2020-09-16: News Headlines

Alan MacLeod (2020-09-16). "A Disgrace": Amnesty International Blocked From Monitoring Trial of Julian Assange. thealtworld.com Amnesty International's Europe Director described the hearings against Assange as an "assault on the right to freedom of expression" that would have a "chilling effect on media freedom." | MPN— The high profile extradition hearing of publisher and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange continued in Central London today. But it did so without oversight from international human rights groups. Julia Hall, an expert on criminal justice and human rights for Amnesty International,

Dr. Binoy Kampmark (2020-09-16). Assange's Sixth Day at the Old Bailey: US Prison Conditions and Politicised Prosecutions. globalresearch.ca September 15. Central Criminal Court, London. Today, witnesses appearing in the extradition trial of Julian Assange fleshed out some points touched upon the previous day: the fate awaiting the WikiLeaks publisher in the US prison system, and the political nature …

_____ (2020-09-16). Day Nine: Julian Assange Extradition Hearing. popularresistance.org Things became not merely dramatic in the Assange courtroom today, but spiteful and nasty. There were two real issues, the evidence and the procedure. On the evidence, there were stark details of the dreadful regime Assange will face in US jails if extradited. On the procedure, we saw behaviour from the prosecution QC that went well beyond normal cross examination and was a real attempt to denigrate and even humiliate the witness. I hope to prove that to you by a straightforward exposition of what happened today in court, after which I shall add further comment.

Anish R M (2020-09-16). Assange will not get a fair trial in US, says Pentagon Papers publisher in testimony. peoplesdispatch.org In the recent set of testimonies, Assange's defense team dismantled the prosecution's argument that Assange caused any harm by publishing classified names…

Binoy Kampmark (2020-09-16). Assange on Trial: Supermax Prisons and Special Administrative Measures. counterpunch.org DAY FIVE Having had a coronavirus scare towards the end of last week, necessitating a brief suspension of proceedings for September 11, the extradition proceedings for Julian Assange resumed with Eric Lewis. The chairman of the board of Reprieve, who has cut his teeth on representing Afghan detainees in US custody and those in Guantánamo,

_____ (2020-09-16). Democrats Ignore U.S. Military's Refutation of 'Russian Bounties' Story. strategic-culture.org Caitlin JOHNSTONE | NBC News Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program. | "It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, comm…

_____ (2020-09-16). Assange Would Not Have Fair US Trial, Witness Tells Old Bailey. popularresistance.org Julian Assange's extradition hearing resumed yesterday morning after a coronavirus test for a member of the prosecution's legal team came back negative. | Mark Summers QC, one of Assange's lawyers, asked District Judge Vanessa Baraitser to give a direction mandating the use of masks for the remainder of the hearing. She responded that government guidance on wearing masks in public places in the Old Bailey "does not include the well of the court," before saying, "those that wish to wear masks in the well of the court are welcome to do so" but "there is no obligation to do so, and I make no direction."

Noam Chomsky (2020-09-16). Chomsky, Walker and Ellsberg Defend Julian Assange. zcomm.org Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, and Daniel Ellsberg oppose the extradition of Julian Assange to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act…

yenisafak (2020-09-16). Maduro security forces committed crimes against humanity: UN. yenisafak.com Venezuelan security forces and allied groups have committed systematic human rights violations including killings and torture amounting to crimes against humanity, U.N. investigators said on Wednesday.Reasonable grounds existed to believe that President Nicolas Maduro and his interior and defence ministers ordered or contributed to the crimes documented in the report in order to silence opposition, they said.Most unlawful executions by state agents have not been prosecuted in Venezuela, where the rule of law and democratic institutions have broken down, they added.The U.N. fact-finding mission said other national…

WSWS (2020-09-16). Nurse alleges forced sterilizations, medical malpractice at Georgia immigrant detention center. wsws.org The chilling report provides further evidence of the sadistic abuse meted out by the Trump administration in its fascistic war on immigrants.

Walter Smolarek (2020-09-16). Police murder of Daniel Prude: Document release causes new scandal. liberationnews.org A new wave of outrage is sweeping Rochester, N.Y. following the release of internal government documents related to the police murder of Daniel Prude, a 41 year-old Black man who had traveled to the city to visit his brother. The documents detail how city authorities conspired to cover up the facts surrounding his death. Prude …

A Guest Author (2020-09-16). Growing old in prison after COVID-19. workers.org By Major Tillery Major Tillery is an innocent man who has spent 35 years in prison because gross prosecutorial and judicial misconduct led to his fraudulent conviction for murder in 1985. He has spent 20 years in solitary confinement. Major has become an advocate for prisoners' rights against the injustice . . . |

Binoy Kampmark (2020-09-15). Assange's Fifth Day at the Old Bailey: Supermax Prisons and Special Administrative Measures. dissidentvoice.org Having had a coronavirus scare towards the end of last week, necessitating a brief suspension of proceedings for September 11, the extradition proceedings for Julian Assange resumed with Eric Lewis. The chairman of the board of Reprieve, who has cut his teeth on representing Afghan detainees in US custody and those in Guantánamo, has not …

Craig Murray (2020-09-15). Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 9. globalresearch.ca Things became not merely dramatic in the Assange courtroom today, but spiteful and nasty. There were two real issues, the evidence and the procedure. On the evidence, there were stark details of the dreadful regime Assange will face in US …

_____ (2020-09-15). Day Five: Julian Assange Case. popularresistance.org Paused last week due to a COVID19 scare, Julian Assange's extradition hearing resumed today with witness testimony from Eric Lewis, chairman of the board of Reprieve and a lawyer who "represents Guantanamo and Afghan detainees in litigation, seeking redress and accountability for torture and religious abuse while in US custody." | Lewis confirmed that before being asked to provide expert testimony on this case, he opined in the press that he believes Assange shouldn't be extradited or prosecuted, and while he handled the facts objectively in providing his witness statement, those are still his views today.

Gareth Porter (2020-09-15). Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative. globalresearch.ca A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016. | *** | A September 1

Paul Krehbiel (2020-09-15). It's crunchtime: Rolling up our sleeves to beat Trump. peoplesworld.org We are in an unprecedented moment in our country's history. Will we move toward a more right-wing authoritarian fascist state, or will we defeat this threat? What we do between now and November 3 will answer that question. Miles Taylor, former Republican chief of staff of Homeland Security under Trump, described a meeting with a …

a guest author (2020-09-15). In Buffalo, N.Y., Black Lives Matter protest cop brutality. workers.org On Sept. 4, hundreds of protesters took to the streets and gathered outside the district police station in North Buffalo in the busy Hertel Avenue shopping area. The demonstrators demanded the firing of over a dozen cops with histories of police brutality and called for their salaries of almost $1.5 . . . |

RT (2020-09-15). First they came for RT: US now wants Qatar's AJ+ to register as FOREIGN AGENT. rt.com AJ+, Al Jazeera's online channel, has been told to register as a foreign agent by the US government, under a precedent set against RT and Chinese outlets in recent years. The Qatar-based outlet is blaming UAE lobbyists. | "Despite assertions of editorial independence and freedom of expression, Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates are controlled and funded by the Government of Qatar," Jay Bratt, head of the counterintelligence and export control at the Department of Justice, wrote in a letter sent to Al Jazeera on Monday, according to Mother Jones magazine. | That means AJ+ is required to register as an…

teleSUR (2020-09-15). Colombia: 58 Officers Under Investigation for Police Brutality. telesurenglish.net Colombia's authorities Monday announced that 58 police officers are under investigation for allegedly shooting protesters during the anti-police brutality demonstrations that have shaken Bogota over the past week. | RELATED: | After the analysis of at least 50 videos, 58 officers were identified as having abusive behavior during the protests that followed lawyer Javier Ordoñez's murder. | The uniformed officers "accepted…

WSWS (2020-09-15). Exposure of Trump's lies on COVID-19 implicates Spain's Podemos party. wsws.org Though it had access to intelligence briefings on the deadly danger posed by the pandemic, Podemos adopted a criminally negligent policy.

Murtaza Hussain (2020-09-15). Railroad Industry Group Passed Intel on Environmental Journalist to Cops. zcomm.org By distributing private intelligence reports to federal "fusion centers," industries can influence how law enforcement views threats…

Ahmed AbdulKareem (2020-09-14). Israel and the UAE Hope to Turn Yemen's Remote Islands into an Intel Gathering Hub. globalresearch.ca Often a flashpoint for tensions between international rivals and a major chokepoint for much of the world's maritime transit, the waters surrounding Yemen have become a much-vaunted prize for regional intelligence services. | *** | In the wake of the recent

_____ (2020-09-14). Trump's War On Journalism Takes Center Stage. popularresistance.org In the last half-century, journalists James Bamford, Ben Bradlee, Seymour Hersh, and Neil Sheehan were each threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act. But the U.S. government never followed through with Espionage Act charges against a journalist until 2019, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and charged. | Trevor Timm, the executive director for the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), told a magistrate court judge, "[President Donald] Trump's administration is moving to explicitly criminalize national security journalism, and if this prosecution is allowed to go forward, dozens of rep…

Peoples Dispatch (2020-09-14). Day 5 of Assange trial: Wikileaks' publication of Afghan War Logs was basis for ICC case. peoplesdispatch.org Today's witness presented by the defense, Eric Lewis, tried to impress upon the fact that once Assange could be subjected to arbitrary detention methods and highlighted the tremendous contributions of Wikileaks in advancing an ICC investigation of the US…

sputniknews (2020-09-14). The Cause of Julian Assange Is the Cause of Freedom — Free Assange Now. sputniknews.com Julian Assange is a victim of torture, grotesque character assassination, and shameful judicial procedures that amount to vengeful persecution, not a fair and proportional prosecution.

RT (2020-09-14). Assange extradition hearing adjourned after videolink failure, court fails to explain cause of problems. rt.com Hot on the heels of a coronavirus scare, Julian Assange's extradition hearing was postponed on Monday following a farcical videolink failure which meant the court could not hear the testimony of a prominent witness. | The court was hearing from witness Eric Lewis, an experienced US lawyer, when out of the blue it was interrupted by a Fox News video about WikiLeaks. The source of the unexpected interruption was never revealed and the court went into recess in a bid to resolve the technical difficulties. | Lewis was expected to give evidence that Assange would face a "flagrant denial of justice" if put on trial…

WSWS (2020-09-14). Australian government, Labor opposition silent on sadistic British show-trial of Julian Assange. wsws.org The Australian political and media establishment has largely responded to the vicious attacks on Assange's legal and democratic rights by pretending that they are not occurring.

_____ (2020-09-14). Unipolar Spin: Why Imperial Leftists Vilify Russia's Social Democracy. strategic-culture.org A lie told a thousand times becomes the truth. In reading countless articles from the Atlantic Council press outlets (NYT, WaPo, VICE News, et al), we take for granted that modern Russia is a right-wing regime controlled by an authoritarian personality bent on total domination. As a result, the debate then gets framed on why or whether its right for leftists to attack it as such, since this is used to further justify collective punishment (sanctions) against a whole people. | What escapes us is why creating propaganda that will result in collective punishment is in any way the business of self-declared leftists i…

WSWS (2020-09-14). COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia migrant detention center caused by repression of anti-police brutality protesters. wsws.org The outbreak at the Farmville detention center demonstrates the capitalist class's disdain for democratic rights and the lives of the entire population.

Walter Smolarek (2020-09-14). After 19 years of US occupation, Taliban-Afghan government talks underway. liberationnews.org Direct negotiations between representatives of the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban began today in Qatar with the goal of reaching a political settlement ending the war between the two sides. The negotiating teams are led by top officials — the Afghan government side led by intelligence head Masoom Stanikzai, and the Taliban delegation led …

Laura Flanders (2020-09-14). Resisting Authoritarianism One Co-Op at a Time. counterpunch.org A popularly-elected republic overturned by a reactionary armed revolt—there are myriad reasons why the painful history of the Spanish Civil War might pop into one's head at this particular moment. For one thing, that conflict reminds us just how fast dictatorship can kill democracy. Backed by Hitler and Mussolini, General Francisco Franco seized power in

sputniknews (2020-09-13). Edward Snowden Criticizes Amazon For Hiring Former Director of US National Security Agency. sputniknews.com In 2013, the former NSA contractor leaked a cache of top secret US intelligence documents revealing a massive surveillance campaign of Americans. Among other things, the documents revealed that the intelligence agency illegally accessed information on millions of people in the US and across the world, even snooping on world leaders.

Peoples Dispatch (2020-09-13). Trial Week 1: Witnesses state Assange did nothing illegal. peoplesdispatch.org In the first week of Julian Assange's extradition trial in London, witnesses sought to bring out the political nature of the prosecution against Assange, despite the prosecution's attempt to make it appear otherwise. They also pointed out the opaque nature of the Wikileaks indictment in the United States, with evidence against Assange yet to be shared to the public, and the threat the case poses to press freedoms.

_____ (2020-09-13). US Demands Hinder Spanish Probe Into Security Firm That Spied On Assange. popularresistance.org There will be no judicial cooperation forthcoming from the United States unless a Spanish judge reveals his information sources in an investigation into alleged espionage against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. | Judge José de la Mata of Spain's High Court (Audiencia Nacional) has sent a request for judicial cooperation to US authorities as part of his probe into a Spanish private security company named UC Global S.L. and its owner David Morales, on allegations that this firm secretly recorded Assange's private meetings with lawyers, politicians, relatives…

Kevin Gosztola (2020-09-13). Trump's 'War on Journalism' Takes Center Stage at Julian Assange's Extradition Hearing. globalresearch.ca In the last half-century, journalists James Bamford, Ben Bradlee, Seymour Hersh, and Neil Sheehan were each threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act. But the U.S. government never followed through with Espionage Act charges against a journalist until 2019, when …

David Price (2020-09-13). The CIA Book Publishing Operations. counterpunch.org One of the alternative press's most significant scoops of the 1960s was Sol Stern's February 1967 Ramparts magazine's exposé revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had long secretly funded and controlled the National Student Association (NSA). The story was significant because it revealed the NSA was a CIA front, but its greater significance came with the many derivative investigative journalistic pieces published in the months that followed.

Zoe PC (2020-09-13). "The number one demand on the streets of Colombia is for justice" peoplesdispatch.org Massive protests have broken out in Colombia following the torture and murder of Javier Ordóñez by the police. Nicolás Arias of Colombia Informa talks about what led to this outburst, the demands being raised and the structural violence of the state…

teleSUR (2020-09-13). Social Leaders Honor Victims of Police Brutality in Colombia. telesurenglish.net Colombia's social leaders and activists Saturday paid tribute to the people who were killed in the latest demonstrations in Colombia against police brutality. | RELATED: | The protests arose last week to reject the murder of lawyer Javier Ordoñez by police officers in Bogota. In the demonstrations, at least 13 people were killed, over 400 people were injured, and dozens were detained. | Saturday afternoon, dozens of people gathered at th…

teleSUR, ce (2020-09-13). Thirteen Killed in Colombia's Protests: Their Names. telesurenglish.net While Bogotá continues to be the scene of protests, 13 families mourn the killings of their youth and there are many reports of people who have been missing for more than 24 hours. | RELATED: | Demonstrations in and around Colombia's capital continue to leave victims, most by bulletwound. | For three consecutive nights, citizens have taken to the streets to express outrage at police brutality and the systemic viola…

Sasha Abramsky (2020-09-13). Is Trump Planning a Coup d'État? zcomm.org Many observers—including Republicans—worry that he is. They're organizing now to stop him. Given the administration's record of embracing "numerous corrupt and authoritarian practices," huge numbers of Americans must be ready to take to the streets…

Mehr News Agency (2020-09-13). Iran has largest artificial intelligence companies in region. en.mehrnews.com TEHRAN, Sep. 13 (MNA) — Iran's Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari said that Iran has the largest knowledge-based companies in the field of artificial intelligence in the region.

yenisafak (2020-09-13). Afghans see hope on horizon as peace talks commence. yenisafak.com The launch of the direct talks for peace in Afghanistan has left many in this conflict-riddled nation caught between curiosity and cautious optimism.Extraordinarily vigilant security was what many Afghans in the bustling capital of Kabul noticed as they began their work week Saturday. Thursdays and Fridays are weekends in Afghanistan.The day talks began, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani chaired a meeting of the Security High Command with the army and intelligence chiefs and other key officials. "Serious attention should be paid for the security of highways," he said, according to a statement by his office.

yenisafak (2020-09-13). UAE's Bin Zayed AI university, Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science sign MOU. yenisafak.com The United Arab Emirates' Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have signed a memorandum of understanding "to work together across a range of fields," the UAE's WAM news agency reported on Sunday.The accord is the first of its kind to be signed between two higher education institutes from the UAE and Israel, it added. "The aim is to advance the development and use of artificial intelligence as a tool for progress," it said.

yenisafak (2020-09-13). Australia defends intelligence raids as spat with China escalates. yenisafak.com Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday defended the government's right to intelligence raids to prevent foreign interference, after China condemned searches on the homes of its journalists working in Australia.Dutton declined to directly confirm that the Chinese journalists were questioned by Australia's intelligence agency in June, saying an investigation was still underway, but said there was some "activity" by the country's intelligence agency."Where (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) has sufficient grounds for the execution of a search warrant, or for activities otherwise, t…