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Fri, 22 Sep 2023
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'114 Libyans killed in US-led strikes'

© unknown
A Libyan mourner at the grave of an opposition force killed in the eastern city of Ajdabiya.
Libya says at least 114 people, including several civilians, have been killed and 445 others injured in a week-long campaign of US-led military airstrikes in the oil-rich country.

"From March 20 to March 23, the attacks have killed 114 people and injured 445 people," the Libyan State TV quoted Libyan Health Minister Khaled Omar as saying at a press conference in Tripoli on Saturday.

According to government figures, 104 people were killed in the capital Tripoli -- the city of 2 million that is most firmly in Gaddafi's grip and some other suburbs -- while another 10 civilians lost their lives in Sirte, the hometown of the Libyan strongman.

Meanwhile, on the eight day of the US-led military operations on Saturday, the British, French and US warplanes hit civilian and military sites in Tripoli and Zliten. Several large explosions were heard in Tripoli.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told his US counterpart Barack Obama on Thursday that preventing deaths of civilians in Libya should be the overriding priority for the Western forces participating in the Libya war.

The situation in Libya's third-largest city, Misrata, which is some 210 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli and has a population of more than half a million, is much worse than the other areas.


The 'puppy' born to a Sheep

Vets say it's impossible - but to Chinese farmer Liu Naiying his birth is a miracle.

For Mr Liu insists one of his sheep has given birth to a dog

The 'puppy' has wool like a lamb but its mouth, nose, eyes, paws and tail look more like a dog's.

© Quirky China News / Rex Features
'Miracle': The sheep/dog and the ewe that allegedly gave birth to him in Shaanxi Province, China


US: Wisconsin Union Law Published Despite Court Order

Wis. law taking away collective bargaining rights published; disagreement over taking effect

Wisconsin officials couldn't agree Friday about whether an explosive law taking away nearly all public worker collective bargaining rights was about to take effect after a nonpartisan legislative bureau published it despite a court order blocking implementation.

The head of the Legislative Reference Bureau that made the move Friday afternoon, as well as a nonpartisan attorney for the Legislature, said the action was merely procedural. But Republican legislative leaders, who encouraged the bureau's action, insisted it meant the law would take effect Saturday.

Gov. Scott Walker's office, meanwhile, would issue only a vague statement saying simply that the administration planned to carry out the law as required.

The action late Friday was just the latest in a series of parliamentary and legal maneuvers employed over the past six weeks to enact a bill that prompted Senate Democrats to flee the state to block a vote and brought on waves of Capitol protests that grew to more than 85,000 people as Wisconsin became the center of a national fight over union rights.

A state judge declined to take emergency action on the matter. In an order issued late Friday, Dane County Circuit Judge Sarah O'Brien said she didn't know what legal significance there was to the publication of the law on the Legislature's website. Ordering it removed, as she said the district attorney wanted her to require, would mean nothing, the judge said.


At least 20 dead as Syrian forces fire on protesters

At least 20 killed near Daraa, a witness tells Al Jazeera, as anti-government protesters defy security crackdown.

The bloody crackdown on protesters in Syria has left dozens dead as President Bashar al-Assad faces the greatest challenge to his 11-year rule.

Security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in the city of Sanamin near Daraa on Friday, killing at least 20 people, according to one witness.

"There are more than 20 martyrs .... they [security forces] opened fire haphazardly," the witness told Al Jazeera on Friday.

Rula Amin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Damascus, said Syrian forces apparently fired after protesters set fire to a statue of the late president, Hafez al-Assad.

Footage on YouTube also showed protesters in the cental square of Daraa dismantling a portrait of his son, Bashar al-Assad, the current president.

Reuters reported that heavy gunfire could be heard in the southern city of Daraa, the focal point for demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad's regime in recent days.

Three people were also reported killed in Mouadamieh district of Damascus after a crowd confronted a procession of cars driven by supporters of president Bashar al-Assad, residents said, according to Reuters.

Mr. Potato

Canadian government collapses in no-confidence vote


"I'm stroking a kitten. Trust me." Canadian PM Steven Harper.
Fourth election in seven years will take place in May after opposition parties bring down Stephen Harper government

Canadian opposition parties have brought down the government of Stephen Harper in a vote of no confidence, triggering an election that polls suggest will reinstate the status quo of minority rule by his Conservative party.

The opposition parties held the prime minister in contempt of parliament in a 156-145 vote for failing to disclose the full financial details of his tougher crime legislation, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets.

Opinion polls expect Harper's Conservative party to be re-elected but not with a majority, meaning he could only continue governing dependent on opposition votes.

The opposition parties combined hold the majority of the seats in parliament with 160 while the Conservatives have 143. There is a chance the left-of-centre parties might join forces in a coalition if Harper wins another minority government on the expected election date of 2 May.


Japan faces new setback in fight to avert disaster at Fukushima plant

© Kyodo/Reuters
Police undergo radiation checks after taking part in contamination precautions in Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan.
Prime minister urges vigilance after safety officials said break in nuclear reactor may have caused big radiation leak

A suspected break in the core of a nuclear reactor could have been responsible for a leak of large amounts of radioactive contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Japanese nuclear safety officials said on Friday, in another setback to efforts to avert disaster at the stricken facility.

In the latest developments, officials have said seawater outside one of the units has registered 1,250 the normal level of radiation, while efforts are under way to pump radioactive water that has pooled around the reactor turbines into safe storage. The BBC has reported that short-term radioactive iodine has been detected at very high levels in the Pacific Ocean near the plant.

US naval barges have started rushing in supplies of fresh water amid concerns the seawater being used to cool down the reactors might be causing corrosion.

Arrow Down

Iowa: Psychopath Pastor: I Had Sex With Those Boys To Help Cure Their Homosexual Urges

Psychopath Pastor
© The Dreamin' Demon

Brent Girouex, a former youth pastor at Victory Fellowship Ministeries, was arrested earlier this month after four young men came forward with complaints that Girouex molested them, and police say the number of victims continues to rise.

Reverend Lonnie Parton said church leaders were stunned when the young men came forward with the allegations against Girouex last month. At that point, Parton told Girouex he needed to go to the police and make a full confession, which he did on February 16.

Girouex reportedly told investigators that the most sexual contact he had was with one teen over a four-year period, starting when the boy was 14. He claimed he and the teen had "mutual sexual contact" somewhere between 25-50 times over that time span. That particular teen, now an adult, told investigators the numbers were more in the vicinity of 50-100 times.


Washington, US: Man Dies Trying to Revive Collapsed Wife

Joyce - Authorities in Washington state say a man who called authorities to report that his wife had collapsed apparently suffered a heart attack and died as he was trying to revive her.

The Clallam County sheriff's office says when deputies and medics arrived eight minutes later on Wednesday night at the home near Joyce, they found the man slumped over her body. He apparently had been attempting to resuscitate her.

Both died. He was 60. She was 59. Their names weren't released because family members had not been told.

Evil Rays

Gaps in US Radiation Monitoring System Revealed

civil defense monitoring
© flickr
Part of the nation's key radiation warning system was out of service as the U.S. braced for possible exposure to the fallout from a nuclear crisis in Japan.

While no dangerous levels of radiation have reached American shores, the test of the monitoring network has spurred some lawmakers to question whether it can adequately safeguard the country against future disasters.

The system is crucial because federal officials use the monitors' readings to validate the impact of nuclear incidents, then alert local governments and the public.

In California, home to two seaside nuclear plants located close to earthquake fault lines, federal officials said four of the 11 stationary monitors were offline for repairs or maintenance last week. The Environmental Protection Agency said the machines operate outdoors year-round and periodically need maintenance, but did not fix them until a few days after low levels of radiation began drifting toward the mainland U.S.

Heart - Black

Navy Training Linked to Dolphin Deaths

© National Marine Fisheries Service
Navy training off the Silver Strand has been linked to the deaths of at least three dolphins in the area and may be responsible for two more, the National Marine Fisheries Service said on Friday.

Fisheries agency leaders said they will take another look at the Navy's pending request to disturb marine mammals between Imperial Beach and Coronado, where the Navy runs what it calls "a realistic venue for amphibious training and special warfare tactical training in the coastal environment." The existing application - which has been in the works for years - doesn't anticipate dolphin deaths related to training, and that premise is now in question.

The fisheries service also has opened an enforcement case. A central question is whether the Navy violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, a landmark law designed by Congress to safeguard dolphins, whales and similar creatures.