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Manning speaks to the press in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 16, 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. district judge on Thursday ordered U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be released from the Alexandria Detention Center, one day after she was hospitalized for attempting to take her own life.

The big picture: Manning had been jailed since May 2019 on civil contempt charges for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena seeking information on Wikileaks. The judge wrote in the court order that since her testimony is no longer needed, Manning's detention "no longer serves any coercive purpose."

  • A member of her legal team confirmed to Axios that Manning was released from the Alexandria Detention Center on Thursday night.

Flashback: Manning, whose current incarceration was labeled as "torture" by a top United Nations official, told reporters last year that she'd rather remain in jail "forever" than testify before a grand jury on Wikileaks.

  • She previously served seven years in a military prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks before President Obama commuted what was left of her 35-year sentence.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted in April and May of 2019 for violating the Espionage Act by allegedly conspiring with Manning to hack into a Defense Department computer and disseminate classified information.

Read the order.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 1 hour ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.