Biden DOJ continues push for Assange extradition – National & International News – WED 10Feb2021

Biden's DOJ has announced they will continue pressing for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to the US.

DOJ pushes for Assange extradition. See the riot video from Senate trial. Millions of vaccine doses wasted over syringe mismatch.

NATIONAL NEWS

Biden’s DOJ will continue push for Assange extradition

Despite calls to drop charges, the Justice Department says they will continue pressing the UK to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. This has frustrated many who had hoped that Biden’s DOJ would let the matter drop.

Early last month, British Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the request from Trump’s DOJ to extradite Assange. Baraitser refused on the grounds that extradition to the US would give the mentally and emotionally drained Assange greater opportunities to harm himself or commit suicide in custody. However, she rejected the assertions by Assange’s defense that the charges were politically-motivated.

The DOJ will now have to appeal the case to a higher UK court. In the meantime, Assange remains in custody in London’s infamous and COVID-ridden Belmarsh prison while his physical and mental health continue to deteriorate.

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Senate impeachment trial opens with disturbing riot video 

As the second trial of former President Donald Trump opened, House Impeachment Managers played a chilling 13-minute video. The video is cut together from various sources, showing the sequence of events more or less in the order they happened. It begins with Trump’s Jan. 6 exhortation to the assembled crowd to march to the Capitol. He tells them to “fight like hell” to take back a “stolen” election. Before the President even concludes his remarks, some of his followers make their way towards the Capitol. What follows are disturbing, chaotic and frequently violent scenes of mayhem. 

The video powerfully captures the panic of Capitol police, as they simultaneously realize what is happening and recognize that they are hugely outnumbered and woefully unprepared for what is coming. As first Vice President Pence and then Speaker Pelosi are escorted from chambers, fear rises among lawmakers as they become aware of the danger. Violence escalates with rioters beating the overwhelmed police with sticks and other implements, pinning them over barricades and against walls. Two hours after the mayhem commenced, Trump releases a singularly unhelpful statement. He reiterates his assertion that the election was stolen, and issues a half-hearted plea that the rioters leave in peace. The violence continues.  

See the full video here (opens in new tab).

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Japan discards millions of Pfizer doses over unsuitable syringes

Japan has secured about 144 million doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. However, they failed to plan ahead to get enough of the “low-dead space” syringes needed to pull 6 doses from each vial. The standard syringes used by medical workers can only pull 5 doses from each vial. The leftover dose has to be discarded. With 144 million doses, that means around 24 million could potentially go waste. Japan is calling on medical suppliers to increase production of the low-dead space syringes.

Other countries in Europe as well as the US are encountering similar syringe-related problems.

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India glacier disaster: experts recall 2014 warning

In 2014, India’s Supreme Court called on experts to evaluated the dangers of dam construction in the country’s Himalayan regions. The experts warned that climate change had destabilized the glaciers, making dam construction in the area extremely hazardous. In fact, the experts warned of a very similar scenario to that which happened Sunday. At the time, the experts testified that continuing construction on dams and other infrastructure in the region could put millions at risk.

Despite this stark warning, India’s government moved ahead with the projects, spurred by competition from China and geopolitical pressures with neighboring Pakistan. For the experts who presented the 2014 evaluation, Sunday’s tragedy was both preventable and inevitable.

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