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Yemen Munitions Factory Explosion Leaves Over 120 Dead

Explosions and ensuing fire follow reported raid on factory by locals as President Saleh makes U-turn on exit deal

people carry victim remains
© Reuters
People carry the remains of a victim killed in an explosion at a munitions factory in southern Yemen.
At least 121 people have died after a series of explosions at a munitions factory in southern Yemen, as President Ali Abdullah Saleh was losing his grip on parts of the country amid an anti-regime revolt.

Witnesses said the blasts occurred on Monday after locals from the town of Jaar in Abyan province broke into the factory that was stockpiled with kegs of gunpowder. An ensuing fire spread to nearby houses, killing and injuring dozens of people.

"So far we've counted 121 separate bodies but the death toll could be double that, so many of the corpses have been lost in the inferno," said Marfiz Al-Sharbi, a Syrian doctor working in a nearby private hospital. "There are tens of corpses buried in the factory too."

On Sunday, the army was said to have deserted the town after a weekend of deadly clashes with gunmen the government claimed were al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap).

"We hold al-Qaida responsible for this tragic incident that killed innocent citizens who fell victim to the trap of those terrorist elements," a government source told the state news agency Saba.

Bizarro Earth

Nuclear Ginza: A look inside Japan's nuclear industry

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After watching this short documentary, you'll understand why Japan has been so reluctant about telling anything resembling the truth regarding the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Rather than train workers properly and provide safe systems, they instead hire homeless people to perform the yearly maintenance work inside the reactor cores, paying hush money when they grow sick and die. When you hire the homeless and the illiterate, most of them simply don't have the wherewithal to sue when they grow weak and sick, a very convenient cost/benefit ratio for many, but tragic for some. And now everyone must pay for it.


Nuke

When Does a Nuclear Disaster End? Never.

Those who think Japan's Fukushima disaster is today's headlines and tomorrow's history need to take a good look at the Chernobyl disaster, which to this day is a continuing threat to the people of Ukraine. It will be hundreds of years before the area around the destroyed reactor is inhabitable again and there are disputes over whether or not Chernobyl's nuclear fuel still poses a threat of causing another explosion. There is also a teetering reactor core cover and the deteriorating sarcophagus itself that may collapse and send plumes of radioactive dust in all directions.

The New York Times article "Lessons from Chernobyl for Japan," reflects on the Chernobyl disaster and how its legacy still looms over us today as a very real threat. Those who believe in a quick fix for the Fukushima disaster would be wise to remember Chernobyl's legacy. More importantly, with tens of millions of lives at stake, nation actors that have the ability to assist in mitigating this disaster now, but choose instead to squander their manpower and resources elsewhere (like in Libya), must remember that their actions today will be remembered and judged for centuries to come.

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© unknown
The deteriorating "sarcophagus" containment building at Chernobyl.
Below is a sobering look at the Chernobyl disaster and the many men who fought and died trying to contain it. There is also the little known tale of the scientists who over the years have risked their lives to assess and direct the management of the threat Chernobyl's destroyed reactor continuously poses. We must look to history and take the catastrophic effects of Chernobyl's disaster to heart. Downplaying the threat in Fukushima, Japan today needlessly puts millions of people at risk who might otherwise begin making preparations to leave the area on a long-term basis. Knowledge is power, ignorance can literally be death.

Mail

Germany: Nazi family history put to good use by Inge Franken

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© unknown
Inge Franken is a sprightly 70-year-old who lives in an apartment on two floors in Berlin. She has a task, a mission. She tours schools educating children about her - and their - country's dark history.

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© unknown
Inge uses this picture of two boys in her lessons on moral choice
She shows the class a photograph of two young boys - they can barely be 10 - who pose in Nazi regalia, and she seeks reaction. One has his chest puffed out in pride, the other seems reluctant and shame-faced. It is for today's children to decide which they would rather be.

If the school visit goes well, she says, a child will say that he or she is going home to ask the parents and grandparents what happened in the war in their family. It makes Inge feel that she has set people thinking and asking.

She was spurred to this mission by her own past, a past hidden in a suitcase - and her mother's mind.

She was only two when her father died in the Siege of Leningrad, so she never knew him, or knew him only through the letters that her mother would read to her on Sundays.

"She said, 'Come, sit down. I will read some parts of father's letter. You should know him because he is not here and you can't see what a wonderful man he was'."

Info

UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on petrol cars

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© unknown
The EU wants to cut carbon emissions by more than half
The UK has rejected proposals from the EU which call for a ban on petrol and diesel cars from city centres by 2050.

The European Commission said phasing out "conventionally fuelled" cars from urban areas would cut reliance on oil and help cut carbon emissions by 60%.

But UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said it should not be "involved" in individual cities' transport choices.

"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas," he said.

Outlining plans for a "Single European Transport Area", the Commission said there needed to be a "profound shift" in travel patterns to reduce reliance on oil and to lower emissions from transport by 60% by 2050.

MIB

UK: Anarchists 'plan to target royal wedding'

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© Agence France-Presse
Police warned that anarchists would be 'deliberately targeting' the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Violent anarchists who rampaged through London during anti-cuts protests are planning to target the royal wedding, police intelligence have suggested.

Scotland Yard officers are working urgently to identify the extremists who clashed with police and attacked landmarks on Saturday before they can strike again.

Commander Bob Broadhurst, the head of public order for the Metropolitan Police, warned that the anarchists would be "deliberately targeting" the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

"The concern for me is that they do what they did yesterday in central London and divert resources away from my security plan and take our eye off the ball security wise," he said.

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was under fire last night for speaking at the TUC march, during which the violence occurred. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said Mr Miliband would have been "quietly satisfied" by the chaos and claimed it was not surprising there was violence as Labour was failing to offer any alternative to the cuts.

The weekend's rally against the Government's austerity drive was marred by splinter groups who attacked officers and targeted shops and hotels. Mobs of masked anarchists pelted officers with sticks, paint bombs and fireworks loaded with coins.

Comment: Readers are encouraged to read this article, to get a better idea of who is most likely behind the 'anarchist' groups.


Display

US: New York City Family Sues Facebook Over Image Of Daughter's Corpse

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© Sllive.com
Mark Musarella, Caroline Wimmer
The outraged family of a local murder victim is taking on Facebook.

It was a paramedic who took the crime scene photos, and posted them on the site, but is Facebook, itself, to blame?

It's a case of what the family is calling "disrespecting the dead," reports CBS 2's John Slattery.

Martha and Ronald Wimmer think that the photographing and posting of their daughter's brutalized body is just more than they can stand.

"This is on the second anniversary of our daughter's death. I just want to get by, day by day," Martha Wimmer said.

Her daughter, 26-year-old Caroline Wimmer, was strangled with an electric cord. The convicted killer, Calvin Lawson, got 25 to life. One of the first on the scene, former emergency medical technician Mark Musarella, used his cell phone camera to snap a grisly photo of the corpse, which he then uploaded to Facebook. He pleaded guilty to official misconduct and lost his job.

A civil suit now names Musarella and Facebook.

Wolf

'Death Squad': Full horror emerges of how rogue U.S. brigade murdered and mutilated innocent Afghan civilians - and kept their body parts as trophies

  • Rolling Stone reveals how U.S. troops murdered Afghan civilians
  • Soldiers cut off 15-year-old boy's finger and kept it as trophy
  • Video captures U.S. troops cheering as airstrike kills two Afghan civilians
  • New pictures show dead Afghan man's head on a stick
  • Soldier stabbed the body of a dead Afghan civilian
  • Military tried to pull pictures out of circulation to avoid another Abu Ghraib
  • Army says photos are 'in striking contrast' to its standards and values
The Pentagon tonight apologised after shocking new details emerged of how American soldiers formed a 'death squad' to randomly murder Afghan civilians and mutilate their corpses.

An investigation by Rolling Stone magazine details how senior officers failed to stop troops killing Afghans and keeping their body parts as trophies.

In one horrific episode, the magazine claims troops threw a grenade at an innocent Afghan boy before chopped off his finger and later using it as 'gambling chip' in a game of cards.

The disturbing detail included in the dossier accuses American troops of a new level of depravity and is likely to be a public relations disaster for the military.

The U.S. Army says the photos of American soldiers posing with dead Afghans are 'in striking contrast' to its standards and values - apologising for any distress caused by the images.

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© Rolling Stone
Dead: Afghans are tied to a post in one of the many images published by Rolling Stone from the 'Kill Team'

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© Rolling Stone
Photo: Jeremy Morlock, right, poses with David Bram with weapons that they have taken from dead Afghans

Laptop

Doctors Warn About 'Facebook Depression' In Teens


Add "Facebook depression" to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors' group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.

A New Condition?

Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site.

But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.

With in-your-face friends' tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don't measure up.

X

EU to ban cars from cities by 2050

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© Alamy
Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of 'zero' for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities
Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport.

"That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour."