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Julian Assange leaving a London court in May 2019. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The Biden administration has indicated that it will continue to press for the extradition of Julian Assange from the United Kingdom and prosecute the WikiLeaks founder in the United States, according to the New York Times.

Driving the news: The Justice Department filed a brief on Thursday asking a British court to overturn a ruling that blocked Assange's extradition to the U.S., as human rights and civil liberties groups urged acting attorney general Monty Wilkinson to abandon the prosecution.

Context: A British court judge blocked Assange's extradition in January because of the high risk of suicide in U.S. custody.

  • Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if he is sent to the U.S. and found guilty of all 18 counts in the indictment filed against him.

Why it matters: Human rights and civil liberties groups argued to Wilkinson that the case the Trump administration brought against Assange could establish a precedent that would threaten press freedoms.

  • The case has raised significant questions about First Amendment protections for publishers of classified information. Assange says he was acting as a journalist when he published leaked documents on U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The U.S. government has argued he should not be protected under press freedoms, saying in court that his actions went beyond the work of journalism.

What they're saying: “Journalists have no constitutional right to break into a government office, or hack into a government computer, or bribe a government employee, to get information,” President Biden said in a written statement to the Times in 2019.

  • “We should be hesitant to prosecute a journalist who has done nothing more than receive and publish confidential information and has not otherwise broken the law.”

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.

15 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

15 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."