Russia-Ukraine: ICC to launch probe into possible war crimes | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Worldwide Felony Courtroom prosecutor says there may be ‘affordable foundation’ to consider that crimes occurred in Ukraine.

The Worldwide Felony Courtroom (ICC) prosecutor has introduced plans to launch an investigation into the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying that there’s a “affordable foundation” to consider that battle crimes have occurred throughout the battle.

Karim A A Khan mentioned on Monday that the probe would look into alleged crimes dedicated by “any celebration to the battle on any a part of the territory of Ukraine”, including that his workplace will proceed with the investigation “as quickly as attainable”.

The choice comes lower than every week after Russian forces launched an all-out assault on Ukraine with the acknowledged intention of demilitarising the nation.

“I’m happy that there’s a affordable foundation to consider that each alleged battle crimes and crimes towards humanity have been dedicated in Ukraine,” Khan mentioned in an announcement.

Established in 2002, the Hague-based court docket investigates and prosecutes genocide, battle crimes, and crimes towards humanity.

Final week, Khan warned the opponents that his workplace has jurisdiction over Ukraine as a result of the Ukrainian authorities accepted the ICC’s mandate in 2015, regardless of the nation initially not being a celebration to the Rome Statute that established the court docket.

“I’ll proceed to carefully observe developments on the bottom in Ukraine, and once more name for restraint and strict adherence to the relevant guidelines of worldwide humanitarian regulation,” Khan mentioned on Monday.

The Russian assault on Ukraine got here after a months-long standoff that noticed Moscow amass as many as 200,000 troops close to the Ukrainian border. It has spurred widespread worldwide condemnation and a slew of Western sanctions towards Russia.

The United Nations Common Meeting was assembly on Monday to debate the continued disaster, after Russia vetoed a UN Safety Council (UNSC) draft decision on Friday that might have condemned the invasion.

“The preventing in Ukraine should cease. It’s raging throughout the nation from air, land and sea. It should cease now,” UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres instructed the meeting on Monday, including that “the weapons are speaking now, however the path of dialogue should all the time stay open.”

The meeting, which incorporates all 193 UN member states, is anticipated to vote on a draft decision denouncing the invasion later this week. Russia and the opposite 4 everlasting members of the UNSC do not need veto energy on the Common Meeting.

Earlier this 12 months, Russia repeatedly denied US and European allegations that it was planning to invade Ukraine, insisting that it had official safety considerations about Kyiv’s deepening alliance with the West – and demanding ensures that Ukraine is not going to be allowed to hitch NATO.

Quite a few rounds of talks between Russian, European and American officers had failed to finish the deadlock.

The USA and its allies have been piling sanctions on the Russian economic system for the reason that invasion started. Russia’s central financial institution was hit by penalties from the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada on Monday.

Preventing has been intensifying throughout Ukraine throughout the previous days, with Russian troops closing in on main cities, together with Kharkiv, and the capital, Kyiv. Greater than 500,000 folks have already fled Ukraine since Russia launched its offensive, the United Nations mentioned.

Russian and Ukrainian officers started talks on the Belarusian border on Monday, with Kyiv demanding a direct ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops.

NASA probe will attempt to grab a piece of an asteroid on Tuesday | NOVA



Area + FlightArea & Flight

OSIRIS-REx could have simply three probabilities to the touch down and snag a pattern of the asteroid Bennu because it zooms by means of area some 204 million miles from Earth.

An artist’s rendering of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft gathering a pattern from the asteroid Bennu. Picture Credit score: NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona

On Oct. 20 simply after 6 p.m EDT, NASA will try a daring touch-and-go when its little-probe-that-could, OSIRIS-REx, tries to grab a chunk of an asteroid. 

The van-sized probe could have three probabilities to increase its 11-foot arm and contact down on the asteroid Bennu for 5 seconds, blowing pure nitrogen gasoline onto the floor and hopefully kicking up a significant quantity of mud and pebbles to seize and produce again dwelling.

The sampler head that can contact the asteroid is a bit bigger than a dinner plate, and the purpose is for it to gather wherever from 60 grams to 2 kilograms (about 2 ounces to 4.5 kilos) of fabric. If the mission is profitable, scientists will use the samples to be taught extra about each Bennu’s origins—what minerals it’s fabricated from and the place they got here from—and our personal. Bennu is taken into account a “primitive asteroid,” which shaped one thing like 4.5 billion years in the past and hasn’t modified a lot since then. Which means we’d discover natural molecules on its floor that may educate us concerning the beginnings of life on Earth.

Researchers may even measure the Yarkovsky impact on Bennu, or the way in which warmth from the solar can change its path over time. That’s particularly vital as a result of there’s an opportunity that Bennu, which is concerning the measurement of the Empire State Constructing, would possibly crash into Earth someday late subsequent century. Understanding extra about its potential trajectory may assist future missions searching for to cease that form of impression.

OSIRIS-REx (whose identify is an acronym that refers to its analysis targets) launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in late 2016; orbited the solar for a yr; after which met up with Bennu in 2018. Since then, it’s been observing its touring companion carefully, mapping Bennu’s floor and training flybys at totally different—and typically severely low—altitudes. In December 2019, the mission crew selected main and backup websites for landing, two comparatively clean patches inside craters amongst a sea of boulders.

Tuesday’s touch-and-go pattern assortment represents the end result of all of that effort and exploration. After its try(s) at extraterrestrial darts, the probe will return to orbit earlier than returning dwelling in 2023 with no matter bits of Bennu it managed to seize.

In a swirl of rocks and dust, OSIRIS-REx probe touches an asteroid | NOVA



House + FlightHouse & Flight

Regardless of issues that the floor of Bennu is perhaps too rocky, the probe’s landing produced a dramatic bathe of particles, opening the way in which for future insights into the mysteries of our photo voltaic system.

An animation of the OSIRIS-REx sampling arm touching down on the floor of asteroid Bennu to gather a pattern of fine-grained materials. Picture Credit score: NASA/Goddard/CI Lab

NASA could properly have succeeded in its first try to pattern an asteroid Tuesday when its OSIRIS-REx probe touched down for a number of moments on the floor of the asteroid Bennu, kicking up a dramatic bathe of rocks and mud. Throughout its six seconds involved with the floor, the probe emitted a puff of nitrogen to fire up a pattern of regolith, or asteroid mud, to seize in its specialised head—then blasted off once more.

Mission researchers, masked and in matching blue NASA shirts, cheered as they listened to mission operations narrate OSIRIS-REx’s descent to Bennu—“O-REx has descended beneath the five-meter mark; the hazard map is go for TAG,” after which, “Landing declared!”—from the Lockheed Martin House facility in Denver, Colorado. 

“The OSIRIS-REx mission outperformed in each means,” mentioned NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at a press convention.

Simply the duty of efficiently touching down on Bennu was an achievement in accuracy and precision. After touring some 207 million miles to the asteroid, the spacecraft tried to descend safely to a spot the dimensions of two parking areas—and touched down inside a meter of its goal. And though the descent course of took greater than 4 hours, the landing itself needed to be pre-programmed and carried out autonomously, because it takes nearly 19 minutes for a sign to journey from Earth to OSIRIS-REx’s present location. 

Listening to OSIRIS-REx make contact with Bennu was a “transcendental” expertise, mentioned mission Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta moments afterward. “I can’t consider we really pulled this off!”

OSIRIS-REx (whose identify is an acronym that refers to its analysis objectives) launched in September 2016, orbited the solar for a yr, after which “arrived” at Bennu in 2018. Since then, its workforce has frolicked getting aware of this explicit house rock, training flybys typically lower than a mile away and mapping potential spots on the floor for pattern assortment—together with the Nightingale web site the probe touched down on Tuesday.

That activity proved harder than anticipated. Primarily based on long-range measurements of how rapidly Bennu heats and cools with the solar’s rays, the OSIRIS-REx workforce had anticipated to seek out an asteroid whose floor appeared extra like a seashore than a mountaintop. As a substitute, they struggled to seek out any space flat sufficient and free sufficient of obstacles to permit for a secure touchdown. They usually fearful that the probe’s mechanism for amassing samples—the puff of nitrogen designed to fire up mud and rocks and propel them right into a type of high-tech air filter to be introduced again to Earth—wouldn’t work with a floor rockier and extra stable than anticipated.

These fears had been resolved late Tuesday evening, when photos from OSIRIS-REx confirmed that its touch-and-go on Bennu “stirred up a swirl of fabric most likely not like something Bennu has seen in fairly some time,” NASA Science Affiliate Administrator Thomas Zerbuchen, mentioned on the press convention. 

Pictures from the landing recommend the probe is prone to have efficiently collected not less than some materials, Lauretta added on the similar press convention, even crushing a reasonably large rock with the probe’s sampling head. “We actually did type of make a multitude on the floor of this asteroid,” he mentioned, “however it’s a superb mess, the type of mess we had been hoping for.” 

However details about simply how a lot materials they picked up must wait till later this week, when OSIRIS-REx will use onboard cameras to examine its personal sampling head, then prolong its arm and spin. The maneuver permits the workforce to check the probe’s “second of inertia” (which refers to how distribution of mass impacts the way in which one thing spins) from earlier than and after landing, and thus infer the burden of its cargo. If it’s decided that it didn’t reach grabbing not less than 60 grams of fabric, the workforce can have two extra possibilities to the touch down elsewhere on Bennu, beginning in January. 

Two Japanese missions have tried to seize materials from asteroids in the same method to OSIRIS-REx, however each bumped into sudden obstacles, and their sampling potential was a lot smaller than what NASA hopes this probe will convey residence. As a result of its capability for carrying asteroid mud is far bigger than its predecessors, the scientists concerned with this mission hope their very brief time on Bennu’s floor will result in a complete lot of knowledge. 

Lauretta mentioned NASA has already recognized two distinct rock sorts on Bennu’s floor. The primary, which he describes as a “darkish, type of hummocky rock” looks like it could be very weak compared to the rocks that we’re used to, and particularly compared to the meteorites that normally survive their fall to Earth. The second is slightly brighter, “shot by with brilliant white veins or white inclusions,” he mentioned, a mineral carbonate that’s much like the white crust that kinds round a toilet sink and is probably going a bit stronger.  

As soon as the pattern arrives residence, the geology exploration will start in earnest. “It is actually superb that these tiny specks of mud grains can inform you a lot about how our universe shaped, how our photo voltaic system shaped, how asteroids like Bennu and Ryugu shaped, and the way Earth shaped,” says Maitrayee Bose, a cosmochemist who research the mineral make-up of house mud. “So we will principally hint all of the processes, going from the actually early a part of the photo voltaic system to the current situation the place we’ve the planets, fairly simply by doing very detailed characterization of those cosmic mud samples.” By analyzing their composition and the way in which they incorporate water into their buildings, for instance, Bose can study what temperature and strain circumstances had been like when the mud shaped—and thus infer what the setting was like in our nebula at the moment.

Bose is especially excited to measure the water content material of the Bennu regolith and, utilizing that data, estimate how a lot water the asteroid and our bodies of comparable sizes may include. That would present key perception into the place water on Earth and elsewhere in our photo voltaic system got here from, and even give some context of the way it shaped. “I am making an attempt to map out what the predominant processes are that might change or alter the compositions of those supplies,” she says. “As soon as I do know that, then I can perceive exoplanets, how they kind. Can there be the same scenario like our photo voltaic system, the place we might kind a planet like Earth?”

Researchers may even use data gleaned from their temporary go to to measure the Yarkovsky Impact on Bennu, or the way in which that warmth emanating from an asteroid can change its path over time. That’s particularly vital as a result of Bennu is taken into account one of many asteroids almost certainly to crash into Earth someday subsequent century. (Although that probability continues to be fairly low.) Understanding extra about its potential trajectory might assist with future missions looking for to cease that type of affect.

However OSIRIS-REx faces an extended journey earlier than that analysis can start. “The road is tied and the sinker dropped, and we’re excited, however now we have to convey it in and see if we caught the fish,” Zerbuchen mentioned. “After which we have to convey it residence.” 

After landing and sampling, the spacecraft executed a “backaway burn,” through which it fired its thrusters and commenced its eventual return to orbit round Bennu. It’s going to now cool its heels—having warmed considerably throughout its method to the asteroid—whereas it waits for its workforce to evaluate their first-try pattern and determine whether or not returning a second or third time is perhaps mandatory. 

The probe will stick with Bennu till the asteroid nears Earth once more, beginning its journey again to Earth in March 2021 and in the end dropping its booty within the Utah desert in 2023. Then and solely then can scientists start the lengthy means of unlocking the secrets and techniques it holds.

Pentagon Opens Probe Into Sexual Abuse by U.S. Allies in Afghanistan | The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan | FRONTLINE | PBS


The Protection Division’s Inspector Common’s workplace has opened an investigation into whether or not United States troopers have been discouraged from reporting the rape and sexual abuse of youngsters by their Afghan allies.

The investigation, introduced on Tuesday, comes 5 weeks after a New York Occasions report on American troopers who mentioned they have been advised to disregard when Afghan militia commanders and native police abused or raped younger youngsters — a observe identified in Afghanistan as bacha bazi, which interprets to “boy play.”

The investigation discovered that some U.S. troopers — like Capt. Dan Quinn and Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland — confronted disciplinary actions after disobeying what they mentioned was an unwritten rule within the navy to disregard the abuse. Each males acquired right into a struggle in 2011 with an Afghan police commander who allegedly saved a boy chained to his mattress as a intercourse slave. The Military relieved Quinn of his command after the incident. It additionally sought to forcibly retire Martland, in line with The Occasions. 

U.S. and coalition forces and the federal government of Afghanistan have relied on militias and highly effective warlords within the struggle in opposition to the Taliban, generally regardless of accusations of human rights violations or different legal exercise. The coverage of nonintervention within the case of kid abuse, was meant to keep up good relations with these allies.

In September, when the Occasions report was revealed, a spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan advised the newspaper that “allegations of kid sexual abuse by Afghan navy or police personnel can be a matter of home Afghan legal legislation.”

In a discover on Tuesday, the inspector basic’s workplace mentioned its probe would give attention to U.S. coverage surrounding allegations of kid intercourse abuse by Afghan safety forces, and whether or not there was any “steerage, casual or in any other case, to discourage reporting” such abuse.

The workplace mentioned it additionally plans to research what number of circumstances have been reported to U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, what motion was taken in these circumstances, and what coaching has been given on how one can establish and reply to allegations of kid intercourse abuse.

FRONTLINE’s 2010 investigation, The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, discovered that bacha bazi, which was banned below the Taliban, had secretly been revived, although it stays unlawful in Afghanistan. Journalist Najibullah Quraishi discovered highly effective Afghan males, a few of them warlords or former militia commanders who fought the Taliban, partaking within the observe. They’d give the households of the boys cash in change for taking them and coaching them to “entertain” rich retailers and warlords.

Whereas a police chief advised Quraishi that anybody caught practising bacha bazi can be “severely punished,” Quraishi later discovered cops and investigators at events watching the boys dance.

FRONTLINE takes viewers contained in the war-torn nation to disclose a disturbing observe that’s as soon as once more flourishing within the nation — the organized sexual abuse of adolescent boys.


Priyanka Boghani

Priyanka Boghani, Deputy Digital Editor, FRONTLINE