Julian Assange sentenced to prison and other stories

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in prison

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Julian Assange Appearance Westminster Magistrates Court

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to just short of a year in prison for breaching his bail conditions.

The WikiLeaks founder raised a fist to the media as a group of his supporters gathered, yelling ‘No justice in the UK,’ when he arrived at Southwark Crown Court.

Protesters outside of court. Photo Credit: Julia Webster

His lawyer, Mark Summers, read out a letter from Mr Assange in which he apologised for skipping his bail seven years ago.

He said he found himself ‘struggling with terrifying circumstances’ and did what he thought was the best thing to do in his situation.

Mr. Assange obtained asylum through the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was set to face questioning over sexual assault and rape allegations.

Caster Semenya loses landmark case

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, known as CAS, has rejected Caster Semenya’s challenge against new rules on testosterone levels.

The South African said the regulations were ‘unfair’ and that she wanted to ‘run naturally, the way I was born.’

The rules mean that athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) must either take medication in order to qualify for competitions from 400m to the mile, or change events.

CAS found that the rules for athletes with DSD were discriminatory – but that the discrimination was a ‘necessary’ step to protect ‘the integrity of female athletics.’

The new rules take effect from the 8th May.

Agreement reached to Limit Christchurch Terror Coverage

Major New Zealand media organisations have signed a pledge that will limit coverage of the trial of the man accused of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

The agreement is designed to prevent the promotion of white supremacist ideology and is being hailed as a significant step away from sensational coverage of terrorism.

The pledge was prompted by concerns that the accused might try to use the trial ‘to advance white supremacist and/or terrorist ideology.’

Five major broadcasters (RNZ, Stuff, Mediaworks, TVNZ and NZME) have agreed to limit reporting of racist statements, to not quote from the shooter’s manifesto, and to not broadcast white supremacist symbols, including hand signals.

Christchurch. Photo Credit: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Beavers gain protection

New legislation makes it illegal to destroy established dams and lodges and kill beavers without a licence in Scotland.

Wildlife campaigners say this is an ‘historic day for Scotland’ as beavers are now to be properly protected after their successful reintroduction in Argyll nearly ten years ago.

Wildlife groups say beavers increase biodiversity, and reduce flood risks.

Chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Barbara Smith, said: ‘This is a milestone for the many of us who have worked together for years on the return of this species.’

The Scottish government’s environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said they recognised that their impact on farming meant it was essential to include a licensing system.

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