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Heart - Black

In Fallujah Those Laboratory Mice Were Children

child in Basra fighting leukaemia
© Karlos Zurutuza/IPS
One among an unusually high number of children in Basra fighting leukaemia.
At Fallujah hospital they cannot offer any statistics on children born with birth defects - there are just too many. Parents don't want to talk. "Families bury their newborn babies after they die without telling anyone," says hospital spokesman Nadim al-Hadidi. "It's all too shameful for them."

"We recorded 672 cases in January but we know there were many more," says Hadidi. He projects pictures on to a wall at his office: children born with no brain, no eyes, or with the intestines out of their body.

Facing a frozen image of a child born without limbs, Hadidi says parents' feelings usually range between shame and guilt. "They think it's their fault, that there's something wrong with them. And it doesn't help at all when some elder tells them it's been 'god's punishment'."

The pictures are difficult to look at. And, those responsible for all this have closed their eyes.

"In 2004 the Americans tested all kinds of chemicals and explosive devices on us: thermobaric weapons, white phosphorous, depleted uranium...we have all been laboratory mice for them," says Hadidi, turning off the projector.

Pistol

Man with same gun used in Toulouse shootings scares Paris metro commuters

Police in Paris on Friday arrested a man who took out a pistol and threatened commuters on one of the capital's busiest Metro lines, ligne 13. The 30-year-old unidentified man of Moroccan origin, was detained by police mid-morning between Metro stations Saint-Denis Basilique and Université.

According to an official source, he pulled out a Colt 45 and began to threaten a passenger saying "I am Mohamed Merah and I am going to kill you" in reference to the young Islamist killed by police in Toulouse three weeks ago after the murder of seven people.

The gun did not appear to be loaded, but the man was carrying two rounds of ammunition and was described as "not being in full possession of his mental faculties".

Disaster was avoided when one of the passengers pulled the emergency cord and the man used the opportunity to escape into a train tunnel where he was eventually caught by police.

The man, who refused at first to reveal his identity, is already known to the authorities in connection with a number of petty crimes.

Bad Guys

Man Denies Sex Abuse in Rochdale Trial

A Rochdale man is denying having sex with an underage girl and attacked his accuser for holding a grudge against him.

Image
© Unknown
DENIED: Abdul Rauf denies charges.
Abdul Rauf, 43, a father-of-five, is on trial with ten other men at Liverpool Crown Court charged with conspiring to engage children in sexual activity and being part of a child exploitation ring.

Rauf repeatedly dismissed accusations of having sex up to 30 times with a girl, who is one of five alleged victims between 13 and 15 who were given alcohol, food and money in return for sex.

The victim said she had sex with Rauf '10, 20, 30, times', the court heard. Rauf told the court: "No, no. That's not true. I never had sex with her."

Giving evidence on Tuesday, he told the jury he arrived in Rochdale from Pakistan in 1993 and began working as a religious studies teacher at a mosque.

Bizarro Earth

Australian Mother Shares Sexual Abuse Footage With Sex Ring

An Australian woman, 31, who sexually abused her two children and broadcast the sex acts on the Internet has been sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in jail.

An Australia woman who sexually abused her two children and broadcast the sex acts on the Internet has been sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in jail.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Authority, she was part of an international network of parents who carried out sex acts on their own children and often posted them on the Internet.

The woman, 31, carried out the sex acts against her son, 12, and daughter, 11, during a span of more than six months in 2010 in the Central Coast, an urban region in New South Wales north of Sydney, the Newcastle Herald reported.

Bad Guys

Number of Victims Doubles in Oxford Child Sex Ring

A suspected sex trafficking ring in which girls as young as 11 were allegedly targeted was far larger than previously feared, according to police.

As many as 50 young girls have come forward claiming to have been sold for sex in Oxford, detective confirmed today.

It was originally thought that 24 girls, aged between 11 and 16 years, were the only victims but more youngsters have since contacted the police alleging they were also victims.
Image
© INS
Last-minute preparations: Police prepare to carry out the raid in connection with the sex abuse ring, over which 13 men have been questioned.

Eye 2

Norwegian Mass Killer Anders Breivik to Argue 'Self-Defense' When Trial Begins Monday

Image
© Heiko Junge/AP
P s y c h o p a t h
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik plans to argue that his July 2011 shooting spree -- in which he killed 77 people, most of them teenagers -- was carried out in self-defense when his trial begins Monday.

The 33-year-old, who has a strong desire to be judged as sane, according to one of his lawyers, is looking forward to detailing why he carried out his bloody spree in downtown Oslo and at a political youth camp on nearby Utoya Island, Dagbladet newspaper reported.

"He wants to explain everything with why he did what he did," lawyer Tord Jordet said. "It's a pretty long and complicated explanation, with lots of historical elements, experiences from his own life and political persuasions. It is not easy to explain in a concise manner."

He said the notion that the attack was carried out in "preventative self-defense" was important to Mr Breivik.

Bug

'Black Widow' Sentenced to Death in Japan

Kanae Kijima
© Agence France-Presse
Kanae Kijima
A Japanese "black widow" who killed three men after dating them for their money was sentenced to death on Friday in a case known by the name of the female spider that eats its partner after mating.

Kanae Kijima, 37, was convicted of murdering the three men, aged 41, 53 and 80, whom she met through Internet dating sites.

Kijima, who has a past as a paid-for mistress, killed the men by poisoning them with carbon monoxide from burning charcoal briquettes after giving them sleeping tablets.

Saitama district court heard how she had wanted to stop them from demanding back money she had taken from them over the course of brief relationships.

"Three times she carried out extremely serious and vicious crimes," presiding judge Kazuyuki Ohkuma said.

The thick-set Kijima, who according to media reports appeared in court wearing a short skirt, committed the crimes "in order to maintain her luxurious life full of vainglory without working", the judge said.

Eye 1

'Millionaire Matchmaker' Contestant Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Image
© Florida Mugshots
Michael A. Prozer III
Michael A. Prozer told matchmaker Patti Stanger he was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, now he faces years in jail


This may come as a shock but reality TV isn't always as real as it may seem.

One of the "millionaires" who appeared on Bravo's hit show The Millionaire Matchmaker in 2009 has pleaded guilty to bank fraud among other charges and he is definitely not worth a million dollars.

Michael A. Prozer III obtained a $3 million loan just months before his television appearance by pretending he had millions of dollars in other banks.

The Tampa resident was on trial and while the lawyers were picking a jury, he presented his open plea.

Prozer's lawyer told the Tampa Bay Times his client decided to make the plea because the risk of losing was too great.

Handcuffs

Seven Arrested after Vandals Trash Education Minister's Office

Image
© CTV Montreal
Montreal police arrested seven students after the education minister's office was vandalized Friday morning.
Canada, Montreal - Anti-tuition hike protesters started Friday with a bang as a group of 15 people vandalized the Montreal office of Education Minister Line Beauchamp.

Vandals broke a window, entered and trashed the office at around 8:30 a.m. before rejoining a group of 40 other demonstrators outside.

Police say seven people were arrested soon afterward.

Three people were arrested for participating in an illegal gathering, while another three were detained for mischief and participating in an illegal gathering.

The seventh person was arrested for break-and enter.

The arrests took place shortly after about 15 people smashed two windows and then vandalized Education Minister Line Beauchamp's office in her riding of Bourassa-Sauve.

Bad Guys

The secret sterilisation of women in Uzbekistan

sterlization of women
© BBC
Doctors say that Uzbekistan is running a secret programme to sterilise women without their consent or knowledge.

Adolat has striking looks, a quiet voice and a secret that she finds deeply shameful.

She knows what happened is not her fault, but she cannot help feeling guilty about it.