Sunday news round-up: August 3rd-9th

Top Story: Hundreds murdered in Western war crimes airstrikes: A report by the independent journalist body Airwars has alleged that at least four hundred and fifty innocent people, one hundred of them children, have been murdered by U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS since last year. Airwars’ report documents civilian casualties from around 52 Western airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, repeatedly finding a callous disregard for civilian life. In one of the published incidents, a pregnant woman and an eight year old girl were killed after a strike in Fadhiliya, Iraq, while in another incident, over 70 civilians were massacred after an airstrike against a storage deport in Hawija, Iraq. Despite the atrocious findings, airstrike coalition commander John Hesterman told reporters that the indiscriminate killing of civilians was part of a “precise and disciplined” control effort on the part of western governments, and that the responsibility for the children murdered by U.S. weapons “rests squarely with [ISIS]”.

Former Prime Minister subject of paedophile inquiry: Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath is the subject of an investigation into the Wiltshire police department, which stands accused of failing to pursue the allegations against him. According to a retired constable working in Wiltshire, police there were dealing with a suspect in a paedophile case, but quietly dropped hopes for a trial after the suspect threatened to out Heath as a paedophile and draw him into the case. From their own words, the IPCC says it “is to investigate allegations that Wiltshire police didn’t pursue a prosecution when a person threatened to say Sir Edward Heath may have been involved in offences concerning children”. Heath ruled the UK during the early 70’s and died in 2005. His rule was marked by severe troubles in Northern Ireland and failed negotiations with the IRA, as well as early strikes by the miners, whom his later successor Margaret Thatcher would crush entirely.

70 years since mass killings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Activists across the globe have paid tribute to the approximately 240,000 people who lost their lives in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first use of nuclear weapons in combat. This week marks seventy years since the mass killings, with renewed calls for nuclear weapons hoarder states like Russia and the U.S. to reduce and eventually abolish their enormous stockpiles. Between them, the handful of states in possession of nuclear weapons have around 15,000 warheads, and recent disarmament agreements have produced little to no results. While debate still rages about the necessity of dropping the bombs on Japan, which was suing for peace at the time, it is worth remembering that President Truman hoped to make atomic bombs a regular feature of U.S. warfare, planning to drop three more on Japan and a further one or two on Korea during the Korean War.

Republican candidates battle for airtime in first debate: Ten of the frontrunners for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination did battle on Thursday during the first official primary debate, hoping to prove that they are more conservative than their fellow contenders. Candidates Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and John Kasich spent nearly two hours vying for the Republican throne, and were consistent in their opposition to Obamacare, a two-state solution, combating climate change, electoral reform, same-sex marriage and any remote sense of compassion for fellow Americans. Jeb Bush and Donald Trump both dominated the event, leaving other candidates to remark that they barely had time to speak.


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