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Ecuador says Julian Assange must leave embassy ‘eventually’

President Lenin Moreno is apparently closer to making Mr. Assange leave the Ecuadoran embassy, ensuring his arrest and extradition to the US.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Intercept and other sources reported that Wikileaks’ Julian Assange must eventually leave the Ecuadoran embassy in London. This is the statement given by Ecuadoran president Lenin Moreno.

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Via Sky News:

Lenin Moreno confirmed he had spoken to the British government about the situation, amid speculation that the long-running stand-off is coming to a head.

Australian-born Assange has been holed up in the country’s embassy since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations, which authorities have since dropped.

Assange fears he will be extradited to the US if he leaves the embassy in Knightsbridge.

In 2010, WikiLeaks published secret US military documents and diplomatic cables detailing alleged war crimes and human rights violations.

In March, Ecuador’s government cut off Assange’s internet connection after he complained about the arrest of a Catalan separatist politician on social media.

Last December, Assange was made an Ecuadorean citizen – and the country unsuccessfully tried to register him as a diplomat with immunity as part of its efforts to have him leave the embassy without risk of being detained.

A briefing to MPs last month from one of Assange’s legal team said the UK could resolve the impasse by providing a diplomatic assurance against US extradition.

The Daily Mirror, a London news site adds this in their piece about this situation:

Speculation about Assange’s future has grown after the Sunday Times reported senior officials from Ecuador and Britain were now in discussion about how to remove him from the embassy after revocation of his asylum.

And a source close to him told Reuters the situation was coming to a head, adding: “It’s not looking good.”

Despite the rape allegation against Assange being dropped, he has refused to leave the embassy while a separate UK arrest warrant for breaching his bail conditions remains in effect.

The WikiLeaks founder says he fears extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of the website if he leaves the building in leafy Knightsbridge.

Assange accused the UK of a “cover-up” to keep him detained and his lawyer Jennifer Robinson said the British government had refused to confirm or deny whether there is an extradition request from the US.

WikiLeaks caused an international storm in 2010 when it published a series of leaks from US soldier [Bradley] Chelsea Manning.

The leaks enraged Washington and included thousands of secret US diplomatic cables that were highly critical of world leaders, including Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

He was seen as a cyber-hero by some for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech, but to others he was viewed as a criminal who undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets.

He has recently been accused of speaking to Russian hackers trying to block the election of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States presidential election.

What is not known at this time is what “eventually” means. Mr. Assange is concerned about extradition to the United States and the UK presently refuses to provide assurances that he would not be arrested and extradited the moment he leaves the Ecuadoran embassy.

There are also other conditions at play that are giving Julian Assange a lot of pressure. Living in the embassy in London for six years has taken a harsh toll on his health. Pamela Anderson, who is reported to be close to Assange, noted in May:

She said: “It’s terrible. They’ve cut off internet access. He’s a political prisoner in the heart of London. Cut off from everybody. No, nobody can visit him right now. His lawyers possibly.

“I’m very concerned about his health. I think this is a form of torture, I think they’re slowly killing him. I’m very, very, very, concerned, deeply concerned for him. He’s one of the most important people on the planet right now.

“He’s exposing all these war crimes and truths; we really need him at this moment. It’s not a coincidence he’s being investigated at this time.”

She added that the UK is being “so stupid” in not confirming whether Assange will be extradited to the USA or not.

She continued: “His circumstances, with no sunlight, being in a small space for so long and now being cut off from everybody is just inhumane, it’s a human rights situation, he’s being abused. He’s not the culprit, he’s just the messenger.”

As described above, Julian Assange has been living under extremely isolated circumstances. While no decisive move appears to have been made just yet, the sum total of pressure from all these circumstances may force the world’s most widely known whistleblower to make a decision for himself.

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Nicole Templefranz kafkacourtney harlowe Recent comment authors
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Nicole Temple
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Nicole Temple

Here is an interesting look at why the United States should be very cautious in its approach to prosecuting Julian Assange:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/prosecuting-julian-assange-judicial.html

What is critical to remember about WikiLeaks and its targets is that no one has ever denied that the documents released by Assange et al are not genuine.

franz kafka
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franz kafka

Hilary Clinton called for droning Julian Assange or, failing that, arresting and torturing him, probably to death and probably by bayonet in anus. That seems to be the Wicked Witch of the West’s preferred modus operandi.

But why is she still in charge in Washington?

Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died – YouTube
Note the self-absolution by the Talmudo-Satanist witch:
“We [Not I] came. We [not I] saw.” and certainly not ‘We [or ‘I’] killed him,’ but rather: “He died”.
How obliging of him.

courtney harlowe
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courtney harlowe

Assange is a hero, his perhaps imminent eviction/arrest/extradition would set a dangerous precedent for the treatment of journalists who are doing what journalists are supposed to do. The msm in the US has remained oddly quiet on this, save discussion on Wikileaks being a tool of Russia,and Assange’s supposed “collusion” with Russia. He has made numerous requests to speak to American authorities about Russiagate at the Embassy,even having an almost final deal with FBI to be given immunity on charges in the US for information on his sources surrounding the 2016 election, that is until James Comey scrapped it.Recently, Adam… Read more »

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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Via RT…


The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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