United Nations investigators said Tuesday they had verified 202 mass graves containing between 6,000 and 12,000 bodies in Iraq dating to the three years of Islamic State control in the areas. A joint report by the U.N. mission to Iraq and the U.N. office for human rights called the graves a "legacy of [ISIS'] terror." The graves all date from 2014 to 2017, when the Islamist extremist group ruled some of Iraq's biggest cities and towns after sweeping through Iraq and neighboring Syria, killing captured Iraqi soldiers and police en masse. Several of the graves contain victims of the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre, in which militants killed 1,700 security forces and military cadets. Other victims were believed to have been dumped in wells and sinkholes instead of graves.
Source: The Associated Press
The death toll in Italy's historic flooding rose to 29 after 12 fatalities were reported in Sicily, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Sunday. "Twelve dead in Sicily, people that were having dinner and were swept up by the water," Salvini said. Nine of the people were members of two families who were dining together in a house that was swamped when a nearby river suddenly overflowed. Search crews also were looking for a doctor who disappeared on his way to work at a hospital Saturday night. High winds and heavy rain have caused the worst flooding in decades in Venice, and landslides in other areas have cut off access to some villages. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Sunday he would call a Cabinet meeting to announce a state of emergency in hard-hit regions.
Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, has been indicted on 44 federal charges. They include federal hate crimes and violent crimes involving a firearm, and could land Bowers with the death penalty, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday. The federal charges add to the dozens of state and local charges Bowers was hit with this weekend, including 11 counts of homicide. Victims mentioned in the charges include not just the 11 killed in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, but also two injured victims, nine who escaped unharmed, and four injured law enforcement officers.
Source: The Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Robert Bowers, the man arrested under accusation of killing 11 people and wounding four more in Saturday's shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue, now faces 29 federal charges. Among them are 11 counts of obstruction of the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death. An account on the social media site Gab believed to belong to Bowers is rife with anti-Semitic content, and he reportedly told arresting officers he attacked because "all Jews must die." The Anti-Defamation League said the shooting is "likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States."
Source: Wired, The Hill
A shooter attacked Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday morning, reportedly shouting an anti-Semitic slogan. At least 11 people were killed and four more, including three police officers, were injured before the suspect, a 46-year-old white male identified as Robert Bowers, surrendered to authorities. He was reportedly injured, possibly by officer fire, when taken into custody just over an hour after the attack began. Saturday evening, mourners gathered for candlelight vigils in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere to commemorate the victims. The names of those killed will be released Sunday.
Source: CBS Pittsburgh, CNN
North and South Korea agreed on Friday to "completely destroy" 22 guard posts along their heavily fortified border, South Korea's defense ministry said. "The measures will be finished through mutual verification in December," the ministry said in a statement. The closures mark the latest in a series of steps to ease military tensions between the neighboring rivals to bolster efforts to get North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapon and long-range missile programs. The agreement came in talks after the two sides agreed to a military pact at a summit last month in the North Korean capital calling for a halt to "all hostile acts." That deal also included a no-fly zone near the border and the gradual removal of guard posts, firearms, and landmines from the Demilitarized Zone.
A week after the remains of 11 babies were found in the ceiling of a shuttered Detroit funeral home, another 63 bodies of infants were discovered in a separate funeral home in the city. So far, police say there is no apparent connection between the two facilities. The second funeral home has now been closed as well. "This is deeply disturbing," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "I have never seen anything like this." Investigators are working to determine the identities of the infants as well as why they were not handled appropriately.
Source: Reuters, Detroit Free Press
President Trump's proposed Space Force would cost about $13 billion in its first five years, the Air Force estimated in a memo seen by Reuters. The memo said the proposal would cover start-up costs for "a lethality focused organization that will field space superiority capabilities." The Trump administration said in August it would introduce the new sixth branch of the military by 2020. The Pentagon memo, written by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, said the Space Force would cost more than $3 billion in its first year alone. The study assumed the new "Department of the Space Force" would have more than 13,000 employees.
An 11-page letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Vatican ambassador to the United States, accuses Pope Francis of covering for and elevating Theodore McCarrick, a cardinal who resigned his post in July amid sexual abuse allegations. Vigano's missive, published Saturday, calls for Francis to resign. Per Vigano, McCarrick's misconduct was known in Catholic hierarchy for years, and former Pope Benedict ordered him to seclusion for prayer and penance. Pope Francis allegedly removed those sanctions and made McCarrick "his trusted counselor." Vigano is a conservative who has clashed with the more liberal Francis in the past.
Source: The Associated Press, National Catholic Register
The Pentagon said Thursday that it was delaying President Trump's military parade. The plan was to hold the controversial event Nov. 10, but the Pentagon said in a statement that it would now "explore opportunities" in 2019. The cost estimate for the parade recently ballooned, going from an original $12 million to $92 million, with $50 million coming from the Pentagon and $42 million from partners such as the Department of Homeland Security. The plans, which could still change, include about eight tanks, as well as other armored vehicles. Security, transportation of the equipment to be displayed, and temporary duty for some troops inflated the bill. Trump began calling for the parade after attending a similar ceremony in France, saying, "We're going to have to try to top it."
About This Blog
Certain numerology has a strong connection with occultism. Various numbers from time-to-time appear in news articles, and one has to wonder if there isn't some occult significance behind this story.