The 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack was the food poisoning of 751 individuals in The Dalles, Oregon, through the deliberate contamination of salad bars at ten local restaurants with Salmonella. A group of prominent followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho) led by Ma Anand Sheela had hoped to incapacitate the voting population of the city so that their own candidates would win the 1984 Wasco County elections. The incident was the first and is the single largest bioterrorist attack in United States history.
Having previously gained political control of Antelope, Oregon, Rajneesh's followers, who were based in nearby Rajneeshpuram, sought election to two of the three seats on the Wasco County Circuit Court that were up for election in November 1984. Fearing they would not gain enough votes, some Rajneeshpuram officials decided to incapacitate voters in The Dalles, the largest population center in Wasco County. The chosen biological agent was Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, which was first delivered through glasses of water to two County Commissioners and then, on a larger scale, at salad bars and in salad dressing.
As a result of the attack, 751 people contracted salmonellosis, 45 of whom were hospitalized, but none died. Although an initial investigation by the Oregon Public Health Division and the Centers for Disease Control did not rule out deliberate contamination, the agents and contamination were only confirmed a year later. On February 28, 1985, Congressman James H. Weaver gave a speech in the United States House of Representatives in which he "accused the Rajneeshees of sprinkling Salmonella culture on salad bar ingredients in eight restaurants".
At a press conference in September 1985, Rajneesh accused several of his followers of participation in this and other crimes, including an aborted plan in 1985 to assassinate a United States Attorney, and he asked state and federal authorities to investigate. Oregon Attorney General David B. Frohnmayer set up an interagency task force, composed of Oregon State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and executed search warrants in Rajneeshpuram. A sample of bacteria matching the contaminant that had sickened the town residents was found in a Rajneeshpuram medical laboratory. Two leading Rajneeshpuram officials were convicted on charges of attempted murder and served 29 months of 20-year sentences in a minimum-security federal prison.
- "1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack" | 2018-05-13 | 44 Upvotes 16 Comments
Agbogbloshie is a nickname of a commercial district on the Korle Lagoon of the Odaw River, near the center of Accra, Ghana's capital city. Near the slum called "Old Fadama", the Agbogbloshie site became known as a destination for externally generated automobile and electronic scrap collected from mostly the western world. It was alleged to be at the center of a legal and illegal exportation network for the environmental dumping of electronic waste (e-waste) from industrialized nations. The Basel Action Network, a small NGO based in Seattle, has referred to Agbogbloshie as a "digital dumping ground", where they allege millions of tons of e-waste are processed each year.
However, repeated international studies have failed to confirm the allegations, which have been labelled an "e-waste hoax" by international reuse advocate WR3A. The most exhaustive study of the trade in used electronics in Nigeria, funded by UNEP and Basel Convention, revealed that from 540 000 tonnes of informally processed waste electronics, 52% of the material was recovered.
According to statistics from the World Bank, in large cities like Accra and Lagos the majority of households have owned televisions and computers for decades. The UN Report "Where are WEEE in Africa" (2012) disclosed that the majority of used electronics found in African dumps had not in fact been recently imported as scrap, but originated from these African cities. Agbogbloshie is situated on the banks of the Korle Lagoon, northwest of Accra's Central Business District. Roughly 40,000 Ghanaians inhabit the area, most of whom are migrants from rural areas. Due to its harsh living conditions and rampant crime, the area is nicknamed "Sodom and Gomorrah".
The Basel Convention prevents the transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. However, the Convention specifically allows export for reuse and repair under Annex Ix, B1110. While numerous international press reports have made reference to allegations that the majority of exports to Ghana are dumped, research by the US International Trade Commission found little evidence of unprocessed e-waste being shipped to Africa from the United States, a finding corroborated by the United Nations Environment Programme, MIT, Memorial University, Arizona State University, and other research. In 2013, the original source of the allegation blaming foreign dumping for the material found in Agbogbloshie recanted, or rather stated it had never made the claim that 80% of US e-waste is exported.
Whether domestically generated by residents of Ghana or imported, concern remains over methods of waste processing - especially burning - which emit toxic chemicals into the air, land and water. Exposure is especially hazardous to children, as these toxins are known to inhibit the development of the reproductive system, the nervous system, and especially the brain. Concerns about human health and the environment of Agbogbloshie continue to be raised as the area remains heavily polluted. In the 2000s, the Ghanaian government, with new funding and loans, implemented the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP), an environmental remediation and restoration project that will address the pollution problem by dredging the lagoon and Odaw canal to improve drainage and flooding into the ocean.
- "Agbogbloshie, the world's largest e-waste dump" | 2015-03-03 | 107 Upvotes 51 Comments
Anti-gay purges in the Chechen Republic, a part of the Russian Federation, have included forced disappearances — secret abductions, imprisonment, torture — and extrajudicial killing by authorities targeting persons based on their perceived sexual orientation. An unknown number of people, who authorities detained on suspicion of being gay or bisexual, have reportedly died after being held in what human rights groups and eyewitnesses have called concentration camps.
Allegations were initially reported on 1 April 2017 in Novaya Gazeta, a Russian-language opposition newspaper, which reported that since February 2017 over 100 men had allegedly been detained and tortured and at least three had died in an extrajudicial killing. The paper, citing its sources in the Chechen special services, called the wave of detentions a "prophylactic sweep". The journalist who first reported on the subject went into hiding. There have been calls for reprisals against journalists who report on the situation.
As news spread of Chechen authorities' actions, which have been described as part of a systematic anti-LGBT purge, Russian and international activists scrambled to evacuate survivors of the camps and other vulnerable Chechens but were met with difficulty obtaining visas to conduct them safely beyond Russia.
The reports of the persecution were met with a variety of reactions worldwide. The Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov denied not only the occurrence of any persecution but also the existence of gay men in Chechnya, adding that such people would be killed by their own families. Officials in Moscow were skeptical, although in late May the Russian government reportedly agreed to send an investigative team to Chechnya. Numerous national leaders and other public figures in the West condemned Chechnya's actions, and protests were held in Russia and elsewhere. A report released in December 2018 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed claims that persecution of LGBT persons had taken place and was ignored by authorities.
On 11 January 2019, it was reported that another 'gay purge' had begun in the country in December 2018, with several gay men and women being detained. The Russian LGBT Network believes that around 40 persons were detained and two killed.
- "Gay concentration camps in Chechnya (April 2017)" | 2017-04-14 | 40 Upvotes 13 Comments
The Bath School disaster, also known as the Bath School massacre, was a series of violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan. The attacks killed 38 elementary schoolchildren and 6 adults, and injured at least 58 other people. Prior to his timed explosives going off at the Bath Consolidated School building, Kehoe had murdered his wife, Nellie Price Kehoe, and firebombed his farm. Arriving at the site of the school explosion, Kehoe died when he detonated explosives concealed in his truck.
Kehoe, the 55-year-old school board treasurer, was angered by increased taxes and his defeat in the April 5, 1926, election for township clerk. He was thought by locals to have planned his "murderous revenge" after that public defeat. Kehoe had a reputation for difficulty on the school board and in personal dealings. In addition, he was notified that his mortgage was going to be foreclosed upon in June 1926. For much of the next year until May 1927, Kehoe purchased explosives. He secretly hid them on his property and under the school.
On May 18, 1927, Kehoe then set off almost simultaneous explosions at his farmstead and at the Bath Consolidated School. His explosives destroyed the farm's buildings and ripped through the north wing of the Bath Consolidated School building. As rescuers began working at the school, Kehoe drove up to the schoolyard and detonated dynamite inside his shrapnel-filled truck. The truck explosion killed Kehoe and several others nearby. Bystanders were injured. During the rescue and recovery efforts, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol in the south wing of the school that was set to explode at the same time as the initial explosions in the north wing; Kehoe had apparently intended to destroy the entire school and kill everyone in it.
- "The deadliest school massacre in US history occurred in 1927" | 2012-12-17 | 19 Upvotes 5 Comments
From 1933 to the end of the Second World War, high-ranking officers of the Armed Forces of Nazi Germany accepted vast bribes in the form of cash, estates, and tax exemptions in exchange for their loyalty to Nazism. Unlike bribery at lower ranks in the Wehrmacht, which was also widespread, these payments were regularized, technically legal and made with the full knowledge and consent of the leading Nazi figures.
The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомо́р; Голодомо́р в Украї́ні; derived from морити голодом, "to kill by starvation") was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. It is also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and sometimes referred to as the Great Famine or the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. During the Holodomor, millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.
Early estimates of the death toll by scholars and government officials varied greatly. According to higher estimates, up to 12 million ethnic Ukrainians were said to have perished as a result of the famine. A U.N. joint statement signed by 25 countries in 2003 declared that 7–10 million perished. Research has since narrowed the estimates to between 3.3 and 7.5 million. According to the findings of the Court of Appeal of Kiev in 2010, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million direct famine deaths, and a further 6.1 million birth deficits.
The term Holodomor emphasises the famine's man-made and intentional aspects, such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement. Whether the Holodomor was genocide is still the subject of academic debate, as are the causes of the famine and intentionality of the deaths. Some scholars believe that the famine was planned by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. The loss of life has been compared to that of the Holocaust. However, some historians dispute its characterization as a genocide.
An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information whose possession or distribution is forbidden in some legal jurisdictions. One of the first illegal primes was found in 2001. When interpreted in a particular way, it describes a computer program that bypasses the digital rights management scheme used on DVDs. Distribution of such a program in the United States is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. An illegal prime is a kind of illegal number.
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The Katyn massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, "Katyń crime"; Russian: Катынская резня Katynskaya reznya, "Katyn massacre", or Russian: Катынский расстрел, "Katyn execution by shooting") was a series of mass executions of about 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD ("People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs", the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. Though the killings also occurred in the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered.
The massacre was initiated in NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria's proposal of 5 March 1940 to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, approved by the Soviet Politburo led by Joseph Stalin. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the remaining 8,000 were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials, and priests". The Polish Army officer class was representative of the multi-ethnic Polish state; the murdered included ethnic Poles, Polish Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Polish Jews including the Chief Rabbi of the Polish Army, Baruch Steinberg.
The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in April 1943. Stalin severed diplomatic relations with the London-based Polish government-in-exile when it asked for an investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The USSR claimed the Nazis had killed the victims, and it continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the killings by the NKVD, as well as the subsequent cover-up by the Soviet government.
An investigation conducted by the office of the Prosecutors General of the Soviet Union (1990–1991) and the Russian Federation (1991–2004) confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, but refused to classify this action as a war crime or as an act of mass murder. The investigation was closed on the grounds the perpetrators were dead, and since the Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of the Great Purge, formal posthumous rehabilitation was deemed inapplicable.
In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for ordering the massacre.
The dangers to journalists in Russia have been well known since the early 1990s but concern over the number of unsolved killings soared after Anna Politkovskaya's murder in Moscow on 7 October 2006. While international monitors mentioned a dozen deaths, some sources within Russia talked of over two hundred fatalities. The evidence has since been examined and documented in two reports, published in Russian and English, by international organizations. These revealed a basic confusion in terminology that explained the seemingly enormous numerical discrepancy: statistics of premature death among journalists (from work accidents, crossfire incidents, and purely criminal or domestic cases of manslaughter) were repeatedly equated with the much smaller number of targeted (contract) killings or work-related murders. The Remembrance Day of Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty in Russia is observed on 15 December every year.
This is a list of mass shootings in the United States that have occurred in 2019. Mass shootings are incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence. The precise inclusion criteria are disputed, and there is no broadly accepted definition.
Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks shootings and their characteristics in the United States, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator(s), are shot in one location at roughly the same time. The Congressional Research Service narrows that definition, limiting it to "public mass shootings", and defined by four or more victims killed. It excludes counting wounded survivors. The Washington Post and Mother Jones use similar definitions, with the latter acknowledging that their definition "is a conservative measure of the problem", as shootings with fewer fatalities occur. The crowdsourced Mass Shooting Tracker project defines a mass shooting as "an incident where four or more people are shot in a single shooting spree. This may include the shooter themself, or police shootings of civilians around the shooter."
There were 434 mass shootings in 2019 that fit the inclusion criteria of this article. This averaged 1.19 mass shootings per day. In these shootings, 1,643 people were injured and 517 died, for a total of 2,160 victims.
- "There have almost been as many mass shootings in the US as days this year" | 2019-06-01 | 10 Upvotes 8 Comments