The Russian company Space Communications and the Japanese company NEC have signed a contract to jointly manufacture two satellites. The satellites will be built at the Zheleznogorsk-based Academic Reshetnev Research and Production Association of Applied Mechanics, which manufactures almost 70 per cent of all Russian satellites for a variety of purposes. The Association's press service reported that the Siberian producers of telecommunications satellites will build two cosmic series type Express-AM. The contract agreement states that the Japanese will manufacture new retransmission systems, while the Siberians will make the satellites themselves and organise the launch. The two Russo-Japanese satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2005. Earlier the Academic Reshetnev Research and Production Association successfully concluded a similar joint project with the French firm Alcatel.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.