Norwegian court rules Anders Behring Breivik sane, sentences him to prison
The New York Times: A court on Friday sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people, to at least 21 years in prison after ruling that he was sane when he carried out his country’s worst peacetime atrocity. The sentence was the most severe permitted under Norwegian law, but it can be extended at a later date if he is still deemed to be a danger to society.
Photo: Anders Behring Breivik listens to the judge in the courtroom, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway (Frank Augstein / AP)
Posts tagged criminal.
Afghan War News of the Day: A US soldier reportedly carried out a brutal slaying of at least 16 Afghan civilians early this morning in two small villages near his base in the country’s southern Kandahar Province.
“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” military spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Williams said of the unidentified staff sergeant who is currently in custody.
According to eyewitnesses, the soldier walked into at least three homes in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai and fired at their occupants. Nine children and three women were among the dead, per the latest report.
The deputy commander of Afghanistan’s international troop coalition, Lt. Gen. Adrian J. Bradshaw, stressed that this was “in no way part of authorized military activity.” US officials further denied earlier reports that the shooting was perpetrated by more than one assailant.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai released a statement demanding an explanation for the attack, which he referred to as “an intentional killing of innocent civilians [that] cannot be forgiven.”
The Taliban issued a similar statement, admonishing “the so called American peace keepers” for “once again quench[ing] their thirst with the blood of innocent Afghan civilians.”
The US Embassy in Kabul attempted to diffuse the tension by releasing a statement expressing “deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” but experts say today’s incident may be the “fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.”
President Obama’s drawdown plan has US soldiers transferring full security control to their Afghan counterparts by the end of 2014.
[photo: afp/getty via msnbc.]
That’s it. We’re done. Get us out of there. Pull us out immediately - I don’t care about withdrawal complications. It’s over.
Dissecting the criminal brain
“If scientists believed they could determine a person’s criminality by measuring his head, surely the next step would be to open it up. This 1904 photograph by Argentinian physician Dr. F. Perez shows a section of an executed criminal’s brain. Unfortunately, his work merited little results - he found no major differences between the brains of criminals and non-criminals.”
Today, things are a little different.
Nothing to do with criminals, but I’ve used plastinations like this. It’s really weird because one half is a person’s face, and the other is inside their skull.
Today, April 20th, is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. 11 people are dead and the majority of the oil is still in the Gulf, wreaking havoc on our ecosystems.
Click here for a Democracy Now! discussion on the Gulf one year later.
NYT: Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.
The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground. The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.
Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.
“Questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing persist, which are compounded by the secrecy surrounding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids,” said the report, which was written by Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado.
The report, which is to be released on Monday, also faulted companies for at times “injecting fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify.”
The inquiry over hydrofracking, which was initiated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee when Mr. Waxman led it last year, also found that 14 of the nation’s most active hydraulic fracturing companies used 866 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products — not including water. More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or are listed as hazardous air pollutants, the report said.
A request for comment from the American Petroleum Institute about the report received no reply.
Some of the ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, like salt and citric acid. Others were unexpected, like instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said. Many of the ingredients were “extremely toxic,” including benzene, a known human carcinogen, and lead.
Companies injected large amounts of other hazardous chemicals including 11.4 million gallons of fluids containing at least one of the toxic or carcinogenic B.T.E.X. chemicals — benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. The companies used the highest volume of fluids containing one or more carcinogens in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.
The report comes two and a half months after an initial report by the same three lawmakers that found that 32.2 millions of gallons of fluids containing diesel, considered an especially hazardous pollutant because it contains benzene, were injected into the ground during hydrofracking by a dozen companies from 2005 to 2009, in possible violation of the drinking water act.
A 2010 report by Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, found that benzene levels in other hydrofracking ingredients were as much as 93 times higher than those found in diesel.
The use of these chemicals has been a source of concern to regulators and environmentalists who worry that some of them could find their way out of a well bore — either because of above-ground spills, underground failures of well casing or migration through layers of rock — and into nearby sources of drinking water.
These contaminants also remain in the fluid that returns to the surface after a well is hydrofracked. A recent investigation by The New York Times found high levels of contaminants, including benzene and radioactive materials, in wastewater that is being sent to treatment plants not designed to fully treat the waste before it is discharged into rivers. At one plant in Pennsylvania, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency revealed levels of benzene roughly 28 times the federal drinking water standard in wastewater as it was discharged, after treatment, into the Allegheny River in May 2008.
The E.P.A. is conducting a national study on the drinking water risks associated with hydrofracking, but assessing these risks has been made more difficult by companies’ unwillingness to publicly disclose which chemicals and in what concentrations they are used, according to internal e-mails and draft notes of the study plan.
Some companies are moving toward more disclosure, and the industry will soon start a public database of these chemicals. But the Congressional report said that reporting to this database is strictly voluntary, that disclosure will not include the chemical identity of products labeled as proprietary, and that there is no way to determine if companies are accurately reporting information for all wells. In Pennsylvania, the lack of disclosure of drilling ingredients has also incited a heated debate among E.P.A. lawyers about the threat and legality of treatment plants accepting the wastewater and discharging it into rivers.
Ms. Degette, and Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, Democrat of New York, recently reintroduced the FRAC Act, a bill that would require chemical disclosure from all drilling companies, including a provision that companies release proprietary information to health professionals if it is needed for treatment. The FRAC Act would also create an online registry of chemicals on a well-by-well basis, but it would require drillers to disclose what they plan to use before they fracture a well, as well as a post-fracturing report.
Sorry for the length but, as many of you know, The NYT has a paywall now and this is a very important article. For those who are not aware of 2 of the chemicals that were listed, those being benzene and xylene, I think it’s important to note that large amounts of both were found in the Gulf of Mexico after BP sprayed massive amounts of Corexit and are now making a lot of people sick. This really isn’t good stuff and here we have yet another example as to how Big Oil is hurting people. Someone needs to start holding these oil companies responsible.
A military court in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo investigating a case of mass rape has sentenced Lt Col Kibibi Mutware to 20 years in jail.
He was found guilty of crimes against humanity for sending his troops to rape, beat up and loot from the population of Fizi on New Year’s Day.
Forty-nine women came to testify in the court in in Baraka.
The BBC’s Thomas Hubert says it is the first conviction of a commanding officer for rape in eastern DR Congo.
Humanitarian agencies regularly cite government troops as the largest single group of perpetrators of widespread sexual violence in the Kivu region, says our reporter, who is in the town of Baraka, not far from Fizi.
Sitting in a mobile court in Baraka, the military judges also sentenced three officers serving under Lt Col Kibibi to 20 years and five soldiers to between 10 and 15 years.Unusual testimonies
Lt Col Kibibi Mutware is one of many former rebels who joined the army as part of peace agreements in 2009.
More than 60 women were raped on 1 January in Fizi.
Our reporter says it is unusual for such large numbers of victims in eastern DR Congo to be willing to testify against their rapists.
Ahead of the verdict, many of them gathered at the rape victims’ centre in Fizi.
“I was fleeing the violence but unfortunately I met four soldiers, ” a 29-year-old mother of five told the BBC about the events on New Year’s day.
“They began to tear the pants I was wearing. They took my child from my arms and left him on the ground. Then they had sex with me.”
In August 2010, rebel forces were accused of raping hundreds of women, girls, men and boys around the town of Luvungi.
The UN recorded some 11,000 rapes in 2010 - the true figure is believed to be much higher.
Our reporter says since January there have been other reports of sexual violence in an area where the Rwandan FDLR rebels are still active, 40km (about 25 miles) from Fizi.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres says it is planning to deploy a mobile clinic to the area on Monday after receiving credible reports of 30 new rapes last week.
It says it has treated more than 70 victims of rapes in two similar incidents in the area between 19 January and 4 February.
There’s a little bit of justice left in this world.
Rev. Terry Jones at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. Jones plans to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that provoked the Afghan war. (AP Photo/John Raoux)