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US strikes may have killed 119 civilians in Iraq, Syria: Pentagon
Washington (AFP) - The Pentagon said Wednesday that US air strikes in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State group may have killed 119 civilians since 2014, a figure far lower than casualty estimates by monitoring groups.
The figures released by Centcom, the US military command in the Middle East, came from a months-long review of reports and databases, it said, adding that the deaths and injuries stemmed from 24 air strikes.
London-based NGO Airways estimates coalition bombing has killed 1,787 civilians since the air campaign to destroy the Islamic State group began in August 2014.
"We have teams who work full time to prevent unintended civilian casualties," Colonel John Thomas was quoted as saying in the Centcom statement.
"We do all we can to minimize those occurrences even at the cost of sometimes missing the chance to strike valid targets in real time."
The Pentagon's investigation found that "in each of these strikes the right processes were followed; each complied with Law of Armed Conflict and significant precautions were taken, despite the unfortunate outcome," Thomas said.
The United States, which carries out 80 percent of the coalition bombing, says it uses precision-guided munitions that limit civilian casualties.
Meanwhile Russia is accused of using conventional bombs that are much more deadly to civilian populations.
Amnesty International estimates that there have been at least 300 civilian victims in Syria alone from coalition strikes.
The number of casualties has risen sharply since the start of the coalition's campaign in late 2015 to lay the groundwork to take back IS strongholds in Mosul, Iraq and Raqa, Syria.
Chinese island engulfed in waste after garbage dumped in Yangtze River: media
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A massive load of garbage, including needles and broken bottles, has washed ashore on an island close to Shanghai, after two ships allegedly dumped more than 100 tonnes of waste in the Yangtze River, the Shanghai Daily reported on Friday.China's speedy industrial development has seen it struggling to regulate waste disposal, leading to toxic waterways and cities blanketed in smog.The waste has been floating onto Chongming island since early November, collecting near… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Call for $309 million to upgrade VN railways
Chairman of Vietnam Railway Corporation Vu Anh Minh spoke about the VND7 trillion ($309m) plan to upgrade the sector's infrastructure for the 2017-2021 period. Minh said he had asked the Ministry of Transport to submit the plan for prime ministerial approval. Chairman of Vietnam Railway Corporation Vu Anh Minh What would these funds be used for?The railway from Hanoi to Danang can only withstand 4.2 tonnes per metre, and 3.6 tonnes per metre for Danang to HCM City. It's important to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Italian bank UniCredit sees profit dip as prepares overhaul
MILAN (AP) -- Italy's largest bank, UniCredit, says its third-quarter profits dropped by 12 percent due to a reduction in core revenues amid persistent low interest rates.UniCredit said Thursday that net profit in the period ending Sept. 30 was 447 million euros ($493 million), compared with 507 million euros in the same period last year. The results take into account the sale of a stake in the internet banking business FinecoBank.Revenues were up slightly at 5.5 billion euros, with higher… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Australia says Islamic State recruiter arrested in Turkey
SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian citizen believed to be a top recruiter for Islamic State has been arrested by Turkish authorities and will be subject to a formal extradition request from Australia, the Australian government said on Saturday.A man believed to be Neil Prakash, who was linked to several Australia-based attack plans, has been detained in Turkey and was being interrogated by Turkish authorities, a government spokesperson said in an emailed statement.“The arrest of the person we… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Waiting For A Tesla? It'll Be Self-Driving
Spencer Platt / Getty Images All Teslas being built now and in the future will be equipped with self-driving hardware – though they won’t be shipped to customers with self-driving software immediately, the company announced Wednesday.That equipment includes, most notably, eight cameras that give the cars 360 degrees of vision. The company will roll out software updates with “significant improvements in autonomous capability” every 2-3 months,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters on a conference… chat_bubble_outline Read More...