About stuartbramhall

Retired child and adolescent psychiatrist and American expatriate in New Zealand. In 2002, I made the difficult decision to close my 25-year Seattle practice after 15 years of covert FBI harassment. I describe the unrelenting phone harassment, illegal break-ins and six attempts on my life in my 2010 book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.

Assange Extradition Hearing to Be Split into Two Stages

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

 

Telesur

The first part of the full hearing in February at Woolwich Crown Court will cover arguments that the extradition is politically motivated and an abuse of process.

The extradition hearings for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been split in two, with the second taking place in May, according to a ruling made by a judge on Thursday, January  23rd.

The judge ruled that the first extradition hearing for Assange will be scheduled for the week of February 23rd, while the remaining three weeks will be held on May 18.

This move comes after Assange’s defense team argued that there was not enough time to receive and cosnider witness statements and that the WikiLeaks founder had difficulty accessing the case materials.

“We simply can’t get in as we require to see Mr Assange and take instructions … we need time to deal with that,” his lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said.

The first part of the full hearing in February at Woolwich Crown Court will cover arguments that the extradition is politically motivated and an abuse of process

Clair Dobbin, the lawyer representing the U.S. authorities, said they would oppose allowing Assange to call anonymous witnesses as his legal team intends. The hearing will also hear psychiatric evidence about his mental state […]

Via https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Extradition-Hearing-for-Julian-Assange-Will-be-Split-in-Two-20200123-0003.html

Our racist U.S. presidents

“U.S. presidents represent in certain ways the worst of U.S. society.”

Aisle C

Forty-Five Felons With Their Own Holiday: The U.S. Presidency

Margaret Kimberley’s new book on US presidents and Black people shows why the executive mansion is called the “White” House.

[…]

“U.S. presidents represent in certain ways the worst of U.S. society.”

[…]

Washington, D.C., is named for the wealthiest enslaver of his day, and located in the swamp it’s in because powerful slave-owners wanted it there and wanted to be able to bring slaves there. George Washington, or Conotocaurious (his Iroquois name meaning Town Destroyer), was the first of every president up through Lincoln who supported the continuation of slavery.

[…]

John Adams favored the forced removal of black people from the United States. At the time of the war of 1812, Adams denounced the British for not leaving the “stolen Negroes” (men who had escaped slavery to fight on the British side) to starve, or shipping…

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The Mainstream Media Admits We Are In “An Auto Recession” – And It Just Continues To Get Worse

Nonseasonally adjusted passenger car sales in the U.S. for 2019 declined 10.9% to 4.7 million units, versus 5.3 million units in 2018, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

AGR Daily News

The Mainstream Media Admits We Are In “An Auto Recession” – And It Just Continues To Get Worse

The global auto industry plunged deeper into recession in 2019, with sales dropping more than 4% as carmakers struggled to find buyers in China and India. The pain is likely to continue this year.

The number of vehicles sold across major global markets dipped to 90.3 million last year, according to analysts at LMC Automotive. That’s down from 94.4 million in 2018, and well below the record 95.2 million cars sold in 2017.

Here in the United States, people keep trying to tell us that the economy is in good shape, but last year auto sales fell here too…

Nonseasonally adjusted passenger car sales in the U.S. for 2019 declined 10.9% to 4.7 million units, versus 5.3 million units in 2018, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

via theeconomiccollapseblog The…

View original post 17 more words

Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil

Mr. Greenwald first became widely known for his role in the release of classified national security documents leaked by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. He co-founded The Intercept Brasil in 2016.

Counter Information

First they come for the journalists

Mr. Greenwald is accused of being part of a “criminal organization” that hacked into the cellphones of prosecutors and public officials.

By Ernesto Londoño

January 21, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – RIO DE JANEIRO — Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his role in the spreading of cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the image of an anti-corruption task force.

In a criminal complaint made public on Tuesday, prosecutors in the capital, Brasília, accused Mr. Greenwald of being part of a “criminal organization” that hacked into the cellphones of several prosecutors and other public officials last year.

Mr. Greenwald, an ardent critic of Brazil’s far right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is a deeply polarizing figure in Brazil’s bitter political divide. This perception was fueled when the organization he co-founded, The Intercept Brasil…

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Breaking Point: The 1979 Iranian Revolution

Breaking Point

Press TV (2019)

Film Review

Since Google (which owns Youtube) has banned Press TV’s YouTube channel, Iran’s national broadcaster has started their own documentary channel.

I’ve just watched an excellent two-hour documentary on the Iranian Revolution. Up to this point, my only exposure to the 1979 revolution overthrowing Shah Reza Pahlavi came from a handful of CIA-scripted Hollywood films and a book by former Israeli agent Ronen Bergman.

The documentary begins with the 1953 US/UK coup against democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh, following his nationalization of Iran’s oil industry. Four years after the CIA  reinstated Pahlavi as Shah, they worked with Israel to help him create the Savak, a massive intelligence/police force that was even more intrusive and brutal than the East German Stasi.

In 1963, fearful of growing popular discontent, the US pressured the Shah to undertake a series of reforms, including land reform, forest nationalization, electoral reform (including voting rights for women), and and a scheme granting company shares to factory workers. His error was putting corrupt family members and military officers in charge, who pocketing most of the funding allocations for their personal use.

As of 1975, 60% of Iranians still lived in rural villages, where only 1% had access to electricity or clean drinking water. In fact, extreme rural poverty led to the steady migration of landless farmworkers to Iran’s cities, where they became peddlers, beggars, and prostitutes.

The Shah’s decision not to participate in the 1973 oil embargo* led to a massive increase in Iran’s oil export income – from $4 billion to $20 billion. The Shah would use a substantial portion of these funds to industrialize Iran and create an educated Iranian middle class. However he squandered most of it on a network of nuclear power plants and advanced military hardware that even European NATO members couldn’t afford.

Ayatollah Khomeini, the so-called Gandhi of the Iranian Revolution, first came to prominence in June 1963, when he was arrested for a speech publicly denouncing the Shah, the US, and Israel. The mass uprising following his arrest was quashed after the Shah declared martial law. Fearful of further unrest, the Shah, who originally intended to execute Khomeini, merely exiled him (first to Turkey, then Iraq).

For years, tapes of Khomeini’s speeches were smuggled into Iran, where they became extremely popular among students. In 1969, Khomeini (from Iraq) called for the Shah’s overthrow and establishment of an Islamic Republic. By the mid-1970s, nearly all Iranian opposition groups had united behind Khomeini,** including many ex-communists and the secular National Front (founded by Mosaddegh supporters).

When Carter became president in 1977, he again pressured Iran to undertake political and social reforms. The filmmakers believe the reforms (including greater press freedoms, release of political prisoners, and withdrawal of troops from the universities) merely emboldened the resistance movement, resulting in a wave of mass protests and general strikes. By late December, a prolonged general strike brought the economy to a standstill, with Iranian troops refusing orders to fire on strikers or protestors.

In January 1979, the Shah fled the country, and on February 1, three million Iranians turned out to hail Khomeini’s triumphant return from Paris (he was expelled from Iraq in October 1978).


*The embargo instituted by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries was aimed at nations supporting Israel is the 1973 Yum Kippur War.

**Unlike Sunni Islam, the Shi’a religion has a long history of rebellion against authority.

Although the video can’t be embedded, it can be view free at Breaking Point or at Press TV’s Facebook page (for now): https://www.facebook.com/PressTVdocumentaries

 

Six Italian Courts Have Ruled That Cellphones Cause Tumors

January 21, 2020

Six Italian Courts Have Ruled that Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors

By Martine Vriens and Dafna Tachover

[Note: This article has been adapted and updated, with permission, from an earlier article published on May 29, 2019 by We Are the Evidence.]

On January 13, 2020, Turin’s Court of Appeals confirmed a 2017 decision determining that a former Telecom Italia worker’s acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor in the ear) was caused by his mobile phone use. This is the sixth time that an Italian court has affirmed a causal link between cell phone use and brain tumors, including decisions by the High Court of Italy.

The Appellate court reached its decision after a review of the evidence and after receiving the opinion of two court-appointed experts. The experts referred the court to studies indicating that individuals who speak on their phones for an average of 30 minutes a day for at least 10 years increase their risk of developing head tumors. After considering this evidence, the Appellate court in Turin stated, “There are solid elements to affirm a causal role between the exposure of the person to radiofrequencies from mobile phones and the disease that arose.”

Crucially, the Turin court stated that the studies provided by the defense—which denied a causal link—were mostly industry-funded and, therefore, should be given less weight because of conflicts of interest. Studies by members of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCHENIHR) also suffer from conflicts of interest, according to the Turin court, because these organizations likewise receive funding from industry. The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) International EMF Project and many countries around the world have adopted the industry-funded ICNIRP’s recommendations as their safety guidelines. Thus, these statements by the court—calling out the influence of industry funding and conflicts of interest—are extremely significant.

The Turin court’s ruling affirmed the decision of the court of Ivera from 2017. Roberto Romeo, age 57, used his cell phone for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years. He was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma in 2010, and his acoustic nerve had to be removed. As reported in The Guardian, “A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23% of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of €500 per month to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance program covering workplace accidents.”

Earlier court decisions

Acoustic neuromas are tumors that develop on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. This nerve influences balance and hearing. Pressure from an acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ear and unsteadiness, occasionally also interfering with brain functioning. Acoustic neuroma is also known as “vestibular schwannoma” because it develops on the Schwann cells covering the nerve. Of note, the U.S. government’s $25 million National Toxicology Program cell phone study found that exposure to cell phone radiation caused schwannoma-type tumors.

Newsweek mistakenly reported the Ivrea case as the first Italian ruling linking cell phones and acoustic neuromas, but it was in fact the second. The first ruling, made by a court in Brescia on December 10, 2009 and affirmed by the High Court of Italy in 2012, granted worker’s compensation to an industrial plant’s financial manager, Mr. Marcolini, who developed a tumor after using cell and cordless phones for five to six hours a day for 12 years. Marcolini was diagnosed as having a benign tumor on the trigeminal nerve, which controls facial muscles and sensations. As in Turin, the Brescia court ignored industry-funded studies—declaring them to be biased—and instead relied on the expert opinion of Swedish professor Lennart Hardell, an oncology specialist and cancer epidemiologist with “a focused interest in environmental risk factors for cancer.”

The next (third) ruling to link cell phone use and acute nerve disease was made by a Florence court in April 2017. The Florence court ordered INAIL to compensate a salesperson who developed an acoustic neuroma after using the phone for two to three hours a day on the job for 10 years.

An occupational hazard

On January 30, 2019, an Italian court in the city of Monza ruled that exposure to cell phone radiation caused an airport employee’s acoustic neuroma brain tumor. The employee had used a cell phone for well over 10 years for his work. After being diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in 2010, the employee was declared (in 2011) 68% disabled and permanently unfit for work. In 2014, he applied to INAIL, claiming a causal link between his workplace exposure to radiation and the acoustic neuroma and asking that his tumor be recognized as an occupational disease. The Monza court concurred that the tumor had permanently incapacitated him and rul© [Article Date] Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.ed it to be an occupational disease. When the defense appealed the decision, Italy’s Supreme Court upheld it […]

Via Children’s Health Defense

 

New York Moves to Become Next State to Enact Public Banking

By Oscar Perry Abello     January 2, 2020

New York State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (center, in all white) at Carnival in the Rockaways in August 2019.

New York State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (center, in all white) hopes to pass a public banking bill in New York in 2020. (Photo by Oscar Perry Abello)

It’s a sunny August Saturday in Far Rockaway, and New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. could hardly be more in his element. He’s riding high, not only on his parade float leading the 3rd Annual Carnival in the Rockaways, but also in his relatively new position as chair of the NY State Senate Committee on Banks.

Both of those positions will be crucial for Sanders as he prepares to take on Wall Street in the 2020 state legislative session.

People come out as the parade comes by to sit on stoops, porches, stand out in front of stores, and along sidewalks. Many join the parade itself, which seems to get bigger and bigger as it moves through the neighborhood, up the main drag along Beach 20th Street, then a few blocks up Mott Avenue and hanging a left down Beach Channel Drive to the final destination and festival at Bayswater Park.

After some lunch and standard hob-nobbing in the VIP section of the festival, Sanders leaves his staff behind and takes me on a leisurely walk around the festival, checking-in on vendors and the crowd. Everybody seems happy to see him and say hello.

“This is why I can pursue a progressive agenda,” Sanders tells me. “These voters. There’s an African saying, ‘When a tree has strong roots, it need not fear the wind.’ And our roots are so strong, if the one percent wants to get mad at us, they have that right. They can spend as much money as they wish. Just look around, is it going to do anything for them? Help yourself, knock yourself out. We are here to serve these people.”

The state senator has also put his float at the front of the parade to take on Wall Street, and he’s hoping many will come join him along the way. Last session, he introduced S5565, a bill that would make it easier for cities and counties in New York State to create their own public banks, which would hold municipal and county deposits and leverage those dollars to serve local borrowers and neighborhoods currently neglected by big banks. He hopes to pass the bill in the 2020 session.

[…]

California organizers successfully overcame Wall Street opposition to win similar legislation in their state last year. Like them, Sanders looks to the hundred year-old Bank of North Dakota as a model for how a public bank would work. Under his legislation, city- or county-owned public banks would be prohibited from competing with the private sector. Instead, cities or counties would deposit tax dollars and other revenues into a local public bank, which would work primarily as a banker’s bank, partnering with community banks, credit unions and loan funds to leverage public deposits in various ways designed to support local businesses and other financing needs like affordable housing […]

Via Who’s Afraid of Public Banking in New York