In Feature Articles

LONG READ

A very long and extremely comprehensive news filter with stories from across the world, covering the period until the end of April, compiled by Roger Annis.

By Roger Annis

Published on the author’s blog, A socialist in Canada, Apr 29, 2019
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Julian Assange arrested by British police after Ecuador scraps his asylum protection in London embassy, RT, Apr 11, 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has spent the last seven years after Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno withdrew asylum. The arrest comes one day after WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson claimed that an extensive spying operation was conducted against Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. During an explosive media conference, Hrafnsson alleged that the operation was designed to get Assange extradited…

…In 2016, a UN expert panel ruled that [Assange’s refuge in the Ecuador embassy] amounted to arbitrary detention by the British authorities. London nevertheless refused to revoke his arrest warrant for skipping bail. Sweden dropped the investigation against Assange in 2017, although Swedish prosecutors indicated it may be resumed if Assange “makes himself available.”

…The US government has been tight-lipped on whether Assange would face indictment over the dissemination of classified material. In November 2018, the existence of a secret indictment targeting Assange was seemingly unintentionally confirmed in a US court filing for an unrelated case…

Related:
* Assange has been arrested ‘in relation to a US extradition request’, Julian Assange’s lawyer affirms, RT, Apr 11, 2019
* ‘Dark moment for press freedom’: Edward Snowden leads global chorus in condemning arrest of Julian Assange, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, Apr 11, 2019
* Assange is a scapegoat, distraction for scandal-ridden Ecuadorian government, by Pablo Vivanco, RT, Apr 11, 2019
* In Ecuador, former president Rafael Correa’s legacy resurges in regional elections, by Denis Rogatyuk, Green Left Weekly, Apr 4, 2019

View: Interview with Julian Assange discussing what the Democratic Party internal emails released by Wikileaks in 2016 showed, 24-minute interview-broadcast by RT

Governing right-wing populists in [NATO member] Poland pick a new top enemy: Gay people, by Marc Santora, New York Times, Apr 7, 2019 … Poland’s governing party, Law and Justice, has seized on the declaration and the issue of gay rights in its campaigning for European Union elections in May and for national elections this fall. Where the party once attacked migrants as a threat to the soul of the country, gay people have become its public enemy No. 1 in recent weeks…

Related: The gay enemy in the culture war by the government of Poland, by Marek Strzelecki and Dorota Bartyzel, Bloomberg News, Mar 18, 2019 [The Bloomberg writer can’t resist a swipe against Russia with this sentence: “Dipping into the playbook of another sworn adversary [of Poland], Russian President Vladimir Putin, the message from the ruling Law & Justice party is that the advancement of gay rights is a ‘grave danger’ for families.” The Bloomberg writer also cites favorably the anti-Russia, pro-NATO fanatic and writer Timothy Snyder.]

Boeing shares plunge over downgrade due to 737 Max production delays, RT, Monday, Apr 8, 2019 U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s shares tumbled more than four percent on Monday after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock. The bank said that troubles with Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 jets are worse than expected…

U.S. imposes fresh sanctions against Venezuela as rival marches held across the country on April 6, by Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis, Apr 8, 2019 The U.S. Treasury Department imposed a new round of sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil industry on April 5. The measures identified 34 vessels owned by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA as “blocked property” in a bid to further tighten the screws on Venezuela’s oil sector. In addition, two companies and a vessel responsible for delivering Venezuelan crude to Cuba were sanctioned. Havana receives around 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan oil as part of wide ranging bilateral treaties which include the presence of over 20,000 healthcare workers in Venezuela…

Related:
* New power outage in Venezuela as oil output plummets, by Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis, Apr 10, 2019
* U.S. has caused billions of dollars in damage to Venezuela since 2013, Russian envoy tells UN Security Council, RT, Apr 10, 2019
* Iranian airline commences direct flights to Venezuela amid US sanctions, Press TV, Apr 8, 2019 Iran’s second largest airline, Mahan Air, has launched direct flights to the Venezuelan capital Caracas, marking a further strengthening of bilateral ties as the US tightens sanctions screws on both countries.

On The Grayzone Project, journalist Aaron Mate analyzes Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff doubling down on Russiagate conspiracy, broadcast on The Grayzone Project YouTube channel, Apr 10, 2019 (ten-minute broadcast)

Related:
* Following Mueller investigation dud, TIME magazine shifts theme with new anti-Russia crusade featuring ’empire of rogue states’ theme, by Danielle Ryan, columnist, RT, Apr 8, 2019
* Unaccountable media faced with dilemma in next phase of deep state-gate, by Ray McGovern, special to Consortium News, Apr 10, 2019Readers of The Washington Post on April 8 were treated to more of the same from editorial page chief Fred Hiatt. Hiatt, who won his spurs by promoting misleading “intelligence” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and suffered no consequences, is at it again. This time, he is trying to adjust to the fading prospect of a Deus ex [‘god from a machine’] Mueller to lessen Hiatt’s disgrace for being among the most shameless in promoting the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. But he is not giving up. When you are confident you will not lose your job so long as you adhere to the agenda of the growing Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT if you will), you need not worry about being a vanguard for the corporate media…

[Ray McGovern pens here in Consortium News a Republican Party-friendly analysis in which he fails to describe how the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy in the U.S. featured not only the lies and propaganda of the anti-Russia Democrats, corporate media and left-wing fellow travellers but also the theatrics of the Trump Republicans. Since the 2016 election, Donald Trump and his Republican Party have staged a multi-front escalation of the new cold war against Russia and China. The rising threats against Russia and China are bipartisan–Republicans and Democrats alike. The threats are also being waged by all of the U.S.’ military allies. They are one big, happy family. Many critics of the new cold war offensive, such as McGovern, downplay or outright ignore how the Trump regime is leading the charge side by side with the Democrats.]

A new nuclear arms race as NATO marks its 70th anniversary, interview with Joe Cirincione (president of Ploughshares Fund), broadcast on Democracy Now!, Apr 8, 2019 (13-minute interview, with transcript) [Are all nuclear powers equally responsible for the historical failure to abolish nuclear weapons abolition and, most recently, for the new escalation of a nuclear arms race? Alas, this otherwise informative interview on Democracy Now! fails to probe that question. History shows who it is that brought the scourge of nuclear weapons into the world, who has used them, and who refuses to countenance their abolition. Hello: the culprit is called ‘the United States’.]

Boeing’s 737 Max: 1960s design, 1990s computing power and paper manuals, by Jack Nicas and Julie Creswell, New York Times, Apr 8, 2019

Polls show French reject results of Macron’s ‘National Debate’, video news report on Press TV, Apr 10, 2019

U.S. designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as terrorist organization, RT, Apr 8, 2019

Related: Iran’s foreign minister recommends designating U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as ‘terrorist organization’ in reciprocal move, RT, Apr 8, 2019 (and see report on Iran’s Press TV, April 8, 2019) After Washington put Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on its terrorists list, the Iranian Foreign Ministry asked President Hassan Rouhani to designate the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization…

The origins of Venezuela’s economic crisis, analysis by Gregory Wilpert, broadcast on The Real News Network, Apr 2, 2019 (12-minute broadcast)

Related:
* Venezuela and Russia work on schemes to break U.S. blockade, report by Telesur, Apr 4, 2019
* Venezuela defies sanctions, oil exports stable in March, report by Telesur, April 3, 2019

Tips for a post-Mueller media from nine Russiagate skeptics, by Katie Halper, Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting, April 5, 2019 Russiagate skeptics share what they saw as the worst moments or biggest failings during the 22-month spree, and their tips for moving forward

The psychology of getting Julian Assange, part five: War propaganda 101, by Dr Lissa Johnson, The New Matilda, Mar 25, 2019 (see the first four parts of the series at the weblink)

To ramp up fear of Russia in Africa, New York Times downplays massive U.S. military presence on continent, by Adam Johnson, Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting, April 4, 2019 …According to documents obtained by The Intercept’s Nick Turse (12/1/18), the U.S. currently has 34 military bases in Africa; Russia has zero…

The economic balance sheet of Turkey’s local elections, by Mustafa Sonmez, Al-Monitor, Apr 5, 2019

Related:
* Turkey’s governing AK Party loses Ankara, Istanbul as opposition springs to life, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, April 1, 2019 Turkey’s ruling party lost big in the municipal elections. The main opposition party CHP [moderate] took Ankara and Istanbul, which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its Islamist forerunners had controlled for the past 25 years. …In Istanbul, where the AKP lost by a razor-thin margin, “[Kurdish supporters of the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP)] voted for the CHP en masse,” said Behlul Ozkan, an associate professor of political science at Istanbul’s Marmara University who observed the polls. Kurds are believed to account for as much as 11 per cent of the vote in Istanbul, which is often called the world’s largest Kurdish city. They voted strategically in keeping with instructions from the HDP, which struck an informal alliance with the CHP in provinces outside its strongholds in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast… [The HDP won the mayoral vote in the city of Diyarbakir (pop 930,000) in southeast Turkey with 63 per cent. The party won eight provincial assemblies in the east of the country. Total results here on Wikipedia.] * Turkey’s local elections mark a rebuke for Erdogan’s one-man rule, by staff, Al-Monitor, March 31, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard is a sheepdog; The Green Party’s Howie Hawkins is the only real peace candidate in 2020 U.S. election, by Bruce A. Dixon, managing editor, Black Agenda Report, Apr 4, 2019

Related: Remembering the speech by Martin Luther King on April 4, 1967 condemning imperialism and the American War in Vietnam, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist, Black Agenda Report, Apr 3, 2019

British soldiers using image of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for shooting practice, RT, April 3, 2019 (see also: ‘Not just inappropriate, it’s fascistic’: Outrage over UK soldiers using Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for target practice, by Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams, April 3, 2019)

Why Britain should apologise to India for the crimes of colonialism, by Shashi Tharoor, published in RT‘s ‘Op-Ed’ page, April 3, 2019 (Shashi Tharoor is the author of the 2017 book Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India)

Iranian president calls U.S. blocking of aid to flood victims in Iran an ‘unprecedented crime’, Press TV, April 3, 2019

Russiagate hysteria lives on: Election meddling sanctions bill has its day in the U.S. Senate, RT, Apr 3, 2019

Related: New York Magazine’s ‘collusion’ pusher Jonathan Chait doubles down on Russiagate conspiracy theory following Mueller report dud, RT, April 3, 2019

Muellergate and the discreet lies of the bourgeoisie, by Craig Murray, published on his website, April 1, 2019

…There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

…Luke Harding [The Guardian] has become so malleable a tool of the security services it is impossible to believe he is not willingly being used. It would be embarrassing to have written a bestseller called Collusion, the entire premise for which has now been disproven, had Harding not made so much money out of it.

…A Google ‘news search’ restricts results to mainstream media outlets. Such a search for the term ‘Russiagate’ brings 230,000 results… If, by contrast, you do a Google ‘news search’ for the term ‘Integrity Initiative’–the UK government’s covert multi million pound programme to pay senior mainstream media journalists to pump out anti-Russian propaganda worldwide–you only get one eighth of the results you get for ‘Russiagate’…

Days of silence and mistrust following the crash of Lion Air’s Boeing Max aircraft in October 2018, by Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, April 1, 2019 …Interviews with government officials, aviation experts and company executives portray an environment in which Lion Air, Boeing, subcontractors, investigators and regulators erected walls to sharing information that seemed designed more for self-preservation than finding the truth about a crash that claimed 189 lives.

New Zealand minimum wage rises to $17.70, en route to $20 in 2021, TV New Zealand, April 1, 2019 … E tū union president Muriel Tunoho says although many [workers] will benefit from the increase, she’s encouraging employers to pay the living wage of $20.55 an hour [upgraded to $21.15 per hour on April 2, 2019] in order to make a real difference…

 

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