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Assange looking at a year in embassy, says father

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s father said Saturday that his son thought he could spend as long as a year held up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, but was prepared for his “long meditation”.

John Shipton, Assange’s biological father, said he spoke frequently with the 41-year-old who won asylum from Ecuador to escape extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations.

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“He’s in a small room… and in that he has a treadmill and a sunlamp,” he told AFP in Sydney’s Redfern where he had accepted an Aboriginal Nations passport, for use when travelling within Australia, on behalf of his son.

“But he faces his future with equanimity. He says he may have to spend 12 months in this situation. I think that he’s prepared himself for his long meditation.”

Shipton, 68, said his son was still pressing ahead with his plans to run for the Australian Senate in the national election due next year, and had asked his father to write the constitution for his yet-to-be founded political party.

Sydney-based Shipton said he felt Australians were “genuinely concerned and moved” by the plight of Assange and the work of WikiLeaks, which has published hundreds of thousands of documents online, including confidential United States State Department emails.

He said he had spoken to Assange about the Aboriginal Nationals passport — used for travel through Aboriginal lands in the country.

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“This occasion is a further opportunity to generate support for Julian’s situation,” he said.

“The irony is it’s a great help to bring to notice to people that the situation is well, very questionable, morally very questionable.

“The (Australian) foreign minister could do a little more. Although he says he has done a lot, he won’t speak to me.”

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Shipton, who said he had always kept in touch with Assange’s mother but had little contact with his son from when he was three until his twenties, spoke of his pride in Assange, a former computer hacker.

“I am astounded, absolutely astounded. And each day more impressed,” he said.

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“He seems as though he handles himself at those rarefied atmospheres really quite well.

“It must have taken a great deal of suffering to have learned so quickly how to move amongst those people… and not display fear when the whole American empire wishes to crush you.”

But Shipton won’t be watching a new movie about Assange’s earlier life called “Underground: The Julian Assange Story” which is set to screen on Australian television early next month. He doesn’t have a television.

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‘Insane baby’ Trump mocked after holding a press briefing — and then fleeing after just 60 seconds

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday held a "press briefing" that consisted of him boasting about the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record-high 30,000 points -- and then running away without taking any questions.

The president's truly brief press briefing utterly baffled observers, many of whom wondered why the president couldn't have simply bragged about the stock market on his Twitter account.

Check out some reactions below.

oh my god that insane baby

— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 24, 2020

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2020 Election

Trump abruptly ends news conference after 1 minute as reporters grill him on conceding

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President Donald Trump took one minute out of his day on Tuesday to hold a press conference in which he took credit for gains in the stock market, which came after President-elect Joe Biden's transition was allowed to formally begin.

At his press conference which lasted almost exactly one minute, Trump credited his administration for after the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 30,000 for the first time.

"The stock market, it's just broken 30,000," the president said. "Never broken that number. That's a sacred number. Nobody thought they would ever see it. That's the ninth time since the beginning of 2020 and it's the 48th time that we have broken records in -- during the Trump administration."

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Paul Krugman says Trump’s final days in office are like a Star Wars sequel: ‘The Loser Strikes Back’

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Writing in the New York Times this Tuesday, columnist Paul Krugman says that while we all knew that President Trump would react badly to losing the 2020 election,  his temper tantrum and the "willingness of almost the entire Republican Party to indulge him have surpassed even pessimists’ expectations."

According to Krugman, Trump's crusade to wreck America on his way out is like a Star Wars sequel, titled: "The Loser Strikes Back."

Krugman writes that Trump administration officials are already trying to sabotage the economy, "setting the stage for a possible financial crisis on Joe Biden’s watch."

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