Fox – The father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said his son’s extradition to the United States to face a slew of espionage charges would be “a death sentence,” while the built-up anxiety from the nearly decade-long saga continues to take a toll on his health.
Assange, 48, is being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison as he fights an extradition request from the U.S., where he faces 18 counts for his alleged role in scheming to hack a government computer and releasing thousands of classified documents.
“The ceaseless anxiety that Julian’s been under for now 10 years has had a profoundly deleterious effect,” Assange’s father, John Shipton, told BBC television on Tuesday.
“I imagine that he will be really worried because being sent to the United States is a death sentence.”
On Tuesday, Assange’s spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters that Assange’s health is improving and he is no longer being held in solitary confinement, Reuters reported.
“I saw him about 10 days ago,” Hrafnsson said at a news conference. “He has improved thanks to the pressure from his legal team, the general public, and amazingly, actually from other inmates in Belmarsh Prison to get him out of isolation.”
Beijing’s central bank has reportedly implemented new strategy to destroy cash from areas completely infected by the coronavirus.
CNN – The document reveals for the first time the system used by the ruling Chinese Communist Party to justify the indefinite detention on trivial grounds of not only Mamattohti’s family but hundreds — and possibly millions — of other citizens in heavily fortified internment centers across Xinjiang.
It is the third major leak of sensitive Chinese government documents in as many months, and together the information paints an increasingly alarming picture of what appears to be a strategic campaign by Beijing to strip Muslim-majority Uyghurs of their cultural and religious identity and suppress behavior considered to be unpatriotic.
The Chinese government has claimed it is running a mass deradicalization program targeting potential extremists, but these official records, verified by a team of experts, show people can be sent to a detention facility for simply “wearing a veil” or growing “a long beard.”
The leak exposes what appears to be a detailed and far-reaching system of state surveillance in the region, run by the local government in Xinjiang, designed to target Chinese citizens for peacefully practicing their culture or religion.
CNN has only been able to independently verify some of the records contained in the document. But a team of experts, led by Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington DC, say they are confident that it is an authentic Chinese government document.
The leaked document is a 137-page PDF file, likely generated from an Excel spreadsheet or Word table. Zenz pointed to the use of similar terminology and language in this document, which he refers to as the Karakax List, and other records leaked from Xinjiang.
He said the records showed that Beijing was detaining Uyghur citizens for actions that in many cases did not “remotely resemble a crime.”
“The contents of this document are really significant to all of us because it shows us the paranoid mindset of a regime that’s controlling the up-and-coming super power of this globe,” Zenz told CNN.
Newsmax – Japan is aiming to start trials soon using an HIV treatment for the coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday.
“We’re currently preparing to start clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus,” Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said at a daily press briefing.
He added that he could not comment on how long it would take for the new drug to be approved.
Japan now has seen over 500 coronavirus cases, with more than 450 of them from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama.
Newxmax – The feel-good story of how Cambodia allowed a cruise ship to dock after it was turned away elsewhere in Asia for fear of spreading a new disease took an unfortunate turn after a passenger later tested positive for the virus.
News over the weekend that an 83-year-old American woman who was on the ship and flew from Cambodia to Malaysia was found to be carrying the virus froze further movement of the passengers and crew of the Westerdam. Some are in hotels in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, while others are still aboard the ship.
The American woman was among several hundred passengers who were flown out of Cambodia on Friday and Saturday. According to authorities in Malaysia, 143 continued their flights home from that country, while the woman and her 84-year-old husband, who was diagnosed with pneumonia, remained behind for treatment.
The dispersal around the world of passengers from the ship with possible exposure to the new coronavirus has sparked concern.
USA Today – A top health official at the National Institutes of Health acknowledged that the quarantine aboard the coronavirus-infected Diamond Princess Cruises ship failed while discussing the decision to evacuate hundreds of American passengers – 14 of whom tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said the original idea to keep people safely quarantined on the ship wasn’t unreasonable. But even with the quarantine process on the ship, virus transmission still occurred.
The Japanese health ministry said Monday that the number of cases confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess had reached 454.
“As it turned out, that was very ineffective in preventing spread on the ship,” Fauci told the USA TODAY Editorial Board and reporters Monday. Every hour, another four or five people were being infected.
The quarantine on the ship was scheduled to end Feb. 19, and those who came back to the U.S. a couple of days ahead of the end of the quarantine probably will have to restart the clock on a new 14-day quarantine.
NY Post – President Trump suggested that he might take legal action against “everyone all over the place” because of then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 election.
“BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL. WITCH HUNT!,” the president said in a series of tweets Tuesday that also blasted the lawyers who prosecuted his longtime confidant Roger Stone and the origins of the Mueller probe.
“These were Mueller prosecutors, and the whole Mueller investigation was illegally set up based on a phony and now fully discredited Fake Dossier, lying and forging documents to the FISA Court, and many other things,” Trump said.
“Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out. Even Mueller’s statement to Congress that he did not see me to become the FBI Director (again), has been proven false. The whole deal was a total SCAM. If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place,” he continued.
He began his Twitter tear earlier when he posted comments made by a guest on a Fox News show questioning whether the federal judge in the Stone case would grant his request for a new trial after a juror’s Twitter messages revealed criticism of the president.
He then quoted comments made by former Judge Andrew Napolitano on “Fox & Friends.”
“‘Judge Jackson now has a request for a new trial based on the unambiguous & self outed bias of the foreperson of the jury, whose [sic] also a lawyer, by the way,’” Trump wrote.
“‘Madam foreperson, your [sic] a lawyer, you have a duty, an affirmative obligation, to reveal to us when we selected you the existence of these tweets in which you were so harshly negative about the President & the people who support him,” the president said, still quoting Napolitano. “‘Don’t you think we wanted to know that before we put you on this jury.’”
“‘Pretty obvious he should (get a new trial),” Trump posted.
USA Today – A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address growing concerns about the intervention of Justice Department officials and President Donald Trump in politically sensitive cases, the group’s president said Monday.
Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, said the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to weigh in on a deepening crisis that has enveloped the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr.
“There are plenty of issues that we are concerned about,” Rufe told USA TODAY. “We’ll talk all of this through.”
Rufe, nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush, said the group of more than 1,000 federal jurists called for the meeting last week after Trump criticized prosecutors’ initial sentencing recommendation for his friend Roger Stone and the Department of Justice overruled them.
The movement has secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on local ballots in November, said the group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho.
If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.
“Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the chief petitioners, said in a press release. “We tried voting those legislators out but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort.”
AP – Barraged with sex-abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in hopes of working out a potentially mammoth victim compensation plan that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on.
The Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, sets in motion what could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies ever seen. Scores of lawyers are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who say they were molested as scouts by scoutmasters or other leaders decades ago but are only now eligible to sue because of recent changes in their states’ statute-of-limitations laws.
Life Action (June 1, 2017) – Pro-lifers and honest pro-abortion legal scholars agree that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. But just how wrong is it? Is it bad law solely because it declares a right to something the Constitution is silent about, or does its judicial malpractice run deeper?
I have long argued that legal abortion violates not only the spirit of the Constitution, but the text itself – specifically, that the Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed equal protection of all people’s right to life has always applied to the preborn. Now, The Stream reports that the “Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy” has published an article written by Harvard law student (and former Live Action contributor) Josh Craddock that lays out the case in perhaps the most depth it’s ever received.
The first key point of Craddock’s work, critiquing the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia from the right, is an audacious undertaking, but here it’s warranted. You see, while Scalia was a committed originalist and clear opponent of Roe, he was also of the opinion that the Constitution is neutral toward abortion – that its use of the word “persons” “clearly means walking-around persons,” and therefore, states should be left free to set whatever abortion laws they want. Craddock notes several other pro-life judicial originalists who hold (or held) this view, though Scalia is the most recent and most revered modernly.
Craddock concedes that there is some basis for this thinking because “natural rights were not exhaustively enshrined in the federal Constitution” and “states have traditionally decided the question of personhood.” However, he rightfully maintains that a truly originalist answer to the question has to consider what the word “persons” was understood to mean when the Fourteenth Amendment was written and ratified.
He proceeds to explain that layman’s dictionaries treated the concepts of humanity and personhood interchangeably, and so did legal terminology – more explicitly so, in fact. As we’ve discussed in the past, Craddock notes that Blackstone expressly recognized that personhood and the right to life existed before birth with a simple and clear legal standard: “where life can be shown to exist, legal personhood exists” (emphasis added). This also perfectly explains why it’s irrelevant that past laws didn’t protect the preborn prior to quickening.
“I had two problems with the weapons ban bill we voted on yesterday,” he said.
According to Chapman, the first problem was that the categories of weapons and component parts that were impacted were too broad.
Secondly, he said that the retroactive portion of the bill was unfair.
“In other words, if you went out and legally purchased a weapon or legally purchased a particular part, just simply by owning that you could become a class VI felon or class I misdemeanant. And that, to me, it’s not fair, it’s not due process, and that was what really bothered me the most,” he told Hegseth.
The assault weapons ban — one of several Virginia bills that prompted armed protests at the state Capitol earlier this year — died in committee Monday despite the backing of the state’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and the legislature’s Democratic majority.
Four Democrats — including Chapman — broke ranks with their party to reject the bill. Sens. Creigh Deeds, Scott Surovell, and John Edwards also joined their Republican colleagues across the aisle to send it back to the state’s Crime Commission in a 10-5 vote.
A crowd of gun-rights activists packed into the committee room cheered as the vote came in.
Fox – In a move to speed up the construction of 177 miles of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration is waiving a set of laws that applies to how the Department of Homeland Security can work with federal contractors.
The 10 laws the waiver applies to stipulate that the department allow open competition for contracts, justify its contractor selections and secure bonds that protect the government from financial loss should the project not be completed correctly, among other things.
“Under the president’s leadership, we are building more wall, faster than ever before,” the department said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
Daily Star – A gigantic swarm of locusts that belong to a plague that has ravaged millions of acres of crops across east Africa has been spotted reaching the Chinese border.
Billions of the insects have destroyed food supplies across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia in what has been described as the worst plague for decades.
With vast swathes of the population in the region already facing food shortages due to poverty, the United Nations has warned action must be taken to avoid another “shock” to the region.
“Key West radar has had a busy night, but not because of weather! The most impressive display of migratory birds so far this year occurred overnight,” tweeted National Weather Service Key West on Monday
In a Facebook post, NWS Key West explained that the birds are migrating from Cuba. “The birds first appear on radar as they depart from Cuba and emerge in the Florida Straits, disappearing below the radar towards dawn as they reach mainland Florida,” it said. “The time lapse imagery spans 10.5 hours. If you look closely you can see a smaller batch of birds depart the Keys at the beginning of the loop.”.
“You never know what you’ll find at the lake until you go out there,” the NWS tweeted. “Today it was volcanoes.”
According to Michigan Tech, ice volcanoes are a common feature in the winter months along the northern shore of Lake Superior — north of the volcanoes.
Ice volcanoes are cone-shaped mounds of ice formed as part of the leading edge of an ice shelf as they build out into a lake. Despite having “volcano” as part of the name, they do not erupt hot, molten magma.
Researchers at Michigan Tech noted, “after the ice shelf has built out, waves continue to travel underneath the ice and are forced up through cracks and previously formed cones.”
Cort Spholten, a meteorologist with the NWS Grand Rapids, told the Detroit Free Press that ice volcanoes tend to form on shorelines where waves strike “with some force.”
“The waves…were strong enough so the water channels through, it squeezes water upwards and tosses the floating ice up,” Spholten told the Free Press. “As it happens, over the course of hours or days, it forms a cone, and it resembles a volcano.”
Fox – It’s a discovery 65 million years in the making.
Despite most scientists generally accepting that dinosaurs were cold-blooded creatures, a new study suggests they were in fact warm-blooded.
The research, published in Science Advances, looks at fossilized eggshells of the terrible lizards and found that the dinosaurs had warmer body temperatures than their surroundings.
“Dinosaurs sit at an evolutionary point between birds, which are warm-blooded, and reptiles, which are cold-blooded. Our results suggest that all major groups of dinosaurs had warmer body temperatures than their environment,” said the study’s lead author, Robin Dawson, in a statement.
A 2014 study published in Science suggested that dinosaurs were neither warm nor cold-blooded, but rather “somewhere in the middle.”
Several fossilized eggshells were tested, including from the carnivorous Troodon, a herbivore Maiasaura and the massive Megaloolithus. The temperatures of eggshells of the respective dinosaurs tested at 100.4, 80.6 and 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit for the Troodon; 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit for the Maiasaura; and 96.8 degrees for the Megaloolithus.
The researchers used a process known as “clumped isotope paleothermometry” that looks at the ordering of the oxygen and carbon atoms in the eggshells to come up with their findings.
The Times – Tens of thousands of cancer patients are at risk of contracting antibiotic resistant superbugs that could make chemotherapy unviable within the next decade, oncologists warn.
Cancer patients rely on daily antibiotics for prevention and treatment of infections. However, the rise of bacteria that are resistant to many drugs threatens to undermine modern treatment of the disease.
One in four oncologists in Britain have seen an increase in drug-resistant infections in the last year, figures shared with The Times reveal. A survey of a hundred cancer doctors by the Longitude Prize, set up to help solve the problem, found that 95 per cent were worried about the rise of superbugs in their patients. Forty-six per cent believed that drug-resistant infections could make chemotherapy unviable.
Mind Body Green – If you’re looking for another healthy snack to get you through a long day, there’s good reason to consider adding berries—other than that they taste so good.
Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D., is a gut health expert, and his career spent researching human microbiome and the mycobiome (a collection of fungi in our gut) means he knows a thing or two about what foods we should be eating. When he was on the mindbodygreen podcast, Ghannoum discussed a few of those good-for-you foods. One of his favorites? Berries, for their polyphenol content.
Polyphenols are those mysterious compounds that make our wine and dark chocolate good for us. Research suggests that they play a role in metabolism, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and even cancer.
While treats like wine and chocolate can technically be sources of polyphenols, Ghannoum encourages us to go the slightly less indulgent route when looking for ways to tap into this group of antioxidants. “A lot of the polyphenols,” he told mindbodygreen, “come from some berries.”
Some berries are better sources of polyphenols than others—but luckily, some of the best sources are the common ones. One study cited blueberries as a great source of phenolic acids, which are a type of polyphenols. Other berries that are sources of polyphenols include currants, blackberries, elderberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Ghannoum doesn’t have any favorites, though: “I love different types of berries,” he said. “They are a very, very mycobiome friendly diet.” Other things he incorporates into his diet include herbs and seafood.
Another one of those berries that packs a polyphenol punch is grapes—hence your “healthy” glass of red wine. But when asked about wine’s touted health benefits, Ghannoum said he “will not recommend it for you to have, as you say, medicinal purposes.” He said three or so glasses per week is probably fine, but don’t expect that to be your full source of polyphenols.
One of the best things about berries is how amazing they are on their own, but if you want to try adding them to meals as more than just a snack, we’d recommend blending them into a smoothie, or for berry chia pudding.
Newsmax -People who vape have potentially cancer-causing changes in their DNA similar to those found in cigarette smokers, according to a new study.
These chemical alterations — called epigenetic changes — can cause genes to malfunction. They are found in nearly all types of cancer, as well as other serious diseases, the researchers noted.
“That doesn’t mean that these people are going to develop cancer,” said study leader Ahmad Besaratinia, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.
“But what we are seeing is that the same changes in chemical tags detectable in tumors from cancer patients are also found in people who vape or smoke, presumably due to exposure to cancer-causing chemicals present in cigarette smoke and, generally at much lower levels, in electronic cigarettes’ vapor,” he said in a school news release.
Besaratinia and his colleagues said their findings add to a growing list of health issues linked to e-cigarettes.