Josh R – “Is this perhaps the US regime giving up on it’s vendetta against Julian?”
Though I hope so, I doubt it. Although some officials may now be speaking out due to troubled conscience, the coverage seems another propaganda operation to make Democrat administrations appear more benign than the Trump bunch, whom the ‘Liberal’ branch of the corporate media unanimously depict as uniquely evil. Also a misleading impression is given that the UK authorities are somehow independent of the US. I note that background crucial for understanding is left unmentioned, eg:
(1) Wikileaks knew of the Grand Jury against Assange before he ever took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy,
(2) Assange always attempted to cooperate with the Swedish investigation, but would not submit to custody and extradition to Sweden because of said Grand Jury and the likelihood of onward extradition to the USA,
(3) the English Crown Prosecution Service, headed at that time by Kier Starmer no less, pressured the Swedish authorities to maintain their investigation thus keeping Assange pinned down, and illegally deleted some of their own e-mail communications with the Swedish authorities thus thwarting requests under the Freedom Of Information Act. The UK authorities have been every bit as anti-Wikileaks as the US.
(4) Wikileaks suffered theft of computers at the time of Assange leaving Sweden, and one of the Swedish accusers had worked with groups in South America supported by the CIA, so it seems likely that there was CIA involvement from the start, not merely from Vault 7 onwards.
(5) The Obama administration was and remains the most hostile administration to whistleblowers in US history, though probably only because less people blew any whistles while Trump occupied the White House. And that is probably because actions against Assange were successful in intimidating potential whistleblowers.
Michael Norton – “There is a slight possibility that the British State have kept Julian Assange in prison to stop him being rendered by the Americans.”
Given UK servility to the US in general and the overall convergence of interests of the two states, I’d call it vanishingly slight.