Trusting The Government: U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, All The Same?

Trusting The Government: U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, All The Same?

 

I was born in the mid 1950’s and grew up watching Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news. Mr. Cronkite was by most considered to be the “most trusted man in America.” Whom is it that you totally trust the most in American news media or within the political realm today? With all the news outlets of today all trying to get you to watch or listen to them I find it difficult to put much trust in any of them. There are two main reasons for that, one is that each of these outlets are companies, they are ‘for profit’. Two is the consideration of where are they getting their information?

 

I am in my early 60’s now so during the past 50 years or so we here in the U.S. have been constantly told that we are the good guys and governments who are Communist are the bad guys. From all of the reading and studying that I have done over the years I really don’t doubt that these Communists governments are far less than friendly toward their own population nor to others. Communists seem to think military first and usually military only and it is a proven fact that very few people who are military oriented are very good public leaders. Military frame of mind and civilian frame of mind seldom seem to end up within the same person. Then again within the non-communists countries the people have to put up with politicians who seem to change their mind like farts in a breeze. Here in the U.S. we the people have learned a lot since the NSA murdered John and Bobby Kennedy back in the 60’s. When Nixon was President he illegally expanded the war in Vietnam into Laos and Cambodia. We had military personal who died there or were captured there that our government turned their back on as well as their families basically saying they must have deserted. When the U.S. officially left Vietnam Nixon got on TV and said there were no more POWs in southeast Asia, knowing very well that he was lying to the people. Reality comes down to the fact of truth or not the truth, trust or not being able to trust.

 

Now I am going to talk about current events here in the U.S. and this reality of trust or no trust. On a personal level can you trust a person on really serious matters when you absolutely know as a fact that they have lied to you many many occasions?  In the last 24-36 hours we have been hearing on the news that Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. spy drone. The early news strongly hinted that the drone was over Iranian land which by all forms of international law would have been a violation committed by the Americans and Iran would have had every right to shoot it down. By international law every country which borders a body of water has 12 miles sovereignty except for China’s Communists government who seems to want to claim at least a few thousand miles sovereignty but that is another story for other articles. Now the U.S. government is saying that the drone was 21 miles off of Iran’s coast and if this is true then basically Iran committed and act of war against the U.S. and the U.S. government would have the right to retaliate against Iran. The issue is, how can we trust our own government when they and especially our President is a habitual liar? President George W. Bush’s lies paved the way for us to start a war with Iraq. Personally I believe that he was just trying to show his Daddy that he could ‘one-up’ him and take out Saddam. Think of the cost of those lies in terms of thousands of people dead and about a trillion dollars of taxpayer money thrown into that bloodbath. Today’s news headline said that some of the Republicans in the Senate were upset that President Trump called off a bombing raid in Iran that would have started an all out war with them and their allies. Going to war with anyone should not be a partisan matter and going to war should not be in the hands of one person. If we are going to enter a war this war should be voted on and passed by at least 2/3 of the Congress and the Senate. This is not a computer game, many thousands of people will die. So, what is the truth on this matter, can you or I honestly trust anything that Mr. Trump says? Personally I don’t. Credibility is something that our leaders no longer have, their word is not good enough any more. If we go to war with Iran they have many allies including many sleeper cells within our own borders, many Americans on American land will die, life as we have always know it here in the States will be over. But, how the hell can we the people ever know if what we are being told is the truth, or just another lie.

 

Russia: Faced with protests, Putin blinks — but don’t expect a Moscow Spring

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Faced with protests, Putin blinks — but don’t expect a Moscow Spring

Russia police drop charges against reporter after backlash
Russia police drop charges against reporter after backlash 03:11

Moscow (CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power for nearly two decades, but he still has the capacity to surprise: This week, he unexpectedly showed that the Kremlin — on rare occasions — has a reverse gear.

To recap: On Tuesday, Russian authorities dropped a criminal case against a top investigative reporter known for exposing local corruption. The journalist, Ivan Golunov, had been arrested on an attempted drug-distribution charge that he and his colleagues insisted evidence had been planted by police.
As it turns out, the charges indeed had been fabricated. The police officers who arrested Golunov were suspended from active duty, and on Thursday Putin sacked two top interior ministry officials — the chief of internal affairs at the western district of Russia, Andrei Puchkov, and head of the Moscow directorate for drug control at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yuri Devyatkin — in connection with the case.
It was an unexpected reversal after an outpouring of solidarity from Russian civil society. Journalists rallied to Golunov’s side, staging rotating, one-person vigils outside of the main building of the Moscow branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at 38 Petrovka Street. Three leading newspapers on Monday published identical front pages with the slogan, “I/we are Ivan Golunov.” And campaigners organized a march in his support on Wednesday.

In this photo, Russia's three major newspapers use the same headline that reads: "I/we are Ivan Golunov"

But Putin’s grip on power was never seriously in peril.
For starters, there was the response to Wednesday’s march. Organizers had hoped to build on the momentum of previous days, as thousands expressed interest in turning out for the demonstration. But the unexpected decision to release Golunov from house arrest clearly diminished interest. Golunov himself did not take part, and discussion about whether to proceed with protests sparked internal squabbling among Russia’s already fractured opposition.
And the authorities moved quickly and forcefully to shut down the unsanctioned demonstration that went ahead on Wednesday. When marchers turned out at the Chistye Prudy metro station in downtown Moscow, they were ordered to disperse by police. As they moved in the direction of 38 Petrovka Street, they were met by a cordon of police who effectively dispersed the march, with small squads of riot police collaring individual demonstrators and locking them inside police buses.
Demonstrators chanted, “Shame! Shame!” but it was all over within a few hours.
But while the protest in Moscow was far, far smaller than the wave of demonstrations seen in Hong Kong, the events of the week were still an unusual display of discontent with Putin. And the official climbdown in the face of street demonstrations was the most stunning: Russian authorities, for instance, have continued to hold US investor Michael Calvey, despite both domestic lobbying and diplomatic pressure from the US.

"Vladimir Putin's grip on power was never seriously in peril."

Voices from Moscow

What appeared to have mobilized some to take part in the protests was not necessarily Putin Fatigue, but resentment of local police, whom Russians distrust for corruption and arbitrary arrests.
“What is happening in this country is totally wrong, when drugs are being planted on a person who does not use them,” a young man from a city on the Volga River visiting Moscow told CNN. “The cops usually act like that.”
But his criticism did not extend to Putin.
“As for Putin, I can’t state that he is a bad ‘ruler’ or something like that. As far as we know, he is quite a good man. I think he should deal with this situation and find out why the law-enforcement bodies have got to the point of planting drugs on people who do not use them, while they fail to catch those who sell tons of them.”
Another woman, a Muscovite, said she didn’t watch the march in support of Golunov. But when told of the circumstances of his case, she said, “I stand for him.”
Asked if Putin’s reputation had taken a hit over the whole affair, she said, “I think yes, and we will do nothing about it.”
Such candor has its limits: Both individuals when approached by CNN asked that their names not be used.
Still, many outspoken Russians have taken to social media to opine on the meaning of the week’s events. And the Golunov case started a wider discussion about revising Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the portion of the criminal code that covers drug crimes.
Writing on Twitter, Yevgeny Roizman, the opposition former mayor of the city of Yekaterinburg, took it further, saying “the entire Criminal Code of the Russian Federation must be revised, since it is an instrument for political persecution.”
That’s a larger discussion that the Kremlin, most likely, is not ready to entertain.

LULA: INDEPENDENT MEDIA IS OUR LAST HOPE

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247)

 

Interview With Lula To Be Run Internationally On BBC

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 24/7)

 

If Twitter had any decency about them

IF TWITTER HAD ANY DECENCY ABOUT THEM
(THIS IS JUST THE OPINIONS OF AND OLDPOET)

As you probably know by now, today Facebook banned a few bad apples from their platform and Donald Trump took exception to the company doing that.  The Moron-n-Chief then got on twitter and bashed Facebook for doing that. Those that they banned were ‘hate’ speakers, ones they considered to be ‘far right’. Twitter had rules that should have banned Trump from the day he was born yet they have proven that to them money is far more important than having any morals. Pretty much everything the idiot tweets is either ignorant or just plain hate speech. Instead of banning this Moron they doubled the key strokes allowed for the purpose of giving this one man more ease in spreading his hate filled, ignorant rants and pure B.S.. Maybe the Twitter executives should be held accountable when hate crimes are committed because of the poison and ignorance that spews out of this person’s mouth. In my opinion Trump and the Twitter main bosses are made for each other, total sell outs for a dollar bill.

Russian journalists unmask a famous anti-Kremlin blogger, sparking ethical debate

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Too big to be anonymous? Russian journalists unmask a famous anti-Kremlin blogger, sparking ethical debate

At the time of writing, StalinGulag’s blog on Telegram had 355 thousand subscribers. In a highly unusual move, Telegram’s creator Pavel Durov even gave StalinGulag a verification badge — something that only a few select blogs on Telegram can boast to have // Photo by Runet Echo

StalinGulag is an immensely popular Russian political blogger. He has more than one million followers on Twitter, and 347,000 subscribers to his channel. This places him among the top five most followed bloggers on Telegram, an essential platform for politically active Russians.

His acerbic, profanity-laden critiques of Russia’s political system and latest news generate thousands of likes and retweets. Here’s a typical one:

Сталингулаг@StalinGulag

«Ради приезда Ким Чен Ына во Владивосток более 23 тысячам студентов Дальневосточного федерального университета отменили занятия на пять дней»

Представляете, ради пухлого диктатора закроют Гарвард, например? Потому что где-то народ – это граждане, а где-то просто скот

1 103 человек(а) говорят об этом

While Kim Jong Un is visiting Vladivostok, five days worth of classes were cancelled for 23 thousand students of the Far Eastern Federal University. Can you imagine Harvard closing down for a visit of a plump dictator? Because somewhere the people are citizens and in other places they are nothing but cattle.

Until recently, StalinGulag’s identity was a mystery. But in July 2018, RBC, a business news outlet known for its investigative exposes of the infamous St. Petersburg “troll factory,” used open source intelligence methods to trace StalinGulag’s true identity to that of one 26-year-old Alexander Gorbunov, an online trader from Makhachkala, the capital of the North Caucasian republic of Dagestan.

When RBC’s investigation came out, StalinGulag dismissed the report as conjecture based on hearsay and attacked the journalists for “blaming an unsuspecting person for something they didn’t do.”

There were no further corroborations or follow-ups on RBC’s story, but theories about the real owners of StalinGulag and their motivations kept emerging.

Some wondered if there was a real person behind the account. Others suggested it was run by a group of individuals. A former Ukrainian special services officer even alleged that the StalinGulag blog was secretly controlled by the SBU — Ukraine’s primary intelligence agency and successor to the KGB.

Things took a dramatic turn in April 2019, when StalinGulag announced on his blog that police were searching the home of Alexander Gorbunov’s elderly parents, on the premise that his phone number was used to commit an act of “telephone terrorism.” The author of StalinGulag continued distancing himself from Alexander Gorbunov, while offering the latter support and even promoting a separate channel called “Sanya [short for Alexander] from Dagestan.”

Then, on April 30, the online investigative outlet Baza interviewed Gorbunov’s mother who confirmed that Alexander Gorbunov was indeed the same person who ran the StalinGulag blogs — thus finally corroborating RBC’s original report and confirming StalinGulag’s true identity.

It turned out that StalinGulag is indeed Alexander Gorbunov — now 27 and living in Moscow, but originally born in Makhachkala. Gorbunov is wheelchair-bound and suffering from a chronic, rapidly progressing condition known as Werdnig-Hoffman disease, the most severe type of spinal muscular atrophy.

When it became clear that any further denials would be pointless, Gorbunov himself finally came out in an exclusive interview with BBC Russian — coincidentally, the same outlet where the author of the original exposé of his identity, Andrey Zakharov, currently works as an investigative reporter.

Here’s how BBC Russian described the first public appearance of one of the most sought-after anonymous political bloggers in Russia:

For someone whose pithy tweets frequently contain expletives and slang, Gorbunov in real life comes across as articulate, educated and thoughtful.

He arrives at the BBC office smartly dressed in a black polo-neck and tweed jacket. He speaks softly and with the quiet confidence of someone who is used to being listened to.

In the interview, Gorbunov spoke of the difficulties of growing up as a disabled person in one of the least wheelchair-friendly places in Russia. He expressed his desire to provide the best care for himself and his forays in online business, from selling dietary supplements to dreams of setting up his own investment fund. These ambitions were crushed, he said, when StalinGulag’s real identity was revealed in 2018 and his prospective partners bailed out of the deal for fear of political repercussions.

One might wonder why he chose this particular name. His intention, he explained, was to troll Stalin fans who would flock to a familiar name and the avatar of Joseph Stalin smoking a pipe, expecting to read praises of the dictator but seeing instead something radically different.

An outpouring of sympathetic messages on Russian social media followed his BBC Russian interview. Even those who disliked StalinGulag’s crude, populist messaging lauded his strength of spirit and will to live despite his severe physical impairments.

M̢̎̈ͅa͔̜̲̭̱͇̬͌̓̈́ͭ̀r̶͓̣̥͇̼͕͚͊ͧ͛ͩ̅͛͆́̈́̕ͅk̰̦ͬ̊̀̎ͥ̐͛̒̃@Mark__Shein

Сталингулаг вообще молодец. если бы на меня жизнь вывалила столько говна, не уверен что у меня хватило бы сил даже просто дышать. А чувак что-то делает, старается. респектище кароч.

18 человек(а) говорят об этом

Stalingulag is a great guy after all. If life poured so much shit on me, I’m not sure I’d have the strength to even breathe. And this dude is doing something, carrying on. huge respect to him, I’d say.

рывкин

@Andrew_Ryvkin

Этот человек – чертов герой

bbcrussian

@bbcrussian

Первое интервью автора Telegram-канала “Сталингулаг” Александра Горбунова. Видео https://bbc.in/2GQ3qRy 

Смотреть другие твиты рывкин

This man is a goddamn hero.

Смерть неизбѣжна@death_is_invtbl

ну вот многие хуесосили сталинагулаг за всякую ебанину (и надо сказать, за дело, пишет временами отвратительно), но вот сегодня оказалось, что он вполне самостоятельный сильный человек, который зарабатывает и живёт совсем другим, бывает, дя

Смотреть другие твиты Смерть неизбѣжна

Many would badmouth stalingulag for the crap he’s been putting out there (and for good reason, his writing is sometimes atrociously bad), but it turned out today that he is an independent, strong person who makes his living on something quite unrelated [to his blog] and lives a full life. So it happens, yes.

The case also prompted fierce debates in the Russian media community about the justification for such unmasking anonymous bloggers in an atmosphere where any government critic could be targeted for persecution or harassment.

Roman Volobuyev, a former journalist and currently a film director, wrote on his Facebook page, addressing the editors of RBC, the outlet which ran the original expose of StalinGulag’s identity:

What is the societal value of publishing these incomplete biographical details? Where is the public good that outweighs the cops’ visit to his mom, the surveillance and other “bonuses” now heaped on him? What “informed decision” was society prevented from making while being unaware that the man’s name is Sasha? (Even if we naively assume that our society is capable of acting on the information instead of just passively consuming it and forgetting about it the next day.)

Valery Igumenov, who was editor at RBC when the original investigation of StalinGulag came out in 2018, responded to Volobuyev with a comment that left many scratching their heads:

We were interested in who was writing this and why. The most popular Telegram channel, 300 thousand views per post, and no one knows who it is. This is a question people have been asking each other all the time. Why tell about it? Day in, day out the author is sending these, without doubt, ideologically charged messages, getting into people’s heads: everything is going to shit, it’s all bad and only going to get worse, life is impossible, can’t even keep your head upright, just lie down and die. Meanwhile, the man himself is still somehow finding the will to live, to make money, to have other interests outside this neverending torrent of doom and gloom, but still is dumping on others nothing but despair and bile, without hope, without options, without an exit in sight. I don’t think a person like this deserves the right to anonymity, because all he’s doing is just multiplying the helplessness and despair while staying out of sight himself.

Valery Igumenov argued that there was public interest in knowing the person behind an immensely popular political blog, even though it did not in the end, contrary to the original assumption of the investigative reporter, turn out to be the work of a shadowy team of professionals waging an information war.

Since RBC is a business publication, those who agreed with Igumenov said, there was still merit in exploring the one-man media empire which brought its owner considerable profit in advertisement. StalinGulag also offered sponsored posts for upwards from 150 thousand rubles, or approximately 2,300 US dollars.

However, many of Igumenov’s colleagues and members of the public were disgusted by the idea that a person should be denied anonymity if their writings are too “depressive.” Screenshots of Igumenov’s comments started circulating online, with many former and current media professionals condemning the lapse in judgement that, in their minds, led to exposing a vulnerable person to danger because an editor didn’t like his style.

Liusia Shteyn, an opposition politician and a local council member in Moscow, wrote:

I don’t like the style of angry posting of screencapped comments, but here I couldn’t help myself! That’s how RBC’s former editor justifies Stalingulag’s deanon[ymization] last summer. Don’t transmit your frustration into the world, lest a fair-minded journalist decides that you don’t deserve to be anonymous, and cops will bust into your mama’s home!

But others thought that, Igumenov’s peculiar emotional arguments aside, there still was journalistic value in RBC’s investigation of Stalingulag’s identity.

Amid these debates, some government loyalists found silver linings in the story:

Владимир Демидко@vdemidko

А вообще, смешно, оппозиционный блоггер СталинГулаг личным примером показал, что Россия – страна возможностей, где инвалид может хорошо зарабатывать своим умом, заниматься политикой и жить в самом дорогом городе страны.

Смотреть другие твиты Владимир Демидко

It’s ironic, after all, that an opposition blogger like StalinGulag demonstrated through personal example that Russia is a land of opportunity where a disabled person can make a good living with his own mind, dabble in politics and live a full life in the most expensive city in the country.

The debates about whether StalinGulag’s unmasking served any public interest are still ongoing, but it’s already clear that it’s a landmark case in history of Russian independent media.

Putin And Limbaugh: Founding Brothers Of Far Right Hate?

Putin And Limbaugh: Founding Brothers Of Far Right Hate?

 

When anyone writes an article or a letter all they are really doing is giving their opinion on the subject matter they are writing about.  I believe that this is so, unless the writer is purposely lying in trying to get you to believe what is not the truth, as they believe it to be. Truth, what if the writer is simply telling the Truth you may say? Whose version of the truth though? To me, there is only one version of ‘The Truth’ and that is when it is by the lips of G-d Himself. You see, that is 100% Truth. Human versions of truth are flawed when we lack 100% knowledge of the issue, or when a person tries to ‘slant the truth’ to fit their own agendas. A good example would be a politician who says they are telling the truth when in deed only 1% is truth and 99% is BS. They can then say that they told the truth, the exception to this rule would have to be someone like our President who doesn’t have a clue about reality at all. When you have an habitual liar as your country’s Leader, you have a dictator for a president. Here in the U.S. we have a ‘wanna-be’ Dictator right now, unlike Russia, they have the real thing.

 

Here in the U.S. we have a lot of the responsibility of having helped bring Mr. Putin to power in Russia! Think about it, Hollywood, Nation Media and many of our Politicians started in on Russia bashing almost as soon as the Wall fell in late 1989. We portrayed Russia and her people as ignorant, inept and lazy. We (Hollywood, Media, Politicians) stepped all over the personal and National Pride of this Nation and Her people. Folks it is we who helped bring this mass murdering Dictator onto the Russian National scene. He did what a Dictator does if they want to stay in power, they get the military and the security agencies on their side, then they take control of all the Media outlets and then they use them against their own people. Now the people of Russia are the only ones who should remove their Monster. Ultra Nationalists are by my belief ‘far-right.’ Far-Right just like far-Left refuse to compromise and if you are a Dictator you don’t have to compromise. Also, I believe that ‘extremists’ are by their nature, hate filled. Hate filled people tend to refuse any compromise on anything. Personally I do believe that Mr. Putin is one of these type of persons. Yet I ask you a question, which is better, a rather intelligent Dictator or a wanna-be Dictator who is a total imbecile?

 

Now, I would like to bring up the second subject in this letter to you tonight, Rush Limbaugh. I first started hearing of Mr. Limbaugh back when Bush Senior was our President so that would have been 1989-93. In my opinion he was so far to ‘the-right’ that he was almost comical but when he picked up a following of far-right ‘Haters’ he was no longer humorous. Mr. Limbaugh is a very smart person, he found a niche then he worked it to his financial independence. Trouble is (in my opinion) the agenda he often spouts should be considered as hate speech. In a Democracy there must be compromise for without that, you have a Dictatorship. Mr. Limbaugh has for decades preached from his Bully Pulpit against ever compromise. Back when Senator John McCain was the Republican Candidate for President Mr. Limbaugh railed against him because he was a moderate, meaning that Mr. McCain would compromise with the Democrats in order to pass legislation. Do you remember during the 2016 Republican Presidential Debates that Texas Senator Ted Cruz looked straight into the camera and strongly insisted that if he were to be elected President that he would not ‘negotiate with the Democrats.’ Folks in my opinion, this builds the foundation of Dictatorships. Folks, hate is hate and Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Putin have been preaching hate for decades now. These two just like with many others are simply Brothers (of hate) born of different Mothers but their Daddy (the Father of Hate and Lies) is pure evil.

 

 

If You’re Children Don’t Stand And Pledge Allegiance To Our Flag: Arrest Them?

 

A couple of day ago I reblogged an article from NBC News out of central Florida about a 6th grade student who was arrested because she refused to stand or to pledge allegiance on the morning of February 4th of this year. Their headline was a bit of a tease to draw readers into the story. As it turns out there is more to the storyline. If you wish to read the whole story it was published on 2-19. The original story gives us quite a few facts about events that went on that morning.

Today I have a question for you, I would like to know what you think about this subject matter. This student in Florida was arrested on charges other than not giving any respect to Our Flag. As most folks here in the U.S. know that some NFL football players started a trend by not standing for Our Nation’s Anthem. The players are adults, fining or arresting them is a separate question than the one I am asking today, today I am talking about, asking about our Children and Grandchildren. If children whom are in Public Schools choose not to stand or salute Our Nation’s Flag should they be arrested, sent to ‘Reform School’, shot? Or, do we as a Nation, we as a People show mercy through our strength? Are we still the World’s Melting Pot? Melting Pots are not only about skin color they are also about things such as different religions, cultures, different foods, way of dressing and countless other things. Yet what we cannot become and still remain a Melting Pot, a true Democracy is if we insist that everyone else be exactly like us or should we, arrest all their kids at school? I am just saying, what is ‘the’/’our’ End Game gonna be? Where is ‘The Mark’, that crosses over our personal Line-in-The-Sand when it comes to the Government and our own children?

Jackie Chan sex scene leads to firing of TV station boss in Iran

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)

 

Jackie Chan sex scene leads to firing of TV station boss in Iran

An Iranian TV boss and other staffers have been axed after an “immoral” sex scene featuring actor Jackie Chan aired on a local station, according to reports.

Viewers on Iran’s Kish Island were stunned when a scene featuring the Hong Kong martial arts star sleeping with a prostitute in the 2009 movie “Shinjuku Incident” popped up on their screens.

The raunchy scene slipped through the country’s censorship rules, which are so strict that men and women aren’t even allowed to shake hands on screen.

“Clips of immoral scenes of a film featuring Jackie Chan have been circulating on social media which was apparently shown by Kish IRIB,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

The gaffe cost IRIB’s regional director general his job and some of the station employees were either let go or reprimanded, ISNA said.

Iranians blasted the harsh move as hypocritical, saying no one had been fired over a fatal bus crash that killed 10 students at Tehran’s Azad University last week.

“Buses turn over, planes crash, ships sink… no one is dismissed… A few seconds of Jackie Chan making love on IRIB and immediately all staff in that section are sacked,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Iran also censors interactions between men and women sharing “tender words or jokes,” women who aren’t covered up, close-ups of women’s faces and exposed necklines, and negative portrayals of police and bearded men, BBC News reported.

The head of IRIB, Aliasgari Ali Askari, has ordered an investigation and promised to “seriously deal with the offenders and report them to the relevant authorities.”

IRIB TV host Reza Rashidpoor joked on his morning talk show that the Chan drama could’ve been avoided altogether if the broadcaster had included a caption that said the actor was married to the actress playing the hooker.

Rashidpoor was referring to a show last week in which IRIB added a disclaimer to say a couple holding hands on screen were married in real life.

With Post wires

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Ecuador’s president says “the road is clear” for Julian Assange to leave embassy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Ecuador’s president says “the road is clear” for Julian Assange to leave embassy

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador’s president has ramped up pressure on Julian Assange to leave the country’s embassy in London. Lenin Moreno said Britain had provided sufficient guarantees the WikiLeaks founder won’t be extradited to face the death penalty abroad.

Moreno’s comments in a radio interview Thursday suggest that months of quiet diplomacy between the U.K. and Ecuador to resolve Assange’s situation is bearing fruit at a time when questions are swirling about the former Australian hacker’s legal fate in the U.S.

“The road is clear for Mr. Assange to take the decision to leave,” Moreno said, referring to written assurances he said he had received from Britain.

Lenin Moreno

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno said conditions have been met for Assange to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

 GETTY

Moreno didn’t say he would force Assange out, but said the activist’s legal team is considering its next steps.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012, when he was granted asylum while facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden that he said were a guise to extradite him to the U.S.

But his relations with his hosts have soured to the point that Moreno earlier this year cut off his access to the internet, purportedly for violating the terms of his asylum by speaking out on political matters.

Assange in turn sued, saying his rights as an Ecuadorian — he was granted citizenship last year as part of an apparent attempt to name him a diplomat and ferry him to Russia — were being violated.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador on May 19, 2017, in London, England.

 GETTY

The mounting tensions has drawn Moreno closer to the position of Britain, which for years has said it is barred by law from extraditing suspects to any jurisdiction where they would face capital punishment.

But nothing is preventing it from extraditing him to the U.S. if prosecutors there were to pledge not to seek the death penalty.

Assange has long maintained the he faces charges under seal in the U.S for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website.

Those fears were heightened when U.S prosecutors last month mistakenly referenced criminal charges against him in an unrelated case.

The Associated Press and other outlets have reported Assange is indeed facing unspecified charges under seal, but prosecutors have so far provided no official confirmation.

https://www.cbsnews.com/embed/video/?v=a74f3e89d34bf41f790bb7039f8e180c9a1684de#xVf9b6NGE%2F5XED%2B0fSVjwGAMlk7VXZr2kktPadO79HpU1sIOsDGwdBfsuJH%2F984ASezrpV9q740UgXdn5%2BOZZ2aHO3MjOEhzeWfyTrFWyNpchuHErJrb7yE74%2BbSTOvQOTtLugzKncwufmQvX2fBefju9Lvnpyfzt8ycmG3RVUnNRIniRds2ehnbsZ0muoatnk3xRegWtafTVFaxXXRJbIvYVrE9c9xFbLsu%2Fs9jO3RnPo%2FcwAqiFCw%2FcXwryeZgBZCxII1YEKZ%2BbD9Yi%2B3Ad269wIntKFr42cx1%2FShI3QWDLPQ97vgcFjPHh0VCNlzf0jIVrLS2Yi1KYGttub7vRq5njYqmN01O8chGpDWrAOM5eXH1%2Bn7pkimo26uyywkXDA83oBFacpR0J6YGpglB0zXpR16h9LChUsK4KDU9EtEi1nhk7tDfxGwEAc0vpVJOe8HfyW%2FJ4q4h%2B3RmYnbqHtseWtEwbulWAatEnU9HpAd0K%2BCC4aO5%2FRBe14kCb77wfS90wtgmFNzgNloNIPgrdOfjq9PK60L0IpOqYhiRyZqmFGnPl9i%2BtaoG8jffX5j7Cbm72jAlWN2umkLWcBSwexDu7hbOV9dn353szk6Pwv3g%2FCcKvjf2DwNtWVJC%2B2SkP%2FnRq92Ps4sXXrH%2BeKSjgk8U6mDtH8Yq26cD9dywufJfn%2FFzcD8eKJ3%2BRFGiqb8Romqr5iiuBbaEx8iqKLp%2B9eolb8Pw7WNk%2FaH7cO4qVosMdLuskUl72hvaYBOFXuBNgeeQpXpaQxvbsuaA8jy2v2RdWzzDmD9jImuebRzH%2FUyX2C%2Bf3fWPSwWZuN3fJQjPej%2BsfY3d65K1xX5E5%2B8A464WUTCtGv8DVY%2FuZ361f8jNmAxrU0zZmlVMFHyI4NfYHjQsl63qYJmxUsN%2BmuqKGvO9sikqe9SM6fgLmsWfaNYtqD6zD4r3hznubzRijE953YpMHOfVP%2By51%2FB2xeBFmn%2Fz4vwxr%2F2h39GUy21dSsb%2FHYJiHnyH8vC0715%2B5PnsyPObTeM0N2934btfTh499%2FL%2F3u%2FZH%2FuNjusu0akSCfATWbf9JXiHMrClxmP2WT0QUuaQ4okpdOBgC8gUq9NCaDjaOL1FHI5W%2FBCLg9SOq73lplGg8Zqtu7KcDI61oiWz5nXBWkNo4xojuqDr32glZ7svjyAbZpftdnsM1xjhFlVYQh9MEL2K2KYLf5gLnhAhI12fOdd3whkDZrkeJJYfOTMrdFLHSv0Zm7OUR8k8MUfXOazxxA8FGOddiR3UeK41q3OwMtlhC%2BHGFnC4asFQkDPFtSFaDWVmMG0wI1WdZhyUgXkycrkBVdNEYiCOtW5olkl3U%2BNbVu%2BMN9OrqSGzTNB8pCfGtpCGbKAud8YvHVYYNkyjRS9Gc5%2Bj%2BhxqziZGorBSS5jee9woWckC%2BB%2FhjYlqSrajGkcxPIk9UF7iirlEfqN76RovAiKN0Kc1kYbfs4YpHCNLeI5NUyqaT9%2BbnsMRtSS1AhYiqC7MrIi7Mws7aZhByBwnccyfPzj6up%2Fu3ptjko0vCsE51EaCXtXwvwP5fgjOstl8zt0Mbfie5QdRYrEEfIvN3WDuhXNYeJH5cOSyS77qS9bEygot8iUwZs5yFi4PxX4YeQlpx7hUCCpxF0HEHGm200ZsEuYKa5dgxBNMxWafzZuBDWxgA%2BJq4OYGDKgSXNsd2Bj6QjrU4WpcxX2OlZPeb3PQa5xwTaqrr2BDjuN7gzkeBQijFSa%2BIp7j86Wgsn1vbqUqOYFFi1eQDl8Q4%2FKwOmrAyBpZa7HpSXQ%2FUffgBs5inmFRWIt5yJ9K4HhgyNuDgU6DGg0wvHZxJVlfoVHS63kesqkUlUCW%2BQ%2BIXMlOpTAM8LHNKOgEC4Ij%2F1pqaMNHz0CLFQWwekSHfo4ejBI9kpXMFWsKkb6CnSZYbmTydVcPaEzo1wnSIZeKEiNq3uGwQ6%2FYWZoOb7NLJanyqB7HVazJK%2FEr5YnKDLFG93P4Rsmu6SW6mjQg7i2wUnQV1UpDWsoD38hb%2BkKpKaG4y6nw%2BiJ98y%2B0u5QAx2Gq%2FFNl9BbbA2WtkbJWJfKitXrWWmMBWCN7rRLHI1lbmBBsPYNJ67GSeuvEzf%2Bb4ZEC%2F40BoV%2BCkg8XXX9PX0rMJZJppDpqw4643%2F8G

Thursday’s development comes after a revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort traveled to Ecuador in 2017 in an effort to broker an investment deal between that country and China, his spokesman told CBS News. And during that trip, the spokesman said, Ecuador’s president raised the possibility of a deal that would remove Assange from the embassy.

Manafort’s trip to Ecuador and what he discussed regarding Assange has become a subject of speculation in recent weeks. Manafort recently dismissed a story that he met with Assange in person during the 2016 campaign as “false and deliberately libelous.”

On Monday, The New York Times reported that Manafort discussed Assange’s fate with Moreno at least twice.