WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange loses extradition battle


By , Wednesday, May 30

LONDON — Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Swedento face questions about allegations of rape, sexual assault and unlawful coercion.At a short hearing in central London, the president of the Supreme Court, Nicholas Phillips, said the court dismissed the defense team’s argument that the warrant that led to Assange’s arrest was flawed.

Speaking to a packed courtroom, Phillips said the case had “not been simple to resolve,” and was decided by a vote of 5 to 2.In a surprise intervention, Assange’s legal team asked — and was granted — two weeks to consider lodging an application to reopen the case. The lawyers said that the judges decided the case based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, but that this point had not been discussed in court.

Assange — who shot to international fame when his anti-secrecy Web site spilled official state secrets in the form of Afghanistan and Iraq military reports and a mammoth cache of diplomatic cables — did not appear in court on Wednesday. His lawyers told reporters he was stuck in traffic.

Swedish authorities want to question Assange — no charges have been laid — about separate encounters he had with two WikiLeaks volunteers. The volunteers say they had consensual sex with Assange, but at some stage, it became non-consensual. One of the women, described in the courts here as “Miss B,” accused Assange of having unwanted sex with her while she was asleep.

Although Assange insists the sex was consensual, his case before the Supreme Court hinged on a single technicality: Was the Swedish prosecutor who issued the European arrest warrant that led to his arrest in December 2010 a valid judicial authority?

Only a “competent judicial authority” can issue a European arrest warrant, a system ushered in to speed up extradition between European nations.

In a 161-page judgment, the Supreme Court haggles over what, exactly, is meant by the words “judicial authority,” ultimately rejecting Assange’s arguments that a public prosecutor cannot fall into the category.

Although the Supreme Court is Britain’s highest appellate court for civil cases, Assange has not yet exhausted all of his legal options.

Assange can still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which would decide within two weeks whether or not to take the case. If that court declined to take the case, Assange would be extradited to Sweden “as soon as arrangements can be made,” according to a statement by the Crown Prosecution Service. If the European court accepts the case, analysts say, the long-running legal battle could drag on for more weeks or months.

In February 2011, a lower court in Britain granted Sweden’s extradition request. Assange appealed the ruling and lost, but he won permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case before seven judges — two more than normal — because, the court said, of the “great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority.”

Assange’s attorneys have argued that the allegations lodged against him are politically motivated and said they fear Swedish authorities might hand him over to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act for leaking State Department diplomatic cables.

Over the next two weeks, Assange will remain in Britain under his current bail terms, which include wearing an electronic tag around his ankle and checking in daily with local police.

Such is the worldwide interest in the case that the Supreme Court issued a statement last week encouraging visitors who were not attending the Assange judgment to “choose another day to visit the building.”


Anonymous does not mean you are doing illegal stuff- Anonymous INDIA


The collective is planning physical, non-violent protests across Indian cities on 9 June

Surabhi Agarwal

New Delhi: Internet activist group Anonymous, which has been attacking Indian websites, has further planned such attacks from 9 June to protest censorship of content in the country. It has also demanded the unblocking of file-sharing websites in India. The government says it’s prepared to deal with the online attacks and protests, besides seeking to arrest the members of the self-proclaimed collective. In a group interview, some members of Anonymous India spoke about the protest and how they work. The interview took place over web chat and involved multiple members of the group, all of whom maintained their anonymity. The collective is planning physical, non-violent protests across Indian cities on 9 June.

Edited excerpts:

What are your plans for 9 June?

Be a physical, visible presence. Make it clear that we oppose this censorship and we want our Internet back.

You are informing people through Facebook pages about the protests, but are also asking them to take police permission? Who will take the lead?

The administrators of respective FB (Facebook) groups, many of them are working on that already. People volunteer. Anonymous does not mean you are doing illegal stuff….We have lots of support from people in the IT (information technology) industry and students. A few offered to get (permission).

File-sharing websites have been blocked in India in the past as well. What was the trigger for your attack this time?

Blocking of many sites at the beginning of this month. Censorship was the trigger, but more than that, arbitrary, unjust measures. To block access to millions, because there could be illegal content is not acceptable. Also, people should have the right to decide what is moral to them and what is immoral.

Are more attacks on websites in the offing?

Yes. Defacing and leaks are also in progress.

The order to block file-sharing sites was made by a court at the request of private companies. So why are you targeting government websites?

The government has created laws and support for censorship that are getting used. Who will monitor? Whose responsibility is it to protect rights of people? Why create methods of censorship you can’t control? Today, we have the IT rules, where intermediaries have to take down content based on notifications. How can this be monitored? Who knows what gets taken down to avoid hassles? It is the government’s responsibility to make wise laws.

How do you operate? How do you choose which issues to take up?

By voting. Usually someone brings up an idea, creates the channel, gives information and invites and advertises. For example, Mamata Banerjee imprisoned cartoonists: vote goes up (for a situation like this), and accordingly, we take action.

How do you recruit members to your group?

It is not a group. It is an idea. If you think like us, you already are part of us.

Since everybody’s identity is anonymous, how do you sift between fake and genuine?

If you are fake, you will be exposed. We don’t monitor. We just communicate, on Twitter or just through this IRC (Internet relay chat) network.

How do members manage time for such coordinated attacks, considering all of you have day jobs?

Yes, some of us have jobs. We come online whenever we can. No more personal questions.

The government is trying to track members of Anonymous and claims to be close.

Good luck. They have been (doing so) from the start. There are too many of us. They will not be able to get us all. The ones who are captured are the ones who make mistakes.

Are you saying it won’t matter if they get through to some of you?

We never know the identity of another, so even if one gets caught, all they get are usernames. No, it won’t matter.

So you guys are not scared of police action?

We are. As all are protesters. Some things are bigger than fears. But we have removed the idea of what would happen if we get caught.

Do you think this idea that drives you is bigger than the trouble that could follow?

Yes. It’s always been that way and always will be. It is worth it. Freedom is important, for us, and for the generations to come after us.

What is that one big idea that drives all of you?

Freedom—it’s the biggest idea.

Are attacks such as Operation India coordinated by the central unit of Anonymous?

No, all are decentralized. There is no centre, no head.

So you are independent?

Yes, but the target will be discussed usually, so a democratic system is in place. There is consensus, people who find it important walk together, each knowing the risk and owning it.

What if the websites are not unblocked even after the 9 June protests?

We fight again and again. It’s just phase one of the fight.

Will you attack more websites?

I’m sure many more websites will be attacked. We will keep hitting, with our canons loaded fully. Lots more data will be leaked.

The government says that you tried attacking many sites but were not successful. True?

Some have succeeded, some have not.

How does it all begin, suppose there is a country that still doesn’t have an Anonymous representative?

Simple—you start one.

Who appoints the first member? Do you need permission from the centre?

No one appoints. There is no centre, we do not need permission, we can do whatever we like. Except for a few rules, we can do anything. Anonymous is like an idea. It spreads, it goes from one person to others!

Do you guys need any funding for what you do?

No. We do not spend any money for what we do.

How would you rate the success of your India operation so far?

So far, so good. The problem remains. The results are good, but this is the journey. Too early to evaluate. Well, we need more people to wake up and understand what is happening around them. We shall continue and try to get maximum support, and try to spread the idea of Anonymous.

Will some of you be there at the protest physically?

Maybe, maybe not. We are an idea, so we will be there. But I’m sure some will be (physically there), but if everyone has masks, they will all look the same.

surabhi.a@livemint.com

Read original article here

Anonymous To Stage Street Protest on 9th June, Join Us In Your City

Anonymous is coming to your city. Are you ready? Join Us.

“We are Anonymous cos none of us is as cruel as all of us.” Join the facebook events to know more about what is going in and around your city.  Meet the fellow folks who are going to protest on 9th June against Internet Censorship.

Occupy Mumbai –  Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Occupy Delhi – India Gate

Occupy Chandigarh –  The Plaza, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

Occupy UP – *tentative*

Occupy Indore –  Regal Square.

Occupy Kolkata – South City Mall.

Occupy Hyderabad – Hitech City.

Occupy Bangalore – M.G. Road.

Occupy Cochin – Marine Drive.

Occupy Calicut –  Calicut Beach Opposite To  Beach Hotel

Occupy Nagpur – *tentative*

Occupy Pune – Shivaji Nagar.

Occupy Chennai  – *tentative*

If you want to help/support our cause and protest in your city let us know we’ll help you co-ordinate the protest.

IMPORTANT DIRECTIVES  FOR THE PROTEST – #OpIndia June 9, 2012 

http://pastehtml.com/view/bzi0nxrkz.html

People of India, it is high time you all realized that you need to take the action if your country needs to be saved. So here is your chance. On June 9th we are conducting nation wide protest at multiple cities in India. Join us.

This is to be a NON-VIOLENT protest in all means. So as there can be cases of this failing or external groups that may try to disrupt our operation using violence we are hereby issuing the following directives so that you can be safe.
01. The protest is a Non-Violent one.
02. Protesters may not use vehicles to protest as this may cause accidents, please keep vehicles out of the protest crowd.
03. One shall not keep any harmful items like weapons, stones etc with oneself.
04. Those who can wear the Guy Fawkes Mask. Printable version is available on the web.
05. Please bring placards, banners etc that you can prepare so for the cause.
06. For whom it is possible bring cameras and record events. Use your smart phone to stream it online using ustream. This will give us proof if something bad is attempted at the protest.
07. IF POLICE BLOCKS THE WAY, STAY 50Mts MIN AWAY. DO NOT CONFRONT THEM.
08. Fire or burning at all of any figures or material is to NOT be done.
09. Please hand over anyone who causes violence to the police.
10. Protest well. Our future may depend on it.
Thank you!We are anonymous
We are a Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
EXPECT US

Useful Links:

Press Release [28-05-2012] – http://pastehtml.com/view/bzkss5f77.rtxt

Anonymous Mask – http://opindia.posterous.com/become-anonymous

Make your own Anonymous Mask – http://opindia.posterous.com/pages/diy-anonymous-mask

Anonymous on Twitter – @opindia_back (Official Account)

Monsanto’s Involvement With Agent Orange – 40 Years After the Vietnam Conflict



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By By Investigative Journalist ~ Theodora Filiss
The US celebrated Memorial Day on Monday, May 28. Originally called Decoration Day, it is a day of remembrance for those who have died in their nation’s service.

“If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.” Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

What about the men and women who survived? The Vietnam Veterans who share in the pain and suffering caused by the shameful neglect and harassment by the same people whose lives they fought to protect? One of the most disturbing and damaging legacies of the Vietnam war is Agent Orange. Nearly 40 years later, questions remain.
The US military used Agent Orange from 1961 to 1971 to defoliate dense vegetation in the Vietnamese jungles to reduce the chances of an ambush. Seven major chemical companies were contracted under the Defense Production Act to obtain Agent Orange and other herbicides for use by US and allied troops in Vietnam.
Agent Orange was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides” employed in the Herbicidal Warfare program of the Vietnam War. Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the two largest producers of Agent Orange for the US military. According to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 deaths and disabilities, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Today Monsanto’s website boasts: “Monsanto is a relatively new company. While we share the name and history of a company that was founded in 1901, the Monsanto of today is focused on agriculture and supporting farmers around the world in their mission to produce more while conserving more. We’re an agricultural company.”
In the past two decades, Monsanto’s “agricultural” GMO monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets. Monsanto is now primarily a seed and agricultural products company.
Monsanto is responsible for more than 50 United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites – attempts to clean up Monsanto Chemical’s formerly uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Monsanto’s legacy includes, not only the production of Agent Orange, but DDT, PCBs, and Dioxin. Now massive aerial spraying of Roundup in Colombia is being used by the US and the Colombian government as a counter-insurgency tactic, contaminating food crops and poisoning villagers.

Invitation –The Magic Tricks of Petrol Price Hike-June 2


 

Invitation

Seminar: The Magic Tricks of Petrol Price Hike
The government has raised the price of petrol once again, this time  by a whopping Rs. 7.50 per litre. This is the sixteenth time petrol prices have been raised in the past 16 years. The government is claiming that the prices have been raised due to rise in International Crude Oil Prices, and the price increase was necessary as  otherwise the domestic oil companies would go bankrupt.

How true are all these claims? What is the real reason behind the Petrol Price Hike? To discuss these questions in detail, Lokayat is organising a Seminar on the issue:

Seminar:  THE MAGIC TRICKS  OF PETROL PRICE HIKE

Speakers:   Dr. Sulabha Brahme
Neeraj Jain

Date:     Saturday, June 2, 2012
Time:    6 to 8 pm
Venue:  Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal Hall, Sadashiv Peth, Near Bharat Natya Mandir, Pune.

Do join us.

In solidarity,

Alka Joshi
94223 19129      

Neeraj Jain, Lokayat
Flat No. 20, Building No. A-3,
Ishanya Nagari, Warje,
Pune – 411 058
Ph. Mobile             094222 20311
Landline:             020-25231251

Jairam Ramesh launches SADP project in Malkangiri , Orissa


English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodha...

English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon, outside of New Delhi. The ITC Green Centre is the world’s largest “Platinum Rated” green office building. Department photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 May 29, ibnlive.com

BHUBANESWAR/MALKANGIRI: As a part of the Centre’s initiative to contain the spread of Maoism by taking up developmental projects in the affected areas, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday visited Malkangiri district ahead of launching the Special Area Development Plan (SADP) project by the ministry in the region.

Ramesh, who reviewed implementation of different developmental projects in Malkangiri district, will also visit Sukma in Chhattisgarh. The SADP will be launched in Malkangiri-Sukma region with at an estimated cost of `300 crore.

Security had been tightened in the entire district as Ramesh stayed overnight in  Malkangiri. He will leave for Sukma on Tuesday morning. His proposed visit to Janbai in the cut off area was cancelled due to security reasons following an exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists in Kalimela area. The Maoists triggered a landmine blast injuring three Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel.

Malkangiri was in the news last year when Maoists kidnapped the then collector R Vineel Krishna. Krishna, who is now the Private Secretary of the Minister, is accompanying Ramesh. Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon was also abducted by the Maoists this year.

Ramesh met elected panchayat representatives, SHGs and beneficiaries of different welfare programmes during his visit to the district and harped on the dignity of tribals. Many tribals are languishing in different jails in Odisha for no fault of theirs and they should be released immediately, he said. The Minister expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) as only 35 per cent of the funds for the district has been spent.

He was critical of the delay in completion of Gurupriya bridge over the  Janbai river. Left wing extremism (LWE) can be tackled effectively if all the political parties work unitedly, he said. He exhorted the youths to join politics. Nine out of every 100 girls are joining the outlawed CPI(Maoist) due to the failure of the political system, Ramesh reasoned.

Invitation – Meeting Twenty years after ’92-’93 in Bombay – June 2


Dear Friends,

Dec 2012-Jan 2013 marks twenty years of the shocking, violent, horrifying days of Dec 92-Jan 93.
Those of us who were in this city in those days witnessed something that we probably could not even imagine. Those were days that brought the worst kind of violence to the foreground. Violence systematically targeted at some citizens of the city. Violence that divided , that terrified, that made many flee, that gave fresh meanings to the “us”  and “them”.
The last twenty years bear witness to the scars of that violence. Absence of justice and the continuous mockery of the process of justice has not helped in the healing. While some wounds have filled up with time and some acts of kindness and support, many continue to fester – we are just better at not showing them and at not seeing them. The chasms deepened then have not been filled up. They have altered the city and its people in many ways.
Our internal and the external landscapes have shifted in the last twenty years in numerous ways. The violence of 92-93 was one trigger but so also were the processes of globalisation, neo-liberalisation, privatisation. They reconfigured the city and its citizens in multiple ways.
The familiar industries and organised labour have made way for newer occupations and the unorganised sector. There has been an ever expanding disparity between those few who have reaped the benefits of these new capitalist ventures and the vast majority whose struggles for survival have acquired newer meanings.
Alongside, the cosmopolitan character of this city too has been steadily replaced with a  parochial outlook and character. The bogey of the “sons of the soil”, the slogans of cultural nationalism and the narrowing definitions of the “true residents” have altered the city in more ways than we would like to see and remember.
And then there is the terror of terror. Wounded by repeated attacks, the citizens have often welcomed rather than opposed the easier solutions of safety through surveillance and targeting  of the vulnerable offered by the state.  The spirit of the city is continuously under attack and we get nearer to a police state with every such response.
With shrinking open spaces and growing private spaces, protests have almost vanished. On the one hand there is no permission to protest, on the other there are some voices that have become even more strident. Very often these are not voices for dissent and solidarity, they are voices of  the mainstream once again relegating the rest to narrower margins.
Yet the voice of dissent has not died down through all of this. Voices of people in protest have still found ways of being heard. New kinds of protests,  newer formations, platforms and networks, different issues and people have also found place.
We, members of Forum Against Oppression of Women, feel that it is important to do something that captures in some ways the meaning of these changes for us, its citizens. A collective, public acknowledgement that will help in reminding us of all that happened in 1992-93 and since. A remembrance that is needed so that we do not forget. A remembrance needed not just to lament the loss but also to remind us of what is possible. A remembrance that in charting the paths of the past shall also help to map the future.
There is already immense amounts of documentation/ art/ film/ writing/ other cultural expressions/ research and other artefacts of various kinds  that have been created and put together by different people and groups over the last two decades. There is ongoing work, there is work done over the years and there are plans for the future. Can we jointly think about ways of  pulling some of these together to share with the rest of the city and with each other? Can we plan some events together particularly for Dec 2012 – Jan 2013? A series of events to put both memory and resistance in the context of this city that we all so love and have such a difficult relationship with.

We invite you to a meeting on 2nd June 2012 at Gender resource centre to start these conversations and collectively see what shape and form these and other ideas can take.
Let us all put our memories, our anger, our frustration, our grief, together with our vision, our love for this city and what it stands for, our faith and optimism along with our laughter, songs and creativity to create things that will help the dialogue on this city with its citizens.
Forum Against Oppression of Women,
Date/Time: 2nd June,  2pm to 6 pm
Venue  :                                                                                                     
                                                                                   
Savitribai Phule Gender Resource Centre (SPGRC),
Rajgruha Cooperative Society,
Balshet Madurkar Marg,
Elphinstone (West), Mumbai- 400013

Forum Against Oppression of Women, Bombay
29, Bhatia Bhuvan,
Babrekar Marg,
Gokhale Road,
Dadar (West)
Bombay -4000 28
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