It's Friday, so that means it's panel time.
It's been reported that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition is just hours or days away. According to the Associated Press, a senior Ecuadorian official countered the claims of a WikiLeaks source, saying that no decision had been made to force Assange out of the London embassy, but the official's Tweet has since been removed. What does this say about Assange, the free press and the power of the US?
"Some on Mueller's Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed," says a recent New York Times headline. This to me is a goofy story, because there are a lot of baseless allegations made by unnamed sources. On Thursday, they reported that some of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators have told associates that Attorney General William Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Donald Trump than Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations. The Washington Post reported Thursday, "Revelations that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's still-confidential report may contain damaging information about President Trump ignited a fresh round of political fighting on Thursday, ushering in a new phase of the nearly two-year-old battle over the Russia probe."
Boeing, the world's largest commercial aircraft manufacturer, is being investigated by the Department of Justice in response to two deadly crashes fewer than six months apart. The company's best-selling plane in the world, the 737 MAX 8, has crashed twice in the past several months: the first was a Lion Air flight leaving Jakarta, Indonesia, in October, and the second was an Ethiopian Airlines flight leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March. A recent report laid out a timeline of the flight based on analysis from 18 Ethiopian and international investigators and information from the jet's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologized Thursday for the "erroneous activation" of the company's maneuvering software in the two jets that crashed. "We extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302," he said, explaining the faulty system that may have caused a sudden nosedive. "It's our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it, and we know how to do it."
Rejecting a plank of President Donald Trump's foreign policy, the House of Representatives late yesterday invoked never-before-used powers to demand that his administration withdraw support from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The senseless war that has resulted in what international aid organizations have called the worse man-made humanitarian crisis in the world. The Senate passed the same resolution in March with bipartisan support. Trump is expected to issue a veto of the measure, his second as president, and Congress does not have the votes to override him.
In Chicago's mayoral election, Lori Lightfoot won Tuesday's runoff against Toni Preckwinkle, a longtime politician who leads the county board and local Democratic Party. Is this another data point in regards to the success of an alleged progressive agenda?
According to Whitney Webb from MintPress News, Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela who is supported by the United States government, recently announced coming "tactical actions" that will be taken by his supporters starting April 6 as part of "Operation Freedom," an alleged grassroots effort to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. That operation, according to Guaidó, will be led by "Freedom and Aid Committees" that in turn create "freedom cells" throughout the country — "cells" that will spring to action when Guaidó gives the signal on April 6 and launch large-scale community protests. Guaidó's stated plan involves the Venezuelan military then taking his side, but his insistence that "all options are still on the table" (read: including foreign military intervention) reveals his impatience with the military, which has continued to stay loyal to Maduro throughout Guaidó's "interim presidency."
The opioid epidemic has ravaged Philadelphia, and many in the city feel that drastic measures are necessary to stem a scourge of overdoses, including a radical plan to provide a safe space where people can use illegal drugs while under supervision. Though the plan for what is known as a safe injection site has garnered local support, the city now finds itself in the middle of a major legal fight with the federal government.
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Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
Michelle Hudgins — Communications strategist, producer, media consultant and writer.
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