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Parents Outraged After Learning About School Threat Months Later

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 1:22pm

A letter from a New Jersey school district regarding school safety in the wake of the recent shooting in Florida was sent out Friday, saying there was a threat made against Ramapo Ridge Middle School months earlier.


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Putin’s shock troops - how Russia's secret mercenary army came up against the US in Syria

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 12:58pm

It was one of Isil’s biggest cash cows, a strategic prize crucial to the Kremlin and Bashar Assad’s plans to re-establish his rule over Syria. But the assault on Conoco oilfield near Deir Ezzor earlier this month ended in disaster, sparking the first deadly combat between Americans and Russians since the Vietnam War and embarrassing Vladimir Putin just weeks before an election.  It also cast an unwelcome light on one of the worst kept secrets of Russia’s war in Syria - its increasing reliance on unacknowledged and illegal mercenaries. “These were shock troops, and they would take any position, fulfil any task,” said Alexander Averin, a veteran of the pro-Russian militias in east Ukraine and friend of one of the Russians who was killed. Mr Averin said Kirill Ananyev, 33, was a fellow member of the radical “national Bolshevik” political party Other Russia and had also fought in eastern Ukraine.  He said that Ananyev, whom he had known since 2001, had been working for a private military company when he was killed. He would not name the company, but other casualties have been linked to the secretive Wagner group. Kirill Ananyev, a Russian private military contractor in Syria who was killed in US airstrikes on 7 February Credit: Twitter Russian media have published the names of nine Russian fighters who were killed in the assault on February 7, and the foreign ministry finally admitted on Thursday that five Russian citizens had died.  Some media reports have put the number of Russian casualties in the hundreds, however, and relatives and a former member of parliament have called for answers.  “I want everyone to know about my husband, and not just about my husband, but about all the guys who died there so stupidly,” Yelena Matveyeva, whose husband Stanislav was killed, told the regional news site Znak.com. “They sent them like pigs to the slaughter!” The debacle unfolded on the evening of 7 February, when hundreds of mysterious fighters began charging toward a Syrian Democratic Forces position near the oilfield under cover of artillery, tank and rocket fire, according to the US military. In response, US special forces embedded with the mostly Kurdish SDF called in artillery fire and strikes from fighter jets and B-52 bombers that effectively destroyed the “battalion sized force” they were facing. Mr Averin told the Telegraph that 500 Russians were in Deir Ezzor at the time, and that many of them were now dead and wounded. After Stanislav Matveyev, who was believed to work for the Wagner group, was killed, his wife spoke out against the Kremlin denials of Russian casualties Credit: Twitter It is not entirely clear whether the Russian high command authorised the attack, and some believe that Wagner mercenaries were working for local pro-Assad businessman to take the lucrative site. According to a Syrian government contract seen by Fontanka and AP, a Russian company linked to the Wagner group was to receive 25 percent of profits from oil and gas fields its contractors could capture. Others have suggested the Kremlin allowed the preventable defeat, which also saw Syrian troops killed, to happen as a warning to an increasingly independent Mr Assad as well as Iran, his other major backer.  “You need to be in line with our policies in Syria or you'll get bombed,” was Moscow's message to them, said Yury Barmin of the Russian International Affairs Council, a think-tank close to the Kremlin.  A US drone destroys a pro-regime tank near Deir Ezzor days after the airstrikes that killed numerous Russians Credit: CNN Ostensibly designed to support a long-time ally and defeat the Islamic State, Mr Putin's bombing campaign in Syria was supposed to be a television war, providing footage of impressive Russian airstrikes without any body bags to ruin the mood.  To assuage fears of a repeat of the disastrous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Mr Putin said it would be solely an air operation lasting no longer than Mr Assad's counter-offensive But Syrian forces reportedly proved ineffective even with the help of Russian advisors and special forces. Kremlin-linked contractors allowed Moscow to run a covert land operation while denying it had boots on the ground. “The big battles, the intense battles with casualties, that's all Russian mercenaries,” said Ruslan Leviev of the Conflict Intelligence Team, a research group who track Russian military activity abroad.  A Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombs targets in the Deir Ezzor region in November Credit: TASS via Getty Images Some 3,000 Russians have fought for the Wagner group, the biggest of the private military companies, in Syria since 2015, according to documents seen by the independent news outlet Fontanka.  It said 73 of them had died before 7 February, exceeding the 46 official Russian military casualties. The US airstrikes against the Russian contractors have raised an alarming risk of direct great-power confrontation in Syria as external players vie to consolidate their interests following the defeat of Islamic State.  Within the last two weeks, al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels shot down a Russian jet, Kurdish fighters have downed a Turkish helicopter, Israel downed an Iranian drone and the Syrian army shot down an Israeli F-16. “Now that the fighting with ISIS is more or less over, every global player in the war is attempting to draw its own sphere of influence in Syria,” Sami Nadir, of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, told the Telegraph. “They used to fight each other through their proxies, now they’re just going head-to-head.” Benjamin Netanyahu holds up what he said was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down in Israeli airspace at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday Credit: AFP PHOTO / MSC Munich Security Conference / LENNART PREISS America wants to limit Iran and keep the Kurds - its greatest ally against Isil - on side, while not agitating its Nato ally Turkey. Russia has been trying to keep a balance between its allies Turkey, Israel and Iran, to little avail. “The new phase in the Syrian conflict makes the anti-ISIS war look like a stroll in the park,” said Bilal Saab, an expert at the Washington-based Middle East Institute. “This has the potential to turn into a regional war.” Yet news of the contractors' deaths has remained largely unknown in Russia under a state television blackout: The website of the main state news programme published a report, only to delete it the same day. A Syrian pro-regime fighter wounded in the 7 February battle in Deir Ezzor Credit: AFP Photo/Getty Images “It's like the story with the Pskov paratroopers who died in Ukraine,” said Lev Gudkov, head of the independent Levada survey centre. “The information was blocked for a long time, then denied, and it spread only in close-knit circles, it didn't become a fact of public opinion, and I fear it will be the same picture here.” Nonetheless, Mr Putin, whose withdrawal announcement was welcomed by most Russians, finds himself in a bind: The Syria peace talks he sponsored in Sochi last month devolved into infighting and the conflict is edging toward what Mr Nadir called a “full-blown international crisis”. “The era of cooperation is over,” he said. “It’s a Cold War scenario.” The Wagner group | Russia's secret mercenaries in Syria


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Parents Capture Last Time Young Daughter With 'Childhood Alzheimer's' Says 'I Love You'

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 12:27pm

They didn't know it would be the last time.


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In Memoriam: The 17 lives cut short in the Parkland, Florida school shooting

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 12:07pm

ABC News "This Week" honors the 17 students and faculty of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who were killed inWednesday's mass shooting.


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Israeli PM Netanyahu to Iran: Don't test Israel's resolve

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 11:30am

MUNICH (AP) — The nuclear deal with Iran has emboldened Tehran to become increasingly aggressive in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, warning that Iran should "not test Israel's resolve" as he showed off what he said was part of a downed Iranian drone.


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Olympic Analyst Laments Hockey Player's 'Unfortunate' Domestic Abuse Incident

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 11:03am

NHL analyst Mike Milbury referred to one hockey player’s domestic abuse conviction as an “unfortunate incident,” as he offered commentary for NBC’s coverage of the men’s match between Team USA and the Olympics Athletes from Russia on Saturday.


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Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on Israel: ‘We Will Act if Necessary’

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 10:53am

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Iran’s foreign minister commented on its tenuous relationship with Israel as well as on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.


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Survivors of a New Mexico School Shooting Share Parkland’s Pain

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 10:51am

Survivors from a shooting at Aztec High School last December have been reaching out to those impacted by the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida to help heal together.


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Family that took in Florida shooting suspect speaks out

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 10:33am

The 19-year-old suspect in the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people didn't know how to use a microwave, didn't pick up after himself and didn't know how to do his own laundry.


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'Do not test Israel's resolve', Netanyahu warns Iran

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 10:26am

Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran on Sunday over aggressions by Iran and its "proxies" in Syria, saying he would not allow them to "put a noose of terror around our neck".


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Are China's South China Sea Bases Pointless?

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 9:14am

Are China's South China Sea Bases Pointless? China has built some islands in the South China Sea. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China’s military?


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Netanyahu says Israel could act against Iran's 'empire'

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:55am

By Robin Emmott and Thomas Escritt MUNICH (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies in the Middle East, after border incidents in Syria brought the Middle East foes closer to direct confrontation. Iran mocked Netanyahu's tough words, saying Israel's reputation for "invincibility" had crumbled after one of its jets was shot down following a bombing run in Syria.


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Top German lawmaker in security row with Turkey at Munich meeting

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:52am

By Paul Carrel and Andrea Shalal BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) - A row broke out on Sunday between a leading German politician of Turkish origin and Turkey's delegation at the Munich Security Conference, with the lawmaker being given police protection after what he said was a tense encounter with Turkish bodyguards. Cem Ozdemir, co-leader of Germany's ecologist Greens until late last month and a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he was given protection at the conference after police told him Turkish security, staying in the same hotel, had accused him of being a "terrorist". "(The police) told me there was a problem with Turkish security, that they had pointed out that a terrorist, or a member of a terrorist organization, was staying (in the hotel) -so me," Ozdemir told reporters after returning to Berlin.


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President Trump Vents About Russia Investigation and Criticizes FBI's Handling of Florida Shooting

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:48am

"They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion"


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Nigeria frees 475 Boko Haram suspects for lack of evidence

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:34am

Nigeria has freed another 475 Boko Haram suspects following a series of mass trials in which most cases were dropped for lack of evidence, the justice ministry said Sunday. Over the course of the week, hundreds of suspected Boko Haram extremists have appeared before a court at the Kainji military base in central Niger state. The release order was issued on Friday, with the 475 suspects to be returned to their home states for "proper rehabilitation" before being sent back to their families, ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said.


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Zimbabwe president sees deceased opposition leader's family

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:27am

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's president Sunday visited the home of deceased opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pay condolences to his family and to urge unity as power struggles within the opposition have heightened tensions.


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Iran's Khamenei says progress needed on justice

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:02am

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that progress was needed in "the field of justice", acknowledging widespread criticism of the system in recent weeks. "Progress has happened in various fields... but in the field of justice we acknowledge that we have lagged behind," Khamenei said in a speech in Tehran, which was published on his website. Khamenei was marking the 40th anniversary of an uprising in the city of Tabriz that was a key moment leading up to the 1979 Islamic revolution.


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Saudi Arabia welcomes push for U.N. action against Iran on missiles

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 8:02am

By Andrea Shalal MUNICH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Sunday welcomed a draft United Nations resolution offered by Britain, the United States and France that would condemn Iran for failing to stop its ballistic missiles from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters the measure, if passed, would help hold Iran accountable for what he described as its "exports of ballistic missiles" to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and "radical and aggressive" behavior in the region, including support for terrorist groups.


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Nigeria releases 475 Boko Haram suspects for rehabilitation

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 7:50am

A Nigerian court has released 475 people allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram for rehabilitation, the justice ministry said on Sunday, as the country's biggest legal investigation of the militant Islamist insurgency continues. The first person convicted for the kidnapping in 2014 of Chibok schoolgirls, sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment last week, was also handed an addition 15-year sentence, to run back-to-back, the justice ministry said in a statement. More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since Boko Haram began an insurgency in 2009 aimed at creating an Islamic state.


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Florida students announce march on Washington as call to action for gun control

Pharma news - February 18, 2018 - 7:25am

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are organizing a March event called "March for Our Lives" in Washington and other areas around the country following the shooting at their school.


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