Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: North Korean Embassy in Russia Says the Country is Ready for ‘All-Out War’ if US Starts it

North Korea is ready for an all-out war if the United States starts it, the country’s Embassy in Russia said. “If they [the US] commit a reckless provocation, the Korean Revolutionary Forces will deal a devastating blow and respond with an all-out war to an all-out war, respond to a nuclear war with a nuclear strike,” an attache of the North Korean Embassy Moscow said. North Korea reportedly carried out the most recent missile test early on Sunday. However, the launch was unsuccessful, according to South Korean defense officials. The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that the alleged missile launch had not been announced officially, though it’s Pyongyang’s “sovereign right” to conduct such tests. Earlier, North Korea warned it is ready to launch a “preemptive strike” in case of any US’ “provocation.” Pyongyang said it may target US military bases in Japan, South Korea and the US itself if feels threatened.

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704211052864077-north-korea-ready-war/

Newsline: WikiLeaks Julian Assange ‘Sentenced’ To Life In Ecuadorian embassy

The United Nations has ruled that Assange is being “illegally detained” by British and Swedish authorities. But the Trump administration took action against Assange this week, that go far beyond anything done by the Obama administration. As reported by Australian news outlet SBS, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made the arrest of Assange “a top priority.” In response to a question about Assange, Sessions said that every effort will be made to ensure that Assange ends up in jail. Jeff Sessions comments come in the wake of WikiLeaks publication of material from a leak of CIA intelligence files. Given the damage that the WikiLeaks revelations can do to the reputation of the U.S. establishment and to the CIA, it is no surprise to see that CIA director Mike Pompeo has lashed out at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. According to CBS News, Pompeo has called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo, have made it clear that Assange is one of their top priorities. They have also made it clear that it will not be safe for Assange to leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy. Given that the UN have already declared that Assange is illegally detained, it could be argued that Sessions and the CIA have imposed a sentence of life imprisonment within the Ecuadorian Embassy.

http://www.inquisitr.com/opinion/4162316/wikileaks-julian-assange-sentenced-life-imprisonment-ecuadorian-embassy-cia-jeff-sessions/

Newsline: Former workers accuse Spain’s embassy in Australia of “betrayal”

A former Canberra embassy worker has spoken of her “betrayal” by her former employers, the Spanish government, which is accused of refusing to hand over years worth of superannuation payments. Another former worker for the Spanish government in Australia says she has been left disabled by cancer but without vital disability cover because of the consulate’s failure to pay her super. The two women are now taking legal action against their former employer, looking to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid super, interest and penalties. But the Spanish government has defended itself, claiming its two former employees were covered by their home country’s social welfare system during the periods in question and their current claim was an attempt to “double-dip”. Canberra grandmother Esperanza Poveda had two stints as a secretary at the embassy of Spain in Canberra between 1986 and 1998, and from 2004 until 2014. In 2012, she secured an order from the ATO for the embassy to pay her unpaid super for the second period she worked there, but she says her former bosses refused to pay her for her first stint. Ms Poveda is claiming damages of $68,000, which includes $32,000 in unpaid superannuation for 1992-1998 and penalty interest. Melbourne woman Miren Itziar Urbieta worked at Spain’s consulate in the Victorian capital for 18 years until 2011 and says she was not any paid any superannuation at all. According to her lawyers, the consulate’s failure to pay her superannuation, left her ineligible for total and permanent disability cover through her VicSuper fund and she is battling tonsil cancer which has left her permanently disabled since 2015. Ms Urbieta is seeking damages of $131,000 including $54,000 in unpaid superannuation, $62,000 in penalty interest, and $15,000 for the TPD benefit that she would have been entitled to if super payments had been made into her VicSuper account. But a spokesman for the Spanish embassy indicated it would be defending the claims, saying the women were covered by the Spanish social security system during the period in question and were therefore not entitled to payments under the Australian system.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/spanish-embassy-workers-allege-betrayal-over-unpaid-superannuation-20170404-gvda1q.html

Newsline: Venezuelans Around The World Rally Against Government At Embassies

As tens of thousands took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday to express their anger at the government of President Nicolás Maduro, expatriates of the South American country gathered at embassies around the world in solidarity. In Washington D.C., around a hundred Venezuelan-Americans and sympathizers gathered across the street from the Venezuelan embassy, hoisting signs calling President Maduro a dictator and comparing his rule to that of the Castros in Cuba. “The Venezuelans of Washington D.C. have gathered here to make the same demand that our Venezuelan brothers are making in the streets of Venezuela,” said Carlos Delgado Salas, a representative of the international wing of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), a Venezuelan opposition party. “Our demand is very simple: democracy and human rights.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/venzuela-embassy-protests_us_58f7df20e4b091e58f38291e

Newsline: Facebook unblocks account of Russian embassy in Slovakia

Facebook has unblocked the official account of the Russian embassy in Slovakia, the embassy’s spokesperson Nikolai Levshunov told TASS. “The page is available again,” he said. “Unlike the fake account, this page contains truthful information.” According to Levshunov, Facebook unblocked the embassy’s account after sorting the situation out. After the official account of the Russian embassy was blocked, the fake Slovak-language account was renamed to “The Soviet embassy in Czechoslovakia.” “They post bare faced lies about events in Russia and Slovakia,” Levshunov said.

http://tass.com/society/942261

Newsline: Danish diplomat chases off burglar from her NYC apartment

A Danish diplomat took matters into her own hands when a burglar broke into her Manhattan apartment. The New York Police Department says Marie Wandel, 58, went to investigate a noise late Saturday and found the intruder in her home in the Morningside Heights section of Harlem. She snatched her camera and jewelry worth $1,000 back from the would-be thief before he scampered away empty-handed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4422064/Danish-diplomat-chases-burglar-Manhattan-apartment.html

Newsline: Russian Embassy in South Africa denies underworld ties to Cape Town

The Russian Embassy in South Africa has denied that 25 men have been brought into Cape Town to bolster a faction of the underworld, intent on taking over club security. News24 earlier this month reported that several sources had said that a change in visa regulations between Russia and South Africa may have spurred a massive underworld coup, and that Eastern European men had been brought into the country as part of this. The nightclub security takeover was carried out in the early hours of March 31, the day after visa-free travel was introduced between Russia and South Africa. It is understood this is under investigation by the authorities. Well-placed sources said Russian men had been brought into the country. However, in a statement issued via Twitter, the Russian Embassy in South Africa denied this. “Even in terms of geography, unnamed citizens of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, either real or imaginary, come from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and visa regulations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa cannot be applied to them. The embassy labelled the News24 article as “fake news”. Several well-placed sources told News24 that those recently brought into the country were guided by a Ukrainian businessman based in Cape Town, allegedly with close ties to the underworld. Previously Yuri “the Russian” Ulianitski, who was referred to as “the Russian”, but who was Ukrainian, and who was killed in Milnerton in 2007, had run a bouncer racket in Cape Town.

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/russia-denies-underworld-ties-to-cape-town-20170418