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Plane carrying lawmakers to Dingell funeral forced to turn back to DC

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By Associated Press

A military plane carrying members of Congress to House veteran John Dingell’s funeral in Michigan has been turned back to Washington on Tuesday because of bad weather.

Missouri Rep. Billy Long tweeted that the delegation held an impromptu service at 30,000 feet for Dingell, led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan. Dingell died Thursday at age 92.

Long and two congressional aides say the plane had been delayed from taking off and “circled there for an hour waiting for the temperature to rise one degree.” He says the weather didn’t change, and the delegation was now back at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Dingell’s funeral mass went on as planned in Dearborn. His casket is scheduled to arrive in Washington later Tuesday and be driven by the U.S. Capitol building, where he represented Michigan in the House for 59 years. He retired in 2014.

A service is scheduled Thursday in Washington. Dingell’s widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell, serves in his former House seat.

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U.S. secretly filed charges against Assange last year

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 / Updated 

By Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in late 2017, more than two months earlier than the indictment disclosed when he was arrested last week, newly released court documents reveal.

Assange was taken into custody April 11 after spending more than six years under the protection of Ecuador’s embassy in London. A federal indictment unsealed after his arrest accused him of trying to help a U.S. Army private crack an encrypted password to hack into a Pentagon computer and steal classified documents.

But charges for the same offense were actually filed in secret on Dec. 21, 2017, in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. The 26-page affidavit accompanying the charges listed what it said were hundreds of online exchanges between Assange and Chelsea Manning, the former Army private who provided hundreds of thousands of government documents, many of them classified, to WikiLeaks.

After one transmission of documents, the charges said, Manning messaged, “thats all i really have got left.” When Assange suggested getting more, Manning replied, “ive already exposed quite a bit, just no-one knows yet. ill slip into darkness for a few years, let the heat die down,” according to the newly unsealed court filing.

Manning was arrested two months later while on duty in Iraq.

Despite filing the criminal charges, the Department of Justice sought a grand jury indictment only a few months later in order to make a stronger case for extradition in the event Assange was arrested, an administration official said Monday.

The Obama Justice Department had concluded that Assange was, for legal purposes, a journalist and that charging him for gathering and disseminating government secrets would be no different than prosecuting an American news organization for the same conduct. A former Obama administration official said last week that the United States had not considered bringing the kind of computer hacking charges that were later filed against Assange.

But the Trump administration took a different view and began exploring other ways to seek Assange’s prosecution. As early as April 2017, Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, said arresting Assange was a priority. The Trump administration’s first CIA director, Mike Pompeo, called WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service.”

Ecuador’s foreign minister said Monday that it was not unfairly targeting Assange when it revoked his asylum last week, calling his behavior “undeserving, disrespectful.” Jose Valencia said his country made a sovereign decision to revoke Assange’s asylum over concerns about possible computer hacking in Ecuador.



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Brittany Ferries BLAMES BREXIT after EU shipping giant costs INCREASE by £43 million

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BREXIT has increased costs of up to £43 million for one of Europe’s biggest freight services, its president has claimed.

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Trump to award Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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By Allan Smith

Tiger Woods won the prestigious green jacket on Sunday, and soon he will have another award to add to his collection — the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Monday that he would be awarding Woods the medal after Woods won the Masters Tournament on Sunday.

“Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!” Trump wrote.

Trump did not say when the ceremony would take place. The president watched the final round of the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia from his golf club in Virginia.

It was Woods’ fifth Masters victory and his first since 2005. It was his first major tournament victory since the 2008 U.S. Open and came after a series of back surgeries and personal struggles led many to question whether he would ever capture another major title.

Woods became the second-oldest Masters champion, after Jack Nicklaus, who won in 1986 at 46.

Trump, who played a round of golf with Woods earlier this year, joined a chorus of supporters online in praising Woods over the weekend, tweeting Sunday that Woods “is looking GREAT!” before congratulating him as “a truly Great Champion!” following his win.

Presidents of both political parties have awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to prominent sports figures. Last year, Trump awarded it to the former NFL stars Roger Staubach and Alan Page and baseball legend Babe Ruth. Before he left office, President Barack Obama awarded the medal to basketball stars Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and longtime baseball announcer Vin Scully.



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