Julian Assange is not in good shape, according to his partner Stella Moris, who was recently able to visit him in prison for the first time in nearly six months. Moris had a 20 minute meeting with Assange at the Belmarsh Prison in south-east London, where he is currently being held. The couple’s two young children also came to meet their father, but everyone had to wear masks, and visitors were not allowed to touch one another.
She told the PA news agency that Assange is looking much thinner than he was the last time she saw him back in March. She says that the situation has been “incredibly stressful” and that he has been having some health problems, including a sprained ankle and a frozen shoulder. While the prison was taking virus precautions when Assange was having visitors, Moris says that they have done nothing to protect the prisoners during regular hours.
“We had to keep social distancing and Julian was told he would have to self-isolate for two weeks if he touched the children. Julian said it was the first time he had been given a mask because things are very different behind the doors. I could not see him very clearly because of the visors, but he looked a lot thinner. He was wearing a yellow armband to indicate his level of prisoner status, and you could see how thin his arms were,” Moris explained.
“At least he got to see the children, even though he couldn’t touch them. The children were both calm – we all remained seated the whole time,” she added.
She also said that he has not been able to have a face-to-face meeting with his legal team since the coronavirus lockdown began in March and has limited access to the paperwork and files needed for his case. Moris has also launched a crowdfunding campaign to help with legal costs for Assange as he fights extradition to the United States.
Today I'm launching a crowdjustice campaign to free Julian.
— Stella Moris (@StellaMoris1) August 20, 2020
On the fundraising page, Moris said that, “Julian is being targeted by the United States administration for the crime of journalism. He helped expose war crimes and human rights abuses which the US would have preferred to keep hidden from public view. No-one has been held responsible for the serious crimes Julian has exposed. This extradition aims to entomb and silence him forever. This is a monumental legal case which is an attack on everyone’s right to know about scandals which politicians and governments want buried. If the US government is successful, the ramifications are unthinkable.”
So far, the campaign has raised £60,470.
The extradition hearing is scheduled to take place on the 7th of September at the Old Bailey which is being used as a Magistrates Court for this hearing. Moris described the venue as “an unprecedented forum for an extradition case which acknowledges that the case has huge importance beyond Julian himself.”
Many legal experts agree that this case could set a precedent and have far reaching implications for journalists all over the world.
Scientists Horrified as Over 27,000 Leaking Barrels of Toxic DDT Discovered on Seafloor Near LA
Over 27,000 barrels of the toxic insecticide DDT have been found so far on the seafloor about 12 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, in what could be one of the greatest examples of industrial pollution uncovered in recent memory.
The barrels have been leaking, and researchers fear that there could be up to a few hundred thousand barrels of DDT waste in total. Over 100,000 total objects have been found in the area by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The barrels cover an area roughly spanning double the size of Manhattan and lie off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, which is home to dozens of endemic species that exist nowhere else in the world.
DDT waste has been linked to cancer and widespread disease among humans as well as mass die-off events in the natural world. It is likely that the vast trove of illegally dumped DDT could be linked to the widespread cancer faced by sea lions along the West Coast.
“Unfortunately, the basin offshore Los Angeles has been a dumping ground for industrial waste for several decades, beginning in the 1930s. We found an extensive debris field in the wide area survey,” said Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in a statement.
Los Angeles Times reports that shipping logs from a disposal company implicate Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, a company that produced DDT, in likely dumping some 2,000 barrels of DDT-laced sludge each month from 1947 to 1961 into a designated dumpsite.
Additionally, logs from other entities show that several other industrial concerns in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act was enacted.
Rep. Matt Gaetz’s “Wingman” Wrote Letter Admitting Both Men Paid for Sex With Teen
Joel Greenberg, the former Florida county tax collector and longtime “wingman” of embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz, admitted in a letter that both he and the disgraced GOP congressman paid for sex with a number of women – including a minor.
The confession letter was written during the waning day of the Trump presidency, long before the scandalous conduct of the Florida congressman gripped national headlines, in a bid to win a pardon from President Donald Trump, reports the Daily Beast.
In the letter, which was handwritten, Greenberg reveals that both he and Gaetz allegedly were “involved in sexual activities” with a girl who was 17 at the time.
“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the minor.
Continuing, he noted that various forms of payment were made to the teen to secure sexual favors.
“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18,” Greenberg wrote.
“I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”
Greenberg alleges that the teen had deceived the pair over her age, and that he and Gaetz were under the false impression that she was 19 when they paid her for sex.
“There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday,” he claimed.
The letter was written after notorious Trump ally and “fixer” Roger Stone was asked for a pardon by Greenberg.
Gaetz, 38, has been facing an investigation over whether he paid a 17-year-old for sex and facilitated her travel, which would violate sex trafficking laws.
It is also believed that the investigation encompasses the possibility that the congressman paid a number of women recruited online for sex.
Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex or having sex with a 17-year-old, and he hasn’t yet been changed.
Video Shows Officers Stop Fellow Cop Who Was Punching Handcuffed Woman
The conviction of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has drawn mixed reactions from law enforcement officers across the country. While many police departments and associations have responded positively, some officers have also reacted with quiet resentment – and even the fear that they, too, may one day be held accountable for excessive use of force.
This may have also been the case in an altercation caught on video where two police officers in Orange County, California, could be seen stepping in and preventing a fellow officer from continuing to punch a handcuffed woman during an arrest.
In dramatic video from Wednesday captured via mobile phone in Westminster, the handcuffed woman – Ciomara Garcia, 34 – can be seen between two officers sitting on the curb. As one officer stands up, the woman does too before an officer pushes her down to the ground. The woman then attempts to kick the officer in the crotch before the officer begins punching her.
The two other officers then quickly intervene to restrain the officer and shove him away, preventing him from further beating Garcia as neighbors reminded the police in Spanish that they are filming the arrest.
The officers were initially dispatched to the neighborhood by a call over an alleged assault with battery claiming Garcia assaulted an Asian woman who was trying to fetch her dog running loose in the street.
A witness, however, told KTTV that Garcia was walking her dog when a bicyclist approached closely, causing Garcia to fear that her dog would be harmed. An altercation between the residents soon unfolded. Five minutes later, the bicyclist returned with the officers, alleging that Garcia struck her. The witness claims no such attack occurred.
Garcia has been booked into Orange County Jail on a bench warrant, while the officer was promptly placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
One wonders whether some officers are changing tack in their relations with the community, and with the so-called “bad apples” in their own ranks, following Chauvin’s conviction on all counts for the murder of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, the three other former officers who took part in last May’s fatal arrest – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – could face serious jail time for aiding and abetting Chauvin in the slaying of the Floyd.
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