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Sat, 22 Feb 2020
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Julian Assange case is the Dreyfus of our age, says John McDonnell

John McDonnell
© Yui Mok/PA
John McDonnell outside Belmarsh prison in London where he visited Julian Assange.
The US attempt to extradite Julian Assange is the "the Dreyfus case of our age", John McDonnell has said, as Europe's human rights watchdog added her voice to opposition to the move.

The shadow chancellor paid a two-hour visit to see Assange in Belmarsh prison in London on Thursday and said Britain's standing in the world would be severely damaged if the extradition went ahead

On Wednesday it was claimed in a London court that Donald Trump had offered Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails.

McDonnell likening the plight of Assange to Alfred Dreyfus, the 19th-century Jewish French army officer who was tried and convicted on charges of treason amid a climate of antisemitism.

Comment: From RT: Assange London Rally


New study warns climate crisis could cause economic recession 'like we've never seen before'

Flooding at Peets Bridge, Goldsborough

Flooding at Peets Bridge, Goldsborough.
Risks of increasingly unpredictable weather being ignored by some financial markets, US research says

The huge strain caused by the climate crisis could cause an economic recession "the likes of which we've never seen before," a US study has warned.

The increase in prevalence of extreme weather, bringing deadly heatwaves, more severe storms, and causing wildfires and floods, is insufficiently accounted for in financial markets, raising the possibility of a sudden correction when serious problems arise, according to new research from University of California.

"If the market doesn't do a better job of accounting for climate, we could have a recession - the likes of which we've never seen before," said Paul Griffin, an accounting professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Comment: At least the Independent refrained from pushing any global warming nonsense. The climate is changing and is already causing massive disruptions. As such, sounding a warning on how unprepared the business world is, is a reasonable thing. It would be more constructive though, to remember that in the end, businesses are made up of people, and to point out the complete lack of any government preparing to take care of its people. All the insurance in the world will not help if there is no system in place to help the insured get what they need in a timely manner.

Bad Guys

Italian police search Russian biathlete Alexander Loginov HOURS before race

Alexander Loginov
© REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger
Alexander Loginov
Alexander Loginov, who broke a 12-year losing streak for Russian male biathletes by winning gold at the IBU World Championships, has been subjected to a search by Italian police hours before a Saturday event.

The search warrant served by police in Rasen-Antholz in South Tyrol, Italy where the competition is taking place targets Loginov and Russian team coach Alexander Kasperovich.

Loginov told media that the investigators are acting on a tip from an official from the International Biathlon Union. His phone and laptop were seized during the search.

Comment: Loginov brought up the rudeness of the early morning police raid:
"We were awakened by police which broke into the room. They immediately took our rifles, as if we were dangerous criminals and told us not to move. Half-naked, we watched them checking our personal belongings. However, they were interested only in mine."
Russia's Embassy in Rome responded to the news by demanding that Italy explain the reasons behind the police searches and it urged local authorities to guarantee all necessary conditions to allow Russians to continue to train. The head of the Russian Biathlon Union, Vladimir Drachev, also revealed that the raid was initiated by IBU interim Anti-Doping Manager Sarah Fussek-Hakkarainen without authorization from the International Biathlon Union:
"I have just spoken with the IBU vice-president," Drachev told RT. "IBU Interim Anti-Doping Manager Hakkarainen who had been expelled from the International Ski Federation (FIS) signed all the papers without authorization of the IBU and triggered a police investigation. She was expelled from FIS for taking unsanctioned actions. Now I asked our IBU colleagues: 'What are you going to do?' They said they will think about what to do with her. 'It's too late' I told them," he added.
The IBU President, Olle Dahlin, has since said he was unaware of the police raid and that he found out about it on Russian media.


Inmate confesses to beating two convicted child molesters to death after warning prison officials he would

Jonathan Watson
© California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/AP
Jonathan Watson
Jonathan Watson warned prison counselors that he was going to attack two convicted child molesters if he wasn't moved to a new facility.

And that's exactly what he did. Watson confessed to beating David Bobb and Graham De Luis-Conti with a cane at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California, The Mercury News reported.

Watson first beat one of the inmates, and when prison guards didn't respond to the attack, he said he found a second "child trafficker" and beat him.

Guards only found out after Watson led them to the scene of the attack, Watson wrote in his confession, the newspaper reported.


CDC is preparing for the 'likely' spread of coronavirus in the US, Italy locks down cities, Iran reports new cases

rome tourists masks
© Reuters / Remo Casilli
Tourists wearing protective masks take a selfie in front of the Trevi's Fountain in Rome
Health experts sounded the alarm Friday over the worldwide threat of the coronavirus, with officials warning of its "likely" community spread in the United States and the World Health Organization cautioning that "the window of opportunity is narrowing" for containing the outbreak worldwide.

The COVID-19 coronavirus, which erupted in China in December, has killed at least 2,360 people and sickened at least 77,900 worldwide, the majority of cases in mainland China.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday that U.S. health officials are preparing for the coronavirus to become a pandemic.

"We're not seeing community spread here in the United States, yet, but it's very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen," she said. "Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread."

She said the CDC is working with state and local health departments "to ready our public health workforce to respond to local cases." These measures include collaboration with supply chain partners, hospitals, pharmacies and manufacturers to determine what medical supplies are needed.

She said the "day may come" here where we have to shut down schools and businesses like China has done.


'Y'all scared, just like your president': Couple arrested after driving Kids with Trump flags on their bicycles off the road

Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18

Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18
An Indiana couple has been arrested for driving two teenage boys on bikes off the road while shouting threats at them in July.

Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, were arrested after evidence of the attack on the boys, who are twins, was posted to Snapchat.
"Y'all scared, just like your president ... America is not great, (expletive)," Smith could allegedly be heard saying on a Snapchat video obtained by police, according to a report from NWI.
Perry-Jones was also heard asking one of the boys if he was a Trump fan in the video, which the boy responded that he was.


Canada's new opioid vending machine won't solve a crisis of hopelessness

An opioid vending machine
© Twitter / MySafeProject 1011
An opioid vending machine
The opioid 'vending machine' introduced in Vancouver seems like a liberal way to fight the opioid crisis. But like Canada's approach to euthanasia, we may actually be giving up on deeper problems - while pharma companies profit.

Across Canada, the opioid crisis has had devastating consequences with nearly 14,000 people dying due to overdose and another 17,000 hospitalised since 2016. To tackle the problem, Vancouver has installed the world's first biometric opioid vending machine, which dispenses prescription opioids to patients by recognising biometric information in their palms.

There is no doubt that projects like this solve a number of problems and can help save lives in the short-term. A more liberal approach to drugs, like that taken by Portugal in de-criminalising drug consumption, is a positive step. Medical treatment is certainly more humane and effective than incarceration. In a comment to the Lancet, supporters of the vending machine approach compared the opioid crisis to outbreaks of infectious disease, requiring "preventive vaccinations and emergency treatments." Accordingly, public health initiatives should identify "as many as 1 million users at risk of toxic opioid products" and provide them with a safer supply.


Who is the SICK one here? Denying NHS patients treatment for 'sexism' & 'racism' shows identity politics has gone mad in UK

© Getty Images / LattaPictures
One person's 'sexism' may well be another person's habit or learned backwardness from another age. But who will police this if the UK's NHS goes ahead with its plan to ban treatment to racists & sexists?

Just when you thought that the 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest' farce of the modern Labour Party (and the wider left) couldn't get more ridiculous, along comes Boris Johnson's NHS establishing that identity politics madness can and does cross the aisles, and is spreading like a virus across the 'liberal' world.

In Labour's case it's the mere denial of the facts of biology - the madness of transgender fanaticism - in the case of the NHS, it's the proposed denial of medical treatment to citizens who fail the litmus tests of liberalism. If you're an 'ist' or an 'obe' as defined by the Guardians of the Prevailing Orthodoxy, you may be denied essential healthcare - for which you've already paid, mightily, through the tax and national insurance burden.


'Spellcheck for Bias' is Hollywood's admission it's putting forced representation over quality

© Reuters / Lucy Nicholson 6
Hollywood's drive for diversity was once a benign movement to give under-represented groups the screen time they're due. It's grown into a quality killer, soon to be enforced by woke computer algorithms.

What started as a campaign for inclusion has manifested into a Trojan Horse to divide Hollywood by race and gender. A Trojan Horse that is called Progressive check-boxing - the art of casting or awarding television & movies based on intersectionality over quality.

Birthed from the outrage of #OscarsSoWhite and intensified during the #MeToo era, Progressive check-boxing is killing audiences' enjoyment of the entertainment industry.


Waters, Westwood join massive London rally against Assange extradition: 'First they came for Julian, next for you'

Assange rally february 2020
© Tolga Akmen / AFP
Supporters of Julian Assange rally in London. February 22, 2020
Thousands have protested near the British Parliament against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange's looming extradition to the US ahead of the hearing next week.

Demonstrators marched from Australia House to Parliament Square near the Palace of Westminster, where both houses of Parliament are located.

Chanting: "There's only one decision - no extradition!" and "Free Julian Assange!" the demonstrators demanded the WikiLeaks co-founder not be handed over to the US. They say Assange was doing journalistic work and his prosecution is unlawful.

Comment: Roger Waters had more to say in interview with RT:
"If they extradite Julian and kill him in America, it is the death knell of jurisprudence in this country," he said. "[Assange's case] has nothing to do with the law, it's not a legal proceeding at all. It's a joke and it's disgusting... It makes me ashamed to be English."

"Julian Assange in America getting a fair trial? Zero chance," he said. "He didn't commit any espionage, he reported on things that were going on - they happened to be war crimes."
There's an extradition treaty between the UK and the United States, which has a number of articles. The fourth article says that no extradition proceeding should even start if there is a political motivation to it. This isn't political? Of course it is.
"He's been in prison for seven years now, in the Ecuadorian Embassy and now in this maximum security place in Belmarsh," where "they've almost killed him," Waters said. "He's really sick... Julian could hardly remember his own name."

Despite calls from Australian lawmakers for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to block Assange's extradition earlier this week, Waters said the PM is much too beholden to Washington to follow through on the request.
Boris? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we found even one iota of British bulldog in Boris Johnson, but unfortunately he is 100 percent American poodle.
"I suspect [Jonhson] will stay in his kennel and do what he's bloody well told by his masters across the Atlantic," he said.

Ultimately, Waters concluded, the persecution of Julian Assange is a "way of exerting... authority, so that nobody will report on anything that's inconvenient to power ever again."
Any reporting on wrongdoing by any armed forces anywhere in the world, I think it's a moral obligation and duty [for journalists], and it's a duty of the government to do something about it, not try and kill them!