NY, NJ, CT impose quarantine on 9 states; Russians vote on whether to make Putin “President for life”… That and more in National & International News.
New York imposes quarantine on travelers from 9 states
To head of the emergence of a new wave of Covid-19 cases, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are imposing quarantines on people traveling from nine US states, including returning residents. Travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days. Violators will face fines of $1000 up to $5000 for repeat offenders. NY Governor Cuomo said the quarantine list will add or remove other according to their cases per 100,000 population, or the rate of positive tests. NJ Governor Phil Murphy says, “This is a smart thing to do. We have taken our people, the three of us from these three states, through hell and back, and the last thing we need to do right now is subject our folks to another round.”
Fresh US indictment paints Assange as hacker rather than journalist
DOJ lawyers seeking Assange’s extradition to the US have filed a “superseding indictment” late in the process of ongoing hearings in London. The indictment includes no new charges adding to the 18 counts Assange already faces. Instead, it alleges that Assange recruited hackers from Europe and Asia and conspired with “hacktivist” groups LulzSec and Anonymous to obtain and publish government secrets. These new accusations have no bearing on the counts of espionage against Assange, most of which stem from leaks (including the infamous “collateral murder” video) from US Army Private Chelsea Manning. Rather, the new accusations seek to undermine Assange’s defense that his publication of classified documents relating to US war crimes was an act of journalism.
Israel: Palestinians despair as West Bank annexation ends hope of two-state solution
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex huge swathes of Palestinian land is seen by many as death knell for any hopes of an equitable and peaceful solution to the decades-old conflict. Under the plan, Israel would essentially claim official ownership of land currently held (illegally, according to international law) by Jewish settlers in Palestianian territories of the West Bank. Once this is approved, a clean dividing line that largely separates Israeli and Palestinian land would be obliterated, allowing with a firm basis for the establishment of a future Palestinian state. The plan has received the green light from the Trump administration. Netanyahu, who is currently facing eleven counts of corruption in an Israeli court, is more determined than ever to move ahead to burnish his Zionist strongman image. However, it is unlikely the Palestinians will accept such an existential defeat lying down, and the stage is being set for renewed violence and conflict in the region.
Russians vote on Putin’s constitutional reforms
Russians are heading to the polls today to vote on constitutional reform which would allow President Vladimir Putin to serve two more 6-year terms. Opposition activist Alexei Navalny says the changes will allow Putin to be “president for life.” The reforms would allow 67-year-old Putin to remain in office until 2036. Putin has not officially declared he will run again when his current term ends in 2024, he insists that he must have the option to ensure stability. The Russian Parliament initially set the vote date for July 1 but has allowed early voting over coronavirus concerns. The reforms also extend the powers of the president to exercise more control over the judiciary. A consitutional ban on gay marriage and an affirmation of Russia’s “faith in God” have also been included on the ballot to ensure a high turnout, playing on the deep veins of homophobia and religiosity in the country.Assange, COVID-19, international news, Israel, national news, New Albany MS, New York, Northeast Mississippi news, Putin, Russia, Wikileaks, world news