Tag Archives: victims

Nations of Iran crash victims seek compensation for families

Nations of Iran crash victims seek compensation for familiesThe governments of five countries that lost citizens when Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner demanded Thursday that Tehran accept “full responsibility” and pay compensation to the victims’ families — though they had little to offer besides moral pressure to get Iran to comply. After a meeting in London, foreign ministers from Canada, the U.K., Afghanistan, Sweden and Ukraine urged Iran to allow a “thorough, independent and transparent international investigation,” as well as a criminal probe and “impartial” judicial proceedings against those found responsible for downing the plane. All 176 people aboard the Ukraine International Airlines aircraft died when it was brought down by ballistic missiles shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Jan. 8.



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Countries demand Iran compensate relatives of plane-crash victims

Countries demand Iran compensate relatives of plane-crash victimsFive countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down an airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and warned that the world is watching for its response. Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain said Iran should hold a “thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations,” in a statement issued after a meeting of officials in London. Iran admitted on Saturday it had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident.



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Man who made 27,000 crosses for shooting victims is retiring

Man who made 27,000 crosses for shooting victims is retiringAn Illinois man who made more than 27,000 crosses to commemorate victims of mass shootings across the country is retiring. Greg Zanis came to realize, after 23 years, his Crosses for Losses ministry was beginning to take a personal and financial toll on him, according to The Beacon-News. “I had a breaking point in El Paso,” he said, referring to the mass shooting outside of a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.



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Death toll in Indonesia bus plunge rises to 35 as more victims found

Death toll in Indonesia bus plunge rises to 35 as more victims foundAt least 35 people were killed when a bus plunged into a ravine in Indonesia, officials said in a new toll Thursday, making it one of the most deadly bus accidents in recent years. A rescue team in Indonesia’s island of Sumatra on Thursday continued the search for a third day to find more bodies after seven new victims were found in a river late on Wednesday. Spokesman for a local rescue team in South Sumatra Taufan, who only goes by one name like many Indonesians, said Thursday that of the 35 people killed, 16 were male and 19 female.



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Arizona DHS Agents Paid to Have Sex With Alleged Sex Trafficking Victims They ‘Rescued’

Arizona DHS Agents Paid to Have Sex With Alleged Sex Trafficking Victims They ‘Rescued’At a press conference in September 2018, Department of Homeland Security agents told reporters they had successfully broken up a transnational ring of illegal massage parlors forcing Asian immigrants into sex slavery. What they didn’t say, however, is that two of their own agents had paid for sex with the alleged victims.As part of the two-year, $ 15,000 investigation into the massage parlors, two DHS agents engaged in sex acts with the alleged trafficking victims at least 10 times, according to DHS and local police department investigation reports uncovered by Today’s News-Herald. Now the case against the alleged traffickers is unraveling as the federal agents refuse to testify in courts.“To solve a crime of victims who were being forced to have sex, the officers decided to have sex with them,” Brad Rideout, an attorney for one of the women arrested for money laundering, told The Daily Beast. “There seems to be no limits on their activities and there seems to be no boundaries.”Authorities say the trafficking sting started in 2016, when local police received reports of unusual activity at several massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City. By April 2018, the police departments had determined that some of the employees might be victims of human trafficking. That’s when they reached out to the Department of Homeland Security’s investigation arm for assistance.Weeks later, in a DHS investigation referred to in official documents as “Operation Asian Touch,” two DHS agents were sent undercover to visit the parlors. In the investigation reports, the agents describe haggling with their masseuses over hand jobs and asking them to bare their breasts for anywhere from $ 40 to $ 120.The agents, known only as “Arturo” and “Sergio,” returned to each location as many as four times, according to the investigation reports. The visits generated insights such as “the female was very skinny with small breasts,” and “any time the female would say anything she would get really close and whisper.” After one visit, the undercover officer reportedly testified he was “80 percent sure” that the woman he had contact with was the target of the investigation. Police raided the massage parlors in September 2018, arresting eight people on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering, and operating a house of prostitution, among other things. In a press conference, deputy special agent Lon Wiegand said the suspects were part of a transnational criminal organization that trafficked women through multiple massage parlors in the area, according to the Mohave Daily News.Wiegand described the women’s working conditions as “deplorable” and “unsanitary,” and said they had been forced to work seven days a week, for more than 12 hours at a time. The women’s only income came from their tips for sexual services, he said, and their movements were “extremely restricted.” Investigators said the ring’s alleged leader, Amanda Yamauchi, transported workers directly from the Las Vegas airport to the businesses in Mohave County.But the charges against Yamauchi and her alleged partner were dropped last week after the DHS agents refused to testify in her case. The investigation, which Lake Havasu City Police Sgt. Tom Gray told Today’s News-Herald took almost 200 hours, has so far resulted in only three convictions—one for prostitution, another for soliciting a prostitute, and a third for attempted pandering. “We just can’t produce them,” Mohave Deputy County Attorney Kellen Marlow told Today’s News-Herald of the DHS agents. “Local law enforcement investigators would be readily available, but federal witnesses are not. And from what I’ve been told, they’re not going to be available to testify any time soon.”Rideout filed a motion last month asking for the agents’ full names, badge numbers, and any other identifying information necessary to request information on their actions in the investigation. According to the motion, so far the state has provided only reports written by local law enforcement officers involved in the investigation. “It is unclear how an ICE officer having sexual relations with human trafficking victims in Mohave County, Arizona protects the nation from terrorist attack or secures its borders,” Rideout wrote.DHS did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. Bullhead City Public Information Officer Emily Fromelt told Today’s News-Herald that DHS had conducted its own internal investigation into the agents’ activities but did not reveal the outcome.A similar raid on massage parlors in Florida earlier this year—which made headlines after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft patronized one of the businesses—also resulted in zero trafficking convictions. The investigation into 10 spas in southern Florida was billed by police as a rescue operation for the impoverished immigrant workers. But in April, an assistant state attorney in Palm Beach testified in court that there was “no human trafficking that arises out of this investigation.” Some of the women are now being threatened with deportation.Results like these have led sex workers’ rights activists to speak out against the raids, which they say do little to help the so-called victims they purport to save.“Police like to get in front of TV cameras and state that they conducted a raid and rescued victims and arrested a bunch of men and closed down this sex trafficking operation,” said Alex Andrews, the co-founder of sex workers’ rights organization SWOP Behind Bars. “But even in these raids where they’re targeting the men, they’re not having any impact at all on the lives of sex workers or the lives of sex trafficking victims.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Hero who used narwhal tusk to stop UK attack praises victims

Hero who used narwhal tusk to stop UK attack praises victimsA mysterious figure who used a rare narwhal tusk to help subdue a knife-wielding extremist on London Bridge last month has been identified as a civil servant in Britain’s Justice Ministry. Darryn Frost broke his silence Saturday, telling Britain’s Press Association that he and others reacted instinctively when Usman Khan started stabbing people at a prison rehabilitation program at Fishmongers’ Hall next to the bridge on Nov. 29. Frost used the rare narwhal tusk that he grabbed from the wall to help subdue Khan even though the attacker claimed to be about to detonate a suicide vest, which turned out to be a fake device with no explosives.



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Search finds possible graves of 1921's Tulsa Race Massacre victims

Search finds possible graves of 1921's Tulsa Race Massacre victimsScientists surveying a cemetery and a homeless camp in Tulsa, Oklahoma, found pits holding possible remains of black residents killed nearly 100 years ago in a race massacre, investigators have revealed.



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Toronto mass shooting victims sue gun maker Smith & Wesson in $150m lawsuit

Toronto mass shooting victims sue gun maker Smith & Wesson in $  150m lawsuit* Two people died and 13 were injured in July 2018 attack * Lawsuit claims company created ‘ultra-hazardous product’Victims of a mass shooting in Toronto have launched a class action lawsuit against gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, alleging the company failed to implement key safety features in its weapons that could have prevented the 2018 attack.The suit, the first of its kind in Canada, was filed in Ontario superior court on Monday. Plaintiffs are seeking C$ 150m in damages from the American company.On the evening of 22 July 2018, Faisal Hussain opened fire on the city’s bustling Danforth avenue, killing two people and injuring 13 others. He killed himself following a shootout with police.The weapon used in the attack – an M&P40 semi-automatic pistol – had been stolen from a gun dealer in the province of Saskatchewan.The lead plaintiffs in the case are Skye McLeod and Samantha Price, recent high-school graduates and friends who were celebrating a birthday when Hussain opened fire. As pedestrians ran for cover, Price was hit in the leg and her friend, 18-year-old Reese Fallon, was shot dead. A young child in the area, Julianna Kozis, 10, was also killed.The suit, which has not yet been certified by a judge, alleges Smith & Wesson created an “ultra-hazardous product” and delayed implementing technology that prevents unauthorized users from firing the weapon. The claims within the lawsuit have not been proven in court.Often taking the form fingerprint sensor or a radio-frequency microchip, numerous “smart gun” technologies exist that can prevent unauthorized firing of a weapon. Gun lobby groups in the United States, led by the National Rifle Association, have fought for years against widespread adoption of the safety features.“What we have right now, is a technology from the 19th century,” said Malcolm Ruby, the lawyer representing victims’ families, told the Guardian. “People aren’t still using rotary telephones any more. They’ve moved on. But this is an industry that has refused to modernize.”Without the technology in place, the lawsuit claims it was “reasonably foreseeable” people such as Hussain could inflict widespread damage with a stolen weapon.The suit also refers to an agreement between Smith & Wesson and the US government, dating back nearly 20 years, in which the company pledged to make smart gun technology a key feature in new firearm designs – but never did.“Despite the agreement, in 2005 the defendant introduced the … model of the handgun used in the Danforth shooting, which failed to include smart gun technology,” the lawsuit read.Following a flurry of litigation against American gun manufacturers in the late 1990s, the companies are now largely shielded from claims of negligence in the US. But families of victims in the Sandy Hook shooting won a key victory last month, when the US supreme court allowed a lawsuit against gun maker Remington Arms to go ahead. There are no special protections for the manufacturers in Canada, said Ruby.The lawsuit is open to victims of the shooting who suffered injury while fleeing the gunfire, as well as the families of victims. Smith & Wesson has stated it does not comment on the pending litigation.“If you have a product that can harm people – you’re obligated to fix that,” said Ruby. “And we know these guns have caused widespread harm over the years – and will continue to do so.”



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New Zealand Volcano Victims Identified as Search Continues

New Zealand Volcano Victims Identified as Search Continues(Bloomberg) — Seven more victims of the White Island volcano eruption were identified by New Zealand police as the search for more bodies continues.The names of two teenage U.S. citizens who were permanent residents in Australia, a 24-year-old New Zealander, and four Australians, ages 15 to 53, were released on Sunday. Teams aboard three helicopters searching the volcano-island, also known by its Maori name Whakaari, in the North Island’s Bay of Plenty early Sunday failed to locate those still unaccounted for.“We have always anticipated recovering all bodies from the island, and we remain deeply committed to that goal, to allow families some closure,” Deputy Commissioner John Tims said in a statement. “We are now debriefing, reassessing and coming up with a new plan going forward.”The island erupted Monday afternoon in a forceful explosion of scorching steam, gas and ash, causing horrific burns to most of its 47 visitors, 24 of whom were Australian citizens.Sixteen people have been confirmed dead. Fourteen people remain hospitalized in New Zealand and 13 have been transferred to Australia, including one person who died. Three patients have been discharged. Two people remain unaccounted for on or in the vicinity of the island, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management said Sunday.Police and disaster victim-identification specialists searched a water course on the island believed to be where a body may be located, Tims said in a later statement.“While it is most likely that the two remaining bodies are in the water, we need to be sure,” he said. “Police will now consider how best to proceed. Weather dependant, the Police National Dive Squad will be out again tomorrow.”(Updates number of victims identified in first and second paragraphs.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Melbourne at j.gale@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jason GaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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A woman who works with sexual misconduct survivors says Harvey Weinstein's tentative $25 million settlement isn't surprising because victims are used to settling for 'less than what we deserve'

A woman who works with sexual misconduct survivors says Harvey Weinstein's tentative $  25 million settlement isn't surprising because victims are used to settling for 'less than what we deserve'Laura Palumbo, communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, spoke to Insider about Weinstein's tentative $ 25 million settlement.



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