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On This Day: Ecuador grants asylum to Julian Assange

On Aug. 16, 2012, the Ecuadorean government said it was granting political asylum in its London Embassy to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

On August 16, 2012, the Ecuadorean government said it was granting political asylum in its London Embassy to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, trying to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault investigation. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
On August 16, 2012, the Ecuadorean government said it was granting political asylum in its London Embassy to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, trying to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault investigation. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1812, British forces foiled plans for a U.S. invasion of Canada by capturing the city of Detroit.

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In 1896, the North Country gold rush began with the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York of cancer at age 53.

In 1954, the first edition of Sports Illustrated was published.

File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI

In 1977, Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll, died of heart failure at his home in Memphis at age 42.

In 1987, a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Phoenix crashed on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 people. A 4-year-old girl, Celia Cichan, was the sole survivor.

In 2005, a West Caribbean Airways flight from Colombia crashed in a remote area of northwest Venezuela, killing 160 people.

In 2008, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his record eighth gold medal in a single Olympics in the Summer Games at Beijing.

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File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI

In 2009, John Yettaw, a Missouri man convicted in Myanmar of illegally visiting political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, serving a lengthy house-arrest sentence, was allowed to leave the country.

In 2012, the Ecuadorean government said it was granting political asylum in its London Embassy to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, trying to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault investigation and subsequent extradition to the United States on allegations he published classified material. Ecuador withdrew its offer of asylum in April 2019, and London police arrested him.

In 2013, the MV Thomas Aquinas ferry carrying nearly 700 people collided with a cargo ship and sank off the Philippines. Authorities later said the accident killed about 60 people and many others were reported missing.

In 2018, Scarlett Johansson took the No. 1 spot atop the Forbes annual list of highest-paid actresses for 2018, earning $40.5 million.

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File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

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