this is bbc news. wikileaks founder, julian assange, says he will not "forgive or forget", after swedish prosecutors drop their investigation into a rape allegation against him. he's been a fugitive, holed up in the ecuadorian embassy in london since 2012, but scotland yard says he'll be arrested for a separate offence if he tries to leave. labour is accusing the conservatives of a savage attack on vulnerable pensioners over their manifesto plans to means test winter fuel payments. we are going to make changes for the payments winter fuel payments but we will continue to ensure that the least well off pensioners are protected. russia condemns an american air strike, on a pro—government convoy, in syria. it came as president trump embarks on a visit to saudi arabia, the first foreign trip of his administration. tv entertainer rolf harris is released from prison.
the former entertainer was convicted and sentenced in 2014. also in the next hour, digital departures. one british airport is to abandon its air traffic control tower and use digital technology to monitor planes from 80 miles away. a bbc reporter and his twin have managed to fool hsbc‘s voice recognition security system, which is designed to prevent fraud. maria sharapova has announced she will not seek a wild card into wimbledon‘s main draw and will instead play the qualifying rounds to secure a place. hello, good afternoon and welcome to bbc news.
the wikilea ks founder, julian assange, has issued an angry response to the announcement by authorities in sweden that they would no longer pursue a rape allegation against him. in a tweet he claimed he had been detained for seven years without charge, saying he had been slandered and that he would not "forgive or forget". mr assange, who's a5, has not left the ecuadorian embassy in london since 2012, claiming asylum to avoid extradition to sweden. scotland yard says it's obliged to arrest him for breaching his bail conditions if he leaves the embassy. this afternoon, the prime minister was asked about the case. we look at extradition requests when we receive them on a case—by—case basis. in relation tojulian assange, any decision that is taken about uk action in relation to him, were he to leave the ecuadorean embassy, would be an operational matter for the police. the swedish authorities' decision
doesn't mean mr assange can finally walk free, as we have mentioned. police say they would still be obliged to arrest him if he left the embassy. and the united states may also take legal action against him for leaking secret official documents. caroline hawley has been following the day's events. victory is howjulian assange‘s lawyer has described today's news. moments after it was announced, wikileaks founder tweeted this photo of himself in the ecuadorian embassy. in stockholm, swedish prosecutors had just said that the case against him was being dropped. translation: today i have decided to revoke the order to remand mr assange in custody in his absence and to revoke the european arrest warrant that he should be handed over to the swedish authorities. their dramatic decision was not a statement on whether mr assange is guilty or not. they have just been unable,
in the circumstances, to proceed. translation: there are now no further measures remaining which are possible to advance the investigation. in order to proceed, it would be necessary forjulian assange to be formally served notice of the crimes of which he is suspected. this was a measure that was to have been conducted during an interview in london, but mr assange refused to make this possible. it is now almost five years sincejulian assange took refuge in the ecuadorian embassy. it's nearly seven years since he was first accused by two swedish women of sexual assault. this was mr assange last year, again claiming victory. in his hand, a un report which criticised the swedish prosecutors for their handling of his case. but the woman who accused him of rape has said today she is shocked by their decision, that she stands by the allegation. and mr assange cannot nowjust walk out of the embassy. the metropolitan police said they are still obliged to arrest him for failing to surrender to a court
in london back in 2012. in a statement they said: "now that the situation has changed and the swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, mr assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence." ecuador gave julian assange political asylum because he says he fears being prosecuted in the united states over the classified documents published by wikilea ks. we don't know what the next twists will be in this long—running saga, but it isn't over yet. caroline hawley, bbc news. helena lee is outside the ecuadorean embassy. he is not coming out onto the balcony so far. he has not so far but we are expecting him to appear at around
far but we are expecting him to appearataround 4:30pm, far but we are expecting him to appear at around 4:30pm, so not that long. you can probably make out the balcony behind us, which he has literally used as his platform to tell the world how he feels. we should expect to hearfrom him a bit later. what is extraordinary is the number of cameras here this afternoon. a huge amount of international interest in what is a long—running saga with many twists and turns. i havejoshua rosenberg here, a legal commentator, who can guide us through the legality is of this. first of all, in terms of the sweden news today, it's not quite over, is it, because they have not dropped the case? if he does return, they could reopen it. they have said that under swedish law they have to move quickly. they have not been able to deal with the case as quickly as they wanted to, so they can't proceed, but they have said that ifjulian can't proceed, but they have said that if julian assange can't proceed, but they have said that ifjulian assange were to go to sweden, he would be arrested. what
next forjulian assange? the curtains are shut and he has spent the day die adjusting the news and talking to lawyers. he will know there is a warrant out for his arrest, that he was meant to report toa arrest, that he was meant to report to a court in london five years ago and he did not, so he may be charged with skipping bail, absconding. that isa with skipping bail, absconding. that is a separate criminal offence from the allegations against him in sweden. if he were convicted and sentenced, he could be sentenced to 12 months in prison. he also has the issue of america hanging over him. he does not know for a fact whether the americans have decided to bring charges against him, though he suspect they have. he does not know for a fact whether they have requested his extradition and he might want to challenge that. of course, if he is charged with skipping bail, i don't suppose he is going to get bail in time while that
is dealt with. i imagine he would go to prison, and then he has to deal with the question of extradition from his prison cell, if he decides he is going to fight extradition, assuming the americans want to prosecute him. so he will find it a lot more difficult to deal with the charges that may be brought against him by the americans than he did these charges, if they were to be charges, from sweden. thank you for your thoughts. so we should expect julian assange to appear on the balcony behind us at around az30pm and we will bring you what he says when it happens. we will be back with you straightaway if he pops out onto the balcony. it's been a week of manifesto launches from political parties in the run up to the election, involving lots of attention on the elderly, from pledges on pensions to social care. now, labour claims plans by the conservatives to means test winter fuel payments, are "an attack on vulnerable pensioners". at present, the majority of people
aged over 64 are eligible. eleanor garnier reports. please welcome the prime minister, theresa may. she said it herself yesterday, there are big and difficult decisions to make. it couldn't have been closer to the truth. the conservatives say they want to protect the poorest, but plans for a radical shake—up of pensioner benefits, including cutting back on winterfuel payments, is proving controversial. they haven't set out exactly what they mean by the very poorest, but in the pension system at the moment we have a thing that does that, it's called pension credit and it only goes to 2 million of the poorest pensioners. that means that 10 million, the other pensioners, would lose out if that was the system the conservative party chose to go with. at the moment, all pensioners get the winter fuel payment. the allowance is worth between one and £300 a year, and in 2015—16, more than 12 million people got the benefit at a cost of over £2 billion. this week, labour published its manifesto...
labour say the tories' plans are sick and sneaky, and claim many pensioners will end up choosing between heating and eating. this is a savage attack on vulnerable pensioners, particularly those who are just about managing. it is disgraceful, and we are calling upon the conservative party now to withdraw it today. well, i think taking the winter fuel payment away from pensioners who have worked hard and paid in all their life is just wrong. the winter fuel payment is not a king's ransom, it's about giving pensioners who've contributed all their lives a little bit of extra help during the cold winter months. are they warm enough, them radiators? it's the most in need the conservatives say they are focusing on, with savings from the winter fuel payment going into social care. but without giving more detail of their plans, they face accusations 10 million would be hit. that's guesswork.
we're going to consult on the exact level, exactly how we do the means testing. but let me be plain about this, the only people who will lose the winter fuel allowance are people who can afford it. there are well—off pensioners as well as poor pensioners. we're going to protect the poor pensioners. but without exact calculations, the conservatives' opponents have filled the gaps. and until they've got some answers, it's likely the questions will keep coming. well, the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has been campaigning in peterborough and bedford today, and has been speaking about the party's pledges for older people. we can talk now to our political correspondent leila nathoo, who has been following him on the campaign trail. what has he been saying? earlier
this afternoon jeremy what has he been saying? earlier this afternoonjeremy corbyn and the labour battle but is pulled up in peterborough at this business park and the jeremy peterborough at this business park and thejeremy corbyn‘s message was one of protecting older people. it isa one of protecting older people. it is a huge shift, if you think back to the conservative party under david cameron, championing older people. jeremy corbyn has talked a lot about young people, getting them to vote in this election, but today he was talking about being the party of protecting pensioners. he accused the conservatives of abandoning and threatening older people. we have a process in this country called winter fuel allowances. they are there for a reason. because there is so much poverty amongst older people, some of whom die of hypothermia. so there is a winter fuel allowance. and it is paid to everybody, universally, as is so many other universal services in this country. they propose somewhere along the line to put a cap on it, somewhere along the line to remove it from an unknown number of people, causing great hardship
and great consternation across all of the elderly population of this country. i willjust make it absolutely clear, a labour government will maintain the winter fuel allowance as a universal allowance for all older people. jeremy corbyn‘s message of maintaining that commitment to universal benefits went down very well among the crowd of labour members and supporters gathered here, but theresa may, who has been campaigning in north berwick, said the change was needed. we are going to make changes to the winter fuel payments but we will ensure the least well—off pensioners are protected. if you look at the situation at the moment, we see well off pensioners able to be supported
with fuel bills when struggling ordinary working families are not. i think there is a principle of fairness that underpins this, and crucially, the money released as a result of changes to the winter fuel payments will go into health and social. this is a calculated risk by the conservative party to make these changes, to potentially alienate what has been a traditional support base for the conservative party. but in seats like peterborough, a conservative held seat, it is a marginal seat with only a 2000— odd majority and labour is targeting it heavily. theresa may will be hoping that issues like brexit will cut through here, rather than issues of social policy, as she has been talking about today. thank you. a former youth team coach at newcastle united has been charged with 29 sexual offences alleged to have been committed between 1973 and 1998. george ormond, who's 61,
will appear before magistrates in newcastle next month. the tv entertainer rolf harris has this morning been released from stafford prison. mr harris — who's 87 — was convicted and sentenced in 2014. he is currently on trial facing four counts of indecent assault against three teenage girls that allegedly took place in the 70s and early 80s. he had been appearing by video link but will appear in court in person when the trial resumes on monday. he denies all the charges against him. the headlines: julian assange has said he does not forgive or forget after a swedish prosecutor claimed she was dropping an investigation of rape against him. the prime minister has responded to labour's criticism of conservative
ma nifesto labour's criticism of conservative manifesto proposals, saying money released from the change in winter fuel payments would go to health and social. us warplanes operating over syria have attacked a convoy carrying pro—government militia forces, in a mission to protect british and american forces. it comes as president trump embarks on a visit to saudi arabia for his first foreign trip since taking office. in sport, maria sharapova will take part in wimbledon qualifying. she says she is not going to request a wild card for the main draw but will take part in the roehampton event. she needs to win three matches to reach the first round proper at the all—england club. arsene wenger‘s future at arsenal could be decided at a board meeting following the fa cup final. arsenal are likely to finish outside the top four for the first time in 20 years. olympic silver medallist gemma gibbons has retired from judo. she missed out on last year's rio games, and she is going to become a pe teacher. i will be back with an update in 15 minutes. president trump is starting the first foreign trip of his presidency.
he'll take in four countries in eight days, starting in saudi arabia. frank gardner reports from the saudi capital, riyadh. the red carpets are out for a visit like no other. president trump is coming to saudi arabia, and his hosts have high expectations. saudi officials tell me privately that this is ten times bigger than last yea r‘s this is ten times bigger than last year's presidential visit from barack obama. year's presidential visit from ba rack obama. they year's presidential visit from barack obama. they hope this will reset the relationship with washington, forming a combined front against the twin threats they see coming from iran and so—called islamic state. the invitation came from a march meeting at the white house with saudi arabia's deputy crown prince and defence minister. under president trump, the us is during closer to saudi arabia and
the gulf arab states. at this press conference, i asked the foreign minister what help he expected from washington in confronting iran. the president has made clear that iran's violations of the un security council resolutions relating to ballistic missile ‘s must have consequences. the president has been clear that iran's support for terrorism also must have consequences. but saudi arabia has a terrorism problem of its own. ever since 2003 it has had to cope with home—grown violentjihadists. saudi special forces, trained home—grown violentjihadists. saudi specialforces, trained by the us and britain, have contained the problem, but as president trump repairs to deliver a speech on the need to combat violent extremism, put it to an expert, is saudi arabia itself part of the problem? saudi arabia clearly has a way to go in
terms of how it is addressing domestic debate, domestic attitudes, attitudes within schools, universities, textbooks and the friday sermons as well. it clearly has a long way to go. there is a multiple stratas within this society so multiple stratas within this society so there is clearly a determination from elements within government and society to tackle the problem. there are conservatives who want to resist that change. i asked these young saudis what they thought about the presidential visit. we welcome him to saudi arabia, said this man, his coming here is a great honour. with the daytime heat finally subsiding, more families and opinions started to come out. we like american products very much, especially movies. but we do not like american policies. there are some rules in
america, some policies which in particular disagree with our religion. this is the only problem. saudi arabia is already celebrating this visit before it begins. in view of president trump's recent troubles, if it simply passes off normally, that will be judged a success. joining me now via webcam from washington is peter galbraith, the former us ambassador to croatia and united nations' deputy special representative for afghanistan, who is senior diplomatic fellow at the center for arms control and non—proliferation. thanks for being with us. what do you think is the significance of this trip to saudi arabia in particular as president trump's first foreign trip as president? as your report suggests, it is a shift in emphasis of us policy towards
saudi arabia. more against any kind of approach meant with iran. i think he is making his first trip to the most conservative country in the arab world. there is also a significant business component. his son—in—law has been trying to negotiate a $110 billion arms deal, and this goes with the trump approach that the administration is going to be perfect —— personally involved in business deals as a way of boosting the american economy. involved in business deals as a way of boosting the american economym comes against a backdrop of him last year of accusing saudi arabia of being behind 9/11. yes. in terms of a strategy of combating terrorism, obviously a lot of extremists have
been funded by saudi arabia. most of the 911 hijackers were saudis. by contrast, iran, which is the designated enemy, of course is a shi'ite country. it is the bitter enemy of the kind of solitary terrorism that —— the kind of selasi terrorism. but i am not sure these nuances are appreciated by the president. he has been beleaguered at home. do you think it will be a relief for him to carry out some overseas diplomacy? this is actually the normal release for an american president. they tend to find it is very ha rd to president. they tend to find it is very hard to get their domestic agenda accomplished, although they usually don't run into the kind of difficulty that trump has run into
so difficulty that trump has run into so early in his administration. and they find that foreign travel and foreign policy is a place where it is easier to accomplish things, and people tend to be much nicer to them. trump has taken a long time to make his first trip i think he is a bit of a homeboy who likes to sleep in his own bed. i am not sure he will find this the same kind of escape from washington reality that his predecessors have. a bit of a homeboy, as you say. there were reports that he wanted to cut down the number of days of his overseas visits, to shorten them. yes. what is instructive about this is that during the campaign he actually almost never stayed overnight in the places he was campaigning. he would ta ke places he was campaigning. he would take his plane out to iowa,
minnesota, texas, give whatever speech he was going to give, and fly home to new york to sleep in his own bed. very interesting to talk to you. thank you for your time. american warplanes operating in syria have attacked a convoy carrying militia fighters supporting president assad. the us—led coalition says the convoy was heading towards a base used by western special forces, near the border with iraq. russia has condemned the attack as ‘unacceptable'. the incident comes as president trump prepares to visit saudi arabia, his first overseas trip since becoming president. james landale reports. us warplanes launching air strikes against so—called islamic state targets in syria. but now they are also attacking ground forces loyal to the syrian government.
ostensibly the air strike was designed to protect british and american special forces like these. they are based in the south—east of syria, where they are training opposition groups fighting is. these pictures were taken last year. the pro—syrian convoy that included iranian backed militias was heading toward a military base near a strategically important border crossing with iraq and jordan. unlike many previous strikes such as this, us officials said the coalition warplanes warned the convoy to turn around before attacking. there were reports that some tanks and trucks were destroyed and a number of troops killed. president assad's spokesman condemned what they call an act of government terrorism, which they said showed that america's claims it was fighting only is were false. russian ministers said the attack was a completely unacceptable breach of syrian sovereignty. the us claimed russia tried but failed to dissuade the convoy from heading south. the american defence secretary james mattis insisted that the air strike did not mark an escalation by the us. well, we're not increasing our role
in the syrian civil war, but we will defend our troops, and that is a coalition element made up of more than just us troops, and so we'll defend ourselves from people who take aggressive steps against us. the diplomat said that as president trump prepared to head to saudi arabia the us was sending a strong signal that last month's attack on the syrian air allegedly used for chemical warfare was not a one—off and that the us was now prepared to use force to stop iranian backed militias taking territory in syria. that is a message that will go down well in riyadh this weekend, where they are laying out the red carpet for the us president. both sides are hoping the visit will improve relations between both countries that have been strained in recent years. james landale, bbc news. a bbc investigation has found flaws
in an hsbc security programme which uses voice recognition. passwords, key fobs and apps have all been used to protect us, but over the past year, a new gold standard in security has emerged — biometrics. like fingerprints, the human voice is unique to each of us, and hsbc, along with other banks, has started using the voice of its customers as their password. they say it's secure. my voice is my password. but a simple experiment with my non—identical twin brother... welcome to hsbc advance. ..proves otherwise. my financial details and the ability to transfer money, wide open. i am absolutely shocked.
under no circumstances should two different people be able to get into the same bank account with voice biometric authentication. yes, every voice is unique. however, it's up to the system to differentiate between voices, and obviously it hasn't done it in this case, and granted access. unlike a password, a voice is public, and experts worry that artificial intelligence software can synthesise voices so well that it would soon be able to clone a voice from a sample of 30 seconds or less — a tool which could make the hackers' job much easier. it's a scary application, but we are working with security researchers to figure out what is the best way to proceed with this. this is one of the reasons why we have not published this to the public yet. in response to our attempts to break in, the bank said... most experts agree that by making security more personal,
you make it more secure. but if your voice can be copied, then, unlike passwords, it may be difficult to get a new one. dan simmons, bbc news. a look at the weather. some much—needed rainfall over the past two days. for most of us, a day of sunshine and showers today, particularly towards northern and western parts. to the east, cloud producing more persistent outbreaks of rain which will push north this evening into eastern scotland. elsewhere, the heaviest of the showers dying away overnight. many of us will start the day largely dry. a fresh start saturday. outbreaks of rain across northern
and eastern parts of scotland through the day. elsewhere across the country, another day of sunshine and showers. similar to today, some of the showers could be heavy and thundery with temperatures in the mid teens. showers fading through saturday night, becoming largely dry as we move through sunday morning. sunday will probably be the better day of the weekend, warmer with fewer showers and we could see temperatures reaching 20 degrees. still a chance of showers in the north—west. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines. the lawyer forjulian assange says "he's won" after swedish prosecutors dropped the rape investigation into the wikileaks founder. mr assange has always denied the allegations against him. police here say they are still obliged to arrest him if he leaves
the ecuadorian embassy in london where he has lived since 2012. prime minister theresa may has hit back at labour over their criticism of her plans for the winter fuel benefit. mrs may said that her plans would protect the more vulnerable people in society, and that the money saved would go into health and social care. labour have condemned the conservatives over their plans to means test the winter fuel allowance. the shadow chancellorjohn mcdonnell accused the tories of being "sick and sneaky". us president donald trump is on his way the middle east, where he will meet gulf arab leaders over the weekend. his visit follows the us—led coalition strike on a convoy carrying pro—government militia forces. and london city airport is the first in the country to abandon its air control tower to go fully digitial. the new system works by sending a live feed via fibre cables to a new operations base in hampshire. the world of sport now.
good afternoon. maria sharapova is not going to request a wildcard into the main wimbledon draw but will enter qualifying the week before. the former champion has relied on wildcards to play on tour since retuning to competition last month following a 15—month doping ban. the 30—year—old was denied a wild card by the french open this week. arsene wenge is still keeping everyone guessing about his future as manager of arsenal. it's been a difficult season and his side are likely to miss out on a top—four finish for the first time in his 20 years at the club. his contract runs out after the fa cup final, that's when a board meeting is likely to discuss his position. theirfinal league match is at home against everton on sunday so could that be his last match at the emirates? of the season, yes. ever?
i cannot tell you. i think what is most important for us is to win the football game on sunday. after that, what happens to me is less important. i am here to serve the club and the best way to do it is to win the next game. lots of managers have been giving their final pre—match news conferences of the season. jurgen klopp's liverpool need to beat middlesbrough on sunday to be sure of a top—four finish. regardless of the result, klopp says they'll be strengthening the squad during the summer. we were working not only on the pitch, because my day is 24 hours. we have a lot of good people around so we were working hard and having a good position for different players but it is not the day to talk about this. we want to make this team better, it should be the aim every year, probably. it is not easy, because we have already a good side. if the first 11, 12, 13, 14 players are fit, ok. in the world is not full of players.
maybe there are a few out there and you can be sure we spoke to them. saracens captain brad barritt is out of the premiership semifinal against exeter with a calf injury. his absence is the only change to the 15 that won the european champions cup last weekend. barrit actually picked up the injury in the final. duncan taylor comes in at inside centre as his replacement. some good news for ospreys and the lions this summer, skipper alun wynjones is back for the pro 12 semifinal at munster tomorrow. he hasn't played since picking up a shoulder injury in the six nations in march. the first of the semi—finals between leinster and scarlets is tonight in dublin. the world anti—doping agency could lift its suspension of russia's drug—testing authority, rusada, which would be a major step towards the country being reinstated to international competition. one of wada's stipulations is that yelena isinbayeva steps down from her role as chair of the rusada council.
she has been strong critic of wada following the revelations of systematic state sponsored doping meant she was one of the atheltes who missed out on the rio olympics who missed out on the rio olympics following a blanket ban of the russian athletics. colombian sprinter fernando gaviria is continuing to impress at the giro d'italia, he's just won his fourth stage in this year's race. tom dumoulin of the netherlands still holds the overall lead by over two minutes... but it was all about the sprinters on stage 13 — the last flat one before the race hits the mountains in the north of italy. earlier today mark cavendish tweeted he was thankful that gaviria isn't competing in this year's tour de france, and the colombian proved again this afternoon that he's the fastest finisher in the giro. let's go back tojulian assange. the wikileaks founder has had
a seven—year—long investigation into rape allegations against him dropped this morning. that decision made by prosecutors in sweden. mr assange has been tweeting about the move — he said... david leigh is a former investigative journalist who has worked extensively with julian assange. he told me that, given his current circumstances, mr assange had not escaped punishment. i am not surprised the swedish prosecutor is exhausted by the attempt to getjulian to face justice. seven years during which he has been successfully running away and hiding. what should he do? he is still in the embassy. scotland yard said he would still be arrested for breaching bail. will he stay? the logic is that he comes out of the embassy, is arrested forjumping bail, a british charge. there would not be
much of a penalty. they would either put him in jail a short time or give him a suspended sentence, and then deport him. he would like to be deported to ecuador, by the sound of it, but they might deport him to his native australia. we have word from the united states that the us attorney general says that arresting mr assange is a priority. that is alljust noise. the fact is there is no official extradition request made known from the us to the uk to get hold of julian assange. the irony is the obama administration had probably dropped the idea of arresting and extraditing him. and then with his antics, which during the trump campaign he appears to have leaked material perhaps supplied by the russians..
we can go to the embassy live because there isjulian assange. we expect him to give reaction. a clenched fist salute in reaction to the new swedish prosecutors have dropped the case against him. over that rape allegation. todayis today is an important victory. it is by no means... seven years of detention. under house arrest. almost five years here in this
embassy without sunlight. seven yea rs embassy without sunlight. seven years without charge. while my children grew up. that is not something that i can forego. it is not something i can forget. —— i can for give. the inevitable inquiry into what has occurred in this moment of terrible injustice is something that i hope will be more than just about me and this situation. because the reality is detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the european union. a feature which has
been exploited, yes, in my case for political reasons. but in other cases has subjected many people to terrible injustice. in sweden, indefinite detention is a policy. there is no time limit that someone can be detained without charge. that is not how we expect a civilised state to behave. similarly, extradition without charge is not something we expect from the rule of law in the united kingdom. it is a measure introduced as part of the european union system to turn the european union system to turn the european union system to turn the european union into a federation. in 2014, in response to my situation
and other abuses, the uk government changed the law to prevent further extradition without charge from the uk. but it is still a problem in the rest of the european union. i would like to thank in this situation the united nations... the last resort we all have when we are bound up in legal circumstances with a particular politics of the country, 01’ particular politics of the country, or the geopolitics that exists between different states. i would also like to thank ecuador, its people and its asylum system, who have stood by my asylum, despite very intense pressure, including
pressure to use the european union's trade system to penalise ecuadorian exporters. a terrible violation. i would also like to thank my legal team, who have worked very hard and for no money, and all the other people who have stood by me in this process. understand, while today... an important vindication, the road is farfrom an important vindication, the road is far from over. an important vindication, the road is farfrom over. the proper war is just commencing. the uk has said it will arrest me, regardless. just commencing. the uk has said it willarrest me, regardless. now just commencing. the uk has said it will arrest me, regardless. now the united states, cia director and the
us attorney general has said that i and other wikilea ks staff us attorney general has said that i and other wikileaks staff have no rights, we have no first amendment rights, we have no first amendment rights and that my arrest and arrest of other staff is a priority. that is not acceptable. wikileaks will continue its publications. today in fa ct, continue its publications. today in fact, we published an important material from the central intelligence agency, cia. a system to penetrate and spy on in a statistical way anyone that the cia happens to be interested in. such measures are conducted without. and the threats towards me and my staff and wikilea ks as
the threats towards me and my staff and wikileaks as a publisher will not be tolerated and have not been tolerated. our publications are proceeding at speed, in relation to the cia, is accelerating. will you surrender to a bail hearing in london? finally, in relation to the asylu m london? finally, in relation to the asylum rights that we all have, we do all have them. the united kingdom, the european union, is a party to the 1951 convention on refugees. it states the right for all people to seek asylum, to receive asylum and to asylum. i have that right in a political case. we all have that right. so the claim by the united kingdom that it has a
right to arrest me for seeking asylum, ina right to arrest me for seeking asylum, in a case where there have been no charges, which has now been dismissed, is simply untenable. will you leave the embassy now? my you leave the embassy now? my legal staff have contacted the united kingdom authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward. to some extent, the united kingdom has been exploited by the process it entered into with the european union where it agreed to extradite people without charge or any consideration as to the factss. that is to an extent a force to position the united kingdom... a force to position the united kingdom has been put into and the first part of that
is over. the uk refuses to confirm 01’ is over. the uk refuses to confirm or deny at this stage whether a us extradition warrant is already in the uk territory. this is the dialogue we want to happen. similarly, with the united states, while they —— there have been threatening remarks made, i will a lwa ys threatening remarks made, i will always engage in a dialogue with the department ofjustice always engage in a dialogue with the department of justice about always engage in a dialogue with the department ofjustice about what has occurred. finally, we have had another important victory this week. even more important and more conclusive than the one we have achieved today. that is the release of chelsea manning from prison, after seven yea rs of chelsea manning from prison, after seven years detained in military prison, after an extensive fight we and others managed to have
him released 28 years early. so important victories, but the legal conflict with the united states and the united kingdom at a formal level continues and i and wikileaks as a publisher encourage you to continue to support us in that fight. for us, of course, because precedents are being set, the precedent about whether people have the right to seek asylum and the president about whether we have the right to publish information. —— precedent. how a publisherfrom
europe can be extradited to the united states. we do not operate in all publish from the united states. it isa all publish from the united states. it is a threat to journalists all over the world, wherever they operate, that if they expose serious abuses occurring in a national security domain, there is a threat to extradite them, or indict the organisation and their staff. ok, thatis organisation and their staff. ok, that is it. thanks, guys. there we are. julian assange stepping back inside the ecuadorian embassy after a few minutes addressing reporters from the balcony. the ecuadorian embassy where he has been several yea rs embassy where he has been several years and describing the news today that swedish prosecutors have dropped a rape investigation into him, saying it was an important victory and a vindication, but he said the war is far from over. he
was asked, you could hear probably, some reporters shouting out questions, are you going to leave the embassy? he did not directly address that but he talked about the threat the uk authorities will still arrest him if he leaves the embassy because of allegations he skipped bail. he said his legal team have contacted the british authorities to see if they can open a dialogue with the british police and legal authorities about the best way forward , authorities about the best way forward, he said. that was his a nswer to forward, he said. that was his answer to the question if he would leave so it sounds like he is not going to leave imminently. he talked about the threat that the american authorities want to arrest him, and wa nt authorities want to arrest him, and want him extradited. he said the threat from the us attorney general was extremely threatening. he was offering also the american authorities a dialogue, he said. julian assange thanks to ecuador.
which has, in his words, stood by him throughout the last few years, despite intense pressure, he said. he said he has been detained for seven he said he has been detained for seve n years he said he has been detained for seven years without charge. he said thatis seven years without charge. he said that is something he cannot for give 01’ that is something he cannot for give orforget that is something he cannot for give or forget because his children have had to grow up without him. julian assange stepping out onto the balcony of the ecuadorian embassy in london and saying that the news from sweden that the prosecution there, the swedish prosecutors, have dropped their rape investigation, he said it was an important victory and a vindication, but, he said, the war was far from over. a vindication, but, he said, the war was farfrom over. he has denied the allegations against him always. scotla nd allegations against him always. scotland yard have said they would be obliged to arrest him if he left
the building, if he left the ecuadorian embassy in central london. because he is accused of skipping bail and therefore he should be arrested and so it looks, although he did not address the question directly as to whether he will leave the embassy, it looks, for the moment, as though he will state their in the embassy, because he sees that as a threat that he would be arrested first by the british police in london and then also there is a new threat, really, coming from the us, where the attorney general has said that arresting him is a priority. he was addressing reporters from the balcony, something he has done many times before. these are recorded pictures as he stepped out and there was a clenched fist salute, because he obviously regards the decision by the swedish prosecutors to drop the case against him, there you are, the
clenched fist salute, very much he says a victory and vindication. his supporters, we spoke tojohn pilger, the veteran journalist, his friend, who said it has been vindication for the wikileaks who said it has been vindication for the wikilea ks founder who said it has been vindication for the wikileaks founderjulian assange. we will wait to see whether he stays there. he has been there since 2012. he has called it detention, that he has been detained in the ecuadorian embassy. it looks like that stay, in the embassy, will continue for a while yet. because although his lawyers, he said, want to negotiate with the british police and perhaps the home office about whether he might be allowed to leave without being arrested, so far there has been no result on that. also, he is worried about the threat of
arrest by the american authorities, with the attorney general saying the arrest of julian assange with the attorney general saying the arrest ofjulian assange is a priority. we will be talking to our correspondent at the ecuadorian embassy in the next few minutes. but, for now, other news. london city airport is set to become the first in the uk to replace its on—site air traffic controllers with a digital system, operated from more than a hundred miles away. instead of sitting in a tower overlooking the runway, controllers will watch live footage from high—definition cameras in hampshire. the new system will be operationalfrom 2019. our transport correspondent richard westcott reports now, on a brave new world. modern airports are dynamic, fast flowing, hundreds of pieces being moved around every minute and all of those movements must be tightly choreographed to keep it safe. this is london city airport and that is just one of the 300 or so take—offs and landings that
happen here every day. until now, all of those flights have been coordinated by a group of controllers who look out of these windows here. but in the future, those windows are going to be replaced by these high—definition tv screens. controllers won't just see the airport, they will be able to hear it as well. the thing is, this digital control tower is 120 miles away from the airport. we've been shown this simulation, but by 2019, controllers will be sitting here directing traffic for real, using pictures fed from a new camera tower next to the runway. unlike the old tower, they can zoom in for a better view, put radar data onto the screen to track aircraft. critically, for safety, the cameras can pick out rogue drones near the airport and light the runway at night. my initial reaction was sceptical because i'm used
to being at an airport. they give the controller more information in terms of what they can see, what they can hear, how they can identify targets, how they can track targets. the awareness that the controller gets, it's all about being heads up, they're no longer looking down. a tower controller's job is we get paid to look out of the window, so it makes thatjob much easier. now, i know exactly what you're thinking. the number one question i've been asked by everybody i've told about this is, what if the tv screens go down, what if the system is hacked? how secure is it? so, highly secure. the system has been independently stress—tested by security specialists. we have three cables that are in place between the airport and swanwick, in the control centre. if one of those was to fail, there's a back—up. and in the event that that fails, there's another cable. and they're all routed, taking different routes between the airport and swanwick. london city is convinced the new system will make
their operation more efficient and more safe. the idea of the control tower miles from the airport may seem odd, but it isn't far away. richard westcott, bbc news. more on julian assange coming up at five. now the weather. we have had a change in weather type and after the dry start of the month, it has turned unsettled with heavy showers today. there has been sunshine. this is the scene in north somerset earlier. we have heavy downpours, particularly across wales and the south—west of england and up to eastern england. in nottinghamshire we have had a lot of club up and rain around, also. continuing to see rain around, also. continuing to see rain in eastern parts of england, pushing northward slowly. east of scotla nd pushing northward slowly. east of scotland see in wet weather. heavy and at times thundery downpours in
west wales, south of england, northern ireland. they should fade away tonight. we will keep cloud and outbreaks of rain in northern and north—eastern parts of scotland. saturday morning, we have rain across north—east scotland. sunshine across north—east scotland. sunshine across dumfries and galloway. showers in northern ireland in the morning and in northern england, showery rain in the north—east. heading south into wales, showers from the word go, but equally some sunshine around. showers drifting into the south—west but for central and south east england, try and bright here. through the day, another day of sunshine and heavy showers. some of the showers in england, wales and northern ireland could be heavy. there will be heavy downpours between sunshine also and temperatures around 18. the system
across the north of scotland clears by sunday so and improve story here. showers towards the far north—west of the uk, but for most places, a better day on sunday with temperatures a little bit warmer. this is the weekend summary... by by sunday, most places looking dry and temperatures feeding warmer. heading through to the new working week, low—pressure tries to push into the north—west. breezy at times in the north—west with showers. central and south—eastern parts remaining largely dry and it will be warming up with temperatures on monday up to around 22. we should see a settled spell of weather heading to the middle part of next week. today at 5 — prosecutors in sweden drop their investigation into rape allegations against julian assange. the wikilea ks founder, emerged onto the balcony of the ecuadorean embassy
in london to say it was an important victory for him. "seven years without charge, while my children grew without me, that is not something that i can forgive, it is not something that i can forget." this is the scene live at the embassy. mr assange has gone back inside. police say they will be obliged to arrest him on a lesser charge if he leaves the building. we'll bring you the very latest on that and will be talking to vaughan smith, who had previously provided him refuge. the other main stories on bbc news at 5: "sick and sneaky" — labour's reaction to conservative plans to means—test winter fuel payments for pensioners. police admitted there were "missed opportunities" to catch serial