PASADENA, Calif.

Two small asteroids should pass by earth harmlessly

NASA says two small asteroids discovered just days ago will zip harmlessly past Earth on Wednesday, a double flyby that should be visible through a telescope.

The asteroids were discovered Sunday by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. The Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts, which tracks asteroids and comets, determined there was no chance of an Earth collision.

Asteroid 2010 RX30, thought to be 32 to 65 feet long, will pass within 154,000 miles of Earth shortly before 3 a.m. PDT Wednesday.

The second one, dubbed 2010 RF12, will fly by about 11 hours later at a distance of about 49,000 miles. NASA says the second one is 20 to 46 feet long.

STOCKHOLM

WikiLeaks founder wants new lawyer in rape probe

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday requested a new lawyer to represent him in the ongoing Swedish rape investigation and suggested the allegations against him could stem from personal conflicts.

In an interview with Swedish TV4, Assange said his previous comments that the rape allegations were part of a smear campaign had been taken out of context.

“I said very clearly what we knew, which was that on the 11th we received a warning, and that this was a smear because it is not true,” Assange said.

“That doesn’t mean that intelligence agencies are behind this, nor does it mean they are not behind it, nor does it mean once this has happened, for other reasons, that they are not capitalizing on it.”

A senior prosecutor last week reopened a rape investigation against the founder of the whistle-blower web site because of allegations.

Assange has consistently denied the claims and investigators have not released details about either case, though a police report obtained by the AP shows both women had met Assange at a seminar he gave in Stockholm on Aug. 14.

Earlier Tuesday, a representative of Assange sent a note to the Stockholm district court saying he is not satisfied with prominent Swedish lawyer Leif Silbersky and wants Bjorn Hurtig instead.

The note said Silbersky hasn’t been sufficiently engaged in the case.