Daily Archives: February 15, 2011

Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Request Release


A sign from the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Lindsay.

Top Khmer Rouge officials Nuon Chea, Ieng Thirith, Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan have requested the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to  release them from pre-trial detention.

They face charges of genocide for their roles in the deaths of two million Cambodians.

The four defendants have been held in pre-trial detention since 2007.

The appeals will likely be unsuccessful, and the four former Khmer Rouge officials will spend several more months in detention before their trials begin. The date for their trial has not yet been set, but it is scheduled to begin later this year.

The ECCC was established in 2006 and has so far tried one person, Duch. The former S-21 prison chief was found guilty in July of crimes against humanity.

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Illegal Logging Threatens Indigenous Tribe

Survival International, an indigenous rights organization, has released photographs of a tribe it says is threatened by illegal logging. One photo shows five tribe members standing in front of a hut and looking up at the camera.

The Brazilian tribe is likely to get into conflict with Peruvian tribes who are fleeing their land because of logging. Several nongovernmental organizations have urged Peru for years to stop the logging.

Via Impunity Watch.

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Real Life Lois Lane Dies

Joanne Siegal, the model for Superman’s love Lois Lane, passed away Monday at age 93.

Siegel used to delight in telling the story of meeting the Superman co-creators when she was a teenager in Depression era Cleveland, Ohio. She placed an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer offering to model. Joe Shuster answered her ad, and she became the model for Lois Lane.

Siegel also found her own Superman: Jerry Siegel, who created the Superman character with Shuster. Jerry and Joanne Siegel married in 1948.

Via The Plain Dealer.


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Drug Combinations Have Fatal Effects on Troops

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Image via Wikipedia

This weekend, the New York Times reported a tragic problem with drugs many troops have when they return from service.

Over 300,000 troops have returned from Afghanistan or Iraq with depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or a combination of those afflictions. The Pentagon has largely treated these problems with prescription drugs. An Army report released last year stated that one-third of the force was on at least one prescription medication.

Use of psychiatric and narcotic drugs is being linked to a number of other problems, including accidents, drug dependency, and suicide. Accidents involving fatal mixtures of prescriptions are increasingly common. Over 100 soldiers died from mixing prescriptions between 2006 and 2009. All of these deaths were ruled accidents, not suicides.

The dangers of overmedicated troops has prompted the Department of Defense to better monitor and restrict prescription medications. The Army and Navy are also offering a broader spectrum of non-drug treatments such as acupuncture, therapy, and yoga. However, shortages of mental health professionals has hampered their efforts of providing adequate therapy.

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