Sex Abuse Files on 30 Chicago Priests Going Public

Lawyers Are Committing Suicide at an Alarming Rate

Originally posted on U.S.:

Amid news of death penalties on the decline and murder rates dropping in cities like Chicago, it might surprise you to hear there’s one death rate that’s very high: Lawyers are killing themselves at alarming rates across the United States. They’re the same smart, driven and successful people who litigate life and death issues in America’s courtrooms every day.

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Counterfeit Cards Tied to Target Data Breach

Originally posted on U.S.:

A Mexican man and woman who were arrested at the Texas border on Sunday reportedly possessed fake credit cards with account information stolen during the Target data breach. According to CBS News, police found 96 counterfeit credit cards under the pair’s clothes as they tried to enter the U.S. from Mexico.

Mexican citizens Mary Carmen Garcia and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez allegedly bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise using the fraudulent cards. The account information on the cards belonged to South Texas residents, according to McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, who added that the arrest suggests that the credit card information stolen from Target systems during the holiday shopping season, which compromised the security of millions of customers, is being sold off.

[CBS News]

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‘Systematic Torture and Killing’ — a New Report Points Fingers at Syria’s Assad

Originally posted on World:

A shocking new report on the Syrian regime’s use of torture and starvation has been released by a team of renowned war-crimes prosecutors, threatening to upend Syrian peace talks scheduled to start on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland.

The 31-page confidential report, first disclosed by CNN and the Guardian newspaper, lays out in excruciating detail “direct evidence” of the “systematic torture and killing” of thousands of men between the ages of 20 and 40 who are thought to be victims of the regime’s notorious security agencies.

The report’s authors, David Crane and Desmond de Silva, both former chief prosecutors of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Geoffrey Nice, former lead prosecutor in the case against ex-Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, based their findings on tens of thousands of meticulously catalogued photos taken by a military-police photographer turned defector. For security reasons, this source is identified in the report only as Caesar.

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Study: Guns in Home Raise Risk of Suicide, Murder

Originally posted on U.S.:

People who live in homes with firearms are two to three times more likely to die from either murder or suicide than those who don’t have access to guns at home, according to a new analysis of earlier studies. The report, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, reviewed research published between 1988 and 2005.

In the U.S., which has the highest prevalence of gun ownership in the world, firearms are used in the majority of suicides and murders. The research found a “three-fold increase in the likelihood that people would kill themselves,” when they had access to a gun, Reutersreports. There was also a two-fold increase in the risk of being murdered among those with access to firearms.

Though Reutersreports that some researchers say there may be other factors involved in the relationship between gun ownership and suicide or murder risk, the…

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U.S. Military Offers Antiterrorism Support at Sochi Winter Olympics

Originally posted on World:

The United States military is ready to support Russia during the Olympic Games in Sochi, the Pentagon said Monday. American military officers are “conducting prudent planning and preparations,” while the U.S. Navy is prepared to deploy two ships to assist Russia if such a request is made, Reuters reports.

“Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of — and in consultation with — the Russian government,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby in a statement.

The Pentagon’s announcement came as a militant group that claimed responsibility for deadly bombings in Volgograd earlier this month warned of similar attacks against the Winter Olympics. The games are being held in February.

“If you hold these Olympics, we will give you a present for the innocent Muslim blood being spilled all around the world:…

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H7N9 Bird Flu in Shanghai Kills First Medical Worker, Renewing Transmission Fears

Originally posted on World:

The H7N9 bird flu virus has claimed the life of a medical professional in Shanghai, renewing concerns that the virus can spread between people.

An unnamed hospital official told South China Morning Post that there was no evidence that the thoracic surgeon, who died on Saturday morning, had been in contact with live poultry recently. However, he could have treated patients with pneumonia, a symptom of H7N9 infection.

“If the diagnosis is confirmed and no [bird] exposure history is elicited, this does point slightly more to the possibility that H7N9 may be more transmissible between humans than H5N1,” said Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong.

The H7N9 strain of bird flu was found to have been transmitted from human to human for the first time in August, when a woman caring for her H7N9-stricken father in a hospital in eastern China herself contracted the virus.

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Is this a harbinger of things to come?


Bashar al-Assad بشار حافظ الأسد

Bashar al-Assad
بشار حافظ الأسد

A team of internationally renowned war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts has found “direct evidence” of “systematic torture and killing” by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the lawyers on the team say in a new report.

Their report, based on thousands of photographs of bodies of alleged detainees killed in Syrian government custody, would stand up in an international criminal tribunal, the group says.

CNN’s “Amanpour” was given the report in a joint exclusive with The Guardian newspaper.

“This is a smoking gun,” said David Crane, one of the report’s authors. “Any prosecutor would like this kind of evidence — the photos and the process. This is direct evidence of the regime’s killing machine.”

For complete coverage of breaking news, go to CNN TV, and CNN Mobile.


Syrian Peace Talks: The U.N. Extends, And Then Regrets, An Invitation To Iran

Originally posted on World:

When U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday invited Iran to peace talks on Syria, which start in Switzerland on Jan. 22, it was with a nod to sheer practicality. After all, as Syria’s principal regional ally, financial backer and military adviser, Iran doesn’t just wield influence over President Bashar Assad — it is party to the conflict.

But pragmatism has a way of puncturing pride, and instead of bringing all the warring parties to the table, Ban’s gesture almost derailed the entire event. Syria’s main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, threatened, via Twitter, to withdraw from the talks, while France and Saudi Arabia said Iran was not welcome. U.S. officials issued a terse statement. “The invitation must be rescinded,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, unless Iran publicly accepts that the end goal of the conference is the creation of a transitional government in Syria, something…

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Russia Worries Terror Suspects Are Already in Sochi

Originally posted on World:

Authorities in Russia are reportedly facing an early terror scare ahead of the Olympic Games that begin in Sochi next month.

Citing unnamed U.S. and Russian sources, NBC News and ABC News reported Monday that security forces are searching for up to four so-called “black widows”—including at least one woman in or near the city—who are suspected of being sent there to carry out terrorist attacks.

The term “black widows” refers to female terrorists who seek to avenge the deaths of their husbands.

Wanted posters have gone up in Sochi for 22-year-old Ruzan Ibragimova, the widow of Islamist militant killed by security forces last year, NBC News and ABC News report. Ibragimova is described in the posters as having a four-inch scar on her cheek, a limp in her right leg and a left arm that does not bend at the elbow, NBC reports.

Security is already high in Sochi…

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