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Showing posts from January 30, 2013

Revealing N Korea's gulag and nuclear sites

Google's newly updated maps show unprecedented detail in aerial imagery of isolated labour camps and missile launch pad

While citizen cartographers have been compiling detailed information on North Korea for years, on Monday Google announced the publication of mapping data that had previously been missing.

The release follows a private "humanitarian mission" by Google executive Eric Schmidt to Pyongyang with Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico.

After the trip, commentators speculated on the mix of business and political motives by Schmidt, while the US government emphasised that it had no connection to the visit. Commenting on what he saw, Schmidt criticised the North Korean decision to be "virtually isolated".

Schmidt was apparently unable to meet with a detained Korean-American, but said he urged the country to increase internet access. The country has minimal connectivity with the outside, and only a small percentage of citizens can even log onto …

Dozens of bodies found 'executed' in Syria

The bodies of at least 80 persons have been found along a river bank in Aleppo with single gunshot wounds to the headThe bodies of at least 80 young men and boys, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, have been found in a river in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog and rebels said.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 65 bodies were found in the Quweiq River, which separates the Bustan al-Qasr district from Ansari in the southwest of the city, but that the toll could rise significantly.
A Free Syrian Army fighter at the scene said the death toll is higher, pointing out that many more bodies were still being dragged from the water, in a rebel-held area.
"Until now we have recovered 68 bodies, some of them just teens," said Captain Abu Sada, adding that all of them had been "executed by the regime."
"But there must be more than 100. There are still many in the water, and we are trying to recover them."