UPDATE 8:58pm EST: WikiLeaks account has just been unlocked.
Julian Assange's Extradition hearing begins next week — 24 February – the future of the free press literally stands in the balance https://t.co/hAzgxObjrw
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 18, 2020
(TMU) — The Twitter account belonging to WikiLeaks and brandishing a total of 5.4 million followers has been locked ahead of its former editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, according to Kristinn Hrafnsson the current editor-in-chief of the transparency organization.
Hrafnsson expressed that all attempts to get the account reopened by regular channels made available by Twitter have been unsuccessful. Hrafnsson tagged both the platform’s tech support as well as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
WikiLeaks twitter account has been locked, shortly before Assange extradition hearing. All attempts to get it reopened via regular channels have been unsuccessful. It has been impossible to reach a human at twitter to resolve the issue. Can someone fix this?@twittersupport @jack
— Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) February 17, 2020
Julian Assange Update
Justice for Julian has been proven to be obstructed every step of the way since 2010
Is this yet another incidence? https://t.co/iucVsIWFhf
— 🎗Christine Assange (@MrsC_Assange) February 17, 2020
— Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) December 20, 2018
All the accounts were eventually unlocked.
Our twitter account @WikiLeaks is now unlocked. Thanks to those who made a fuss and for @Jack and others responding to the problem. It appears that a denial of service attack had been run against several WikiLeaks and Assange legal accounts to trigger looping security lockouts. https://t.co/0JQOILmk9I
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 21, 2018
Previously, Assange’s personal Twitter account (which was then turned into the AssangeDefense account) was deleted, undeleted, and finally suspended. Caitlin Johnstone also notes that bias was clear from the start with Twitter’s refusal to verify Assange.
A second account associated with WikiLeaks, EmbassyCat, a profile that was created in the likeness of Assange’s pet cat, has also been suspended and unsuspended in the past without reason as well as shadowbanned.
Another third account associated with Assange defense the Unity4J Twitter account dedicated to circulating information about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was also mysteriously suspended last year, along with several people involved with the account including Kitty Hundal and Christy Dopf who are a few individuals who publicly post Unity4J’s tweets.
I’m back on Twitter after the outage but @unity4J is still suspended – we did not receive an email or a reason for the suspension. Appeal process started. #FreeAssange #Unity4J pic.twitter.com/a14DqZaoGt
— 🎃✨ The AntiChrist-y ✨👺 (@ChristyDopf) July 11, 2019
However, the suspension of Unity4J was lifted after thousands of Twitter users flooded Twitter support including messages by activist and Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters and activist, comedian, and journalist Lee Camp to name a few.
Assange’s own mother was suspended and then unsuspended and her account, AssangeMrs, was taken over by an anti-Assange troll after it was deactivated. Christine Assange can currently be found at MrsC_Assange on Twitter.
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 19, 2019
Twitter users are now once again attempting to overwhelm Twitter support with requests to reinstate and unlock the WikiLeaks Twitter account. With just a week left until Assange’s first extradition hearing, the timing is certainly suspicious.
— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) July 12, 2019
Julian Assange faces 175 years (life) and 17 counts of espionage related to obtaining and disseminating classified information as well as conspiracy to commit computer intrusion stemming from the publication of the Afghan and Iraq War Logs that that were given to him by whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Assange was nominated along with Manning and Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2020 by 17 members of the German Parliament.
TMU reported just last week that the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) demonized hacktivists and “public disclosure organizations” like WikiLeaks, stating they pose a “significant threat” similar to the threat posed by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda terrorists, as well as Russia, Iran, and China.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.