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Demonstrators protest outside London s Royal Courts of Justice on February 20, 2024, as the court hears WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange s final UK appeal against extradition to the US.

Louis Delbarre / Hans Lucas.

In a two-day hearing this week, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, made a last-ditch effort to avoid extradition from the UK to the US, where he could be charged with spying and punished for exposing top-level government secrets.

His lawyers argued that the extradition case is politically motivated and an assault on freedom of speech and press. If he loses, the only remaining block to extradition lies with the European Court of Human Rights, which has already dismissed two applications from him in 2015 and 2022.

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Read: “Several Short Sentences About Writing,” by Verlyn Klinkenborg. I’ve just finished my fifth (maybe sixth?) reading of this inspiring guide to better writing. This thoughtful set of writing principles helps me notice what I notice, in writing and in life, and write more simply. – Willis
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech at BusinessEurope conference in Brussels, Belgium March 5, 2020.

REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
5: Ursula Von der Leyen has announced she will seek a second term as president of the EU Commission. Over her first five-year term, she has seen the EU through a pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a rise in irregular migration, and record-breaking inflation. The election will take place in June, and so far, there are no serious challengers to her reelection.
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U.S. President Joe Biden removes his sunglasses before speaking to members of the news media before boarding Marine One for travel to California from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Were President Joe Biden to win reelection this November, he’d be 86 years old when finishing his second term. That’s part of why a startling 86% of Americans tell pollsters he’s too old to serve again.

But 86 is only one Biden number of note. Another is 130 million. That’s the total number of dollars his campaign has raised to date after raking in $42 million in the month of January alone. In fact, Biden’s $130 million haul is the most any Democrat has ever raised to this point in a campaign. (Donald Trump ended 2023 with $66 million and hasn’t yet reported January totals. He also has a few legal bills to pay.)

That’s why, whatever his popularity numbers, despite the flood of recent stories about possible Democratic Party alternatives to Biden, and whatever embarrassments next week’s Michigan primary may hold in store for a president whose firm support for Israel has angered much of that state’s sizeable Arab-American population, Biden won’t be easy to beat.

It’s also another reason we hold to our view that the only presidential polling questions that really matter are: Will you vote? Who will you vote for?

FILE PHOTO: El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during the inauguration of the 3 de Febrero hydroelectric power plant in San Luis de La Reina, El Salvador October 19, 2023.

REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

The authoritarian world’s hottest young thing – Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele – has won a Congressional supermajority.

Bukele, who won a landslide reelection last month, will control a staggering 54 of 60 seats in the Central American country’s legislature, empowering him to do … whatever he likes.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, on February 20, 2024.

Alexander Kazakov/REUTERS

Five days ago, Russia’s most prominent dissident, Alexei Navalny, dropped dead in a remote Arctic prison. Three days ago, Russian forces in Ukraine scored their first major victory in months, taking the strategic town of Avdiivka. Two days ago, the body of a Russian helicopter pilot who famously defected to Ukraine last year was found shot dead in Spain. One day ago, authorities in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg arrested a US-Russian dual citizen on charges of treason for raising money for Ukraine and attending demonstrations in Los Angeles.

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Palestinians families flee Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza towards the southern areas amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas.

Mohammed Talatene/Reuters

Israel on Tuesday ordered new evacuations in Gaza City as it prepares for a controversial ground offensive in Rafah, the enclave’s southernmost town.

The news is a reminder that roughly 300,000 Palestinians are still estimated to be in northern Gaza despite evacuations that pushed waves of people south after Oct. 7. It’s also indicative of the myriad challenges Palestinians face amid the Israel-Hamas war. It’s estimated that up to 1.9 million people in Gaza have been displaced since fighting began, and around 1.5 million are sheltering in Rafah.

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