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The Critical Hour
The mainstream news outlets play it safe by parroting the perspectives of their corporate benefactors. The Critical Hour uses clear, cutting edge insight and analysis to examine national and international issues impacting the global village in which we live.

Heart of Paris Up in Flames: Notre Dame Cathedral Burned to Ashes

Heart of Paris Up In Flames: Notre Dame Cathedral Burned To Ashes
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Emine Sevin, photo researcher for Culture Trip.

The roof collapses at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral as a massive fire rages on. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, while local media reported that police in the city are treating it as an accident. The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo's classic novel "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame," attracts millions of tourists every year.

"The roof has entirely collapsed; there are flames coming out the back of the cathedral as if it was a torch," said a journalist for France 24 at the scene of the fire. Notre Dame ('Our Lady of Paris' in French) is a Gothic cathedral and serves as the official seat of the Catholic archbishop of Paris. Construction began on the cathedral in 1160 and was completed nearly two centuries later.

In its history, the tower stood over world-changing events like the French Revolution and the crowning of Napoleon Bonaparte, and it served as the setting for one of Hugo's most famous novels. Within its halls, a mass was held in 1944 to celebrate the liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany. Its place in French history cannot be overstated.

A protest took place Saturday outside Belmarsh Prison in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being held following his forcible seizure and arrest Thursday. The protest was organized by the Julian Assange Defence Committee and supported by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the World Socialist Web Site.

On Monday, German and Spanish lawmakers protested against Assange's detention, gathering outside the prison to urge Britain and the EU to prevent his extradition to the United States. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno told the Guardian that Assange repeatedly violated his asylum conditions and tried to use the Ecuadorian embassy in London as a "center for spying."

WikiLeaks was reportedly linked to an anonymous website that claimed Moreno's brother had created an offshore company, and Moreno also accused the website of leaking private pictures of him and his family, which WikiLeaks denies. Moreno also accused Assange of repeatedly interfering in the internal affairs of other states, referencing WikiLeaks' publication of Vatican documents in January 2019 as a recent example. "It is unfortunate that there are individuals dedicated to violating the privacy of people," Moreno said. Moreno also says he has it in writing from the UK that Assange's rights will be respected. Assange faces up to 12 months in prison after being found guilty of breaching his bail conditions when he entered the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.

The National Women's March group is urging Twitter to suspend US President Donald Trump's account for posting a highly edited video that misrepresents remarks by Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, intercut with footage of the September 11, 2001, attacks. On Friday, and again on Saturday, Trump shared a clip of Omar edited to portray her as being dismissive of the 9/11 attacks.

It is important to reiterate, the clip is a highly edited video that misrepresents her remarks. The clip presents footage of Omar at a California banquet in March hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), saying, "CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something," and mixes those words with footage of the burning World Trade Center and Pentagon. That's not an honest account of what she said.

Monday, April 15, is Tax Day in the United States. It's the due date for Americans to file their 2018 taxes. How is tax policy being used in this country, and who are the beneficiaries? How can we explain major corporations paying little to no taxes?


Emine Sevin — Photo researcher for Culture Trip. Culture Trip is a global hyper-growth startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. It creates stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture. In-house creative teams work with a global network of more than 300 freelance creators to produce location-based inspiration from around the world, including articles, videos, photography, illustration and animation.

Lee Stranahan — Co-host of Fault Lines on Sputnik Radio.

Avis Jones DeWever — Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women.

Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."

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