LONDON     -   A British court has set a date early next year for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face a U.S. extradition attempt over his role in revealing classified government and military information. The judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday set a full extradition hearing for Feb. 25, 2020. It is expected to last about five days. Interim hearings are expected in July and October.

Assange, who has been suffering from ill health in prison, appeared in court via video link. He appeared to be tired and showed signs of a possible hand tremor. He was again sporting a gray-white beard after having shaved it off before his last court appearance. Ben Brandon, a British lawyer representing the U.S. government, told a hearing that the case “related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States.”

U.S. officials are seeking to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act, blaming him for directing WikiLeaks’ publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mexico says no to US unlimited asylum plans

MEXICO CITY (Reuters): Mexico has not accepted that the United States send it an unlimited number of asylum seekers, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said, ahead of meetings with U.S. officials on Friday to determine the expansion of a controversial programme. Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexico agreed last week to expand the programme, which forces mostly Central American asylum seekers to return to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims.

Ebrard said officials would discuss which cities the programme, known as Remain in Mexico, would expand to, as well as how to measure the number of people and which nationalities Mexico would accept. Currently the programme operates in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez. Close to 12,000 people have been returned to Mexico since January.

In the deal reached a week ago, Mexico also agreed to a plan that could make it a “safe third country” in which asylum seekers would have to seek refuge instead of in the United States, if Mexico does not bring down immigration flows within 45 days through enforcement measures. Trump on Friday confirmed that the deal struck in return for not imposing threatened tariffs on Mexico included a plan for safe third country.

Asked in a Fox News interview if the plan included the option if Mexico cannot stem the flow of Central American migrants headed for the United States, Trump said “It’s exactly right, and that’s what’s going to happen.”