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‘Russia Today’ to air WikiLeaks talk show

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A Russian state television channel said Wednesday that it would exclusively air a television chat show hosted by WikiLeaks founderJulian Assange.

RT, formerly known as Russia Today, an English language channel funded by the Russian government, said in a statement that Assange “is launching his own talkshow, to be broadcast exclusively on RT.”

Assange had announced the show on Tuesday on the WikiLeaks website saying that it had licensing commitments covering more than 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial networks.

A spokeswoman for the channel told AFP that RT had the rights to air the episodes of the chat show first.

The channel did not elaborate, saying that “details of the episodes and the guests featured are secret for now.”

Russia launched RT in 2005 with the aim of broadcasting the Russian point of view on current affairs to international audiences. It cannot be viewed on Russian terrestrial television.

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Its head, Margarita Simonyan, recently attended a meeting of media chiefs with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in which he poured scorn on independent media.

WikiLeaks has earlier released confidential US cables reportedly calling Russia “a virtual mafia state” ruled by “alpha dog” Putin, who is seeking a third Kremlin term in March elections, and not incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev.

However Medvedev said in January that he saw the impact of the WikiLeaks revelations as “quite positive” for international relations.

The 40-year-old Australian former computer hacker is fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden where prosecutors want to question him over allegations that he raped and sexually abused two Swedish women.

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England’s highest court will next week hear Assange’s appeal against his extradition.

Assange insists the allegations are politically motivated.

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Honduran forces fire on students, 5 hurt: officials

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Honduran military police opened fire on protesting students at a university on Monday, wounding at least five, campus and hospital officials said.

Hundreds of students at the National Autonomous University of Honduras were demanding the resignation of the country's president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, after demonstrations against him intensified last week when three people were killed in protests.

"About 40 military police entered the university campus without authorization," Armando Sarmiento, director of institutional development at the Tegucigalpa-based university, told AFP.

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Health care price transparency: Fool’s gold, or real money in your pocket?

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The news is full of stories about monumental surprise hospital bills, sky-high drug prices and patients going bankrupt. The government’s approach to addressing this, via an executive order that President Trump signed June 24, 2019, is to make hospitals post their list prices online so that patients supposedly can comparison shop. But this is fool’s gold – information that doesn’t address the real question about why these prices are so high in the first place.

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2020 Election

Running while brown: How Texas’ Julián Castro is navigating white presidential politics

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By the time his plane touched down in California at the end of a whirlwind week, Julián Castro had set an early political benchmark in the crowded presidential race.

It was early April, and the former mayor and housing secretary had just released a sweeping immigration policy platform, garnering national headlines and widespread praise from immigration reform advocates who went as far as calling his proposals “exactly what we need in this moment.”

Castro was still struggling to break from the pack, but he was the first in the field with a detailed plan to tackle the one issue that could come to define the 2020 presidential campaign. Yet when he sat down for an interview on comedian Bill Maher’s television show, the host instead catalogued Castro’s proposal in terms that the white men also running for president would surely never face.

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