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Lauri Love ruling ‘sets precedent’ for trying hacking suspects in UK

Rights groups and lawyers for 33-year-old welcome landmark judgment against extradition to US

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A high court ruling blocking extradition to the US of Lauri Love, a student accused of breaking into US government websites, has been welcomed by lawyers and human rights groups as a precedent for trying hacking suspects in the UK in future.

The decision delivered by the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, is highly critical of the conditions Love would have endured in US jails, warning of the risk of suicide.

Lawyers for the 33-year-old, who lives in Suffolk, had argued that Love should be tried in Britain for allegedly hacking into US government websites and that he would be at risk of killing himself if sent to the US.

There was cheering and applause in court on Monday when Burnett announced his decision. He asked supporters to be quiet, saying: “This is a court, not a theatre.”

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UK judge says extradition of ‘hacker’ Lauri Love to US will not take place

In his judgment, Burnett said: “It would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him. Far from it. Much of Mr Love’s argument was based on the contention that this is indeed where he should be prosecuted.

“The CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] must now bend its endeavours to his prosecution, with the assistance to be expected from the authorities in the United States, recognising the gravity of the allegations in this case, and the harm done to the victims.”

The court heard evidence from psychiatrists who work in the US prison system and questioned the adequacy of safeguarding procedures in US prisons.

The CPS, which acts on behalf of the US authorities in the case, said it would read the judgment before deciding whether or not to appeal. It has 14 days to decide whether or not to appeal to the supreme court.

Emerging from the front of the court afterwards, Love said: “This is not just for myself. I hope this sets a precedent for the future for anyone in the same position that they will be tried here.”

At a press conference later, he added: “I am greatly relieved that I’m no longer facing the prospect of being locked up in a country I have never visited. This legal struggle has defined my life for the past four years. I’m not looking forward to be being prosecuted but I think there’s a better chance that it will be done justly and fairly in the UK.”

Love, who holds joint British and Finnish nationality, has Asperger syndrome and severe depression. His supporters had gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice before the hearing carrying placards declaring: “Trump can’t get no Love”, “Free Love”, “Trial at home” and “Give Love a chance”.

They feared he would be held in solitary confinement and face a jail sentence of up to 99 years in the US.

Welcoming the judgment, Emma Norton, the head of legal casework at Liberty, which intervened in the case, said: “We are delighted that the court has today recognised Lauri’s vulnerability, close family connections to the UK and the potentially catastrophic consequences of extraditing him. This was always a case that could have been prosecuted here and it’s shameful that Lauri and his family have been put through this terrible ordeal.”

His father, the Rev Alexander Love, had said his son feared for his life because he did not think he could cope with the trauma of being sent to the US. He also praised Theresa May for devising the legal test that prevented Love’s removal.

Nick Vamos, a solicitor at the law firm Peters and Peters and a former CPS extradition specialist, said: “This judgment will mean that US and UK prosecutors will need to be very careful in future about how they decide who should prosecute cases of concurrent jurisdiction, and will have to focus far more than previously on a suspect’s connections to the UK.”

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America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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America

Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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America

Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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