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Tue, 20 Feb 2018
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Two Russian servicemen killed in Syria shelling, one injured

Destroyed buildings in Syria
© Mikhail Alaeddin / Sputnik
Two Russian servicemen have been killed after they came under shelling in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that one more soldier remains in the hospital, with doctors struggling to save his life.

Those killed were serving as military instructors within a unit of the Syrian forces, according to the statement. The unit came under mortar shelling launched by "a group of militants."

"Two Russian servicemen were killed in a mortar shell explosion," the ministry said, adding that one more serviceman is currently fighting for his life.

The ministry has not detailed the exact place and date of the attack, nor the identities of the servicemen.

Reports about the incident were released earlier in the Russian media.


NY governor signs measure to stop sending teens to adult prison

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Under a new law in New York, juveniles under 18 will no longer be funneled through adult jails, where studies show they face a higher risk of suicide and sexual assault. However, opponents warn the measure serves as a recruiting tool for gangs.

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation to "raise the age" of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 as a part of the state's $163 billion budget.

Previously, The Empire State was one of only two states that automatically prosecuted 16 and 17-year-old offenders as adults, regardless of their offense. The new measures will first raise the age of juvenile delinquency to 17 by October 2018. Then the age of criminal responsibility will be raised to 18 by October 2019.

In a press release, Cuomo cited evidence that recidivism among young people who are processed as adults is 34 percent higher than young people housed in the youth justice system.


Muslim campaign group appoints alleged 'extremist' director

Azad Ali
© Azad Ali / Facebook
A lobby group which campaigns against Islamophobia and the government's Prevent anti-extremism program has appointed a director who critics claim is himself a proven extremist.

Azad Ali has been appointed to lead the Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) organization, which lobbies MPs, the police, councils, teachers, and related groups on anti-Muslim prejudice.

Ali lost a libel case brought against the Mail newspapers in 2010. He had objected to being branded what he termed "a hardline Islamic extremist who supports the killing of British and American soldiers in Iraq by fellow Muslims as justified."

An investigation by the Times newspaper published on Monday, which centered on the potential influence Ali might wield as head of MEND, has led to a number of new claims against him and the group.


Video of cop curb-stomping man in handcuffs shows why people are afraid of police

cop curb stomps man
© The Free Thought Project
A video submitted to the Free Thought Project over the weekend paints a disturbing image of police in Columbus, Ohio. In the video, a cop is seen 'curb-stomping' a man as he lays face down on the concrete in handcuffs.

According to the Columbus Police department, the man being assaulted in the video is Demarco Anderson. He was accused by police of having fired a weapon at a nearby house. However, nothing he could've done justifies what happened to him once he was placed in handcuffs.

As the video begins, one officer appears to have the man under control as he puts handcuffs on the soon-to-be victim. After the cuffs go on, that's when a second officer comes running up and stomps his face into the curb.


Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof gets 9 life sentences under state charges

Dylann Roof
© Grace Beahm / Reuters
White supremacist Dylann Roof pleaded guilty to state murder charges for killing nine African-American parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, and received nine life sentences. Roof had already been charged and sentenced on federal hate crime charges.

"How do you wish to plead?" asked Judge J. C Nicholson in state court on Monday in Charleston.

"Guilty," Roof said without hesitation, to nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.


'We're coming for you': Masked US deputies issue chilling warning to drug pushers

Lakee County Florida police
© LakeCountySO / Facebook
Heroin dealers are public enemy number one according to a Florida sheriff who has warned drug "poison" pushers to expect armed police to "blow your front door off the hinges".

In an intense video message, Lake County sheriff Peyton Grinnell and four masked agents attempt to strike fear into criminals selling drugs.

Speaking directly into the camera and backed by colleagues in black balaclavas, Grinnell sought to reassure county residents by appearing to give criminals a heads up on police strategy.


German police under investigation after 'brutally beating' man after Stuttgart car crash

German police
© Thilo Schmuelgen / Reuters
The lawyer of a man brutally beaten by four German policemen after a car crash told RT it was "beyond the normal boundaries," accusing the police of trying to cover up the case. A video of the incident recently went viral, fueling outrage on social media.

The incident took place on February 19 in the city of Stuttgart, but the video surfaced only days ago on social media. Police said in a statement that a 35-year-old male had a verbal argument with an officer and later tried to assault him.

The footage, released just days ago shows a police officer approaching the 35-year-old and saying "Stop smoking."


Asylum seeker from Ghana arrested for raping woman at knifepoint in Bonn

Refugee rape Siegaue Nature Reserve Bonn
© Google View
The suspect, originally from Ghana, was due to be deported to Italy earlier this year as per the Dublin Regulation on refugees but he appealed the decision.
A 31-year-old has been placed under arrest by a court in Bonn over allegations that he raped a woman at knifepoint while her boyfriend watched. Local media reported that the accused is an asylum seeker from Ghana.

The 23-year-old female and her partner were approached by the suspect on April 2 while camping at the Siegaue Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Bonn, police said.

The machete wielding man threatened the couple and then proceeded to rape the young woman outside their tent. Her boyfriend called the police after the ordeal and the young woman was taken to hospital.


Wife of Russian programmer 'suspected of cyber attacks on US' describes nightmare of his arrest in Spain

Computer laptop leaks hackers hacking database
© Silas Stein / DPA / Global Look Press
The wife of detained Russian programmer Pyotr Levashov has spoken to RT of her anguish of never seeing her husband again "if he is extradited to the US" from Spain "on suspicion of cyber attacks on US governmental sources."

Levashov was detained in Barcelona last week, while on holiday with his family and a friend, his wife Maria told RT Russian.

"It was a nightmare. At night, our rented apartment was stormed by a large number of police officers, who smashed the door. We were all forced to the floor, right in front of our four-year-old child. They didn't answer my questions and then locked me with my son in another room, where they kept me for two hours and wouldn't let me speak with my husband," the woman said, adding that she was "in shock."

Comment: See also: Spain backing the wrong horse: Russian programmer detained at FBI's request


Officer who dragged bloodied doctor from United flight suspended

united airlines security
© facebook
A Chicago airport security officer who helped drag a United Airlines passenger off a plane by his arms, bloodying his lip and causing him to hit his head on metal, as horrified passengers protested and recorded the episode on their smartphones Sunday night at O'Hare International Airport, was placed on leave Monday.

The episode aboard United Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville has become a national embarrassment for the Chicago Department of Aviation and United Airlines. Millions of people have now seen videos of the screaming man as he was forcibly pulled from his seat, put to the ground and dragged down the aisle. The man, who said he was a doctor, was among four passengers randomly selected on the full flight to give up their seats for United Airlines employees who needed to be in Louisville by Monday, according to witnesses.