Weekend Reviews: 46 Afghans Killed in Shiite Mosque Bombings
At least 46 people were killed, and more than 140 others were injured in a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday afternoon after a suicide bomb attack. An Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) group has taken responsibility for the horrific bombing.
The attack occurred during Friday prayers while the mosque was packed with dozens of worshippers in Kunduz. It is the worst attack claimed by ISIS-K since the U.S. withdrew its troops from Afghanistan under the order of President Joe Biden. The latest to follow a series of attempts to target the Taliban after their takeover of the Afghan government.
The group identified the bomber as Uyrgher Muslim in their claim of responsibility. The deadly explosion targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghurs to meet demands from China.
The explosion blew out windows, charred the ceiling, and scattered debris and twisted metal across the floor. Vivid images and video footage circulating online show dozens of bodies bloodied and surrounded by debris inside the mosque and “human remains scattered throughout the back yard of the mosque.”
ISIS-K is an affiliate of the Islamic state. ISIS-K has also claimed responsibility for deadly bombings and shootings in Kabul, including the Aug. 26 Kabul airport attack that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members and a bombing on Sunday outside Kabul’s Eid Gah Mosque that killed at least five people.
‘The Pandora Papers’ Leak Millions of Financial Secrets
A massive leak exposed some of the world’s most powerful figures. The data, referred to as The Pandora Papers, is a leak of almost 12 million financial documents released Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ) in Washington DC revealing money laundering, tax avoidance, secret bank accounts, yachts, private jets, mansions and so much more.
Several states have been confirmed as leading offshore tax havens, or anonymous companies based in other countries, for many years, allowing secretive investments. South Dakota, Nevada, Delaware, Arkansas, and Wyoming have a reputation as “onshore-offshore states,” according to Lauren Kohr, senior director of anti-money laundering, Americas, at the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. South Dakota’s trust industry holds $367 billion in assets.
“The Pandora Papers provide details about tens of millions of dollars moved from offshore havens in the Caribbean and Europe into South Dakota,” the ICIJ said. Many of the accounts were designed to evade taxes and conceal assets.
More than 330 politicians from 90 countries have used secret offshore companies to hide their wealth. The leaked documents also reveal “the real owners of more than 29,000 offshore companies” coming from “more than 200 countries and territories, with the largest contingents from Russia, the U.K., Argentina, and China.”
However, many argue that this revelation is not new information. The bigger question is, “How will our country crackdown on these financial abusers and enablers?”
Former Facebook Manager Blows Whistle On Company
A former Facebook product manager took the stand in a US Senate hearing this week. Frances Haugen, the Facebook Whistleblower, revealed shady secrets within the giant tech company and claimed that the companies algorithm amplifies misinformation and pursues “astronomical profits” despite its harm to users.
“The result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats, and more combat,” Haugen told Congress. “In some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people.”
Researches showed that usage of Instagram, owned by Facebook, has promoted frequent suicidal thoughts and eating disorders among teen girls. Haugen acknowledged the researches, telling Congress that the company misled and misdirected the health and safety of children. She said that Facebook knows how to make its social networks safer but will not make the “necessary changes” because profits are more important.
Haugen also testified that Facebook “intentionally hides vital information” that they know from the public and governments worldwide. Her lawyers have filed eight complaints against Facebook, alleging that the company’s own research shows that it applies hate, misinformation, and political unrest.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disputed Haugen’s allegations in a note to Facebook employees, saying that the claims are “illogical” and a “false picture of the company that is being painted.
Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake Will Not Be Charged
Federal prosecutors will not be filing charges against a white police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin last year.
Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake several times during a domestic disturbance, leaving Blake paralyzed from the waist down. The incident led to widespread protests and riots for several nights, some deadly. The shooting occurred three months after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Prosecutors from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and US attorney’s office in Milwaukee launched an investigation after the shooting and determined on Friday that there was not enough evidence to prove Sheskey willfully used excessive force or violated Blake’s civil rights. Prosecutors declined to charge Sheskey earlier this year after a video showed that Blake was armed with a knife.
Blake’s uncle said the decision was “unconscionable” and “steps on every civil right we can imagine this country owes every African American descendant.”