- Syrian army, Hezbollah allies attack IS near Lebanon border August 18, 2017
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces and allied Lebanese militant Hezbollah fighters have captured several Islamic State positions on strategic hilltops along the Syrian-Lebanese border, a military outlet said Friday.
- Neo-Nazis love media attention. But ignoring them isn't an option | Bob Garfield August 18, 2017
There is a genuine conflict of two public interests: the collateral damage of publicity versus the right to know. First there was the violence Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where crowds of neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists and assorted alt-right mouthbreathers were televised chanting racist and antisemitic slogans and roughing up counter-protesters, culminating in the death of one woman. Yep, some of the finest neo-Nazis this great country has to offer.
- Saudi coalition killed hundreds of children in Yemen, confidential UN report claims August 18, 2017
The Saudi military coalition – which receives logistical support, weapons and political backing from the US and UK – has been accused of killing hundreds of children in Yemen, according to a confidential UN report. The report, which has yet to be made public and could still be changed, says that 51 per cent of all child deaths and injuries in Yemen last year were the result of the Saudi-led military operation. Saudi Arabia has insisted it is operating within international law.
- Mexico City fishermen fight to save Aztec floating gardens August 18, 2017
Roberto Altamirano has the lake to himself as he casts his glistening net onto the still water in a perfect circle, lets it sink, then slowly pulls it in. It comes back bearing a large haul of tilapia and carp — and that is exactly the problem. Altamirano is one of just 20 or so fishermen who remain in the floating gardens of Xochimilco, an idyllic network of lakes, canals and artificial islands improbably tucked into the urban sprawl of Mexico City.
- Huge Confederate flag near Interstate is one man's mission August 18, 2017
- Furor erupts over killing of teenager as Philippines drugs war escalates August 18, 2017
By Erik De Castro and Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines police came under pressure on Friday to explain the killing of a high-school student after the 17-year-old became one of at least 80 people shot dead this week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs. Television channels aired CCTV footage that showed Kian Loyd Delos Santos being carried by two men to the place where his body was later found, raising doubt about an official report that said he was shot because he fired at police officers first. Witnesses told the ABS-CBN channel that the teenager did not have a firearm and police officers at the scene handed him a gun, asked him to fire the weapon and run.
- Conservationists pay tribute to anti-poaching campaigner shot dead in Tanzania August 18, 2017
Organized crime syndicates involved in the illegal ivory trade are targeting wildlife protection campaigners, conservationists have warned following the murder of a prominent anti-poaching activist in Tanzania. Wayne Lotter, 51, was killed on Wednesday evening as he rode in a taxi from Dar as Salaam airport to a hotel. Police said the car was stopped by another vehicle. Two men, one armed, then opened his car door and shot him. An investigation has been launched into the killing. Lotter, a native of South Africa, had worked in conservation for nearly three decades. He was a director and co-founder of the PAMS foundation, an NGO that aims to protect elephants and giraffes by providing anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa. An elephant in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania Credit: Jonathan Caramanus/WWF The US-based NGO finances Tanzania's National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU), which has arrested nearly 900 poachers and illegal ivory traders. They include the 2015 arrests of Boniface Matthew Maliango and “ivory queen” Yang Feng Glan, two of the country's most notorious poaching and ivory trading kingpins. Lotter said shortly before his death that the intelligence-led anti-poaching campaign he is credited with spearheading had succeeded in slowing population decline. Fellow conservationists paying tribute to Lotter have warned his murder is symptomatic of the dangers of taking on the increasingly well armed and organized crime groups who dominate the multi-million pound trade in ivory, rhino horn, and other poached animal parts. Jane Goodall, the famed British primatologist, said she was “profoundly shocked” and that she looked to Lotter as “a hero.” Chinese police officers examine ivory and rhino horn products seized from a criminal gang in 2016 Credit: Rex Features “”If this cowardly shooting was an attempt to bring the work of the PAMS Foundation to an end it will fail,” she said in a tribute posted on the foundation's Facebook page. Peter Carr, investigations director at the Endangered Species Protection Agency, an NGO, and a friend of Lotter, said: “The assassination of Wayne Lotter underlines the seriousness of the organized crime syndicates behind the illegal wildlife trade. “Wildlife custodians are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis in this current poaching crisis to protect elephants and rhinos. Our thoughts are with Wayne's wife and family, he will be badly missed in the conservation sector.” Africa has lost 30 percent of its elephants in less than a decade Credit: TONY KARUMBA/AFP Poaching, habitat loss and a growing human population have had a catastrophic impact on wildlife across Africa in recent years, driving several species to the brink of extinction. A census last year found that Africa's elephant population had plummeted by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, leaving just 352,271 animals across 93 percent of their range. Tanzania has been called the “epicentre” of the catastrophic decline, losing some 60 percent of all its elephants in just five years. In 2014 the United Nations put the countries Selous game reserve on its list of world heritage sites in danger because of rampant poaching.
- Hero police officer shot dead four terrorists in Cambrils and saved injured partner's life August 18, 2017
An outnumbered police officer shot dead four of the five terrorists who attacked the seaside city of Cambrils last night, saving his injured partner’s life, according to a dramatic account of the shootout. The officers were carrying out a routine check at a roundabout near the seafront of Cambrils when the terrorists launched their attack, which, it was confirmed today, killed one woman. Their white Audi A3, coming from the direction of the city, ploughed through four pedestrians before smashing into the police car and overturning. The crash left one officer with a broken tibia and an injured head. According to a report in the La Vanguardia newspaper, the five men got out of the overturned vehicle, armed with knives and axes, and wearing false explosives. The overturned car used in the attack in Cambrils Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP The hero police office shot down four of the terrorists and the fifth fled in the direction of a nearby park, stabbing a pedestrian in the face with a knife. He was gunned down by a separate police officer. The chief of Mossa, the Catalan police force, confirmed that one officer had killed the four terrrorists. Josep Luis Trapero told reporters at a press conference: “To kill four people, even if you are a professional, is not easy to digest.” Video footage has emerged of one of the terrorists taunting police before being shot down. A British tourist told how families and residents were ordered to take cover as bullets tore through the air in a scene he described as being like “watching a horror film”. Terror in Spain: Dozens killed and injured in Barcelona and Cambrils A total of five civilians were injured in the attack with a sixth dying from her injuries in hospital. Cambrils is tourist city 74 miles south of Barcelona, where a van had earlier sped into a street packed full of tourists, killing 13 people and injuring around 100 others. Police said the suspects in Cambrils carried bomb belts, which were detonated by a police bomb squad. Earlier in Barcelona a van had sped into a street packed full of tourists, killing 13 people and injuring around 100 others. One tourist told how families and residents were ordered to take cover as bullets tore through the air in a scene he described as being like “watching a horror film”. A terrorist heads towards police armed with a knife Credit: Sky News A total of five civilians were injured in the attack with a sixth dying from her injuries in hospital. Cambril is tourist city 74 miles south of Barcelona, where a van had earlier sped into a street packed full of tourists, killing 13 people and injuring around 100 others. Police said the suspects in Cambrils carried bomb belts, which were detonated by a police bomb squad. Earlier in Barcelona a van had sped into a street packed full of tourists, killing 13 people and injuring around 100 others. Barcelona attack key articles
- Neo-Nazis are taking genetic tests and are deeply upset by the results August 18, 2017
White supremacists in the US are taking genetic tests to prove their racial identity but are being left bitterly disappointed to learn their genes are not as pure as they presumed. A new study from the University of California examined years’ worth of posts on Stormfront, a neo-Nazi forum which is the internet’s first major racial hate site, to decipher how members responded to their spit-in-a-cup genetic test results. White nationalists were up in arms to discover they were not 100 per cent white European and instead had African, Jewish or Asian genes.
- Samurai sword attack outside Taiwan presidential office August 18, 2017
A samurai sword-wielding attacker carrying the national flag of China slashed a military police guard outside Taiwan’s presidential office Friday, authorities said. The presidential office in the centre of the capital Taipei is the headquarters of Taiwan’s Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen. Relations with Chinese authorities have deteriorated since she took office last year as she has refused to agree to Beijing’s stance that Taiwan is part of “one China”.