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Report verifies US airstrike killed 6 children in Syria

Report says the U.S. tried to cover up the killings of six children and other civilians as monitor group says airstrikes have killed 250 civilians so far. The United States military has been accused of the killing of six children and three more civilians in Syria as part of an airstrike the U.S. air force had carried out back in August in the north city of Atmeh, an exclusive report by the Middle East Eye website said Thursday.

The accusation was made by the father of the six children, Muawiyya al-Amouri, who told the Middle East Eye that the U.S. government was trying to cover up the deaths of his family members as well as refugees who were staying at his home at the time. "A plane belonging to the alliance shelled my house with six missiles. They destroyed my house and my children died. I had some refugees in my home from Ariha [near Idlib city] who died as well," Amouri said.

Six of these children were killed in a US airstrike.
Amouri, who was not in the house at the time, said that five of his daughters had been killed: Fatimah, aged 10; Hayat, aged nine; Amina, aged seven; Asia, aged five and Marwa, aged four; as well as his 10-month-old son Abdullah.The accusations were previously made by other relatives of Amouri back in August against the U.S., according to a report by the New York Times then, and Washington had ordered an investigation into the incident. However, Thursday's report said the U.S. Central Command is now saying the killings did not take place and the airstrikes in Atmeh targeted the Islamic State group there.

Comment: The children died tragically, a massacre without warning and without reason. Excuses? Denial? Cover up? There was no ISIS, no Nusra Front. And, the US response was to say these killings never took place? How low. How callous. How despicable and self-serving to deny the deaths and therefore responsibility for them.


Sickening! Incidents of sex abuse against horses on the rise in Switzerland

© Michael Buholzer / Reuters
Switzerland is seeing a worrying increase in the number of sex attacks carried out against animals and in particular horses. Figures showed cases of animal abuse rose to 1,709 in 2014, an increase of 1,542 from the previous 12 months.

The findings are worrying animal rights groups as it is a problem that seems to be getting worse. The foundation, known as Tier im Recht (Animals in Law), said the amount of abuse cases reported was triple compared to a decade ago.

However, it seems as though horses are coming under particular threat, with almost 10 percent of cases maltreatment of the animals involving bestiality.


Austria sees huge jump in right-wing crime

© Leonardo Roman
The Identitarian movement has grown in Austria.
Austria has seen a massive increase in xenophobic crimes in the past year, the interior ministry has confirmed.

Austria's police intelligence agency (Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung) received 1,201 criminal complaints about racist and xenophobic crimes between January and September, compared to 750 in the same period last year - a jump of 60 percent.

The ministry said that there were significant increases in the areas of incitement and neo-Nazi activities.

The number of xenophobic and racist crimes in the first three quarters of 2015 was equal to the number reported for the previous three years, police figures showed. The interior ministry confirmed that this represented a real increase in crime, and not just an increased willingness to report racist and xenophobic crimes.

Eye 1

Racism on the rise: Belgian mosque threatened by poorly written letter - Who benefits?

© © Youssef Boudlal / Reuters
Members of the Muslim community attend the Friday prayer at Attadamoun Mosque in the neighbourhood of Molenbeek, in Brussels, Belgium, November 20, 2015.
A menacing letter from the group called 'Christian state' has been sent to the major Belgian mosque Attadamoune. It threatens all Muslims will be killed, and their businesses destroyed.

The anonymous letter - printed out and full of spelling mistakes - said that "no mosque and none of your businesses will be safe" and threatened that "brothers [Muslims] will be slaughtered like pigs and crucified as our Lord converts their souls."

The document was found in the mosque's mailbox by Jamal Habbachich, one of the local Muslim leaders and the president of Molenbeek's mosque association, and he is set to address the government about the issue.

"We will turn to the authorities of our country and complain to the police, naturally. Because there are two situations when you receive this kind of letter: it is a document written by someone wacky unbalanced, or it's a very serious threat," Habbachich told the local media outlet RTBF.

"What also concerns me is the name of the author of the letter which we do not know, and who uses similar terminology to that of the Islamic state," he added.

Comment: How 'Christian' of them to threaten murder. It is telling that the spelling is poor, indicative of the lack of intelligence of the sender. Apparently racism is rife all over the world. This video went viral a few days ago about a proposed mosque in Virginia, USA.

Comment: The irony is that the folks who perpetrate these attacks aren't Muslim. Some of the attackers were reported as white, mercenary-looking types. Another has a history of being a homosexual rent-boy pothead... it seems as if the anti-Muslim sentiment is being generated via the mainstream media's propaganda.


Toxic methyl bromide pesticide still widely used

In this Aug, 12, 2005 file photo, a sign, required by law, warns of a pesticide application of methyl bromide on a field near Watsonville, Calif.
Nine months after a vacationing family nearly died from exposure to methyl bromide on the island of St. John, authorities have come to at least one troubling conclusion: The use of the banned pesticide was not an isolated event in U.S. Caribbean territories.

A criminal investigation into the March poisoning at the Sirenusa Condominium Resort continues and the family from Wilmington, Delaware, is in settlement talks with Terminix, the company that used the chemical on insects in a vacation rental adjacent to theirs. A separate investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local officials into the broader use of methyl bromide in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico also is still underway.

Officials have disclosed few details about what they've learned. But the federal government and the U.S. Virgin Islands recently held a conference for pesticide companies, resort operators and hospitality workers to warn them about the dangers of methyl bromide and other pesticides.

Comment: Bromide is highly toxic, and one of the main sources of bromide exposure in humans is through the abundant use of bromide-containing pesticides, like methylbromide and ethylene dibromide. Bromides are also used as fire retardants and can be found virtually everywhere - in food, clothes, mattresses, cars and consumer electronics. Bromines are common endocrine disruptors, and are part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. What makes it so dangerous is that it competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. If you are exposed to a lot of bromine, your body will not hold on to the iodine that it needs. And iodine affects every tissue in your body -- not just your thyroid.

Supplementing with iodine is one of the best ways to detoxify bromides. For more information on the importance of iodine and how to use it properly, see:

Bizarro Earth

Brazilian gov't demanding $5.2 billion in lawsuit against mining companies after collapse of waste water dam

© Sputnik/ Alexey Filippov
Brazilian authorities will sue two mining giants, demanding 20 billion reais (about $5.2 billion) from the companies and a mine operator they own following the collapse of a waste water dam in the country's southeast.

The lawsuit will be filed on Monday, Attorney General Luis Inacio Adams announced at a Friday press conference in Brasilia.

The dam at the Samarco iron-ore mine collapsed on November 5, leading to the death of over a dozen people and reportedly causing major contamination of nearby land and the Doce River. At least 10 people remain missing.

The Brazilian government wants mining giants BHP Billiton and Vale, as well as mine operator Samarco, which they co-own, to create a fund to cover clean-up costs and provide compensation for the victims.

Ecologists estimate that full environmental recovery following the incident will take about 100 years.

Bad Guys

Crimea ready to connect 'energy bridge' with Russia after Ukrainian nationalists sabotage power grid

© Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
Crimean electricity authorities are on standby to connect the Black Sea peninsula to Russia's power grid, the Crimean state-run energy company said Sunday.

Crimea was plunged into darkness last week after Ukrainian nationalists blew up pylons that support electricity lines from Ukraine. Kiev claims that "activists" have been obstructing repair works.

"Yesterday we concluded preparations that will allow the Crimean side to take in electricity [from southern Russia's Krasnodar region] via an energy bridge," chief controller Andrei Anokhin of Crimea's state-run Krymenergo company told Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Comment: They're doing everything they can to sabotage Crimea. Check out:


Businessman in Turkey donates profits to murdered Su-24 pilot's family

© Sputnik/ Alexander Vilf
A Turkish businessman who owns a café network in Russia was shocked and saddened by the murder of the Russian Su-24 pilot by a Turkish fighter jet. Following the incident the businessman generously donated his profits of that tragic day to the victim's family, RT reported.

Turkish national Sefa Buzgan runs four cafes in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Regretting the rift in relations between Moscow and Ankara following the incident, Buzgan told RT that his family is "deeply saddened by this military incident" and therefore would like to "provide all the possible assistance to the family of the killed pilot."

Comment: Good on this man - he's shown more respect for the fallen Russian pilot than the rest of NATO.

Also see: Putin makes an example of Turkey's back-stabbing: Why the US and West should pay close attention


American Airlines flight bound for JFK Airport forced to make emergency landing in London due to shattered windshield

© Alamy
An American Airlines Boeing 767-300
American Airlines flight from Milan to New York with 183 passengers on board forced to divert

An American Airlines flight from Milan to New York was forced to make an emergency landing at Heathrow after the windscreen shattered.

The Boeing 767-300, with 183 passengers and 12 crew on board, was due to arrive at JFK airport at 1.20 pm US time.

But it ran into difficulties shortly after take off from Milan Malpensa.

Comment: The phenomena of windscreen failure has mysteriously increased in the last decade.


Imprisoned journalist: Mohamed Fahmy on foreign reportage and citizenship rights

© International Reporting Bureau

Mohamed Fahmy has only been on Canadian soil for a matter of months, but he is already poised to fight for changes in how Canadian officials advocate for citizens imprisoned abroad.

Fahmy, the former Cairo bureau chief for Al-Jazeera, was arrested with two other colleagues on terror-related charges in 2013. While being detained, Fahmy feared he would lose his status as a Canadian due in part to a Conservative law that could strip citizenship for an individual convicted of espionage, treason and terrorism.