Congressman offered White House deal to let off Assange: report

A U.S. Capitol Police officer stands watch while Donald Trump Jr., is interviewed behind closed doors by Senate Judiciary Committee staff investigating the meddling and possible Russian links to President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, at the Capitol in Washington, in this Sept. 7, 2017 photo. (AP)
Updated 16 September 2017

Congressman offered White House deal to let off Assange: report

WASHINGTON: A pro-Russia congressman offered to tell the White House who provided WikiLeaks with hacked Clinton campaign e-mails in exchange for the US dropping its probe into the group’s leader Julian Assange, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered a “deal” in which Assange would furnish electronic evidence that would exculpate Russia as the source of the e-mails published last year by the anti-secrecy organization that did significant damage to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.
In exchange, the Journal said, Rohrabacher was seeking for Assange “a pardon or other act of clemency from President Donald Trump,” it said.
The US Justice Department has acknowledged investigating Assange and WikiLeaks for the release of a series of top secret US documents and computer hacking tools as well as the Clinton e-mails.
No charges have been unveiled. But Washington is widely believed to have asked London to arrest and extradite the Australian if he steps out of his refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has lived for five years.
US intelligence officials have blamed Russia for the theft of Clinton campaign communications and documents last year as part of a deliberate effort to hurt her chances as president. They allege that WikiLeaks, in publishing the documents, knowingly acted in concert with Russian intelligence, and have branded it a “hostile intelligence service.”
WikiLeaks has denied that the source of the material was the Russian government, but stresses it will never divulge the sources of the information in gets.
The Journal said Rohrabacher confirmed that he spoke to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly this week but would not say what was discussed.
Rohrabacher visited Assange in London in August and afterwards said he was seeking a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss his case.
Rohrabacher told conservative commentator Sean Hannity’s radio show that the assertion that Russia hacked the US election last year was a “con job” to undermine the Trump administration.


Iraqi migrant found dead on northern French beach

Updated 3 min 15 sec ago

Iraqi migrant found dead on northern French beach

  • The body of the Iraqi Kurdish youth was discovered by a passerby on a beach in Le Touquet, about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) south of the port of Calais
  • Over the past year, growing numbers of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia have taken to the treacherous waters of the Channel in small fishing boats or inflatable dinghies

LILLE, France: A 17-year-old Iraqi migrant was found dead Monday on a beach in northern France, local authorities said, as the number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel to Britain spirals.
The body of the Iraqi Kurdish youth was discovered by a passerby on a beach in Le Touquet, about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) south of the port of Calais, long a rallying point for migrants hoping to stow away on a truck or ferry bound for Britain.
Twenty meters from the body, police found a small boat, “with two oars inside and a canister of fuel and a life vest nearby,” the region’s security department told AFP.
A similar boat was found some 450 meters from the scene but it was not clear if the two were linked.
Over the past year, growing numbers of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia have taken to the treacherous waters of the Channel in small fishing boats or inflatable dinghies.
Rights groups have linked the crossings to a police crackdown in Calais, which has made it harder for migrants to try climb aboard a passing truck.
On Monday, eight migrants were intercepted on a beach near Calais and taken to a shelter.
Maritime authorities in northern France counted 1,473 migrants who tried to reach Britain’s shores by sea between January and August this year, compared with 586 in all of 2018.
In August, two migrants were found dead in the Channel — an Iranian woman who drowned after falling out of a packed migrant boat and an Iraqi man who was found dead off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge after trying to swim to England.
The Iraqi migrant is believed to have set off from a beach in northern France, with currents dragging him into Belgian waters.