Julian Assange could be questioned by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Prosecutors had previously insisted on questioning Julian Assange in Sweden, after seeking his arrest in 2010, but now they offered to travel to London to question him over assault allegations.
Julian Assange, 43, denies the assault claims and has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.
The WikiLeaks founder fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could then be extradited to the US to face charges over leaking material.
The lead Swedish prosecutor explained the change of strategy by saying some potential charges against Julian Assange would expire under the statute of limitations in August.
“My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview,” Marianne Ny said in a statement.
“Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that the interview does not move the case forward.”
Julian Assange – an Australian journalist and activist – has not been formally charged, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him over allegations of rape and assault made by two women he met during a trip to Sweden in August 2010.
Marianne Ny said she had made a request to Julian Assange’s legal team to take a DNA sample from him in London, as well as conducting questioning.
His lawyer, Per Samuelson, said that request would need to be discussed, since his client had already left a DNA sample with UK police in 2010.
Ecuador offered Julian Assange asylum in August 2012, shortly after he sought refuge at the country’s embassy in London.
In November a Swedish appeals court upheld the warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest, but criticized prosecutors for not making enough effort to explore “alternative avenues” for interrogating him.
If he was extradited, Julian Assange would be detained upon arrival in Sweden.
Per Samuelson said leaving the embassy and travelling to Sweden still presented a risk for Julian Assange.
“If he leaves he loses his political immunity… he stands to end up in an American prison for 35, 40 years,” he said.
WikiLeaks has published thousands of secret documents, which have caused intense embarrassment for the US and lifted the lid on diplomatic relations.
Julian Assange co-founded WikiLeaks website in 2006.
An Amy Winehouse statue has been unveiled in Camden, north London.
The life-size bronze statue of singer has been unveiled three years after Amy Winehouse’s death and fell on what would have been her 31st birthday.
Amy Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse, said she was “in love with Camden” and it was the place fans associated with her.
Created by sculptor Scott Eaton, the statue features Amy Winehouse with her hand on hip and her trademark beehive hairdo.
Fans and relatives gathered for the unveiling in Camden’s Stable Market, where it will be a permanent memorial to the singer.
Amy Winehouse statue has been unveiled in Camden, north London (photo EPA)
London-based Scott Eaton, who sculpted the piece after being introduced to Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch, said the statue was meant to capture her “attitude and strength, but also give subtle hints of insecurity”.
“The hand on the hip, the turn of the head, the grabbing of the skirt, the turned in foot – these are all small elements that contribute to the personality of the piece,” he said.
Mitch Winehouse said seeing the statue was “incredibly emotional” adding that its creator had “done an amazing job in capturing her”.
“It is like stopping her in a beautiful moment in time,” he added.
“We really hope Amy’s fans love the statue.”
Amy Winehouse died at her home in 2011 at the age of 27.
She had previously struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. The inquest into her death found she died of accidental alcohol poisoning.
Amy Winehouse’s family has since set up a foundation in her name to help young people with problems including addiction.
Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving Ecuador’s embassy in London “soon”.
The WikiLeaks founder said he would be “leaving the embassy” after two years’ refuge but gave no more details.
Julian Assange, 43, is wanted for questioning over alleged s** assaults in Sweden and faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.
WikiLeaks spokeswoman Kristinn Hrafnsson later said the plan “as always” was for Julian Assange to depart when the UK “calls off the siege”.
“The world is not coming to an end,” Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters inside the embassy.
“The plan, as always, is to leave as soon as the UK government decides to honour its obligations in relation to international agreements.”
Julian Assange faces questioning by prosecutors in Stockholm over claims made by two women in 2010. He denies the allegations and sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in June 2012 shortly after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his efforts to block his extradition.
Since then police have maintained a round-the-clock presence outside the building, in London’s Knightsbridge, at a cost of £6.4 million ($10.2 million).
Julian Assange would be arrested and extradited if he left the embassy.
Speaking at the news conference, Julian Assange said: “I understand that Kristinn Hrafnsson has said that he can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon.”
He added it was not because he needed medical treatment, as had been reported in some of the UK press.
Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving Ecuador’s embassy in London soon (photo AP)
Julian Assange says he fears he could eventually be handed over to the US because WikiLeaks published classified US military documents on the Afghan and Iraq wars.
However, UK courts have repeatedly ruled that he should be sent to Sweden to face questioning.
The UK first ordered his extradition in February 2011. Julian Assange launched a number of appeals, which culminated in the Supreme Court saying the extradition was lawful in 2012.
After that decision, Julian Assange, who had been on conditional bail, sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy.
He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and the country’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino said he would continue to be offered “protection”.
Sitting next to Ricardo Patino at a news conference on Monday, Julian Assange said his health had suffered during his time inside the embassy.
Reports in UK newspapers at the weekend said Julian Assange had developed a heart defect and a chronic lung condition during his confinement.
The Australian said the reasons for him leaving were not those “reported by the Murdoch press” – but did not elaborate further.
Any argument Julian Assange could not be extradited because of his health was “almost certainly bound to fail” because Sweden has a good healthcare system.
Ricardo Patino said the Ecuadorean government would attempt to meet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss the case.
He said changes to the UK’s extradition laws had created a better climate for reaching a deal over Julian Assange.
“It is time to free Julian Assange. It is time for his human rights to be finally respected,” Ricardo Patino added.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman called on the Ecuadorean government to help “bring this difficult and costly situation to an end”.
The use of a crossing guard is being considered at London’s iconic Abbey Road crossing as tourists flock to create the scene made famous by the Beatles.
Westminster City Council has raised safety fears over the thousands of people who visit the crossing, in St John’s Wood, north London.
Residents have also complained about the increase in traffic at the height of the summer season.
The Abbey Road crossing was made famous after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr traversed it for Ian Macmillan’s iconic cover shot for the 1969 Abbey Road record (photo PA)
The council said no proposals had been agreed and the review was ongoing.
Councilors have also raised concerns about buses carrying tourists causing traffic congestion by double-parking or parking on yellow lines.
A Westminster City Council spokeswoman said it is discussing options to manage the busy traffic flow, including the possibility of employing a lollipop lady or man.
She added: “Local Abbey Road ward councilors raised their residents’ concerns about the number of tourists spilling into the road and traffic near the crossing at the height of the summer season, and put forward various suggestions, asking the city council to review pedestrian safety and crowd management.
“However, no proposals have been agreed by the council, nor the review completed.”
The Abbey Road crossing was made famous after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr traversed it for Ian Macmillan’s iconic cover shot for the 1969 Abbey Road record.
Taxi and rail services strikes have disrupted transport in major European cities.
Two-thirds of trains were not running in some areas of France in a strike against reforms and taxis were blocking traffic around some airports.
Cab-drivers are protesting at what they regard as a lack of regulation of rival mobile service Uber.
A protest began in Madrid early on Wednesday and action was to take place in London, Milan and other cities.
The biggest taxi associations in Madrid asked their drivers to observe a 24-hour stoppage until 06:00 on Thursday morning. More than 15,000 licensed vehicles operate in Madrid, Spanish media say.
Taxi drivers in major European cities are protesting at what they regard as a lack of regulation of rival mobile service Uber
The London protest was to start in Trafalgar Square at 14:00 BST, with taxi drivers arguing that the Uber mobile app, which originated in the US, was tantamount to a taxi meter, which only black cabs are legally entitled to use in London.
Up to 12,000 drivers are expected to take part in the protest.
The Metropolitan Police said conditions had been imposed on protesters after they failed to meet with officers to discuss their plans.
In Milan, in northern Italy, a protest was taking place throughout Wednesday, although disruption was not expected to be on a similar scale as elsewhere, with boycotts expected of key sites such as railway stations and squares. Cab drivers also staged demonstrations in Rome and Naples.
Protests were taking place in several German cities, including Berlin and Hamburg.
But the worst of the disruption was in Paris, where train services were also badly affected by strike action.
Only one in three trains was running in the Paris region, although Eurostar services were unaffected.
Unions are objecting to plans to merge the rail network operator with the train company SNCF. The company said some 28% of railway staff had walked out.
Workers were also considering whether to extend the strike into Thursday. Several regions had voted to continue the stoppage, French media reported.
During a London concert on Friday, Miley Cyrus revealed she wrote her hit Wrecking Ball to seek out revenge on a former partner.
She took to the stage for a top secret show at G-A-Y in London and spoke about how she penned Wrecking Ball after having her heart broken, sparking speculation she was talking about Liam Hemsworth, from whom she split last year.
Miley Cyrus revealed she wrote her hit Wrecking Ball to seek out revenge on a former partner
“I wrote this song after somebody broke my heart, and I just wanted to say <<F*** you>>,” she told the audience.
“I wanted to write a No. 1 hit, something that would be on the radio. I wanted to make sure every time he turned on his radio, he would hear my song and will keep hearing it for the rest of his life.”
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth had become engaged in 2012 after meeting on the set of The Last Song in 2009.
Rihanna and Drake have been spotted leaving a London club together, hand in hand, late Thursday.
Sources told Us Weekly that the pair has been inching closer to a relationship.
Rihanna has been romantically linked to Drake in the past
Wearing a white ruffled minidress, jester-style hat, thigh-high boots, and oversized black fur coat, Rihanna casually draped one hand over Drake’s as the two were photographed in their car leaving Tramps Nightclub.
Drake looked happy as he flashed photographers an inquisitive stare, while Rihanna gripped his hand.
Rihanna has been romantically linked to Drake in the past and even unwittingly sparked a brutal brawl between the rapper and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in an NYC club back in June 2012.
Their latest outing comes several days after Rihanna enjoyed Drake’s sold-out performance at the O2 Arena on March 25.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are preparing for key talks on Ukraine in London, as a disputed referendum in Crimea looms on Sunday.
John Kerry is expected to warn Sergei Lavrov that the referendum and Russia’s military intervention in Crimea could trigger concerted US and EU sanctions.
He has warned of “very serious steps” if Russia annexes the region.
Russia insisted at the UN on Thursday it did “not want war” with Ukraine.
During an emergency meeting of the Security Council, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin defended the right of Crimea, which is predominantly ethnic Russian, to decide whether or not to join the Russian Federation.
Russia’s military intervention followed the fall of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22.
John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov will meet at the US ambassador’s residence in central London.
It appears John Kerry will try to persuade Russia that it risks paying a heavy price in political and economic damage from American and European measures which could be triggered by Sunday’s referendum.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are preparing for key talks on Ukraine in London (photo Reuters)
“If there is no sign of any capacity to be able to move forward and resolve this issue, there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday in Europe and here [in Washington] with respect to the options that are available to us,” he said before arriving in London on Friday.
While John Kerry seems to think the referendum itself may be all but unstoppable, he insists that it is what Russia does after that vote which counts – and Ukraine’s territorial integrity must not be permanently violated.
The talks are the last opportunity for face-to-face dialogue at such a senior level before the likely vote in Crimea, our correspondent says, which could determine whether what happens next edges Ukraine away from, or deeper into, a dangerous crisis.
John Kerry told lawmakers before his departure to London that the US was not eager to impose further sanctions on Russia.
“Our choice is not to be put in the position of having to do that. Our choice is to have a respect for the sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” he said.
The secretary of state said that he had spoken again by telephone with Sergei Lavrov on Thursday ahead of their Friday meeting, and that he and his Russian counterpart had been in almost daily contact over the past two weeks.
John Kerry has hinted at a possible compromise to the crisis by which the Ukrainian parliament would allow Crimea to hold a referendum on self-determination.
“The constitution of Ukraine requires that any effort by any entity within Ukraine to secede be done through the constitutional process,” John Kerry said.
He said that at the moment Russia did not “have the assets… necessary to be able to march in and take over Ukraine”, although he conceded that could change in future.
But correspondents say that the signs are not good for Friday’s talks, as both men have clashed in recent weeks and failed to agree on a number of US proposals.
Russia has refused to recognize the interim leadership that took over in Kiev with Viktor Yanukovych’s departure or participate in a contact group aimed at bringing the two countries together for talks.
In his appearance before the UN on Thursday, Vitaly Churkin said that it was Kiev that was “splitting its country into two parts”, not Moscow.
The referendum in Crimea, he said, had come about because of a “legal vacuum” in the country, and questioned why Crimeans should not be “afforded the opportunity” to decide on their future.
Ukraine’s interim PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the UN Security Council that his country was a victim of Russian aggression, producing a copy of the UN Charter to make his point that Moscow was violating it and several other international treaties.
A man has been killed in a machete attack and his two assailants shot by police in Woolwich, south-east London, UK.
The UK’s government is reported to be treating the assault as a suspected terrorist incident and the prime minister said it was “truly shocking”.
Home Secretary Theresa May has summoned a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee Cobra.
Local MP Nick Raynsford said the dead man was a soldier at Woolwich barracks but this has not been confirmed.
Theresa May said she had been briefed by the director general of Security Service MI5, Andrew Parker, and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe on the “sickening and barbaric” attack.
“It has been confirmed to me that a man has been brutally murdered,” she said.
“Two other men were shot by armed police and they are currently receiving treatment for their injuries.”
One witness, identified only as James, said two men had attacked another man, aged about 20, who was wearing a T-shirt of military charity Help for Heroes.
“These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there,” he told LBC radio.
James said after the “horrendous” attack, the two men, who were also in their 20s, stood around, waving knives and a gun, and asked people to take pictures of them “as if they wanted to be on TV or something”.
“They were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road,” he said.
Another witness, named Thomas, said: “I got there minutes after it happened because you could hear gunshots from Woolwich High Street.
“Basically two men carried out an axe attack on a young army cadet walking along the street, by the looks of things the police responded and then shot them in front of the public, at the same time I couldn’t really tell if the cadet was fatally or not hurt as police were crowded around him.”
A man has been killed in a machete attack and his two assailants shot by police in Woolwich, south-east London
Downing Street said PM David Cameron, who was planning to stay in Paris overnight after meeting the French president, would be returning to the UK tonight.
Whitehall sources said it is “a fair supposition” that the incident was a terrorist incident but police have not commented publicly on the suggestion.
It appears the police view is that the attack may have been filmed and footage may exist.
According to senior Whitehall sources, the people carrying out the attack were heard to say Allahu Akbar (God is Great).
On Twitter, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the attack as a “sickening deluded and unforgivable act of violence”.
Nick Raynsford, the Woolwich and Greenwich MP, said he had spoken to local police and understood a number of weapons had been seized at the scene including a gun, knives, and a machete.
Scotland Yard said the initial attack happened in John Wilson Street, the A205, at 14:20 BST.
Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford said the two attackers were then shot by armed officers.
He said: “Police were called to reports of an assault… where one man was being assaulted by two other men. A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm.
“Officers including local Greenwich officers arrived at the scene, and shortly after firearms officers arrived on the scene.
“On their arrival at the scene they found a man, who was later pronounced dead….
“Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They have both been taken to separate London hospitals. They are receiving treatment for their injuries.
“I can understand that this incident will cause community concerns and I would like to reiterate that we are investigating the circumstances.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed it had been informed.
In a statement, the IPCC said: “Investigators have been deployed to the scene and to the post-incident process.”
London Ambulance Service confirmed one man had been found dead at the scene.
It said two men had been taken to hospital – one by air ambulance – and one of them was a serious condition.
David Dixon, a local head teacher, said he walked out of the school gates and saw a body lying in the road a short distance away.
He then heard gunshots and instructed staff to lock all the gates of his school.
The air ambulance landed in the playground and most of the children have now gone home, David Dixon said.
Justin Bieber had to halt his show at London’s O2 on Thursday night after collapsing and “experiencing breathing difficulties” on stage.
Justin Bieber, 19, who has had a controversial run at the concert venue this week, reportedly had to rush off stage and was looked at by doctors… but 15 minutes later he was back finishing the show in front of his fans.
And his manager Scooter Braun revealed while Justin Bieber was missing from the stage that doctors had asked him to get looked at properly, but he insisted on coming out to finish the set regardless, before then heading to a hospital.
In a move that some fans are cynically suggesting could have been a PR move for the singer, Scooter Braun told the audience: “Justin got quite light of breath. The whole show he’s been complaining, he’s backstage with the doctor.
“They’re telling him that they want him to go see somebody and see what’s going on with his lungs.
“[But] He has just told me that if it’s okay with you guys he’s going to come out and finish the show. Alright?”
Justin Bieber posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed in recovery
Following the concert Justin Bieber was reportedly taken to hospital to get checked but left in high spirits.
Shortly after 1a.m. he wrote to his fans on Twitter: “Getting better. thanks for everyone pulling me thru tonight. best fans in the world. figuring out what happened. thanks for the love.”
Justin Bieber then posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed in recovery, as well as a picture of the hospital corridor he labeled “creepy”.
Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian will be in the UK next week to celebrate the launch of their hotly anticipated clothing line Kardashian Kollection, available exclusively at Dorothy Perkins.
And the girls are hosting a glamorous VIP party on Thursday, November 8th, at a top London venue.
YOU magazine has teamed up with Dorothy Perkins to offer three lucky readers plus guest the chance to attend the event and meet the girls.
The competition includes return travel to London, an overnight stay in a boutique hotel and £100 ($150) of Dorothy Perkins vouchers. For your chance to win, complete the entry form online. From trend-led must-haves to fashionably tailored looks and handbags, the Kardashian Kollection includes more than 100 pieces.
To make sure you don’t miss out, register now to be the first to buy the Kollection on Sunday, November 4th – visit dorothyperkins.com for details.
The full range will go on sale online and in selected stores nationwide from Thursday, November 8th. For your chance to win, complete the entry form online at facebook.com/YOUMagSocial
Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian will be in the UK next week to celebrate the launch of their hotly anticipated clothing line Kardashian Kollection