There was lingering animosity between the two due to "Batman" hanging boxers and socks over the metal rungs of the bed to dry — and the late-night hookups were a breaking point. Informants explained the disgraced British socialite rested below on the bottom cot.
"The cubes don't have doors like regular cells, so Batman's girl would just creep in and climb up to the top bunk," a source told Daily Mail. "Max would hear every grunt and moan as she was trying to sleep. The beds aren't bolted down, and they can rock from side to side and make a lot of noise."
"This was the final straw," added the jailhouse tipster. "Inmates aren't allowed to have sex so she went and reported Batman to the unit's case manager."
Days later, "Batman" was relocated to a different cell. However, the replacement didn't exactly get along with the new bunkie Maxwell either, raging about her sweaty sneakers causing an odor in their cramped "cube."
Incarcerating Julian Assange gives governments the power to imprison any journalist, Stella Moris Assange told a packed room at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva last Monday (2023-07-10). According to the wife of Australian journalist Julian Assange, still imprisoned in the United Kingdom, this bullying technique is deliberately being used to frighten journalists and editors everywhere in the world: strike one to educate one hundred.
And unfortunately, the intimidation is already showing its effects, added the 39-year-old lawyer and human rights activist, who was born and raised in South Africa. Journalists have told her they work under the fear of being “Julian-Assange.” And she spoke of U.S. newspapers that have stopped doing investigative journalism altogether because their sources – the people inside the system who, in the past, used to leak the wrongdoings they came across – are now silent. Especially revealing is the confession of an editor who told her frankly that he is no longer willing to publish explosive revelations that could get him into trouble.
A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat
The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.
The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.
But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.
Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.
Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.
And for so long as Julian Assange is in Belmarsh, or worse still, in a US jail, he provides a carte blanche for all those other regimes that would lock up journalists, and worse.
Now there are lots of good reasons why Assange should be released, but none are more important than the collective damage to journalists that is done each and every day that he is behind bars.
If the UK government is sincere about promoting media freedom around the world, it should rule out Assange’s extradition. If the US wants to regain its moral force when protecting free expression, it should drop the charges.
Until that happens, whenever the jailers of journalists are called out, the response will be the same: a shrug of the shoulders and a one-word excuse, “Assange!”
Assange argues he is a whistleblower and is the victim of a political prosecution initiated by the former Trump administration.
The election of Biden to the White House and Anthony Albanese in Australia had sparked hopes among Assange’s supporters that the case, being prosecuted by the independent Department of Justice, could be abandoned.
However, despite Albanese’s direct lobbying to Biden, this has not eventuated and in May, the prime minister said Assange himself needed to be part of the solution to resolve his case, signalling that the 52-year-old may have to accept a plea deal to obtain freedom.
Julian’s case is testament to the stranglehold that governments, especially the US, are placing on the free press in a time of mass global communications: a case in which extralegal measures in plain sight of all, have been taken to set a precedent to what happens to those who expose certain truths.
There is one last glimmering light of hope left after a UK High Court Justice rejected his last appeal on 8 June, which is one final UK domestic plea to two new judges in a public hearing of that same court.
Yet, Britian, one of our nation’s closest allies, officially signed off on extraction in June last year.
And last week saw Australian foreign minister Penny Wong admit on-air that despite her government having attempted to use its official diplomatic channels to negotiate Assange’s release, all that it could do, has been done, and, basically, it has no more power to achieve anything else.
Wong was speaking to Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas on 4 July, when the host raised that the day prior had been Assange’s fifth birthday spent in a UK gaol, and asked what the government was doing on the matter, since earlier this year, the minister had said the case had dragged on too long.
“Ultimately, this is a legal case in another jurisdiction involving another country. That is both the United Kingdom and the United States,” Wong, who has given similar explanations in the past, told the ABC radio breakfast show host in response.
“So, there are limits to what Australia can do. And I know people believe that somehow, we can fix this,” the foreign minister continued. “Actually, there are limits to what Australia can do.”
The Labor senator added that all her government has the ability to do continues to be done, which is to tell the US and the UK governments, the two administrations this nation recently formed the AUKUS pact with, “that this has dragged on too long, and… that this be brought to a close”.
Wong not only admits here that her government has reached the end of its ability to push the case for Assange being returned, as it’s been raised on a number of occasions “at the most senior levels”, but she also hints that the government’s position wasn’t necessarily that extradition be ruled out.
When Karvelas pushed Wong on when she had last consulted diplomatically on the matter, she received a taciturn, “I’m not going to go into that, but you and I both know I’ve engaged with the foreign secretary, and, obviously, we have engaged with the United States”.
The water situation is not much better in cities.
“The tap water is not usable unless you are using it to wash clothes or something like this,” said 39-year-old Zuhair Muhammad, who lives in Basra in southern Iraq, and relies on bottled water for drinking and cooking.
Muhammad, who lives alone, spends about $7-$10 on bottled water per week. He can afford it, but many others can’t. That’s why people are moving to other parts of the country in search of better access to clean water.
Meanwhile, as Iraq dries up and as the impacts of climate change makes life more difficult, people like Ahmed are trying to raise awareness about protecting the environment by posting on social media.
“I’m in love with nature,” Ahmed said. “I want to be part of saving this nature and the biodiversity in Iraq.”
According to an official at Basra's agriculture directorate, Abbas Dakheel, only four authorised fish farms continued to work this year, as opposed to 15 in 2020.
"This water is green, dirty and polluted. No fish can live in this water," said Karam, kneeling down next to a pipe irrigating his pond.
He said that his fish were now either sick, failing to grow or dead as a result.
Jumaa Shia, head of Basra's directorate of water resources, said the city of 1.3 million needs to share its decreasing water resources among domestic users, agriculture, the oil industry and electricity generation.
On Tuesday, July 11, Kennedy Jr. attended what he thought would be a prestigious evening at Tony's on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in an attempt to prove the prominence of his 2024 presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination against President Joe Biden.
At some point in the evening, an intense screaming match erupted — causing the night to take a turn for the worse, according to a news publication's first-hand experience at the event.
A guest had asked Kennedy Jr. a question about the environment, as the 69-year-old is the founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, an ecological organization protecting bodies of water in the United States and around the world.
The conversation ticked off seemingly drunk publicity agent Doug Dechert, who was hosting the event for Kennedy Jr.
The former gossip columnist yelled as loud as he could, claiming: "The climate hoax!"
Anthony Haden-Guest, an octogenarian art critic — who according to the news outlet, was dozing off for a majority of the dinner — appeared to be woken up by Dechert's loud statement, as he opened his eyes and called his longtime pal a "miserable blob."
"Shut up!" Haden-Guest responded in an attempt to get Dechert to allow Kennedy Jr. to answer the question.
Dechert didn't listen, however, and started going on an erratic rant about how climate change is a "scam."
When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched his campaign to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in April, at least one Republican senator took the time to watch the entirety of Kennedy's nearly two-hour-long speech: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
"I hope he gains traction and wins the nomination," Johnson said of Kennedy, later quipping that he didn't "want to harm his chances by saying good things about him."
Johnson rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, describing it in 2021 as "bulls[**]t." In a 2010 interview, he called attributing global warming to manmade causes "crazy," saying the theory is "lunacy," and attributed climate change to causes other than human activity. Johnson also suggested carbon dioxide was good for the environment, as it "helps the trees grow." In dismissing the effects of climate change, Johnson falsely claimed that Greenland was green when it was discovered and had become white and snow-clad over time as a result of cooling temperatures. In August 2015, Johnson baselessly claimed that "the climate hasn't warmed in quite a few years. That is proven scientifically," although record world temperatures were reached that year and in 2014. Johnson co-sponsored the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would block the EPA from imposing new rules on carbon emissions. In an October 7, 2022, Senate campaign debate, Johnson said, "The climate has always changed and always will change, so I don’t deny climate change", repeating a similar statement he made in February 2016.
When asked about allowing additional drilling for oil in the continental US, including the Great Lakes if oil were found there, Johnson responded, "We have to get the oil where it is, but we need to do it responsibly. We need to utilize American ingenuity and American technology to make sure we do it environmentally sensitively and safely." After criticism from the Feingold campaign, Johnson said in July 2010 that his answer did not mean he supported drilling in the Great Lakes.
We will not allow you to exploit the innocence of our children to advance your agenda. When you come after our kids, we fight back. We are no longer silent. We are united. We are Mamas for DeSantis . . .and we will elect #RonDeSantis President of the United States. Join our historic movement today."
+ According to Linda Greenhouse, the Roberts Court has accomplished the entire conservative wish list over the last 18 years. On to banning birth control and allowing wife-beaters to carry guns!
+ From a Legal Times profile of Clarence Thomas in the 1980s: “He said he plans to be rich, says that means more than just a few hundred thousand dollars a year.” Around the same time, Thomas’s friend, Armstrong Williams (then his subordinate at the EEOC), paid for his wedding reception.
+ Thomas also “befriended” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who flew the Thomases around on his private jet, invited him to Dallas’ training camp, hosted him in his luxury suite when the Cowboys played in DC, and gave him a Super Bowl ring.
+ Speaking of Jerry Jones and black men…
+ A lawyer for the law firm Consovoy McCarthy, which argued both the case to kill affirmative action and to kill student debt cancellation, sent money via Venmo to Clarence Thomas’s clerk, Rajan Vasisht, with memos that make it clear it was for Thomas’s birthday.
+ Brett Kavanaugh: “If you’re in a high school gym, the abuse the referees get. I always say, ‘God, who would want to be a referee at a high school basketball game?’ Then, I think, ‘I kind of do the same thing.’” Brett never really left high school, did he Squee?
+ At this point, Ethics Rules for the Supreme Court would only serve to paint a veneer of legitimacy over an anti-democratic institution which has now become the most dominate force in American government.
+ HRC: “I still feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of corporations and the wealthy.” Remind me, is that what you told Goldman Sachs?