Sweden withholding documentation on Assange probe: lawyer
One of the two Swedish women who have filed sex complaints against the founder of WikiLeaks has reportedly left Sweden and may no longer be cooperating with the criminal investigation.
According to a report at Australian news site Crikey.com, Anna Ardin has moved to the Palestinian territories to volunteer with a Christian group working to reconcile Arabs and Israelis.
One source from Ardin’s old university of Uppsala reported rumors that she had stopped co-operating with the prosecution service several weeks ago, and that this was part of the reason for the long delay in proceeding with charges — and what still appears to be an absence of charges.
Ardin’s blog shows that she has recently posted from the Palestinian territories. Her most recent blog posts make no mention of WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange.
Some of Ardin’s most recent Tweets suggest sympathy for WikiLeaks.
“MasterCard, Visa and PayPal — belt them now!” Ardin urged in a Tweet Wednesday, evidently referring to the cyber-attacks launched on those institutions after they severed their relationships with WikiLeaks.
In a more recent Tweet, she complained of the media reports digging into her background.
“CIA agent, rabid feminist / Muslim lover, a Christian fundamentalist, flat & fatally in love with a man, can you even be all [these things all] the time?” she Tweeted in Swedish.
Some news reports have linked Ardin to the CIA, based on her contact with anti-Castro groups in Cuba. Ardin wrote her master’s thesis on these groups, while located in Havana and Miami. But others have questioned the validity of the connection.
Crikey.com notes that Ardin, an avowed feminist, has taken criticism from many prominent feminists, who, perhaps surprisingly, appear to have sided against the female accuser and with the male accused.
“Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women’s freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!” Tweeted Naomi Klein.
Feminist activist Naomi Wolf penned an article sarcastically congratulating Interpol for its “commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.”
SWEDEN WITHHOLDING DOCUMENTATION ON ASSANGE PROBE
Assange’s lawyer, renowned British advocate Mark Stephens, told CBS News Thursday that prosecutor Marianne Ny is staging a “show trial,” in reference to the politically motivated prosecutions of the Stalin-era Soviet Union.
Stephens said not only have formal charges not been filed against Assange, but the prosecution has failed to provide him with any documentation relating to the investigation. As a result, he says it’s impossible for him to begin crafting a defense.
Stephens also said he believed recent news reports that Sweden is holding talks with the United States on whether Assange can be extradited to face charges under US law.
It’s unclear what US laws Assange could have broken with his release of US State Department cables, as he is not a US citizen and therefore not bound by US treason laws, and his activites with WikiLeaks were carried out outside the US.
‘I’m in the sky’: French restaurant run by Argentine chef crowned world’s best
France's Mirazur restaurant -- whose Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco draws inspiration from the sea, the mountains, and his own garden -- was crowned Tuesday the world's best by an influential trade list, beating contenders from Denmark and Spain.
The accolade came just months after Colagreco was handed a third Michelin star, and was the first time a French establishment has triumphed in the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.
"I'm in the sky and I'm waiting to come back here," Colagreco said as he collected his award for his restaurant in the French Riviera town of Menton. "I don't have words to explain," he said.
Iran ‘never seeks war’ with US, says Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran "never seeks war" with the US, state media reported Wednesday amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.
"Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US," the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
Rouhani was speaking by phone to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as Tehran and Washington engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran shooting down a US drone last week.
"We have always been committed to regional peace and stability and will make efforts in this respect," the Iranian president told Macron.
Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race
Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.
With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.
Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)