Flint, USA, poisoned water scandal still continues


This video from the USA says about itself:

Flint residents speak after attending a meeting by Water Defense, a non-profit which performs water testing within Flint homes.

By Buster Haycook in the USA:

20 April 2016

Tens of thousands of people in Flint, Michigan have been exposed to toxic drinking water as a result of the city’s 2014 decision to switch its water source to the contaminated Flint River.

In this video, Flint residents speak to WSWS reporters after an April 9th meeting called by the nonprofit organization Water Defense.

Fukushima disaster still continuing, video


This video from South Korea says about itself:

Arirang Special (Ep.319) Fukushima and Its Aftermath

16 March 2016

After the Fukushima nuclear accident that busted Japan’s ‘safety myth’ in March 2011, continuous restoration and salt manufacturing work have been going on until now. Despite this, there are still traces of the horrific situation of that time remaining in various places, and the concern for radioactivity has grown to a point where our food and health are being threatened.

Wild radioactive Fukushima boars breed like rabbits, ravage local countryside: here.

Saudi bombing of Yemen continues


This Reuters video says about itself:

Yemen’s doctors, nurses protest Saudi-led air strikes

7 May 2015

Some 200 healthcare providers in the Yemeni capital demand an end to Saudi-led airstrikes, as hospitals and patients suffer from a lack of fuel and medical supplies. Mana Rabiee reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saudi Arabia accused of violating truce in Yemen

Tuesday 12th April 2016

Capital bombed just hours after truce took effect, says de facto government

YEMEN’S de facto government accused Saudi Arabia of violating a United Nations-brokered ceasefire just hours after it came into force yesterday.

A Yemeni army spokesman said warplanes from the invading Saudi-led coalition bombed the capital Sanaa and the central province of Taiz yesterday morning, violating the truce. …

UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged all parties to work to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is “fully respected.”

“This is critical, urgent and much-needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives,” he said. …

More than a year of bombing, escalating to a ground invasion, by the coalition has failed to restore Mr Hadi to power.

But it has killed more than 9,000 people — including more than 3,000 civilians, 900 children among them — and displaced some 2.4 million refugees, according to the UN.

Yemen, which imports 90 per cent of its food, has been brought to the brink of famine by a Saudi embargo, with seven million people now classed as “severely food insecure” by the World Food Programme.

Harbour porpoise’s heart examination


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

8 April 2016

This footage shows a heart sonogram on a Harbour porpoise. This female porpoise was found on the Dutch island of Texel and had several medical problems. She was emaciated, had problems in her intestines and had anemia. Also a heart defect was suspected and therefore help was asked from a specialist. During this heart sonogram this defect could me established. More about this article you can find here.

Iraq war giving children cancer


This video from the USA says about itself:

U.S. Radioactive Weapons Fueling Birth Defects in Iraq

7 April 2016

Investigative journalist Barbara Koeppel examines how the U.S. is getting away with using radioactive weapons that are causing spikes in birth defects and cancer in both Iraqi citizens and U.S. veterans.

US Afghan hospital bombing, six months later


This video from the USA says about itself:

White House Fighting Independent Investigation Of Hospital Bombing

7 October 2015

It’s been four days now since the US bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and the calls for an independent investigation have only grown louder and more insistent in that time. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (Think Tank), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

By Sophia Jones:

Afghans Haunted By U.S. Strikes On MSF Hospital Want The Truth, Not Money And Apologies

Six months after the attack that killed 42 men, women and children, the U.S. military’s lack of transparency is still hurting Afghans.

03/31/2016 03:24 pm ET | Updated 14 hours ago

ARWAN, Afghanistan — A bullet through the head didn’t kill 9-year-old Amina. Her father, Abdel Qadir, had managed to carry her limp body to the trauma hospital in Kunduz, praying that she would live.

But on Oct. 3, less than a week after surviving a firefight between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents that had surrounded her home, Amina burned to death in a hospital bed as her father watched helplessly. Her last words were screamed in terrified pain.

“Father! Father!” she wailed as flames consumed her body, Abdel Qadir recalled, weeping.

It’s been nearly six months since a U.S. attack aircraft bombed the Médecins Sans Frontières trauma clinic where Amina was staying. Time has not yielded clarity — there still seem to be more questions than answers. And the U.S. military’s lack of transparency has only compounded people’s mistrust.

According to Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan at the time, what happened in Kunduz was a “tragic but avoidable accident.” MSF, the international medical aid organization that ran the hospital, has described the assault as a potential war crime.

Amina and at least 41 other men, women and children perished in the attack on the clinic, which had been the only hospital of its kind providing free trauma care in northern Afghanistan. And while the bombing happened six months ago, the murky circumstances under which it occurred are still having a chilling effect on medical care in the area.

MSF has said it cannot make a decision about re-opening the trauma hospital until all parties to the conflict can ensure the safety of MSF staff, patients and medical facilities.

“We need assurances that we can work according to our core principles and to international law,” an MSF spokesperson told The WorldPost on Thursday. “Namely, that we can safely treat all people in need, no matter who they are, or for which side they fight.”

As of now, the clinic can only treat a small number of patients, many of them victims wounded in the Kunduz attack. This leaves many Afghans with no choice but to travel to the capital — a trip that can take hours, often via dangerous roads — to find free, high-quality emergency medical care.

Survivors of the Oct. 3 bombing describe a nightmarish scene. The first strike hit the intensive care unit. Doctors, some with severed limbs, bled out in front of colleagues. Others were gunned down as they ran for their lives. Patients died on the operating table mid-surgery. Those who were unable to run — like young Amina, a clever girl who loved computers — were incinerated.

The U.S. military has reportedly responded by reviewing its targeting process, re-training its forces on rules of engagement and disciplining more than a dozen service members — including officers and enlisted personnel, but not generals — who took part in the attack. The service members will not, however, face any criminal charges.

U.S. Central Command has not yet published its investigation into the attack, which is reported to be 3,000 pages or more. The investigation cannot go public until certain material has been redacted, according to Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, chief spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who spoke to The WorldPost in Kabul in late January.

The military has ignored multiple calls by MSF and other parties for a truly independent investigation by an outside group, arguing instead that fact-finding efforts carried out by military officers outside the chain of command in Afghanistan would be “thorough and unbiased.”

Basic details are still up for debate. The U.S. military insists the strikes went on for 29 minutes. MSF and survivors say the targeted assault dragged on for at least an hour.

And larger questions remain. …

According to U.S. military statements on the incident, a U.S. Special Forces commander called in the strike, carried out by a powerful AC-130 gunship, at the request of Afghan forces on the ground. U.S. forces did not have eyes on the target before calling in the strikes, the Associated Press reported in November.

They instead placed trust in their Afghan allies who had, just three months earlier, violated international law by raiding that same clinic, shooting in the air and attacking three staff members while allegedly searching for an unarmed, highly ranked al Qaeda patient.

The U.S. military has repeatedly insisted it would not knowingly target the MSF’s clinic, and has said it did not know it was shelling a hospital, even though the trauma center was on the military’s no-strike list and its exact coordinates were no mystery. MSF had sent the coordinates to U.S. forces and NATO allies as recently as Sept. 29 — four days before the bombing.

Frantic calls and texts during the attack from MSF to the Operation Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul proved futile. Thirty minutes after MSF’s initial call for help, at 2:19 a.m., someone at the NATO mission texted back, saying: “I’m sorry to hear that, I still do not know what happened.” When MSF warned that the death toll was growing, the person responded: “I’ll do my best, praying for you all.”

Campbell, the army general, has blamed a deadly combination of unfortunate events for the strike. U.S. forces misidentified the target and launched 69 minutes early without verifying whether the target was on a no-strike list. Technical glitches onboard the AC-130 meant troops could not send or receive electronic messages or video. The aircraft, forced beyond its normal orbit by a missile, could not accurately strike a target.

“Why did nobody take the decision to hold off and say that they weren’t sure?” said Guilhem Molinie, MSF’s representative in Afghanistan. “It questions the capacity of NATO in this country and many other armies to be indiscriminate in the way they conduct warfare and respect the Geneva Conventions.”

Afghan officials, including the acting governor of Kunduz, Hamdullah Danishi, insisted in the days after the bombing that the Taliban had used the compound to launch attacks on Afghan forces, a claim MSF fiercely rejects. …

A dozen MSF staff, surviving civilians, Kunduz residents and family members of patients told The WorldPost they saw no armed gunmen on the hospital grounds at any time before or during the strikes. The clinic had a strict no-weapons policy.

“It’s completely untrue that there were Taliban inside the hospital,” said Dr. Mohammad Omar, an MSF emergency room supervisor who survived the attack.

Just two days before the strikes, Carter Malkasian, a top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reached out to MSF, asking whether there were Taliban “holed up” in the hospital. He was told that while there were no armed combatants inside the compound, there were indeed Taliban patients being treated. Malkasian declined a request by The WorldPost for more information.

MSF staff have, for years, treated people on all sides of the conflict, including patients believed to be high-ranking insurgents.

That leaves many Afghans and medical professionals wondering whether the presence of wounded but unarmed Taliban patients inside the clinic may have prompted the Oct. 3 strike.

The attack has raised concerns over the current U.S. role in Afghanistan, and questions about the presence of special forces now that the United States’ combat mission is formally over. American forces are primary in a “train, advise and assist” capacity, though it seems troops are still finding themselves in active combat situations.

The Kunduz attack is also yet another stain on the U.S. military’s reputation in Afghanistan. Survivors and family of people killed in the bombing still have no closure, no real explanation as to why the attack occurred. And there’s very little confidence among Afghans that such an “accident” won’t happen again.

“The Americans have access to good information,” Abdel Qadir said, sitting cross-legged on the floor of a guesthouse in Parwan, an Afghan city between Kabul and Kunduz, as rain pitter-pattered outside. “Why would they make this mistake?”

As with past combat incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq that led to civilian deaths, the U.S. military has made more than 100 condolence payments to family members of Kunduz victims, according to Shoffner. Some recipients say they’ve received around $6,000 or $7,000 each — the U.S.-determined price of life for a daughter, brother or father wrongfully killed.

A brother of one of the slain MSF doctors told The WorldPost that he refused the money, instead giving it to other families who needed it more. He said he learned of his brother’s death via Facebook, after someone posted a photo of ashes with the caption, “Here is the body of Dr. Osmani.”

But despite the U.S. military’s efforts to remedy the horrific event, Afghans whose lives have been torn apart by the attack demand something far more difficult to come by than scripted apologies and condolence payments — namely, the full truth.

“They killed so many civilians,” said one male Kunduz resident who lives close to the MSF compound. “Most of the people here, their ideas changed of the American people. The people are angry. The Americans have the technology and the information. They can see if there are armed people or not.”

“An apology is not enough,” continued the young man, who asked that his name not be published for security reasons. “I lost four friends — two doctors, one nurse and one student.”

An apology also means nothing to Omar, the ER doctor, who now lives in terror that such an attack will happen again. He’s far from the only one. The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Lashkar Gah responded to the attack by building a bunker large enough to accommodate staff and patients.

Omar said he remembers the Oct. 3 bombing like it was yesterday. As the attack aircraft unleashed hell outside, the experienced ER doctor thought there was no way he would survive. He called his wife to say goodbye.

“She was crying,” Omar said solemnly. “It was the hardest moment of my life.”

Omar survived because he was in the clinic’s basement, where MSF staff had set up makeshift trauma stations in an attempt to save those they could.

When the sound of the attack aircraft finally died out, people scrambled out from the ruins of the hospital, plumes of smoke still rising as much of the compound burned.

Patients were loaded into ambulances that had come to collect the wounded. Some staff members, including foreigners, were whisked away to the airport. Many local staff had to fend for themselves, seeking shelter in nearby homes and hitching rides with helpful strangers.

But the dead remained. Amina’s body still lay in the ICU. Her parents weren’t able to collect her remains until days later.

“I couldn’t save her,” cried Abdel Qadir, gasping for breath between sobs. “I took her ashes, her skeleton, and gave them to my wife.”

Half a year after the fatal attack, Abdel Qadir is left with a wad of cash from the U.S. military. It does nothing to fix his broken heart. He remains haunted by a simple question: Why did his daughter have to die?

All he can do is pray for Amina, the daughter he couldn’t save twice.

Naiemullah Sangen contributed reporting from Parwan and Kabul.