Reports of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of civilians heading to Turkish border because of hostilities in Idlib not true – Russian MoD

reports-of-‘hundreds-of-thousands’-of-civilians-heading-to-turkish-border-because-of-hostilities-in-idlib-not-true-–-russian-mod

21-02-20 05:55:00,

The Russian military has denied claims that scores of refugees are fleeing Syria’s Idlib province and moving towards the Turkish border due to battles between the Syrian Army and terrorists in the area.

“There are no verifiable photos and videos, or any other data to confirm the statements that ‘around a million’ refugees are supposedly moving from the Idlib de-escalation zone,” the head of Russia’s Reconciliation Center for Syria, Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlyov, said in a statement.

The information alleging that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of civilians are heading for the Syrian-Turkish border because of battles between terrorists and Syrian government troops in the east of the province [Idlib] is not true.

The official added that terrorists are using civilians as human shields, preventing them from leaving the combat zone through the three humanitarian corridors set up by the Reconciliation Center in the Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama provinces.

The situation in Idlib flared up in recent weeks, with the Syrian Army making advances against terrorists and militants, some of which are backed by Turkey. The anti-government forces launched a counteroffensive on Thursday, which was beaten back with the help of Russian airstrikes.

Also on rt.com
Russian warplanes repel attack on Syrian army in Idlib as militants launch offensive aided by Turkish artillery — Moscow

Damascus says its troops are conducting operations against terrorists that carry out attacks on Syrian personnel and civilians. Ankara, which backs some of the militants in Idlib, said that a Turkish invasion of the area is “imminent” and accused the Syrian Army of shelling its troops.

Russia insisted that a shelling incident in Syria, in which Ankara claims several of its soldiers were killed, was due to the failure of the Turkish side to warn of troop movements. Moscow also accused Turkey of failing on its promise to clear the ‘de-escalation zone’ of jihadist groups.

Also on rt.com
‘Worst case scenario’: Kremlin slams Turkey’s threat of military operation against Syrian government in Idlib

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The Power of Viruses and the Power of You – Truth Comes to Light

the-power-of-viruses-and-the-power-of-you-–-truth-comes-to-light

21-02-20 08:52:00,

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon Rapport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

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Netanyahu Boasts He Destroyed Free Speech in America

netanyahu-boasts-he-destroyed-free-speech-in-america

21-02-20 08:44:00,

This piece originally appeared on Informed Comment

Israeli caretaker prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption and is facing an election soon, just boasted that his ministry of strategic affairs has managed to undermine First Amendment protections for free speech in the United States by lobbying state legislatures to pass laws forbidding the boycott of Israel.

Anti-boycott laws of the Old South were used against Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists in the civil rights movement to keep African Americans subordinate and segregated. The right to boycott establishments over civil rights was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1982 in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware.

It was also not for nothing that the American administration has taken this step together with us. In recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.

— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 12, 2020

Some 28 U.S. states have passed laws prohibiting the boycott of Israel and are attempting to punish this action by denying such individuals state contracts.

Gilad Erdan is the head of the ministry of strategic affairs, which has spearheaded the attempt to undermine the U.S. Constitution and make criticizing Israeli policy illegal in the United States. This effort is allegedly being aided by Mossad, Israeli intelligence. Mossad intensively spies on Washington, D.C., and may have compromising information on U.S. politicians.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is the main instrument of such Israeli policy pushes in the United States, and has never been forced to register as the agent of a foreign state, as U.S. law requires.

Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

It should be noted that the anti-boycott laws do not only punish companies. Most states treat individuals providing them services as companies categorized as “sole proprietors.” University professors invited to speak on campus in the states with these horrid laws have been asked to sign statements saying they don’t boycott Israel before being allowed to speak. These procedures are the most dangerous assault on free speech in the United States since the McCarthy era.

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Who Is WHO’s Tedros Adhanom? The Wuhan Lockdown is Unprecedented – Global Research

who-is-who’s-tedros-adhanom?-the-wuhan-lockdown-is-unprecedented-–-global-research

20-02-20 11:41:00,

On the surface it appeared that the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has acted swiftly and seriously about the spreading coronavirus health emergency spreading across China. He has gone to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss the situation and on January 30, after his talks in Beijing and meetings with the WHO advisory body, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the coronavirus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).” What the WHO has really done and especially the remarks of the Director-General, give cause for concern that he is motivated by something other than world health.

There are still many open questions surrounding the outbreak of what is being called 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCov) that was first noted sometime in December in Wuhan city in central China. By about January 20 severe cases of respiratory disease were spreading at such a rate that Beijing took drastic measures including canceling major social events of the Chinese New Year celebrations and imposing a cordon sanitaire around Wuhan, a city of 11 million on January 23 in a desperate bid to contain whatever was spreading. The quarantine however was imposed after some 5 million residents had reportedly already left to visit relatives outside in the largest holiday in China.

On January 28 Tedros was in Beijing meeting with President Xi Jinping to discuss the situation.

By the time of Tedros’ January 30 declaration that the coronavirus situation in China warranted proclaiming a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),” a full week had passed since the Wuhan lockdown was declared. Such a public health lockdown had never in modern times been attempted. Indeed, on the day Wuhan was sealed off by the authorities, Gauden Galea, WHO China representative, told Reuters, “The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.”

By the time WHO head Tedros arrived however, the Director-General had nothing but praise for the extraordinary measures being taken by Beijing to contain and deal with the situation. Back in WHO Geneva headquarters Tedros announced that China is “setting a new standard” for outbreak response, he said. “It’s actually doing more than China is required to do,” he added.

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Motion to US District Court to Release Chelsea Manning from Punitive Incarceration – Global Research

motion-to-us-district-court-to-release-chelsea-manning-from-punitive-incarceration-–-global-research

20-02-20 11:40:00,

Like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning is a victim of police state injustice.

She’s been imprisoned since last spring and fined $1,000 daily for invoking her constitutional right to remain silent — refusing to give grand jury testimony against Assange that could be self-incriminating.

The right to remain silent is constitutionally guaranteed. It’s affirmed by the European Convention on Human Rights. Legal systems of other nations affirm it.

It’s what Miranda rights are all about in the US. Police detainees can invoke the right to refuse answering questions asked.

Its purpose is to avoid self-incrimination, along with the right to be represented by counsel for guidance when interrogated.

The US grand jury system is flagrantly unconstitutional, what the Supreme Court should have ruled against long ago for violating the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

The system lets prosecutors manipulate proceedings to get indictments. Their career advancement depends on them.

Americans can be prosecuted for claimed association with “undesirable group(s).”

They’re subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures by unchecked surveillance powers of the state, their privacy compromised.

Due process, habeas rights, and equal justice under law greatly eroded. All of the above are hallmarks of police state rule.

Manning’s First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights were violated. The same goes for Julian Assange, UK actions against him based on Trump regime orders.

Subjecting Manning to unreasonable searches and seizures violated her Fourth Amendment rights.

Her Fifth Amendment rights of due process, protection from self-incrimination, and possible double jeopardy were violated.

So was her Sixth Amendment right of a public trial represented by counsel, an impartial jury, and nature of charges against her. Silence is not a crime.

Subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishments violated her Eight Amendment rights.

Demanding she testify before a grand jury in secret without counsel violated her Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.

In a February 19 motion to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the same one to try Assange if he’s extradited to the US, Manning’s attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen petitioned the court for her release from punitive incarceration,

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Assanges Verteidigung ringt um politisches Asyl für Whistleblower in Frankreich

assanges-verteidigung-ringt-um-politisches-asyl-fur-whistleblower-in-frankreich

20-02-20 11:24:00,

https://cdnde1.img.sputniknews.com/images/32609/61/326096192.jpg

Sputnik Deutschland

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Sputnik

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https://de.sputniknews.com/gesellschaft/20200220326488583-assanges-verteidigung-ringt-um-politisches-asyl-fuer-whistleblower-in-frankreich/

Die Verteidigung des WikiLeaks-Gründers Julian Assange ist laut seinem französischen Rechtsanwalt Éric Dupond-Moretti damit befasst, für den Mandanten politische Zuflucht in Frankreich zu bekommen.

„Unsere Verfassung erlaubt es“, sagte er bei einer Pressekonferenz in Paris.

Julian Assange ist weltbekannt dank den Publikationen, die die gesetzwidrigen Handlungen der USA während der Militäroperationen in Afghanistan und im Irak entlarven. Der Journalist veröffentlichte Daten über die Ermordung von Zivilisten während der Kampfhandlungen sowie über die Haftbedingungen im US-Gefängnis Guantanamo auf Kuba.

2010 wurde er in Schweden der Vergewaltigung und der Belästigungen bezichtigt. Assange hatte alles zurückgewiesen: Nach seinen Worten sollen die gegen ihn erstatteten Anzeigen Frauen aus Rache und unter dem Einfluss der Polizei gemacht haben. Später wurde das Verfahren eingestellt, dann aber wiederaufgenommen und im vergangenen November erneut eingestellt.

©
REUTERS / HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Im Juni 2012 hatte der WikiLeaks-Gründer in Ecuadors Botschaft in London Zuflucht gefunden, da er seine Auslieferung befürchtete. Nachdem ihm der weitere Aufenthalt in der Botschaft verweigert worden war, wurde Assange am Morgen des 11. April 2019 auf US-Anfrage hin festgenommen. Ein Londoner Gericht erklärte ihn für schuldig, gegen die Bedingungen der Freilassung auf Bewährung verstoßen zu haben, und verurteilte ihn zu elf Monaten Freiheitsstrafe.

Daraufhin hatten die US-Behörden Assange neue Beschuldigungen der Spionage und der Offenbarung von Geheiminformationen vorgeworfen. Aktuell wird im Londoner Gericht die Anhörung zur Frage der Auslieferung abgehalten. In den USA drohen Assange bis zu 175 Jahren Haft.

ek/ek/sna

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WATCH harrowing footage of 2007 Baghdad killings projected onto UK parliament wall in protest against Assange’s extradition

watch-harrowing-footage-of-2007-baghdad-killings-projected-onto-uk-parliament-wall-in-protest-against-assange’s-extradition

20-02-20 12:07:00,

Campaigners have projected the footage of an American airstrike on Iraqi civilians, originally exposed by WikiLeaks, onto the parliament building in London, to protest against the proposed extradition to the US of Julian Assange.

Clips from the infamous 2007 footage were projected onto Westminster Palace, where both houses of parliament are located. The same video was projected on the wall of the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London, where the WikiLeaks co-founder is awaiting his US extradition trial. The images on the buildings’ walls included photos of the activist along with slogans like ‘Don’t extradite Assange’ and ‘Journalism is not a crime.’

The anti-extradition group behind the stunt argues that the prosecution of Assange is unlawful because he did journalistic work, and all information published by WikiLeaks was of public interest.

The classified footage, which was published by WikiLeaks in 2010, revealed how the crew of a US AH-64 Apache attack chopper shredded a group of civilians in Baghdad, including two reporters working for Reuters, after mistaking them for insurgents.

Assange could face up to 175 years in prison if found guilty of all 18 charges that have been brought against him in the US. His extradition hearings are to start next week.

Also on rt.com
Here we go again: Media report ‘Trump asked Assange to deny/cover up link with Russia’… quoting statement showing no such thing

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Slow Motion Murder of Julian Assange by US/UK Regimes – Global Research

slow-motion-murder-of-julian-assange-by-us/uk-regimes-–-global-research

20-02-20 08:35:00,

Assange’s crucifixion is all about waging war on dissent, truth-telling on major issues, and journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

It’s about creeping totalitarian rule in the US, UK, and West — equity, justice, and respect for the rule of law in these countries long ago abandoned, their deplorable state supported by establishment media, operating as mouthpieces for their hostile agendas.

An open letter by 60 doctors, representing the views of dozens of likeminded physicians and psychologists from 18 nations, accused the Boris Johnson regime of inflicting serious harm on Assange by “prolonged psychological torture.”

They requested that he be transferred from brutalizing prison confinement to a university teaching hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Stonewalled by the Johnson regime, they wrote a follow-up letter to Australian authorities, requesting they intervene on behalf of their citizen — no reply forthcoming.

The Scott Morrison regime is in cahoots with the US and Britain, wanting Assange eliminated by slow torture.

Dozens of doctors from the US, UK, Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and other countries signed their appeal for Assange to Britain and Australia.

Their letter concluded saying:

“It is our opinion that Mr. Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health.”

“Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care).”

“Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr. Assange could die in prison.”

“The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”

Last May after visiting Assange in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison, UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said the following:

“Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

Last November he warned that “Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life,” adding:

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of (so-called) democratic states (sic) ganging up to deliberately isolate,

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Pardoning Julian Assange: Donald Trump, WikiLeaks and the DNC – Global Research

pardoning-julian-assange:-donald-trump,-wikileaks-and-the-dnc-–-global-research

20-02-20 08:32:00,

The central pillar to Democratic paranoia and vengefulness regarding the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the link between Russian hacking, the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails via WikiLeaks.  Over time, that account has become a matter of hagiography, an article of faith, with grave conclusions: WikiLeaks and Russia elected Donald Trump.

The Russia-DNC angle received another prod in pre-extradition hearings being conducted against Assange in the Westminster Magistrates Court, with his legal team disclosing details of the visit paid to the WikiLeaks publisher by former California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (image below) in 2017.  The visit in question was not entirely a matter of surprise.  The Wall Street Journal reported in September that year that Rohrabacher had contacted the White House in an attempt to broker a deal with Assange designed to alleviate his legal troubles. A conversation was said to have taken place between the Congressman and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, canvassing the possibility of ending the impasse in exchange for evidence that Russia was not behind the hacked emails.

Assange’s legal team, through Edward Fitzgerald, disclosed that President Trump had instructed Rohrabacher to discuss the possibility of a pardon for Assange provided he agreed to deny any Russian connection in the DNC hack.  A statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robison, included the following description:

“Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”

Image result for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

For his part, former Congressman Rohrabacher is dissembling, claiming he had not discussed Assange with Trump prior to his “fact finding mission” to London.  “At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the President because I had not spoken with the President about this issue at all.”  Rohrabacher admitted to speaking with Kelly in a brief conversation after his trip to the Ecuadorean embassy in London.  “No one followed up with me including Gen. Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or his Administration.”

In 2018,

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‘Journalism is not a crime’: Australian MP says charges against Assange must be dropped after visiting him in UK prison

‘journalism-is-not-a-crime’:-australian-mp-says-charges-against-assange-must-be-dropped-after-visiting-him-in-uk-prison

20-02-20 08:27:00,

Continued persecution of the WikiLeaks co-founder is a “crazy situation,” Australian lawmaker George Christiansen told RT, adding that Julian Assange did not commit any crime aside from running afoul of US elites.

Christiansen, a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, questioned the integrity of the legal process against Assange, who is now facing the possibility of extradition to the US over “unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense.”

The journalist was hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his asylum was revoked in April 2019, and has been locked up at the maximum security Belmarsh prison ever since.

“We have an Australian citizen, who is a subject to our laws, extradited by one foreign nation into another on charges in accordance with the laws of a country he did not even set foot to. That is a crazy situation,” Christiansen said, after visiting Assange at Belmarsh, south of London.

Also on rt.com
Julian Assange will ‘disappear for the rest of his life’ inside ‘inhumane’ US prison, UN envoy warns… if he makes it that far

If a British citizen faced extradition from a third country to China or another “adversary” of the West, London would spare no efforts seeking his or her release, he added. “The same is true for Assange.”

The extradition hearings should be dropped and he should be returned to Australia.

Having been a journalist himself, Christiansen said that he sees absolutely no crime in Assange’s actions, since he was just “reporting the facts” and revealing information that was “clearly of public interest.”

I do not believe that anyone must be locked up for such an alleged crime. It is not a crime to undertake journalism.

Christiansen has spoken to the UN special rapporteur on torture, Professor Nils Melzer, who has repeatedly raised the alarm about Assange’s health, arguing that his solitary confinement in Belmarsh essentially amounted to psychological torture. What he saw at Belmarsh convinced Christiansen that Melzer was right in this assessment. He particularly noted that Assange “exhibited signs of disorientation” and told Christiansen about his prolonged and “severe” isolation.

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UN Troops Featured in World Military Games in Wuhan China Weeks Before Coronavirus Outbreak – Activist Post

un-troops-featured-in-world-military-games-in-wuhan-china-weeks-before-coronavirus-outbreak-–-activist-post

19-02-20 10:13:00,

By Spiro Skouras

In this report we take a closer look inside the World Military Games opening ceremony held in Wuhan China weeks before the coronavirus outbreak.

Is it just a coincidence that a UN-themed pandemic simulation of a global coronavirus outbreak took place the same day as the UN-themed opening ceremonies in Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak?

We also examine which nation will fill the vacuum now that the world’s biggest economy has been crippled by the outbreak.

Links

Dominoes Are Falling – China Shutdown To Crush India’s Already-Crumbling Economy
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/dominos-are-falling-china-shutdown-disrupts-indias-economy

China destroys $600 million in cash to stop coronavirus spread on infected bank notes
https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/china-destroys-600-million-cash-21520944

Did coronavirus originate in Chinese govt laboratory?
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/615052-did-coronavirus-originate-in-chinese-govt-laboratory?fbclid=IwAR00g8apH06I0NdgQAd1TUcX3wSClK3qOAGXfB7YsM6wysCOCQ098U5uBrE 

What is the Xiangshan Forum, and why is it important?
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-10-20/What-is-the-Xiangshan-Forum-and-why-is-it-important–KWbX9Xt0hW/index.html

Amid Coronavirus, the World Closes Its Doors to China: ‘I Feel So Isolated’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/amid-coronavirus-the-world-closes-its-doors-to-china-i-feel-so-isolated-11582060811

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, China is now also fighting deadly bird flu in chickens 
https://www.businessinsider.com/h5n1-deadly-bird-flu-emerged-near-center-coronavirus-outbreak-2020-2

China Approves Imports of Live Poultry From US
https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-approves-imports-of-live-poultry-from-us_3240571.html

Why the global battle over Huawei could prove more disruptive than Trump’s trade war with China
http://theconversation.com/why-the-global-battle-over-huawei-could-prove-more-disruptive-than-trumps-trade-war-with-china-131828

Which Supply Chains Are Most At Risk: The Answer In One Chart
https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/which-supply-chains-are-most-risk-answer-one-chart

Did coronavirus originate in Chinese government laboratory? Scientists believe killer disease may have begun in research facility 300 yards from Wuhan wet fish market
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8009669/Did-coronavirus-originate-Chinese-government-laboratory.html 

CHINA FILES 84 PATENTS FOR CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY
https://bitcoinist.com/china-files-84-patents-for-central-bank-digital-currency/

Rituals, Events & Military Meetings ~ UN Agenda~ Prior To ‘Reported’ Virus Outbreak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgczmGOFXiA

Follow Spiro on BitChute bitchute.com/channel/spiro/ Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/o_rips

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Become an Activist Post Patron for as little as $1 per month at Patreon. Follow us on SoMee, Flote, Minds,

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A year in jail & quarter million fine since, lawyers seek freedom for Chelsea Manning refusing to testify against WikiLeaks

a-year-in-jail-&-quarter-million-fine-since,-lawyers-seek-freedom-for-chelsea-manning-refusing-to-testify-against-wikileaks

19-02-20 10:08:00,

Chelsea Manning’s attorney has filed a new motion requesting her release from jail, where she has been for nearly a year for continuously refusing to testify before a grand jury against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Manning’s incarceration has “exceeded its lawful scope” by moving from being a coercive tactic to a criminal punishment, her lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen said in a motion requesting her release filed on Friday.

Manning was jailed in March of 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She has been held at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia since then and fined $1,000 a day for refusing to cooperate. Her fines now total $230,000.

In the new motion, Manning made clear that she still refuses to testify, since she does not believe in grand juries and claims they are used to “harass and disrupt political opponents and activists through secrecy, coercion, and jailing without trial.”

Also on rt.com
‘Doctors for Assange’ worry he may die in UK prison having ‘effectively been tortured to death’

Manning’s attorney says her client’s continued refusal to testify makes keeping her behind bars unlawful because “the only permissible purpose for sanctions under the civil contempt statute is to coerce a witness to comply with the subpoena.” Since Manning refuses to testify and cannot be coerced, Meltzer-Cohen argues there is no lawful reason to imprison her. 

Manning can be held for up to 18 months, or until the grand jury has concluded their work.

The legal motion includes a personality assessment from Dr. Sara Boyd, who argues that Manning is incapable of acting against her conscience, as well as a letter from UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, concluding that coercive confinement is “torture” and violates international law. 

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Bloomberg’s Rising Polls Show The Power Of Billionaire Narrative Control

bloomberg’s-rising-polls-show-the-power-of-billionaire-narrative-control

19-02-20 09:06:00,

Back in November Mike Bloomberg was polling at four percent nationally and had the highest disapproval rating of any potential Democratic presidential candidate, and understandably so; the man has a uniquely horrible record and no redeeming traits to speak of.

Now, after spending $400 million in broadcast, radio and cable ads, $42 million on Facebook ads, $36 million on Google ads, and an unknown fortune on other shady manipulations, a national Quinnipiac poll released last week put him at 15 percent nationally in the Democratic primary. This week national polls released by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist and Zogby put him at 19 and 20 percent, respectively.

You can argue against the validity of polls all you like, and surely none of them are pristine representations of public opinion. But there’s no denying that these numbers have gone way up, and there’s no denying that now, approvingly or not, everyone’s talking about Michael Bloomberg.

Late night talk show hosts are doing bits about the prevalence of Bloomberg ads. People are making satirical videos spoofing them. I’ve seen parents complaining that their kids recite lines from his ads at the dinner table. It’s a story in itself. It’s saturating social consciousness. It’s very much a thing.

🤑 MICHAEL BLOOMBERG BUYS ADS INSIDE HIS OWN ADS 🤑
(from @TheUNDERCULTURE) pic.twitter.com/H1dy5KxNz0

— James Adomian (@JAdomian) February 17, 2020

“Nothing remotely like what Mike Bloomberg is doing has ever been seen in US politics – nothing in the same universe,” journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted. “And the threat and danger it (and he) poses to US democracy is equally without comparison.”

Greenwald is of course correct. But while Bloomberg is doing something that is without precedent, his campaign is also highlighting problems with the system which have existed for ages. And in my opinion it would be an unfortunate waste if his campaign came and went without these problems getting more attention than they currently are.

Mike Bloomberg is not the first plutocrat to use his wealth to manipulate a US election,

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Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning Nominated for 2020 Nobel Peace Prize – Activist Post

edward-snowden,-julian-assange-and-chelsea-manning-nominated-for-2020-nobel-peace-prize-–-activist-post

18-02-20 10:59:00,

By Aaron Kesel

Two whistleblowers—Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden—were nominated alongside WikiLeaks journalist and former editor-in-chief Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2020 by 17 members of a German parliamentary group.

Żaklin Nastić (MdB) writes:

I am one of a total of 17 members of our parliamentary group who have nominated Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. These brave people should not be criminalized but should be recognized and honored. The war criminals and their henchmen must be held accountable.

We feel that Assange, Manning and Snowden have to be recognized for their ‘unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.’ With the unveiling of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global surveillance program of the US secret services, the three have ‘exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace’.

The full letter was published on the Courage Foundation’s website and reads:

Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,

We wish to nominate Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in honour of their unparalleled contributions to the pursuit of peace, and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.

The year 2020 began with Julian Assange arbitrarily detained and tortured, at risk of death according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and over 100 medical doctors, for revealing the extent of harm and illegality behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 2020 began with Chelsea Manning in her secound year of renewed imprisonment for resisting to testify to a Grand Jury empaneled against Wikileaks, after having also been imprisoned seven years previously and tortured, following her disclosures that were published by Julian Assange. 2020 began with Edward Snowden in his 7th year of asylum for revealing illegal mass surveillance, in defence of the liberties underpinning revelations such as those made by Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.

The Collateral Murder video, provided by Chelsea Manning in 2010 and published by Wikileaks, honoured the dignity of those slain needlessly in war. It gave names and identities to victims whose humanity had been kept from public view,

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Extradition Hearing – Defend WikiLeaks

extradition-hearing-–-defend-wikileaks

18-02-20 10:57:00,

Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing

The Courage Foundation’s daily coverage of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in London
Please send corrections to courage.contact@couragefound.org

Background:

Day 1

February 24, 2020

(text here)

Day 2

February 25, 2020

(text here)

 

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US Middle East “Peace Deal” Designed to Perpetuate Conflict | New Eastern Outlook

us-middle-east-“peace-deal”-designed-to-perpetuate-conflict-|-new-eastern-outlook

18-02-20 10:53:00,

A deal that is entirely unacceptable to one of its principal parties isn’t a deal at all. In the case of the US-proposed “Middle East peace plan” – unsurprisingly endorsed by the US and Israel and few others – everything about it is designed to sabotage peace and perpetuate conflict – perhaps even expand it.

The London Guardian in its article, “Palestinians cut ties with Israel and US after rejecting Trump peace plan,” would note what are obvious conditions Palestine could not and should not accept:

The blueprint, endorsed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that would exclude Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and remain under near-total Israeli security control.

Demilitarizing Palestine and subjecting it to occupation blatantly illegal under international law and what would undoubtedly be continued Israeli aggression, provocations, and encroachment is akin to unconditional surrender and subjugation – conditions no government could be expected to accept with Palestine being no exception.

An op-ed published by Al Jazeera titled, Trump’s Middle East plan may have a silver lining: Trump’s plan will not make the Palestinians’ lives better, but it could help dismantle the disastrous Oslo order,” would aptly describe the deal as:

Basically, Trump’s plan promises the Israelis an almost full realisation of the Zionist objectives to establish a Jewish state on all of historic Palestine, while offering the Palestinians “prosperous apartheid”, ie life under occupation with more money but no dignity and basic rights.

Of course, promises of money may or may not be fulfilled. A Palestine rendered defenseless and entirely dependent on ill-willed sponsors has no way to ensure such promises are fulfilled.

Thus the “peace plan” is yet another demonstration of Washington’s continued malign presence in the Middle East and its absolute disinterest in changing course. The Guardian would also note that several Arab allies of the US would side with Washington’s proposal, prioritizing joint belligerence toward Iran rather than solidarity with Palestine.

Helping ease Arab allies of Washington out of their pretend concern for Palestine will – Washington hopes – help them focus entirely on US plans to create a united front against Iran as US power and influence in the region slips.

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Who is WHO’s Tedros Adhanom? | New Eastern Outlook

who-is-who’s-tedros-adhanom?-|-new-eastern-outlook

18-02-20 08:37:00,

WHO342

On the surface it appeared that the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization has acted swiftly and seriously about the spreading coronavirus health emergency spreading across China. He has gone to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss the situation and on January 30, after his talks in Beijing and meetings with the WHO advisory body, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the coronavirus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).” What the WHO has really done and especially the remarks of the Director-General, give cause for concern that he is motivated by something other than world health.

There are still many open questions surrounding the outbreak of what is being called 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCov) that was first noted sometime in December in Wuhan city in central China. By about January 20 severe cases of respiratory disease were spreading at such a rate that Beijing took drastic measures including canceling major social events of the Chinese New Year celebrations and imposing a cordon sanitaire around Wuhan, a city of 11 million on January 23 in a desperate bid to contain whatever was spreading. The quarantine however was imposed after some 5 million residents had reportedly already left to visit relatives outside in the largest holiday in China.

On January 28 Tedros was in Beijing meeting with President Xi Jinping to discuss the situation.

By the time of Tedros’ January 30 declaration that the coronavirus situation in China warranted proclaiming a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),” a full week had passed since the Wuhan lockdown was declared. Such a public health lockdown had never in modern times been attempted. Indeed, on the day Wuhan was sealed off by the authorities, Gauden Galea, WHO China representative, told Reuters, “The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.”

By the time WHO head Tedros arrived however, the Director-General had nothing but praise for the extraordinary measures being taken by Beijing to contain and deal with the situation. Back in WHO Geneva headquarters Tedros announced that China is “setting a new standard” for outbreak response, he said. “It’s actually doing more than China is required to do,” he added.

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‘Doctors for Assange’ worry he may die in UK prison having ‘effectively been tortured to death’

‘doctors-for-assange’-worry-he-may-die-in-uk-prison-having-‘effectively-been-tortured-to-death’

18-02-20 12:28:00,

Over 100 doctors are urging the UK government to stop the “psychological torture” of Julian Assange, and send him to a hospital. It’s their fourth such letter since the journalist appeared in court.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may die in a UK prison, having “effectively been tortured to death,” claim Doctors for Assange, a group of 117 doctors from 18 countries, in a recent letter published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal.

The letter says that Assange requires urgent medical care, and has been exposed to “prolonged psychological torture”. The group once again asks for him to be moved to a university teaching hospital for medical assessment and treatment.

Also on rt.com
Australian senator calls on govt to bring Assange home as journalist faces ‘death’ if extradited to US

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson on the other hand has claimed that Assange’s health is improving and he is no longer being held in solitary confinement. Hrafnsson spoke to journalists ahead of next week’s court hearing on the US extradition request.

Assange’s health has been worrying his supporters for a while now.

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, visited Assange in prison in May 2019, and reported that the journalist showed “all the symptoms typical of prolonged exposure to psychological torture”.

By that point, Assange had spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London living in a converted office under constant surveillance, before being detained in Belmarsh maximum security prison. Soon after Melzer’s visit, the public saw Assange at his case management hearing on October 21, 2019. “Doctors for Assange” says that he appeared “pale, underweight, aged, and limping, and he had visibly struggled to recall basic information, focus on his thoughts, or articulate his words”. By the end of the proceedings, the journalist told the judge “he had not understood what had happened in court”.

Also on rt.com
WikiLeaks demands answers as Twitter account LOCKED ahead of Assange extradition hearing

The hearing was held to decide whether the US can state its case to extradite Assange to the US.

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JULIAN ASSANGE MUST BE FREED, NOT BETRAYED

18-02-20 11:17:00,

On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on 24 February, faces a court that will decide whether or not he is to be extradited to the United States and a living death.

I know Australia House well. As an Australian myself, I used to go there in my early days in London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by King George V over a century ago, its vastness of marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits, imported from Australia when Australian soldiers were dying in the slaughter of the First World War, have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of monumental servility.

As one of the oldest “diplomatic missions” in the United Kingdom, this relic of empire provides a pleasurable sinecure for Antipodean politicians:  a “mate” rewarded or a troublemaker exiled.

Known as  High Commissioner, the equivalent of an ambassador, the current beneficiary is George Brandis, who as Attorney General tried to water down Australia’s Race Discrimination Act and approved raids on whistleblowers who had revealed the truth about Australia’s  illegal spying on East Timor during negotiations for the carve-up of that impoverished country’s oil and gas.

This led to the prosecution of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and “Witness K”,  on bogus charges. Like Julian Assange, they are to be silenced in a Kafkaesque trial and put away.

Australia House is the ideal starting point for Saturday’s march.

“I confess,” wrote Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1898, “that countries are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.””

We Australians have been in the service of the Great Game for a very long time. Having devastated our Indigenous people in an invasion and a war of attrition that continues to this day, we have spilt blood for our imperial masters in China, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. No imperial adventure against those with whom we have no quarrel has escaped our dedication.

Deception has been a feature. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies sent Australian soldiers to Vietnam in the 1960s,

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EU Must Develop “Appetite For Power” In Trump Era, Urges Foreign Policy Chief

eu-must-develop-“appetite-for-power”-in-trump-era,-urges-foreign-policy-chief

18-02-20 08:07:00,

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has issued a hugely provocative statement, urging the bloc to “develop an appetite for power” to better chart its own independent course and navigate various crises especially with Trump in the White House.

“European Union governments need to be willing to intervene in international crises or risk prolonging paralysis in their foreign policy, the EU’s top diplomat said on Sunday,” Reuters reports. The EU’s foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell made the statements at the Munich Security Conference, while underscoring he doesn’t only mean military power. 

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, file image

The comments appeared tailored to the Trump era and the potential for another four years of him in the White House, which has witnessed the US administration tear up the Europe-backed Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), impose record tariffs on European goods, take drastic unilateral action on the question Israel-Palestine peace, pull out of the Paris climate accord, and ‘meddle’ in Europe’s energy affairs. 

“Europe has to develop an appetite for power,” Borrell stressed. “We should be able to act… not everyday making comments, expressing concern,” he told leaders, lawmakers and diplomats gathered for the annual forum on international security policy.

Borrell called for the bloc to speak powerfully with one voice, as opposed failing time and again on building consensus, in order to boost its “soft power” in the face of Trump’s “America First” policies. “When there is no unanimity (in the EU), the remaining majority have to act,” Borrell said. Borrell is former European parliament president and recently served as Spain’s foreign minister.

One immediate pressing EU foreign policy question which the continent has remain paralyzed on is coordinating to implement and monitor an arms embargo on Libya. Despite new recent commitments of EU members to uphold a United Nation arms ban, it’s lately been described as “a joke” due to Europe’s practical inability to implement it in the Mediterranean. 

“The arms embargo has become a joke, we all really need to step up here,” UN Deputy Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said this weekend in Munich. “It’s complicated because there are violations by land,

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The CIA and the Media – Global Research

the-cia-and-the-media-–-global-research

18-02-20 07:48:00,

After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.

***

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

  • The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence‑gathering employed by the CIA. Although the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalist‑operatives are still posted abroad.
  • Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950s and 1960s with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

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Hegelian Dialectic – The No. 1 Tool of the Illuminati -with examples

hegelian-dialectic-–-the-no.-1-tool-of-the-illuminati-with-examples

17-02-20 09:58:00,

A Little TRUTH profile image

Illuminati, Freemasons and other Secret Societies use the Hegelian Dialectic extensively

Illuminati, Freemasons and other Secret Societies use the Hegelian Dialectic extensively | Source

Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice | Source

Do you watch the news and tear your hair out trying to make sense out of it? Learn the “Hegelian Dialectic”, and you will see the News with a whole new level of understanding.

Since 9/11, the threat of terrorism is a constant news item. Now, at the airport, we choose between irradiation and sexual molestation (sometimes we get both) before we can get on the plane – thanks in part to the underwear bomber.

The swine flu and bird flu scares came and went only to leave people sick or permanently disabled from the vaccinations, which were almost mandatory.

The US is always dropping bombs on someone, somewhere, in an undeclared war. The recent victims are Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, and the victim of the longest war in US history – Afghanistan.

Why does “Global Warming” (oops, I mean “Climate Change – no now we’re calling it global warming again) make headline news for years, but the real dangers to the environment such as poisoning from chemtrails and holes in the ionosphere from HAARP never make the news?

We have the never-ending, never-progressing war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terror, war on cancer, war on drunk drivers, war on distracted drivers, and even the war on dogs not wearing seat belts in the car.

There are riots and bombings and schoolhouse/theater/church mass shootings here and there. Peaceful protests get infiltrated and then turn violent.

Why?

Why is all this happening when the vast majority of people don’t want any of it to happen. On the contrary, most people would go out of their way to hold a door open for an elderly lady using a walker.

Understand the Hegelian Dialectic and emerge from the mass media choke-hold.

Understand the Hegelian Dialectic and emerge from the mass media choke-hold. | Source

Well, if you understand the Hegelian Dialectic you will understand why these things happen. You will look at the news with a whole new level of understanding. But far, far better and more important than that,

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WHO Holds Secret Talks With Tech Giants To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus “Misinformation”

who-holds-secret-talks-with-tech-giants-to-stop-spread-of-coronavirus-“misinformation”

17-02-20 07:45:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The World Health Organization has held talks with tech giants to stop the spread of coronavirus “misinformation,” despite the fact that some things once labeled “misinformation” have since turned out to be true.

The meeting was organized by the WHO but hosted by Facebook at its Menlo Park campus in California. Attendees included representatives from Amazon, Twilio, Dropbox, Google, Verizon, Salesforce, Twitter, YouTube, Airbnb, Kinsa and Mapbox.

According to the WHO’s Andy Pattison, an “infodemic” of misinformation has accompanied the coronavirus outbreak and big tech giants need to respond by censoring “fake news” content.

Both Facebook and Twitter already announced that they would remove content deemed to be misinformation regarding the virus, a dangerous new lurch to mass censorship given that what is considered “misinformation” is totally subjective and beholden to partisan bias.

Two clear examples of “misinformation” surrounding the coronavirus subsequently turned out to be true.

Once again, the media defamed anyone who even talked about the bio-lab in Wuhan as a fake news conspiracy theorist.

Now biological scientists from the prestigious South China University of Technology have concluded that coronavirus came from a bio-lab in Wuhan.

Retractions? pic.twitter.com/59jA1CCqzl

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 17, 2020

The first example was claims that China was hiding the true number of coronavirus victims, once labeled a “conspiracy theory” by the media but subsequently proven accurate on Friday when 14,800 new coronavirus cases were reported in a single day.

The second example was suspicions that the virus could have emerged from a bio-safety level 4 research lab in Wuhan.

This contention has been aggressively attacked by the media and big tech giants – Zero Hedge was even banned by Twitter for reporting it – but a new study by scientists at the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou has confirmed that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Chinese dissidents and others have been defamed and in some cases imprisoned by authorities, but the media continues to treat any questioning of the official Chinese Communist Party narrative with disdain.

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The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed”

the-death-of-free-speech:-zuckerberg-asks-governments-for-instructions-on-“what-discourse-should-be-allowed”

17-02-20 07:19:00,

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West.

Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of FranceGermany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.

Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that:

“There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically – take political advertising as an example – what discourse should be allowed?”

He did add:

“Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?”

The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.

As tragically demonstrated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, speech regulations inevitably expand with time. The desire to silence one’s critics becomes insatiable for both governments and individuals.

Zuckerberg is facing great pressure, including from Democratic leaders in the United States, to regulate political speech and he seems to be moving away from the bright-line position against such regulation as a principle:

“There are a lot of decisions in these areas that are really just balances between different social values. It’s about coming up with an answer that society feels is legitimate and that they can get behind and understand that you drew the line here on the balance of free expression and safety. It’s not just that there’s one right answer. People need to feel like, ‘OK, enough people weighed in, and that’s why the answer should be this, and we can get behind that.’”

Instead,

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EU nations bicker over Libya arms embargo fearing warships would encourage migrants to cross Mediterranean & FLOOD Europe

eu-nations-bicker-over-libya-arms-embargo-fearing-warships-would-encourage-migrants-to-cross-mediterranean-&-flood-europe

17-02-20 07:18:00,

Brussels has failed to revive an EU-led naval mission to uphold the arms embargo on Libya, with some dissenting voices in the bloc arguing that the ships’ presence would attract migrants setting out from African shores.

EU foreign ministers are unlikely to support the return of Operation Sophia – a maritime mission in the Mediterranean launched in 2015 to enforce the embargo – during a meeting on Monday, Europe’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged.

Also on rt.com
UN deputy envoy to Libya at Munich conference: Ceasefire hangs by thread & arms embargo is a ‘joke’

“I don’t think today we are going to be able [to reach an agreement],” Borrell said, expressing hope that disagreements could instead be resolved by the next meeting in March.

Multiple countries had “some final reluctance,” he explained, without going into details. While Borrell said the situation on the ground in Libya “is very, very bad,” humanitarian considerations don’t seem to play a big part in the EU’s rationale.

Ahead of Monday’s talks, Borrell’s office distributed a memo urging EU nations to agree on the naval mission. The document warned that if the 27 members fail to reach agreement, “the EU will become irrelevant and others will continue to determine the development of events in Libya.”

However, not every EU nation shared that kind of geopolitical thinking. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg insisted that “something new has to be put in place; a military operation, not a humanitarian operation.”

Also on rt.com
EU declares migrant crisis over, but what do Europeans think? (VIDEO)

Later, he told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that bringing Operation Sophia back on track would mean EU warships having to rescue illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching European shores.

Austria supports increased aerial surveillance and even the deployment of EU border guards – but it still believes that a naval mission won’t help to keep the embargo in place. “At a meeting in Vienna a few days ago, my Libyan counterpart confirmed to me that a maritime mission is unsuitable for controlling the arms embargo,”

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US openly paves way for INF-banned missiles to be placed in Europe & Asia – Lavrov

us-openly-paves-way-for-inf-banned-missiles-to-be-placed-in-europe-&-asia-–-lavrov

17-02-20 06:23:00,

Just out of a milestone nuclear missile accord, the US is about to deploy short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe and Asia, prompting Moscow to engage France and other partners to preserve security on the continent.

“In order to agree on specific solutions, we need multilateral talks and multilateral consultations involving, of course, the United States, who destroyed the treaty,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

This pact saw Washington and Moscow eliminate entire classes of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers capable of carrying nukes back in the 1980s.

Now, they are actively creating the prerequisites for the deployment of these previously banned weapons in Europe, and indeed in Asia, they don’t hide it.

Japan, South Korea and some “Pacific islands” are the likeliest locations for these deployments, Lavrov noted.

Meanwhile, the minister, who unexpectedly met with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo at the Munich Security Conference, said he felt “certain shifts” in how the US approaches arms control now.

“We discussed a number of issues relating to the whole range of problems that are on the agenda of our strategic dialogue, including those that are within the competence of the five permanent members [of the UN Security Council], and those relating to arms control issues,” he revealed.

READ MORE: Russia is ready to extend New START arms control treaty & negotiate on new weapons, yet US ignores the offers – Lavrov

Lavrov and Pompeo have agreed “to continue pointed professional conversation on it.” But until US-Russia relations thaw, Moscow will reach out to other partners in Europe concerned about the fate of the INF.

“Of course, we will talk about this with the French,” the foreign minister added. France seems to be particularly responsive to Russia’s concerns. This month, President Emmanuel Macron insisted the Europeans cannot sit idle as they “could rapidly face a new race for conventional weapons, even nuclear weapons, on their own soil.”

Also on rt.com
Macron warns that European nations ‘cannot remain spectators’ in the face of a potential nuclear arms race

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Chinese Banks Are Quarantining Cash, Destroying ‘Dirty’ Money

chinese-banks-are-quarantining-cash,-destroying-‘dirty’-money

17-02-20 05:48:00,

Authored by Mitchell Blatt via NationalInterest.org,

China’s widespread quarantine policy thanks to the coronavirus had been expanded from the city of Wuhan to a dozen other cities in Hubei province, to community quarantines for people returning from holiday, and now even inanimate objects must be quarantined. Paper currency, that is.

People’s Bank of China representatives said at a press conference on February 15 that currency deposited at banks must be disinfected with ultraviolet light and then held for a week or longer before being released back into the wilds of the economy. The Chinese central bank will provide new bills worth 600 billion yuan to banks. (Some of the currency will be destroyed.)

Those who work closely with cash are keenly aware of how filthy money is.

“When I’m at work, I realize cash is the dirtiest thing in the world,” Wang Zeyaun, a bank teller in Hangzhou, says.

It’s true. A 2002 study of American $1 bills found bacteria on over 90 percent, and a Swiss study found that the flu virus can survive from between a few days and two weeks on francs. (Metal coins are not as dirty as fabric bills.) Richard W. Rahn, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, hopes that paper currency will disappear.

In China, it is already on its way to extinction. According to eMarketer, a NYC-based online commerce research firm, China leads the world by far in mobile payment with 81 percent adoption by its smartphone users in 2020. Measured as a proportion of total population, China also leads the world, with 35 percent in 2019, according to Statista Digital Market Outlook.

Those who do not use smart phones, or, if they do, are less likely to use advanced features, are disproportionately the elderly. The elderly are also more likely to have compromised immune systems and less likely to survive serious illness. So many news articles in Chinese media point to their use of cash as an important reason to clean currency. During the Spring Festival period, the elders also customarily give cash in red packets to young children,

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The Terrorists Migrating Into Europe

the-terrorists-migrating-into-europe

17-02-20 05:40:00,

Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,

A new report,What Terrorist Migration Over European Borders Can Teach About American Border Security“, by Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, describes the extent to which terrorists disguised as migrants have entered the European Union to commit terrorist attacks.

Although the study was written primarily for an American audience to prevent the same mistakes from being made on US borders, the study is extremely relevant for the European public — especially as Germany recently warned of a repeat migration crisis, similar to the one that occurred in 2015. According to Bensman:

“Between 2014 and 2017, 13 of the 26 member states lining the so-called Schengen Area’s external land borders recorded more than 2.5 million detections of illegal border-crossings along several land and sea routes, an historic, mostly unfettered surge that came to be known as the ‘migrant crisis’. The Schengen Area, which generally encompasses the European Union, consists of countries that combined immigration enforcement of a common external border of 27,000 sea miles and 5,500 land miles while removing all interior border controls to facilitate the free movement of goods and people.

“During the 2014-2018 migrant crisis, the majority of travelers who crossed the external border and were then able to move unfettered between member nations came from nations in the Middle East, such as Syria and Iraq; South Asia, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan; and Africa, such as Somalia and Eritrea. It first became known that some ISIS terrorist operatives also were in the flows after some of them committed the November 2015 Paris attacks… and then the March 2016 Brussels attacks”.

According to Bensman “The totality of how migration and terrorism intertwined as a destructive force against Europe, and the continent’s response, remains largely unacknowledged, undocumented, and not analyzed“.

Nor does it get much — if any — prolonged attention in European public debates about migration.

According to Bensman:

“Between January 2014 and January 2018, at least 104 Islamist extremists entered Europe by way of migration over external sea and land borders among more than two million people who crossed external European Union borders.

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense Submitted Historic Case Against U.S. Government for Children Injured by Wireless Technology Radiation – Global Research

robert-f-kennedy,-jr’s-children’s-health-defense-submitted-historic-case-against-us.-government-for-children-injured-by-wireless-technology-radiation-–-global-research

17-02-20 05:31:00,

CHD Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., will lead the legal team with seasoned telecommunications and administrative law attorney Scott McCollough.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) is leading a historic legal action against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for its refusal to review their 25 year old guidelines, and to promulgate scientific, human evidence-based radio frequency emissions (“RF”) rules that adequately protect public health from wireless technology radiation. The Petition contends the agency’s actions are capricious and not evidence-based. The Petition was filed on 2/2/2020 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Petitioners include parents of children injured by wireless devices, a mother whose son died from a brain tumor from cell tower exposure, physicians who see the epidemic of sickness in their clinics and Professor David Carpenter, a renowned scientist.

“This action represents the first time in 25 years that we finally can expose the FCC fecklessness in court, and give those who have been injured by the FCC’s disregard for human health a voice,” says Dafna Tachover, CHD’s Director of Stop 5G & Wireless Harms.

In 1996, the FCC, responsible for regulating the safety of wireless technology, adopted guidelines which only protect consumers from thermal levels of wireless harm, ignoring substantial evidence of profound harms from non-thermal levels. The FCC hasn’t reviewed its guidelines since, despite clear scientific evidence and growing rates of RF related sickness.

In 2012, the General Accountability Office published a report recommending that the FCC re-assess its guidelines. As a result, in 2013, the FCC opened docket 13-84 asking for public comment. Despite overwhelming evidence in support of new rules submitted by hundreds of individuals and scientists, the FCC did nothing. On December 4, 2019, the FCC closed the docket and affirmed the adequacy of its guidelines without proper assessment. CHD’s action challenges that FCC decision.

The FCC’s obsolete guidelines and the false sense of safety they provide enabled the uncontrolled proliferation of wireless technology and the ongoing deployment of 5G, which will exponentially increase exposure to this harmful radiation.

CHD is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the epidemic of children’s chronic health conditions.

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Queen Elizabeth won’t get involved in Julian Assange case because it’s a POLITICAL matter – Buckingham Palace

queen-elizabeth-won’t-get-involved-in-julian-assange-case-because-it’s-a-political-matter-–-buckingham-palace

16-02-20 08:26:00,

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has said the Queen will not intervene to release Julian Assange, vowing to remain “non-political.” The statement seemingly confirms that Assange’s detention is a political, not criminal, matter.

With WikiLeaks founder Assange holed up in HM Prison Belmarsh awaiting extradition to the US, activist Chris Lonsdale penned a letter to Queen Elizabeth II last month, asking the monarch to “ensure that Mr. Julian Assange is freed from Belmarsh Prison unconditionally,” in the spirit of “justice, peace and fair-mindedness.”

In a reply posted by Lonsdale on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Queen said that Her Majesty “remains strictly non-political at all times,” and Assange’s detention is therefore “not a matter in which the Queen would intervene.”

I have received a reply back from Buckingham Palace following my letter & petition to the Queen in support of #JulianAssange some weeks ago. The response says, basically, that the Queen cannot intervene in issues which are Political. This should be used in court. pic.twitter.com/GJVRiAXcTV

— Chris Lonsdale⏳ (@kungfu_mandarin) February 16, 2020

Assange’s supporters have long argued that his arrest and imprisonment are motivated by politics, not justice. Assange has languished in Belmarsh since his arrest inside London’s Ecuadorian embassy last April, ostensibly on charges of skipping bail in 2012. He is also facing extradition to the US to answer to a litany of espionage charges, related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified US military documents detailing potential war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, he faces 175 years in prison.

Buckingham Palace’s response seemingly admits that Assange is being persecuted on political grounds. 

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Assange’s health has been in steady decline since his incarceration. Following a visit to Assange in May, UN rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer declared that the former WikiLeaks boss showed “all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture.”

Melzer added that Assange could be “exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights… including torture and other cruel,

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Zero-emission champion Tesla allowed to keep building Europe’s 1st Gigafactory by… sweeping out woods near Berlin

zero-emission-champion-tesla-allowed-to-keep-building-europe’s-1st-gigafactory-by…-sweeping-out-woods-near-berlin

15-02-20 10:22:00,

While Elon Musk advances his sustainability agenda, his ‘environmentally-friendly’ venture Tesla wages – and wins – a legal battle with locals who oppose leveling a pine forest to erect the company’s giant factory. 

Defying protests among locals and an appeal by environmentalist groups, a local court gave the green light to Elon Musk’s Gigafactory 4 construction in the middle of a serene forest in the Gruenheide municipality – a place that ironically has the word ‘Green’ in its name if translated from German.


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The ruling in favor of Tesla sank a lawsuit by two local environmentalist groups claiming that chopping trees occupying almost 92 hectares (227 acres) would lead to deforestation and an exodus of wildlife. Explaining the verdict, the court said the government’s environment agency didn’t find any reason to stop the factory construction.

Musk repeatedly insisted that electric cars are the future of fossil-fuel free transportation, once telling the public that Tesla’s “fundamental good” is advancing “the advent of sustainable transport and energy production.”

But leveling woods in Gruenheide for the sake of a green future didn’t sit particularly well with locals. Last month, almost 200 people staged a protest, demanding that the construction plans be reversed. Their main concern was that making room for the Gigafactory would turn the idyllic neighborhood into a roaring, dirty industrial zone.

Others welcomed the news, meaning more jobs for the local youth – and also top-notch technology coming into the area. German environmentalists, on their part, say the factory could create problems with drinking water supply and waste water disposal.

Called Giga Berlin, or Gigafactory 4, it is poised to become the carmaker’s first plant in Europe. A number of European countries – including Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania – competed to host it, but Germany was selected, according to Musk, because of its engineering prowess.

The plant will assemble Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, also manufacturing batteries, powertrains, seats and battery packs, effectively becoming a full-cycle enterprise. Now, Giga Berlin is expected to go online in 2021, with the aim of producing 150,000 cars per year.

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The Biometric Threat

the-biometric-threat

15-02-20 06:37:00,

Authored by Jayati Ghosh via Project Syndicate,

Around the world, governments are succumbing to the allure of biometric identification systems. To some extent, this may be inevitable, given the burden of demands and expectations placed on modern states. But no one should underestimate the risks these technologies pose.

Biometric identification systems use individuals’ unique intrinsic physical characteristics – fingerprints or handprints, facial patterns, voices, irises, vein maps, or even brain waves – to verify their identity. Governments have applied the technology to verify passports and visas, identify and track security threats, and, more recently, to ensure that public benefits are correctly distributed.

Private companies, too, have embraced biometric identification systems. Smartphones use fingerprints and facial recognition to determine when to “unlock.” Rather than entering different passwords for different services – including financial services – users simply place their finger on a button on their phone or gaze into its camera lens.

It is certainly convenient. And, at first glance, it might seem more secure: someone might be able to find out your password, but how could they replicate your essential biological features?

But, as with so many other convenient technologies, we tend to underestimate the risks associated with biometric identification systems. India has learned about them the hard way, as it has expanded its scheme to issue residents a “unique identification number,” or Aadhaar, linked to their biometrics.

Originally, the Aadhaar program’s primary goal was to manage government benefits and eliminate “ghost beneficiaries” of public subsidies. But it has now been expanded to many spheres: everything from opening a bank account to enrolling children in school to gaining admission to a hospital now requires an Aadhaar. More than 90% of India’s population has enrolled in the program.

But serious vulnerabilities have emerged. Biometric verification may seem like the ultimate tech solution, but human error creates significant risks, especially when data-collection procedures are not adequately established or implemented. In India, the government wanted to enroll a lot of people quickly in the Aadhaar program, so data collection was outsourced to small service providers with mobile machines.

If a fingerprint or iris scan is even slightly tilted or otherwise wrongly positioned, it may not match future verification scans.

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Chaos Is Coming: US To Start Testing People With Flu Symptoms

chaos-is-coming:-us-to-start-testing-people-with-flu-symptoms

15-02-20 06:34:00,

Brace for chaos: in a few weeks, the next person to sneeze may be arrested quietly pulled aside by the authorities and tested for coronavirus.

People in the US experiencing flu-like symptoms will be screened for the latest coronavirus that originated from China, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced during a briefing on Friday, adding that it will roll out 5 labs, in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, to screen patients through the ominously sounding “national flu surveillance program”; if that wasn’t bad enough, they also said the program is likely to expand as more confirmed cases are expected in the coming days and weeks.

Justifying the move, CDC officials said that there could be undetected cases of the mysterious illness in communities across the US, as the country experiences a dramatic spike in flu as the season approaches its halfway point.

The agency plans to expand to more cities until it has achieved “national surveillance”.

“They are currently testing for influenza. The idea is they will test the influenza negative specimens,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. There are now 15 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and more than 600 people remain in quarantine.

Which, of course is a prudent move, if only it weren’t for the fact that tens of millions of Americans are about to get sick as we enter the peak of flu season, and every sneeze or cough will lead to panicked phone calls to the local ER (or police), and potentially in self-imposed quarantine as more and more Americans await an “all clear” signal before life returns back to normal. Alas, with the coronavirus pandemic running rampang in China, this may not happen for many month.

Global cases of the virus have topped 64,000, including hundreds of health workers in China as it battles to contain the virus following its outbreak in Wuhan. In the US, there have been 15th confirmed coronavirus infections while more than 1,300 people have died in China (it would have been even more had China not somehow “double-counted” the dead).

The latest case in the US involves a patient who was among a group of people under a federal quarantine order in Texas following a US government-chartered flight that evacuated US citizens from China earlier this month.

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