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April 30, 2015

Holocaust survivor publicly forgives 93-year-old Auschwitz guard during his trial

Holocaust survivor publicly forgives 93-year-old Auschwitz guard during his trial

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

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On Friday, Eva Mozes Kor, a 81-year-old Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, publicly forgave and embraced 93-year-old former SS guard Oskar Gröning, who is currently on trial in Germany as an accessory to 300,000 murders of Jews at Auschwitz.

Kor, who was among many Jews medically experimented on at Auschwitz, has thanked Mr Gröning for answering to the crimes he aided during his time as an Auschwitz guard.

Kor is amongst a number of Auschwitz survivors attending the trial who have joined the prosecutors as co-plaintiffs in the case against Mr Gröning. While Kor has forgiven Mr Gröning, she still holds him liable for his involvement during the Holocaust, as she did last week when she testified against him. Other survivors have recently spoken out about the trial; survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi said on Tuesday the trial itself against a former SS guard matters more than the end punishment.

During the first day of Mr Gröning’s trial, he denied any direct role in the killings, though he did admit to having witnessed them. Mr Gröning said he shared “moral guilt” for the crimes, regardless of whether his actions make him criminally guilty.

The prosecutors have argued that serving as a concentration camp guard is legally accessory to the act of murder. Mr Gröning is reportedly one of three remaining former SS guards that have been identified for trial. If found guilty, the former SS Guard could reportedly face up to fifteen years in prison.



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April 29, 2015

US Soccer: Seattle Sounders defeat Portland Timbers

US Soccer: Seattle Sounders defeat Portland Timbers

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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In Seattle, on Sunday, Seattle Sounders FC beat the Portland Timbers 1–0 in the Cascadia Cup battle. Stefan Frei notched his fourth shutout this season while Clint Dempsey scored the winning goal in the 77th minute with an assist from Andy Rose. Seattle is now 1–0 in the cup while Portland falls to 0–2.

Portland almost scored minutes later when sub Fanendo Adi rattled the crossbar in the 81st minute. The Timbers also led the Sounders in shots with 11–10. Seattle was glad to have points before hitting the road. Head Coach Sigi Schmid added “We’ve got 13 points now in seven games, so we’re happy with that and we want to come back from these three road games with as many as possible.”

The total crowd on Sunday was tallied at 41,451. Seattle now stands at 4-2-1 with Portland struggling at 2-3-3. Portland hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps next weekend and Seattle travels to face New York City FC.



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UN publishes report on 2014 Gaza conflict

Filed under: Archived,Middle East,Palestine,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

UN publishes report on 2014 Gaza conflict

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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On Monday the UN published a summary of its report regarding the inquiry into incidents that had taken place last summer during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced in November 2014 an inquiry would be made into ten incidents that took place in schools operated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees. Aside from investigating Israeli strikes on seven of these institutions, the report also examines three cases in which Hamas-owned weaponry was hidden in such schools. Other than the summary, the full 207-page inquiry report is not to be made public.

The inquiry was based on analysis of weaponry, medical reports, videos and still footage. In addition, the investigators relied on testimonies of UN employees and workers from other organizations in the Gaza strip. The investigation, led by former Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, is separate from the investigation led by the UN’s Human Rights Council. Ban added on Monday that he assigned senior managers to consider the recommendations made by the investigators.

Along with the publication of the report, Ban Ki Moon stated in a letter that the harm done to UN institutions that gave shelter to civilians is a “matter of the utmost gravity”. According to UNWRA, the full report indicates that information regarding the humanitarian use of these schools had been transmitted continually to Israel during the conflict.

Mr. Ban also wrote “I am dismayed that Palestinian militant groups would put United Nations schools at risk by using them to hide their arms.”

UNRWA told the Guardian that although it sent the Israeli military the schools’ GPS coordinates, in seven incidents examined by the investigation team the attacks were attributed to Israel. Furthermore, UNRWA has affirmed, as is coinciding with the investigation’s conclusions, that the organization did not transfer arms to Hamas and had developed a mechanism to handle the existence of arms in its facilities with the help of international experts.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded regarding the issue, saying that “Israel makes every effort to avoid harm to sensitive sites” and that “All of the incidents attributed by the report to Israel have already been subject to thorough examinations, and criminal investigations have been launched where relevant.”

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority did not immediately respond.


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April 27, 2015

Over 10,000 attend Gallipoli dawn service for ANZAC Day centenary

Over 10,000 attend Gallipoli dawn service for ANZAC Day centenary

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Monday, April 27, 2015

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A crowd of over 10,000 people attended the dawn service on Saturday at Gallipoli, Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops there in 1915. The solemn remembrance ceremony was held at the site of the original Gallipoli landings, now known as Anzac Cove.

From file, Gallipoli dawn service 2009.
Image: Gnangarra.

The Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War is remembered as a failed attack in which thousands of lives were lost for little to no gain for either side. The campaign killed 45,000 Allied and 86,000 Turkish troops.

Attendees at the dawn service included Prince Charles, the Prime Minister of Australia, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott‘s speech later in the day emphasised the importance of the day to Australians. “Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli because we believe the Anzacs represented Australians at their best. Because they rose to their challenges, we believe it is a little easier for us to rise to ours. Their example helps us to be better than we would otherwise be”, he said.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at dawn described Gallipoli as a symbol of the highest ideals of Australians and New Zealanders “especially when they work side by side in the face of adversity”.

Prince Charles stirred emotions by reading extracts from a serviceman’s diary. The diary entry, by Company Quartermaster Sergeant Benjamin Leane, was addressed to his wife and was written hours before the first Gallipoli landing.

The centenary milestone of Anzac Day also drew a Turkish security force of 3700, both police and paramilitary. Attendees entered past six security checkpoints.

A record 120,000 people also attended services at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to commemorate the centenary.



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April 25, 2015

Volcano erupts in southern Chile

Volcano erupts in southern Chile – Wikinews, the free news source

Volcano erupts in southern Chile

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

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Satellite image of Calbuco ash plume on Thursday.
Image: NOAA/NASA.

The Calbuco volcano in Southern Chile erupted twice on Wednesday. It was the first major eruption of the volcano in over fifty years.

The Chilean National Geology and Mining Service said the second eruption was more powerful than the first. By reports, the first eruption caused some regional panic. Emergency officials had very little time to alert local residents because of its abruptness.

The Chilean interior ministry said over 4,000 people were evacuated. The volcanic ash rose upward over six miles and has caused flight cancellations. According to Chilean health ministry sanitary planning division head Bernardo Martorell, the ash could cause water pollution and eye and skin infections. As of yesterday, Associated Press said no-one was reported injured as a result of the eruption. But on Thursday a ministry official said they fear another eruption may occur.

This was not the only volcanic eruption in the region in recent years. Another volcano in Southern Chile erupted in back in 2011. Due to that violent eruption, hundreds of flights were cancelled and over 3,000 people evacuated.

The 6,500 foot volcano is reportedly among the three most hazardous in Chile.



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April 24, 2015

Power outage at Fukushima poses radioactive risk

Filed under: Archived,Japan — admin @ 5:00 am

Power outage at Fukushima poses radioactive risk

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Friday, April 24, 2015

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A power outage at Japan’s Fukushima 1 nuclear plant on Tuesday has seen eight water transfer pumps shut down, hindering efforts to collect leaked radioactive water before it can reach the sea.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which runs the plant, said the affected pumps pull radioactive water out of a drainage channel, sending it through another channel to an enclosed artificial bay. This transfer began on April 17, following an official report released in February by TEPCO, revealing high concentration of radioactive materials found in the plant’s drainage water.

This latest news from the nuclear plant, which sits on the eastern edge of the island nation, alongside the North Pacific Ocean, comes four years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, on March 12, 2011. This disaster saw the nuclear plant subjected to the combined force of an earthquake and tsunami, which caused an explosion at the plant. Since then, the site has remained unstable.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found small amounts of radioactive caesium isotopes along the coast of North America, reported early this month. Along with these caesium substances, TEPCO reports indicate up to 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 and 40 trillion becquerels of tritium have contaminated sea water as a result of, and in the aftermath of, the 2011 disaster.



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April 22, 2015

US Soccer: S2 lose two on the road

US Soccer: S2 lose two on the road – Wikinews, the free news source

US Soccer: S2 lose two on the road

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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Seattle based soccer club Seattle Sounders FC 2 (S2) lost their initial two away games of the season despite having entered the road trip undefeated with three wins. First, they played the Tulsa Roughnecks who won 4–3 on Thursday. Next, S2 traveled to nearby Oklahoma City to battle Energy FC on Saturday but lost 2–1.

The first half of the game against Tulsa was very exciting with five goals within the first twenty five minutes. Gibson Bardley scored immediately (2′) for the Roughnecks. This prompted two quick goals from Qudus Lawal who scored two along (9′, 10′) to put the Sounders back in the lead. Eli Galbraith-Knapp scored for the opposition in the 19th minute to bring the teams level but Jimmy Ockford (25′) notched one shortly after to give the Sounders three goals before the half. After the break, the Roughnecks were able to keep the Sounders from scoring but pulled ahead with two goals of their own from Steven Miller (69′) and Lucas Cordeiro (77′).

The Sounders struck first in the game against the Energy with a goal from Darwin Jones in the 33rd minute. This was a short-lived lead, however, with Oklahoma City scoring five minutes later with a goal from Chuy Sanchez. Energy FC might have led going into the half when they were awarded a penalty kick but Michael Thomas was unable to convert. The Sounders almost held on for a draw but Danni König scored in the 86th minute.

S2 next faces the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 away while the Roughnecks are to travel to Kentucky to face Louisville City FC. The Energy are to host Saint Louis FC.



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Three people die in New South Wales storms

Three people die in New South Wales storms

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, two men and a woman died yesterday after search-and-rescue operations failed to rescue them from floods in Dungog, roughly 200 km (125 miles) north of the state’s capital, Sydney.

Storms hit communites along the east coast of Australia including Newcastle, the Hunter Region, the Central Coast, the Illawarra region, and Sydney. The Bureau of Meteorology reported a deep low-pressure system has caused heavy rainfall and strong winds which reached 130kph (80mph). Winds were predicted to ease today.

There have been blackouts throughout the region and severe flooding which has caused roads, bridges and houses to be washed away. More than 500 volunteers were working with the State Emergency Service to assist with operations and protect individuals, with firefighters from the Rural Fire Service and Fire Rescue according to State Emergency Service deputy commissioner Steven Pearce. They issued a warning that residents in Newcastle and surrounding areas might experience flash flooding.

The Insurance Council of Australia reported already during the day yesterday more than 5500 policyholder claims due to the storms. New South Wales premier Mike Baird said people should leave work early and arrive home before dark, as storms were predicted to intensify.

NSW transport authorities said 300 sets of traffic lights in Syndey were out and motorists should be cautious or preferably not drive. Authorities advised residents to stay away from flood-waters and from areas exposed to surf, where heavy surf can lead to coastal damage and erosion.

The New South Wales Emergency Services Minister David Elliot said it was a “once-in-a-decade storm”.


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Student kills teacher in Barcelona

Student kills teacher in Barcelona – Wikinews, the free news source

Student kills teacher in Barcelona

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crime and law
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A student killed a school teacher at the Instituto Joan Fuster in Barcelona, Spain on Monday. Reports indicate the student was thirteen years old; police said he was under fourteen.

The student reportedly had a crossbow and knife; however police have not yet confirmed the cause of death. Two other teachers and two students received non-life-threatening injuries in the attack. One teacher was treated for minor injuries on scene, while the other three injured were treated at Barcelona hospitals.

Police said the motive for the attack has not been established. The attack happened on the sixteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in the United States.

According to Spanish law, the boy, because he is under fourteen years of age, cannot be held criminally responsible. As a result he cannot be jailed, but can be institutionalized in a mental health facility and was sent for psychiatric examinations following the attack.



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April 19, 2015

ISIS attacks United States consulate in Irbil, Iraq

ISIS attacks United States consulate in Irbil, Iraq

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Iraq
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  • 27 May 2015: Pro-government forces in Iraq launch operation to reclaim Ramadi from Islamic State
  • 19 April 2015: ISIS attacks United States consulate in Irbil, Iraq
  • 11 September 2014: John Kerry visits Iraq to build regional support against Islamic State
  • 6 September 2014: NATO leaders meet for two day summit in Wales
  • 24 August 2014: Islamic State capture Syrian airbase
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On Friday a car bomb, claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), killed, by varying reports, at least three people and injured at least five others, possibly including a US national, outside of the United States Consulate in Irbil, Iraq. According to the US Department of State there were no injuries to consulate personnel.

The logo of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

According to police, following a small improvised explosion, a car approached the consulate, but exploded short of the consulate when fired on by security personnel. They said the explosives seem to have been triggered by the people inside the car, not the gunfire.

According to Reuters, until this incident there had been little ISIS aggression in Irbil since November. Ainkawa, the consulate’s neighborhood, is mainly Christian. Reportedly the primary blast took place at approximately 5:40 p.m. local time, when the neighborhood is busy.

On Saturday, an attack claimed by ISIS in Afghanistan killed reportedly at least thirty-three people outside of a major bank which had a long line of people outside of it waiting to collect their pay checks.



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