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S. Korea, Russia agree to put radiation detectors on ferries

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November 08, 2019
SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) — South Korea and Russia have agreed to put radiation detectors on the passenger ships that ply between the countries, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Friday, an apparent move to enhance their watch against Japan’s planned release of radiation-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.
The agreement came at the 14th meeting of the South Korea-Russia Joint Committee on Environment Cooperation held in Seoul on Thursday.
“It is aimed at enhancing the countries’ monitoring of radioactive materials,” the ministry said.
The move comes as Japan is widely expected to soon begin dumping waste water from its nuclear power plant in Fukushima, whose reactors experienced catastrophic meltdown in 2011.
Tokyo claims the radiation-contaminated water will have little or no effect on the environment as it will be discharged after being thoroughly treated.
Seoul has strongly opposed the plan, insisting it may destroy the entire ecosystem in the region.
South Korea currently bans any fishery and agricultural products from Fukushima and adjacent areas, and is checking nearly all food imports from Japan for radiation.
As of end-August, about 5 tons of Japanese food imports have been rejected or destroyed due to possible radiation contamination, the government said earlier.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Labor shortage cited for Fukushima N-plant errors

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November 07, 2019
TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A series of human errors found at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have been caused by a labor shortage, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has suggested.
At a regular meeting on Wednesday, the NRA received a local report on the current situation of decommissioning work at the plant, the site of the triple meltdown accident in March 2011.
Mistakes have been found frequently as a result of TEPCO’s insufficient understanding of the situation and the overburdening of plant workers, according to the report from the NRA office at the plant site.
“I guess manpower is lacking,” NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa said at a news conference after the meeting, indicating his willingness to interview TEPCO executives.
In July, an operational error caused smoke to rise from an electricity transmission cable at the Fukushima plant.
Some such mistakes can be attributed to TEPCO’s poor supervision and insufficient information on the plant site. Some drawings of the site were not accurate, according to the office.
TEPCO “is not supervising the site properly,” Ryusuke Kobayashi, head of the regional office said.
According to Kobayashi, one TEPCO plant worker said there is no time to pause and think backward.
Another worker finds it difficult to point out the lack of human resources at a time when the company is working to reduce costs, Kobayashi said.
“I believe that the quality of the decommissioning work has deteriorated,” he said.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan accused of trying to justify nuclear dump

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Nov 07, 2019
COVER?Tokyo Electric Power Co has said new storage tanks could be built to hold radioactive water at its stricken plant, a Greenpeace Germany member said
The Japanese government’s claim that it will run out of room to store radiation-contaminated water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in two years is not true, and is simply an attempt to justify discharging polluted water into the Pacific Ocean, a Greenpeace International member said yesterday.
Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany who has conducted long-term surveys in Japan, was invited by Greenpeace Taiwan to talk about the issue at a news conference in Taipei.
An earthquake and a tsunami in March 2011 caused the plant’s reactor fuel rods to melt and large amounts of radioactive-contaminated water was released into the Pacific.
As of Oct. 22, more than 1 million cubic meters of processed polluted water was stored at the treated water storage tank, while the current storage capacity is nearly 1.1 million cubic meters, Burnie said.
Tokyo Electric Power Co in August said the tank would reach full capacity by the summer of 2022 and that there is no room for expansion at the site, he said.
However, the company in a meeting in September said that land is available to build additional tanks, Burnie added.
The claim of insufficient capacity is just an excuse to cover the Japanese government’s political agenda, Burnie said, adding that Tokyo has the option of storing contaminated water for a longer period.
If Japan approves the discharge, radioactive tritium and other radionuclides in the water will likely enter the East China Sea, and eventually the waters surrounding Taiwan through the subtropical gyre, he said.
However, even if the Japanese government decides to discharge polluted water into the ocean, it would not be able to carry out the plan immediately, as it might take years to build outflow pipelines, he said.
In addition to protests from local fishers, especially those living along Japan’s Tohoku coast, the Japanese government would face strong pressure from the international community for discharging polluted water, he said, adding that it is a long-term problem that should be approached more cautiously.
The Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster has led to catastrophic results, and the Taiwanese government should be lauded for making the “brave and correct” decision to phase out nuclear power plants, Burnie said.
Taiwan should call on the Japanese government, via diplomatic or non-governmental channels, to shoulder its responsibility as a Pacific nation and not discharge radiation-contaminated water into the sea, National Nuclear Phase-out Action Platform spokesperson Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said.
As Taiwan generates less than 10 percent of its electricity from nuclear power — much lower than the ratio in Japan before the 2011 disaster, it should persist in its goal of phasing out all nuclear power plants by 2025, Tsuei said.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

10 More Years for Japan’s Reconstruction Agency to Aid Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Recovery

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Fans cheer during a Rugby World Cup match at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, on Sept. 25. The government is looking to extend the term of the Reconstruction Agency for 10 more years.
Japan’s Reconstruction Agency to get 10 more years to aid Fukushima nuclear disaster recovery
 
Nov 7, 2019
The government on Thursday proposed extending the term of the Reconstruction Agency, due to expire at the end of fiscal 2020, by 10 years to facilitate recovery in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting nuclear crisis in Fukushima.
Under the plan, the agency will continue to provide aid for the next five years to areas affected by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The special budget for rebuilding, which is separate from the regular account, and special tax grants for the financial support of affected municipalities will also be maintained.
The plan was proposed to a panel on reconstruction comprising experts and the governors of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. The region suffered extensive damage from the earthquake and tsunami, in addition to the core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The plan is expected to be approved at a Cabinet meeting within this year and be submitted to the Diet next year.
“We have shown our basic view on finances and the legal framework,” Kazunori Tanaka, reconstruction minister, said at the panel meeting. “Based on various opinions from the panel members, we will continue to work toward realizing the plan.”
Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori expressed satisfaction with the plan, saying it “reflects the reality of our prefecture” as the government is continuing to lead efforts to address problems in connection with the nuclear crisis.
But Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said the ending of aid for areas damaged by the quake and tsunami in five years is “too harsh.”
Iwate Gov. Takuya Tasso shared the concern, saying, “I hope it will not be a strict deadline after which everything will be stopped.”
The Reconstruction Agency was established in February 2012 as the central control point for efforts to rebuild from the disaster.
During the proposed extended period, the agency will continue working on a variety of tasks including the decommissioning of the Fukushima plant, combating radiation-tainted water and helping residents return.
It will also provide psychological support to people affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and review the progress in reconstruction efforts in fiscal 2025.
The plan is mostly in line with a recommendation the ruling coalition submitted to the government in August. The coalition said the Reconstruction Agency should remain under the direct control of the prime minister and the oversight of a full-time Cabinet minister.
The ruling bloc also called for preserving the agency’s function as a one-stop source to coordinate planning for reconstruction policies and to respond to the needs of affected communities.
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A Japanese Reconstruction Agency official, left, explains Japan’s efforts to rebuild areas hit by the March 2011 disaster to a foreign journalist at Intex Osaka, the venue for the Group of 20 summit, on June 28, 2019.
Japan gov’t may keep Reconstruction Agency for 10 more years
 
November 7, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The government on Thursday proposed postponing the planned disbandment of the Reconstruction Agency for 10 years until March 2031 to facilitate recovery in areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Under the plan, the agency will also continue to provide aid for five more years to areas affected by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, which triggered core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The plan was proposed to a panel on reconstruction comprised of experts and the governors of the three hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. It is expected to be approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe within the year and be submitted to the Diet next year.
“We have shown our basic view on finances and the legal framework,” said reconstruction minister Kazunori Tanaka. “Based on various opinions from the panel members, we will continue to work toward realizing the plan.”
Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori expressed satisfaction with the plan, saying it “reflects the reality of our prefecture” as the government is continuing to lead efforts to address problems in connection with the nuclear crisis.
But Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said the ending of aid for areas damaged by the quake and tsunami in five years is “too harsh.”
Iwate Gov. Takuya Tasso shared the concern, saying, “I hope it will not be a strict deadline after which everything will be stopped.”
The Reconstruction Agency was established in February 2012 as the central control point for efforts to rebuild from the triple disasters and had been scheduled to disband at the end of fiscal 2020.
During the proposed extended period, the agency will continue working on a variety of tasks including decommissioning of the Fukushima plant, combating radiation-tainted water and helping residents return.
It will also provide psychological support to people affected by the earthquake and tsunami and review the progress in reconstruction efforts after five years.
The special budget for rebuilding, which is separate from the regular account, and subsidies for helping affected municipalities will be maintained.
The central government spent 25.5 trillion yen ($234 billion) for reconstruction in the first five-year period through fiscal 2015, while securing 6.5 trillion yen for another five years with part of the costs shouldered by relevant municipalities.
As of early October, there were still about 49,000 people who remain displaced from their hometowns as a result of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, compared with 470,000 estimated shortly after the triple disaster occurred.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Chefs to join Team South Korea in Tokyo Olympics

optimizePresident of Korean Sports and Olympic Committee Lee Kee-heung

November 5, 2019

Chefs and food ingredients will accompany the South Korean team and delegation traveling to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year. The chefs will prepare food for the South Koreans using homegrown ingredients for the duration of the Games.

Korean Sports and Olympic Committee (KSOC) President Lee Kee-heung, also a member of the International Olympic Committee, unveiled the measures to allay fears over food safety which were raised after Japan announced it would use food products from Fukushima, a region hit hard by a 2011 tsunami and an ensuing meltdown at the nuclear power plant there.

“The KSOC is planning to expand the meal station for Korean athletes during the games to address the food safety issue,” he wrote in a recent written interview with The Korea Times. “Korean food has superb nutritional value and we believe it will help the athletes perform at their best. We will also deliver lunch boxes to the stadiums so our athletes can focus on getting medals,” Lee said.

Earlier, the Japanese Olympic Committee said it would serve athletes food made using ingredients from Fukushima, a region in which water and soil are feared to remain contaminated with radioactivity following the meltdown. South Korea banned rice and vegetable imports from the region immediately after the incident.

The Tokyo Olympics is not the first international sports event where the KSOC has dispatched chefs to prepare meals for athletes. During the 2012 London Olympics, the KSOC sent chefs and nutritionists from the national training center to cook for Korean athletes and staff who craved food from home.

Food safety is among other touchy issues at the Olympics.

The “Rising Sun” flag, a symbol for many in Asia of Japanese colonialism, is another pre-Olympics issue that some South Koreans find concerning. The issue has been raised by Seoul since September after relations with Japan deteriorated following it imposing trade restrictions on certain exports to Korea. In response, Japan said use of the flag does not violate the Japanese Constitution.

Lee said the KSOC has been working to make an Asian alliance to push Japan to not fly it.

“During the 24th Association of the National Olympic Committee (ANOC) General Assembly in Qatar earlier this year, I met with other Asian state representatives and discussed ways to address the issue together. On this issue, our effort to change Japan’s policy will continue and with the support of the government,” he said. ANOC has an annual meeting, and this year’s congress took place in Doha.

Joint Korea team

Lee said he was cautiously optimistic about fielding a joint team between the two Koreas for the Tokyo Olympics, saying the KSOC has continued to talk with the North.

However, another high-level official, who didn’t want to disclose his name because of the sensitivity of the issue, said a joint team may be a distant dream. “Considering what’s going on in inter-Korean relations, it’s difficult to move on a joint team,” he said. He had taken part in negotiations with the North in the past.

A joint team for the 2020 Olympics was agreed in November 2018 at inter-Korean talks held in Gaesong in the North. That year, President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held three summits.

The governments of the two Koreas agreed to form unified teams in female basketball, female hockey, judo and rowing. “The IOC approved this under one condition ― that is the unified teams would start from qualifying matches,” the anonymous official said.

For all sports but basketball, qualifying matches are already underway. “Basketball qualifying matches will begin at the end of the year. Yet, if things go the way it goes now, unifying a basketball team will be out of the question,” he said. But, he added hopes remain in judo. “In judo, individual athletes compete for qualification. We can consider making a joint team with qualified athletes.”

However, the political situation will hold full sway over the joint team and the current circumstances are not very promising.

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the removal of all South Korean-built facilities at Mount Geumgang, including a hotel. North Korea’s aggressive treatment of South Korean football players during their World Cup qualifying game also cast a shadow on the prospects for a joint team.

Despite this, there is still hope for a possible peace gesture during the Olympics.

The official said a joint march at the opening ceremony could still happen. “This has been done several times now, so we could continue to do it.”

North and South Korean athletes have marched together at international sports events 11 times so far. The most recent being the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea ― the Koreas also fielded a joint women’s ice hockey team.

In addition to creating the joint team, the two Koreas also agreed to submit a joint bid to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics, and President Lee said they have a very good chance.

“The Korean Peninsula can be a symbol of peace which will be something we can take advantage of in our campaign for the Olympics,” Lee said, noting that South Korea will host the next ANOC General Assembly. “This will be also a good opportunity to show the sports community that the Koreas are qualified to host the Olympics.”

As an IOC member representing Korea, Lee is at the center of sports diplomacy.

“Now, Korea has two IOC representatives, which has elevated its standing in global sports.” Korea’s sports diplomacy had its heyday in the 2000s when it had three IOC representatives, but in 2017, the number went down to one, raising concern that its standing had weakened.”

Lee viewed the PyeongChang Winter Olympics as demonstrating Korea’s success in sports diplomacy. “This helped Korea get two IOC representatives.”

100th National Sports Festival

With regard to the centennial of the National Sports Festival, Lee said he was saddened by the decreasing public interest. “It will be my job to revamp the festival so that it will recover its lost popularity with bigger public interest and participation.”

The festival started out as an act of resistance to colonial Japan in 1920. In the first year, only baseball was played but other sports were added over the century. This year saw 47 sports including trials of two new ones.

Over the century, the festival served as an incubator for world-class athletes. Figure-skater Kim Yu-na competed in the festival as did Swimmer Park Tae-hwan. The festival has also contributed to developing the infrastructure for Korean sports.

Born in 1955, Lee’s background has been in business, not sports. His first step into the world of sports was with the Federation of the Modern Pentathlon where he served as vice president in 2000. Between 2004 and 2009, he was the president of the Korea Canoe Federation, followed by the Korea Swimming Federation between 2010 and 2016..

He headed the athlete’s team in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou in China and 2012 London Summer Olympics.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/sports/2019/11/663_277969.html?fbclid=IwAR3ix0GrN24HHf7-EtLYzv2xjqBqrdyA5WgmWGZVuCRW9W8maIKubeG-bgQ

November 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Dozens of bags of radioactive waste still missing in Fukushima three weeks after intense typhoon

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Bags containing radioactive waste are seen in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, in this photo taken Oct. 14 after Typhoon Hagibis struck the region earlier in the month.
Nov 4, 2019
TAMURA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Dozens of bags containing waste polluted with radioactive substances are still missing in Fukushima Prefecture, three weeks after they were swept away from storage areas in floods triggered by Typhoon Hagibis.
Of the 90 bags originally lost, 36 remain missing. The Environment Ministry, prefectural officials and others are conducting extensive searches but so far they have not had much luck.
In many municipalities in the prefecture, a lot of radioactive waste, including soil, was generated through decontamination work after the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant. Numerous bags containing the waste are kept outdoors in temporary storage areas around the prefecture.
Heavy rains from the 19th typhoon of the year flooded storage space in many locations, sweeping away 44 bags in Kawauchi, 30 in Tamura, 15 in Nihonmatsu and one in Iitate.
By the end of October, 50 bags had been recovered. The contents had leaked from half of them. “We had far heavier rains than we expected. We did not cover bags of radioactive waste,” said an official of the Tamura Municipal Government.
The ministry and other organizations have mobilized 20 to 30 workers to look for the missing bags, wading into rivers when necessary and using drones to search areas that cannot physically be entered.
An aerial survey was conducted by helicopter on Oct. 23. On Friday, 29 workers searched the Furumichi River and areas along it in Tamura. Four bags were collected, but their contents had been lost.
“There has been no confirmation of any environmental impact due to the loss of the bags,” a ministry official said.
“We’ll continue searching in cooperation with local municipalities.”

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Desperate times for the nuclear industry – could Australia be its saviour?

the number one goal of the nuclear lobby is to remove Australia’s national and state laws that prohibit the nuclear industry.

the campaign by the global nuclear industry, particularly the American industry, to kickstart another “nuclear renaissance”, before it’s too late.

Australia is the great ‘white’ hope for the global nuclear industry, Independent Australia, By Noel Wauchope | 19 November 2019, The global nuclear industry is in crisis but that doesn’t stop the pro-nuclear lobby from peddling exorbitantly expensive nuclear as a “green alternative”. Noel Wauchope reports.

The global nuclear industry is in crisis. Well, in the Western world, anyway. It is hard to get a clear picture of  Russia and China, who appear to be happy putting developing nations into debt, as they market their nuclear reactors overseas with very generous loans — it helps to have stte-owned companies funding this effort.

But when it comes to Western democracies, where the industry is supposed to be commercially viable, there’s trouble. The latest news from S&P Global Ratings has made it plain: nuclear power can survive only with massive tax-payer support. Existing large nuclear  reactors need subsidies to continue, while the expense of building new ones has scared off investors.

So, for the nuclear lobby, ultimate survival seems to depend on developing and mass marketing “Generation IV” small and medium reactors (SMRs). …..

for the U.S. marketers, Australia, as a politically stable English-speaking ally, is a particularly desirable target. Australia’s geographic situation has advantages. One is the possibility of making Australia a hub for taking in radioactive wastes from South-East Asian countries. That’s a long-term goal of the global nuclear lobby.   …..

In particular, small nuclear reactors are marketed for submarines. That’s especially important now, as a new type of non-nuclear submarine – the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine, faster and much cheaper – could be making nuclear submarines obsolete. The Australian nuclear lobby is very keen on nuclear submarines: they are now promoting SMRs with propagandists such as Heiko Timmers, from Australian National University. This is an additional reason why Australia is the great white hope.

I use the word “white” advisedly here because Australia has a remarkable history of distrust and opposition to this industry form Indigenous Australians…..

The hunt for a national waste dump site is one problematic side of the nuclear lobby’s push for Australia. While accepted international policy on nuclear waste storage is that the site should be as near as possible to the point of production, the Australian Government’s plan is to set up a temporary site for nuclear waste, some 1700 km from its production at Lucas Heights. The other equally problematic issue is how to gain political and public support for the industry, which is currently banned by both Federal and state laws. SMR companies like NuScale are loath to spend money on winning hearts and minds in Australia while nuclear prohibition laws remain.

Ziggy Switkowski, a long-time promoter of the nuclear industry, has now renewed this campaign — although he covers himself well, in case it all goes bad, noting that nuclear energy for Australia could be a “catastrophic failure“. ……

his submission (No. 41) to the current Federal Inquiry into nuclear power sets out only one aim, that

‘… all obstacles … be removed to the consideration of nuclear power as part of the national energy strategy debate.’

So the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) should be changed, according to Switkowski. In an article in The Australian, NSW State Liberal MP Taylor Martin suggested that the Federal and state laws be changed to prohibit existing forms of nuclear power technology but to allow small modular reactors.

Switkowski makes it clear that the number one goal of the nuclear lobby is to remove Australia’s national and state laws that prohibit the nuclear industry. And, from reading many pro-nuclear submissions to the Federal Inquiry, this emerges as their most significant aim.

It does not appear that the Australian public is currently all agog about nuclear power. So, it does seem a great coincidence that so many of their representatives in parliaments – Federal, VictorianNew South WalesSouth Australia and members of a new party in Western Australia – are now advocating nuclear inquiries, leading to the repeal of nuclear prohibition laws.

We can only conclude that this new, seemingly coincidental push to overturn Australia’s nuclear prohibition laws, is in concert with the push for a national nuclear waste dump in rural South Australia — part of the campaign by the global nuclear industry, particularly the American industry, to kickstart another “nuclear renaissance”, before it’s too late.

Despite its relatively small population, Australia does “punch above its weight” in terms of its international reputation and as a commercial market. The repeal of Australia’s laws banning the nuclear industry would be a very significant symbol for much-needed new credibility for the pro-nuclear lobby. It would open the door for a clever publicity drive, no doubt using “action on climate change” as the rationale for developing nuclear power.

In the meantime, Australia has abundant natural resources for sun, wind and wave energy, and could become a leader in the South-East Asian region for developing and exporting renewable energy — a much quicker and more credible way to combat global warming. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australia-is-the-great-white-hope-for-the-global-nuclear-industry,13326

November 19, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, marketing, politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

If Julian Assange is extradited to the United States, journalism will be incarcerated, too

JOHN PILGER: Assange’s case will define the future of free journalism,  https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/john-pilger-assanges-case-will-define-the-future-of-free-journalism,13324  By John Pilger | 18 November 2019   John Pilger describes the disturbing scene inside a London courtroom last week when the WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, appeared at the start of a landmark extradition case that will define the future of free journalism.

THE WORST MOMENT was one of a number of “worst” moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser – actually she isn’t a judge at all; she’s a magistrate – shocked all of us who were there.

Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian Assange with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa’s Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn’t get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.

When he spoke truth and when his barrister spoke, Baraister contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. She had nothing to do; it was demonstrably preordained. In the table in front of us were a handful of American officials, whose directions to the prosecutor were carried by his — back and forth this young woman went, delivering instructions.

The Magistrate watched this outrage without a comment. It reminded me of a newsreel of a show trial in Stalin’s Moscow; the difference was that Soviet show trials were broadcast. Here, the state broadcaster, the BBC, blacked it out, as did the other mainstream channels.

Having ignored Julian’s barrister’s factual description of how the CIA had run a Spanish security firm that spied on him in the Ecuadorean embassy, she didn’t yawn, but her disinterest was as expressive. She then denied Julian’s lawyers any more time to prepare their case — even though their client was prevented in prison from receiving legal documents and other tools with which to defend himself.

Her knee in the groin was to announce that the next court hearing would be at remote Woolwich, which adjoins Belmarsh Prison and has few seats for the public. This will ensure isolation and be as close to a secret trial as it’s possible to get. Did this happen in the home of the Magna Carta? Yes, but who knew?

Julian’s case is often compared with Dreyfus, but historically it’s far more important. No one doubts – not his enemies at The New York Times, not the Murdoch press in Australia – that if he is extradited to the United States and the inevitable Supermax, journalism will be incarcerated, too.

Who will then dare to expose anything of importance, let alone the high crimes of the West? Who will dare publish ‘Collateral Murder’? Who will dare tell the public that democracy, such as it is, has been subverted by a corporate authoritarianism from which fascism draws its strength?

Once there were spaces, gaps, boltholes, in mainstream journalism in which mavericks, who are the best journalists, could work. These are long closed now. The hope is the samizdat on the internet, where fine disobedient journalism is still practised.

The greater hope is that a judge or even judges in Britain’s court of appeal, the High Court, will rediscover justice and set him free. In the meantime, it’s our responsibility to fight in ways we know but which now require more than a modicum of Julian Assange’s courage.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, media, UK | Leave a comment