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Assange: Ecuador 'deserves' to win the World Cup

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has turned from distributing state secrets to a spot of football punditry as he said Ecuador's team "deserves" to win the World Cup.

Assange said he would be supporting Ecuador, but Brazil would win the cup. Credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he said he will be rooting for the South American country, which has given him shelter in its embassy for two years, as he flees extradition over alleged sexual assault.

“Of course, Ecuador undoubtedly deserves to win the World Cup and has a pretty decent team,” he said in comments quoted by Time magazine.

“But I think there’s such prestige riding on the issue for Brazil that they are the most likely victors.”

More: England head to Sao Paulo ahead of key Uruguay match

WikiLeaks' Assange: More secret data coming soon

Julian Assange said WikiLeaks will soon release a new batch of secret information.

The WikiLeaks founder spoke to a crowd of around 3,000 people via Skype at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin in Texas.

He did not reveal any more details, saying he doesn't want the authorities to have time to prepare ahead of the release.

Mr Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian the embassy in central London for more than a year and half in a bid to avoid deportation to the US over the biggest leak of classified documents in US history.

Read: US solider jailed for 35 years in WikiLeaks case

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Assange: Very few 'concrete' reforms in Obama's speech

President Obama's speech on security and privacy reforms were "embarrassing", Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Credit: PA

Mr Assange, who has been inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than a year to avoid extradition to the US told CNN: "I think it's embarrassing for a head of state to go on for 45 minutes and say almost nothing.

"It's clear that the president would not be speaking here today if it were not for the actions of Edward Snowden and whistleblowers before him...these whistleblowers have forced this debate. This president has been dragged kicking and screaming to today's address", he added.

"Unfortunately today we also see very few concrete reforms".

Julian Assange to deliver BBC's Thought For The Day

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is to be the guest speaker on BBC Radio 4's traditional faith spot Thought For The Day on ThursdaY.

He has been asked to participate by the recording artist PJ Harvey, who is guest-editing Thursday's edition of the Today programme, according to media reports.

Other guests reportedly include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the campaigning journalist John Pilger.

Mr Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for more than a year following attempts to extradite him to Sweden.

Cumberbatch reveals Assange snub over WikiLeaks film

Benedict Cumberbatch was disappointed that the "revolutionary of journalism" Julian Assange turned down a request to meet him to research his latest role as the WikiLeaks founder in The Fifth State.

Assange, who has been inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than a year to avoid extradition to the US, said he did not want to meet the actor as he believes the film will only help destroy his organisation.

Cumberbatch told BBC1's The Graham Norton Show, to be broadcast tomorrow night, "He is a revolutionary of journalism ... he made us question what the status quo is, the rule of law and power structures that are corrupt or needed exposing.

"He served democracy a great turn I think. WikiLeaks opened a very good can of worms."

Assange sings You're The Voice ahead of election

Julian Assange has donned a bright blonde mullet wig and sung You're The Voice ahead of Australia's election next month.

The WikiLeaks founder, who is standing for election in the upcoming poll, made the guest appearance in Rap Juice Media's satirical video despite being confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

In the rewritten version of John Farnham's hit, Assange sings: "We have the chance to turn the pages over. We can write what we want to write. We've got to make things leak, so we can get much bolder."

Mr Assange and six other WikiLeaks Party candidates are standing in the September 7 election.

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Assange hails Manning's sentence a 'tactical victory'

Julian Assange has hailed a "significant tactical victory" in the case of Bradley Manning after the former US soldier was handed a 35-year sentence.

In a statement, he said: "While the defence should be proud of their tactical victory, it should be remembered that Mr Manning’s trial and conviction is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice...

Julian Assange has released a statement following the sentencing of Bradley Manning. Credit: Press Association

"Mr Manning’s treatment has been intended to send a signal to people of conscience in the US government who might seek to bring wrongdoing to light. This strategy has spectacularly backfired, as recent months have proven.

"Instead, the Obama administration is demonstrating that there is no place in its system for people of conscience and principle. As a result, there will be a thousand more Bradley Mannings."

Assange: Manning 'the quintessential whistleblower'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has described Bradley Manning as "the quintessential whistleblower" after the US soldier was convicted of espionage charges.

He accused President Barack Obama of "national security extremism" after an American military judge convicted Bradley Manning over the biggest leak of classified documents in US history.

Praising Manning as "the most important journalistic source that the world has ever seen", Mr Assange said he did not receive a fair trial and called for the verdict to be overturned.

"It can never be that conveying true information to the public is espionage,"Assange said from inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, his home for more than a year.

Assange: Manning conviction 'dangerous precedent'

Julian Assange has hailed US soldier Bradley Manning as a 'hero'. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the conviction of soldier Bradley Manning on espionage charges set a "dangerous precedent".

Pte Manning, who has admitted leaking confidential information to WikiLeaks, was convicted of 19 charges.

Mr Assange said the only victim in the case had been the US government's "wounded pride", adding that Manning's disclosures had helped spark the Arab Spring.

Manning's sentencing will begin tomorrow but Mr Assange said there were two appeals within the US justice system as well as the Supreme Court.

UK firm denies bugging Ecuador Embassy in London

British security firm Surveillance Group Ltd has denied bugging the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

We have this morning heard an accusation the source of which is apparently Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister suggesting that we have bugged the Ecuadorian Embassy.

This is completely untrue. The Surveillance Group do not and have never been engaged in any activities of this nature.

We have not been contacted by any member of the Ecuadorian Government and our first notification about this incident was via the press this morning.

This is a wholly untrue assertion.

– Timothy Young, CEO, Surveillance Group Ltd

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino had earlier said he had "reason to believe that the bugging was being carried out by the company, the Surveillance Group Limited... one of the biggest private investigation and undercover surveillance companies in the United Kingdom."

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