15:03 GMT10 April 2021
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    Assange's Extradition Hearing Resumes, Prosecutors Shift Away From Espionage Charges

    The Critical Hour
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    On this edition of The Critical Hour, Co-hosts Dr. Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon pay tribute to activist and writer Kevin Zeese, who died unexpectedly on Saturday, and talk to Ray McGovern about the extradition trial of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.

    Day one of Assange's resumed extradition hearing in London came to a close on Monday. "The dramatic opening day of Assange’s extradition hearing saw the US shift from a charge of espionage to its superseding indictment as judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected a defense bid to expunge the evidence and adjourn the case to January," Consortium News reported Tuesday. What's next?

    A Tuesday Washington Post headline read "US coronavirus cases nearly quadrupled during summer season." The article noted, "Summer has run its course, and with it, the toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States has only grown worse. From Memorial Day weekend through the unofficial end of the season Monday, the number of Americans who died of COVID-19 shot up from just under 100,000 to more than 186,000, according to data tracked by The Washington Post, as infections nearly quadrupled to upward of 6.2 million." What are we to make of this? 

    "The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Sunday that [US Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy pressured his employees at New Breed Logistics to write checks for Republican congressional and presidential candidates and reimbursed them for doing so through bonuses," Common Dreams reported Tuesday. "DeJoy served as CEO of the company from 1983 to 2014. ... DeJoy, the former head of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, faces 'criminal exposure' both if the claims surrounding the alleged straw-donor scheme are true and 'also for lying to our committee under oath,' said [US Rep. Carolyn] Maloney [D-NY]." What comes next?

    "Prominent opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova was detained by Belarusian authorities on Tuesday, a border official said, after thwarting what a Ukrainian government minister described as an attempt to expel her from Belarus," Reuters reported Tuesday. What are we to make of this?

    "The United States has threatened to target China’s top chip maker in a move that may slow the country’s efforts to develop critical technology at home," the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday. The Trump administration is considering whether to add Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to a trade blacklist, which would force US suppliers to seek a difficult-to-obtain licence before shipping to the company, a Pentagon spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday." Is the US cutting off its nose to spite its face?

    "The Senate is returning to Washington, DC, with an end-of-the-month government funding deadline looming and talks over a fifth coronavirus package stalemated," The Hill reported Tuesday. How critical are these next few weeks?

    Our next guest, Ben Norton, wrote a Sunday piece for The Grayzone, the subhead of which said, "A Washington, DC-based PR firm linked to the US government and Democratic Party, CLS Strategies, ran a fake news network on Facebook and Instagram, spreading propaganda for Bolivia’s coup regime and the right-wing opposition in Venezuela and Mexico." What are the findings?

    "Samsung Electronics has clinched a $6.6 billion deal with Verizon to help it build 5G networks in the US, highlighting how the technology group can benefit from the Trump administration’s targeting of China’s Huawei, the Financial Times reported Monday. How will that affect the US?

    Guests:

    Ray McGovern - Former CIA analyst and co-founder Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Peace

    Ranjeet Brar - British physician and National Health Service worker 

    Dave Lindorff - Investigative reporter and founder of the news collective This Can't Be Happening!

    Scott Ritter - Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq 

    Linwood Tauheed - Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

    Richard Lachmann - Professor at the State University of New York at Albany and author of "First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline Great Powers" 

    Ben Norton - Journalist, writer, filmmaker, assistant editor of The Grayzone and producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast

    Chris Garaffa - Web developer and technologist

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Samsung, Venezuela, China, Lithuania, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19, Assange
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