Boris Johnson Loses Majority in Parliament

Daniel Szwec | @szewc_daniel

Earlier today, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government lost its effective one-member majority in the House of Commons. The deed was done by Phillip Lee, the Member of Parliament for Bracknell, who decided to leave the Conservative party for the Liberal Democrats after representing the Conservatives for over 27 years.

All of this occurred only moments before a series of important votes and an emergency debate on the topic of the UK’s departure from the European Union. The MP argued that his decision was completely valid on the basis that Boris Johnson’s government “is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit”. Some speculate that this single decision was enough to spike the pound against the dollar. The development could spell trouble for a no-deal Brexit.

Read moreBoris Johnson Loses Majority in Parliament

YouTuber Sargon of Akkad runs for European Parliament as member of UKIP

Peyton Gouzien | @PGouzien

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has selected YouTuber Sargon of Akkad to be a candidate in the European Parliament election. Carl Benjamin, who goes by Sargon of Akkad on YouTube was selected from a pool of “190 potential candidates” according to comments from UKIP’s leader, Gerard Batten. Additionally, Mr. Batten cites Sargon’s selection for candidacy as “UKIP’s priority to have MEPs who will fight to make Brexit happen.”. Mr. Benjamin has been an outspoken critic of the European Union and supporter of Brexit, main traits of UKIP.

Read moreYouTuber Sargon of Akkad runs for European Parliament as member of UKIP

Assange May No Longer Face Extradition to America

By James Sweet III | United States

If Julian Assange decided to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London tomorrow, he could leave knowing that he may not be extradited to the United States. According to Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, the British government has guaranteed that the founder of Wikileaks would not be extradited to any nation that may serve him the death penalty.

Moreno stated in a radio interview Thursday that he has received written assurances from the British government that they will not extradite Assange to a foreign country that could put the man to death. In the United States, Assange is facing several charges for leaking classified information regarding diplomatic cables and war crimes in the Middle East. The possible sentence for these crimes could carry the death penalty.

Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012, being granted asylum under former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. His access to the internet was cut by the Ecuadorian government, although it was recently restored, and he hasn’t seen sunlight in years. While the current President has stated he will not force Assange out, Moreno revealed that the asylee’s team is discussing what to do next.

Assange could still be extradited to the United States, however, if American prosecutors promised not to pursue the death penalty. Wikileaks revealed in mid-November that the government of the United States was pursuing charges against Assange, but they are currently sealed and the charges federal prosecutors may pursue are unknown.

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Regardless, this is an important step for Julian Assange. The activist’s chances of leaving the embassy without fear of a shortened life have increased. If he did indeed leave the embassy and was kept in the United Kingdom, it would be a victory for government transparency advocates around the world, although not being arrested is preferable.


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