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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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UK Judge Rules Assange Can Be Extradited; Could Eventually Face US Death Penalty

Lawyers for Assange immediately said they would appeal against the decision, which they fear could eventually result in Assange facing imprisonment in the US.

London -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face rape charges, a British judge ruled on Thursday after throwing out defense arguments that he would face an unfair trial.

Lawyers for Assange immediately said they would appeal against the decision, setting up a lengthy legal battle through Britain's courts that could postpone the 39-year-old Australian's ultimate fate for months.

"As I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant's (European) Convention rights, I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden," judge Howard Riddle said.

Speaking after the hearing at the top security Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in southeast London, Assange criticized the European system under which he was detained in December at Sweden's request.

Black Cat

Charlie Sheen, Mind Control, 9/11 and The Sixth Extinction


Mind melding with the CIA - Is Charlie Sheen an MK-Ultra victim?
Why has Charlie Sheen 'gone off' in such spectacular fashion? Admittedly, it's not exactly unusual for a Hollywood star to go on a drink and drug-fuelled 'bender' and end up in rehab, but for most of them that's usually the extent of the acting out. Charlie Sheen however appears to be in a different category. While he has an alleged history of drink and drug abuse dating back to 2005, his dramatically swift fall from grace really began late last year when he was arrested for causing $7000 worth of damage to a hotel suite during a weekend of drugs and prostitutes. Since then, his behavior has grown increasingly bizarre and, most recently, he seems to have adopted a 'god complex' that does not appear to be dependent on, or fueled by, any substance abuse (although there is obviously a strong possibility of him being bipolar).

Here are a few snippets of his recent public comments:

Heart - Black

You've got 10 seconds to say goodbye to your kids: What father accused of killing daughter by driving into river told his estranged wife

© Unknown
Tragedy: Christopher Grady is accused of murdering his five-year-old daughter Gabby and attempting to murder his six-year-old son Ryan after driving his car into a river whilst they were sitting on the back seat
A father drove two of his children into a river after telling their mother: 'You've got ten seconds to say goodbye to your kids and then they are dead,' a court heard yesterday.

Christopher Grady issued the chilling threat after turning up at Kim Smith's door with Ryan, six, and Gabrielle, five, in the car, the jury was told.

As she made a frantic grab at the car door to get them out, he sped off with the children screaming in the back seat.

Witnesses watched in horror as he drove the car at full speed into the freezing water, the court heard.

Ryan was rescued, but Gabrielle was pronounced dead in hospital after firemen fought for two hours to rescue her from the sinking car.

Grady, a self-employed welder and blacksmith, who was separated from Miss Smith, 39, had been arguing with her about seeing the children, the court heard.

He was alleged to have previously told her: 'If I can't have them, you can't.'

Heart - Black

Police did NOT go to house where woman was battered to death despite THREE 999 calls in 11 minutes

The way police responded to a woman who made two 999 calls before she was battered to death was 'wholly inadequate', the police watchdog said today.

A report issued by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) highlighted a number of failings in Leicestershire Constabulary's response to phone calls they received prior to Joanne Butler's murder in January 2006.

Miss Butler, 38, who had a history of mental health issues, was found dead after a fire in her flat in Maughan Street, Earl Shilton, Leicestershire.
© PA
Tragic: Joanne Butler, 38, was found dead in her Leicestershire home in January 2006. Sean Wilson, who lived in the flat below her, was convicted of her murder. The IPCC has described the handling of 999 calls made before her death as 'wholly inadequate'

A post-mortem examination revealed she had died from extensive head injuries.

In November 2006, Sean Wilson, who lived in the flat below her, was convicted of her murder. His son, then 13, was also sentenced for his part in the attack.

The IPCC said several hours before her murder on the evening of January 3, 2006, Miss Butler rang 999 twice within minutes, but no police officer was available to attend her address.

A spokesman said they were classed as 'silent calls' that were made from the landline inside her property because the caller never spoke directly to the police operator, despite an argument being heard in the background.

A third call had also been made by a neighbour claiming damage had been caused to his car by Miss Butler, and a fourth call was also made to police by Sean Wilson referring to the 'psycho woman' living above his flat.

Star of David

Table turned: Julian Assange plunged into anti-Semitic row as he accuses journalists of Jewish conspiracy

Julian Assange has been caught up in an anti-Semitism row after allegedly accusing a group of journalists of a 'Jewish conspiracy' against his website WikiLeaks.

In the current edition of satirical magazine Private Eye, editor Ian Hislop wrote that Assange called him to complain about a previous piece on WikiLeaks contributor Israel Shamir.

Shamir is a Siberian-born writer and commentator who is recognised as a Holocaust denier and has been called 'a rabid anti-Semite' by Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle.
© Unknown
Phone call: Julian Assange, left, accused Ian Hislop of being part of a 'Jewish conspiracy', wrote Hislop in an article for the current edition of Private Eye

In the week that fashion designer John Galliano was sacked by Christian Dior over alleged anti-Semitic remarks made in a Paris bar, Hislop claims Assange told him he should be ashamed of himself for being part of an international smear campaign against WikiLeaks.

Stating that the Private Eye piece was an attempt to cut off any funding the website receives from the Jewish community, alleged Hislop, Assange claimed that Private Eye was 'part of a conspiracy led by the Guardian which included journalist David Leigh, editor Alan Rusbridger and John Kampfner from Index on Censorship - all of whom "are Jewish".'

'I pointed out that Rusbridger is not actually Jewish, but Assange insisted that he was "sort of Jewish" because he was related to David Leigh (they are brothers-in-law),' wrote Hislop.


Malaysian burglar caught sleeping in house after breaking in gets 5-year prison sentence

A Malaysian court has slapped a five-year prison sentence on a burglar who was found sleeping in a house he broke into.

Prosecutor Muhammad Ashraff Diah says the 35-year-old man broke into a house in southern Malaysia last week and spent the night sleeping there. The homeowner returned in the morning and called the authorities before the man woke up.

The unemployed man tried to run away when the police arrived. They caught him and recovered several hundred ringgit (dollars) he had taken from the house.


Fiji to Dump Queen from Currency

Voreqe Bainimarama
© Agence France-Presse
Fiji will drop Queen Elizabeth II from its currency and replace her with local plants and animals, the South Pacific nation's military ruler Voreqe Bainimarama (pictured) has announced
Fiji will drop Queen Elizabeth II from its currency and replace her with local plants and animals, the South Pacific nation's military ruler Voreqe Bainimarama has announced.

Bainimarama, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2006, said Fiji's cabinet had accepted his recommendations for new designs on the country's 10 coin and note denominations, none of which featured the Queen.

"Important and iconic flora and fauna of Fiji has been selected to replace Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II?s portrait," he said in a statement released Tuesday.

He said the new coins would be introduced in June next year.

Bainimarama, who holds the titles of Prime Minister and Finance Minister among a clutch of other portfolios, gave no reason for the change.

Britain supported the Commonwealth's decision to suspend Fiji in 2009 after Bainimarama's government broke a promise to restore democracy following the coup.


France: Dior Fires John Galliano After Bigotry Complaints

© Remy De La Mauviniere/Associated Press
The British fashion designer John Galliano in Paris in July 2010 at the end of the presentation of his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior.
The French fashion house Christian Dior said Tuesday that it would dismiss its chief designer, John Galliano, after the surfacing of a video that showed his anti-Semitic outbursts at a Paris bar.

In a brief statement, Sidney Toledano, Dior Couture's chief executive, said he condemned ''in the strongest terms'' Mr. Galliano's words, ''which are in total contradiction with the essential values that have always been defended by the Christian Dior house.''

Dior, however, was still planning to go ahead with its autumn/winter 2011 ready-to-wear show on Friday as part of Paris fashion week. A spokeswoman for a separate label, John Galliano, said its women's wear show would also go ahead as scheduled Sunday.

Known as the ''bad boy'' of the fashion world for his flamboyant and provocative style, Mr. Galliano helped to energize Dior after he joined it in 1996 as creative director, increasing sales and making it a jewel of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury-goods empire run by the French billionaire Bernard Arnault. LVMH also owns the John Galliano line. Olivier Labesse, a spokesman for LVMH, did not return calls seeking comment on the designer's role there.

The departure of one of its most important designers has left the fashion world buzzing with questions. Dior, which was founded in 1945, is one of the few labels still specializing in haute couture.

In its statement, Dior said it had ''immediately suspended relations'' with Mr. Galliano and ''initiated dismissal procedures.'' It cited the ''particularly odious comments'' contained in the video posted Monday.

The video was posted on the Web site of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. It appeared to show Mr. Galliano taunting patrons at a Paris bar, declaring in a slurred voice that ''I love Hitler'' and that ''people like you would be dead,'' and ''your mothers, your forefathers'' would all be ''gassed.'' It was unclear when the video was recorded or who recorded it.


More Than 140,000 People Flee Libya

© The Associated Press / Benjamin Girette
Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan refugees in Ras Ajdir at the Tunisia-Libya border, Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The United Nations refugee agency says over the past 10 days, more than 140,000 people have fled to Egypt and Tunisia from Libya. The UNHCR says tens of thousands of people are stuck at the borders and in urgent need of help.

The U.N. refugee agency says the situation at the Libya-Tunisia border is chaotic. It says 14,000 people crossed the border Monday, the highest number to date.

The agency says it is crucial to move tens of thousands of people away from the overcrowded border to avoid a humanitarian crisis. But transportation is scarce.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says the agency has erected 1,500 tents, which can shelter 12,000 people. And she says two airlifts planned for Thursday will deliver tents and supplies for up to 10,000 people.

"We have now visited the border entry point to Tunisia. What is unfortunate is that thousands of people are waiting on the Libyan side of the border to enter. Some for as long as three days. They are obliged to spend the night outside in the bitter cold without shelter. We are very concerned that a large number of sub-Saharan Africans are not being allowed into Tunisia at this point. We are in negotiation with self-appointed volunteers from the local community who are guarding the border," she said.


U.S. Arrests 678 Gang Members, Many Tied to Mexico Cartels

© QUADRATIN, AFP/Getty Images
Federal Police officers stand by a blockade on the Apatzingan-Morelia road, in Morelia, Michoaca State, Mexico, on December 9, 2010. Gunmen from La Familia cartel drug blocked several roads in Michoacan State during a confrontation between drug cartels and Federal Police, said the state government of Morelia.
A two-month operation by U.S. authorities has led to the arrests of 678 gang members from 113 different gangs, including 13 linked to Mexican drug cartels, a top law enforcement official said Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) teamed up with 170 law enforcement agencies around the country for operation "Southern Tempest" targeting violent gangs linked to international drug trafficking organizations.

Around two-thirds of those arrested are foreign nationals and nearly half have ties to drug trafficking groups, mainly in Mexico, ICE director John Morton told reporters.

"The purpose of this effort was to target violent street gangs associated with drug cartels, particularly in Mexico," Morton said.

The announcement of the wave of arrests came two weeks after ICE agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead while travelling in his car with another U.S. federal agent in Mexico.

Last week, the Mexican military arrested a suspect in Zapata's slaying, and days later detained the alleged shooter's boss, a member of the Zetas drug cartel.