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Wednesday, Apr 01st

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Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror

body count: war on terrorHow do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.

In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the 'War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.

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Companies Profiting The Most From War

weapons of warWorldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year.

However, not all countries are spending less. Military spending in North America and in Western and Central European countries has continued to decline, while other countries such as Brazil and Russia have increased their arms investments.

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Afghanistan gave CIA money to al Qaeda for diplomat's ransom

CIA gave million to Bin ladenAbout $1 million provided by the CIA to a secret Afghan government fund ended up in the hands of al Qaeda in 2010 when it was used to pay a ransom for an Afghan diplomat, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had at first been concerned about the payment, fearing the CIA knew about the money and had tainted it with poison, radiation or a tracking device, the Times said, and suggested it be converted to another currency.

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Afghan war civilian casualties reached record-high 10,000 in 2014

Afghan civilian casualtiesA new record of 10,548 civilians died or were wounded in the war in Afghanistan in 2014 – alongside a number of other new, deadly records.

Civilian casualties were up 22 percent from the previous record in 2013. The number of women and children either killed or wounded reached record highs, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Casualties from suicide attacks, roadside bombs and explosive devices also broke records.

The United Nations has been recording the war in Afghanistan since 2009.

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When the U.S. dropped barrel bombs in war

US dropped barrel bombs"It's a childish story that keeps repeating in the West," smiled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview with the BBC last week. He was dismissing allegations that his regime is attacking Syrian civilians with barrel bombs, crude devices packed with fuel and shrapnel that inflict brutal, indiscriminate damage.

"I haven't heard of the army using barrels, or maybe, cooking pots," Assad said, and then repeated when pressed again: "They're called bombs. We have bombs, missiles and bullets. There [are] no barrel bombs, we don't have barrels."

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U.S. forces declassify data on Afghan troops after watchdog dispute

US declassifies Afghan war infoThe U.S.-led force in Afghanistan is to make recently classified data on the Afghan security forces available to the public after a U.S. government watchdog complained about undue secrecy surrounding reconstruction efforts.

The U.S. watchdog had challenged the U.S. military's assertion that releasing data on topics ranging from recruitment of women to salaries and attrition could be of tactical benefit to Taliban insurgents, and called the decision to classify it "inexplicable".

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The Hidden Problem That Kills 15,000 People Every Year

land minesIn an age of shooting sprees and suicide bombings, landmines seem a distant threat. But in the last week alone, seven people were killed when they came into contact with the explosive devices: an 11-year-old boy in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, one person in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, and at least five were killed in Paksitan’s Balochistan province.

Often decades old, landmines litter the terrain of resolved conflicts and pose continuing threats to those who live in their midst. According to the United Nations, there are 110 million land mines still buried in the ground — and more than 15,000 people are killed by landmines every year.

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