WWH/CJE Tuesday News Briefs
US soldiers charged (Not really) in Afghan pee-pee case
Marine Corps punishment for incident, a video of which was circulated on internet, falls short of criminal prosecution.
wo US soldiers are to face criminal charges for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, the Marines Corps has said.
The criminal charges are the first faced by anyone over the incident, a video of which was widely circulated on the internet, sparking protests in Afghanistan earlier this year.
At the time, Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, called the Marines’ actions “inhumane”.
Staff Sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola were also charged with “posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties” the Marine Corps said, and will face a court martial.
The Marine Corps’ investigation showed that although the video was only circulated on the internet in January, the incident actually took place on or around July 27, 2011, during an operation in Helmand province.
The Marine Corps said on August 27 that three soldiers had pleaded guilty to charges over the video. Their punishment, however, fell short of criminal prosecution. More…
ATTACK BY IRAN’S AHMADINEJAD SPARKS ISRAEL WALKOUT
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s president called Israel a nuclear-armed “fake regime” shielded by the United States, prompting Israel’s U.N. ambassador to walk out of a high-level U.N. meeting Monday promoting the rule of law.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also accused the U.S. and others of misusing freedom of speech and failing to speak out against the defamation of people’s beliefs and “divine prophets,” an apparent reference to the recently circulated amateur video made in the U.S. which attacks Islam and denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.
The Iranian leader, who has called for Israel’s destruction, used his speech to denounce Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and U.S. vetoes in the U.N. Security Council to back its ally. He urged all nations to “hold occupiers accountable and make efforts to return the occupied territories to their rightful owners.” More…
Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.
The buzz emitted by America’s fleet of Predators and Reapers are a familiar sound for the inhabitants of the dusty hamlet, which lies next to a riverbed close to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and is a stronghold for the Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.
According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.
The Datta Khel assault was just one of the more than 345 strikes that have hit Pakistan’s tribal areas in the past eight years but it reveals an increasingly common tactic now being used in America’s covert drone wars – the “double-tap” strike. More…
Slum tourism: Patronising or social enlightenment?
There is a growing trend for tourists to seek out poverty-blighted neighbourhoods when they go on holiday, to get a sense of real life for the poorest communities there.
An increasing number of tourists are searching for something they cannot get at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the foot of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
This controversial trend has been dubbed “slum tourism”.
Six years ago in India, Krishna Pujari and his British friend Chris Ray began Reality Tours and Travel, to organise tours in Dharavi – arguably Asia’s biggest slum.
Sitting on one of Mumbai’s prime sites, Dharavi is the city’s underbelly, where squalor mixes with enterprise.
The area is dotted with small businesses and recycling units, sitting alongside residential enclaves.
Mom’s artistic photo leads to police visit
PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand, Sept. 24 (UPI) — A New Zealand mother said she was grateful for “art-literate” police officers after someone called police about a picture she took of her 7-year-old daughter.
Danu Sefton, a Palmerston North Polytechnic and Institute of Technology New Zealand student, said the picture of her daughter, Madeleine, fully clothed in a bathtub, won her the silver medal at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Awards, The Dominion Post reported Monday.
But, she said, some people were offended by the image, which she said represents “that in-between state” between life and death.
“Some people in my class said I needed to stop what I was doing,” Sefton said. “I have been held and shaken because of it.” More…