2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

TOP INTERNATIONAL NEWS

International Affairs: #8 Julian Assange

On Aug. 16, Ecuador's foreign minister announced that his country would grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Ecuador defied the British government, which threatened to storm the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where Assange had sought asylum, in order to extradite him to Sweden for questioning about cases of alleged rape and sexual molestation. Three days later, Assange emerged from a window onto a small balcony of the embassy to denounce what he called an American-led "witch hunt."

"I ask President Obama to do the right thing," said Assange, who has been staying in what accounts describe as poor, dark quarters in the embassy since June. "The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks."

The White House declined to comment.