Julian Assange, Southwest: Hot Trends

(Information on Julian Assange and the Southwest Airlines airfare hike updated in today's Hot Trends article.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Julian Assange is a trending search topic on the Internet today after the lawyer defending the WikiLeaks founder is arguing that extraditing Assange to Sweden could lead him to being detained at Guantanamo Bay or even make him subject to the death penalty.

"It is well known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr. Assange should be executed," Assange's defense attorney Mark Stephens said in a 35-page document released on Tuesday.

Assange, 39, will appear in a London court on Feb. 7 and 8 to face rape and molestation accusations. Stephens intends to fight Assange's extradition to Sweden based on European law which states suspects are not allowed to be extradited to jurisdictions where they face the risk of the death penalty.

"Southwest Airlines" is a popular search topic today as the airline looks to increase its profits by raising fares rather than fees. As the cost of fuel rises and demand for travel decreases, carriers are likely hiking prices to boost average revenue per passenger.

Many airlines, including AMR's ( AMR) American Airlines, United Continental ( UAL), Delta ( DAL) and US Airways ( LCC), recently increased its round-trip flights by $20, according to price movement data from FareCompare.com.

Southwest Airlines ( LUV) will impose a $4 to $10 increase on round-trip tickets on a number of domestic routes.

Verizon iPhone is a hot search topic today after Verizon ( VZ) announced that the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone 4 will be available on its wireless network on February 10.

Verizon customers will be able to preorder the phone online on Feb. 3, ahead of general availability.
Apple's iPhone Comes to Verizon.

The 16 gigabyte version of the iPhone 4 will start at $199.99 and the 32GB version will start at $299.99, both with a new, two-year customer agreement.

"WoW maintenance" is a heavily searched topic today as players of the popular World of Warcraft game may see an error message that says "launcher cannot obtain patching information" when they try to log on today.

"We will be performing scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, January 11. Maintenance will begin at 3 a.m. PST and conclude at approximately 11 a.m. PST," Blizzard Entertainment posted on the game's public forum. "During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable."

Today Activision Blizzard ( ATVI) announced that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold over 4.7 million copies within a month of its release.

"We've been floored by the community's response so far, and we'd like to thank them for their continued passion and support for World of Warcraft, and for helping Cataclysm reach this incredible milestone," Blizzard CEO and cofounder Mike Morhaime said.

"Solar panels" is popular search topic after U.S. President Barack Obama signed a military appropriations law on Friday with a "Buy American" provision for the Defense Department's purchase of solar panels.

The new provision will require the Defense Department to buy solar panels made in the U.S.

Reports anticipate that Chinese President Hu Jintao will not be pleased to hear this news as China manufactures and exports such materials. Over the last 2 years, the country has developed into the world's largest solar panel producer.

" Ford ( F) jobs" is a trending search topic today after the car manufacturing company said that it will add 4,000 hourly jobs at several of its U.S. plants this year.

It will add 1,800 workers at its Louisville assembly plant, which plans to launch the next-generation Ford Escape, as well as 750 salaried engineering jobs in product development and manufacturing.

Next year, Ford expects to add at least 2,500 more new manufacturing positions.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on Google, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe.

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