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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Radioactive cloud 'could have come from Russia'
HENRY SAMUEL
Last updated 11:28, November 11 2017

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A cemetery in the village of Muslyumovo. The village is located on the banks of the Techa river in Russia's Urals, one of the country's most lethal nuclear dumping grounds.

A cloud of radioactive pollution spread over Europe after a possible "accident" at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan, French nuclear safety officials confirmed.

France's nuclear safety institute, IRSN, picked up faint traces of ruthenium 106, a radioactive nuclide that is produced when atoms are split in a nuclear reactor and which does not occur naturally, in three of its 40 monitoring stations in late September.

Faint traces were also detected in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

There has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe, a French official stressed, but he added that detection of such a cloud was "absolutely not normal".

IRSN, the technical arm of French nuclear regulator, said it could not pinpoint the location of the release of radioactive material but that based on weather patterns, the most plausible zone lay south of the Ural mountains, between the Urals and the Volga river.

This could indicate Russia or possibly Kazakhstan, it said, adding that if an accident of this magnitude had happened in France it would have required the evacuation or sheltering of people in a radius of "a few kilometres around the accident site".

But it said that the probability of importation into France of foodstuffs, notably mushrooms, contaminated by ruthenium 106 near the site of the accident was extremely low.

Measurements from European stations showed high levels of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere of the majority of European countries at the beginning of October, with a steady decrease from October 6.

France picked up traces of the pollution in monitoring stations of Seyne-sur-Mer, Nice and Ajaccio from Sept 27 to October 13, and has not detected any since.

Gariel said that, according to "the data at our disposal, no ruthenium 106 was detected in the UK".

Duncan Cox, leader of Public Health England's radiation emergency response group, said: "Radiation monitors at our sites in Oxfordshire and Glasgow have been checked since September when this substance was reported by other European radiation monitoring institutes, and we have not detected any unusual sources of radiation."

IRSN ruled out an accident in a nuclear reactor. "We observed only ruthenium, which indicates it couldn't come from a nuclear reactor as we would have seen other fission products, like Caesium," said Jean-Christophe Gariel, director for health at the IRSN.

The ruthenium 106 was probably released in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine, he said.

Because of its short half-life of about a year, ruthenium 106 is used in nuclear medicine.

He had contacted his Russian colleagues, and they insisted nothing was amiss. "From their point of view, they said they had had no problems at all."

Rosatom, the Russian nuclear operator, said it had detected nothing.

- The Telegraph, London

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/98 ... rom-russia


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 pm 
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That's what you get when stuff is unregulated... :idea:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:01 am 
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American research of 20,000 heart attack cases shows that, of all heart attacks that take place in the open, only 39% of women gets reanimated, as opposed to 45% of men.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:09 am 
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from the "what is wrong with people" file

UK man leaves 'monstrous' note telling ambulance not to block his driveway
Last updated 09:56, November 14 2017

In a rush of blood, Birmingham's Hassan Shabbir penned a "monstrous" note.

As UK paramedics fought hard to try to save the life of his neighbour, who later died in hospital, all Shabbir could think about was the fact that he was late and that the ambulance was blocking him getting out of his driveway.

"You may be saving lives, but don't park your van in a stupid place and block my drive," Shabbir, 27, wrote on a piece of paper which he then placed on the ambulance's windscreen.

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TASHA STARKEY/TWITTER
"You may be saving lives, but don't park your van in a stupid place and block my drive," read the note on the ambulance.

Furious paramedic Tasha Starkey, who was at the scene, decided to post a photo of the note on social media.

The ambulance had been forced to double park outside Shabbir's driveway, three doors down from a drug rehab centre.

There was no other option, Starkey said.

Paramedics had then battled for an hour and a half trying to save a 42-year-old man at the centre who had "massive internal bleeding".

After three days of scathing criticism on social media, Shabbir, a teaching assistant, told the Daily Mail his behaviour was "monstrous" and he was "disgusted with myself".

"I just snapped and had a rush of blood to the head. I scribbled the note, rushed out and put it on the windscreen. There is no excuse for what I did. It was very bad.

"I knew it was wrong before a friend told me what had happened to the man in it. But parking here is very bad, and I've been blocked in before."

Shabbir said he had been waiting 20 minutes before he snapped.

"What I did was monstrous, but I am not a monster. There is no justification for what I did."

- Stuff

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/98 ... s-driveway


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:20 pm 
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... xit-tweets

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:30 am 
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Looks like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is on the way out, which will be a relief. He is 93 and was planning to go on past 100...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41997982

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:37 am 
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PEOPLE picks 2017 "Sexiest Man Alive" :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:41 am 
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No.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:44 am 
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He looks a bit like David Brent from "The Office"...
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:57 am 
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Caputh wrote:
Looks like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is on the way out, which will be a relief. He is 93 and was planning to go on past 100...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41997982


Yep! and about fucking time! I hope they keep his smutty wife out of the country also. That country should be on the same economic scale as Belgium.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:25 am 
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The_Acadian_2 wrote:
Caputh wrote:
Looks like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is on the way out, which will be a relief. He is 93 and was planning to go on past 100...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41997982


Yep! and about fucking time! I hope they keep his smutty wife out of the country also. That country should be on the same economic scale as Belgium.


I wish he'd hurry up and go. He attended a graduation ceremony at a university yesterday and managed to fall asleep during the ceremony.

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It's not the first time, either...

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Last edited by Caputh on Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Steve Benson
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Jack Ohman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:52 pm 
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100 full moons: Blazing fireball lights up Arctic sky
JAN M. OLSEN
Last updated 09:19, November 19 2017

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TWITTER

A video still from northern Finland shows the night sky brilliantly illuminated as the meteoroid plummeted to earth.

A blazing fireball lit up the dark skies of Arctic Finland for five seconds, giving off what scientists describe as "the glow of 100 full moons" and igniting hurried attempts to find the reported meteorite.

Finnish experts were scrambling to calculate its trajectory and find where it landed, according to Tomas Kohout of the University of Helsinki's physics department, who said Thursday night's (Friday NZ time) fireball "seems to have been one of the brightest ones".

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LINKEDIN

Meteoroids are small and often vaporise when they enter the Earth's atmosphere. A meteor is a flash of light caused by a meteoroid that fails to get through the Earth's atmosphere. If part of it does survive, that's called a meteorite.

It produced a blast wave that felt like an explosion about 6.40pm and could also be seen in northern Norway and in Russia's Kola peninsula, he said on Saturday.

It might have weighed about 100 kilograms, according to Nikolai Kruglikov of Yekaterinburg's Urals Federal University.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH

In 2013, a meteorite streaked across the Russian sky and exploded over the Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts damaging buildings and injuring about 1100 people.

We believe it didn't disintegrate but reached a remote corner of Finland," Kohout said, adding that any search plans for the meteorite must face the fact that "right now we don't have much daylight" – four hours, to be precise.

The Norwegian meteorite network said the fireball "had the glow of 100 full moons" and likely was going north-east, perhaps "to the Norwegian peninsula of Varanger", north of where the borders of Russia, Finland and Norway meet.

Kohout said scientists looked forward to any space debris they could get their hands on.

"We are happy to recover [it] since this is a unique opportunity to get otherwise inaccessible space material," Kohout said. "This is why it's worth it to search for them."

Viktor Troshenkov of the Russian Academy of Sciences told the Tass news agency that the fireball could be part of a prolific meteor shower known as the Leonids, which peaks at this time of year. He said he felt Thursday's fireball likely wasn't the sole meteorite but others may not have been seen due to thick clouds elsewhere.

Troshenkov told Tass that meteor showers can be even stronger. The Leonids reach their maximum once every 33 years – and the last time that happened was in 1998, he said. Amateur astronomers in the Arctic then saw about 1000 meteors, 40 meteorites and one fireball in just one night.

In 2013, a meteorite streaked across the Russian sky and exploded over the Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1100 people. Many were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows, curious about what had produced such a blinding flash of light.

The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteorite was estimated to be about 10 tons when it entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000kmh. It shattered into pieces about 30-50 kilometres above the ground, but some meteorite chunks were found in a Russian lake.

Meteoroids are smaller than a metre around, and are often so small that they vaporise when they enter the Earth's atmosphere and never reach the ground. A meteor is a flash of light caused by a meteoroid that fails to get through the Earth's atmosphere. If part of it does survive, that's called a meteorite.

Asteroids are generally larger chunks of rock that come from the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

- AP

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/990 ... arctic-sky


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Another Young is gone, this time Malcolm, first George and now Malcolm only Angus left.

RIP Malcolm

https://youtu.be/WHtWs4wiFCs


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:59 am 
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Mugabe resigns.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:24 am 
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CBS News fires Charlie Rose

Steve Breen
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Last edited by Mr. Nice Guy on Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:45 am 
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Mugabe has finally fucked off (as BBP pointed out)- good riddance...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42071488

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:19 pm 
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President endorse Child Molester over Democrat.... :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Mladic convicted of genocide, gets life in prison.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:21 pm 
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lest we forget

Ex-Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide, gets life in prison
TOBY STERLING, STEPHANIE VAN DEN BERG AND ANTHONY DEUTSCH
Last updated 07:24, November 23 2017

A UN tribunal has convicted former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity for orchestrating massacres and ethnic cleansing during Bosnia's war and sentenced him to life in prison.

Mladic, 74, was hustled out of the court on Wednesday (Wednesday night NZ Time) minutes before the verdict for screaming "this is all lies, you are all liars" after returning from what his son described as a blood pressure test which delayed the reading-out of the judgment.

The UN Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Mladic guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including the slaughter of 8000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 11,000 civilians were killed by shelling and sniper fire over 43 months.

The killings in Srebrenica of men and boys after they were separated from women and taken away in buses or marched off to be shot amounted to Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

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REUTERS
Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic screamed "this is all lies, you are all liars" in UN tribunal courtroom before verdict.

"The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind, and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity," Presiding Judge Alphons Orie said in reading out a summary of the judgment.

"Many of these men and boys were cursed, insulted, threatened, forced to sing Serb songs and beaten while awaiting their execution," he said.

Mladic, the most notorious of the ICTY's cases along with ex-Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, had pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to appeal against his conviction.

In its summary, the tribunal found Mladic "significantly contributed" to genocide committed in Srebrenica with the goal of destroying its Muslim population, "personally directed" the long bombardment of Sarajevo and was part of a "joint criminal enterprise" intending to purge Muslims and Croats from Bosnia.

In Geneva, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called Mladic the "epitome of evil" and said his conviction after 16 years as an indicted fugitive and over four years of trial was a "momentous victory for justice".

"The prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about," Zeid said in a statement.

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CRIS TOALA OLIVARES/REUTERS
Ratko Mladic's son Darko Mladic gestures during a news conference, after the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) handed down its verdict in Mladic's genocide trial.

"Today's verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take."

"RESPECT THE VICTIMS, LOOK TO THE FUTURE" - SERBIA

Aleksandar Vucic, president of Serbia whose late nationalist strongman Milosevic was Mladic's patron but died in a tribunal prison before the end of his trial, said Serbia "respects the victims" and called for a focus on the future.

"I would like to call on everyone (in the region) to start looking into the future and not to drown in tears of the past ... We need to look to the future ... so we finally have a stable country," Vucic told reporters when asked about the verdict.

Serbia, once the most powerful Yugoslav republic, is now democratic and seeking ties to the European Union.

Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said he hoped that "those who still call for new divisions and conflicts will carefully read the verdict rendered today ... in case that they are still no ready to face their past".

He was alluding to enduring separatism in post-war federal Bosnia's autonomous Serb region.

Srebrenica, near Bosnia's eastern border with Serbia, had been designated a "safe area" by the United Nations and was defended by lightly armed UN peacekeepers. But they quickly surrendered when Mladic's forces stormed it on July 11, 1995.

SREBRENICA SLAUGHTER


The Dutch peacekeepers looked on helplessly as Serb forces separated men and boys from women, then sent them out of sight on buses or marched them away to be shot.

A bronzed and burly Mladic was filmed visiting a refugee camp in Srebrenica on July 12. "He was giving away chocolate and sweets to the children while the cameras were rolling, telling us nothing will happen and that we have no reason to be afraid," recalled Munira Subasic of the Mothers of Srebrenica group.

"After the cameras left he gave an order to kill whoever could be killed, rape whoever could be raped and finally he ordered us all to be banished and chased out of Srebrenica, so he could make an 'ethnically clean' city," she told Reuters.

The remains of Subasic's son Nermin and husband Hilmo were both found in mass graves by International Commission of Missing Persons (ICMP) workers. The ICMP have identified some 6900 remains of Srebrenica victims through DNA analysis.

Mladic's lawyers argued that his responsibility for murder and ethnic cleansing of civilians by Serb forces and allied paramilitaries was never established beyond reasonable doubt and he should get no more than 15 years if convicted.

The "Butcher of Bosnia" to his enemies, Mladic is still seen as a national hero by some Serbs for presiding over the swift capture of 70 percent of Bosnia after its Serbs rose up against a Muslim-Croat declaration of independence from Yugoslavia.

"GREATER SERBIA"

Prosecutors said the ultimate plan pursued by Mladic, Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and Milosevic was to purge Bosnia of non-Serbs - a strategy that became known as "ethnic cleansing" - and carve out a "Greater Serbia" in the ashes of federal Yugoslavia's disintegration.

Mladic was indicted along with Karadzic in 1995, shortly after the Srebrenica killings, but evaded capture until 2011.

His trial in The Hague took more than four years in part because of delays due to his poor health and will be the last case - barring appeals - to be heard by the ICTY.

Mladic has suffered several strokes, though ICTY judges rejected a flurry of last-minute attempts by defence lawyers to put off the verdict on medical grounds.

His lawyers faced an uphill battle, given a mountain of evidence of Serb atrocities produced in previous trials. Four of Mladic's subordinates received life sentences. Karadzic was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 40 years, and is appealing.

Mladic's lawyers argued that Sarajevo was a legitimate military target as it was the main bastion of Muslim-led Bosnian government forces. They also asserted that Mladic left Srebrenica shortly before Serb fighters began executing Muslim detainees and was later shocked to find out they had occurred.

Prosecutors countered that under war crimes law, even if Mladic did not directly order the killings, he should have known what his subordinates were doing, and would be liable for failing to punish those who committed atrocities.

The ICTY indicted 161 people in all from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. It has convicted 83, more than 60 of them ethnic Serbs.

- Reuters

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/99 ... -in-prison


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Meet The New Boss.....Same As The Old Boss.....

Zimbabwe's incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa jets in from South Africa
FARAI MUTSAKA AND CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
Last updated 04:15, November 23 2017

Zimbabwe's incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa emerged from hiding Wednesday, departing from neighboring South Africa to return home in preparation to take power after Robert Mugabe's stunning resignation.

The 75-year-old Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe after Mugabe fired him earlier this month, leading the military to move in and kick off a series of extraordinary events ending in Mugabe stepping down Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings.

Mnangagwa met with South African President Jacob Zuma in a jovial "courtesy call" before taking a private jet from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe's capital, Harare. He was expected to arrive at Manyame Air Base, where cheering crowds gathered.

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PHILIMON BULAWAYO/REUTERS
The man known as The Crocodile, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's new president later this week.

He will be sworn in as Zimbabwe's new president Friday morning, the speaker of parliament said, after the ruling ZANU-PF party notified him of its nomination of Mnangagwa to replace Mugabe until the end of the current term next year.

The privately run Newsday newspaper reported that Mnangagwa would be met on arrival by army commander Constantino Chiwenga and ruling party officials and then was expected "to meet Mugabe for a briefing."

Several hundred people gathered in anticipation of Mnangagwa's arrival. Some carried signs with images of him, suggesting a certain level of organization behind the jubilant turnout. Signs read "Welcome back, our hero" and "True to your word, you're back. Welcome."

One man in the crowd, Godwin Nyarugwa, said he was "very ecstatic" and that "we need change in this country, change in everything" after years of economic crisis. Nyarugwa said he had several university degrees but no job, a common theme amid Zimbabwe's well-educated population.

"We have to try him and see," he said of Mnangagwa. "If he doesn't come up with something, we need to change him as well."

Zimbabweans were still reeling from Mugabe's resignation. They cheered and danced in the streets of Harare late into the night, thrilled to be rid of a leader whose early promise after the end of white minority rule in 1980 was overtaken by economic collapse, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

Now the focus turns to Mnangagwa, Mugabe's longtime deputy who was pushed aside as unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe positioned herself to replace him and succeed her husband. Mnangagwa fled the country, claiming threats against his life.

That led the military to step in a week ago, opening the door for the ruling party and the people to publicly turn against the president.

It was not clear what the 93-year-old Robert Mugabe and his wife would do next. Mugabe, who was the world's oldest head of state, said in his resignation letter that legal procedures should be followed to install a new president "no later than tomorrow."

Zimbabweans woke up to the first day in 37 years without Mugabe in power. With some nursing hangovers, they looked over newspaper headlines such as "Adios Bob and Ta-ta President."

"I think this change of government is like a new breath of fresh air right across the country," said Patrick Musira on the streets of the capital. "Everyone was engulfed with excitement and they are looking for a better future, a brighter future with work."

Zimbabwe's new leaders are faced with a once-prosperous nation whose economy has collapsed, sending frustrated young people into desperate work as street vendors. Many have left the country altogether.

Mnangagwa is a former justice and defense minister who served for decades as Mugabe's enforcer, a role that earned him the nickname "Crocodile." Many opposition supporters believe he was instrumental in the army killings of thousands of people when Mugabe moved against a political rival in the 1980s.

So far in the current political turmoil Mnangagwa has used inclusive language, saying in a statement hours before Mugabe's resignation that all Zimbabweans should work together to advance their nation.

"Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation," Mnangagwa said.

In a new commentary, the state-run Zimbabwe Herald newspaper stressed the importance of presidential term limits, saying Zimbabweans will "never again go back into a box of silence."

It added: "We hope that when (Mnangagwa) finishes his stint in State House the cheers will be for a job well done ... He has the best wishes of most Zimbabweans, at least today."

- AP

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/99 ... uth-africa


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:41 am 
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Gray_Ghost wrote:
lest we forget
, including the slaughter of 8000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 11,000 civilians were killed by shelling and sniper fire over 43 months.


Ahh, he's just like the American lesser-evils...I hope he gets his health care...

Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria

..."Estimates of civilian deaths from airstrikes range from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Although the U.S. government says that it has killed 603 civilians in airstrikes since the start of military operations in 2014, the monitoring group Airwars estimates that airstrikes have killed at least 4,500 civilians, including nearly 1,000 children.

Some of the strikes have been horrific. One attack in Mosul last March killed at least 100 civilians and injured countless more. “Dozens of Iraqi civilians, some of them still alive and calling out for help, were buried for days under the rubble of their homes in western Mosul after American-led airstrikes flattened almost an entire city block,” The New York Times reported.
...

[baddy's note...and in the "advancing evil at the lesser rate, Obama escalating Bush's killing, Trump escalating over Obomba's...]


Around the same time, officials in the Obama administration loosened restrictions designed to limit civilian casualties. According to a report by USA Today, administration officials granted military officials permission to strike targets that came with higher probabilities of civilian deaths. “Before the change,” USA Today reported, “there were some limited cases in which civilian casualties were allowed.” With the change, “there are several targeting areas in which the probability of 10 civilian casualties are permitted.”

For others, US military forces were still dealing with too many restrictions. Upon entering office, President Trump moved to implement a more aggressive military campaign. “We have not used the real abilities that we have,” Trump said.


Officials in Washington deny any wrongdoing."

More Here at antiwar.com

BTW, this all is not only horribly wrong and murderous, and generates escalating blow-back, but it's also immensely expensive and against the law. How many Americans who voted for these killings care? Most of the voters voted for it, and the non-voters are too apathetic to stand up for the children their American voting brothers voted to kill.

So we get what we deserve, the most richly resourced country on the planet, delivered to the rich...and nothing left for us, advancing evil at the so-called less-evil rate: it's the lesser-evil way.

And that makes perfect sense to the D's and R's and non-voters, dug in and pig headed and determined that it will be no other way...anyone who stands up for the kids gets attacked (we see it every morning on our forum) for not helping their chosen bomber party.

Rome is burning again.

Gotta go, Dallas in on in reruns...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:10 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:27 am 
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^ very cool, pre meeting Alice :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:55 am 
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Oscar Pistorius' prison sentence for girlfriend's murder increased from six to 13 years
GERALD IMRAY
Last updated 01:32, November 25 2017

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Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his sentencing hearing at North Gauteng High Court on June 13, 2016 in Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius' prison sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months on Friday, a surprisingly dramatic intervention by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal in the Olympic athlete's fate after the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said a panel of judges unanimously upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius' original six-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp multiple times in his home in 2013.

Under that initial sentence, which the court called "shockingly lenient," the double-amputee runner could have been released on parole in mid-2019. Now, the earliest he'll be eligible for parole is 2023.

The ruling could finally bring an end to the near five-year legal saga surrounding Pistorius, a multiple Paralympic champion and record-breaker who was the first amputee to run at the Olympics and one of the most celebrated sportsmen in the world.

Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, were "emotional" as they watched Seriti deliver the verdict live on television at their home, family lawyer Tania Koen said.

"They feel there has been justice for Reeva. She can now rest in peace," Koen told The Associated Press. "But at the same time, people must realise that people think this is the end of the road for them ... the fact is they still live with Reeva's loss every day."

Pistorius killed Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013 after shooting four times through a closed toilet cubicle door with his 9 mm pistol. He claimed he mistook the 29-year-old model and reality TV star for an intruder and was initially convicted of manslaughter by trial judge Thokozile Masipa. That conviction was overturned and replaced with a murder conviction by the Supreme Court in 2015. Pistorius was then sentenced to six years for murder by Masipa, a decision also now rejected by the Supreme Court.

Prosecutors called the six-year sentence much too lenient and the Supreme Court agreed, saying in a full written ruling released later that "the sentence of six years' imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivialising this serious offence."

The Supreme Court said that Pistorius "displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions."

Pistorius' brother, Carl, wrote on Twitter: "Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted." A spokesman for the Pistorius family didn't answer calls from the AP.

Pistorius should have been sentenced to the prescribed minimum of 15 years for murder, Seriti said, as he delivered the verdict of a panel of five judges at the Supreme Court in the central city of Bloemfontein. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

The new sentence of 13 years and five months took into account the one year and seven months Pistorius served in prison and under house arrest after his manslaughter conviction.

The new sentence was backdated to start on the day he began his murder sentence, on July 6 last year.

Supreme Court judges are generally reluctant to change sentences handed down by trial courts, and it's rare for them to change one so dramatically.

"I did not expect the Supreme Court of Appeal to hand down such a lengthy sentence of imprisonment," legal analyst Ulrich Roux said on the eNCA news channel. "But, if one looks at what the law states, and given the fact that murder does carry the minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, I think the decision could be vindicated."

Pistorius must serve at least half of the 13 years and five months - nearly seven years - before he can be considered for parole. He has served a year and five months of his murder sentence.

Pistorius, who turned 31 on Wednesday, is being held at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre on the outskirts of the South African capital, Pretoria, and did not attend any of the appeal hearings.

Friday's decision also has possible consequences for where he is held for the remainder of his sentence. Pistorius was moved from the high security Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in central Pretoria to Atteridgeville, which houses prisoners sentenced to six years or less. Pistorius might now be moved back to a higher security facility.

Pistorius' lawyers have one avenue left open to them if they want to challenge the new sentence, and that is to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa.

Pistorius failed with an appeal to the Constitutional Court last year to challenge his murder conviction.

- AP

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/99 ... nds-murder


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