Sweden Upholds Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder; Countries Vie for World Cup Hosting Rights

BY News Desk  December 2, 2010 at 10:04 AM EST

Sweden’s Supreme Court Upholds Assange Arrest Warrant

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, pictured on July 26, 2010 after the site leaked thousands of military documents on the Afghan war. (AFP/Getty images)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost his request for an appeal of the detention order issued against him over allegations of rape made by two women in Sweden after an August visit. Assange, who has not been formally charged, has denied the accusations as part of a smear campaign to undermine him amid the WikiLeaks cable releases. Interpol has issued a “red notice” for Assange, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Assange, an Australian citizen, is rumored to be in Britain, but British police have not yet confirmed his location.

World Cup 2018, 2022 Announced Today

Update: FIFA announced that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 World Cup. See the full announcement and in-depth coverage here.

FIFA, the international governing body for soccer – or football – will announce the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments Thursday in Zurich. The 2018 top contenders are England, Netherlands-Belgium, Russia and Spain-Portugal. The U.S., Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar are in line for 2022. Japan and South Korea co-hosted the World Cup in 2002.

The bidding nations made their final presentations to FIFA; you can see the 2022 pitches, including that of the United States, here. The U.S. touted itself as a diverse country and featured appearances from former President Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman.

The announcement follows months after the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, marking the first time the tournament was held on the continent.

Putin Responds to Criticism in Leaked Diplomatic Documents

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had these words for those who criticized Russia’s internal affairs: “don’t interfere either [with] the sovereign choice of the Russian people.”

In an interview with CNN’s Larry King Live, Putin defended Russia’s democracy and deflected personal criticism of his leadership. The cables show many U.S. diplomats held a pessimistic view of the Kremlin and reported deep-seated corruption. The documents include a 2009 cable questioning Putin’s work ethic.

New Zealand Mourns Miners Killed in Blast

More than a week after all 29 miners trapped in the Pike River Mine were declared dead after a second blast, mourners gathered to remember the men who perished.

Prime Minister John Key has said the country “need(s) answers” after the worst mining disaster in recent history. It is unknown whether the men survived the initial blast, which released toxic fumes and prevented rescuers from making contact before the second large blast.