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UC Global director at center of Assange spying accusations claims ambassador ordered espionage

david morales spy assange embassy uc  global
© UC Global
David Morales, director and owner of UC Global.
David Morales, the owner of the Spanish security firm that spied on Julian Assange while he was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, testified in court on Friday that Ecuador's former ambassador to the United Kingdom, the recently deceased Carlos Abad, asked him to record the cyberactivist's conversations during his stay in the embassy. The former marine and director of UC Global S. L. testified last week before Judge José de la Mata of Spain's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional. Despite overwhelming evidence of the espionage gathered during the legal investigation and already published by EL PAÍS, Morales denied before the judge that the spying was ever carried out.

In his second court statement, this time made on his own request, Morales went from denying that the WikiLeaks founder was ever spied on, to admitting that he was asked to make the secret recordings. But he hid behind the former Ecuadorian ambassador, who died in November, and said it was Ecuador's secret service, Senain, that hired his services during the presidency of Rafael Correa, who governed Ecuador from 2007 to 2017.

Comment: Sure sounds like a lot of back-pedalling and obfustication from Morales. Did his "American client" drop him like a hot potato when he was caught?


Handcuffs

Jussie Smollett accused of lying to CPD, indicted on 6 counts of disorderly conduct

Jussie Smollett
© Reuters / Handout
In a story FOX 32 News broke first, former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday in Chicago by special prosecutor Dan Webb, stemming from the alleged racist and anti-gay attack on him that occurred in January of 2019.

Smollett is due in court February 24 at the Criminal Court Building at 26th and California. Webb said in a statement that Smollett faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct, charges that stem from four separate false reports that he gave to police in which he contended he was a victim of a hate crime "knowing that he was not the victim of a crime."

The statement immediately raised questions about county prosecutors' decision to drop the charges last year and made it clear that those prosecutors had not adequately explained to special prosecutors why they did so. But Webb stressed that he had reached no conclusions about whether anyone involved in the case had engaged in any wrongdoing.

Comment: Previously:


Biohazard

Deaths in China exceed 1,000, but number of new COVID-19 virus cases continues to fall

supermarket china coronavirus wuhan
© Reuters
A shopper pushes a cart inside a supermarket on February 11 following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province.
China's National Health Commission reported 97 new coronavirus deaths on February 11 for the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities nationwide to 1,113.

The total number of confirmed cases of the illness in mainland China stands at 44,643. However, the number of new cases -- 2,015 -- has declined for a second day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the disease caused by the virus as COVID-19. Twenty-five countries as of February 12 have confirmed cases, including one death -- in the Philippines. A U.S. citizen died in China.

Including China, more than 45,100 people worldwide have been infected with the virus.

Comment: The cornavirus story has the same whiff that the MERS-CoV, and H1N1 stories had. Dire warnings from the WHO due to early high death rates, mass panics threatening, though no deadly pandemic ever really materialized. Barring some unforeseen development, COVID-19 looks to be playing out the same way. What is different is China taking the opportunity to crack down further on civil liberties, in the name of protecting the public.

In the meantime Big Pharma will make out like a bandit.


Dollars

Russia & EU on path to cut out the dollar by boosting settlements in national currencies

dollar
© Getty Images / Eskay Lim 53
With the number of non-dollar deals rising, Moscow and Brussels are discussing ways to boost the volume of settlements in euros or rubles, says Russia's envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.

The talks about the switch-over come as the greenback still remains a "powerful weapon" of the US, the permanent representative to the EU said in an interview with Sputnik. Sanctions are another tool for Washington, as foreign companies dependent on the American market have to stop dealing with firms, as well as whole countries, that the US targets.

"We have dialogue [about switching to rubles and euro in settlements], and the share of settlements in euros is gradually growing," Chizhov said.

NPC

Forget about balance? BBC now a climate activist saying it's a 'privilege' to have 'global icon' Greta Thunberg front new series

greta
© Getty Images / Laura Lezza
In a bid to peddle its new series on climate change to a wider audience, BBC drops all pretenses of impartiality, as they announce Greta Thunberg will front the latest effort to sell their overtly political environmental message.

With the turmoil surrounding the BBC right now, warring talent arguing over their salaries, the hunt for a new Director General and the bound-to-get-uglier row over the tv licence fee, excitedly announcing a new climate change documentary all about Swedish teen Greta Thunberg shows a palpable lack of feel for the public mood.

But she is exactly the sort of poster child the BBC is looking for, as it turns to climate activism in a bid to boost its audience figures.

The national broadcaster is very much a self-appointed custodian of all things climate. Look at their What is Climate Change website and you will see plenty of broad facts about changes in the environment, but nothing to suggest that environmental change is largely part of the wondrous cycle of nature and not entirely the fault of man. That is where the BBC case lies.

Mr. Potato

'Nothing is truly Scandinavian' top Nordic airline SAS declares in ad — what could go wrong with that?

(left) 2 girls (right) boy

Screenshots from the SAS ad. Left: ‘There is no such thing’ as truly Sandinavian. Right: We are no better ‘than out Viking ancestors’.
SAS, the leading airline of Denmark, Norway and Sweden had to quietly remove a video commercial, which declared entire Scandinavian culture borrowed and featured a black guy saying he is no better than his 'Viking ancestors. '

Hijacking a hot button social topic to generate some good publicity is a tricky task. Just ask Gillette with their last year take on 'toxic masculinity,' or Pepsi equating drinking its soda with fighting for justice in street protests a few years ago. Scandinavian Airlilnes, or SAS, had its own tone deaf disaster of a commercial pulled after public outcry.

The ad published on Monday starts with a punchline that nothing is "truly Scandinavian" before going down the list of things that people in Denmark, Norway and Sweden take pride of — wind power plants, popularity of bicycles, parental care rights and democracy — and declares them "copied."

"It gets worse. Rumor has it that the oh-so-sweet Swedish meatballs might not be as Swedish as you think, but Turkish," the video goes on.

Attention

'Get lost, traitor!' Protests and fights erupt as Guaido arrives at Venezuelan airport, gets booed and doused with water

protests against Guaido
Chaos broke out at an airport in Venezuela's capital Caracas, when Juan Guaido, who was declared interim president by the opposition, returned from an overseas trip.

On Tuesday, Guaido arrived at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas after completing a support-seeking tour abroad, during which he attended US President Donald Trump's annual State of the Union Address in Washington.

The tensions first erupted when the politician was passing immigration control. As he was talking to an immigration officer, Guaido was suddenly confronted by an angry woman who accused him of "selling out the country." She was wearing a bright red T-shirt, often sported by the supporters of Guaido's chief opponent, President Nicolas Maduro.


Comment: Guaido, is a clown, a US stooge, and a thug. It is to the credit of the majority of Venezuelans that they can see through his act:


Burka

Suspected terrorists & war criminals that Sweden cannot deport are given job permits & passports, warns migration chief

Criminals
© REUTERS / Johan Nilsson / TT
A police officer escorts migrants in Sweden.
Sweden's top migration official has warned the country is a 'safe haven for war criminals and potential terrorists,' as it gives passports and benefits to suspected dangerous criminals, shielded from deportation by legislation.

The northern European country is remarkably welcoming to foreigners seeking refuge, but Sweden can reject an application on security grounds. The Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) has the authority to deport a person it deems to be a threat due to suspected links to terrorism or allegations that the applicant has committed serious crimes.

But ordering the deportation of such a person and actually enforcing it are two different things. Sweden doesn't send people back to countries where they may face persecution, torture, or the death penalty. So, some folk are ordered to leave, but cannot be forced to do so.

While stuck in legal limbo, they are issued with temporary residency permits with all the benefits. They can work in Sweden, receive generous social benefits and sometimes even get passports that allow free travel to other EU members.

Comment: It's the perfect metaphor for everything wrong with the West. The lack of morality, the hypocrisy, the duplicity, the mendacity. The really ugly part of it is that Sweden provided one of the largest contingents of ISIS terrorists to Syria, where they beheaded and raped with abandon, safe under NATO air cover. Now they have safely returned home, they can 'retire' on welfare and breed more terrorists.


Heart - Black

Predatory attorney forces Kansas father to be jailed over medical debt for treatment of son's leukemia and wife's seizures

Tres and Lane Biggs, USA medical debt jail
Heather and her son Lane Biggs just needed medical care. A few years ago, Lane was getting treated for leukemia, which he was diagnosed with at age 5, and at the same time, his mom Heather developed seizures from Lyme disease. That left the family with piles of medical debt that they couldn't afford.

They didn't make enough to afford health insurance, but they made too much to qualify for Medicaid.

"We had so many multiple health issues in our family at the same time, it put us in a bracket that made insurance unattainable," Heather told CBS News. "It made no sense. We would've had to have not eaten, not had a home."

Her husband, Tres, was working two jobs in their hometown of Coffeyville, Kansas, where the poverty rate is twice the national average, but it wasn't nearly enough to pay off the debt, which hit $70,000. After he missed a court appearance about his unpaid bills and was unable to get the money for the $500 bail, Tres was sent to jail.

"You wouldn't think you'd go to jail over a medical bill," he said. "[It was] scary. I was scared to death, because, you know, I'm a country kid. I had to strip down, get hosed and put a jumpsuit on."

Comment: There is no excuse for such inhumane treatment of families who are already traumatized by the US medical system, but this couple's story is all too common - the US 'health care system' routinely bankrupts families when serious illness strikes.


Apple Red

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. Humanity has won

farming with baby
As the editor of a website documenting human progress, I am sometimes asked to name the one statistic that best exemplifies the improving state of the world. The rising life expectancy immediately comes to mind, for to a dead person, all the other indicators of human well-being are irrelevant. Luckily, almost everyone knows that people today live much longer than our ancestors did. As such, I often end up talking about food consumption. For millennia, people lived on the edge of starvation. Today, starvation has disappeared outside of war-zones. Let's look at some data.

In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, Stanford University biologist and "overpopulation" alarmist Paul Ehrlich famously predicted that "The battle to feed all of humanity is over ... hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Between 1968 and 2017, the world's population increased by 113 percent from 3.55 billion to 7.55 billion. Over the same time period, the average global food supply per person per day rose from 2,334 calories to 2,962 - a 27 percent increase.

To put the magnitude of that achievement into proper perspective, consider the basic food consumption needs of your fellow human beings. The U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020 estimate that calorie needs per person per day range from 1,600 to 2,000 for women and 1,900 to 2,500 calories for men. That amounts to an average of 2,000 calories per person per day across sexes and over the entire human lifespan. Hence the crude "2,000 calorie diet" that every American knows about.