World Bulletin / News Desk
Ecuador urged Britain Friday to "grant safe passage" out of the country to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after Sweden dropped a warrant that drove him to take refuge in Ecuador's London embassy.
Swedish prosecutors earlier announced they had dropped their rape probe against Assange, 45.
Despite that, British police said they would still arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy.
They said he had breached the terms of his bail by refusing to turn himself in when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012.
The Australian founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing site has always denied the rape allegations.
His site in 2010 leaked hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.
Assange feared that if he gave himself up to the Swedish authorities he would be extradited to the United States and put on trial for the intelligence leaks.
Ecuador under leftist President Rafael Correa granted Assange asylum in its London embassy in 2012.
Long said "Ecuador welcomes the decision to drop the charges," recalling that Swedish prosecutors questioned Assange in the embassy in November.
"Ecuador regrets that it took Swedish Prosecutor more than four years to carry out this interview. This was a wholly unnecessary delay," Long wrote.
"For me, the future of the (remaining) 27 member states comes before the exit negotiations with Great Britain" said Merkel, Europe's most influential leader, as she arrived for the two-day meeting.
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"A number of these tests have come back as combustible," May said in a statement to parliament after ordering checks on all similar blocks.
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Otto Warmbier, 22, suffered severe brain damage in North Korea and died on Monday following 18 months of captivity in North Korea after he was sentenced to hard labor for stealing a political poster from a hotel.
The giant blaze broke out initially at Pedrogao Grande and spread to adjacent areas including Gois, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil.
"Because no one has introduced me to his legitimate successor," said the French president, who took office last month.
The magazine said it had seen documents showing that the intelligence service, the BND, had a list of some 4,000 so-called selector keywords for surveillance between 1998 and 2006.
Although no date has been set for such a vote, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly speaker had the authority to order a secret ballot in a case brought by the country's opposition parties.
Barely three months ago, Schulz, the new head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), seemed to be the man most likely to topple Merkel, who is running for a fourth term.
Speaking ahead of an EU summit in Brussels where Prime Minister Theresa May was due to brief leaders on her Brexit plans, Tusk suggested the process could still be reversed.
Exchanges of fire could be heard in the eastern part of the city, with an army spokesman confirming a gun battle had broken out between troops and a new rebel group.
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