Here is the money bit.
ASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund on Monday approved a $4.2-billion, three-year loan for Ecuador, part of a broader aid package to help support the government’s economic reform program.
The Washington-based lender agreed to the terms of the financing late last month, and the final approval of the IMF board on Monday releases the first installment of $652-million.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the aid will support the government’s efforts to shore up its finances, including a wage “realignment,” gradual lowering of fuel subsidies, and reduction of public debt.
“The savings generated by these measures will allow for an increase in social assistance spending over the course of the program,” Lagarde said in a statement, stressing that “Protecting the poor and most vulnerable segments in society is a key objective” of the program.
Here is the cartel bit
Software engineer ‘close’ to Julian Assange arrested while trying to leave Ecuador
A Swedish software engineer with close ties to Julian Assange was arrested while trying to leave Ecuador as authorities investigate the WikiLeaks founder’s alleged efforts to fight his eviction from the country’s embassy in London by blackmailing the country’s president.
Ola Bini was arrested Thursday at Quito’s airport as he prepared to board a flight to Japan, a senior Ecuadorian official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A Swedish man by the same name describes himself on a blog as a software engineer working in Quito for the Center for Digital Autonomy, a group based in Ecuador and Spain focused on privacy, security and cryptography matters.
It makes no mention of any affiliation with WikiLeaks.On Twitter earlier Thursday, Bini called claims by the interior minister that Russian hackers and someone close to WikiLeaks were working inside Ecuador “very worrisome” news.
“This seems like a witch hunt to me,” Bini wrote.
The arrest came after police in London dragged Assange out of Ecuador’s embassy when his seven-year asylum was revoked.
The man had frequently traveled to Ecuador’s London embassy, Interior Minister María Paula Romo said, according to the BBC.
“He has been detained simply for investigation purposes,” she said.
“A person close to Wikileaks, who has been residing in Ecuador, was arrested this afternoon when he was preparing to travel to Japan,” Ecuador’s interior ministry tweeted late Thursday.
Ecuadorian officials believe Bini may be part of a blackmail ring assembled to pressure President Lenin Moreno and his government to allow Assange to remain in the embassy, according to the Times of London.
Ecuadorian diplomats told their counterparts in the UK that they were worried that Assange’s associates would try to seek revenge with cyberattacks and information leaks if he was handed over.
Britain agreed to assist Ecuador in shoring up its cybersecurity, the newspaper reported.