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Wed, 26 Feb 2020
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US plotted to assassinate Julian Assange, WikiLeaks attorney tells London court

David Morales Julian Assange Undercover Global
© UC Global/Reuters
David Morales, left, owner of Spanish security firm Undercover Global SL.
On Monday Julian Assange's defense team told a London court that the United States plotted to assassinate the WikiLeaks founder.

After describing US intelligence attempts to plant "intrusive and sophisticated" secret surveillance devices in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange had been living under asylum for seven years, Assange's attorney Edward Fitzgerald told the court according to an explosive Daily Mail report published Tuesday:
"There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Julian Assange in the embassy."

Comment: See also:

Russian Flag

Russia isn't dividing us — our leaders are

Bernie Sanders rally
© Mario Tama/Getty Images
Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on February 21st in Las Vegas.
The latest act in the comedy began Friday, just before voting opened in the Nevada Democratic caucus. The Washington Post ran a story — sourced, I'm not joking, to "people familiar with the matter" — explaining that Bernie Sanders had been briefed that "Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest."

Sanders was quick to see through the gambit. "I'll let you guess about one day before the Nevada caucus," he said. "Why do you think it came out?" He pointed to a Post reporter: "It was The Washington Post? Good friends." The Post, after all, has spent years dumping on Sanders, a fervent critic of the paper's billionaire creep of an owner, Jeff Bezos.

Intelligence officials and pundits have been screeching for years that patriotism demands voters reject the foreign agent Donald Trump and the Russian asset Bernie Sanders, and support a conventional establishment politician. Voters responded by moving toward Trump in national approval surveys and speeding Sanders to the top of the Democratic Party ticket. A more thorough disavowal of official propaganda would be difficult to imagine.

Comment: See also:

Mr. Potato

'Go back to school!' CNN ridiculed for coronavirus story stating Germany and Italy share border

CNN map
© RT; Twitter / CNN International
CNN has failed a basic geography test, putting Germany much closer to Italy than it actually is, during a report on how the EU is combatting the novel coronavirus. Netizens showed no mercy to the network's online team.

News that Germany isn't raising the alarm due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak in Italy prompted many established media to report on it, with CNN being no exception. The broadcaster's actual report cited a German foreign ministry spokeswoman who said Berlin wasn't issuing a travel warning for Italy at the moment, but their Twitter publication wasn't as accurate.

Now, you have to read carefully to spot the blunder.

"Germany is currently not considering closing the country's borders with Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak, its foreign ministry said," it reads.

Comment: As is the state of American news and the quality of its education. That said, countries around the world are closing their borders due to the coronavirus: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: Public schools: Where creativity, freedom and critical thinking go to die

No Entry

Residents clash with police as Greek govt proceeds with new migrant center in Lesbos

© REUTERS/Elias Marcou
Locals scuffle with riot police in Karava on the island of Lesbos, Greece, February 25, 2020
Greek police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of angry residents who attempted to halt the construction of a migrant detention center on the island of Lesbos. The clashes came amid growing anger over Athens' immigration policy.

Around 500 people attempted to block the unloading of heavy machinery and police reinforcements on the island, which will house a new migrant camp. Locals set fires and brawled with riot cops as police attempted to restore order, according to local media.

Photographs taken at the scene show demonstrators armed with large sticks skirmishing with police. Other photos show protesters fleeing as the police fired tear gas.

Comment: This, after Greek ministers admitted that the mass migration situation is like a ticking time bomb, and numerous riots by refugees at the facilities? Could the EU & IMF backed economic coup be partly to blame for Greece's willingness to follow such dire policies?


Ireland's Sinn Fein demands place in government at packed Dublin rally

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald addressing a rally at a packed Liberty Hall in Dublin
© Steve Humphreys
Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald addressing a rally at a packed Liberty Hall in Dublin.
Irish left-wing nationalists Sinn Fein demanded a place in Ireland's next government on Tuesday at a packed rally in Dublin, saying the country's two dominant centre-right parties were trying block voters' demand for change.

Sinn Fein shocked the Irish political establishment in an election earlier this month by securing more votes than any other party for the first time, almost doubling its vote to 24.5% on a vow to fix the country's housing and health systems.

But it has been frozen out of government talks by centre-right rivals, Fianna Fail and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's Fine Gael, who have both refused to contemplate sharing power due to policy differences and Sinn Fein's history as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

The two parties, who have alternated in power for 100 years, on Tuesday held talks about possibly sharing power for the first time.

"They are doing everything they can to keep people who voted for us out of government," Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald told a packed hall of 500 people, with a couple of hundred more waiting in freezing wind outside. "Sinn Fein wants to be in government and we want to deliver."

Comment: Sinn Fein's historic breakthrough is a long-overdue rejection of the status quo and a cosy two-party system


UK's ban on wet wood, coal to hit poor who find electric heat unaffordable

© ess/imageBROKER.com/Ulrich Niehoff
The UK government's ban on the sale of coal and wet logs to burn in domestic fireplaces, to be implemented between 2021 and 2023, is ill-thought-out because it will increase fuel poverty and greatly disadvantage the rural poor.

'Keep the Home Fires Burning' was the name of a hugely popular Ivor Novello song during the First World War. The British government has just released a 2020 cover version. It's called 'Keep the Home Fires burning so long as it's not coal or wet wood burning in them.' Nowhere near as catchy, is it?

The government is acting, it says, on grounds of public health and in accordance with its 'Clean Air' strategy.

It claims that wet wood (that's wood with a moisture content of at least 20%), and coal, is responsible for 38 percent of PM2.5 pollution in the UK. PM2.5s are particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter which, by penetrating deeply into the lung, can cause various diseases. A British Medical Journal research paper found that "positive associations between short term exposure to PM2.5 and risk of hospital admission were found for several prevalent but rarely studied diseases, such as septicemia, fluid and electrolyte disorders."

So, it has to be good, this banning of wet wood and coal fires, doesn't it? Well, not if it plunges even more people into fuel poverty - and prevents people from heating their homes adequately. How many deaths will that cause?

The economic backdrop to the government's announcement, which cannot be ignored, is that according to the latest statistics (from 2017), there are 2.53 million "fuel-poor" households in England, ie 10.9 percent of the total number of households. National Energy Action puts the figure in Britain as a whole at 3.5mn.

Light Sabers

Citizenship law protest clashes: Delhi violence escalates with 13 dead, over 150 injured

Indian paramilitary force in Delhi
© REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
At least 13 people have been killed and 150 injured in sectarian clashes over a new citizenship law in Delhi, India, since intense violence erupted in parts of the capital on Sunday, hospital officials said.

There were reports of stone-throwing by protesters, with some seen bearing metal bars, when fresh skirmishes broke out on Tuesday between people supporting the legislation and those against it.

Comment: See also:

Snakes in Suits

Fashion industry titan Peter Nygard's Times Square office raided in sex-trafficking probe, report says

© Invision/AP
FILE: Peter Nygard attends the 24th Night of 100 Stars Oscars Viewing Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The FBI and NYPD Tuesday morning raided the Time Square offices of Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard as part of a sex-trafficking investigation, officials said.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan, confirmed to The Post that the raid was carried out but would not elaborate or provide details.

Photos from the scene show federal agents and city cops swarming throughout the company's Broadway headquarters, and hauling away at least a half-dozen cardboard boxes from the building.

Comment: Prince Andrew's links to alleged pedophile and rapist fashion tycoon Peter Nygard revealed in new abuse scandal

No Entry

Thought-police come for Koch-funded 'anti-Greta' - but unlike 'real Greta,' her conflicts of interest are in public view

Naomi Seibt Greta Thunberg
© YouTube / The Heartland Institute / Reuters / Fabian Bimmer
A 19-year-old German girl has joined the right-wing Heartland Institute to counter "climate alarmism" with "climate realism," leading MSM to dub her "anti-Greta" (Thunberg). But unlike Thunberg, she's open about her backers.

Naomi Seibt has been attacked as a "climate change denier" for working with the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank funded by oil and gas companies and conservative groups. But the young German insists she's not denying climate change, just trying to inject some reason into the debate - a demand which has only caused her detractors to shriek louder.

"I don't want to get people to stop believing in man-made climate change, not at all," she told the Washington Post on Monday, while acknowledging she found the idea that human activity alone was responsible for the warming planet "ridiculous." The outlet's profile of the young activist, whom it not-so-subtly dubs "the anti-Greta," proceeds to paint her as a puppet of the Heartland Institute, which is "paying [Seibt] to question established climate science" - as if she would never have done so on her own.

Arrow Down

UK inexplicably bars WikiLeaks editor from extradition hearing one day after Assange handcuffed 11 times & STRIPPED twice

Hrafnsson & Shipton Assange extradition hearing
© Reuters / Henry Nicholls
Hrafnsson with Shipton outside Assange's extradition hearing
Wikileaks editor Kristin Hrafnsson was temporarily barred from the extradition hearing for publisher Julian Assange, who was reportedly handcuffed 11 times, stripped twice, and robbed of his legal papers after the first court day.

Hrafnsson was pulled out of the crowd as he attempted to enter the public gallery of Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday morning, he told RT, after someone shouted "Where is the WikiLeaks editor?"

Explaining that he was given "no grounds" for the order and was unable to locate the head of the court to get an answer, he recorded and released a statement denouncing his exclusion from the supposedly-public proceedings as "outrageous" and calling on the public to "demand some answers — because I'm not getting any."