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Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

Swedish prosecutors said Friday that they are dropping the arrest warrant for WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for the past five years while authorities in Stockholm investigated a rape case against him, reports AP. Assange has previously denied the allegations.

Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said they are closing the case as they see no possibility of arresting Assange in the "foreseeable future." However, the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations end in 2020.

But: Assange still faces an arrest warrant in the U.K. for jumping bail, and London police officials said Friday that if he left the Ecuadorean embassy he would still be arrested, despite being wanted "for a much less serious offense." The U.S. DOJ is also considering whether to charge Assange for WikiLeaks' publications of classified American documents.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.