Police entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London Thursday morning, arresting Julian Assange and bringing the Wikileaks founder’s seven-year stint there to a dramatic close. Metropolitan Police said in a statement that he was “further arrested” on his arrival at a London police station on behalf of United States authorities, who have issued an extradition warrant. Officers made the move after Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum and invited authorities into the embassy, citing the Australian’s bad behavior. He will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London as soon as is possible, police added.
Indians have begun voting in the first phase of a general election that is being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Tens of millions of Indians across 20 states and union territories are voting in 91 constituencies. The seven-phase vote to elect a new lower house of parliament will continue until 19 May. Counting day is 23 May. With 900 million eligible voters across the country, this is the largest election ever seen.
Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy. It measures 40 billion km across – three million times the size of the Earth – and has been described by scientists as “a monster”. The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world. Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.
The Albanian Defense Ministry on Wednesday sent in the military to secure the country’s only international airport after heavily armed men stole a large sum of cash as it was loaded onto a passenger plane. The robbers took the cash as it was loaded onto an Austrian Airlines plane on Tuesday afternoon. One robber was shot dead in an exchange of fire with police, but the cash was not recovered. Authorities have not confirmed how much money was taken but Albanian media reports put it at as much as 10 million euros ($11.3 million).
Less than one month after a gunman killed 50 people in an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, the New Zealand Parliament voted Wednesday to ban most semi-automatic and military-style weapons. The law makes it illegal to possess the prohibited weapons in New Zealand. The bill, which passed 119-1, will become law by the end of the week, the New Zealand news site Stuff reported. The one dissenter, David Seymour of the ACT Party, criticized the speed at which lawmakers had moved without public input.
Australians will head to the polls on May 18, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday. The vote could deliver the country its seventh leader in just over a decade. Morrison, a former Tourism Australia director, and his center-right Liberal National Coalition government are seeking re-election on a platform of tax cuts and economic stability. The prime minister, who came to office following a bruising intra-party putsch in August last year, faces a fierce challenge from the opposition Labor Party, led by former union leader Bill Shorten.