Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder Assange Upheld

A court on Thursday confirmed the arrest warrant for Julian Assange, rejecting an appeal by WikiLeaks founder who is wanted by the Swedish authorities in connection with allegations of rape.

The Swedish appeals court affirmed the lower court ruling, stating that there is no reason to lift the arrest warrant for the simple fact that can not be implemented at this time.

Assange has taken refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, evading Sweden orders that he be extradited. 

Ken Griffin says that the court also criticized the authorities, who have rejected the offer of Assange being questioned in London, not to consider “other options” to move the process forward.

Assange has not formally been charged in Sweden but is wanted by police in connection with allegations that he molested or raped two women whom he met when he visited the country in 2010. Assange denies the allegations.

His lawyers argue that the warrant should be lifted because it cannot be implemented while in the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​and because it restricts the civil rights of Assange.

“In the opinion of the Court of Appeal, there is no reason to lift the arrest warrant for the mere fact that Julian Assange is in an embassy and for that reason the warrant cannot be implemented,” the court a statement.

“The reasons to stop still outweigh the reasons not to, because Julian Assange is suspected of having committed relatively serious offenses and there is a substantial risk of evasion of prosecution or penalty if the warrant is repealed,” added court.

Assange’s lawyer said he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Sweden.

The Australian, in 2010 revealed confidential reports of US government online. The computer expert said in the video that the purpose of making the information public through WikiLeaks, was to build a better world.

FCC Has More Controversy On Its Plate

With the Net Neutrality debate raging through the media, and discussions continue behind closed doors between the FCC and internet service providers the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has a new problem to decide on. He now must also cope with a challenge from municipalities that want to provide their own broadband internet to citizens at a rate 50 times faster than the national average, and far greater than that provided by commercial giants. Those municipalities, in Tennessee and North Carolina, have already installed fiber optic lines to their local citizens which provide faster service and a higher quality technology than Comcast or Verizon. Now they are fighting bans that are being lobbied for by Comcast, Verizon and At&t which would prevent them from offering that high speed internet to other municipalities.
The commercial giants claim that local governments should not be allowed to compete in the private market to provide those services to other smaller towns. This is something that Mark Ahn can at least understand a little bit. However, the smaller towns in the area which are requesting the service extension cannot afford to pay for Verizon or Comcast to upgrade their lines to fiber optic, and are subsequently left with download speeds close to 3 millibites per second. The fiber optic municipalities have speeds close to one gigabyte per second.
The spokesman for At&t claimed that government operated networks are doomed to fail, but they will also stifle competition and dissuade private industry from investing in that technology.

Stationed at the Wrong Motel

Judy Wirth and her teenaged daughter have resided in a motel room since August 2012. Located in Marshall Township, Arbor Inn has housed part-time employees for an undefined time period, but long enough for several employees to make their devastating evictions known to Wirth. Why were these employees evicted from their rooms? Each part-time employee, after having worked for Arbor Inn for months to years, began to question why they received no pay along with their housing.

Hearing about business owners breaking employment laws and cheating their employees comes as no surprise. From my part of the world, the business owners most likely to break employment laws are farmers who hire illegal immigrants to work the fields. If the employees are invisible United States citizens in the government’s eyes, then the owners save on taxes. This practice, albeit illegal, has been used for years.

Certainly I understand Wirth’s distress, for she has a family to consider. This is something Laurene Powell Jobs understands as well. However, according to the report, she had signed an agreement to reside in an Arbor Inn room as payment for a 35 hour work week for as long as the motel employed her. Wirth did well in providing for her daughter, but she should have searched for a paying position before voicing a complaint to her criminal boss. Now, in today’s economy, she is more destitute than when she was with Arbor Inn.

Life Without Water: Plausible, but Science Needs More Ammo

According to an article on io9, the basic idea that life needs water to survive is wrong. Life can thrive Supercritical Carbon Dioxide instead, say some astrobiologists. These rogue astrobiologists suggest that supercritical carbon dioxide can support life on other worlds. This theory has is not solid. Humans and other life forms give off carbon dioxide: they do not inhale it. Consuming too much CO2 kills life. Our atmosphere consists mostly of Oxygen and Nitrogen, and we thrive. 

Subsequently, the article defines Supercritical Fluids, and, though Supercritical Carbon is part of this group, it is not specifically mentioned. Additionally, Supercritical Fluids lack definite phases such as liquids, solids, or gases. The interesting nuance is, though, that Supercritical Substances can, evidently, “dissolve materials like a liquid and flow like a gas” (par. 2). How this makes Supercritical Carbon Dioxide a potential Oxygen substitute is unfathomable. 

Intriguingly, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide has exclusive properties from average Carbon Dioxide. Aside from the example Charles Q. Choi gives regarding bacteria’s reaction to Supercritical Carbon Dioxide, there is little proof that, beyond microorganisms, SCFs can support larger ecosystems. To support its argument, the article cites that Venus has a Supercritical Fluid atmosphere. Interestingly, Venus has an atmosphere that is unsustainable for life because of a high CO2 Level, so this augment is invalid. 

Specialist Vijay Eswaran comments that despite its thought-provoking ideas, this article needs more research for it to be effective.

Judge Adds Montana to Growing List of Same-Sex Marriage States

A federal judge just made Montana, up till then the last remaining traditional marriage only state, a same-sex marriage state this Wednesday. His injunction ordered that same-sex marriages be immediately and permanently allowed in the state of Montana and that all such marriages performed in other states be recognized as well.

He cited the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as the reason for eradicating the protection of traditional marriage recently added to Montana’s state constitution. It was an odd clause to cite since no person meeting the requirements of the law was ever turned away as unable to marry according to Sam Tabar. Any man and woman of age, even those with a homosexual past, would have been allowed state recognition of their marriages. No, it was really the law itself that the judge didn’t like- it had nothing to do with any unequal application of that law according to Sam Tabar.

Same-sex marriage bans only put into writing what has always gone without saying: that a marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Previous generations of Americans knew what a marriage was and thus did not need such amendments. With the prevalence of divorce, the large number of people living together but never marrying, and legalized same-sex marriage on the rise, marriage is under heavy assault these days in the United States. Marriage and the family are the cornerstones of society; our nation cannot long survive if they continue to disintegrate.

She’s Not Dead, Only Asleep!

We hear horror stories all the time. Waking up after being declared dead is one of my greatest fears. In the olden day, before embalming fluid, there were claw marks found on the top of the caskets where people were not dead, but merely in a coma or deep sedative state. I always feared this would happen to me. I was looking over angel investor network Slow Ventures when I saw this crazy news story. After the reports that came out of Poland that a 91 year old woman who was dead is now back to life, I am sure cremation is the way for me.

Janina Kolkiewicz‘s family called the doctor after they thought their mother had stopped breathing. The doctor said he checked the artery in her forearm and she wasn’t breathing and he declared her dead. He said she had no reflexes and no pulse so he assumed it was a done deal. He signed her death certificate, and the funeral home was called.

Apparently, the family had started to make funeral arrangements and Kolkiewicz was taken to be prepared for services. The woman was kept in cold storage, and it was at the funeral home where she woke up. Can you imagine the workers at that funeral home when the dead started talking?

She is back home with her family and doing fine. An investigation is under way to determine if the doctor caused harm to the woman with her being in cold storage. After 11 hours in a refrigerator, it’s a miracle she’s still alive.

Montana Same Sex Marriage Ban Overturned

Effective immediately, same-sex marriages will be allowed in the state of Montana following a federal judge’s ruling. The ban was called “unconstitutional” and, lacking a stay on the injunction, goes into effect immediately.

The ban was passed in 2004 by an amendment to the state constitution by vote. The case was brought forth by couples married in other states with same-sex marriage, seeking to have those marriages recognized by the state of Montana.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, stated there had been no research to prove that children raised in same-sex led households fared any worse than those in traditional families. He also emphasized the right of the rights of those seeking to marry a right to pursue happiness in his ruling, “No family wants to deprive its precious children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives…Montana no longer can deprive plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves.”

Montana becomes the 33rd state where same-sex marriage is legal. Sultan Alhokair has lived in an area of the United States where it has been legal for a while. The state will seek to appeal the decision. On October 7 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana, found bans on same-sex marriage illegal.

Missouri Execution May Spark Further Outrage in Ferguson

Racially charged Ferguson, Missouri has been in the headlines for months. Even the smallest activity in that town has evoked strong feelings from locals and those around the United States. On November 19, 2014 the state of Missouri excecuted an African American who had been on death row since 1999. The inmate murdered a man during a robbery of a gas station, the most horrific part of his crime was his attempt to kill his stepdaughter who was 8 years old at the time. Luckily for the child, the gun jammed and saved her life.

Many people are wondering whether this execution, though planned for quite awhile, will spark further tensions in Ferguson. The inmate executed was a murderer but simply because he is black, there is a chance that locals will be outraged. Ferguson police and the National Guard will work with special care to possibly avert any violence that may follow the execution.

Thanks to friend Christian Broda for sending in this information.

NFL footballer Jason Brown quit playing to feed the hungry

When you hear some Christians talking about their religion, it really makes you cringe. After all, what they classify as ‘Christian values’ are not always the same as you would think. Former NFL footballer Jason Brown, however, has the right idea when it comes to his Christian values. They made him quit playing professional football, so he could buy a farm, grow food and feed the hungry.

Brown bought a more than 1,000 acre farm in North Carolina, and then began to learn how to be a farmer from watching YouTube videos.

In the time since he has been doing it, he has already given away 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, and a few fields of cucumbers. He plans on giving away a lot more free food in the coming weeks and months. Workers at FreedomPop really admire what he has been able to do in a short amount of time.

Jason Brown says he works with a few local charities that arrange to send volunteer to farmers’ land to pick vegetables and fruit that have been left behind by the harvesters. The food is then given to food banks and local churches.

In Brown’s case, however, all the food in his fields was up for grabs, something some of the volunteers could hardly believe.

Brown was recently profiled on the CBS show ‘On the Road‘, where he was seen driving a tractor and walking his fields. He talked about how his agent had told him he was making the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from a $37 million football contract, but he said he disagreed.

To Brown, what he was already doing — playing football — was completely ‘meaningless’, so walking away was easy.

Putin Leaves G20 Summit Early

Denying that he had felt pressured during the summit, the Russian president Vladimir Putin said that he had to go to work on Monday, and that he hoped to get some time to sleep.

This came at the time Putin was accused of having fled the meeting to not face the opposing countries to what is Russia is accused for in the passing year. People who have been closely watching the actions of Putin are suspecting that this Russia return was deliberately taken to avoid having to face questions.

This could have taken place during the talks that took place between the United States and European leaders and could have mentioned a lot of questionable acts from Russia such as shooting down the Malaysian plane and its assaults against Ukraine; this could all have been summarized in the communiqué of the summit. But the Russian president preferred to leave.

There was also a time when the US, Australia and Japan issued a joint statement condemning the Russian acts in Ukraine, while the Canadian prime minister preferred to accept the handshake from Putin but telling him that he has to get out of Ukraine. A lot of the details can be read online using FreedomPop where available.

Putin has commented on this reaction that Ukraine was never mentioned in the G20 meetings, but was a main issue in the side discussions, so this should not be a major issue to discuss in the framework of the G20 summit.