The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information. Assange was initially charged with conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He now faces a total of 18 criminal counts, and could face many decades in prison if convicted.
Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein and his former studio’s board members have reached a tentative deal with women who accuse him of sexual misconduct, US media report. Lawyers said the settlement to resolve civil lawsuits and compensate alleged victims was worth about $44m. Mr Weinstein denies sexually harassing or abusing over 75 women. He will stand trial in New York in June on criminal charges brought by two women, including rape. The 67-year-old is one of Hollywood’s most famous producers and has worked on a number of award-winning films, including Shakespeare in Love, The King’s Speech and The Artist.
Government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed a top militant commander linked to al-Qaida in the disputed region, officials said on Friday. Zakir Musa was killed Thursday evening in a gunfight after police and soldiers launched a counterinsurgency operation in the southern Tral area, said Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman. His killing triggered violent anti-India protests in many places. Previously, no global jihadi groups have openly operated in Kashmir, a territory divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both entirely.
After decades of campaigning and waiting, Taiwan has welcomed hundreds of same-sex couples as they exercised their new legal rights to tie the knot. Dozens of reporters and photographers filled a registry office in Taipei on Friday waiting to capture the moment when the self-ruled island became the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage. Some 300 same-sex couples were expected to register on Friday, according to local authorities, around 150 in the capital Taipei which boasts a thriving and vocal gay community.
SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket containing 60 satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida Thursday evening. The satellites, meant to bring broadband internet to underserved communities, deployed into low-Earth orbit an hour later, according to Space News. The launch is the first of many in SpaceX’s effort to create a global internet mega constellation with one terabit per second of user capacity, Space News reported. SpaceX plans to do three to seven launches this year with the goal of eventually launching up to 12,000 satellites in the next few years, according to Space News.