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40 killed as airliner crashes just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran

© AFP Photo / Atta Kenare
A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards reacts as he stands next to the remains of a plane that crashed near Tehran's Mehrabad airport on August 10, 2014.
A passenger plane has crashed in the vicinity of the Iranian capital's Mehrabad airport, with 48 people on board. Reports indicate 39-45 dead, six of them children.

The Iran-140 Sepahan Air jetliner had barely left the airport, crashing shortly after take off on the outskirts of the capital at 09:45 (0515 GMT) on Sunday, according to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.
Info of crashed jet in #Tehran: flight number: 5915 departure: Tehran destination: Tabas. Time: 9:15 am Airplane: Iran 140, Sepahan Air

- Abas Aslani (@abasinfo) August 10, 2014
Iran's police chief put the death toll at 45, with three survivors, but later reports fluctuated around 39 dead and a further nine injured. The Deputy Minister for Transport told the Mehr News Agency that this included six children, of whom three were under two and another three under 12 years of age. There is no unified consensus yet at this point.


4-year-old girl lost in Siberian forest for 12 days rescued by authorities using drone, helicopters, and dogs

A missing four-year-old girl was rescued by Russian authorities after spending nearly two weeks wandering in Siberian forests and swamps. An unmanned aerial vehicle, helicopters, search dogs and dozens of people took part in the rescue operation.

Little Karina went missing in Russia's Yakutia Republic on July 29, but local authorities were only notified on August 3 about the missing child.

The girl's mother thought her husband had picked her up, while he was in fact fighting local fires with a brigade of firemen and there had been no communication between the two.

Before the child went missing, she was last seen heading off into the forest with her puppy.

Light Sabers

Two Spanish volunteers arrive in E. Ukraine to help spread the truth of Kiev's actions against its people

© Screenshot from Ruptly video
Two Spanish volunteers have joined the fight against Kiev's offensive on eastern Ukraine, speaking out against the actions of the nation's military. They say their main objective is to spread the truth about the conflict.

Anhel Davilla-Rivas, 29, and Rafa Munez, 28, arrived in Donetsk two weeks ago to offer their assistance to the residents of eastern Ukraine.

"What we see in these weeks that we are here is only bombing of the people and the assault of all the fronts from Kiev. They are trying to separate the cities, they are sending mercenaries to kill the journalists and to demoralize any person that can tell the truth about what's happening here," Davilla-Rivas told RT's Ruptly agency on Saturday.

The pair has not engaged in the fighting just yet, stressing that their main goal is to reveal the truth about what is happening on the ground.


U.S. "evidence" of Russian involvement in Ukraine crisis ridiculed by German TV show

© Screenshot from youtube video by extra 3
The tenacity of Western attempts to give the Ukrainian crisis an explicitly anti-Russian slant has been noted by a German political satire show, which ridiculed the apparent manner the United States presents its evidence.

The host of Extra 3, the comedy show, got the program going with a few pieces of 'evidence': a US-photographed satellite image that supposedly depicts Russian complicity in cross-border fire with Ukraine, then a picture that appeared to be drawn by a child with color crayons.

Christian Ehring pulled no punches when sharing his frank belief that the coverage of the Ukrainian crisis by the Western media has been full of holes since its start in February.


Swedish father enrages public by taking children to war zone to teach them lessons of war

© Reuters / Baz Ratner
A Swedish father has incurred public rage after choosing an original way to explain to his video-gamer kids the realities of real-life war: by taking them to genuine war zones in occupied Syria and the West Bank.

The move no longer appears to be some miscalculated foolhardy decision, once you get acquainted with Carl-Magnus Helgegren - a journalist, university teacher, triathlete, DJ, and systems analyst who speaks five languages.

Helgegren, who shares custody of his children with their mother, wrote in a personal blog entry that a point comes when one simply isn't able to control everything their kids see.

Leo and Frank, both aged 10, developed an interest for violent video games with a war theme, like many others, before they had reached the mandatory age of 16. So, they brought the issue up with Helgegren, touting the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, with its blood, guts, dramatic music, and ultra-realistic action.


Police Union Commissar: If you resist, you should expect to die

There is an attitude on our streets today that it is acceptable to resist arrest. That attitude is a direct result of a lack of respect for law enforcement.

"We've heard a lot in the last number of weeks about what police officers can't do, and what police officers shouldn't do," groused Patrick Lynch, designated spokesliar for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, New York's largest police union. "No one's telling us what we are able to do, and what we should do, when we're faced with a situation where the person being placed under arrest says, 'I'm not going. I'm not being placed under arrest.'"

"What is it we should do?" continued Lynch, his voice colored by theatrical incredulity. "Walk away?"

If the would-be arrestee isn't involved in an actual crime - that is, an act of aggression against another person - the only morally suitable answer is: Yes. The cop should shut up, go away, and refrain from molesting one of his betters. The experience might encourage him to find honest work.

"We don't have that option," Lynch insisted. "Nor would the public that called and complained about these crimes want us to. If they called, it's important to them."

In this fashion Lynch attempted to shift the blame for the killing of Eric Garner on merchants in the Staten Island neighborhood where the harmless man was killed through an act of criminal homicide by NYPD officers enforcing a demented "zero tolerance" policy regarding the sale of untaxed cigarettes. Lynch, who has spent his entire adult life as a member of the coercive caste, tried to depict Garner - a micro-entrepreneur - as a menace to the public, and a threat to commerce. Lynch appears to believe that the spectacle of police killing a harmless and unarmed man is less damaging to the local economy than allowing that man to sell loose cigarettes to willing customers.

Lynch resurrected the unproven claim that plainclothes officers had seen Garner commit an act of unsanctioned petty commerce, and that he resisted their efforts to abduct him on behalf of the state's tax-consuming class. He carefully avoided mention of the fact that Garner, according to eyewitnesses, had broken up a fight while the officers, ever vigilant for economic "crimes," refused to intervene.

"There is an attitude on our streets today that it is acceptable to resist arrest," lamented Lynch. "That attitude is a direct result of a lack of respect for law enforcement."


Swedish man arrested for being unnaturally buff

Man's body led Swedish police to suspect steroid use, despite court ruling that muscles alone are not grounds for arrest

Police in Malmö arrested a man after approaching him because his muscular physique led them to suspect steroid use.

They interviewed the man in the street, but their suspicions grew when he was reluctant to answer their questions.

After they obtained a warrant to search his home, they discovered over 20,000 pills and vials of performance enhancing drugs, including steroids.

He told police that the drugs were for personal use and denied that he was a dealer, but "150,000 kronor ($21,000) in cash and packaging materials in the apartment led the court to believe otherwise", The Swedish news site Local News reports.

Text messages about drug deals strengthened the case against him and he was sentenced to 21 months in jail. A woman who shared his apartment denied all knowledge of the drugs but was also found guilty and sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

Earlier this year, after a similar incident, the Swedish Justice Ombudsman warned police that "big muscles are not adequate grounds for arrest".

Red Flag

Activists say fracking is making California's drought worse

© Brooke Anderson
California is in the middle of an epic water shortage, with nearly 80% of the state experiencing "extreme or exceptional" drought conditions. Check out this animated map to get a sense of how extensively the drought has impacted the Golden State.

Things have gotten so bad that California enlisted Lady Gaga to record a public service announcement (PSA).

Given the situation, anti-fracking activists say it's time for Governor Jerry Brown to put a stop to water-intensive fracking, claiming that the controversial oil and gas production method is exacerbating the problem.

"We're talking about a triple threat to our water from fracking," says Adam Scow, the California Director for Food & Water Watch.

The first threat: The fracking process requires a lot of water, which then becomes unsuitable for any other use.

Comment: Holy frack: More concern arises over groundwater contamination from fracking

Heart - Black

Sick! Connecticut high school students instigated, egged on and filmed horrific rape of mentally disabled student


A 'profoundly retarded' high school student has been charged with sexually assaulting a disabled male student in a bathroom as classmates cheered him on. Patrick Nolan, 19, was charged with felony sexual assault and risk of injury to a child for the August 2013 attack at Harding High School, pictured. An attorney for Nolan claims the unidentified group who instigated and egged on the attack are to blame and Nolan is a victim.
A mentally disabled Connecticut high school student has been charged with sexually assaulting a disabled fellow student in a school bathroom as classmates cheered him on, according to police and court documents.

Patrick Nolan, 19, was arraigned on Wednesday in Bridgeport Superior Court and charged with felony sexual assault and risk of injury to a child for the August 2013 attack on a male 16-year-old classmate at Harding High School, police said.

An attorney for Nolan, Mark Phillips, said his client is 'profoundly retarded' and the unnamed classmates and teacher's aides who should have been supervising his client are to blame.

An affidavit filed in the case painted a horrific scene of the incident drawn from details from a school surveillance video outside the bathroom and a student recording of the attack.

In the videos, a student shouts 'keep going' while the victim is being sexually assaulted from behind, and afterward students are huddled together seemingly watching the cell phone recording, court documents stated.

Bad Guys

Neo-nazi group creates holocaust 'Monopoly' to fund National Socialist Underground


The gang called the game ‘Pogromly’ – from the word pogrom meaning a violent riot that were often organised against Jews in Russian and eastern Europe over several centuries.
A Neo-Nazi group created a perverted board game based on Monopoly where Jewish people get sent to death camps so they could pass the time between murders.

The game, where the winner is the person who deports the most to the gas chambers, has featured at the trial of 'Nazi bride' Beate Zschape in Munich.

Zschape, 39, is allegedly the sole-surviving member of the National Socialist Underground neo-Nazi death squad which allegedly murdered nine immigrant businessmen and a female police officer in Germany in a 13-year reign of terror which also included bank robberies, bombings and weapons seizures.

The NSU is a far-right German terrorist group which was uncovered in November 2011.

They have been accused of a series of murders of nine immigrants in 2006, murdering a policewoman and attempted murder of her colleague, the Cologne bombings in 2001 and 2004 and 14 bank robberies.

Comment: As of July 16, 2014, Beate Zschape has dismissed her defense lawyers.