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Apr 26, 2018, 07:17 PM
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 on: Today at 06:47 AM 
Started by Stacie - Last post by Rad
Hi Stacie,

"Did he simply mean to trust in the natural justice of karma, due to the fact that if one were to strike back it would perpetuate a cycle of karma that will forever repeat until one party refuses to serve anything back?"


This is exactly what he meant. It is the same idea/principle reflected in his words, as the crowd was preparing to stone to death a women, of 'those without sin, cast the first stone'. From another point of view this is also what Ghandi taught in his own way relative the principle of non-violence: ahisma.

God Bless, Rad

 on: Today at 05:37 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Donald Trump likely to scrap Iran deal amid 'insane' changes of stance, says Macron

French president’s frank comments come after Congress address in which he stood up for policies his US counterpart has sought to destroy

Julian Borger in Washington
Thu 26 Apr 2018 11.54 BST

Emmanuel Macron conceded he had probably failed in his attempt during a three-day trip to Washington to persuade Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, describing US flip-flopping on international agreements as “insane”.

The French president had hoped to convince Trump to continue to waive sanctions on Iran, as agreed by the 2015 nuclear deal, in which Iran agreed to accept strict curbs on its nuclear activities. Macron offered Trump the prospect of negotiations on a new complementary deal that would address Iranian missile development and Tehran’s military intervention in the Middle East.

But speaking to US reporters before leaving Washington, Macron said: “My view – I don’t know what your president will decide – is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons.”

Noting that Trump had also pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord – another commitment of the Obama administration – Macron said such frequent changes in the US position on global issues “can work in the short term but it’s very insane in the medium to long term”.

The admissions come after a day of intimate fraternity with Trump, during which Macron made an impassioned speech in Washington advocating many of the things Trump has spent much of his presidency trying to destroy.

Over the course of a 50-minute address to a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, the French president said he was “sure” the US would one day return to the Paris climate change accord, and vowed that France would not abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA)

More broadly, Macron presented himself to the US legislature as an unabashed advocate of the liberal world order of global institutions and free trade – the very opposite of the America First nationalism that fuelled Trump’s rise to the White House. The speech – delivered in English – was interrupted by frequent standing ovations, many from both sides of the aisle.

“We will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity,” Macron said. “It is a critical moment. If we do not act with urgency as a global community, I am convinced that the international institutions, including the United Nations and Nato, will no longer be able to exercise a mandate and stabilising influence.”

“Personally, if you ask me, I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom and the illusion of nationalism,” Macron said, in remarks that could easily be seen as a rebuke for Trump’s enthusiasm for some of the world’s most autocratic “strongman” rulers.

Macron also made a full-throated argument for global action to combat climate change, built around the 2015 Paris accord, which Trump announced in June he was walking away from.

“What is the meaning of our life if we [are] destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children?” the French president asked. “Let us face it. There is no planet B.”

He said the rift over the Paris accord was but a “short-term disagreement”.

“In the long run, we will have to face the same reality that we are citizens of the same planet,” he added.

“I’m sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement,” Macron declared, to whoops and cheers from the Democratic ranks.

He had an even more direct rebuke for his host’s resort to tariffs as an instrument of trade policy. Macron said that the right way to correct trade imbalances and overcapacity was to negotiate through the World Trade Organisation.

“We wrote these rules. We should follow them,” the visiting president said.

On the Iran nuclear agreement, Macron repeated an idea he had promoted on Tuesday at a White House meeting with Trump for a “new deal” that would complement the 2015 accord with a broader remit to address Iranian ballistic missile development and its military role across the Middle East.

Iran, Macron said would “never possess any nuclear weapons” but he added: “This policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East.”

He called for respect for the sovereignty of Iran and its ancient civilisation, and urged the west not to “repeat past mistakes”, an apparent reference to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Both the US and France endorsed the JCPOA, he pointed out, adding: “We should not abandon it without something more substantial in its place.”

In a tweet after his speech to Congress, Macron added: “We decided with President [Trump] to work on a new comprehensive deal” which would address Iranian missiles and its regional role, and make limits on Iranian nuclear activities permanent.

On Tuesday, Trump had stopped short of voicing support for Macron’s idea of a supplemental agreement, or set of agreements, on non-nuclear issues but had suggested he might at least be reconsidering his vow to abrogate the JCPOA by declining to extend sanctions relief when presidential waivers falls due on 12 May.

With their president in an apparent state of flux, US officials gave mixed messages on the US position on the JCPOA on Wednesday.

The head of the state department planning office, Brian Hook, disparaged the nuclear agreement.

“It has no signatures. It has no legal status. It is a political commitment by an administration that is no longer in office,” Hook told National Public Radio, although the JCPOA is enshrined in a UN security council resolution.

In Geneva on the same day, the assistant secretary for international security, Christopher Ford, said: “We are not aiming to renegotiate the JCPOA or reopen it or change its terms,” seemingly in clear contradiction of multiple presidential statements.


Ex-Watergate prosecutor pinpoints why Trump ‘can’t take the Fifth Amendment’

Bob Brigham
Raw Story
25 Apr 2018 at 21:08 ET                  

Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks argued on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” that the President of the United States can not assert the Fifth Amendment — yet Donald Trump may do so anyway.

“He cannot take the Fifth Amendment, that would be political suicide,” Wine-Banks, the former General Counsel for the US Army, argued.

“Michael Cohen can take the Fifth Amendment,” she acknowledged. “But the President of the United States cannot say, ‘I can’t answer questions because they might incriminate me in another matter.’ That just is not politically acceptable.”

“But you know what, Jill, I have heard that and I understand why you say that, but you know, I would have thought not releasing your tax returns was political suicide,” Hayes replied. “There’s lots of things he’s done, if it comes down you either sit down and talk or plead the Fifth, he might plead the Fifth.”

“I agree that he might do it, because I’m predicting what a totally sane person would do,” Wine-Banks answered. “It would be complete chaos in the Congress if the president said, ‘I’m not answering questions because they would incriminate me.'”

Hayes said President Trump agrees, showing a highlight reel of Trump bashing defendants to assert their Fifth Amendment rights.

“You see the mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said in one clip. “If you are innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Wine-Banks also analyzed the legal jeopardy facing Cohen, which may all come down to New York real estate transactions.

“I would say that in the case of the Cohen taking the Fifth in the civil case, it is inevitable that he has to do that,” she explained. “I would say that it’s not a fear about Stormy Daniels and it’s not even possibly a fear about how many there are — because I would predict that there’s more than the two that we know about for hush money — but that it’s probably related to business transactions that skirt the line.”

“There were probably payments that might be considered bribes, in connection with some of the housing that’s been built in New York and maybe even overseas,” Wine-Banks concluded.


Comey details why Trump’s lie about staying over night in Moscow is ‘significant’

Dominique Jackson
Raw Story
25 Apr 2018 at 21:48 ET                  

In a CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper, former FBI director James Comey answered questions from students and faculty at William & Mary law school on Wednesday.

He talked about his lasted book, “A Higher Loyalty” that details his experiences working with Donald Trump.

Cooper asked Comey if it was significant that Trump lied about not spending the night in Russia.

Comey revealed to the audience how to easily spot a lie.

He talked about his lasted book, “A Higher Loyalty” that details his experiences working with Donald Trump.

“It’s always significant when someone lies, especially about something you didn’t ask about,” Comey said.

Watch the full clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy1lhZoXvcY


Judge directs Cohen team and prosecutors to ‘be prepared’ for a special watchdog to handle FBI-seized files

Dominique Jackson
Raw Story
25 Apr 2018 at 19:47 ET                  

A judge overseeing the Michael Cohen trial is considering appointing a special watchdog to review files obtained by the FBI, reports CNBC.

Michael Cohen is currently under criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

On April 9th, the FBI raided his hotel and home office in Manhattan. During the raid the FBI found sensitive materials such as statements and receipts, and even came across a document that details more information about a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood directed Cohen’s team and prosecutors to “be prepared” to discuss a watchdog “should one be appointed.” Wood went on to say that the purpose of the watchdog would ensure that no one violates attorney-client privileges.

The files have not been reviewed because both parties have not agreed on how the files should be handled.

Cohen’s team wants to have a filter team review the material. They wished to have the files reviewed first before sending them to prosecutors. Last week Judge Wood denied their request.

The judge told Cohen that his team has until late Wednesday to decide and come up with the resources for how “to produce such materials to a Special Master.” She also wants them to make a decision on how to handle the “production of non-privileged materials.”


Michael Cohen to plead the 5th in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit

Bob Brigham
Raw Story
25 Apr 2018 at 18:26 ET                  

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s long-time personal attorney, is asserting his Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination, according to a filing in federal court on Wednesday.

The filing is in a case against Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who allegedly breached a contract when she spoke about having an affair with Trump.

“Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen declared, under penalty of perjury


Attorney Michael Avenatti hints $1.6 million abortion payout was for Trump — not GOP donor

Travis Gettys
Raw Story
26 Apr 2018 at 09:27 ET                   

The lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels suggested that a $1.6 million hush money payoff to a Playboy model was actually made on behalf of President Donald Trump — and not a Republican donor.

Attorney Michael Avenatti appeared Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he gave a wide-ranging interview on the lawsuit against the president and a related criminal investigation of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen — and he said reporting on the case had missed an important detail.

“So, Mika, you are familiar with the fact that a week ago, Judge (Kimba) Wood ordered Michael Cohen’s attorneys to disclose all of his clients for the last three years,” Avenatti said, “and there were three clients listed — three clients listed. Do you recall which three?”

Brzezinski listed Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and Republican donor Elliott Broidy — but Avenatti said she was making the same mistake everyone else had.

“No, no, no,” he said. “Mr. Trump, the Trump organization and Sean Hannity. Mr. Broidy was not disclosed in open court as one of Michael Cohen’s clients.”

Co-host Joe Scarborough asked the attorney what that meant.

“I think at some point we are going to find out, if in fact, the client in connection with the ($1.6 million) settlement was, in fact, Mr. Broidy. I’m going to leave it at that.”

Avenatti wouldn’t say it, but the implication seems clear.

Cohen negotiated a $1.6 million hush money payment to a Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair and then had an abortion.

News reports had identified Broidy as the client who agreed to pay the woman in installments over two years if she agreed to remain silent about the relationship — but Avenatti said Cohen’s lawyers ruled him out in open court.

That would leave Trump, or possibly Hannity, as the likely clients who arranged the payment.

Broidy resigned earlier this month as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the payments were reported.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw2s-uoaCLQ

 on: Today at 05:22 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

'Breathtaking homicidal violence': Latin America in grip of murder crisis

Region has experienced 2.5 million murders since 2000 and report paints bleak picture of extreme violence and deteriorating security

Tom Phillips in Mexico City
Thu 26 Apr 2018 08.45 BST

Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.

“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” says the report by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazil-based thinktank focused on security and development issues.

The publication, released on Thursday, paints a bleak portrait of what it calls the world’s most homicidal continent.

Latin America suffers 33% of the world’s homicides despite having only 8% of its population. One-quarter of all global homicides are concentrated in four countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela – all of which are gearing up for presidential elections in which security is a dominant theme.

“The overall trend right now in Latin America is one of increasing homicides and deteriorating security,” said Robert Muggah, one of the report’s authors.

“Latin America is a large area and there are lots of variations. But as a region – including Mexico down to Central America and South America – the rate of homicide is set to continue increasing up until 2030. The only other places we are seeing similar kinds of increases are in parts of southern and central Africa and some war zones.”

The report lays bare how young Latin Americans are disproportionately affected, with nearly half of all homicide victims aged 15–29. It also denounces the “astonishingly” large role of guns.

Muggah said: “In addition to having these exceedingly high, epidemic levels of homicide, the vast majority of these homicides are committed with firearms. Over 75% of homicides are gun-related.” The global average is about 40%.

The security crisis has taken centre stage this year as the region’s most violent nations head to the polls. Colombia and Venezuela are both due to hold presidential elections in late May while Mexico, which last year saw its highest murder rate since records began, votes on 1 July and Brazil in October.

Seeking to exploit public anger over insecurity and crime, some candidates are floating radical responses. On Sunday, one Mexican presidential hopeful, Jaime Rodríguez, suggested chopping off thieves’ hands. “It’s a serious proposal, not something I’ve just pulled out of my sleeve,” he later claimed.

In Brazil, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, an early presidential frontrunner, has vowed to relax gun-control laws. “We must give everyone the right to carry a gun, just like in the US,” he told O Globo this week. “We already have a ‘bang-bang’ going on in Brazil but only one side is allowed to shoot.”

Muggah said he feared many voters would look to strongman-style populists peddling “simple, forceful and aggressive solutions to what they see as one of their primary problems”.

“There is a risk right now that Latin Americans are seduced by this narrative of mano dura [iron fist]. [But] we will not solve this problem … by simply throwing more police, longer sentences and more prisons at it.”

 on: Today at 05:19 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

The largest thing in the universe? Cosmic collision 12bn years ago created mega-galaxy

A spectacular pileup of 14 galaxies soon after the Big Bang has been seen and recorded for the first time

Hannah Devlin Science correspondent
Wed 25 Apr 2018 18.00 BST

The colossal merger of 14 galaxies more than 12 billion years ago has been captured by astronomers who used the world’s most powerful telescopes to peer 90% of the way across the observable universe.

The cosmic pileup occurred 12.4 bn years ago and the resultant gigantic galaxy will have continued to snowball in size ever since. Calculations suggest that by the present day, hundreds more galaxies would have been swallowed up by the cluster, propelling it to a mass equivalent to 1,000 trillion suns, which would make it the largest known object in the universe.

The observations reveal at least 14 galaxies packed into an area only four times the diameter of the Milky Way’s galactic disk. An adjoining blob of light that has not yet been resolved into individual objects suggest that the total number of galaxies heading for a collision could be closer to 30.

The light from the merger began travelling to us 1.4bn years after the big bang, when the universe was just a tenth of its current age.

“Having caught a massive galaxy cluster in throes of formation is spectacular in and of itself,” said Scott Chapman, an astrophysicist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and co-author. “But, the fact that this is happening so early in the history of the universe poses a formidable challenge to our present-day understanding of the way structures form in the universe,” he said.

During the first few million years of cosmic history, normal matter and dark matter began to clump together, eventually giving rise to galaxy clusters. In the present day, these clusters may contain as many as a thousand galaxies, vast swathes of dark matter, immense black holes, and clouds of gas that reach temperatures of over a million degrees.

Current theories suggest that clusters as massive as the one observed, known as SPT2349-56, should have taken about twice as long to evolve, however.

“How this assembly of galaxies got so big so fast is a bit of a mystery, it wasn’t built up gradually over billions of years, as astronomers might expect,” said Tim Miller, a PhD student at Yale University and coauthor on the paper.

Computer simulations of the galaxies predict that over time the cluster will have assembled into one of the most massive structures – perhaps the most massive known object – in the modern universe.

“It would exceed anything we’ve seen in the local universe,” said Carlos De Breuck, an astronomer at the European Space Observatory.

The 14 galaxies seen heading towards each other are known as starburst galaxies due to the vigorous star formation. In such galaxies, thousands of stars are born every year, compared to just one in our own Milky Way. The galaxies would have blazed bright and then burnt out quickly because they consume their gas at an extraordinary rate.

The galaxy cluster was first spotted as a faint smudge of light, using the South Pole telescope and the Herschel space observatory. Astronomers then used the Atacama large millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma), a telescope comprising 66 antennas spread over 16km in the Chilean Andes, to make more detailed observations.

The findings are published in Nature.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmBVOmELaeQ

 on: Today at 05:15 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
North Korea nuclear test site has collapsed and may be out of action – China study

Report builds on evidence that site is unstable after sixth nuclear test and puts Kim Jong-un’s pledge to no longer use site in a new light

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and agencies
Thu 26 Apr 2018 07.09 BST

North Korea’s main nuclear test site has partially collapsed under the stress of multiple explosions, possibly rendering it unsafe for further testing and leaving it vulnerable to radiation leaks, a study by Chinese geologists has shown.

The findings could cast doubt on North Korea’s sincerity in announcing last weekend that it would stop testing nuclear weapons at the site ahead of Friday’s summit between the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.

The test site at Punggye-ri, in a mountainous area in North Korea’s north-east, has been the location for all six of the regime’s nuclear tests since 2006.

The findings, by scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China, suggest the partial collapse of the mountain that contains the testing tunnels, as well as the risk of radiation leaks, have potentially rendered the site unusable.

The study was published soon after Kim said his country would stop testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and close down Punggye-ri before his meeting with Moon just south of the countries’ heavily armed border.

Nuclear explosions release enormous amounts of heat and energy, and the North’s largest test, in September last year, was believed early on to have rendered the site - a network of tunnels beneath Mount Mantap - unstable.

The Chinese scientists collected collected data for their study following the most powerful of the North’s six nuclear tests, on 3 September.

The controlled explosion, which caused an initial magnitude-6.3 tremor, is believed to have triggered four more earthquakes over the following weeks. The study concluded that eight-and-a-half minutes after the test, there was “a near-vertical on-site collapse towards the nuclear test centre”.

The Chinese university paper, written by Tian Dongdong, Yao Jiawen and Wen Lianxing, said that was followed by an “earthquake swarm” in similar locations.

The yield of the bomb was estimated at more than 100 kilotons of TNT, at least 10 times stronger than anything the North had tested previously. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of about 15 kilotons.

“In view of the research finding that the North Korea nuclear test site at Mount Mantap has collapsed, it is necessary to continue to monitor any leakage of radioactive materials that may have been caused by the collapse,” the authors said in a summary dated Monday and seen on Wednesday on the university’s website.

The new study is peer-reviewed and has been accepted for publication by the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The Chinese study made sense and was based on well-understood research, said Rowena Lohman, a seismologist at Cornell University who wasn’t part of the work.

A study published last month by the journal, written by a team led by Liu Junqing at the earthquake bureau in Jilin province along the border with North Korea, found similar results from the September explosion. It described the aftershock that followed seconds later as most likely the “rapid destruction of an explosion-generated cracked rock chimney due to cavity collapse”.

Beijing is particularly concerned about the North’s nuclear tests, since the Punggye-ri site is less than 100km (60 miles) from the border with China.

North Korean nuclear tests have caused seismic events in Chinese border towns and cities, forcing evacuations of schools and offices, sparking fears of wind-borne radiation and leading to a backlash among some Chinese against their country’s unpredictable traditional ally. Chinese authorities have said they’ve detected no radiation risk from the tests.

Kune Yull Suh, a professor of nuclear engineering at Seoul National University, warned last year that further tests could threaten to cause a volcanic eruption at Mount Paektu, which is about 100km away.

On Saturday, Kim announced North Korea would close its nuclear testing facility and suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests – a move welcomed by US president Donald Trump as “big progress” – and which comes ahead of a planned summit between the leaders in late May or early June.

However, Kim stopped short of promising to give up his nuclear weapons, and the missile test ban does not include shorter-range weapons capable of reaching Japan and South Korea.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


South Korea’s Moon to meet North Korea’s Kim at border for summit

26 Apr 2018 at 07:09 ET                   

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will greet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday as the latter crosses a military demarcation line to enter the South for the first summit between the two sides in more than a decade, South Korea said.

South Korean honor guards will then escort the leaders to a welcome ceremony at a plaza in Panmunjom, the border village where the summit is to be held, the South’s presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, told a media briefing.

Official dialogue between Kim and Moon will begin at 10:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) at the Peace House in Panmunjom, an hour after Kim is scheduled the cross the border at 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT).

“This summit will focus more on denuclearization and securing of permanent peace than anything else,” Im said on Thursday.

“I feel North Korea is sending their key military officials to the summit as they too, believe denuclearization and peace are important.”

Kim will be accompanied by nine officials, among them his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who led the North’s delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February and Kim Yong Nam, the North’s nominal head of state.

In addition, there will be Kim Yong Chol, a former intelligence chief and Choe Hwi, the chairman of a sports panel. The North sent athletes to the Winter Olympics, where the neighbors also fielded a joint women’s ice hockey team.

Kim Yong Chol was previously chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a North Korean military intelligence agency South Korea has blamed for the deadly 2010 sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean navy corvette.

Also in the delegation are Ri Su Yong, a member of the North’s politburo and Ri Myong Su, the chief of the general staff of the Korean People’s Army.

Ministers on the trip include defense minister Pak Yong Sik, and foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, besides an official spearheading peaceful reunification efforts, Ri Son Gwon.

South Korea’s delegation is comprised of seven officials, including the ministers for defense, foreign affairs and unification.

After the end of the first session of talks, Kim Jong Un and Moon will have lunch separately before holding a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon, Im said.

A pine tree will be planted on the demarcation line to symbolize “peace and prosperity”, Im said, using soil from Mount Paektu in North Korea and Mount Halla in South Korea.

 Kim and Moon will water the tree with water brought from the Taedong River in the North and the Han River in the South, Im said. Afterwards, Moon and Kim will take a walk together in Panmunjom before beginning the next round of talks.
At the end of the talks, Kim and Moon will sign a pact and make an announcement, Im said. Later, they will have dinner on the South’s side and watch a video clip themed ‘Spring of One’, he added.

Reporting by Christine Kim and Josh Smith; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

 on: Today at 05:12 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Danish submarine inventor sentenced to life in prison for ‘heinous’ murder of journalist Kim Wall

by Amy B Wang and Marwa Eltagouri
April 26 2018
WA Post

Peter Madsen was sentenced to life in prison on April 25 in Sweden for killing and dismembering journalist Kim Wall aboard his submarine in August 2017. (Allie Caren, Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

Peter Madsen, the Danish submarine inventor at the center of the mysterious death of Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for killing and dismembering Wall in a macabre case that has drawn international attention.

Wall's dismembered body was found off the coast of Copenhagen in August. Prosecutors had said that during a trip on his private submarine, Madsen, 47, bound and sexually assaulted Wall, and either strangled or cut Wall's throat before severing her body and tossing it into the sea.

Madsen was charged with homicide, dismemberment and the indecent handling of a corpse.

Madsen denied killing Wall, but has given differing explanations of how she died, including that she suffered fatal carbon monoxide poisoning inside the craft while he was on deck.

During the trial in Copenhagen, Madsen confessed that he had cut up Wall's body, saying it was so he could more easily remove her from the submarine and bury her at sea, the AP reported.

“What do you do when you have a large problem? You make it smaller,” Madsen told the court. “I am really, really sorry about what happened.”

In reading the verdict, Judge Anette Burkoe said Madsen's explanation that Wall had died in an accident was “not credible” and that Madsen had committed murder in a “serious and brutal manner to a randomly chosen woman, who had accepted his offer to go on a trip in the submarine,” according to Sky News.

A three-member panel comprised of Burkoe and two jurors unanimously found Madsen guilty of premeditated murder and sexual assault, the network reported.

CBS News reported that Madsen “stood quietly listening as the judge read out the verdict” in Copenhagen City Court. An attorney for Madsen said he plans to appeal.

Peter Madsen stands inside his submarine in 2008. (Niels Hougaard/Ritzau via AP file)

“This is a very unusual and extremely brutal case which has had tragic consequences for Kim Wall and her relatives,” prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said in a statement from the Danish prosecution authority when Madsen was charged in January. Denmark does not have the death penalty.

Earlier this week, Buch-Jepsen called the case “so heinous and repulsive that as a prosecutor, it renders you speechless.”

“Of course I'm personally affected by this case,” Buch-Jepsen told the New York Times. “This case has crept under my skin more than other cases.”

Wall's disappearance and gruesome death drew outrage from around the world. Friends and family say Wall, 30, had reported from Sri Lanka, the Marshall Islands and North Korea.

Wall boarded the submarine on Aug. 10 to report a story about Madsen, according to her family. Madsen is known in Denmark for raising money through crowdfunding to build rockets and submarines.

She was reported missing the next day. Madsen was rescued from Koge Bay, according to police, after purposely sinking his vessel, a 60-foot UC3 Nautilus.

Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of life in prison for Madsen or, based on the results of a psychiatric evaluation, that he be sent to a mental institution. Prosecutors said the killing was premeditated, but they did not provide a motive.

“The interest in the case has been enormous,” Buch-Jepsen said in his January statement. “However, we hope the media will respect that further evidence in the case must be presented in court and not in the press.”

Madsen was taken into custody Aug. 12 and has since repeatedly altered his account of the circumstances that led to Wall's death. Before claiming in October that she died of carbon monoxide poisoning, Madsen in August said he dropped Wall offshore in Copenhagen before his submarine sank. He then told a Danish court in September that while giving Wall a tour of his boat, he lost his grip on a 150-pound hatch, which collided with Wall's skull. He told prosecutors at the time he panicked and gave Wall a “burial at sea.”

“In the shock I was in, it was the right thing to do,” Madsen told the court, according to Agence France-Presse.

In early October, divers found Wall's dismembered remains. Wall's legs were found in plastic bags weighed with metal, according to the Associated Press, and her recovered head showed no signs of fracture — which suggested she had not been struck by a hatch. Another bag contained a knife and Wall's clothing. Weeks earlier, a naked torso that had been stabbed 15 times was recovered nearby.

A specific cause of death could not be determined from an autopsy of Wall's remains, the AP reported.

 on: Today at 05:06 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Mastermind behind Maltese journalist's murder is being protected, says husband

Political interests blocking inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia killing, widower claims

Juliette Garside and Stephanie Kirchgaessner
26 Apr 2018 17.01 BST

The family of the murdered anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia believe that three men awaiting trial for the crime were acting on orders from inside Malta, and have expressed concern that elements within the government may be protecting whoever commissioned the killing.

In his first full interview since his wife’s death in a car bombing six months ago, Peter Caruana Galizia claimed political interests were blocking the police investigation and said he feared the mastermind might never be brought to justice.

“It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply contractors commissioned by a third party,” he said. “My sons and I are not convinced that our government really wants to establish who sent them, for fear such persons are in fact very close to our government. For this reason we may never know the truth.”

The accused men have all entered not guilty pleas. Police are still setting out their evidence before a magistrate, who will decide whether to dismiss the case or send the men for prosecution before a judge and jury.

The Maltese government says police are leaving no stone unturned. The justice minister is offering a €1m (£870,000) reward for information leading to anyone who may have ordered the car bombing on 16 October last year.

Caruana Galizia had plenty of enemies and critics. She had challenged many who hold power and influence in Malta: mobsters, business people, public officials, lawyers, the governing Labour party, even the current leader of the Nationalist party, with which she had been closely aligned.

The journalist’s widower was speaking from the family home in the village of Bidnija, where he is under 24-hour police protection. The 62-year-old lives alone because the family have been advised by security experts that it is too dangerous for his three sons to stay on the island where they grew up.

The interview launches a collaboration of 18 news organisations from 15 countries, brought together to continue the investigations Caruana Galizia was undertaking when she died. Led by France’s Forbidden Stories, the Daphne Project includes the Guardian, the New York Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Reuters and Le Monde.

Today, the Daphne Project reveals:

    Exclusive details of the murder inquiry, including how the bombing was planned and executed, and police concerns that the alleged bombers were tipped off in advance of their arrest.
    The inquiry is now focused on who may have built the bomb, and on any connection between the accused and organised crime.
    A previously unheard recording of the journalist made six days before she died in which she alleges horrendous, state-sanctioned vilification, and decades of threats against her life. The family’s pet dog had her throat slit in 1995, and there was a serious arson attack on their home in 2006.
    Interviews with Caruana Galizia’s sons, including Matthew, who was one of the first on the scene just moments after the car bombing.

Over the coming days and weeks, the project will set out the dangers posed to law and order in Europe by alleged political corruption and poor controls on money laundering in Malta.

We will share revelations from a cache of 680,000 files leaked to Caruana Galizia in the final months of her life.

Peter Caruana Galizia agreed to speak because of his concerns that the murder inquiry, which has been assisted by the FBI, appears to have stalled.

The three suspects have been widely reported in Malta’s media as being known to the police.

Caruana Galizia’s family have dismissed the government’s offer of a €1m reward for information about the mastermind as a publicity stunt.

According to two sources with knowledge of the investigation, officers are working on the assumption that the maker of the bomb is still at large, and that whoever ordered the attack may have links to organised crime.

Detectives believe the accused – brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, and their friend Vincent Muscat – had been tipped off before their arrest. When officers sought them out in the harbour area of Marsa, in a raid filmed on a soldier’s head camera and later broadcast on television, police believe they were prepared. Phones had allegedly been thrown in the water, and George had his partner’s mobile number written on his hand.

The three accused were asked to comment ahead of publication but declined to do so.

Peter Caruana Galizia said: “I don’t see a full commitment to trying to find out who sent the killers.”

His wife’s political blog often attracted more readers than all of Malta’s national press combined and took aim at anyone she believed needed to be held to account.

Caruana Galizia used to joke that someone would have to take out a contract on her life before she fell silent, her husband said. “Subconsciously she knew that this was the only way she was going to be stopped.”

The world had gradually closed in on Malta’s best-known journalist in the last four years of her life. Members of the ruling Labour party had encouraged the public to film and photograph her wherever she went, and to upload the pictures to social media. She feared meeting sources in public and rarely left the house.

A libel case from the economy minister had resulted in cash being seized, and she felt unable to use her bank accounts. She was facing 47 libel suits when she died.

Those now seeking damages from her heirs, who have inherited many of the cases, include the prime minister, Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and two of his ministers.

Muscat said in an email sent by his spokesman: “Allegations of organised threats or harassment against Daphne Caruana Galizia or her family are wholly false.

“My family and I were at the centre of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s politically motivated attacks, but we did not respond to her provocations, fully aware of my role and responsibility as the prime minister of Malta and the leader of the Labour party. I have only resorted to legal means in extreme circumstances.”

Police would be free to “go wherever the evidence takes them”, said Muscat, and the murder was being investigated “vigorously”, with police given whatever resources they needed.

Schembri said Caruana Galizia had made frequent allegations against him which were “often misinformed and defamatory”, and that, where appropriate, he had instructed lawyers “to seek proper correction and redress”.

The journalist had fallen out not only with Labour, but with an array of public officials, business people, magistrates and the new leader of the Nationalist opposition party, which she had previously supported.

“The two parties suddenly had her in their sights and something had to give,” her husband said. “It had become impossible.

“They found it difficult to attack what she said, so instead they attacked her on a personal level. So she became also very recognisable because they had photos of her, screenshots. The more she gave, the more she got. It was a machine against one person really.”

Matthew, the couple’s eldest son, who is a journalist at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington, has been advised that he is in danger and should not return to Malta for now. All three sons now live abroad.

“They feel like strangers in their own country,” their father said. “It’s not the Malta that they knew. It’s changed.”

 on: Today at 05:02 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

She read about a 4-year-old’s mysterious death. A year later, it saved her own daughter’s life

by Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
April 26 2018
Wa Post

Four-year-old Elianna Grace nearly died from a bacterial lung infection after swallowing pool water in her family's backyard in Sarasota, Fla. (ABC Action News)

As 4-year-0ld Elianna Grace sat in the back seat of the SUV, battling her second fever in three days, her mom flashed back to the coughing and vomiting fit the preschooler had the previous weekend — and to a niggling fear about the girl's sudden illness.

Elianna had spent April 14 playing in her grandparents' pool in Bradenton, Fla. She blew a geyser of water at family members with a pool noodle. One of them tried to spray her back, but Elianna was already inhaling and got a mouth full of water.

The preschooler coughed, vomited and retched for the next few minutes, her mother, Lacey Grace, told The Washington Post, trying to expel a lung- and a stomachful of chlorinated water.

But half an hour later, Elianna was happily splashing in the pool. The next day, she seemed fine on a shopping trip with her mom. The crisis seemed averted.

On Monday the girl's preschool called her parents. Elianna had a fever. She'd have to go home and, per the facility's policy, stay out at least 24 hours. Elianna spent a day with her mother at the family's business, coloring quietly in a corner. On Wednesday, she was back at preschool with no ill effects.

But the preschool called again that afternoon. The fever was back.

This time, her mother took her straight to Urgent Care, but even then, Lacey Grace worried she was overreacting. She and her husband have two daughters — 4 and nearly 2. Fevered trips to the doctor are not unusual.

“There are so many times I have taken my kid to the doctor, saying I’m being a worried parent, and they say it’s a viral thing, give it a few days,” Grace told The Post.

But she had read about Frankie Delgado Jr., who died last summer under similar circumstances.

Frankie, also 4, inhaled a large amount of water while splashing at the Texas City Dike with his family. His family worried the symptoms that manifested a few days later were “dry drowning,” an imprecise term to describe water trapped in the respiratory system that can ultimately make it difficult for a person to breathe. But experts say it may have been a bacterial infection.

Whatever the cause, the outcome was tragic: an otherwise healthy child, dead in a matter of days.

“I never would have correlated that fever to the pool incident if I hadn’t of read that story about Frankie,” Grace said. “I was like, this is not going to happen to Elianna.”

Grace noticed worrying signs as she looked at her overheated daughter on the way to Urgent Care. The girl was shivering. And there were purple spots on the girl's skin as she was getting X-rayed.

“The doctor came out and said 'You have to find the nearest emergency room,' " she recalled, in recounting the incident to The Post. " 'You need to pick the closest one. Just go.' ”

At the more-advanced facility, doctors gave Elianna's worried parents the prognosis: Their daughter had an uncommon but severe bacterial infection in her lungs and was struggling to get enough oxygen into her bloodstream. It all started with the water she'd breathed in at the pool.

The doctors said there was nothing they could do to remove the fluid — that had to happen on its own. At the moment, they had to fight the infection and the inflammation it was causing.

More X-rays followed. And every five minutes, it seemed, someone in a white coat was holding a stethoscope to Elianna's chest.

The scariest moment happened sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Mother and daughter were snuggled in Elianna's hospital bed when doctors and nurses rushed in. Elianna's oxygen level had dipped to dangerous levels, according to a monitor clipped to her toe.

Grace said the monitor's warning was the only sign that something was wrong with the child sleeping in her arms.

Her doctors “were saying things like 'This is why she’s here. Thank God you brought her in. This is why you're here. Nothing’s going to happen to her with all these resources here.' ”

Elianna Grace, 4, recovering at the hospital. (Grace family photo)

They were right, Grace said. Two days later, after a round of a strong antibiotic, the 4-year-old was able to breathe without an oxygen mask, her mother said. She stopped wheezing when she exhaled.

Elianna took an abbreviated trip to the park on Monday, and has an appointment for what her mom hopes will be her last X-ray on Wednesday.

Initial news reports widely deemed Elianna's case “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning,” even though her parents say doctors told her the girl was fighting a secondary infection.

A GoFundMe that friends started to help the Graces pay for hospital costs details the full cause: chemical pneumonitis, aspiration pneumonia and perihilar edema. (As of Wednesday morning, the crowdfunding campaign had raised nearly $4,000.)

Similar questions — a “dry drowning diagnosis” vs. a quickly spreading bacterial infection — came up in Frankie's case.

He and his family members went to the dike on Memorial Day weekend last year, and the 4-year-old splashed in the knee-deep water. Shortly after they got home, he started vomiting and had diarrhea.

On June 3, the boy told his parents that his shoulders hurt and laid down for a nap.

“Out of nowhere, he just woke up,” Frankie Delgado Sr. told Houston's ABC affiliate KTRK. “He said ‘ahhh,’ he took his last breath — and I didn't know what to do no more.”

“I walked in. I could see him lying there; they were still working on him,” his mother, Tara Delgado, told CBS affiliate KHOU. “I'm screaming, ‘Let me just touch my baby! Maybe he needs his mama's touch.’ ”

Family members (and reporters who talked to them) initially attributed his death to dry drowning, although others said his symptoms seemed similar to a bacterial infection.

Recently, doctors have shied away from the terms “dry drowning” and “secondary drowning,” preferring to specify the circumstances of someone's death to improve resuscitation treatments.

In dry drowning, a person's larynx closes in an attempt to stop water from seeping into the respiratory system, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But air can't get through, either, depriving the body of oxygen. In secondary drowning, water is trapped in the respiratory system. It causes the lungs to spasm, making it difficult for a person to catch a breath. The lungs can also get irritated and fill with fluid.

Even if her daughter wasn't a victim of "dry drowning," the situation was still petrifying, Grace said. One day, her 4-year-old was fine, coloring on what appeared to be an unnecessary sick day from preschool. Twenty-four hours later, doctors were telling her she couldn't breathe without an oxygen mask.

But those doctors might not have been there in time, Grace said, if she hadn't read Frankie Delgado's story, horrified. Now, the story of her daughter's sudden sickness is forever linked to Frankie's.

So with her daughter on the mend, she reached out to Frankie's mother, Tara Delgado, and other family members, to express her gratitude.

Grace heard back this week.

“Frankie's sister has reached out to me,” Grace told The Post, relaying the message the woman sent:

“Something with your story is making us cry. We miss Frankie every day. We do everything we can to get his story out there to prevent this from happening. We’re glad to see it’s making a difference.”

 on: Today at 04:58 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Where 8-Year-Old Was Raped and Killed, Hindus Rally Around Suspects

APRIL 26, 2018
NY Times   

RASANA, Jammu and Kashmir — There was no empathy for the 8-year-old girl. It was as if she barely registered as a human being, as if her life didn’t count except to serve as a target.

Police investigators say a gang of young Hindu men chose her specifically to send a message that would terrorize her community of Muslim nomads. They stand accused of calculatedly kidnapping her from a meadow, stuffing drugs down her throat and locking her up for three days in a temple, where they beat her, raped her and eventually strangled her. She stood three and a half feet tall, completely defenseless.

While protests of outrage have erupted in cities across India, and even internationally, here in Rasana, the village in Jammu and Kashmir State where the girl was killed in January, the mood is different.

Rasana is tiny, about 20 homes, and walking through it takes just five minutes: past the dry, scratchy wheat fields that carry the whiff of cow manure, past the little brick houses that sit half-hidden behind walls, and, finally, past a small pink temple, now padlocked.

There seems to be little remorse or sympathy here. Few people in the mostly Hindu village are talking about the inhumanity of the crime or the fact that the girl’s traumatized parents have fled. Barred from burying their daughter near their home, the family had to take her body with them.

Instead, you hear things like: Our land and their land. Us and them.

“This is all a big conspiracy to demoralize the Hindus,” said Bhagmal Khajuria, an elder from a nearby village, who insisted that the eight men arrested in connection with the girl’s death had been framed.

Who was behind this conspiracy, he was asked?

“The separatists,” he grumbled, referring to Muslims in another part of this state, Jammu and Kashmir, who want independence from India.

Many Indians had hoped that after the last horrific rape case, in 2012, when a young woman was fatally brutalized on a bus in New Delhi, things would change. But not much has.

Some laws have been tightened, and the Indian government now wants to apply the death penalty for rapists of young children. But rape conviction rates are still low and dozens of Indian politicians accused of sexual abuse still get elected (though that is clearly not unique to India).

India remains so deeply divided along religious, ethnic and political lines that even a crime this awful instantly gets politicized, sucked into the vortex of a never-ending communal war. Many scholars blame the rise of the Hindu right, saying it has made it open season on Muslims, no matter where or how young they are.

After the girl’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party is rooted in Hindu nationalism, came under heavy criticism for not speaking out quickly enough to denounce the attack. Only after protests erupted did he address this case and another recent rape allegation, saying “our daughters will definitely get justice.”

Officials in Mr. Modi’s party deny that they mishandled this or that their politics have polarized India. All they had been trying to do after the girl died, they said, was “pacify the people.”

Still, some of the staunchest defenders of the suspects in the girl’s killing have been high-level officials in Mr. Modi’s party. Analysts said this was consistent with how the party has operated for years.

“Young people are taught that Muslims are a blot on this nation — do what you want with them,” said J. Devika, a historian at the Center for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram.

She accused Mr. Modi’s party and his allies of “weaponizing the Hindu faith.”

She pointed to another recent case, in which a Hindu fanatic killed a Muslim man with a pickax. The suspect posted a gruesome video of the attack on social media, where it went viral. Among Hindu extremists, the attacker became a hero overnight. And while many Indians were sickened, many others were enthused.

The list goes on: Muslims lynched for transporting cows, an animal Hindus revere. A Muslim boy stabbed on a train. Just last week, the police said that a youth leader from Mr. Modi’s political party bragged about burning down hundreds of homes of Rohingya refugees, Muslims from Myanmar.

Scholars say it is hard not to see the girl’s killing as part of an ominous pattern. According to a recent analysis, hate crimes have risen sharply on Mr. Modi’s watch. The victims are mostly Muslims and lower-caste Hindus.

The authorities in the Rasana area are struggling to contain the anger, on both sides. This area, like most of India, is religiously mixed, with Hindus and Muslims living close to one another and usually getting along, until someone stirs them up.

First it was Hindu lawyers physically blocking police officers from filing charges in the girl’s killing at a court. Then protests and counterprotests broke out, some violent and led by officials in Mr. Modi’s party who asserted that the suspects had been set up and were innocent.

Dozens of Hindu housewives and grandmothers joined in, carrying out a hunger strike, saying they were ready to die. Several nearly did and had to be hospitalized.

The talking points among the Hindu protesters ring with a certain sameness: They accuse the state government of being manipulated by Muslims. And they are demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation, a federal agency widely seen as a tool of Mr. Modi’s party, take over the investigation from the state police.

At the same time, Muslim protesters in other parts of this state have flooded into the streets — and clashed with the police — insisting that the suspects be hanged.

The state government in Jammu and Kashmir, an area mostly administered by India but the subject of a decades-long and very bloody dispute with Pakistan, is already on the brink. It is facing a stubborn insurgency in the Kashmir Valley and a heavy crackdown by the Indian security forces.

The government itself is an awkward alliance formed purely for political survival between a Muslim-led party pushing for autonomy and Mr. Modi’s party, the Hindu-right Bharatiya Janata Party, known as the B.J.P. (Neither party won enough votes to control the State Assembly on its own.)

In mid-April, two state ministers from the B.J.P. who joined protests in support of the suspects in the rape case were forced to resign to keep this shaky political alliance alive.

Still, the ousted politicians doubled down and continued to protest, along with some lawyers. Across India, especially in big cities, many people, no matter what their religion was, were disgusted by the crime and the divisiveness that followed. But the instigating and abuse continued.

According to several accounts in the Indian news media, one prominent Hindu lawyer insulted a lead investigator, saying, “She is a girl, how intelligent can she be?”

This all plays well locally, even though the charge sheet reads like a script from a horror film.

The first sign of trouble came on the evening of Jan. 10, when five horses plodded back into a nomadic camp without their 8-year-old master, the girl’s father said in an interview. The girl, who loved her horses and would ride them without a saddle using her scarf as the reins, was nowhere to be found.

Her father felt something was deeply wrong. He immediately grabbed a flashlight and organized a search party, scouring all the ditches, drains and farms in the area. Nothing.

They went house to house. Nothing.

With panic rising, and dozens of fellow nomads joining him, they waded into the nearby woods. Still, nothing.

Then they came to a small Hindu temple. The nomads said they were intimidated by the man who presided over it, a former revenue officer known for his ability to read palms, horoscopes and, some even said, the future. He reassured the girl’s parents in a voice of authority: Don’t worry. Your daughter’s fine. Someone is looking after her.

According to the police, at that very moment, a group of young men, directed by this same temple custodian, was raping the girl in the temple. After three days they decided to kill her.

The motive for the crime, investigators say, was nothing less than ethnic cleansing. Investigators said that Sanji Ram, the custodian at the temple, hated the nomads for coming into his area and that he orchestrated the killing to drive them away.

The nomads come from a predominantly Muslim ethnic group called the Bakarwals. For generations, they have drifted across Jammu and Kashmir with flocks of sheep and goats, and horses and dogs, threading their way through rugged mountain valleys and clip-clopping down crowded roads.

They stand out, with their colorful tents pitched next to highways and their light eyes.

Several Bakarwal elders said they did not know how big their community was, maybe 200,000, nor were they sure of their origins. Some said they came from the Caucasus, others said Afghanistan.

“Nobody’s written our history,” said Talib Hussain, a Bakarwal elder.

But life is changing for the Bakarwals. A few families have begun to settle in the Rasana area, buying land from Hindu farmers, building sturdy brick houses and sticking around more of the year so their children can go to school, a big step forward for them. The dead girl’s family was among them.

This infuriated Sanji Ram, whom villagers described as a devout Hindu and a passionate Modi fan. Several villagers said Mr. Ram was happy to lease his farmland to Hindu nomads but never, as a policy, to Muslims.

Investigators said that Mr. Ram recruited a son, a nephew and a number of other young men from the village to kidnap the 8-year-old girl.

(Her name is being withheld because an Indian court has threatened to jail journalists for revealing any information about her or her family. The court says this is necessary to protect the family’s dignity, though the girl’s name was already given out by police officers and is all over social media.)

After she was killed and her body dumped in a ditch, investigators say two other police officers, both Hindu, destroyed evidence. Before the girl’s dress was turned over to a crime lab, the officers tried to scrub it clean.

But it didn’t work, and investigators said they had “clinching” DNA evidence. They also said that all eight suspects confessed.

Few, if any, Hindus in Rasana accept this. On a recent day, several Hindu elders took me to the temple, a little pink building at the edge of the woods. The floor was cleanly swept concrete, the walls decorated with wrinkled, brightly colored posters of Hindu gods.

“Look,” said Suresh Sharma, a villager who helped Mr. Ram at the temple. “There’s no way the girl could have been locked in here, people coming and going all the time.”

But that in itself seemed hard to believe. Only a few houses use the temple, and many were deserted.


"How Intelligent Can She Be? She's A Girl": Kathua Cop Responds To Jab


"She is a girl, how intelligent can she be?" - Defence lawyer Ankur Sharma had earlier commented about the only woman police officer Shwetambari Sharma who is investigating Kathua child rape case.

Kathua rape case: It hurts when you are targeted, Shwetambari Sharma had said on Ankur Sharma's comment.


    Shwetambari Sharma is the only woman cop in the probe team of Kathua case
    "She is a girl, how intelligent can she be?": Defence lawyer had said
    "It hurts when you are targeted," she replied to the lawyer's comment

The only woman police officer in the team that investigated the Kathua child rape was disparaged by the lawyer defending the accused, who said: "She is a girl, how intelligent can she be?"

For Deputy Superintendent of Police Shwetambari Sharma, the comment is reflective of the difficulties she faced while investigating the men who kidnapped an eight-year-old girl in January, kept her sedated and without food while raping her over and over for a week, and finally killed her.

Defence lawyer Ankur Sharma, who made the misogynistic comments, is defending five of the accused.

"It hurts when you are targeted and your intelligence is doubted just because you are a woman. What should I comment on such a chauvinist remark, the whole nation is there to comment on it," Shwetambari Sharma told reporters yesterday, reacting to the lawyer's outrageous comment.

Ms Sharma, the only woman in the SIT (Special Investigation Team) in the case, said the team faced lots of difficulties while collecting evidence, especially because a pro-Hindu group and lawyers were campaigning in support of the accused.

All the arrested men are Hindu and the child who was raped and killed belonged to the nomadic Muslim Bakherwal tribe.

"An agitation was going on and going among the provocative persons to collect the evidence and take statements was not easy," she said.

Ms Sharma said initially she felt "disturbed" with the case but now she was fine.

She hoped that the judiciary would provide justice to the little girl who suffered unimaginable horrors in her last days.

"Our judiciary is capable enough to bring justice, don't doubt it," said the police officer.

The trial against the eight accused men has begun.

Two First Information Reports (FIRs) have been filed in the case - one against the eight accused and the other against a group of lawyers that allegedly tried to stop the police from filing a charge-sheet against the accused.

Details of the crime in the charge-sheet left the nation struggling with shock, anger and grief. One of the accused, a police officer, begged to rape the girl one last time before she was strangled and stoned to death.

 on: Today at 04:47 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Climate change to drive migration from island homes sooner than thought

Low-lying atolls around the world will be overtaken by sea-level rises within a few decades, according to a new study

Matthew Taylor
26 Apr 2018 19.00 BST

Hundreds of thousands of people will be forced from their homes on low-lying islands in the next few decades by sea-level rises and the contamination of fresh drinking water sources, scientists have warned.

A study by researchers at the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Deltares Institute in the Netherlands and Hawaii University has found that many small islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans will be uninhabitable for humans by the middle of this century. That is much earlier than previously thought.

Experts say the findings underline the looming climate change driven migration crisis that is predicted to see hundreds of millions of people forced from their homes in the coming years.

More than half a million people around the world live on atoll islands, often extraordinary and beautiful structures based on coral reefs. Their closeness to sea level makes them particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The increase in urgency comes because, according to the authors of the report, previous studies had been based only on predicted sea-level rises. Today’s study also examined the impact of wave driven flooding on the availability of fresh water.

Saltwater flooding, leading to the contamination of water sources, will see most atolls become uninhabitable sometime between 2030 and 2060, said Curt Storlazzi, USGS geologist and lead author of the new report. “The tipping point when potable groundwater on the majority of atoll islands will be unavailable is projected to be reached no later than the middle of the 21st century.”

The primary source of freshwater for populated atoll islands is rain that soaks into the ground and remains there as a layer of fresh groundwater that floats on top of denser saltwater, according to the study. But as atoll islands are regularly swamped by salt water this freshwater will be contaminated making “human habitation difficult in most locations beginning between the 2030s to 2060s, requiring the relocation of island inhabitants or significant financial investments in new infrastructure.”

“The overwash events generally result in salty ocean water seeping into the ground and contaminating the freshwater aquifer. Rainfall later in the year is not enough to flush out the saltwater and refresh the island’s water supply before the next year’s storms arrive repeating the overwash event,” explained Stephen Gingerich, USGS hydrologist and co-author of the new report.

The authors say although the study was focussed on Roi-Namur Island on Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands, the results will apply to people living in atolls around the world – including the Caroline Islands, Cook Islands, Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Society Islands, Spratly Islands, Maldives, Seychelles, and north-western Hawaiian Islands.

But the fate of people living on atolls will be just one part of the much wider climate migration crisis, said Dina Ionesco, head of migration, environment and climate change at the International Organisation for Migration. “Millions of people are going to be at risk from extreme heat, extreme water shortages and flooding as well as sea level rises... we are talking about something that is going to play a huge role in the years ahead in terms of forcing people to leave their homes.”

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