Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse

Ecuadors foreign minister discloses to reporters in Quito that Wikileaks founder was awarded citizenship a month ago

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has disclosed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

The 46 -year-old has been naturalised after living for five and a half years in the cramped, Latin American country’s embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.

Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as foreign diplomats. The petition was dismissed.

The Ecuadorian initiative was intended to confer legal immunity on Assange, letting him to slip out of the embassy and Britain without being arrested for violating his former bail conditions.

Julian
Julian Assange posted this picture of himself in an Ecuadorian football shirt on Twitter. Photograph: Twitter

Assange failed to surrender to the UK authorities in 2012 after the supreme court rejected his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sexual crimes, including rape. He was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Swedish attorneys last year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into allegations against him, which he denied. WikiLeaks, however, were afraid that the US will seek his extradition if he leaves the embassy, believing there is a sealed US indictment trying his arrest.

At a press conference on Thursday in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, explained that Assange had sought citizenship and that it had been granted on 12 December last year.

” The Ecuadorian government is empowered to grant nationality to the protected person and thus facilitate … his inclusion in the host country ,” Espinosa told reporters.

Assange’s life could be under threat from other states, she cautioned, adding that she was seeking a” dignified and merely” solution to his situation with Britain.

On Wednesday evening, the UK Foreign Office put out a statement explaining that:” The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request , nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice .”

At the same time Assange appeared on his Twitter account for the first time wearing an Ecuadorian national football shirt.

A statement by Assange’s legal team said:” The UN ruling, issued almost two years ago, is crystal clear in the original language.[ He] is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the UK authorities and must be released. The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration’s public threats to’ take down’ Mr Assange .”

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Radiohead rebut Lana Del Rey’s plagiarism lawsuit claims

After the vocalist said the bands lawyers have been relentless in their pursuit of publishing rights to her song Get Free, a representative has said no lawsuit has been filed

Radiohead have refuted Lana Del Rey’s claim that they have filed a suit against her that demands publishing rights to her song Get Free, thanks to its similarity to their song Creep.

After rumours of the lawsuit circulated, Del Rey had tweeted:” It’s true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by Creep, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing- I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in tribunal .”

Listen to Lana Del Rey’s Get Free

A representative for Radiohead’s publishers, Warner/ Chappell, admitted they had been” in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey’s representatives. It’s clear that the verses of Get Free use musical elements found in the verses of Creep and we’ve requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all novelists of Creep .” But they added that no suit has been filed, and Radiohead aren’t demanding 100% of the publishing, per Del Rey’s claims.

Watch Radiohead perform Creep

Del Rey alluded to the legal spat at a concert in Denver earlier the coming week, went on to say that Get Free was her” personal manifesto” and that” those sentiments that I wrote, I really am going to strive for them, even if that song is not on future physical releases of the record “.

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Thousands of Russians endorse Navalny to challenge Putin in 2018

Lawyer seen as the only opposition leader who stands a chance of challenging Putin seeks to get his name on ballot

Alexei Navalny, seen as the only Russian opposition leader who stands a fighting chance of challenging Vladimir Putin, has attempted to get his name on the ballot for a March presidential election, with supporters meeting across Russia to endorse the move.

More than 15,000 people who back him met in 20 Russian cities on Sunday to formally nominate his candidacy in the presence of electoral officials in an attempt to boost his chances of making the vote.

” An election without us is not an election ,” Navalny declared in Moscow before submitting his nomination to the Central Electoral Commission, which will rule whether he can run.

Russian electoral officials have deemed him ineligible to operate due to a criminal conviction, saying ” merely a miracle” would help him get registered.

According to legislation, in each city he will need at least 500 people to formally nominate his candidacy.

In Moscow, more than 700 people supported Navalny’s candidacy as they gathered in a huge pavilion put in in a picturesque park on the snow-covered banks of the Moscow river.

” I am hugely happy, I am proud is to say that I stand here as a candidate of the entire Russia ,” Navalny told supporters.

” We are ready to win and we will win these elections ,” he said before finishing his speech in a cloud of confetti.

Navalny said that if he is not allowed to set his name on the ballot he will contest the ban in the tribunals and recurred his threat to call for the polls to be boycotted if he did not get registered.

” Thwart the elections if they are dishonest ,” he told supporters.

Putin, 65, announced this month he would seek a fourth presidential term, which would extend his regulation until 2024 and make him the longest-serving Russian leader since despot Joseph Stalin.

But Navalny, who has tapped into the anger of a younger generation who grew up under Putin and yearn for change, said he would not give up. He hopes that popular support for his Kremlin bid would pressurise authorities into putting his name on the ballot.

” Not letting us contest the election is impossible ,” Navalny wrote in a blogpost this week.

The 41 -year-old lawyer has built a robust protest movement in the face of persistent harassment and jumped through multiple hoops as he campaigned across the country in an effort to change attitudes amid widespread political ennui.

He says he is the only Russian legislator who has run a genuine western-style political campaign, stumping for votes in far-flung regions. In Moscow, detecting a premises for the Sunday event had been so hard that Navalny’s campaign pitched a huge tent in a park on the snow-covered coasts of the Moscow river.

Yury Berchenko, one of about 300 supporters who gathered in the tent, called Navalny an honest and sincere man, “says hes” should be allowed to contest the vote.” He mobilises people ,” Berchenko said.” Such a human should be president or at the least take part in a debate and ask difficult questions .”

A
The Moscow meeting of an action group to support Alexei Navalny’s nomination as a candidate for the Russian presidency. Photo: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Marina Kurbatskaya was also present in the park to subsistence Navalny as she criticised” lies and thievery” in Russia.” If Navalny is not allowed to run I am not going to vote ,” she told AFP.” I don’t see anyone else who I want to become president .”

Earlier on Sunday supporters in the Pacific port of Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Novosibirsk in Siberia and other cities formally endorsed Navalny’s candidacy.

Two members of the central election commission attended the Moscow event, Navalny’s campaign said.

Despite a litany of problems such as corruption, poor healthcare and increasing poverty, opinion polls indicate Putin enjoys approval ratings of 80% and ought to be able to sail to victory against token opponents.

Asked why Navalny had been barred from operating, Putin- who has refused to mention him by name in public- said this month the opponent was hoping for a “coup” but would not succeed.

Navalny rose to prominence as an organiser of huge anti-Putin rallies that took place in Russia from 2011 to 2012 following claims of vote-rigging in parliamentary polls.

The rallies gradually died down but he has been able to breathe new life into the protest motion this year, bringing out tens of thousands of young demonstrators into the streets.

This year he has served three jail sentences of 15 days, 25 days and 20 days for organising unauthorised anti-Putin protests.

The Council of Europe’s decision-making body, the committee of ministers, has urged Russian authorities to allow Navalny to stand for election despite his” arbitrary and unfair” sentence for fraud.

Many critics scoff at Navalny’s Kremlin bid but he says he would beat Putin in a free election if he had access to state-controlled television, the main source of news for the majority of Russians.

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Uber to face stricter EU regulation after ECJ rules it is transport firm

Company loses challenge by Barcelona taxi drivers group, which argued Uber was directly involved in carrying passengers

Uber is a transport services company, the European court of justice( ECJ) has ruled, requiring it to accept stricter regulation and licensing within the EU as a taxi operator.

The decision in Luxembourg, after a challenge brought by taxi drivers in Barcelona, is only applicable across the whole of the EU, including the UK.

Uber had denied it was a transport company, arguing instead it is a computer services business with operations that should be subject to an EU directive governing e-commerce and prohibiting restrictions on the process of creating such organisations.

Lawyers for Barcelona’s Asociacion Profesional Elite Taxi argued that Uber was directly involved in carrying passengers. EU rules on the freedom to provide services expressly exclude transport.

In its ruling, the ECJ said an” intermediation service”,” the purpose of whose purpose is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration , non-professional drivers utilizing their own vehicle with persons who wish to attain urban journeys, must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as’ a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of EU law “.

” Consequently, such a service must be excluded from the scope of the freedom to provide services in general as well as the directive on services in the internal market and the directive on electronic commerce ,” the ruling said.

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” It follows that, as EU law currently stands, it is a matter of the member states to regulate the conditions under which such services are to be provided in conformity with the general rules of the treaty on the smooth functioning of the EU .”

The ECJ procured Uber’s services were more than an intermediation service. It observed that the Uber app was ” indispensable for both the drivers and the persons who wish to make an urban journey “.

The court also pointed out that Uber exercises “decisive influence” over the conditions under which drivers offer their services. Such an intermediation service, the ECJ concluded, must be regarded as forming an integral component of an overall service, the main component of which is transport.

Within the UK, it may be noted that the ECJ, having been repeatedly mocked by Brexit supporters, appears to have come to the rescue of hard-pressed taxi drivers across Britain and Europe.

Uber said:” This ruling will not change things in most EU countries, where we already operate under transportation law. However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from utilizing apps like ours.

” As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe. This is the approach we’ll take to ensure everyone can get a reliable ride at the tap of a button .”

The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, greeted the decision.” Uber must get its house in order and play by the same rules as everybody else ,” she said.

” Their drivers are not commodities. They deserve at the very least the minimum wage and vacation pay.

” Advances in technology should be used to stimulate work better. Not to return to the type of running practices we thought we’d seen the back of decades ago .”

Bernardine Adkins, head of EU, trade and rivalry, at the law firm Gowling WLG, said:” Uber’s categorisation provides vital clarity to its position within the marketplace. Uber’s control over its drivers, its ability to set prices and the fact its electronic service is inseparable from its ultimate consumer experience entails it is more than simply a platform connecting drivers to passengers. For Uber, this entails it needs to comply with the relevant transport regulations governing local taxi services .”

In a separate development, the GMB union has been granted permission to intervene in Uber’s appeal against the decision by Transport for London( TfL) not to renew its Private Hire Vehicle Operator’s Licence.

At a Westminster magistrates court hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for the union argued it should be allowed to raise allegations of excessive hours worked by Uber drivers and its impact on public safety.

GMB claims that Uber encourages and incentivises drivers to work excessive hours and that its business model sets public safety at serious hazard. The full appeal hearing is due to be held in summer 2018.

In announcing their decision in September not to renewed Uber’s licence, TfL said:” TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence. TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications .”

Rosa Curling, attorney from law firm Leigh Day who is acting on behalf of GMB, said:” We are delighted that the court has agreed to allow GMB the chance to present its evidence on the safety concerns it has regarding Uber drivers in London so that any decision to grant a licence can be made after hearing all the relevant evidence to ensure correct regulations and safeguards for all .”

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director said:” GMB is pleased that the court has decided that the evidence from our driver members should be an important contribution to their thinking when deciding whether to uphold Uber’s appeal. At last GMB drivers have a real voice.

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Harvey Weinstein sued for alleged ‘sex trafficking’ in Cannes

Actor Kadian Noble has accused the dishonored producer of sexual assault during the course of its cinema festival in 2004, contravening sexuality trafficking laws

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of violating sex trafficking statutes as an aspire performer has launched a lawsuit against him.

Kadian Noble alleges that the dishonored producer invited her to his hotel room during the course of its Cannes film festival in 2004 claiming that he wanted to cast her in a forthcoming movie. She claims that he proceeded to grope her before trapping her in the bathroom and forcing her to perform sexual acts.

Noble’s suit alleges that during the course of its encounter, he told her:” Everything will be taken care of for you if you relax .” The suit is aimed not only at Harvey Weinstein but also his brother, Bob, and their company the Weinstein Company, citing” reckless neglect” on their parts.

The suit details the involvement of an unnamed producer at the company who spoke to Noble on the phone, instructing her to be” a good girl and do whatever he wished “.

In response, Weinstein’s spokesperson has denied the claims.” Mr Weinstein denies allegations of non-consensual sexuality ,” his representative said.” Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of reprisal against any women for refusing his advances .”

The suit arrives in the same day as a civil claim in the UK from an anonymous female who alleges that she was also sexually assaulted by Weinstein.

Both instances arrive after dozens of other women around the world have exposed similar narratives about their experiences with Weinstein, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan.

It is believed that authorities in different cities are collaborating to try and build a legal suit against the producer. Los Angeles detectives have been interviewing witnesses in preparation for a instance to present to the district attorney; the NYPD has been investigating two rape grievances; and in London, three other instances are being handled.

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UN tells China to release human rights activists and pay them compensation

Exclusive Document given to the Guardian repudiates Chinese government claims that activists voluntarily confessed to their crimes at trials

The United Nation has demanded that China should immediately release prominent human rights activists from detainees and pay them compensation, according to an unreleased document obtained by the Guardian.

The report, which has not been made public, from the UN’s human rights council says the trio had their rights infringed and calls China’s statutes incompatible with international norms.

Christian church leader Hu Shigen and lawyers Zhou Shifeng and Xie Yang were detained and tried as part of an unprecedented nationwide crackdown on human rights attorneys and activists that began in July 2015. The operation insured nearly 250 people detained and questioned by police.

Hu was jailed for seven and a half years and Zhou was sentenced to seven years on subversion charges, while Xie is awaiting a verdict.

” The appropriate redres would be to release Hu Shigen, Zhou Shifeng and Xie Yang immediately, and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations ,” said the UNreport assured by the Guardian, adding that China should take action within six months.

The UN’s working group on arbitrary detention, which reviewed the case, repudiated Chinese government asserts the three men voluntarily confessed to their crimes at their trials and said their detentions were” attained in total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial “.

The group is a panel of five experts that falls under the UN’s human rights council, of which China is a member. While its judgements are not legally binding, it investigates claims of rights violations and indicates remedies.

China promised to cooperate with the group when it work for a seat on the human rights council in August 2016, when it also pledged to induce” unremitting endeavours” to promote human rights.

The group’s report on the Chinese activists said the trio were subjected to a host of rights violations, including being denied access to legal counsel, being held in “incommunicado detention” and their families” were not informed of their whereabouts for several months “.

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/362045721/content?start_page=1&view_mode=slideshow&access_key=key-smFoYdci6hd4lhjrqk3g&show_recommendations=true

Their detentions were due to” their activities to promote and protect human rights”, the UN saw, while the sentiment also promoted China to amend its laws to conform with international standards protecting human rights.

Although Xie was released on bail after a trial in May, his wife, Chen Guiqiu said her husband was far from a free man.

State security agents rented a flat across the dormitory from his and Xie has 12 guards stationed 24 -hours a day outside his building, Chen said. Police follow him whenever he goes out and despite the constant surveillance, he has to prepare reports for state security agents every four hours on what he has done and who he has spoken to.

But Chen greeted the UN’s report and said she felt vindicated.

” Of course, he didn’t commit any crime, his arrest was completely illegal and I’m glad the UN, a very objective party that represents the international community, can see that ,” said Chen, who fled to the US earlier this year.” I hope this will put pressure on China and attain them think twice the next time they consider apprehending people on political charges .”

” Paying compensation would indicate the governmental forces acknowledges they harmed our family, that they were wrong to subject us to more than two years of continuous damage ,” she added.

During his detention, Xie was beaten and forced into stress positions, his legal team said, with one interrogator telling him:” We’ll torture you to demise just like an ant .”

Ambassadors from countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, wrote to China’s minister of public security in February, voicing fears over the torment claims and calling for an independent investigation.

” The working group’s opinion cuts straight through the government’s lies and shows that the arrests were always about reprisal against lawyers for protecting human rights ,” said Frances Eve, a researcher at the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders.” The government set enormous resources into their propaganda campaign to smear human rights lawyers as’ offenders ‘, deploying country media, police, prosecutors and the courts .”

During the course of the panel’s investigation, the Chinese government said the men were jailed not because” they defend the legitimate rights of others” but rather they have” long been engaged in criminal activities, aimed at subverting the basic national system established by the China’s[ sic] constitution “. The UN rejected this claim.

Critics say Hu was arrested for leading an underground church, which works outside the government-sanctioned system. He previously expended 16 years in prison for distributing leaflets on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent bloody crackdown.

Zhou is a prominent human rights attorney who founded the Fengrui law firm that was at the centre of the 2015 government” war on law “. His firm represented dissident artist Ai Weiwei, members of the banned spiritual motion Falun Gong and a journalist arrested for supported protests in Hong Kong.

The UN’s working group on arbitrary detention previously told China to release Liu Xia, the wife of the Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in detention in July. Liu Xia has been under house arrest since 2010, when her husband won the award, despite never being charged with a crime.

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Rohingya crisis: UN ‘suppressed’ report predicting its shortcomings in Myanmar

Insiders claim strategy review warned against imminent crisis in Rakhine state and recommending immediate action was stifled by the official who commissioned it

The UN commissioned and then “suppressed” a report that criticised its strategy in Myanmar and advised it was ill-prepared to deal with the impending Rohingya crisis, sources have told the Guardian.

The review, written by a consultant and submitted in May, offered a highly critical analysis of the UN’s approach and said there should be” no stillnes on human rights “.

The report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, accurately predicted a “serious deterioration” in the six months following its submission and advised the UN to undertake” serious contingency planning “.

” It is recommended that, as a matter of urgency, UN headquarters identifies ways to improve overall coherence in the UN’s system approach ,” wrote independent analyst Richard Horsey, the report’s author.

Security forces-out would be” heavy-handed and indiscriminate” in dealing with the Rohingya, said Horsey- a prediction that echo true when Rohingya militants attacked dozens of outposts on 25 August, inspiring a massive military crackdown.

In little more than a month, more than half a million Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh amid allegations of carnages by Myanmar’s armed forces and Rohingya rebels. On Thursday Bangladesh announced that it would build one of the world’s biggest refugee camps to house all those who have sought asylum.

The UN report, entitled The Role of the United Nation in Rakhine state, was commissioned by Renata Lok-Dessallien, the UN resident coordinator and the organisation’s most senior figure in Myanmar. It built 16 recommendations. Horsey outlined the necessity of achieving new staff positions and “frank” the consultations with government, and called for the report to be widely distributed among aid agencies.

The UN was urged to ensure that the human rights up front initiative, a strategy introduced by former secretary general Ban Ki-moon to prevent mass cruelties, was fully implemented. Horsey said the initiative should” be at the core of how the UN operates “, adding that there should be” no silence on human rights and protection concerns “.

However, sources within the UN and humanitarian community claimed the recommendations were ignored and the report was suppressed.

A source close to events, who asked not to be named, said the paper was ” spiked” and not circulated among UN and aid agencies” because Renata[ Lok-Dessallien] didn’t like the analysis “.

” It was given to Renata and she didn’t distribute it further because she wasn’t happy with it ,” said another well-placed source.

The 28 -page document said its writer would be expected to provide feedback to the UN’s humanitarian country team, a group consisting of UN agencies such as the World Food Programme and the UN refugee agency as well as other aid groups such as Save the Children. The Guardian understands this meeting never took place.

A media representative for the office of the resident coordinator in Myanmar said a briefing meeting on the initial findings, open to all UN bureaux, took place in April.

” The UN agreed with the document’s outline of some of the challenges of peace, humanitarian and development assistance in Rakhine state, and the risk of farther outbreaks of violence.

” In fact, the UN in Myanmar was already putting in place some of the changes suggested in the document prior to its release ,” said the representative, adding that this included the “crucial” human rights up front mechanism.

The final report was ” shared with some senior officials”, said the representative, who declined to identify the individuals concerned. Sources in Myanmar said the report was ” mentioned under sessions on two occasions” before it” disappeared off the orders of the day “. No one was able to access the document subsequently.

A senior aid officer said the final report was ” kept very low-key “.

” Criticisms, constructive ones, are rarely taken as learning opportunities but are received as personal attacks and provoked defensive responses ,” the source added.

Meanwhile, Lok-Dessallien faces fresh charges that she undermined attempts to publicly promote the rights of the Rohingya, the stateless Muslim minority. Aid employees said the UN prioritised good relations with the Myanmar government over humanitarian and human rights advocacy.

A spokesperson for the UN secretary general denied the allegations.” The resident coordinator has been a tireless proponent for human rights ,” said the spokesperson.” Human rights stand at the centre of everything the UN does .”

The Guardian approached Horsey, the author of research reports, for comment.” The UN knew, or “shouldve known”, that the status quo in Rakhine was likely to evolve into a major crisis ,” he said in an emailed response.

However, he added that the severity of the criticism directed at Lok-Dessallien was unwarranted.

” It may be true that the resident coordinator could have done some things differently or better,[ but] primary responsibility for any UN fails lies with its headquarters over the last several years ,” wrote Horsey.

” They did not have a coherent or well-coordinated approach to Myanmar, and especially Rakhine, and did not offer the required political supporting and guidance to their in-country squad .”

His report said senior UN figures in New York had sent” mixed messages” and there was no replacing special adviser to the secretary general, a high-level UN official with” diplomatic clout “, leaving the resident coordinator in an impossible position.

The study quoth a” widely-held perception” that there had been” trade-offs between advocacy and access that have in practice de-prioritised the rights and humanitarian action, which are seen as complicating and undermining relations with government “.

A UN official in Yangon said:” Human rights up front isn’t being implemented. It just isn’t. They can say that they are ticking some boxes but in terms of actions that lead to results we’re insuring nothing .”

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said:” It’s not been human rights up front, it’s been human rights down in back.

” The UN is going to have to acknowledge their significant share of blame in letting this situation descend this far, this fast .”

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Airbnb sued by woman who says she was sexually assaulted by ‘superhost’

Lawsuit filed by Leslie Lapayowker accuses Airbnb of negligence after she said she was attacked by a host who was not properly screened

An Airbnb guest is seeking to hold the company accountable for an alleged sexual assault, claiming in a first-of-its-kind suit that she was attacked by a host who was not properly screened.

The suit, filed Thursday by Leslie Lapayowker, creates fresh questions about the tech firms legal responsibilities when hosts transgress statutes or engage in criminal conduct.

Lapayowker is accusing Airbnb of negligence when it allowed her to rent a room from Carlos Del Olmo, who was previously accused of domestic violence.

I dont want this to happen to other women, Lapayowker, a 51 -year-old New Mexico woman, told the Guardian. It was horrible, and I think that everybody should be warned that this could potentially happen to them or their daughter or their wife or their sister.

Reached by phone, Del Olmo said he was not aware of the complaint and vehemently denied the sexual assault allegation , noting that criminal charges were never filed. An Airbnb spokesperson said that it had conducted a background check on Del Olmo, but because he was not convicted in a previous case, he was allowed to be a host. The company also said it removed him from the site after has been informed of Lapayowkers claims.

Lapayowker moved to Los Angeles in July of 2016 for a new job as a mortgage broker and had planned to live in Del Olmos Airbnb for a month while go looking for permanent housing. Del Olmo, who was renting a studio attached to his home, was a verified user and considered a superhost for Airbnb, entailing he had positive reviews and frequently had guests.

I assumed that I would be in especially good hands, said Lapayowker.

But, according to the suit, Del Olmo instantly built her uncomfortable by making sexually suggestive comments, pounding on her windshield while she was in her auto and screaming at his son loud enough so she could hear.

He scared me, she added.

Lapayowker decided to leave after three nights, and when she returned to get a laptop she left and told him she was moving out early, Del Olmo said he wanted to show her something of importance inside the studio, the suit said.

He then allegedly locked the door, dropped his shorts and began masturbating in front of her, demanding that she touch him and savor it. He ignored her pleas to stop, jostle his tongue into her mouth and eventually ejaculated into a trashcan, according to the lawsuit.

He then let her leave the room, telling, Dont forget to leave me a positive review on Airbnb, the complaint said.

I was completely in shock. I was totally numb, Lapayowker recollected, telling she initially hesitated calling police. I was terrified he would find out where I live and come after me.

Later that month, she reported the incident to police and to Airbnb, which banned Del Olmo from the site. Authorities ultimately declined to file charges, because officials said there was not enough evidence, according to Lapayowkers attorney. Attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But an lawyer for Lapayowker discovered that Del Olmo had an earlier apprehend in Florida for a battery charge and family violence example. A police report used to say, according to the victims account, he had pulled her hair and dragged her during an debate. He entered a diversion program, which is an alternative to prosecution, the records showed.

Lapayowker, who had previously been an Airbnb superhost herself, said she was in incredulity when she learned of the past occurrence: I was just furious. Why would they let someone like this be a host?

An Airbnb spokesperson said it runs background checks on all US hosts and guests, looking for matches with terrorist watch listings, misdemeanour sentences, sexuality wrongdoer registries and significant misdemeanors.

The abhorrent behavior described has no place in our community and we will not tolerate it. We have been trying to support her in any way we can and we will continue to do so, the company said in a statement to the Guardian.

Del Olmo claimed the encounter with Lapayowker was consensual. He said: This girl only fully lied and constructed everything up. He said that the woman in the Florida case also lied and noted that he was not convicted.

He also argued that it was unfair for Airbnb to kick him off the platform: Airbnb has no respect for the homeowner who is the one putting themselves in a liability situation.

Teresa Li, Lapayowkers attorney, was contended that Airbnb misleads users with branding that emphasizes the safety of the platform and calling it a trusted community marketplace.

They lure you in and give you this false sense of security, she said.

Airbnb has now been argued that it is not legally responsible when its hosts racially discriminate or violate local housing statutes.

Lapayowker, who said she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, said she felt Airbnb didnt take her case seriously: I feel like they dont care. Their entire model is to simply get as much business as is practicable.

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The Charlie Gard case is heartbreaking, but society cant shun its experts | Gaby Hinsliff

The public realm cant function without trust, tells Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff

Your children are not your children .

They are the sons and daughters of Lifes longing for itself .

They come through you but not from you ,

And though they are with you they belong not to you .

Those are the opening lines of Khalil Gibrans poem On Children, and they are sometimes spoken at the funeral of small children which is where, some decades ago now, I first heard them. But they came to mind the coming week reading about the case of Charlie Gard, the urgently sick baby whose mothers have lost a long tribunal battle against having his ventilator turned off. For in a sense, both occurrence and poem are about the same question: to whom do our children ultimately belong, and when is it right for loving mothers to let go?

People everywhere will understand why Charlies poor distraught mothers, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, are not yet ready to do so; why they have cling to the faith that an unproven treatment available in America might somehow work miracles, even when his doctors concluded otherwise.

And if all else were equal, the compassionate thing surely would have been to let them try it, if only for the convenience of knowing they did everything they could. If all else were equal, it might not matter that the doctor offering this experimental therapy admitted to the judge that it had a vanishingly small chance of working, or that it hasnt even been tested on mice with Charlies specific sort of mitochondrial ailment, let alone children with it. If all else were equal, we could simply accept that this is something his mothers needed to do.

But all else is not equal. Charlies doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital testified that he was likely to be in pain; that further therapy would not simply be futile, but could cause further suffering; and that they felt it was ethically and professionally wrong to prolong his life artificially. You can only weep for all concerned in what the supreme court called this desperately painful suit, in which the intensity of the parents impressions are so entirely understandable. But it is Charlie who is the patient, the one to whom doctors must do no damage, and in British law, the childs interest always comes before the mothers. In this narrow legal sense, children are with you but they do not are all part of you: they belong ultimately only to themselves.

None of which, however, deters Donald Trump from wading in where angels fear to tread. The US president broke off from a row about demolishing publicly funded healthcare in his own country long enough to tweet that if we can do anything to help little Charlie Gard we would be delighted to do so. Nigel Farage swiftly followed suit, arguing that this decision should simply be up to the parents, even as Theresa May backed the hospitals right to proceed in Charlies own best interest, supported by the courts.

The popes intervention, offering Charlie the services of a Vatican-run hospital, was in some ways more understandable; the Catholic church officially believes in miracles, and habitually repudiates scientific proof where it threatens that faith. But there is something more shocking about politicians interfering in a legal process founded on ensuring youngsters voices are heard, and hampering the best efforts of doctors caught in an impossible situation. Populists flourish on pushing the faith that experts arent to be believed, the creation isnt to be trusted, and your opinion is as good as some stupid magistrates; it is precisely this belief that everything is broken that allows them into power. But those who have expended public trust themselves should beware the consequences of undermining it in others.

For trust is at the heart of this. The decision to stop active treatment and allow small children to slip away can never be anything but agonising. But given a relationship of trust between the physicians and mothers, it can usually be made by mutual agreement. This example came to court merely because his mothers did not accept the professional sentiment of Charlies physicians, supported as the courts seen it was by an expert squad from Barcelona, four British doctors asked for a second sentiment and a fifth informed by the mothers. And unfortunately, professional judgments are by their nature almost impossible to prove conclusively right or wrong, except retrospectively. In the end even the supreme court deliberations come down to a leap of faith: do you trust the medical experts, or not?

Without trust, medicine is useless. Every hour you buy so much as a pack of paracetamol, you place your trust in the factory process that built it. Every routine vaccination entails trusting that the nurse measured the dose correctly. Every day you rush a roar baby to the doctor and are told its merely teething, you have to trust that they havent missed something serious. And you have to do so knowing that no matter how good their training, nurses and doctors can occasionally be mistaken, or negligent, or even in very rare circumstances, malevolent. Like anyone else in public life, physicians have a moral responsibility to earn that trust, by identifying and eliminating their own failings.

But without a basic willingness to trust, were all back in the dark ages; unable to allow anyone else to do anything for us, bind by the limits of our own absence of knowledge. Without a belief that experts are, if not infallible, generally more reliable than people with no notion what theyre talking about, medication cant function. But nor can science, the rule of statute, or government itself. And social trust, as the behavioural economist and former Downing Street adviser David Halpern used to argue, is the glue holding the public realm together; people who dont trust others behave badly, because they expect nothing better in return.

Sadly, its hard to see a happy objective to Charlie Gards story. His mothers deserve nothing but our pity, having merely tried to do what anyone might do in heartbreaking circumstances.

But the same is surely true of those Great Ormond Street staff whose lifes work is saving the children other hospitals cant, and of the courts forced to workout such a latter-day judgment of Solomon. Every childs life is sacred. But so, in its desiccated and less emotionally appealing style, is the legal and ethical framework that exists to protect them. We devalue it at our peril.

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Chimpanzees do not have same legal rights as humans, US appeals court rules

Court in New York regulations in case of caged adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko that there is no precedent for apes being considered people

Two chimpanzees that were caged at a trailer lot and at a primate sanctuary dont have the legal rights of people in New York, an appeals court has ruled.

Nonhuman Right Project attorney Steven Wise had argued to the court of appeals in March that adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which for people relates to whether someone is being unlawfully detained or incarcerated and should be taken to see a judge.

Wise argued that the chimps, which were caged in a trailer plenty in Gloversville, outside Albany, and at a primate sanctuary in Niagara Falls, should be moved to a large outdoor sanctuary in Florida.

Chimpanzees, which can walk upright and use sticks and stones as tools to help gather food, are considered to be the closest living relatives of humans. Some have been taught to speak simple human sign language.

But the country Supreme Courts appellate division, in a ruling that confirmed a lower courts decision, said there was no legal precedent for chimps being considered people and their cognitive abilities didnt mean they could be held legally accountable for their actions.

Petitioner does not suggest that any chimp charged with an offence in New York could be deemed fit to proceed, the court said.

The court also said that even if chimps were able to get writs of habeas corpus the writs wouldnt are to apply with these animals since petitioner does not challenge the legality of the chimpanzees detention, but merely tries their transfer to a different facility.

The ruling used to say while Wises avowed mission is certainly laudable, ascertaining the legal rights of animals was better are in accordance with legislators.

The animal advocacy group said it would take its case to the states highest court, the Court of Appeals.

For 2000 years, all nonhuman animals have been legal things who lack the capacity for any legal rights, Wise told. This is not going to change without a struggle.

The Nonhuman Rights Project, based in Coral Springs, Florida, started its litigation over the rights of chimps in 2013, when lawsuits were filed on behalf of Kiko in nation Supreme Court in Niagara Falls and of Tommy in Fulton County. Those examples were unsuccessful.

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