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There is no doubt that the United States defense headquarters, the Pentagon, has misled Americans and the rest of the world about the country’s military operation against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

On March 16, a U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles and dropped a 500-pound bomb on a Syrian mosque. Omar Ibn al-Khatab Mosque was used by unarmed civilians in Jinah, a village not far from the city of Aleppo.

Pentagon

Human rights activists were the first to say the strike targeted civilians in the mosque, revealing over 49 civilians lost their lives. However, the Pentagon disputed it hit a mosque. According to the Pentagon, the strike targeted an al-Qaeda meeting location and that the strike killed dozens of core al-Qaeda terrorists.

The Pentagon released photos and video footage showing a mosque opposite to a destroyed building. It claimed the strike hit the al-Qaeda-occupied building, leaving the mosque intact. Below is one of the photos released by the Pentagon after the attack. The mosque appears to be standing intact just opposite the destroyed building in the photo.

Pentagon

Nobody could verify the video released by the Pentagon. But we do know that the Pentagon has a department that specializes in creating fake videos and photos for propaganda purposes.

Since the strike, human rights campaigners have been working on the ground in Jinah to gather an indepth report on the strike for the first time. Three organizations – Human Rights Watch (HRW), London-based Forensic Architecture and open-source investigative unit Bellingcat – have released a comprehensive report detailing the U.S. coalition attack in Jinah.

The three organizations conducted separate but complementary investigations into the attack. Bellingcat analyzed video footage and photographs from the scene of the attack. Forensic Architecture created models of the mosque and a reconstruction of the attack, while HRW conducted the field interviews and writing of the report.

Authors of the report interviewed 14 people with first-hand knowledge of the incident, including four who were in the mosque at the time of the attack.

Pentagon

According to the report, the U.S. and its allies in the coalition failed to take the necessary precautions before launching the devastating strike. The report reaffirmed that the strike hit a mosque full of worshippers, not the building the Pentagon showed in the obviously faked video.

The investigators didn’t just prove in the report that the strike hit a mosque, they also provided still and motion images showing the destroyed mosque. Local residents told the investigators that the mosque is a popular one in the village, and that it hosted lectures every Thursday evening before it was hit by the drone.

On that fateful Thursday evening when the drone hit the mosque, residents revealed they had finished the Maghrib (sunset) prayer an hour prior, and were waiting for the Isha’a (night) prayer. They said about 15 minutes before the prayer; the bombs were dropped on them in the mosque.


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According to the interviewees, even as they fled the attack, more missiles rained from the sky. Investigators said they suspect the missiles fired on the fleeing residents were Hellfire missiles.

“US forces failed to take the necessary precautions to minimize civilian casualties. Based on statements from US military personnel, they didn’t know this was a mosque, which reflects poorly on their intel,” Ole Solvang, the lead investigator of the report, told Al Jazeera in an interview.

“Our analysis reveals that contrary to US statements, the building targeted was a functioning, recently built mosque containing a large prayer hall, several auxiliary functions and the Imam’s residence,” Forensic Architecture said in the report.

According to HRW, four witnesses estimated there were about 300 people attending the religious lecture in the mosque when the attack happened. HRW said the actions of the U.S. coalition amounts to violation of the laws of war, which are considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Pentagon

“Even if there were armed group members in the mosque, understanding the nature of the targeted building and the pattern of life around the building would be crucial to assess the risk to civilians and take necessary precautions to minimize civilian casualties. Striking a mosque just before prayer and then attacking people attempting to flee the area without knowing whether they were civilians or combatants may well have been disproportionate and a violation of the laws of war even if there were armed group members in the mosque,” HRW said in the statement.

HRW has therefore called on the Pentagon to carry out a full and transparent investigation into the attack. It has also requested that the Pentagon detail all findings of its investigation to the public.

Pentagon

The report also admitted, like we have reported over past weeks, there has been a surge in civilian casualties in the U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

On April 17, it was reported that U.S. coalition airstrikes killed at least 13 civilians in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Az Zor. In March, U.S.-led airstrikes in the city of Mosul in Iraq killed over 200 civilians in just a single day.

The month of March is considered by observers monitoring the situation as the deadliest month in the 32-month-long air campaign by the U.S. and its allies in Iraq and Syria.


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It is refreshing to know that there are still good people out there doing great things. There would have been a cover-up to this appalling incident had it not been for the persistence of historian Catherine Corless, who sought out the truth.

Investigators in the Republic of Ireland have discovered a mass grave containing over 800 remains of babies at a former Catholic-run maternity home in the country. The discovery has shocked many local residents.

mass graves

The discovery was made in the town of Tuam, County Galway, in March 2017. According to the account of the story, Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home was a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children. It operated in the town between 1925 and 1961. The home belonged to a Catholic religious order of nuns.

Sources say when the home began operating in 1925, unwedded single women who became pregnant were sent there by force to give birth at the facility. They were denied going to the hospital or giving birth at home. The nuns at the home were said to be trained nurses and midwives who took care of these mothers affected by this era’s social stigma.

mass graves

In 1927, a maternity ward was added to the facility so that the mothers could be segregated from the public wards. Mothers who entered the home were required to stay inside for one year, doing unpaid work for the nuns. This was probably to offset the cost of their upkeep. These mothers were also separated from their children. The babies remained separately in the home, raised by the nuns until they could be adopted. The adoptions were done without the consent of the mothers.

A 2015 investigation done by the Irish Examiner found that the Irish Health Services Executive (HSE) had voiced concerns in 2012 that up to a thousand children may have been trafficked from the home to the United States during its operation. The outlet revealed the HSE recommended that the then health minister be informed so that a fully fledged, fully resourced forensic investigation and state inquiry could be launched.

mass graves

But before the Examiner embarked on its investigation on the home, historian Catherine Corless had claimed earlier that many babies and children had died on scene, and were buried haphazardly in a mass grave. Catherine is said to have discovered this after she found death certificates of over 800 children who were residents at the facility, but burial records for only two. Catherine was therefore convinced something was amiss during the operational period of the home.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Catherine filed for Galway county council’s records on the home from 1925 to 1961. She was refused. She was rather given documents from the 1970s, including an official map of the home. With the help of the map, Catherine led a team of investigators to study the site, preparing it for excavation. The evidence was overwhelming.

mass graves

The Irish government in 2014 formed a commission to handle the excavation of the site. The excavation project uncovered an underground structure divided into 20 chambers containing significant quantities of human remains.


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According to the commission in charge of the excavation, analysis of some selected remains showed ages of the deceased ranged from 35 weeks to three years old. The commission revealed the dead bodies had been mostly buried in the 1950s, shortly before the home was closed in 1961.

mass graves

After this damning revelation, Catharine said she believes caretakers of the home saw nothing wrong with what they were doing. She also lashed out at the government for not giving her the needed help initially, when she started to investigate the incident.

“They obviously didn’t see the importance. There is an area across the map marked ‘burial ground. First, the houses were built, around that area. Finally a playground was built on part of the burial ground itself,” she said.

mass graves

The government’s commissioner for children, Katherine Zappone, said the findings were sad and disturbing, promising that the children’s families would be consulted on providing proper burials and other memorials in order to honor them.

“We will honor their memory and make sure that we take the right actions now to treat their remains appropriately,” Zappone said.

The commission is still investigating the issue. Residents have questioned why the mortality rate among children could be so high. Some are suspecting possible foul play during the 1950s period.

mass graves

In fact, Tuam residents are hungry for the truth. They have called for an investigation into the town’s Grove Hospital, which had also been run by the Bon Secours order. A number of people claim their children or siblings were buried on the site from the 1950s right up until the late 1970s.

The Galway County Council has responded positively to the call. It has stipulated that an archaeologist must monitor excavation work on the site in order to preserve any remains which may be buried there. Observers say more bodies are likely to be discovered which would lead to further inquiry to establish the whole truth surrounding this awful mystery.


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Paris has suffered another terrorist attack, leaving an officer dead and two in critical condition.

The shooting attack that occurred on the famous Champs-Élysées avenue was quickly claimed by Isis via their news outlet, and named the male attacker as Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicating also that he was Belgian.

French police released details to Associated Press, saying a 39-year-old attacker, Karim Cheurfi, had previously been flagged as an extremist by the anti-terror police and is the prime suspect. A house raid was conducted in the east of Paris, believed to be the residence of Cheurfi.

Champs-Élysées Shooting
Police forces take positions on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris, France, after the fatal shooting. Source: AP

However, a man wanted over the attack has also reportedly turned himself over to authorities in Antwerp, Belgium. The name of the suspect is currently being withheld.

Paris prosecutors have also said they have identified the suspect, but are refusing to release further details until they can establish if he acted alone. He was shot dead by police after killing one officer in a car and opening fire on two others. One witness said they saw the suspect firing a Kalashnikov rifle.

Champs-Élysées Shooting
A tourist is blocked by French soldiers next to the Champs-Élysées avenue during ongoing police operations. (AAP)

France’s Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet confirmed that the suspect used “a weapon of war” when he opened fire on the officers after stopping beside a police car.

“A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding a police officer … He also wounded a second one, it would seem very seriously,” Brandet said.


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Johanna Primevert a spokeswoman for the Paris police said the police guarding the busy Franklin Roosevelt subway station were the targets of the attacker.

Champs-Élysées Shooting
Masked police stand on top of their vehicle on the Champs-Élysées Avenue following the shooting attack. Source: Reuters

The Champs-Élysées, famous for its shopping and stunning boulevard, is considered the heart of Paris, running from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, it draws in thousands of tourists a day, as well as locals. The city came to a standstill, with nearby metro stations shut down and armed officers closely guarding its entrance.

Attacks were long suspected to occur during the French elections, with two suspected terrorists arrested in Marseilles only two days ago – with weapons and explosives in their possession.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack and tributed the police involved.

The attack comes days before the French are due to go to the polls for the first round of the presidential election.


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On April 11, the Saudi regime was highlighted for its continued deployment of chemical weapons against civilians – backed by the US coalition. In the context of the Syria strike, a decades-old plot to overthrow the Syrian government through means of war was revealed after WikiLeaks drew attention to a declassified CIA document published in 1983.

Where Saudi Arabia has an extensive history of human rights abuses and the US has an unwavering ability to turn a blind eye to the atrocities engaged in by the Saudis, the Assad regime – with unproven association to the recent chemical strikes – appears to be the target of a US military assault.

destroying Syria

A crime scene on an international scale that should have been investigated – to draw the appropriate conclusions – was very quickly decimated by Tomahawk missiles. What was left of the proposed storage space containing chemicals such as sarin, were utterly destroyed in fires and explosions instigated by the US military. This makes a conclusive investigation near on impossible to conduct.

The 1983 CIA documents, written by former CIA officer Graham Fuller, highlight the ongoing attack against the Assad regime. Starting in the 1970’s, when current Syrian President Bashir al-Assad’s father held office, the CIA examined plausible possibilities to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA outlined possible allies – including Saddam Hussein and Iran – to help create Middle Eastern tensions in the name of geopolitical pipelines.

In the Key Summary of the report on page 1, the CIA outlines the necessity of war to lock in “US interests” in the region. The discussion hints at the pipeline running through Iraq and how Syria presents a challenge for “US interests in Lebanon and in the Gulf.” The summary of the document blatantly states:

“The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.”

The reasoning behind such an ‘orchestration’ in the CIA’s own words was for the “sole goal of opening the pipeline.”

destroying Syria

From there, the document goes on to cover points on how to go about such an activity, and the benefits versus the consequences and possible responses from the nations they wished to participate in the conflict.

“Saddam Husayn,” the document reads, “is fighting for his life. It is only Iraqi desperation in a losing economic war of attrition that has caused Iraq to consider the extremely risky option of internationalizing the war in the Gulf, potentially leading to closure of shipping there.”

The declassification of the document, titled Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria demonstrates the arrogance of a department(s) that are unbashful about the Devil’s details. For what has now been ongoing anti-Syrian propaganda for a little over 3 decades, the US appears to have finally won – at least – a small part of the battle.

destroying Syria

According to the document’s between the lines rhetoric, were a means to destabilize a region, protect Israel, overthrow a strong-standing nation (Syria) and to fulfil the west’s desire and lust for fossil fuels:


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“Syria continues to maintain a hammerlock on two key U.S. interests in the Middle East.

  • Syrian refusal to withdraw its troops from Lebanon ensures Israeli occupation in the south;
  • Syrian closure of the Iraqi pipeline has been a key factor in bringing Iraq to its financial knees, impelling it towards dangerous internationalization of the war in the Gulf.”

The document outlines how diplomatic efforts with the Assad regime drew very little result. And how the United States Empire ran out of patience.

destroying Syria

Fuller asserted that the most practical step forward was to portray Syria as an evil nation and corner Assad through the manipulation of other nearby countries’ grudges:

“Israel would simultaneously raise tensions along Syria’s Lebanon front without actually going to war. Turkey, angered by Syrian support to Armenian terrorism, to Iraqi Kurds on Turkey’s Kurdish border areas and to Turkish terrorists operating out of northern Syria, has often considered launching unilateral military operations against terrorist camps in northern Syria. Virtually all Arab states would have sympathy for Iraq. Faced with three belligerent fronts, Assad would probably be forced to abandon his policy of closure of the pipeline.”

Only months after Fuller’s report, on October 23, 1983, a suicide truck containing explosives caused 241 US military personnel deaths at a Marine barracks at neutral Lebanon’s Beirut International Airport. A simultaneous attack occurred kilometers away, killing 58 French servicemen, and two weeks later an attack against the Israeli military headquarters in Tyre killed 60.

In 2012, Micah Zenko wrote When America Attacked Syria. He recalls the explosions as a precursor to publicly blame Syria. Zenko wrote:

“According to a Pentagon commission formed to investigate the attack, it was “tantamount to an act of war using the medium of terrorism.” Within weeks, the CIA determined that “the bombings…of the United States and French MNF headquarters were carried out by Shia radicals, armed, trained, and directed by Syria and Iran.”

Similarly, in the last weeks, chemical attacks were linked to Syria’s Assad without any investigation and based only on ‘belief.’ A public outcry followed the Mainstream Media’s hype despite the vehement denial from both Syria and Russia that the attack was not of Syrian government authorization.

destroying Syria

For Assad to authorize a chemical attack, the self-sabotaging act isn’t logical. To kill the small amount of people that died, Assad only needed to put boots-on-ground soldiers.

It also begs the question why Assad would also carry out a chemical attack only days after Trump announced he’d leave Assad alone? Why risk US intervention?

As the 1983 report demonstrates, the United States has had their sights set on Syria for more than 3 decades. In 2013, the UN stated enough evidence pointed to the Syrian rebels (US backed) for the chemical attack then. Evidence was destroyed this year before an investigation was conducted. The Pipeline politics continues unabated, and there is no reason to believe that the current situation is any different from the last historical accounts.


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High priests of the Roman Catholic Church sexually misbehaving is not a new thing. It has been a long tradition in the church that successive Popes have tried to fight, but to no avail.

In Italy, where the Vatican is located, new damning sexual allegations have hit the church. The allegations appear to be widespread to the extent that Pope Francis has intervened for disciplinary measures to be taken against those found guilty.

Roman Catholic Church

Many Catholic priests across the country have been accused of being involved in sex orgies, gay porn videos and prostitution. According to observers close to the Vatican, the allegations have sent shock waves throughout the church. Pope Francis is said to be highly disturbed by the behavior of his priests.

In early March, a priest named Rev. Mario D’Orlando was suspended from the parish of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the southern city of Naples. The suspension followed over claims he held gay orgies and used Internet sites to recruit potential partners whom he paid for sex.

It is said an anonymous person in Santa Maria disclosed to authorities what D’Orlando had been doing. When he was questioned, initially he denied the claims. He however admitted after overwhelming evidence was presented against him. Although he has been suspended, D’Orlando is also facing a formal inquiry that will be conducted by local church officials.

Roman Catholic Church

A 48-year-old priest, the Rev. Andrea Contin who ministers in the northern city of Padua in the parish of San Lazzaro is also facing defrocking as well as judicial proceedings. Contin has been accused of having as many as 30 lovers, including men and women. He is said to have even taken some lovers on holidays to France where he performed wild sexual orgies with them.

In December 2016, three women approached church officials to reveal the dirty secrets of Contin. One woman who claimed to have been Contin’s lover for more than three years, told officials that the priest used sex toys and bondage equipment for sex parties with many women. She said Contin sometimes also invited other priests and prostitutes to join the sex parties. Officials are also investigating the priests that Contin is alleged to have been inviting to his sex parties.

The presiding Bishop in the area, Claudio Cipolla was on a visit to South America when the women made the allegations. He cut short his visit to return to Padua to deal with the scandal. Contin has since been suspended.


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Roman Catholic Church

“I am incredulous and pained by the accusations. This is unacceptable behavior for a priest, a Christian and even for a man. Even if, at the end of this affair, there are no legal consequences, we have a duty by canon law to take disciplinary action,” Bishop Cipolla said during a news conference to address the scandal.

Bishop Cipolla revealed Pope Francis had called him personally to express his shock at the level of the scandal, urging him to remain strong. He added that the church is determined to remove all bad priests from their positions.

Since Pope Francis took over the leadership of the Vatican he has appeared tough on the ethical behavior of priests in the church. He has, on many occasions, reminded priests of their weaknesses and flaws, reminding them of the need to constantly seek faith in God.

In 2014, similar sex scandals involving priests emerged in the Italian diocese of Albenga-Imperia in the northern region of Liguria. It was said then that many priests in the area had posted nude photos of themselves on gay websites. They were also accused of having sexually harassed minors and stealing church funds. Pope Francis sent a special envoy to investigate the scandal. After the investigation, in 2016, Pope Francis replaced the leader of the diocese in the area, Bishop Mario Oliver.

Roman Catholic Church

Due to the rampant nature of sexual allegations against priests of the Catholic church, Alberto Melloni, professor of church history at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia said these current scandals are not surprising. He said no matter how tough the church is on priests, they will continue to engage in these scandals.

“There is no sin that a cleric doesn’t commit. Scandals to me seem quite normal. And I think the illusion of stopping scandals through better selection of personnel is not very promising and has not yielded great results,” he said.


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“Those tunnels the U.S. is bombing in Afghanistan? They were built by the CIA.”

WikiLeaks sent the tweet out 4 days ago, following the United States military dropping the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ or MOAB on a network of tunnels and cave complex in Afghanistan.

The largest and powerful non-nuclear bomb ever to be used by the US military cost $170,000 per MOAB unit, as opposed to the initial reports of the disputed $16 million – though any figures are still yet to be confirmed by the US Air Force. The outcome of the drop – aimed at between 600 and 800 terrorists in the complex – was between 90 and 100 ISIS militant deaths, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Numbers aside, the irony of bombing a CIA-made tunnel is not lost on WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden. NSA Whistleblower Snowden tweeted “Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we’re bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them. #Blowback.”

Tweeting a link related to a Sept. 2005 New York Times article, a similar cave complex was described in detail. The “Tora Bora” complex was “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls.” The “fortified caves” were built and financed by the CIA “for the mujahedeen” and constructed with the help of Osama Bin Laden’s family.

“Bin Laden had flown in dozens of bulldozers and other pieces of heavy equipment from his father’s construction empire, the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the most prosperous construction companies in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Persian Gulf,” the NY Times article reported.

tunnels


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The mujahedeen safe haven was provided by US intelligence; set up as their headquarters, the Afghani rebels fought and defeated the Russians in the Afghan War. However, by 2001, the Tora Bora cave complex boasted its own ventilation system and hydroelectric generators. Osama bin Laden, the NY Times reported, had refined the cave system to a smooth finish with floors that he extended “350 yards in the granite mountain.”

Post 9/11, Osama bin Laden took refuge in Tora Bora. At a time when Brig. Gen. James Mattis commanded 4,000 marines in Afghanistan, Mattis – now the United States Secretary of Defense – had requested permission to attack the caves. “Mattis, along with another officer with whom I spoke, was convinced that with these numbers he could have surrounded and sealed off bin Laden’s lair,” the NY Times reported, “[Mattis] argued strongly that he should be permitted to proceed to the Tora Bora caves,” but his request was denied a week later.

The denial of the request is a large failure on the part of the Bush administration; it was a confirmed location for bin Laden, who escaped the caves in late 2001.

“An American intelligence official told me that the Bush administration later concluded that the refusal of Centcom to dispatch the marines — along with their failure to commit U.S. ground forces to Afghanistan generally — was the gravest error of the war.”

tunnels

Nonetheless, the WikiLeaks/Snowden tweets are a smattering of irony set to remind the public of what US intelligence agencies fund, the mess left for others to clean up, and the role of the military-industrial complex. Although the caves bombed may not be the CIA-built Tora Bora system of tunnels, the likelihood of them linked to those that were, are highly probable.

The MOAB dropped may not have reached the Tora Bora complex, however. It’s important to point out that multiple outlets described the target as some miles away from the infamous cave complex. The Guardian claimed the MOAB target was in an Achin district of Nangarhar province, some 12 or so miles from Tora Bora.

The locals living in the nearby village, Shadel, where the bomb was dropped, states that Achin is still not safe after the MOAB bombing. A 30-year war continues to devastate the area and the locals living there. One commando told The Guardian that insurgent control is still firmly in place.

“Everyone who is left here who is not Isis, is Taliban.”


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An Associated Press investigation has revealed more than 2,000 cases of pedophilia, sexual abuse, rape rings, and child sex trafficking between 2004 and 2016, was conducted by United Nations peacekeepers around the world. Over 300 of the sexual exploitation cases involved children. However, the names of a large number of troops found guilty were kept confidential, and only a fraction of the perpetrators were sent behind bars for their crimes.

Alleged abusers came from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay and Sri Lanka. More countries may have been involved, but the United Nations only started disclosing alleged perpetrators’ nationalities after 2015.

In Haiti, the AP found, girls and boys as young as 12 — who begged and scavenged for food on a daily basis — were given snacks and cookies in exchange for sex.  At least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers were found guilty of raping nine children — who hadn’t even reached puberty. They were also guilty of running a pedophile ring and passing around the Haitian children from soldier to soldier between 2004 and 2007. Of the 134 culprits, 114 were sent home, but none were ever imprisoned.

“The sexual acts described by the nine victims are simply too many to be presented exhaustively [in this report], especially since each claimed multiple sexual partners at various locations where the Sri Lankan contingents were deployed throughout Haiti over several years.”

“I did not even have breasts,” V01 (Victim No. 1), who had sex with nearly 50 UN peacekeepers between age 12 and 15, told investigators. Janila Jean was just 16 when a Brazilian peacekeeper lured her to a U.N. compound with a smear of peanut butter on bread, raped her at gunpoint and then left her pregnant.

V02, who had sex with a Sri Lankan commander at least three times, told investigators the peacekeepers taught her Sinhalese so she could understand and express sexual innuendo. 14-year-old V04 had sex with the soldiers every day in exchange for money, cookies or juice.

V08, a boy, had sex with more than 20 Sri Lankan peacekeepers in U.N. military trucks, where he was forced to perform oral sex or was sodomized by the troops. V09, who was 15 when his sexual abuse began, had sex with more than 100 Sri Lankan peacekeepers, averaging about four a day over the course of three years.

Three Pakistani nationals attached to the U.N.’s police units in Haiti, were involved in the rape of a mentally disabled 13-year-old in the northern city of Gonaives. The pedophiles were tried in a Pakistani military tribunal, and eventually sent back to Pakistan; but only one abuser was imprisoned – for a year.

Not only the children living in poverty, but impoverished women abandoned on the streets were either raped (impregnated and left to fend for themselves) or forced to have what is euphemistically called “survival sex” in a country where most people live on less than $2.50 a day.


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Many of the victims were exposed to a deadly cholera strain, which killed an estimated 10,000 Haitians, from being sexually abused by the Nepalese peacekeepers.

Haitian lawyer Mario Joseph, who has been trying to get child support for about a dozen Haitian women left pregnant by peacekeepers, told the AP: “Imagine if the U.N. was going to the United States and raping children and bringing cholera. Human rights aren’t just for rich white people.”

Though United Nations peacekeepers have been credited with training the local police, providing security to the judiciary, and saving lives during the devastating 2010 earthquake; they’re the ones blamed for wreaking havoc in Haiti and causing children to have nightmares for the rest of their lives.

I’d like to see my attacker face to face and tell him how he has destroyed my life. They’ll look at this as one big joke. As far as the U.N. goes, they came here to protect us, but all they’ve brought is destruction,” says 21-year-old Melida Joseph, who was raped by a U.N. peacekeeper, narrowly escaped being gang-raped in a seaside slum, yet never reported the crime — out of fear she would be blamed, or worse, would meet her abusers again.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to U.N. peacekeeping, has asked the U.N. and countries (that contribute troops to peacekeeping missions) to take steps to ensure “these abuses must stop.”

Citing the AP’s investigation detailing the child sex ring run by Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council (after it voted unanimously to end the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti in mid-October):

“The children were passed from soldier to soldier. One boy was gang-raped in 2011 by peacekeepers, who disgustingly filmed it on a cell phone. What do we say to these kids? Did these peacekeepers keep them safe?

“The United States will continue to push for accountability for soldiers accused of sex abuse in Haiti and other missions. We owe it to the vulnerable in these countries, who desperately need peace and security. Countries that refuse to hold their soldiers accountable must recognize that this either stops, or their troops will go home and their financial compensation will end.”


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If you are familiar with the dark web then you know that it is one of the shadiest places in the cyber world. You can get anything from illegal weapons to the most uncommon drugs if you know where to look.

According to reports, there has been a breach of more than a million email accounts, usernames and decrypted passwords. Investigators have discovered that these are all up for grabs on an eBay-type marketplace on the dark web.

The dark web seller that goes by the username of SunTzu583 is offering hacked accounts from Adobe, Yahoo, Last.fm and Myspace. The vast data breaches are being offered individually with different price sets, ranging from nine dollars to more than twenty dollars.

SunTzuf583 is also offering more than four hundred thousand Gmail accounts that were a part of the 2008 data breach. Experts state that the information was authenticated via the website ‘Have I Been Pwned.’


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However, users who are concerned about their Gmail, Yahoo or other email accounts need to change their password. If the company offers a two-factor authentication, then activate it on a priority basis. Also, if using a public system, using an incognito version of the browser available is recommended.

Source: HackRead


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There were days when finding a Wi-Fi would be something no less than a wonder itself. But nowadays, Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere. But the freedom to use public Wi-Fi has given hackers the freedom to use these hotspots as malicious tools. Security experts have stated that a lot of Android devices have a flaw that allows the attacker to use free Wi-Fi and access the device to take over its complete control.

This flaw was discovered in the commonly used Wi-Fi chipset that was created by Broadcom. The chipset is used in many Apple and Android devices.

Wi-Fi
Image Source: Google Image – An image showing Ivan Krstić (Chief of Security at Apple) showing off his skills at the Black Hat conference.

Apple announced their updating of the flaw, and will push it out in the release of their latest operating system, the iOS 10.3.1. One researcher said prior to Apple’s security patch, if the phone was within range of the Wi-Fi signal, the attacker had the ability to install custom codes on the Wi-Fi chipset in the Apple devices.

Google, on the other hand, with its team of security experts under the mark of Google Project Zero, discovered the problem. The team says that even on a fully updated Nexus 6P, the execution of the malicious script was easy as the Wi-Fi proximity sensor didn’t require any user interference.

Wi-Fi
Image Source: Google Image – A Broadcom Wi-Fi chipset found in the iPhone 4, which according to the experts is vulnerable to external attacks

This Wi-Fi chip-related exploit uses the Wi-Fi signals that are made up of irregular values; these values are then used to alter the software running on Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chipset to customise the elements present in the Wi-Fi chipset. The experts also explained that by perfectly timing the Wi-Fi signals, the experts were able to modify some regions of the device’s memory. Hackers can also exploit many other elements on the smartphone if the device falls within the range of the malicious Wi-Fi.

According to Gal Beniamini, a member of Google Project Zero, and who also wrote a detailed report on exploiting Broadcom’s Wi-Fi Stack, fewer security updates and no protection on many current smartphones running Android devices made Broadcom wireless chipset an easy target.

Wi-Fi
Image Source: Google Project Zero – A mobile device complexity flow chart.


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Beniamini also explained that firmware implementation in the Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chipset is very difficult, but it still has very little security updates. He further explained that the Wi-Fi chipset has little to no means of stopping such attacks.

The Project Zero member explained how the wireless chipset system hosts a microprocessor unit. It’s installed in such a way that it renders all memory readable and writeable.  This particular ‘feature’, he says, makes it easier for hackers to execute customised codes. The new versions of Broadcom wireless chipsets. however, are going to have a more stable implementation on the micro-processing units.

Wi-Fi
Image Source: Google Project Zero – A screenshot showing the Tunnel Direct Link Setup traffic co-opts the use of the flag values indicating traffic in an Ad-Hoc (IBSS) network (To-DS=0, From-DS=0).

Like many vulnerabilities we have previously mentioned at AnonHQ, this is one of the more serious ones. For the iPhone users, the patch will be released as soon as the iOS update is introduced to your region. For those in the United States, simply close everything and update your iPhones. As for other iPhone users, exercise caution around public Wi-Fi and use it as little as possible. If you can afford your carrier’s internet packages, then activate one until the official update is available in your region.

As far as Android users are concerned, many will receive the patch from their phone manufacturers. Android users can keep themselves updated by visiting this page.


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A database of more than a billion email addresses has been leaked online. The discovery of the database was made by Chris Vickrey, who reported his findings on CSO Online, a security publishing organisation.

spam
Image Source: CSO Online – Partial list of alleged opt-in addresses.

Vickery highlighted that the leaked email addresses are the property of a company called River City Media, a marketing company. Vickery also says that its employees, Matt Ferris and Alvin Slocombe, were the ones to pull this off – accidentally – and that they are well-known spammers.

spam
Image Source: CSO Online – Tier Point logs from River City Media, showing problems inboxing on AOL.

However, Vickery states that the large data dump was discovered when he stumbled across a large collection of files that were laid out in the open. He says they had no password protection on them – meaning anyone could have accessed the list. The list consists of more than 1.3 billion email accounts, which consisted of complete names, physical addresses and IP addresses.

Furthermore, Vickery also told CSO Online that many of the other files he discovered contained River City Media’s internal records, such as office chat logs, websites’ registrations details, financial information and notes related to production.

spam
Image Source: CSO Online – A small example of the domains available to River City Media.
spam
Image Source: CSO Online – Mapped River City Media email campaigns, November 2016.

Vickery says the most interesting thing he discovered was the cache of leaked emails. He says because of further investigations it he concluded that many of the email addresses were gathered through credit check offers, co-registration, sweepstakes and other techniques. Therefore, the analysis showed that the River City Media Company was sending out more than a billion spam emails on a daily basis.

spam
Image Source: CSO Online – Examples of offers emailed by River City Media.


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He also told CSO Online about the techniques that River City Media employed to counter anti-spam solutions that were used by the owner of the email. For instance, the River City Media created many fake emails, which were created by them. They would send emails to their fake accounts or warm-up accounts, as Vickery calls them. Once sent to the millions of warm-up accounts, the spam emails were marked as safe. They were ‘washed’ and once they ready, River City Media would ‘email’ them to the rest of the world.

spam
Image Source: SPAMHAUS – A screenshot of the NGO’s website.

Vickrey also shared his findings with an international non-profit organisation called Spamhaus. The NGO’s goals are to track spammers and other related cyber crimes. The NGO is known for maintaining a database of companies that are spammers, and River City Media along with its entire infrastructure is now a part of that list.

Vickery stated that the leaked database of more than a billion emails is a complex threat to the users that poses a threat to both their online lives and real lives as well.

spam
Image Source: CSO Online – A brief overview of RCM’s operations.

Source: The Hacker News, CSO Online


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