Posts tagged women
By Agence France-Presse
KABUL — NATO was accused of killing eight women Sunday in an air strike, capping a black weekend in which six soldiers were shot dead by presumed Afghan colleagues and a Taliban assault caused unprecedented losses on one of the biggest military bases in the country.
The US-led International Security Assistance Force initially said an air strike targeted around 45 insurgents, but later expressed its sincerest condolences over “possible ISAF-caused civilian casualties” numbering five to eight.
Civilian casualties have strained relations between the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In June, ISAF ordered an end to air strikes on homes, except as a last resort.
Sunday’s attack came shortly before dawn, in Alingar district of Laghman province, east of Kabul, as women set off to collect fire wood, said Afghans.
“In this raid, eight women are killed and another eight women are wounded,” provincial spokesman Sarhadi Zwak told AFP.
A crowd of tribesmen carried bodies to the provincial capital, Mihtarlam, shouting “death to America, death to the Jews” outside the governor’s office, an AFP reporter said.
Karzai expressed sadness over the deaths and condemned the killing of eight women, and what his office said were seven other women wounded, ordering a delegation to travel to the area to investigate.
In Zabul province, part of the south where the 10-year Taliban insurgency is traditionally strongest, four NATO soldiers were shot dead and two wounded after being scrambled to help police repel an insurgent attack, officials said.
Details of the incident were murky.
Last week, in a little town in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban captain and his men decided to hole up in a family compound. They were chased by NATO and Afghan forces. A firefight broke out, and the coalition troops called in an air strike.
The next day, the villagers brought the results of that strike to the provincial capital: 18 corpses, including five women and seven children.
It was the latest in a series of disturbing incidents involving airstrikes on civilian homes. In the last six months, coalition planes have bombed these residences 10 times. “Seven resulted in civilian casualties,” Bombing Afghan Homes, a NATO spokesman, tells Danger Room.
So now the commander of coalition forces has issued a new order, severely restricting an air war that was already near its all-time low. Airstrikes on civilian homes are not allowed — even if the residences are being used by militants. The question is: can the new directive bring down civilian casualties, while still allowing troops to fight effectively?
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — An Afghan man recounted Monday the harrowing tale of how an American soldier on a killing spree burst into his home in the middle of the night, searched the rooms, then dropped to a knee and shot his father in the thigh as he emerged from a bedroom.
The staff sergeant is now in custody, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children, and then burning many of the bodies. The name of the 38-year-old soldier was not released because it would be “inappropriate” to do so before charges are filed, said Pentagon spokesman George Little.
Sunday’s attack in southern Kandahar province comes as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month and a video of Marines urinating on alleged Taliban corpses was posted on the Internet in January.
If the attack unleashes another wave of anti-foreigner hatred, it could threaten the future of the U.S.-led coalition’s mission in Afghanistan. The events have also raised doubts among U.S. political figures that the long and costly war is worthy.
NATO and member countries said the slayings were a blow to the alliance’s efforts to the sacrifice in lives and monecultivate trust but would not affect the timeline to hand over security operations to Afghans by the end of 2014. The White House said U.S. objectives will not change because of the killings.
Outraged Afghan lawmakers called for a suspension of talks on how to formalize a long-term U.S. military presence in the country and demanded that the shooter face trial in an Afghan court.
By Mike Barrett
Mercury found in dental amalgam fillings has been an issue within the dental community and beyond for many years. These fillings, used since the American Civil War, contain an estimated 50 percent mercury. Whenever friction meets these fillings, toxic mercury gases are emitted. This means that with each chew and dental drill comes an emission of mercury gases, leading to numerous health problems. While nearly half of dentists have stopped using amalgam fillings due to health dangers, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to act on these issues.
FDA Ignoring Own Scientists Warnings on Amalgam Fillings
In December 2010, the Food and Drug Administration convened its second scientific advisory panel on dental amalgams. Scientists yet again told the FDA that amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive adults must come to a halt. The toxic vapors emitted are harmful to everyone, but these groups of individuals especially suffer.
According to Campaign for Mercury Free Dentistry:
Dr. Kotagal said there is “no place for mercury in children,” Dr. Ismail said “children less than 6 years of age, I would restrict it significantly,” Dr. Thompson said “definitely not in pregnant women and definitely not in those below 6 years of age,” Dr. Fleming said we need contraindications for pregnant women, and Dr. Burbacher said, “why put amalgams in children if we know they’re going to live with that for the rest of their lives? And we don’t know what that’s going to do.”
In 2009, no one on the FDA’s panel agreed to the FDA’s ruling – unrestricted amalgam use in children and in pregnant women. Then, in 2011, FDA Center Director Jeff Shuren – the person in charge of amalgam issues – was put in the hot seat after being confronted by dentists, consumers, and scientists. In response to the concerns voiced by the dentists, consumers, and scientists, Shuren said that the FDA would make ‘an announcement by the end of the year’.
Needless to say, no such announcement has been made. Until the FDA listens to its scientists, children will continue to develop neurological system complications, and the toxic vapors will continue to toxify the environment.