Assange extradition hearing resumes in London

first_img‘Abuse trial’ Clean-shaven and wearing a dark suit and maroon tie, Assange spoke to confirm his name and date of birth, and said he did not consent to extradition.It was the first time he has been seen in public since the first part of the hearing in February, when he appeared weak and confused.  The second part of the hearing, due in April, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. It is set to last three to four weeks.Supporters of Assange gathered outside the court, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who said he was “shining the light on all the corruption in the world”.His father, John Shipton, said the hearing was an “abuse trial.”Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, took a 80,000-strong petition opposing his extradition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office, but was turned away.She has said she feared Assange would take his own life — leaving their two young sons, who were conceived during his asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, without a father.US journalism lecturer Mark Feldstein, from the University of Maryland, was the first witness to be called in the hearing, giving evidence via videolink.He said leaks of classified information, either to the media or Congress, were commonplace.”Leaks shed light on decision-making by the government and inform the public powerfully, but they also expose government deceit, corruption and illegality and abuse of power,” he told the court.At the February hearing, James Lewis, representing the US government, said WikiLeaks was responsible for “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.”Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a license to break ordinary criminal laws,” he added. Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday failed to persuade a British judge to throw out new US allegations against him, as he resumed his fight to avoid extradition to the United States for leaking military secrets.Protesters gathered outside London’s Old Bailey court as the 49-year-old Australian was brought in, brandishing placards reading “Don’t Extradite Assange” and “Stop this political trial”.Inside, Assange’s lawyers sought to “excise” new allegations lodged by Washington in recent weeks, saying they had not had time to formulate a proper response. Long-running saga The extradition hearing is the latest in a series of legal battles faced by Assange since the leaks a decade ago.In 2010, he faced allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, which he denied.He was in Britain at the time but dodged an attempt to extradite him to Sweden by claiming political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London.For seven years he lived in a small apartment in the embassy, but after a change of government in Ecuador, Quito lost patience with its guest and turned him over to British police in April 2019. Swedish prosecutors confirmed last year they had dropped the rape investigation, saying that despite a “credible” account from the alleged victim there was insufficient evidence to proceed.Topics : Assange faces 18 charges under the US Espionage Act relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.Washington claims he helped intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal the documents before exposing confidential sources around the world. If convicted, Assange — who has been held at the high-security Belmarsh Prison for the last 16 months — could be jailed for up to 175 years.US authorities recently laid out new evidence against Assange alleging that he and others at the whistleblowing site recruited hackers. In court on Monday, defense lawyer Mark Summers protested against the “11th hour” allegations, noting the difficulties Assange already had in communicating with his legal team due to coronavirus restrictions.”What is happening is abnormal, unfair and liable to create injustice if allowed to continue,” he said.But District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said: “These are issues which must take place in the context of considering the extradition request and not before it.”last_img read more

Arsenal enter race with Manchester United to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona

first_imgArsenal enter race with Manchester United to sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 27 Mar 2019 12:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Manchester United are already in the race to sign Umtiti (Getty Images)Umtiti, however, has suggested that he will remain at Camp Nou.AdvertisementAdvertisementDuring an interview with Telefoot last week, Umtiti replied ‘yes’ when asked if he will stay at Barcelona or not.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Samuel Umtiti is on Arsenal’s radar (Getty Images)Arsenal are in the race with Manchester United to sign Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, according to reports in Spain.Barca are currently in advanced negotiations with Ajax over a summer deal for Matthijs de Ligt and are reportedly open to selling Umtiti if it helps them land the 19-year-old.Barcelona’s willingness to offload Umtiti has reportedly alerted the interest of Manchester United, who are in the market for a new central defender this summer.But according to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are also interested in a deal for the France international.ADVERTISEMENTRaul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s director of football, played a key role in signing in Umtiti for Barca in 2016 and could be a major influence in the Gunners’ push to land the 25-year-old this summer. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

German association VFPK rejects ‘Dutch-style’ pensions

first_imgThe VFPK said this would be “unsuitable” for occupational pension systems.Rather than boosting Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds, the current proposal would create “ideal conditions for profit-orientated financial service providers”, the association warned.The pension fund association also stressed that existing Pensionskassen were organised by the social partners, as would be the newly proposed vehicles, and that existing vehicles were working as non-profit organisations without expensive sales and distribution activities.Instead of creating new pension vehicles, the VFPK said the government should remove legal hurdles to voluntary employee contributions.One problem currently is that some pensions received via a Pensionskasse from supplementary voluntary contributions are subject to social security taxes while those from life insurers are not. The VFPK, the association of company pension funds in Germany, has rejected the Labour Ministry’s (BMAS) proposal to introduce new industry-wide pension plans.Last month, the BMAS recommended the introduction of industry-wide, Dutch-style pension plans in Germany to increase participation in the second pillar, by allowing, among other things, employers to defer any sponsor support and other responsibilities to a yet-to-be-established protection fund.The VFPK rejected the proposal, pointing out that employers could already set up pension plans without the obligation to make additional payments in difficult times.Further, it expressed concerns that a new insolvency vehicle, which the Ministry proposed to hedge employer risks, would be subject to Solvency II regulations.last_img read more

Bulldogs Grapplers Participate At Spartan Classic

first_imgThe Batesville High School wrestling team traveled to Connersville to compete in the 42nd annual Spartan Wrestling Classic. This two-day event attracts thirty-two teams from all over the state and is considered one of the toughest events in the state. The Bulldogs were able to send nine young men to this tournament and all came away with some valuable experience that will get them ready for the upcoming state tournament.Captain Will Amberger was the lone Bulldog to finish the second day with a win that allowed him to compete in the placement rounds. After winning his first two matches, he wrestled the 2014 5th place State finisher Jonathon Morales of Western Boone High School. Amberger controlled the match with his offensive style wrestling but gave up three reversals allowing Morales to win by a close 8-5 decision. Morales would eventually finish the tournament in 2nd place losing to an undefeated Conner James of Roncalli High School. Following the loss against Morales, Amberger bounced back and finished the day with four decisive wins on the day earning a 3rd place finish in the Spartan classic.Wrestlers competing for the Bulldogs included:Sophomore Hunter Fetters in the 106 lb. class with a record of 2-2Freshman Dallas Lamping in the 120 lb. class with a record of 2-2Sophomore Nick Schneider in the 126 lb. class with a record of 1-2Sophomore Chris Schene in the 132 lb. class with a record of 1-2Sophomore Xavier King in the 145 lb. class with a record of 1-2Freshman Drew McLeod in the 152 lb. class with a record of 0-1Senior Neal Nobbe in the 160 lb. class with a record of 3-2Senior Will Amberger in the 182 lb. class with a record of 6-1, 3rd place finishSenior Allen Hudepohl in the 195 lb. class with a record of 3-2Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Chris Deal with Wendy Deal.last_img read more

Henderson won’t dwell on United win

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson insists the team must not dwell on beating old rivals Manchester United and instead focus solely on maintaining their winning run. Press Association “That will start again next week against Cardiff and we will see where we are at the end of the season.” Defender Jon Flanagan believes their title rivals cannot fail to be concerned by the Reds’ challenge as they go in search of a first championship since 1990. “I think they are going to be worried,” said Flanagan. “We put a marker down (at Old Trafford). I think we are ready to push on and keep going. “We all believe but our priority was to finish in the top four at the start of the season. We are on track for that and anything else is a bonus. “It’s always good when you see other teams around us losing. We saw the Chelsea result (losing at Aston Villa on Saturday) but we just concentrate on ourselves. “We are just taking it a game at a time and keeping our feet on the ground. “Momentum is building though. The lads are really happy but we are taking it step by step and hopefully we can keep that going.” Their 3-0 triumph at Old Trafford on Sunday was their fifth league win in succession and in the 10 matches since the turn of the year they are unbeaten, amassing 26 points to drive them into title contention in the Barclays Premier League. The Reds head to second-bottom Cardiff at the weekend looking to extend their winning streak and maintain the pressure on leaders Chelsea, who are four points ahead having played one match more. Henderson said they have to put the euphoria of their first success at Old Trafford since 2009 – and only their 16th league win on the ground in 118 years – behind them and focus on what immediately lies ahead. “It was a big win but it was just another game for us really,” said the England international. “We went there trying to do the same thing, put on a good performance, get three points and thankfully we did that so we can move on to the next performance and hopefully win that. “We knew it was a massive game but we have been brilliant of late and we felt as though we were capable of doing what we have been doing all season and have a really good chance of winning the game. “We dominated from start to finish and I am very pleased in that respect, but we just move on to this week against Cardiff, that will be a difficult task as we are away from home so we need to prepare well for that.” Manager Brendan Rodgers is reluctant to talk about their title chances but the players are not so reticent, with captain Steven Gerrard insisting the Reds are genuine contenders. Further afield there appears to be no doubt the Reds are in the hunt but Henderson is happy for others to talk up their chances. “I am sure they will but we have just got to keep focused on what we are trying to do as a team and take each game as it comes and not get too carried away,” he said. last_img read more

Super Eagles: Enyeama drops big retirement hint

first_imgSuper Eagles goalkeeper and captain, Vincent Enyeama, has hinted at international retirement after making his 100th appearance for Nigeria in Wednesday’s international friendly against Uganda at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo, southeast Nigeria.The match ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Super Eagles against a Ugandan Cranes side who grabbed the only goal of the game in the 75th minute through Faruku Miya.And Enyeama, speaking after the game, couldn’t hide his disappointment over the loss even though he was glad to be the second Nigerian player to hit the century mark after erstwhile Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo.“I want to say a big thank you to Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora. Everywhere in the world; everyone that has supported me; that has rooted for me all these years. I want to say a big thank you to them. I love them and words cannot express how I feel,” said the Lille goalkeeper, who made his Super Eagles debut in May 2002 against Kenya.He was speaking to Supersport.He added: “It was a great disappointment [we lost] but this is football. It is a training game. There was prestige at stake, there was pride at stake but it is part of life. We played with a new team and it’s going to take time for us to blend; for us to get to know ourselves.” “Thirteen years in these colours? It hasn’t been that easy. There have been ups and downs but I just want to thank God. He has been good [to me]. It has been a successful career all the way. It has been one feat to another. It has been one form of greatness to another, so I want to thank God and everyone that has been there for me.”And regarding rumours that the 33-year-old is contemplating international retirement in order to concentrate on his club career, Enyeama said: “I have to stop at some point. I cannot keep playing until I get old. I have to stop at some point and concentrate on my club football. But for now I don’t know.“[I now have a] hundred caps in the bag and I am going to sit with the coaches and see the way forward because a whole lot of things have to be sorted out. So we will sit and sort things out.”–last_img read more

Sergey Kovalev says Andre Ward’s points win was ‘wrong decision’

first_imgSergey Kovalev believes politics and the “wrong decision” saw him lose his light-heavyweight world titles to Andre Ward.The Russian called for a rematch immediately after losing his IBF, WBA Super and WBO world titles to a close points decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.Kovalev put Ward on the floor in the second round only to lose 114-113 on all three judges’ scorecards”I don’t want to say my opinion, so the people are the witnesses are here and everybody saw what happened.”I made the best shape for this fight since I was 11 years old. It was the [biggest] fight of all my life and really I am disappointed with the judges decision.”He got a few rounds. I am agreeing with that, it’s not the full fight and controlled all the rounds. I lost maybe three rounds in all the fight. “Of course I want a rematch. And I will kick his a***. I just wanted to show boxing I am good boxer and fight rounds – not small rounds.”Kovalev was making his third appearance in Las Vegas in comparison to the winner, Ward, who was making his debut.’Krusher’ admitted he had no problem with the crowed backing the unbeaten Californian but made the point that judges, Burt A Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie, are also American”I am the guest here in the USA… he’s a local and all the judges were from the USA,” he said.”I agree they support a boxer but be honest, this is a sport – don’t make it politics. I won this fight and everybody agreed.” Ward, who suffered a knockdown for the first time in 11 years, refused to discuss a rematch, saying he would never make a decision like that so soon after a fight.The Californian did pay credit to Kovalev but believes the unanimous decision was the correct outcome.”I’ve been a champion and was a champion before I came in here and I knew it was going to be a tough fight,” he said”You never anticipate getting dropped; that was the first time in my career getting dropped but I was pleased with myself they way I responded.”He did everything that I expected him too, including fade a little bit. He started to slow up. He never quit but he started to slow. “Sometimes you are going to win close fights and that’s the way it is. At t the end of the day I am a two-division world champion, a five-time world champion and I’ve been nothing but a champion so I will leave it for the people, the pundits and critics to say. I’m just happy we got this decision.last_img read more

LA Clippers don’t feel pressure despite expectations

first_img“I don’t know, they’ve done said that every year,” he said. “Every year, after how we finished the year before, they say they expect this. So I think it’s not about what everybody expects from us, but what we expect from ourselves.”Paul was pushed.“I don’t even know what everyone’s expectations are,” he said. “I think for me and our team now, I think it’s just about the singular focus, it’s about us guys in the locker room never getting too high or never getting too low or worrying about any of that because we’ve gotta take it one day at a time.”The big four on this team is the same from last year — Paul, shooting guard J.J. Redick, power forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan, who re-signed with the Clippers after nearly leaving for the Dallas Mavericks.If Stephenson becomes the fifth starter, that would mean the second team would consist of guards Rivers and Crawford and forwards Smith, Johnson and Pierce. Smith would play center on defense.Not only does Pierce bring with him world-title experience, Smith has been as far as the conference finals this past season with Houston. Certainly, he showed the Clippers would he could do during the conference semifinals.A couple of other players who could make contributions are forward Luc Mbah a Moute on defense and guard Pablo Prigioni, who also played for Houston in 2014-15.Rounding out the roster are center Cole Aldrich, rookie forward Branden Dawson and second-year guard C.J. Wilcox.As for the Clippers’ competition in the Western Conference, at the top is defending champion Golden State Warriors. San Antonio now has forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Houston, though it lost Smith, now has point guard Ty Lawson.Oklahoma City brings superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as well as first-year coach Billy Donovan. That’s not to mention Memphis, which has arguably the best center in the game in Marc Gasol.It’s a lot to absorb.But pressure? Forget about it. As much as Doc Rivers hates the word, his son despises it even more.“I don’t like the word ‘pressure,’” Austin Rivers said. “That’s for (pansies), in my opinion, man. How can I feel pressure if I’m a pro? You just go out there and play.“If it doesn’t work out, keep your head up, keep getting better. We’ve been working so hard, we’ve got Hall of Fame players here to teach us and get us better. You go out there and play basketball. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. This is what Josh has been doing, Paul has been doing.”He was somewhat disgusted.“There is no such thing as pressure,” he said. “You just play. At the end of the day, whether I make or miss a shot, I’m still going to wake up with my girlfriend and my Pops and my family. It don’t matter, so I don’t focus on none of that stuff, man. I just play basketball.”As does Pierce, who has been for the past 17 years in this league. He has become known among his peers as “The Truth.” He may be 38, but he can still play. With his tenacity, know-how and overall presence, he could be crucial for this team.He showed just how big in Thursday’s preseason finale, when the Clippers came from 35 down to beat Portland 115-109. Pierce scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, at one point making three consecutive 3-pointers.“It was good for it to be the last game of the preseason and finally going into the regular season, you know, a vote of confidence,” he said. “Not only for me, for a number of guys. Now, there are no excuses.“We know what we’re capable of. We saw something, regardless of whether it was preseason or not, a certain characteristic in this ballclub that we have in us. We were down 35. So whenever we get down through the year, I’m going to go back and refer to this game. The game is never over. The guys have to realize that.”Perhaps that was the problem in Game 6 against Houston in May. The Clippers thought it was over, and the Rockets came back and got them.That can’t happen again.No pressure, though. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Rivers was reminded he added a lot of solid players. Still, he scoffed.“Should more be expected of San Antonio, Golden State, Houston, because they’ve all added players?” he said. “So my point is, that’s for all you guys to write and talk about. But we’ve added great players and our intentions are exactly the same as last year and that’s to win it.”Among the key players the Clippers added are Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith and Wesley Johnson. Although it’s not yet official, Stephenson could be the starter at small forward, with the other three helping make up what could be a terrific bench if it jells. Also on that bench will be the rapidly improving Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford, the two-time Sixth Man of the Year.Pierce has brought with him a championship ring he attained in 2008 while playing for Rivers in Boston. Point guard Chris Paul has not come close to winning a ring in 10 years in the league, the past four with the Clippers.Paul was asked how he plans on dealing with what figures to be the highest expectations ever for a franchise that has yet to get to a conference finals in 44 seasons.center_img Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is a winner. Winners demand excellence, and there was nothing excellent about what happened to the Clippers this past season when they again failed to get past the Western Conference semifinals, this time losing a 3-1 series lead to the Houston Rockets.Now that third-year coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers has assembled a roster that on paper seems the best in franchise history, it stands to reason Ballmer and the NBA world as a whole will be expecting more of Rivers and his charges. Perhaps much more.Rivers became a bit combative recently when asked about shouldering that kind of burden, which is enhanced when considering the Clippers’ $98 million payroll is well over the $70 million cap.“You do what you do, I don’t know about that pressure stuff,” Rivers said. “I don’t think there is any different pressure than there was last year for us, to be honest. I have the same feeling going into this year.”last_img read more

Whicker: Cubs hope to shake off their long, strange trip

first_imgThey won, they repaired to the Nationals Park visiting clubhouse that has become the leading champagne room in all of sports, and they let the dogs out. They figured they’d be spending the rest of the night on their plane, arriving at their L.A. hotel as the sun rose.Theoretically.Instead they were diverted to Albuquerque when a relative of the traveling party fell ill.That could have been a pit stop. But their pilots had already expended their flying hours, and they couldn’t return to the cockpit.So the Cubs were immobilized for five more hours. It was enough to make you wonder if there really was a Walter White, and, if so, could he come to the airport for a pick-me-up? Whicker: Dodgers in World Series: If not now, when? Joe Maddon’s bulletin-board material didn’t resonate with Dodgers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Cubs got here at 11 a.m. Nobody came to Dodger Stadium except Manager Joe Maddon, who wore a throwback jacket with a Route 66 patch on the sleeve, looking like an antique shopper in Kingman, Ariz.He had no news about the Game 1 starter tonight, in the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers, but he had a message.There is a difference between tired and exhausted, and between paper and infield dirt. The Cubs know they’re operating under every disadvantage. They also know they’re world champions.“The adrenaline will be supplied,” Maddon said. “The day of rest (Monday) is going to be really vital. We have to get to that day in good shape, I think. Hopefully we win one. Getting two would be incredibly difficult, but possible of course.“These guys are really young, but I can’t say they’re inexperienced anymore. A couple less hours of sleep, yeah, but the fact it’s so exhilarating to win the way we just did. I think that will supply the energy.”Seven Cubs pitchers gave up 12 hits and walked nine on Thursday. The offense was 1 for 11 with men in scoring position. They only won because they knew how to, and Washington didn’t, because Javier Baez threw out Trea Turner at home and Willson Contreras picked him off first.Games like this, you win on plays you make that have nothing to do with past performance or probability.As Maddon said, “I prefer real baseball as opposed to fantasy baseball right now. Numbers be damned.”But the Cubs were the best team in baseball after the All-Star break, by a margin of four games. The question is the wall, and when they hit it.“It’s usually not the first day when it hits you,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said, remembering a similar scramble last season between their NLDS win and NLCS loss. “It’s like the next couple of days after that. But adrenaline can almost carry you through that off-day at times.“We’re well-rested and ready to go, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to win the game. We gotta go play.”Maddon said he was only worried that the Cubs’ plane would run out of food. It didn’t.“Big 767, plenty of room,” he said. “In today’s world, with all the events that are thundering down upon us, I thought it was kind of a bunt.”Maddon wasn’t even stressed about pitching options. He had not chosen one. It seems inconceivable that he won’t go with lefty Jose Quintana, who threw 12 pitches in relief Thursday. The alternative is John Lackey, one of baseball’s most hittable pitchers this season.Quintana has held lefty hitters to a .222 average and is unfamiliar to most Dodgers. The Game 2 starter would be Jon Lester, who relieved (55 pitches) in Game 4 but has become a walking Octoberfest, with an excellent 1.005 WHIP in 24 postseason games.“We had our third meeting of the year, before the playoffs,” Maddon said. “I gave them that Mike Tyson quote: Everybody’s got a plan until he gets hit in the face.“So they’re going to be ready to play. They’ll be tired. Who cares? It’s about the heartbeat, brother.”Can sleep-deprived euphoria win baseball games? Can it straighten out your circadian rhythms? Maybe, and maybe it’s not necessary.The Cubs were down 3-1 in last year’s World Series and won it. They were tired then, too.center_img Dodgers vs. Cubs: NLCS scouting report, prediction Cubs edge Nationals, set up NLCS rematch with Dodgers Miller: Crystal ball says Dodgers will sweep Cubs in NLCS LOS ANGELES — Vince Lombardi said “fatigue makes cowards of us all.” But not always. Sometimes it makes clowns and comedians and kids of us all.Especially when it’s 25 semi-adults, playing the most serious games of their lives and spending the intervening hours coast-to-coast, in a flying prison.The Chicago Cubs played Game 4 of the NL Division Series at home Wednesday night. They played Game 5 in Washington on Thursday night, and then into Friday morning.Related Articleslast_img read more