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Member since: Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:01 PM
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Saudi Arabia appears to be using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus in its war in Yemen

Source: Washington Post

Saudi Arabia appears to be using U.S.-supplied white phosphorous munitions in its war in Yemen, based on images and videos posted to social media, raising concerns among human rights groups that the highly incendiary material could be used against civilians.

Under U.S. regulations, white phosphorous sold to other countries is to be used only for signaling to other troops and creating smoke screens. When the munition explodes, it releases white phosphorous that automatically ignites in the air and creates a thick white smoke. When used against soldiers or civilians, it can maim and kill by burning to the bone.

It is unclear exactly how the Saudis are using the munitions, but the government has already received widespread condemnation for its indiscriminate bombing in civilian areas since its campaign against rebel forces in Yemen began in 2015.

U.S. officials confirmed that the American government has supplied the Saudis white phosphorous in the past but declined to say how much had been transferred or when. After reviewing a social media image taken from the battlefield that showed a white phosphorous mortar shell, a U.S. official said it appeared to be American in origin but could not trace it to a particular sale because some of the markings were obscured.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/09/19/saudi-arabia-appears-to-be-using-u-s-supplied-white-phosphorus-in-its-war-in-yemen/?tid=sm_fb

This is nasty stuff that should be banned in most cases.

FYI Hillary is on TV talking about the attacks nt

U.S. Air Force grounds F-35 fighters over cooling line problems

Source: Reuters

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 13 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35A Lightning II aircraft after discovering peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks, an Air Force spokeswoman said on Friday.

The disclosure was made less than two months after the Air Force announced that an initial squadron of the F-35A stealth fighters were ready for combat, marking a major milestone for the $379 billion program, the Pentagon's largest weapons project.

"The issue was discovered during depot modification of an F-35A and affects a total of 57 aircraft," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement.

The planes included 15 aircraft deployed in bases in Utah, Arizona and Nevada, Stefanek said, adding that 13 belong to the United States and two belong to another country.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN11M26K

Live feed to Hillary's speech

You can scroll back to the beginning on this feed.

China launches Tiangong-2 orbital module

Source: Nasaspaceflight

China took another step on its long march to a permanent orbital outpost with the launch of the Tiangong-2 orbital module from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The launch, conducted by a Long March 2F – took place at 14:04 UTC from the 921 Launch Pad of the LC43 Launch Complex. The new orbital outpost will enable the crews to remain in orbit for 30-day missions.

Original built as a back up to Tiangong-1, TG-2 is expected to be identical in size to the previous Chinese station that was launched in 2011.

2016-09-14-231302The original plan was for Tiangong-2 to be launched at the end of 2013 or early in 2014. However, following the successful flights to Tiangong-1, China changed the original roadmap.

That path involved the new orbital module being used to test technologies that will be essential to the future Tiangong modular space station, the first module of which – the Tianhe Space Station Core Module – will be launched in 2018.

Read more: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/09/china-launch-tiangong-2-orbital-module/

Witness says Philippine president ordered killings

Source: Seattle Times

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A former Filipino militiaman testified before the country’s Senate on Thursday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was still a city mayor, ordered him and other members of a liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents in gangland-style assaults that left about 1,000 dead.

Edgar Matobato, 57, told the nationally televised Senate committee hearing that he heard Duterte order some of the killings and acknowledged he himself carried out about 50 of the abductions and deadly assaults, including a man who they fed to a crocodile in 2007 in southern Davao city.

The Senate committee inquiry was being led by Sen. Leila de Lima, a staunch critic of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign that has left more than 3,000 suspected drug users and dealers dead since he assumed the presidency in June. Duterte has accused de Lima of involvement in illegal drugs, alleging that she used to have a driver who took money from detained drug lords. She has denied the allegations.

“Our job was to kill criminals like drug pushers, rapists, snatchers,” Matobato said under oath, adding some of the targets were not criminals but opponents of Duterte and one of his sons in Davao city.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/witness-says-philippine-president-ordered-killings/

Bravo to Sen. Leila de Lima. Hopefully this brings him down.

Leaked documents reveal secretive influence of corporate cash on politics

Source: The Guardian

The pervasive influence of corporate cash in the democratic process, and the extraordinary lengths to which politicians, lobbyists and even judges go to solicit money, are laid bare in sealed court documents leaked to the Guardian.

The John Doe files amount to 1,500 pages of largely unseen material gathered in evidence by prosecutors investigating alleged irregularities in political fundraising. Last year the Wisconsin supreme court ordered that all the documents should be destroyed, though a set survived that has now been obtained by the news organisation.

The files open a window on a world that is very rarely glimpsed by the public, in which millions of dollars are secretly donated by major corporations and super-wealthy individuals to third-party groups in an attempt to sway elections. They speak to a visceral theme of the 2016 presidential cycle: the distortion of American democracy by big business that has been slammed by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

In a case that is the subject of a petition currently in front of the US supreme court, five Wisconsin prosecutors carried out a deep investigation into what they suspected were criminal campaign-finance violations by the campaign committee of Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor and former Republican presidential candidate. Known as the “John Doe investigation”, the inquiry has been a lightning rod for bitter disputes between conservatives and progressives for years

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/14/corporate-cash-john-doe-files-scott-walker-wisconsin

British SAS sniper kills ISIS flamethrower executioner with a crack shot to save 12 hostages

"The expert British special forces marksman was almost a mile away when he gunned down the feared ISIS executioner and three others as they were set to turn a flamethrower on the civilians who were accused of being spies.

The SAS sniper fired a single round from his high calibre .50 Barrett rifle at the fuel tank of the executioner's flamethrower, causing it to explode, incinerating him and three other ISIS members who were poised ready to film the killing of the civilians.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday that it was part of a rescue operation near Raqqa in Syria earlier this month.

The so-called ISIS executioner who was killed in the mission is said to have been on a US 'kill list' for months because of his brutal method of killing prisoners with his flamethrower, burning them alive.

The source told the newspaper:“The SAS team moved into an overwatch position above a village where they were told the execution was going to take place.

“Up to 12 civilians were going to be murdered – eight men and four women. They were suspected of being spies.

“The executioner gave some sort of rambling speech over a loud hailer then when he finished the SAS sniper opened fire.""


Live feed to Hillary's speech on national security. She on right now

This is the most frightening spider statistic ever: spiders walk across our faces as we sleep!

The thought of being in the same room as a spider gives most of us the creeps - so imagine finding out they also walk across our faces as we sleep!

“Huntsmen can walk across you and you wouldn’t know,” Michael Tate from NSW’s Central Coast Australian Reptile Park told 2UE radio.

“By the time you’re 35 years old, and if you’re living in Sydney, several huntsmen will have walked across your face during your sleep,” Tate said, who is more commonly known as ‘Ranger Mick’.

You’re not alone if hearing this makes you want to jump out of your skin and sleep wrapped in bubble wrap!

“It’s very likely that someone may have had prey caught on their face by a huntsman. Bushy eyebrows are the perfect hunting ground for a spider,” he said."

But it gets worse...

"according to arachnid curator Rod Crawford of Seattle’s Burke Museum, we swallow eight spiders a year in our sleep, he told Scientific American."

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