Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 18 Nov 2018
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Eye 1

The Crucifixion of Julian Assange

Julian assange
© Mr. Fish/Truthdig
Julian Assange
Julian Assange's sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been transformed into a little shop of horrors. He has been largely cut off from communicating with the outside world for the last seven months. His Ecuadorian citizenship, granted to him as an asylum seeker, is in the process of being revoked. His health is failing. He is being denied medical care. His efforts for legal redress have been crippled by the gag rules, including Ecuadorian orders that he cannot make public his conditions inside the embassy in fighting revocation of his Ecuadorian citizenship.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to intercede on behalf of Assange, an Australian citizen, even though the new government in Ecuador, led by Lenín Moreno - who calls Assange an "inherited problem" and an impediment to better relations with Washington - is making the WikiLeaks founder's life in the embassy unbearable. Almost daily, the embassy is imposing harsher conditions for Assange, including making him pay his medical bills, imposing arcane rules about how he must care for his cat and demanding that he perform a variety of demeaning housekeeping chores.

Comment: How many lies and crimes would have gone unexposed without the dedication of the Wikileaks team? Julian Assange has performed more service in the cause of press freedom than any individual on record.

A political prisoner in the heart of the so-called democratic West, he is the journalist that Western media OUGHT to be focusing on before lecturing other countries about freedom of speech and freedom of the press... Assange held up a mirror to the West, and the US in particular, and for that the Deep Staters running this 'democratic' freak-show hate him...

Light Sabers

Liberati rage as Melania Trump clashes with WH staffer and Trump's chief of staff

© AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
Social media users aren't quite sure what to make of the historically unprecedented news that the First Lady was trying to publicly call the shots on White House staffing policy amid reports that John Bolton aide Mira Ricardel would be fired after a spat with Melania Trump.

A former Trump aide has told Politico that the unrest which has broken out inside the White House after last week's midterm elections is comparable to an episode of the Maury Povich Show, adding that "the only thing that's missing is a paternity test."

First Lady Melania Trump made headlines on Tuesday after a FLOTUS spokesperson cryptically stated that Melania felt that Bolton advisor Mira Ricardel "no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." Later, two unnamed White House officials told NBC News that Trump chief of staff John Kelly may also be on his way out after clashing with Melania by denying her requests to promote her aides.

With the White House itself providing little information on Melania's suspected quarrels with Ricardel and Kelly, speculation has become rife on social media.


Left-wing groups organize protests after Oxford announces Steve Bannon will speak there

© REUTERS/Nathan Layne
The mastermind behind Donald Trump's bid for presidency, Steve Bannon, is to speak at Oxford University. Left wing groups have begun to organize protests, following the announcement of the far-right strategist's talk.

Bannon is to speak at the Oxford Union on Friday, November 16. Prominent figures on the left slammed the prestigious union for hosting the "fascist" Bannon.

His planned appearance follows the cancellation of a talk by Alice Weidel, the leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD), at the union, which was stopped after planned protests led to security concerns.


Vigilante group recruits 550 people to counter rise in violent crime in UK's Birmingham

birmingham attack
© West Midlands Police / Facebook
In an attempt to counter the sharp rise in violent crime in Birmingham, 550 people have joined a vigilante patrol in the UK's second largest city, having lost trust in the police force.

The Facebook group, 'We Stand Determined', was formed by three local people after discovering a friend of theirs had been viciously attacked in his home by hammer-wielding intruders.

Organisers Wayne, Tracy and Michael, who have not revealed their full names, are urging all their recent recruits and the wider community to report any dangers and threats they see, day or night, the Metro reports.

The group run twice-weekly patrols across the city of Birmingham, and insist, despite the vigilante label, they use non-violent tactics, claiming they want to work in partnership with local police and not against them.

Red Flag

Trump supporter waving 'Trump 2020' banner banned from Disney World for life

trump banner
© Facebook / Dion Cini
Dion Cini's stunt caught on camera
A Trump-supporting 'guerilla marketer' has been banned for life from Disney World for holding up a 'Trump 2020' banner on the Splash Mountain log ride, weeks after he was booted out of the park for a similar stunt.

Dion Cini, a die-hard Trump supporter, had his lifetime pass to Disney World revoked in September for hanging a massive banner reading "Re-Elect Trump. Keep America Great," over a balcony in the park's Magic Kingdom area.

After a discussion with park officials, Cini got his pass back, on the condition that he would leave his flags at home. Park rules forbid political statements, including "the usage of any flag, banner or sign to incite a crowd."

The 49-year-old New Yorker broke his promise last week, holding a pro-Trump banner high as he went over the park's Splash Mountain log ride, and displaying another one on a rollercoaster.

Comment: Who could have ever predicted that waving a banner supporting an incumbent's re-election would become a revolutionary act?


#ThisIsNotConsent protests erupt in Ireland after lawyer highlights woman's thong in rape trial

© Global Look Press/ CHROMORANGE / Bilderbox
Protests across Ireland were held on Wednesday against what activists say is recurring victim-blaming in rape cases, after a woman's lace thong was controversially cited as evidence against a 17-year-old alleged victim.

The Cork trial first grabbed the headlines on November 6 when a 27-year-old was acquitted of raping a 17-year-old. The defense counsel, Elizabeth O'Connell, stirred widespread outcry when she said about the teenage girl: "You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front."

It prompted a mass movement on Twitter where people posted pictures of their underpants with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.


Veteran reporter Bob Woodward criticizes CNN White House lawsuit - Better reporting, not a lawsuit, should be focus

bob woodward
© AFP / Drew Angerer
Veteran reporter Bob Woodward criticized CNN's lawsuit against the White House over the revocation of correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials, saying media should focus on "serious reporting" and not lawsuits and smugness.

CNN filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that the Trump administration violated Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights when he was banned from entering the White House and had his press pass confiscated. It followed a heated press conference earlier in the day, during which the White House accused Acosta of putting his hands on a female intern who was attempting to remove a microphone from his hand.

Speaking at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in Florida, Woodward said the remedy to Trump isn't a lawsuit, but "more serious reporting" about his actions, according to NBC reporter Dylan Byers who tweeted the comments.


FAA reviewing Boeing's safety analyses as part of investigation into deadly Lion Air crash

Lion Air flight JT610 crash wreckage
© Reuters / Willy Kurniawan
Wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610 lies at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta on October 29, 2018.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing Boeing's previous safety analyses and the information it distributed to the agency as part of an investigation into the Lion Air crash that killed all 189 people on board.

In a statement late Tuesday, cited by The Wall Street Journal, the FAA said it is reviewing details surrounding the safety data and conclusions distributed to the agency as part of certifying the 737 MAX 8 - the plane involved in the Lion Air crash - and MAX 9 models.

The review is part of the wider investigation into the Lion Air crash, which occurred on October 29, just minutes after the Boeing aircraft took off from Jakarta's airport.

The WSJ article came after the newspaper also reported that Boeing had failed to warn the airline industry about a potentially dangerous feature in its new flight-control system which is suspected of playing a role in the Lion Air crash. Two pilots unions have also lashed out at Boeing for failing to inform them about the potential risks of the feature.

Comment: All 189 passengers feared dead in plane crash off Jakarta, Indonesia - UPDATE

See also:


Food tastes are too subjective to be copyrighted, says EU court

cheese tray
© Reuters / Christine Muschi
Not every experience can be copyrighted, at least for now, an EU court has ruled, dismissing a Dutch cheesemaker's suit against a rival it accused of infringing on its signature taste.

Dutch cheesemaker Levola Hengelo sued rival Smilde for copyright infringement, alleging the company's leek-and-garlic cheese spread was a rip-off of Levola's own Heksenkaas ("witches' cheese"). Dutch courts, stumped, passed the case on to the EU's Court of Justice.

Stating that "the taste of a food product cannot be identified with precision and objectivity," the European court dismissed the suit, pointing out copyright can only be applied to a "work" - an "original intellectual creation" - and an "expression" of that creation.

"Unlike, for example, a literary, pictorial, cinematographic or musical work, which is a precise and objective expression, the taste of a food product will be identified essentially on the basis of taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable," the court wrote in its ruling.


FBI reports 17% spike in hate crimes with blacks and Jews the most targeted

jewish vigil
© Reuters / Alan Freed
A vigil is held following the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The US has seen a 17 percent spike in hate crimes in 2017, with the majority of reported incidents targeting African-Americans and Jews, according to the FBI's annual Hate Crimes Statistics report.

The report, released on Tuesday by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, breaks down hate crime information from last year, broken down by location, offenders, bias types, and victims.

A total of 7,175 hate crimes were reported to UCR last year, up from 6,121 in 2016. Of those, the vast majority were "single-bias incidents," meaning the perpetrators were motivated by only one factor. Sixty-nine of the cases involved multiple biases.

The majority (59.6 percent) of crimes in the "single-bias incident" category were motivated by a person's race, ethnicity, or ancestry. African-Americans were by far the most targeted, with a reported 2,013 attacks against them, compared to 741 "anti-white" attacks.

Religion took second place as a motivating factor, accounting for 20.6 percent of single-bias hate crimes. Of those, the Jewish population was the most targeted, with 1,017 people falling victim in 938 incidents.