One of the world’s foremost whistleblowing organizations has been forced to replace its editor-in-chief due to “extraordinary circumstances.”
“ANNOUNCEMENT: Assange appoints Hrafnsson Editor-in-Chief after six months of effective incommunicado detention, remains publisher,” said a Tweet by WikiLeaks.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 26, 2018
“Due to extraordinary circumstances where Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been incommunicado (except for visits by his lawyers) for six months while arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy Mr. Assange has appointed Kristinn Hrafnsson Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks. Mr. Assange will continue to be the publisher of WikiLeaks,” said an accompanying message.
Hrafnsson is an Icelandic investigative journalist and former WikiLeaks spokesperson.
Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in August of 2012 and has been holed up in their embassy in London ever since. In 2010, after releasing controversial information from whistleblower Bradley Manning (now called Chelsea, still biologically male), Assange was accused of sexual assault by the Swedish government. He surrendered himself to British authorities, and fearing extradition to the United States, absconded his bail to take up permanent residency in the embassy.
“I condemn the treatment of Julian Assange that leads to my new role, but I welcome the responsibility to secure the continuation of the important work based on WikiLeaks ideals,” Hrafnsson said of his appointment.
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YIKES: Venezuelan Patrol Boat Sinks After Ramming German Cruise Ship
Not the most illustrious incident for Venezuela.
A Venezuelan naval patrol boat ended up sinking after an altercation earlier this week with none other than a German cruise ship.
A statement from Columbia Cruise Services of Hamburg, Germany, explained the oddball confrontation between the luxury cruise ship RCGS Resolute and the Venezuelan naval patrol boat Naiguata.
The Venezuelan boat had radioed the cruise ship, that wasn’t carrying passengers, and demanded to know of the ship’s intentions as it passed by the Venezuelan territory of La Tortuga island. The Resolute’s crew had been carrying on engine maintenance in the area, maintaining they were operating in international waters.
After the cruise ship refused to comply with a demand that it approach the Venezuelan port of Puerto Moreno, the fast boat approached it after midnight on March 30th.
Crew from the Naiguata are said to have fired small arms at the Resolute, after which the boat tried to approach the ship in an effort to force it to change course to Venezuelan territorial waters. The much smaller Venezuelan vessel failed to realize the Resolute had a reinforced hull in order to allow it to sail in icy waters.
The Naiguata suffered serious damages from the repeated collisions with the cruise ship. It began to take on water and efforts on part of the cruise ship’s crew to contact the vessel went totally unanswered. Columbia Cruise Services say the Resolute left the area after receiving word from an international maritime agency that no assistance would be needed, and the Venezuelan crew of the patrol boat were later rescued.
Nicolas Maduro tried to explain away the extremely embarrassing incident for socialist Venezuela, claiming that the luxury cruise ship was carrying foreign mercenaries planning to carry out operations against the country. He described the unarmed luxury cruise ship’s presence north of his country’s territorial waters as a “act of terrorism and piracy.”
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