Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 07 Feb 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Mr. Potato

Assange appeals extradition as WikiLeaks soldier faces new charges

© Unknown
Rally in support of Bradley Manning on August 8, 2010, in Quantico, Virginia
As Julian Assange fights an extradition order in London, Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of handing over government files to WikiLeaks, has been slapped with 22 new charges.

The US Army announced the new charges today against Pfc Manning, which could see him go to prison for life.

"Aiding the enemy" is the most serious and significant of the additional charges, said Private Manning's lawyer, David Coombs.

He also said that the soldier's defence had been preparing for the possibility of extra charges for the past number of weeks.

According to the charge sheet, the 23-year-old is also accused of wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it was accessible to the enemy and multiple counts of theft of public records, transmitting defense information and computer fraud.

The New York Times has a copy of the charge sheet here.

"The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Private First Class Manning is accused of committing," said Capt. John Haberland, an Army spokesman.


WikiLeaks' Assange appeals against UK extradition

© Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves after appearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London February 24, 2011.
London - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has launched an appeal against a ruling that he should be extradited from Britain to Sweden over alleged sex crimes, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Last week Assange, who infuriated the U.S. government by publishing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, was told by a British judge he could be sent to Sweden to face questioning over complaints by two female WikiLeaks volunteers.

The 39-year-old Australian computer expert vowed to fight the extradition decision and his lawyers have now lodged papers appealing the verdict at London's High Court.

One volunteer accuses Assange of sexually molesting her by ignoring her request for him to use a condom during sex; the second says he had sex with her while she was asleep and that he was not wearing a condom, an allegation which falls into the least severe of three rape categories in Sweden.

Assange's lawyers claim he will not get a fair trial in Sweden, as rape cases are held in secret. They criticize the European arrest warrant system used to seek his extradition, and say there are political motivations for the prosecution.


The Someone You're Not - Justice in the US of A

Our packed prisons are starting to disgorge hundreds of mostly African-America men who, over the last few decades, we wrongly convicted of violent crimes. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn't do. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years as someone you aren't. And for Ray Towler, this is what it's like to be free.

© Michael Edwards
Ray Towler
A little girl sitting in a big chair, the witness stand in Courtroom 15-B, overlooking the lake in downtown Cleveland.

It is a Monday morning in September 1981. The girl is eleven. Her name is Brittany. She's in sixth grade, weighs eighty-nine pounds. She lives with her mom and her eighteen-year-old brother. Frequently she stays overnight at her aunt's house. Her cousin is named Jack. He is a year older, in the same grade at the same school. They spend a lot of time together.


Official puts toll in Libya at 6,500

© Reuters
A convoy of 18 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Benghazi travels past a Libyan army tank and a mural adulating Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the Tripoli suburb.
Clashes continue as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fight to regain control over areas taken over by protesters.

Benghazi: The final figure of those killed in the ongoing clashes between forces loyal to the Gaddafi regime and pro-democracy protesters is 6,500, Gulf News has learned.

An informed source has told Gulf News that according to the transitional national council, the latest death toll in the clashes in country stands at 6,500.

Meanwhile, clashes continued across Libya on Tuesday as forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi fought to regain control over areas taken over by protesters.

Witnesses from around 25km south of the capital Tripoli said tanks and anti-aircraft crews were deployed at all major intersections, activists reported in messages posted online.


Yemeni president says US and Israel behind unrest

© Muhammed Muheisen/AP
An anti-government protestor reacts as he and other demonstrators shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Yemen's embattled president has accused the United States and Israel of trying to destabilize his country and the Arab world.
Sanaa, Yemen - Yemen's embattled president on Tuesday accused the U.S., his closest ally, of instigating the mounting protests against him, but the gambit failed to slow the momentum for his ouster.

Hundreds of thousands rallied in cities across Yemen against the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in the largest of the protests of the past month, including one addressed by an influential firebrand cleric, a former ally of Saleh, whom the U.S. has linked to al-Qaida.

"Go on until you achieve your demands," Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani told tens of thousands of demonstrators in the capital of Sanaa. A former U.S. ambassador to Yemen called al-Zindani's decision to turn against President Ali Abdullah Saleh a major setback for the president.

Some warned that the current political turmoil and possible collapse of Saleh's regime could give a further opening to Yemen's offshoot of the global terror network, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

James Jones, former White House National Security Advisor, warned a Washington conference that Yemen's crisis "could deepen the current vacuum of power in Yemen on which al Qaida has thrived."

The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, believed to have been involved in the attempted 2009 bombing of an American airliner, is seen as particularly active and threatening to the U.S.


9/11 firefighter dies of cancer linked to toxic dust

© Family Photo
New York firefighter Randy Wiebicke lived "in a way that inspired everyone around him," his wife says.
New York -- Firefighter Randy Wiebicke who, like so many New York City firefighters, toiled in and around ground zero in the months after 9/11, died Wednesday following a nearly three-year battle with multiple myeloma, an aggressive and fatal blood cancer.

Wiebicke underwent an experimental stem cell transplant procedure last summer, when his cancer was in remission. But just two months after the transplant, he developed viral infections that, ultimately, his weakening body could no longer fight.

Wiebicke's wife, Madeline, said Randy was "a man who lived his life in the spirit of what being a firefighter meant to him. When others were in danger, running out of a burning building, he was there to run in," she wrote in an e-mail. "He lived his life beautifully, in a way that inspired everyone around him. Having Randy around not only made you want to be a better person, but it showed you how to get there," she wrote.

Comment: For more information regarding the toxic dust effects of 911, see this Sott link:

Toxic World Trade Center dust linked to lung disease in rescue workers


Tunisia Revokes Ban On Islamist Outfit

A moderate Islamist outfit banned by Tunisia's ousted former government has been granted legitimacy by the country's interim administration, reports said on Tuesday.

Following political recognition, Ennahda, will be able to contest polls scheduled to take place later this year. The withdrawal of the ban on Ennahda was one of the demands raised by protesters who brought down the unpopular government headed by former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Ennahda's supremo Rachid Ghannouchi returned to the country only last month after living in exile abroad for over 20 years. The 69-year old was greeted on his arrival by legions which showed the outfit's wide acceptability among the Tunisian people.

The Islamist outfit had finished second behind the ruling Central Democratic Rally (RCD) party winning about 17% of the total votes cast in Tunisian general elections of 1989.

However, a crackdown ordered by the Ben Ali government soon after the elections forced Ghannouchi to flee the country, while Ennahda was proscribed by authorities.

Life Preserver

Skyrocketing water bills mystify, anger residents

© Unknown
Atlanta -- Imagine paying as much for water as you do for your mortgage.

Residents throughout Atlanta are outraged by hundreds, even thousands of dollars in monthly spikes in their water bills, and have questioned the legitimacy of the charges for years. Now, they're demanding answers.

"I thought we were sinking in a hole of water," said Debbi Scarborough. "It scared me to death. I thought we had a major leak when I got the bill."

Over two months last summer, her family's monthly water bill, shot up to $1,805 In July and then $1,084 in August, leaving a balance due of more than $3,000. She said in the past her bill has averaged $200 to $250.

"I'm not paying a $3,000 bill. And for those three months, we were pretty much out of town most of the time and there's no leaks," she said, showing CNN a copy of her plumber's report.


Libya Rebels March West as Fronts Firm

© The Associated Press
Recruits to the Libyan rebel forces learn how to use an anti-aircraft gun at a training base in Benghazi on Tuesday.

Gadhafi Opponents Are Seen Moving Out of Benghazi; Pentagon Orders Two Warships to Mediterranean

A ragtag army of opponents to Col. Moammar Gadhafi began moving west toward Tripoli from the east and the U.S. ordered two warships to the Mediterranean Sea, as the prospect of an extended war loomed over Libya.

A convoy of armed youth, including what appeared to be rebel military forces, was seen heading Tuesday night toward the pro-Gadhafi stronghold city of Sirte, witnesses said. The forces were viewed passing westward through Ajdabiya, a city about 75 miles from the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, said four residents, including a volunteer rebel soldier and an official on the city's local leadership council. It was unclear how many rebels were on the move.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. ordered two warships and 1200 Marines to the waters off of Libya, but a top Obama administration official stopped short of saying the forces would intervene in the clashes that have consumed the country following anti-Gadhafi protests here in recent weeks.

At a Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he had ordered to the Mediterranean the USS Ponceand the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious-assault ship that typically carries infantrymen and troop-transport helicopters. Those ships currently have 800 marines, in addition to 400 U.S.-based Marines who will be airlifted to meet the ships. He said the ships would be ready to perform evacuations and humanitarian relief.

Arrow Down

UK: Meat from Chimpanzees 'is on Sale in Britain' in Lucrative Black Market

Illegal bushmeat: The chimpanzee meat, which can cost more than £20 a kilogram, is part of a lucrative black market trade
Chimpanzee meat is for sale in restaurants and market stalls in Britain, it has emerged.

Trading standards officials uncovered the illegal bushmeat from the endangered species whilst testing samples believed to be seized from vendors in the Midlands.

The meat, which can cost more than £20 a kilogram, is part of a lucrative black market trade that experts describe as 'rife' in Europe.

Last year, the first research on the import of bushmeat into Europe found over 270 tonnes passing through the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris alone.

The chimpanzee meat is understood to have been discovered following raids by trading standards in the Midlands.

A Government whistleblower revealed: 'It is well known this practice is underway in the region but I was shocked to discover the meat that was tested was once a chimpanzee.

'Dubious meat is often tested, and has turned out to be things like rats and vermin in the past - but chimpanzee is unbelievable.'

It is not known how the bushmeat arrived in the Midlands, but experts believe it was probably flown into the country from Africa, possibly concealed in personal luggage.

Dr Marcus Rowcliffe, research fellow at the Zoological Society of London and an expert on the trade, said at least five tonnes of bushmeat arrives in Europe every week to be distributed across the continent.

He said: 'I'm not at all surprised that bushmeat is on sale in the Midlands because we know the trade is going on in the UK and that there is a regular flow of smuggled meat into the country.