BATRAAN

1.50 EGOTISTIC

2.20 TOP BOY

2.55 TORONADO QUEEN (NAP)

3.25 GYPSY DANCER

3.55 BEAUTY STONE

DOUBLE : TORONADO QUEEN and AMTIYAZ

Categories
Technology US

Today I learned your Apple Watch can double as a vlogging viewfinder

The Apple Watch’s ability to act as a camera remote for your phone got a mention in its announcement keynote, so it’s been around a while, but I’ve only ever used it once or twice to take group pictures. Twitter user @PeterSciretta, however, has pointed out that you can also use it as a vlogging aid.

Doing this is simple: On your watch, go to the Camera Remote app. This will open the camera app on your iPhone, and you can switch it to video mode, set it up, and record. You don’t even have to strap your watch to your phone like he does in the tweet; the remote camera will totally work while your watch is on your wrist.

I’ve shot videos on my phone before, and it was often an exercise in frustration trying to get the framing right. There was a lot of running back and forth, recording short clips to make sure the focus and framing were correct. I could’ve definitely saved myself the hassle if I had remembered that my watch could do this, though I guess I would’ve gotten fewer steps in. It’s a sacrifice I’ll just have to make.

Android users don’t need to feel left out either, as Wear OS devices can also act as a camera viewfinder when connected to Pixel phones. The Apple Watch trick will also work with the popular video camera app FiLMiC Pro, as Jeff mentions in his tweet. That way, you can get all the benefits the third-party app offers, plus the remote viewing on your watch.

Of course, if you’re setting out to create a new vlogging setup, this is probably not the best way to go, especially if you don’t already have an Apple Watch. For less than the price of Apple’s least expensive Watch (the Series 3), you could instead get Apple’s Lightning to HDMI adapter (which would also let you power your phone so it doesn’t run out of battery), and a small camera monitor. Or, you could just position your phone in front of a mirror. But if you already have an Apple Watch, and want to film yourself using your iPhone, this tip may just make that easier.