Daily Archives: January 13, 2011

Likely Nazi Mass Grave Found in Austria

A mass grave was discovered at a mental hospital in Tyrol Province, Austria during excavation for new building construction. The grave likely contains the remains of 220 disabled people euthanized by the Nazis between 1942 and 1945.

Construction was halted to allow for an investigation. Exhumations will begin in March.

The hospital put out a global appeal for anyone who believes a relative might be among the victims to contact the hospital.

Germany annexed Austria in 1938. The next year, Adolf Hitler instituted a euthanasia program for “incurable” patients. More than 70,000 were killed by the Nazis for disability through the program, which lasted until 1941. Following the end of the official euthanasia program, however,  another 200,000 were killed, bringing the total to more than 270,000 dead.

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Soliders Arrested for New Year’s Day Mass Rape

A spokesperson for the Congolese military has confirmed that government soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been arrested of the mass rape of over a dozen women.

U.N. spokesperson Martin Nesirky said that all of the suspects in custody are government soldiers and that at least one is a ranking officer.

Rape has been used as a weapon of war in the DRC. Of the 16,000 cases reported in 2008, 65% of the victims were children, most of them girls.

Unmarried women who are raped are ostracized and are viewed as undesirable for marriage. Married women who are raped are often divorced by their husbands.

Nicholas Kristoff, the New York Times reporter on human rights violations, has said of the situation in the DRC that “no humanitarian crisis generates so little attention per million corpses, or such a pathetic international response.”

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College Records Call Tucson Gunman “Creepy”

Saturday, after he opened fire on a crowd of people at Congresswoman Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event, was not the first time Jared Lee Loughner had a run-in with the police.

Pima Communinity College, where Loughner was a student, has now released his confidential files. In the are indications that he was under the influence of drugs, instances of classroom disruptions, and a number of accounts in which students and teachers labeled him “creepy.”

Loughner was suspended when he created a video on YouTube calling the college a “genocide school,” “one of the biggest scams in America,” and alluding to the “torture of students.”

For more details on the information uncovered in the college’s reports, head over to the New York Times. To link directly to the 51 pages of police reports, click here.

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Obama: “Gabby Opened Her Eyes”

President Obama spoke in Tucson last night at a memorial for the victims of Saturday’s shooting. Before speaking, he and Mrs. Obama visited Rep. Giffords.

Just after he left, Obama said, he was told that Rep. Giffords opened her eyes for the first time. When she opened her eyes, she was surrounded by Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and other lawmakers.

In his speech, Obama offered his condolences to the families who had lost loved ones. He asked all Americans to draw a lesson from those who were injured and killed and usher in a new era of civility in the country.

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Model Castrates Man He Wasn’t Sleeping With

According to the New York Daily News, 20-year-old Renato Seabra told police that he cut off Carlos Castro’s genitals with a corkscrew to “cure” Castro’s homosexuality. Seabra beat Castro, a Portuguese writer and gay activist, and left him to die in the New York City hotel room the couple shared.

Seabra, however, denies that he and Castro were a couple. Seabra’s mother states that “From the beginning, [Seabra] never hid his sexuality, which is heterosexual.”

Seabra’s mother also claims her son is innocent, which is only slightly contradicted by that whole “confession” thing.

Let’s put this all into perspective. The man was willing to, as Jezebel put it, “confess to ripping out a man’s genitals before he’d admit to having sex with him.” That’s some deep anti-gay self-loathing there.

Wishing everyone involved, especially Castro’s family, all the best as they work through this horrible crime.

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Somali Town Bans Handshakes Between Sexes

Islamist insurgents in Jowhar, Somalia have promised to whip, imprison or kill residents who violate edicts banning unrelated men and women from shaking hands, talking, or walking together.

Women in Jowhar have also been beaten for wearing the “wrong” clothes and are not permitted to work in public.

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Snow in 49 States This Week

This week, CNN reported that there was snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states.

The only state where it didn’t snow this week was Florida.

Yes, that means that even Hawai’i got some snow. In fact, snow in Hawai’i isn’t rare; it snows all winter in places like Mauna Loa.

Snow covering this much of the country is very unusual, though it is hard to say the last time it happened, since records of this sort are not kept.

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