Syria “Exterminating detainees”-UN Report-BBC
UN human rights investigators have reported that the Syrian government is carrying out a state policy of exterminating thousands of detainees. Anti-government groups have also committed war crimes. This information was discovered through interviews with hundreds of witnesses since the anti-government protests, which led to the civil war in March 2011. The detainees were tortured and died from lack of food or water. Former detainees also described the inhumane conditions they were imprisoned in. “Government officials intentionally maintained such poor conditions of detention for prisoners as to have been life-threatening, and were aware that mass deaths of detainees would result,” UN human rights investigator Sergio Pinheiro said in a statement.
Putin Rattles Russia’s Saber with Massive Military Drills-CBS News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has gathered thousands of troops and hundreds of warplanes in southwestern Russia for large-scale military drills to test the Russian military’s readiness. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian air force will have bombing runs at shooting ranges and Russian troops will be deployed to areas up to 1,860 miles away to test their mobility. The United States is aware of these drills and Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last week that the Obama administration plans to spend $3.4 billion in 2017 for a European Renaissance Initiative. “It also sends a powerful message about deterrence, deterring Russia from further aggression from what is started two years ago when it annexed Crimea, Lt. General Ben Hodges, the commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, told CBS News.
Unsafe Lead Levels in Tap Water Not Limited to Flint-NY Times
Flint is not the only city in the United States dealing with lead contaminated water. Unsafe levels of lead in drinking water have been found in the towns and cities of Sebring, Ohio, Durham N.C. in 2006 and last July in Jackson, Miss. Also, in many of these incidents city and state officials failed to immediately warn residents of the potential dangers to their health. Congress banned lead water pipes 30 years ago but between 3.3 million and 10 million older ones still remain and can leach lead into tap water by a change in water chemistry or the jostling of pipes while making repairs. “ We see safe and sufficient water as a human right, and it needs to be approached as a public service matter, not a private commercial commodity,” the Midwest program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Henry L. Henderson said.