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THE CANBERRA TIMES (Australia)

Worldcrunch

CANBERRA – Though still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared his intention to run for the Senate in his native Australia, and to launch a WikiLeaks party early next year, reports the Canberra Times.

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Photo - Mataparda/espenmoe

In an exclusive interview with the Canberra Times’ National Affairs and Defense correspondent, Phillip Dorling, Assange said he would be a Senate candidate next year, and that ""a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public"" would run for election on the WikiLeaks party ticket.

Assange, who is wanted in Sweden on charges of rape, sought asylum earlier this year at Ecuador's embassy to Britain, saying he risked extradition to the United States for Wikileaks' revelations of military secrets. He remains cooped up in the London embassy in a now six-month-long diplomatic standofff, and it is unclear how he could pursue his supposed political ambitions now.

“If Mr Assange were elected but unable to return to Australia, a nominee would occupy a Senate seat.”

Dorling writes that senior Australian officials are “openly dismissive” of WikiLeaks, saying Assange should surrender to authorities. Although Foreign Minister Bob Carr has publicly said Assange was entitled to consular assistance, privately, two senior government ministers “have bluntly dismissed Assange as ‘an alleged rapist trying to avoid justice.’”

“Most political commentators will no doubt dismiss Assange's Senate campaign as another quixotic stunt by a figure on the margins of Australian politics,” writes Dorling in an opinion piece.

“But it may just be the case that he will have a significant impact on the future make-up of the Senate. Whatever one thinks of WikiLeaks and its controversial chief editor, Julian Assange continues to surprise.”

Assange's election ad should be him tapping his nose with the slogan: "Vote for me or I'll tell everyone about you know what"

— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) December 13, 2012

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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