Extradition of Catalan politicians blocked
BRUSSELS • A Brussels court ruled yesterday against extraditing three former Catalan politicians who fled Spain after a warrant for their arrest was issued because of their involvement in a regional declaration of independence in October. The move is another blow to Spain's attempts to extradite Catalan politicians who moved to other European countries while facing charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds for organising an illegal independence referendum last year.
Putin condemned as Crimea bridge opens
KERCH • Russian President Vladimir Putin drew condemnation from the United States, Europe and Ukraine on Tuesday after he opened a new bridge linking mainland Russia and Moscow-annexed Crimea by driving a truck across it to the peninsula. The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab but applauded in Russia.
US panel advances Haspel to lead CIA
WASHINGTON • A United States Senate committee voted yesterday in favour of Ms Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee to be Central Intelligence Agency director, and she is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as next week. The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to approve the nomination.
Ecuador spied on Julian Assange: Report
LONDON • Ecuador spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its London embassy where he has been living since 2012 - initially to support him, but things changed after he hacked the mission's computers - the Guardian reported yesterday.
The newspaper said Ecuador employed an international security company and undercover agents to monitor his visitors, embassy staff and even the British police at the embassy.