So what’s happening with Julian Assange? He’d been granted asylum by Ecuador, reported our own ABC, several hours ahead of the scheduled announcement. But, like The Guardian’s report earlier in the week, that hasn’t been confirmed, and won’t be for several hours yet.

Then we heard that UK police had raided the Ecuadorean embassy, again from Australian media. At 10.34am AEST this morning Fairfax websites had the international scoop:

Less than an hour later, the websites of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times and Brisbane Times were retreating:

And as Crikey approached deadline the British media wasn’t having a bar of it, sticking with the overnight updates — based on a statement from Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino — that British officials had advised they had the right to enter the embassy to arrest Assange. Ecuador’s view, unsurprisingly, was that this was an outrage.

The Twittersphere, unsurprisingly, went into meltdown, even as it became clear British police had done nothing, with wild claims and conspiracy theories circulating rapidly.

Such is Assange’s capacity to generate hysteria even without doing anything.

He also, it appears, has a remarkable capacity to punch the buttons of governments. The Swedish government, despite being willing to travel overseas to interview suspects in other cases, has declined to do so with Assange despite repeated offers, creating the impression its only interest is in getting him into custody. The US Vice-President jeopardised any eventual US prosecution of Assange by calling him “a high-tech terrorist”. The Australian government, which falsely claimed WikiLeaks had acted illegally, has been wilfully blind about the case, refusing to ask obvious questions of the US about its long-running investigations and grand jury processes about Assange.

Not surprising he’s now precipitated a diplomatic misstep from the UK government.