Sunday news round-up: April 6th-12th

Top Story: Murderous police officer to face charges: In an unprecedented and unlikely move, South Carolina officer Michael Thomas Slager will face charges for the killing of unarmed black man Walter Scott. Slager claimed that he killed Scott in a legal manner, and the police department initially accepted his version of events, but a video captured by a bystander completely contradicts Slager’s account, and shows him shooting Scott in the back. In response, the Justice Department has decided to press charges. Last year, it was estimated that a black person was killed by a white police officer every 23 hours. This year, it’s every 8 hours.

ISIS captures Palestinian refugee camp, advances on Damascus: Militants from the unofficial “Islamic” caliphate ISIS have captured the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, home to more than 18,000 civilians. ISIS reportedly stormed the camp on Wednesday and killed eight Palestinians who were defending it from outside interference and began beheading dissidents as part of their wider strategy of controlling land in the Levant. The group has now begun advancing to Damascus, Syria’s capital and second-largest city. Refugees in Yarmouk have received relentlessly brutal treatment not only by ISIS, but also by the Syrian government, and no hope of rescue looks likely.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul second to announce Presidential bid: Libertarian Tea Party Senator Rand Paul has announced on his website that he is running in the 2016 Presidential Elections, making him the second Republican candidate to do so. The Kentucky Senator is well-known for adopting a range of views across the political spectrum, including opposition to militarized police and government spying on one hand, and vociferous pro-life and anti-gay positions on the other, a mixed bag of views that he hopes will attract younger voters. Ted Cruz is the only other candidate to announce a bid so far, but other possible nominees from the Republican side include former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, Floridian Senator Marco Rubio, and Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty of all charges: One of the brothers who planned and executed the 2013 Boston bombings has been found guilty of 30 charges, including using weapons of mass destruction against civilians. Dzhokhar, whose co-conspirator brother Tamerlan died after a police chase, planted bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon which killed three people an injured over 260, with a city-wide investigation resulting in Dzhokhar’s capture soon after. The jury at his trial deliberated for 11 hours before reaching a unanimous verdict, and must now consider whether Dzhokhar should receive the death penalty.

Blackwater terrorists still profiting from government contracts: Private security firm Blackwater, now operating as Academi, has collected over half a billion from the U.S. Government in order to combat the narcotics trade in Afghanistan in recent years, but recently released Congressional reports accuse the firm of failing to do its job. UN statistics on opium production show that under Academi’s watch, the illegal drug trade has actually increased every year since 2010, contrary to the stated objectives of the profit-making firm. Narcotics aside, Blackwater faced considerable criticism during the Iraq War after its personnel committed various terrorist atrocities and human rights abuses against civilians. The firm has yet to make any reparations or apologies.

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