A photo taken in a Syrian refugee camp has recently gone viral, showing the heartbreaking toll the years-long civil war has taken on the nation’s children. In the image, a terrified 4-year-old girl puts her hands in the air as an act of surrender at the sight of a photographer’s telephoto lens. The war has displaced millions, killed hundreds of thousands and has left many young children with the constant reality of war, guns and violence. The Turkish photographer, Osman Sağırlı, told the BBC, “I realized she was terrified after I took it and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.”
Boko Haram continued their savage campaign of village raids in northern Nigeria, decapitating at least 23 people over the weekend. According to some reports, members of the radical Islamic group used chainsaws in the attack. Late Friday evening, when most people in the Buratai village were sleeping, Boko Haram militants stormed the area, burning homes and murdering people who were trying to escape. At least 32 people were also injured in the attack.
Recently, Boko Haram and ISIS formed an alliance, with the Boko Haram leader pledging his allegiance to the fellow radical Islamic group based in Syria and Iraq. Late last week, Human Rights Watch issued a report, saying that Boko Haram had killed at least 1,000 people in 2015 alone, as their campaign of abductions, village raids, mass murders and suicide bombings spreads to nearby countries. On Friday—a day before presidential elections in the country—the Nigerian military announced that it had captured Boko Haram’s headquarters in the town of Gwoza ... Discuss
There has been a lot of information floating around about the unspeakably disturbing case of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who prosecutors believe deliberately crashed Flight 4U9525, killing all on board. It's difficult to separate fact from speculation right now, but here's what is known. Lubitz had a psychiatric condition that he kept hidden from his employer. Several doctors' notes were recovered from Lubitz's home in Germany—including one that was shredded—but it remains to be seen what clues, if any, they'll reveal about the motives for his act of mass murder. In fact, Lubitz's psychiatric state had been evaluated by a German hospital twice in the past two months.
There has been no clear proof of any political or religious motivations for Lubitz (early reports that Lubitz may have converted to radical Islam are very dubious). Despite the natural human desire for some sort of clear narrative, this is one instance in which the evil and terror just may not fit into any neat box. Discuss
Just a day before the country’s presidential elections, the Nigerian military has announced that it has retaken the town of Gwoza, Boko Haram’s self-declared capital of its Islamic caliphate. The Nigerian Defense Headquarters tweeted: "FLASH: Troops this morning captured Gwoza destroying the Headquarters of the Terrorists self-styled Caliphate." Along with the militants who captured or killed in the operation, the military said it is now working to find escaping Boko Haram fighters and rescue hostages.
According to a BBC report though, the battle was also tragic. A local told their reporter that the militants gathered all of the areas elderly people and said that “as they were unable to defend themselves from a military attack, they would be helped on their way to paradise,” before slaughtering them. The country’s military has teamed with forces from several nations in their fight against the radical Islamic group, known for their campaigns of terrorism, mass abductions, village raids and murder. The military claims it now as recaptured all of the area once claimed by Boko Haram ... Discuss
Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin has reportedly unveiled new plans to build a road that would connect New York and London, via a 12,910-mile superhighway. As this image from Fox News shows, much of the highway would follow the Trans-Siberian Railway and connect North America to Russia in some sort of bridge (or maybe a tunnel) over the Bering Strait that would end up in a remote Alaskan town. Though the road could cost trillions of dollars, Yakunin argues that potential economic benefits would eventually make the “inter-state, inter-civilization, project" worth the investment. Who wants to go on a road trip? ... Discuss
Investigators are baffled by new evidence that suggests that one of the pilots of Germanwings Flight 9525 became locked out of the plane’s cabin before it crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. According to a report in The New York Times, audio from a cockpit voice recorder revealed a strange turn of events involving the aircraft’s two pilots.
After a series of normal conversation between the two pilots, one left the cockpit for reasons that are not clear. Moments later, he is heard knocking on the door—eventually attempting to break it down—while the plane rapidly descended and eventually crashed. From the NYT report: “A senior French official involved in the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the lack of communication from the pilots during the plane’s descent was disturbing, and that the possibility that their silence was deliberate could not be ruled out."