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October 21, 2019updated 20 Oct 2019 8:10pm

Assange extradition hearing begins / World Internet Conference in full swing / DC Fintech Week gets underway

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Monday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Assange extradition hearing begins

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will appear in Westminster Magistrates Court today as part of his ongoing extradition hearing.

Assange, an Australian citizen, has been in custody since April following his dramatic expulsion from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He faces charges in the US for violating the Espionage Act in relation to publishing classified documents.

He faces a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Assange’s lawyer in the US previously described the charges as a threat to all journalists.

Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid a rape allegation in Sweden. He is currently being held by British police for skipping bail, but it is unclear whether Sweden or the US will be prioritised in the extradition process. The full extradition hearing begins in February 2020.

World Internet Conference in full swing

The annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, brings together technology professionals to discuss internet issues and policy.

This year’s event, organised by Chinese government agencies, will cover topics such as smart society and sustainable development, fintech and cyberculture.

Previous speakers have included Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai. Representatives from Intel, Microsoft and Cisco Systems will grace this year’s conference, which first launched in 2014.

Notable absentees this time around include Facebook, Google and Twitter, which are all blocked in China. The event draws to a close tomorrow.

DC Fintech Week gets underway

Fintech leaders, bankers and regulators gather in Washington for the third annual DC Fintech Week, where they will discuss innovation, global markets and policy.

Speakers at the three-day event include the CEO of Ripple, the co-founder of Etheruem, chairman of the SEC and superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The debate over fintech regulation will take centre stage, as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg this week attends a congressional hearing as part of his uphill struggle to roll out his new cryptocurrency, Libra.

Friday’s Highlights


‘Start with the impact, not the tech’: Hitachi Vantara’s smart city approach

Arm joins forces with UK government in “significant milestone” in designing out cyber threats

Vodafone-EHang partnership to make urban drone taxis a reality