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Assange voluntarily goes to British court on extradition

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 8th, 2010 - 49 comments
Categories: australian politics, interweb, Media, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

Now that the Swedish prosecutors have finally given the British police a document that they can work with, Assange turned himself in, and has gone before a British court on the extradition request from Sweden. The court has remanded him without bail. I have already commented on exactly what I think of the charges – politically motivated (probably after pressure from the US), unlikely to be sustained, and making an arse of Swedish law.

There is a article in The Australian by Julian Assange this morning that is worth reading. He quite rightly points out that the other publishers of the leaked information, The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais, and Der Spiegel have not been targeted by the USA using its extra-legal means in trying to punish them for publishing leaked information. He also has unkind words about Australian prime minister Gillard, which is hardly surprising bearing in mind her gaffe a few days ago equating the publishing of leaked information with the illegal act of actually leaking the information.

One claim that Assange makes is that

Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

If this is substantiated then it could go a long way to explaining the political interference in resurrecting the ‘unrelated’ charges against him. I won’t bother going into some of the links between at least one of the complainants against Assange in the Swedish case and both the Swedish military and the alleged CIA backed anti-cuban fronts. But I’d anticipate a ripe field for conspiracy theorists.

The hysterical over reaction by US politicians reminds me of the similar political over reactions by the muslim world on Salman Rushdies book. It appears that rather than look at the issue of trying to maintain secrecy in a wired world, which is going to be steadily less possible over the coming decades, they’d prefer to just attack the messenger.  Their ostensible rationale is that publishing such raw information is likely to cost lives. To date on previous leaks from WikiLeaks, by the US’s own admissions, this has not proved to be the case. As Assange points out

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn’t find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

Of course if you want to look at hysterics in America, you don’t have to go past the fools at Fox ‘News’. When you read through all of their blustering which looks increasingly like publicity statements for the ravings of Sarah Palin, you find that they only point to two consequences of the current round of leaks via WikiLeaks. That there are some US diplomats will have to be moved and the sources to those diplomats are becoming less free in what they are telling them. The latter is hardly surprising. For instance, a prominent German political staffer has resigned because amongst other things he’d been telling US diplomats about the proceedings of closed coalition meetings while forming a new government in Germany. I’d say that he shouldn’t have been reporting those sensitive talks to a foreign government. Now that has been exposed he is facing the consequences of the risk that he took.

But what is becoming quite clear is that US politicians across the political divides are frustrated with the limitations of rulings on freedom of the press and the first amendment. They have been taking extra-legal action against the publishers. For instance Joe Leiberman has been actively involved in pressuring organisations like Amazon and other suppliers of services to the Internet to drop services to WikiLeaks. This is less worrying than his recent call to trump up some charges against the New York Times for publishing parts of the leaked information.

In this context it becomes quite ironic that there was an announcement by the US State Department “The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011 in Washington, D.C.“. As Joe Lieberman and his other fellow McCarthyism cronies attempt to shut down the freedom on the press in the US, they will follow the great traditions of Stalin and pretend that it never happened.

Like many, I am skeptical about what WikiLeaks is attempting to achieve as it is difficult to see how negotiation can operate completely in the open. But that is a subject for dialogue and the rules of law across international boundaries, very little of which has happened.

However the rogue elements in the US political system and elsewhere have made this a direct attack on the freedom of the net. As a consequence these terrorists need to be treated as the obstructions that they are to the dialogue of the net. WikiLeaks gets my support.

I couldn’t get the unanimity required for us to set up a WikiLeaks mirror server. However I’d note that in the 500 odd mirror sites set up in the 3 days (as of 2am yesterday) there are two .nz sites.

49 comments on “Assange voluntarily goes to British court on extradition”

  1. ianmac 1

    The British lawyer for Assange said this morning that so far they have no information on the specifics of the charges against him and welcome the Court ruling that next week there will be a proper hearing so that the judge and Assange can find out! The Brit prosecutors said that he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”

    I imagine if one was negotiating to gain an engagement to be married, the details of that negotiation being made public would be unhelpful, especially if she said No!

    • lprent 1.1

      One of the issues that didn’t show up in the news reports is that the swedish request to Interpol (the red notice) specified that Assange should be held incommunicado including specifically from his lawyers. I haven’t seen if the judge enforced that requirement because (to say the least) it sounds very unusual and more like a political arrest by secret police than a normal remand.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      “The Brit prosecutors said that he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”
      I have not heard that, which is a pity… all the Beeb has been saying all day (night for them) is that he Assange has been ‘denied bail, because he is a flight risk and has many rich supporters who could help him escape’. WTF?
      Deb

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        I heard that this morning on Morning Report but cannot remember the timing of the item as there were several between 7 and 9. Was from one of the Brit lawyers for Assange. I haven’t seen it in print sorry.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”

    Hmmmm that’s no way to refer to the US Government!

    Wikileaks is pretty screwed now. Not only have paypal cut him off, but the Swiss have closed his bank account and confiscated all his money, and wikileaks has lost its domain name which means it is far harder for ordinary surfers to find now.

    The “Bourne Identity” has nothing on real life. Watch and learn peeps, watch and learn.

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=20337

    Now the DNS Company, the web listing organization which provided Wikileaks with the right to use the domain name “wikileaks.org”, has terminated its affiliation with the site. That means that attempts to reach the site by domain name no longer succeed.

    The site also lost another hosting service — EveryDNS.net — and has jumped to a mix of Swiss and French hosting at the present. But France’s government is already moving to ban the site from its nations servers.

    I hope Assange has robust contingency plans in place, for his site and for himself.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Hmmmm that’s no way to refer to the US Government!

      If the shoe fits…

      Sounds more and more like the governments working to de-power everyone else.

  3. john 3

    The Arrest of Julian Assange
    Truth in Chains

    Reminds me of the arrest of Jesus by the powerbrokers of the day: The Jewish priesthood and their Roman allies. The Swedish thing could well have been a Venus Fly Trap sprung on him. Shame on Sweden and the United States of War Crimes!
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/

    Refer link:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27021.htm

    • john 3.1

      “And so Julian Assange is now being hounded — perhaps to his eventual death — not for revealing war crimes and atrocities, but for showing us a glimpse of our leaders as they really are: stupid, vain, petty and savage.”

      Chris Floyd

    • john 3.2

      Re: Venus Fly Trap
      ” It’s a complete fit up. The original prosecuter dismissed the allegations. Suddenly one in Gothenberg decided to take up the case. Both women pursued Assange, slept with him and spent the next day with him perfectly amicably. The trouble only seems to have started when they found out about each other. Then 6 days later they filed their allegations TOGETHER????? Sound like rape? Don’t think so.

      And don’t forget this happened days after the Iraq/Afghan leaks which infuriated the yanks.”

      • john 3.2.1

        One of the accusers of Julian Assanger has CIA connections: As I thought a sticky beak trap, shame on Sweden.Now he’s accused of sex by surprise not rape for god’s sake what a farce and stitch up.How can you have sex by surprise when chemistry must happen first?:Ludicrous!!!

        Refer link

        http://www.countercurrents.org/edward071210.htm

        • john 3.2.1.1

          ” Assage, you should have used a condom. You can’t scew a CIA operative and get away clean, my boy!”

    • john 3.3

      View this video John Pilger perhaps the greatest truth teller, on par with Chomsky, defends Julian Assange. Refer link:

      http://maxkeiser.com/2010/12/07/john-pilger-slams-the-lies-about-war-calls-on-australians-to-defend-julian-assange/

  4. freedom 4

    http://wikileaks.ch/
    still works

    i liked how the judge said that he had “substantial grounds” to believe that the 39-year-old would disappear and not attend any further legal hearings.

    who would do the dissapearing is the question?

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    I disagree with wikileaks choosing to publish a list of critical infrastructure targets crucial to the US. No justification for it IMO – looks like wikileaks is being pushed into a desperate corner and is not staying cool. Not good for anyone.

    Pollies and officials doing underhanded deals and then telling the public fairy tales – fine, that needs to be exposed. But this is not needed and wikileaks has hurt its own credibility now.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      There is nothing particulalry surprising in that list.

      If I were a terrorist I could think of any number of targets, most would not be on that list, because terrorists don’t go after those sort of targets. Any government inclined to go after those sorts of targets would already know what they want to hit.

      The point of that cable was that the host governments, and by extension the citizens of those host nations, were not to be let in on the fact that the US deemed certain things in their territory to be vital to the US.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Ah yes I see. Clever move by wikileaks then, to let govts around the world know that wikileaks can help them.

        Interesting the intense media spin and how I was caught out by it momentarily. Scary stuff.

  6. A 6

    [Deleted at A’s request — r0b]

  7. A 7

    The mask is falling at pace.

    edit: The press release for World Press Freedom Day reads:

    “The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”

    Ha ha.

  8. joe90 8

    He’s in custody now and I hope I’m wrong but I reckon he’ll be the 21st centuries Rudolf Hess.

  9. lprent 9

    My weekends post on Marianne Ny is suddenly getting a lot of traffic. This morning there was nothing, but now it has suddenly gotten 1400 odd international page views and a lot of twitter links.

    I’ve been watching googles realtime feed on wikileaks and there is a lot of interesting info flowing by (much of it repetitious).

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    daily mash sez:

    “Sir Paul dismissed claims that the arrest was political but admitted international warrants were controversial and that it would have been more efficient to use the British system of pretending Mr Assange is a Brazilian electrician.

    Meanwhile governments across the world were celebrating Mr Assange’s arrest and imminent escape, stressing that history proves if you focus all your efforts on stopping one man then the thing you don’t like will just go away”

  11. A Nonny Moose 11

    Disappointed LPrent. Others around the blogosphere have expressed this sentiment, but I’ll reiterate it again: it is possible that a guy who has done good things for democracy is also a rapist, AND the charges are being made politically expedient.

    I will not tolerate people the “Good Guy (TM)” defence as rape apology. If he is innocent of the charges, let justice discover that.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      “If he is innocent of the charges, let justice discover that.”
      Do you really think “justice” has a snowball’s chance? Whatever he is, he’s not a rapist – as someone said on the Ny thread – at most, a selfish lover.
      Deb

    • lprent 11.2

      I’ll reiterate for your benefit.

      The charges are not for rape in any legal sense. That particular charge was put up by the prosecutor and thrown out in favor of a much lesser charge in September by an appeal court in Sweden.

      The worst charge is a strange one of “sex by surprise” which carries maximum penalty of USD700 odd and no jail time. My question is why was this very low charge deemed to be worthy of a Interpol red notice that is used for the worst offenses – which always carry at least some jail time.

      I’m very disappointed in you not actually reading the post. My evidence for this is that you do not appear to know the actual charges and their penalties. If you’d read the post then you’d know that.

      • ianmac 11.2.1

        Well said Iprent!

      • john 11.2.2

        Some further comments from the British public:

        It is obviously the case that the British legal authorities are being lent upon by the United States and that the plan is to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden, who have probably already agreed at a political level to extradite him to America, where he will face political charges totally unconnected to the the alleged sexual offence that he is currently being held under. Once in the United States he can expect to receive the same level of justice and treatment that Alexandr Solzhenitsyn received in the Soviet Union.
        How amusing that the supposedly free judiciary in two Western countries is being so openly manipulated by political forces over what is essentially an issue of press freedom. Assange’s case in Sweden is about a condom breaking during sex, hardly the stuff of international arrest warrants and refusal of bail. I am shocked that Sweden has allowed itself to be mused in this manner. So much for the moral high ground that the West claims to have when dealing with the rest of the world. First it was the War on Terror that allowed governments to stamp on human rights and torture at will. Now it’s the War on the Press.Is this the end of free conversation? Lord help us all.

        ———————————
        Could this really be any more transparent?

        He is accused of a sexual crime, where, guess what, the victims, essentially the accusers, have anonymity. How convenient. So they can accept whatever money the USA is giving them and nobody will ever be any the wiser.

        Oh, you think that’s too far fetched? America is a country whose idea of interrogation during the Vietnam war was to throw Vietcong soldiers out of helicopters to encourage the others to talk.

        That crowd over the other side of the Atlantic, and I daresay this one here too, will do absolutely whatever they need to to keep in power with all the benefits that brings.

        For those of you in the UK, remember that we knew nothing of the milking of taxpayers by MPs in their expenses claims until the details were leaked.

        Julian Assange and the whole Wikileaks organisation are heroes.

        ———————————

        Compare Assange’s treatment to that of Agusto Pinochet.

        Pinochet was only wanted by Spain for the murder of some of it’s citizens, not important enought for a British judge to remand him though.

        As for the flight risk, Assange had assurances from three leading Brtitish people and hadn’t tried to run anyway, but Pinochet who was guaranteed to run and only had help to pull off his ‘flight’ from the UK with the aid of the British home secretary with the entire home office and foreign and commonwealth office to make sure it went smoothly for him.

        The last time I remember being even remotely proud to be British was during the Pinochet arrest warrant saga. Only because we had detained him and it looked like it was air tight that he’d be sent to Spain, as usual the pride turned to shame soon enough, today it’s simply turned to a mixture of dispair and disgust.
        ———————————
        The story appears to proceed as follows: Miss A, having invited Assange to speak to a leftwing campaign group in the town of Enkoping, suggested he stay in her flat, although the two had not met. Both agree that they slept together on the night before the event, during which the condom split.

        The following day, the woman attended and helped facilitate the event, at which Miss W was also present. According to her police interview, Miss W accompanied the Australian and some male guests to lunch at which he flirted with her; afterwards the pair went to the cinema, where she told police she had performed oral sex on him. They slept together that night, using a condom, and again the following morning, when both parties appear to agree that a condom was not used, after which Assange left.

        This is what the rape allegation is about. Not sex with an unconscious woman, not anything any sane person would refer to as rape.

        You’re going to post on here that this is worth an Interpol red alert? That this is worth extradition? That this is the same as any other western European country?

        Take the bullshit back to your CIA paymasters .

      • A Nonny Moose 11.2.3

        I read your post, and your subsequent comments and you are a) factually incorrect b) using common rape apologist myths. I have also read a lot of other articles about this issue around the internet, but I hesitate to post them because you’d probably throw out accusations of “hysterical woman” at me.

        If you are incapable of looking beyond victim blaming and common rape myths into the layers of this mess, you may come across as a bit more than an enemy of women, especially women arguing rape. As I said, the charges have been made politically expedient, and it’s disappointing that a woman’s rights issue which has been argued for generations is being made politically expedient when it suits men to make a point.

        Just how important does rape have to be for it to be a “real” problem? If one women does not matter to you, how many raped women do? How many women have to be raped by one man before he’s brought to justice.

        Rape vicitms are not numbers. They are real people who deserve justice.

        But carry on the bullshit apologist bingo, because we know how very very hard it is for “nice guys ™” to see one of their own taken down. In fighting for him (Assange) you are fighting for the good name of good men every where, right? And nice guys don’t rape, right?

        • RedLogix 11.2.3.1

          The charges bought by the Swedish prosecutor are not rape, they are something quite different.

          So why do you keep calling them that?

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    DoJ seems to have realised that bringing charges under the Espionage Act could be more trouble than it would be worth, starts fishing in other Acts…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/world/08leak.html?hp

    …while the inde has some unnamed ‘diplomatic sources’ saying that the US is talking to Sweden re extradition…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-could-face-espionage-trial-in-us-2154107.html

    I dunno how much weight to give that though. I’m leaning toward ‘not much’.

  13. Bill 13

    “I am skeptical about what WikiLeaks is attempting to achieve as it is difficult to see how negotiation can operate completely in the open”

    It’s not about negotiations per se though. It’s about governments telling their populace lies and cloaking everything in veils of secrecy so that they can engage in illegal behaviours.

    If the US is in negotiations with x, y or z, then that’s fine. And all wikileaks would be releasing would be a fairly straight forward historical record of those negotiations.

    But if the US is supplying arms to x, y or z and denying that’s the case, then that’s another matter. And if the US is engaging in illegal activities, all the while denying that’s the case, then that is also another matter.

  14. Me 14

    Does anyone know how the media and public and politicians in Sweden are reacting to all of this?

  15. john 15

    Assange Case: Evidence Destroyed Over And Over Again
    By Göran Rudling
    This article by a Swede shows convincing evidence as to Assange’s innocence.
    Refer link:

    http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm

    • john 15.1

      Very good 12 minute audio interview with John Pilger who offered $32000 as surety if Assange was given bail.

      “Mr Pilger goes further, describing the case against Mr Assange as a ‘political stunt’, noting, “the chief prosecutor in Sweden abandoned this case, threw it away, saw no worth in it.”
      He mentions the case was only resurrected at the instigation of a right wing politician.

      http://www.zcommunications.org/support-for-julian-assange-by-john-pilger

  16. john 16

    WikiLeaks founder jailed in London on bogus charges
    By Patrick Martin

    US officials applauded the arrest and noted that Washington has had an extradition treaty with Sweden for the past 50 years, a signal that once in Swedish custody Assange would face the danger of being shipped off to an American detention facility like Guantanamo Bay or a CIA “black site” prison.

    Such comments underscore the basic political reality in the Assange case: the WikiLeaks leader has been targeted, not because of his private conduct in Sweden, but in retaliation for the devastating worldwide impact of the WikiLeaks exposures of US military atrocities and diplomatic skullduggery.Refer link:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/assa-d08.shtml

    American establishment clown,but very well paid clown, Jon Stewart makes fun of Wikileaks

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/stew-d07.shtml

  17. LizR 17

    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

    PS I trust the inference doesn’t need to be spelled out!

  18. Craig Ranapia 18

    LPrent: Thanks for displaying your utter ignorance of Swedish law and standard practice. Also particularly charming seeing an allegedly “progressive”blog let stand a string of comments trashing two complainants who’ve alleged that Julian Assange did sexually assault then in Sweeden, as defined under the progressive woman-friendly laws you denegrate as an “ass”. Disturbingly similar to the character assassination dealt out to Louise Nicholas by the Kiwibog sewer.

    A good day’s work, mate. Buy yourself a drink,

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Thanks for displaying your utter ignorance of Swedish law and standard practice.

      Ah, you’ve got me wondering now how many Interpol high alerts Sweden has sent out for similar charges in the last 12 months? I’d be interested in whether or not this is indeed standard practice.

      IMO nothing about this ‘feels’ like it is standard practice – but then I am not a Swedish trained lawyer.

    • lprent 18.2

      The question in the post was why Interpol received and acted on a request for a red notice on what appears to be a minor charge under Swedish law. I guess that you didn’t read the post… Too much work? Or was it that you might have to think?

      But if you want to get hung up on instinctive ideological bigotry and don’t want to look at that question – then that is your problem.

      However I notice you did not bother to bring any further information to the discussion. At a guess that is because you don’t have any? That IMHO is your trope. Being good at sarcastic bullshit but without having the ability to contribute any substance to a debate. Of course it goes with your other trope, that of being critical but incapable of working on solutions.

  19. LizR 19

    After seeing governments reacting to these leaks in ways that could well do them more damage than the leaks themselves, I am now wondering whether Stieg Larsson really died of natural causes…

  20. john 20

    Good link discussing the current Arrest of Assange as part of a much bigger picture
    http://www.counterpunch.org/walberg12082010.html

    Julian Quixote
    The trumped-up cases involve consensual relations, one an obvious “honey trap” by a CIA plant and the other a spurned Lewinsky-like groupie.

    Assange is nothing short of a legend after a year of leaks, especially an April video taken from a US helicopter in Iraq in 2007 showing GIs shooting at least 12 innocent Iraqis like rabbits.

    The 39-year-old Assange is an Australian citizen, though his Prime Minister Julia Gillard has threatened to cancel his passport.

    There is no doubt that Gillard, the Swedish prosecutor, PayPal, etc are all being pressured by the US government to help snuff out this ray of light exposing its many crimes. Only French Internet service provider OVH said it had no plans to end the service it provides to Wikileaks, and a judge threw out Industry Minister Eric Besson’s case to force it to.

    • ianmac 20.1

      I think that Gillard has retracted some of her rhetoric in the face of public disapproval. Heard that on National Radio today Thursday, but not sure what time.

      • lprent 20.1.1

        Yeah, has been showing up in the media all of yesterday. Rapid change from wikileaks being ‘illegal’ to her being uncomfortable. Rudd as FM asking questions about how the US leaked the info.

  21. john 21

    An open letter to Gillard to respect and protect Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen :refer link:
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46371

    Open letter to Julia Gillard re: Julian Assange
    Dear Prime Minister,

    We note with concern the increasingly violent rhetoric directed towards Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

    “We should treat Mr Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him,” writes conservative columnist Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times.

    William Kristol, former chief of staff to vice president Dan Quayle, asks, “Why can’t we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?”

    “Why isn’t Julian Assange dead?” writes the prominent US pundit Jonah Goldberg.

    “The CIA should have already killed Julian Assange,” says John Hawkins on the Right Wing News site.

    Sarah Palin, a likely presidential candidate, compares Assange to an Al Qaeda leader; Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator and potential presidential contender, accuses Assange of “terrorism”.

    And so on and so forth.

    • john 21.1

      More comments from round the World on this situation!

      Is there a precedent in Swedish law for prosecuting someone for having sex without a condom? If so the girls should be charged also, since they obviously consented and then changed their minds, and if this is the standard for rape in Sweden, then half the world are rapists, There is definitely skulduggery going on here. I wonder how the Swedes feel about their taxes being spent in this way? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

      It seems that Zweden has gone totally bonkers. How can a man be accused for rape for the simple fact of having unprotected sex?? In most European countries rape is a very serious allegation but is seems not in Zweden. It seems that any woman who has regret about sex ‘the day after’ can file allegations for rape. This has nothing to do with justice!

      SASHA NZ wrote:
      Shame on you Sweden for this witch hunt and Travesty of Justice on a man who´s only crime was to print the truth. SHAME SHAME SHAME.

      So what is rape in your stupid country a condom breaks and that´s rape you´ve lost Your minds. He has sex with the other girl Without a condom and that´s rape your all nuts. Both woman agreed to it. Consenual means consent. So woman in your country know what there doing but when sex is involved there all of a sudden stupid and victims? Preposterous I´ll never visit.

      Wow, what an embarrassment for Sweden. So much for the UK being the USA´s number 1 lapdog. Sweden is rapidly taking that job as its own

      It is being reported in the American press that one of the women has a brother who is employed in Swedish Intelligence and has connections with the CIA. Furthermore it is alleged that she worked as an intern for Swedish Intelligence and later worked with an anti-Cuban CIA front group. This does not bode well for the integrity of the charges she has made.

      Do you Swedes have any idea how embarrassing this is for your country. These women are viewed as pawns in a dirty political game your government is playing at the behest of the United Corporations of America.

      My point of view is Assange doesn’t look strong enough to rape any woman, If you like he comes across as wimpish.Personally I am sure these able and capable women could easily have told him where to get off, but they didn’t! and only complained later,that can’t be right to my mind!

  22. john 22

    Swedish State revealed as willing participants in the criminal rendition of suspects for torturous interrogation by the USA. Will Assange suffer a similar fate?

    London – The founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks will fight charges of sexual offences, with his lawyer saying Sunday that the
    accusations are a “political stunt” being orchestrated by officials in Sweden, possibly at the behest of Washington.

    “It doesn’t escape my attention that Sweden was one of those lickspittle states which used its resources and its facilities for rendition flights,” the lawyer, Mark Stephens, told BBC television.

    He was referring to the rendition of terrorism suspects who were flown to other countries where they were tortured.

    Stephen says the charges against Assange were dropped in September, but were brought back “after the intervention of a Swedish politician.”

    “It does seem to be a political stunt,” Stephen said, adding later that “I’m really rather worried by the political motivations that appear to be behind this.”
    “We have seen a number of suggestions that he should be assassinated, again from credible sources around the world,” said Stephen.

    “People as high up the American tree as Sarah Palin have called for him to be hunted down by American special forces and assassinated.”

  23. john 23

    Reference to Sarah Palin above : God help you if you’re the Moose!

    However Russian Establishment believe Assange should be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be nominated for a Nobel prize, a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    “Non-governmental and governmental organizations should think of ways to help him. Perhaps he could be awarded a Nobel prize,” the source said.

    The founder of the controversial whistleblowing website was arrested in London on Tuesday. He was wanted by Sweden on sex assault charges.

    An arrest warrant for Assange was issued by Swedish prosecutors last week just days after his website published the first batch of over 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.

    World leaders and diplomats have downplayed the impact of the information leak on international relations but many have questioned the benefit of the project, alleging that some of the leaks could “threaten lives.”

    The 39-year-old Australian currently tops an online poll for Time Person of the Year. The choice will be made by the editors next Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS, December 8 (RIA Novosti)

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  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 hours ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 hours ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    22 hours ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 day ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 day ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    3 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    2 weeks ago