Ecuador

The government of Ecuador has cut off the Internet connection for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside its London embassy, saying that he was jeopardizing its relationships with other countries through his posts on social media.

Assange has been living in the embassy there since 2012, when he took refuge because of allegations from Sweden of sex crimes, including rape. He has feared that if he appeared in Sweden he would face extradition to the U.S., where he could be put on trial for the WikiLeaks leak of a massive trove of documents.

Ecuador says it has granted citizenship to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as officials try to find a way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London without risking legal action.

Assange, who is Australian, first sought refuge at the embassy more than five years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced an investigation over rape allegations. He was granted asylum, and has been holed up in the embassy ever since.

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Mariana Bazo/Reuters

Leftist Lenin Moreno crossed his fingers Monday for outright victory in Ecuador's presidential vote as impatience grew over a delay in publishing full results that could force a runoff.

Sunday's election was a test of the legacy of outgoing President Rafael Correa, Moreno's more hardline ally and an outspoken critic of the United States.

Moreno, 63, hoped to top 40 percent of the vote with a 10-point lead. That would spare him a runoff that polls indicate he may well lose.

Ecuador acknowledges it restricted the Internet access of Julian Assange, who has lived at the country's London embassy for more than four years.

The government of President Rafael Correa released a statement that notes Assange's WikiLeaks website has published "a wealth of documents, impacting on the U.S. election campaign." The statement says the website released those documents on its own, and Ecuador "respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states."

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

The death toll in the earthquake that hit Ecuador over the weekend is climbing toward 500 – and could go much higher. Miami’s Ecuadorean community is mobilizing relief aid – and told WLRN what's needed most.

HBO/YouTube

Kudos to British comedian John Oliver for his hilarious smackdown of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa this week.

The host of HBO’s satirical “Last Week Tonight” skewered – impaled, really – Correa and his juvenile social media war against anyone who dares criticize him. Oliver told the infamously thin-skinned presidente to “stop Googling yourself” and advised him that “being a world leader might not be for you.”

Ecuador says it is considering Edward Snowden's request for asylum.

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.