Soviet double-Olympic champion gymnast accuses ‘monster’ former teammate of rape

Former Soviet gymnast Tatiana Gutsu has accused her ex-teammate Vitaly Scherbo of raping her during a competition in Stuttgart in 1991 when she was 15.

Barcelona 1992 gold medalist Gutsu, now 41, gave details of the alleged assault in a Facebook post in which she labeled fellow gold medalist Scherbo, who would have been 19 at the time, a “monster” who had kept her in a “prison.”

Ukrainian Gutsu also claimed that other Soviet teammates were aware of Scherbo’s alleged crimes, but failed to “protect” her and instead covered for him.

“This is me being brave after 27 years,” Gutsu, who won team and all-around gold in Barcelona, said in the post, written in broken English.

“Tatyana Toropova who I thought was my friend and a teammate in the National team of USSR thank you for not being brave for me when I need it [sic] you the most to stand, stand up for me and fight for the women rights in such a horrific act, no means no.

“You were there you heard everything you never stand stand up to protect me… Rustam Sharipov [1996 Olympic gold medalist] thank you for being a great body for your friend and not protecting me as a little girl at 15.

“Who rape me in Stuttgart Germany DTB 1991. Vitaly Scherbo. Monster who kept me in my own prison to be afraid for so many years.

“I know you will try to [defend] yourself. But my details are much stronger than your words. I’m strong now [than] ever. You can’t [break] me down anymore. This my Cinderella story.

“I survive you and I will supports anyone out there who is afraid to speak out I will try to gain my confidence and straight in myself to help others.”

Gutsu and Scherbo represented the Unified Team, comprised of former Soviet athletes after the collapse of the USSR, at the 1992 Games, at which both gymnasts claimed team and all-around titles.

Scherbo, who currently owns a gymnastics school in Las Vegas, went on to add four more golds to his Barcelona medal haul by dominating in the men’s pommel horse, rings, vault and parallel bars finals.

Gutsu made the allegations as part of the #MeToo campaign, launched by actress Alyssa Milano, by which women from around the world speak up to share personal experiences of sexual assault.

The campaign began in reaction to the recent scandal involving Harvey Weinstein, in which dozens of Hollywood actresses accused the film producer of sexual harassment.

It has since become a global phenomenon, gaining 65,000 replies to Milano’s original tweet, more than 12 million Facebook posts with the hashtag and over 500,000 subsequent tweets.

READ MORE: ‘Worse week than Weinstein’: Veteran NFL broadcaster sorry for New York Giants’ form comment

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RT Sport

Goldman Sachs prefers gold to bitcoin

Gold is better than cryptocurrencies due to its durability and intrinsic value, explains American banking giant Goldman Sachs.

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© Christoph Schmidt / Global Look Press

“Precious metals remain a relevant asset class in modern portfolios, despite their lack of yield,” analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“They are neither a historic accident or a relic,” and are still relevant despite new assets like cryptocurrencies, they said.

As uncertainty in markets grows, the price of gold rises, they explained. In the long term, gold will gain because of the continuing demand in emerging markets, particularly in China.

Goldman analysts used several criteria to compare gold and bitcoin, including durability, portability, intrinsic value and unit of account. In three categories gold is better, losing to bitcoin only in portability.

“While both require expertise for correct long-term storage, gold wins because cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to hacking through online wallets or the user’s computer or smartphone, are subject to regulatory risk, and network and infrastructure risk during a crisis,” they said.

“Transferring bullion can be expensive, given its weight, need for a high level of security and high import taxes in some countries, such as India. In contrast, it’s much faster and cheaper to move bitcoins,” Goldman analysts added.

Gold has a limited amount, while it is difficult to control supply in case of cryptocurrencies; gold is better at keeping its purchasing power, and has much lower daily volatility, they said.

This year, bitcoin has rallied about 600 percent, starting the year at less than $ 1,000 and jumping to near $ 6,000. Gold prices have risen 12 percent. Bitcoin’s total values is approaching $ 100 billion, more than the market cap of corporations like Bayer, Goldman Sachs and Nike.

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Russia calls on US to expedite destruction of its chemical weapons

A senior Russian diplomat has urged the US and other nations to follow Russia’s example and decommission their chemical arsenals.

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An open storage for the collection of burnt ammunition containing toxicant agents, at Kizner facility, Udmurtia, September 27, 2017. © Iliya Pitalev

We have inherited the world’s largest arsenal of such weapons of mass destruction, and we carried out a plan for its elimination in good faith,” said Vladimir Yermakov, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Weapons Control and Non-Proliferation.

Speaking before a session of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the diplomat reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to honoring its obligations under international agreements.

We call upon all nations that still possess chemical weapons to immediately follow Russia’s example,” said Yermakov.

This concerns primarily the state that had initiated the convention and has always been the promoter of its ideas and now for some reason remains the owner of the largest stocks of chemical weapons,” he added, apparently referring to the US.

He also expressed bewilderment at the fact that the US, while possessing the world’s largest chemical-weapons arsenal, had attempted “to cast a shadow on the great achievements of other countries, such as Syria.”

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FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises near a damaged road in Dahiyet al-Assad, west Aleppo city, Syria October 30, 2016 © Ammar Abdullah

Yermakov also thanked several nations that had financially contributed to the Russian chemical weapons destruction program, such as the US, the UK, Italy, Poland Germany and France.

Russia destroyed the last of its chemical-weapon stockpiles in late September. President Vladimir Putin personally monitored this process via TV link and called it a historic event.

On October 9, Putin ordered the dissolution of the State Commission on Destruction of Chemical Weapons, as this body no longer had a purpose to serve.

In late September, the US announced plans to destroy their own stockpiles of chemical weapons by late 2023.

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RT UKhttps://www.rt.com/uk/</link> RT UKenRThttps://www.rt.com/static/img/logo-rss.pngRT UKhttps://www.rt.com</link> 12540Tory MP defends RT after Boris Johnson claims it is a ‘scandal’ to appear on channelhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407084-johnson-kawczynski-propaganda-channel/ Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has appeared on RT to defend the channel after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it an “absolute scandal” that Labour MPs “continue to validate” our “propaganda.”
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:23:34 +0000RT‘Social cleansing’: Councils buying rough sleepers one-way tickets to get them out of townhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407082-homelessness-poverty-councils-england/ Local councils across England have been accused of “social cleansing” because they are regularly buying one-way tickets for homeless people to get them to leave town.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:47:24 +0000RTHow much will F-35 jets cost UK & will they ever be delivered? Even ministers don’t know https://www.rt.com/uk/407077-f35-fighter-jet-problems/ Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) faces fresh embarrassment over its F-35 fighter jet program. Ministers have been forced to admit they don’t know the final cost or delivery date for the US-made planes, which are beset by technical issues.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:10:39 +0000RTLegalize cannabis now or face mental health crisis, warns drug think-tank https://www.rt.com/uk/407071-legalize-cannabis-mental-health/ Britain should legalize cannabis to prevent a mental health crisis, a leading drugs think-tank has said. It argues the substance should be legalized to protect people from more dangerous, high potency cannabis found on the black market.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:21:00 +0000RTRichard Branson nearly lost £4mn to con-artist posing as Defense Secretary Michael Fallonhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407069-branson-fallon-con-fraud/ Sir Richard Branson has revealed he was targeted by a conman masquerading as British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who tried to defraud him of almost £4 million. One of the Virgin billionaire’s friends wasn’t so lucky, handing over £1.5 million.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:18:50 +0000RTNeo-Nazi leader quits movement after coming out as gay & revealing he’s Jewishhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407061-neo-nazi-gay-jewish/ A prominent neo-Nazi and National Front organizer has come out as gay and revealed his Jewish heritage. He made the revelations about his violent past while renouncing far-right extremism.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:29:53 +0000RTFury as police give jailed paedophile ‘victim’ status in ex-PM Ted Heath rape casehttps://www.rt.com/uk/407060-paedophile-victim-ted-heath/ A convicted paedophile who was given ‘victim’ status after claiming he was raped by former British Prime Minister Ted Heath has caused outrage among abuse campaigners.
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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:27:11 +0000RTMI5 chief says ‘diverse’ Islamist threat to UK growing at ‘previously unseen scale & pace’https://www.rt.com/uk/407035-mi5-islamist-terrorism-uk/ Britain’s top domestic intelligence officer has warned that Britain is under unprecedented threat from Islamist terrorists, and says that 20 plots have been foiled in the past four years, while future successful attacks are inevitable.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:18:00 +0000RTPro-Palestine posters on Balfour centenary ‘censored’ by London transport authorityhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407005-palestine-posters-balfour-declaration/ Transport for London (TfL) has been accused of censorship after refusing to allow campaigners to display posters giving the Palestinian perspective on the Balfour Declaration. The posters were designed to mark the 100th anniversary of the colonial-era document that led to the creation of Israel.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:54:00 +0000RTBoris says Labour MPs speaking to RT is a ‘scandal’ … despite his dad appearing only last monthhttps://www.rt.com/uk/407004-boris-johnson-father-propaganda/ While Boris Johnson claims it is a “scandal” that Labour MPs are willing to appear on RT, the Tory foreign secretary seems unaware his own father came on the channel just last month. In fact, a lot of Johnson’s Tory colleagues have.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:40:00 +0000RTForeign takeovers: Does Britain think Chinese companies threaten its national security?https://www.rt.com/uk/406995-china-espionage-fear-hinkley/ British companies could receive added protection from foreign takeovers under new government proposals – just months after Theresa May cast doubt on a nuclear-power-station deal with China. The proposals have been presented as being “in the interests of national security.”
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:58:00 +0000RTHeadmaster apologizes for gender-neutral toilets that made pupils ‘uncomfortable’ https://www.rt.com/uk/406989-gender-neutral-toilets-uniforms/ A headmaster at one of Britain’s top schools has been forced to apologize for introducing gender-neutral toilets. Earlier in the year he was criticized for allowing boys to wear skirts as part of their school uniform.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:36:00 +0000RTRobot invasion of Britain: Map shows areas most at risk of automationhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406982-robots-job-automation-report/ As robots march ever closer to making humans obsolete in the workplace, a report has emerged mapping out which areas around the UK are likely to suffer most from automation. According to Future Advocacy, one-fifth of jobs in all of Britain’s 650 constituencies are destined to go to robots.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:27:00 +0000RTIs UK’s demonization of Russia the geopolitical blunder of a generation? – MP asks Boris Johnsonhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406979-russia-cyber-attack-johnson/ Britain cannot pinpoint any specific Russian cyberattacks on the UK, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has conceded. Compounding his embarrassment, Johnson was asked whether the “demonization” of Russia is therefore the “geopolitical blunder of a generation.”
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:16:00 +0000RTUK taxpayers hand £200mn to Syrian opposition & White Helmets, journalist tells RT (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406974-syria-white-helmet-taxpayer/ Almost £200 million of British taxpayers’ money has gone to supporting Syrian opposition groups, independent journalist Vanessa Beeley told RT. One of the groups to benefit from the funds are the White Helmets, which are alleged to have links with terrorists.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:29:00 +0000RTTom ‘two-dinners’ Watson joins Guantanamo solidarity hunger strikehttps://www.rt.com/uk/406967-watson-hunger-strike-guantanamo/ Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has gone on a hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. He will go without food and drink only water in protest against the treatment of Ahmed Rabbani and Khalid Qasim in the US-controlled prison in Cuba.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:45:00 +0000RTHate crime up 29% since Brexit referendum & Westminster attack, but prosecution numbers fallhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406962-hate-crime-terrorism-brexit/ The number of hate crimes reported to police in the 12 months to March 2017 increased by 29 percent, but there was a reduction in the number of cases leading to prosecutions.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:11:00 +0000RTCharitable aid convoys to Syria ‘abused’ to fund terrorism, regulator warnshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406956-charity-aid-convoy-terrorism/ Aid convoys to conflict areas may be passing on charitable funds to terrorist groups, the Charity Commission has warned.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:37:00 +0000RTBoundary review: Are the Tories rigging Parliament to repair their lost majority?https://www.rt.com/uk/406954-boundary-changes-tories-labour/ A plan to slash the number of MPs and redraw constituencies across Britain will be hit with furious opposition amid accusations the Tory government is trying to boost its majority by undemocratic means.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:14:00 +0000RTNorth Korean hackers targeted British channel over ‘slanderous’ TV drama https://www.rt.com/uk/406951-north-korea-hackers-channel4/ North Korean hackers launched a cyber-attack to halt the production of a Channel 4 drama depicting the fictional story of a nuclear scientist kidnapped by the country’s agents.
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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:51:00 +0000RTKurdish protesters attack Iraqi embassy in London (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)https://www.rt.com/uk/406909-kurdish-protesters-iraqi-embassy-london/ Kurdish protesters staged a demonstration outside the Iraqi embassy in London as the country’s military continued its assault on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk in the north of Iraq.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:11:00 +0000RTBritish man facing jail in Dubai for ‘touching man’s hip’ speaks of ‘unbearable’ ordealhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406873-dubai-jamie-harron-detained/ A Scottish man facing jail for putting his hand on a man’s hip in a bar in Dubai says his “unbearable” ordeal is far from over despite charges being dropped by the claimant.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:35:00 +0000RTImpending doom? ‘Eerie’ red sun linked to #StormOphelia freaks out Twitterhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406864-red-sun-storm-ophelia/ Some unusual solar activity has got social media spooked. The sun over England appeared red and slightly menacing on Monday, triggering fears of an imminent apocalypse. Many took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the “eerie” spectacle.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:38:00 +0000RTFarmer filmed attacking anti-hunting campaigners, ramming them with quad bike (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406860-farmer-hunt-saboteurs-video/ Shocking footage has emerged of a furious farmer ramming anti-hunting campaigners with a quad bike, throwing punches and making violent threats – while insisting his actions are protected under UK law.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:22:00 +0000RTDeclassified files finally expose failures that allowed Argentine missile to sink British warshiphttps://www.rt.com/uk/406847-falklands-hms-sheffield-sank/ Documents detailing a long list of failings have been released after being covered up for more than three decades, shedding light on how the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk by Argentina during the Falklands War, leaving 20 dead and 26 injured.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:43:00 +0000RTDisabled children suffer 150% rise in verbal, physical & online hate crime in 2yrshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406843-disabled-children-hate-crime/ Hate crimes against disabled children including verbal, physical and online abuse have risen nearly 150 percent in two years, new figures suggest.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:29:00 +0000RTYoung Labour appears to brand NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg ‘a fascist’https://www.rt.com/uk/406831-young-labour-nato-stoltenberg/ Young Labour, the youth wing of Britain’s main opposition party, has passed a motion describing the head of NATO as a “fascist.”
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:59:00 +0000RTChristian printer refuses to make business cards for trans customer… both accused of discriminationhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406830-christian-printer-transgender-discrimination/ A transgender-diversity consultant was left “gobsmacked” after a devout Christian printer turned down her order for business cards, saying he did not want to promote a cause that might harm fellow believers.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:47:00 +0000RTEmergency Brexit talks: Theresa May makes unannounced dash to Brussels to end deadlock https://www.rt.com/uk/406816-brexit-may-brussels-urgent/ UK Prime Minister Theresa May is making an unscheduled trip to Brussels on Monday to urgently discuss Brexit over a dinner with EU leaders in a bid to end the stalemate in negotiations.
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Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:20:00 +0000RTTony Blair regrets siding with Israel on Hamas boycott https://www.rt.com/uk/406765-blair-regret-hamas-boycott-israel/ Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he was wrong to side with George W Bush and Israel to boycott Hamas after it won the 2006 Palestinian elections.
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Sun, 15 Oct 2017 19:34:00 +0000RTPrehistoric burial ground unearthed at UK army garrison site (PHOTOS)https://www.rt.com/uk/406745-prehistoric-bodies-discovered-garrison/ Archaeologists have uncovered prehistoric remains at the site of a large garrison which is being built to house British troops who are returning from Germany.
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Sun, 15 Oct 2017 15:03:00 +0000RTBritish man falls to his death while taking selfie at Indian temple on Friday the 13thhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406728-british-man-selfie-death-india/ A 58-year-old British man died while taking a selfie at the Lakshmi Temple in Orchha, India. It was the last stop on a round-the-world trip with his wife Hilary that took in a total of 22 countries.
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Sun, 15 Oct 2017 09:26:00 +0000RTWhat are the chances? Ship’s anchor spears torpedo off Britain’s south coast (PHOTO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406698-ship-oil-anchor-torpedo/ An merchant vessel carrying around 1,000 tons of fuel enjoyed a narrow escape when its anchor pierced an old test torpedo after coming to a stop off the coast of Portsmouth.
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Sat, 14 Oct 2017 16:43:00 +0000RT‘Brute force’ hack of British MPs blamed on Iran amid nuclear deal tensions – report https://www.rt.com/uk/406679-uk-parliament-hackers-iran/ A “brute force” attack on British MPs back in June has allegedly been traced to Iranian hackers, the Times reported citing intelligence sources. The article came as London urged Washington not to derail the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
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Sat, 14 Oct 2017 12:17:00 +0000RTTerrorist couple argued who was more radical, mulled stabbing spree as wedding gift, UK court hearshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406644-knife-birmingham-couple-court/ A couple on trial for plotting a terrorist attack would bicker over who was more radical and exchange gifts to prepare for, and use in, the attack, a court in the UK has heard.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 23:40:00 +0000RTMan denies kidnapping, raping & butchering teenager before stuffing her into a freezerhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406614-kidnap-rape-murder-freezer/ A man accused of kidnapping and raping a teenage girl before slitting her throat and stuffing her body in a freezer in south London has denied murder.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:49:00 +0000RTRough sleeping among elderly people doubles in 7 years – official statshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406612-homeless-elderly-housing-crisis/ The number of elderly people sleeping rough in the UK has risen by 100 percent in the past seven years, according to new official statistics.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:47:00 +0000RTSecurity guard occupies supermarket rafters to protest ‘unfair dismissal’ (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406606-tesco-protest-security-guard/ A supermarket security guard who was sacked after being accused of stealing has climbed into the rafters of his former workplace and launched a one man protest against his unfair dismissal.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:50:00 +0000RTThugs spray acid into shopkeeper’s mouth in London robbery (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406604-acid-attack-hackney-cctv/ Two men caught on CCTV throwing acid in the face of a shopkeeper before punching and kicking her to the ground during a violent robbery have been convicted.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:47:00 +0000RTIs Brexit dead? Tory rebels turn on May’s Brexit Bill with 300 amendments, 54 new clauseshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406595-brexit-bill-amendments-debate/ Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse for Theresa May, they just did.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:12:00 +0000RTSex segregation in Islamic-faith school ruled unlawful by UK court https://www.rt.com/uk/406593-islamic-school-segregation-ruling/ The policy of segregating girls and boys at an Islamic-faith school has been deemed unlawful in a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal in the UK.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:53:00 +0000RTIs George Osborne targeting Theresa May for revenge… or plotting a political comeback?https://www.rt.com/uk/406589-george-osborne-theresa-may/ George Osborne says he’s glad he quit Parliament to pursue his career of editing the London Evening Standard. But the ex-Tory chancellor, sacked by Theresa May when she took office, could be planning a comeback – just when the PM is at her weakest.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:29:00 +0000RTMan-on-man ‘bromances’ are threatening heterosexual relationships, warn researchershttps://www.rt.com/uk/406587-bromances-heterosexual-girlfriend-study/ ‘Bromances’ are threatening heterosexual relationships, researchers say, as men surveyed report sharing beds, cuddling and getting more emotional satisfaction out of male friendships than those with women.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:23:00 +0000RT‘No such thing as 100% British’: Fashion chain Jigsaw splits opinion with pro-immigration adshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406578-immigration-campaign-brexit-jigsaw/ British fashion chain Jigsaw has gone political with a new ad campaign that praises immigration and claims there is “no such thing as 100 percent British.”
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:17:00 +0000RTLonely Liam: Tories create new board of trade… with only 1 member https://www.rt.com/uk/406575-liam-fox-trade-conservatives/ As if the Conservative government needed to be mocked for anything else this month. Now they’ve created a trade board with only one member.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:59:00 +0000RTHunt for sex predators after girl, 17, attacked 3 times in 1 hour on way home (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406568-teen-sex-attack-video/ Police are hunting three separate men after a teenage girl, in a harrowing ordeal, was attacked three times in one hour in east London.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:12:00 +0000RTWorld must act or risk ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse’ – top doctorhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406566-antibiotic-drug-resistance-medicine/ England’s chief medical officer has warned of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse,” calling on world leaders to address the growing threat of drug-resistant infections.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:58:00 +0000RTBritain’s top Brexit negotiator faces legal threat for withholding secret researchhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406559-brexit-legal-davies-secret/ Brexit Secretary David Davis has been threatened with legal action over his refusal to publish 50 secret studies commissioned on the impact of Britain leaving the EU.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:19:00 +0000RTSqualid conditions in UK prisons ‘a humanitarian crisis,’ whistleblower tells RT (PHOTOS) https://www.rt.com/uk/406553-prison-overcrowding-conditions-riot/ Severe overcrowding, squalid conditions and lax security in England’s jails constitute a “national crisis,” a prison whistleblower has told RT, as photographs released from inside reveal vermin-infested cells, blood-stained walls and toilets being used as dining chairs.
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Fri, 13 Oct 2017 07:19:00 +0000RTEbay pays just £1.6mn in tax on £1bn sales in Britainhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406501-ebay-corporation-tax-sales/ Ebay paid just £1.6 million in UK corporation tax last year despite making £1 billion in sales, it has been revealed, raising fresh questions about how multinational corporations are able to structure their businesses to minimize tax bills.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:55:00 +0000RTPipe bombs, car attacks & UK targets: RT investigates spread of ISIS online chat groupshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406500-isis-bomb-making-liverpool/ Bomb-making manuals are being circulated inside terrorist groups on the internet, alongside footage of British landmarks, even as the government claims it is clamping down on the sharing of jihadist material. RT looked inside an Islamic State chat group.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:51:00 +0000RTBritish man could still face Dubai jail for ‘touching man’s hip’ despite allegations being droppedhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406499-dubai-arrested-jamie-harron/ A British man facing three years in jail over alleged public indecency while at a nightclub in Dubai is still being prosecuted under ‘typical laws’- despite the claimant dropping the allegations.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:38:00 +0000RT‘Blame Russia for everything – part of propaganda campaign to smear politicians’https://www.rt.com/uk/406491-uk-mps-rt-propaganda-times/ Elected British officials appear on RT as they can’t get their voices heard on the existing mainstream media. Britain’s The Times runs against open and free debate, denying the democratic process of airing their opinions, says Professor Piers Robinson.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:04:06 +0000RTUK’s plans to make Facebook & Google ‘media outlets’ would ‘control freedom of speech’ (VIDEO)https://www.rt.com/uk/406489-facebook-google-media-censor/ A British government proposal to list Google and Facebook as publishers and take responsibility for everything posted on their sites has been slammed as a “gross intrusion to freedom of speech.”
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:51:00 +0000RTBritish media’s Brexit coverage plays up doom, buries shoots of optimismhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406483-brexit-barnier-davis-press/ Why lead with ‘new momentum’ when your headline can contain the juicy alliteration of ‘disturbing deadlock’. Yet both phrases were uttered in Brussels during talks today.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:14:00 +0000RTEffects of childhood bullying disappear as kids grow up, study revealshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406477-children-bullying-mental-health/ Ground-breaking research into childhood bullying suggests the effects soon disappear as kids get older.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:33:00 +0000RTBritish police accused of ‘wasting time’ as hate speech arrests up almost 900% in some areashttps://www.rt.com/uk/406467-hate-crime-twitter-troll/ A staggering rise in online hate crime, as people are attacked over Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, has led to a gigantic leap in arrests in Britain.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:17:00 +0000RTRichard Branson’s Brexit strategy: Wait for Leave voters to die, then rejoin EUhttps://www.rt.com/uk/406462-richard-branson-brexit-die/ The UK will rejoin the EU within five years after ‘Leave’ voters have “died off”, businessman Sir Richard Branson has said, describing Brexit as “the saddest thing that has ever happened to Europe and what was Great Britain”.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:06:00 +0000RTTougher penalties for suspects even ‘slightly involved’ in terrorism plotshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406454-terrorism-legislation-penalties-offences/ New, tougher sentences have been proposed to deal with “less sophisticated” yet “equally dangerous” terror plots.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:49:00 +0000RTPrison staff ‘attacked with pool balls’ by rioting inmateshttps://www.rt.com/uk/406452-prison-riot-security-attack/ Prison staff were “attacked with pool balls” during a “disturbance” that saw 80 inmates take over a wing at a high-security prison in Worcestershire on Wednesday night.
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Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:24:00 +0000RTPentagon looking into report ISIS ‘White Widow’ Sally Jones killed in US drone strike

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Rapist won't get custody of victim’s son as judge reverses ruling

A judge who gained notoriety for granting a rapist joint custody of a child conceived during the rape of a pre-teen girl has rescinded the controversial order following widespread outcry.

Judge Gregory Ross of the Sanilac County Circuit in Michigan ruled on Tuesday that Christopher Mirasolo won’t have any parental rights regarding the 8-year-old boy he fathered when he raped a 12 year old.

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© Michigan Department of Corrections

Judge Ross, who previously granted custody to Mirasolo after DNA testing established he was the child’s biological father, said he didn’t know Mirasolo had two criminal convictions for sexual conduct when he made the order.

Mirasolo was 18-years-old when he raped the child’s mother in 2008. He held the girl, her 13-year-old sister and her friend captive for two days. During that time he raped the girl and threatened to kill her and her friend if they spoke to anyone about what happened.

“I was kidnapped for two days. I didn’t know if I was ever going to go home. He threatened to kill me and my best friend if we told anyone,” the woman, whose name is Tiffany, said to CBS.

Mirasolo was arrested a month later after it was revealed that the girl was pregnant. He took a plea deal for attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct in January 2009 and was discharged on December 20, 2010.

READ MORE: Judge overturns rape conviction of Indian filmmaker, says ‘feeble no’ can mean ‘yes’

Shortly after his release he sexually assaulted another girl that was under the age of 15. He was convicted and served four years for that crime.

The custody decision came after Tiffany filled out a form for government assistance. “I don’t understand why they thought they needed to give him joint legal custody. He was my rapist,” Tiffany said.

Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young said in a statement to the Port Huron Times Herald that he wanted to “express our apologies for the manner in which this case was handled.”

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French police arrest 10 suspected extremists, plotting attack on mosques, politicians – reports

Ten people said to have far-right links were detained in a series of raids conducted by French anti-terrorist police in the Paris and Marseille areas on Tuesday. Their intended targets were reportedly mosques, migrants and a former presidential candidate.

The arrests were made in Seine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris, and in the city of Marseille in southern France on Tuesday morning and afternoon, French TV station M6 reported. The suspects, including two minors, are nine young men and one woman, aged from 17 to 25 years.

It is not clear if the suspects had elaborated plans for an imminent attack on either a person or a religious institution, with Reuters citing a court official as saying that they had a “vague” draft that would involve mounting an attack on a place of worship, a politician or migrants.

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Muslims pray during Friday prayers in the street in front of the city hall of Clichy, near Paris, France. © Benoit Tessier

The suspects harbored “intentions to commit violent actions”, according a judicial source, cited by AFP. No details have been given as to the nature and supposed timing of the actions.

According to M6, among the targets picked by the group, were “a close relative” of French President Emmanuel Macron and a former presidential candidate. The one was named by Le Parisien as government spokesman Christophe Castaner and the other as Jean-Luc Melenchon, the far-left presidential candidate in the most recent election.

Melenchon was reportedly dropped from the list of potential targets by the would-be assailants after he failed to win the election, securing only 19 percent of the vote in the first round.

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The entrance of the prison of Fresnes, near Paris. © Patrick Kovarik

Responding to the news, Melenchon’s spokesman expressed concerns over his not being notified of an ongoing investigation that allegedly involved his assassination.

Melenchon “was not informed and requests for protection during the legislative elections were rejected,” the spokesman said.

The raids were reportedly a part of a larger investigation into Logan Alexandre Nisin, a former militant of far-right organization Action Francaise Provence, who was arrested on June 28. Nisin had been posting threats online, calling for like-minded individuals to join him on a crusade against “blacks, drug dealers, migrants and jihadist scoundrels.”

Nisin reportedly ran a Facebook page in appreciation of Anders Brevik, who massacred 77 people and injured over 150 in a combined bombing and shooting attack in Norway in 2011. Police discovered two revolvers and a rifle at Nisin’s home upon his arrest.

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Palestinian media raided, shut down by Israel on suspicion of inciting terrorism

Israeli security forces have raided eight Palestinian outlets, closed two broadcasting stations and arrested two people in an overnight, large-scale counterterrorism operation across the West Bank, according to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement.

The Palestinian media, which Israel suspects of distributing and broadcasting materials inciting terrorism, were raided in a joint operation of the IDF, the Israel Security Agency security (Shin Bet) and Civil Administration operating in the West Bank on Tuesday night.

READ MORE: ‘An attempt to drown out Palestinian voices’: RT’s office building raided in Ramallah (VIDEO)

The security forces also raided eight Palestinian media organizations and closed the Ramasat and TransMedia broadcasting stations. The shutdown reportedly triggered clashes between the military and locals in Ramallah and Nablus, in which some Palestinians were injured, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. In Ramallah a man was wounded by “an Israeli rubber-coated steel round,” Wafa says.

Wafa agency reports that Amer Jabari, the director of the TransMedia office in Hebron, and his brother, cameraman Ismail Jabari, were arrested.

The Israeli forces also seized equipment and documents of companies providing services to Hamas – the Al-Aqsa and Al Quds TV channels – declared illegal by the IDF Central Command.

“The operation is part of the expanded counterrorism effort, in which the security forces operate against all elements of terrorism including incitement,” the IDF said, adding that the security forces will continue their efforts against it.

Israel has previously raided TransMedia, which runs several offices across the country, including two offices in Jerusalem, the area disputed by Palestinians and Israelis, and an office in Hebron in the West bank. In March 2016 their office in Ramallah was ransacked during an operation against the Palestine Today TV station accused of incitement on behalf of “Islamic Jihad.”

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US military doesn't need 19% of its property, Pentagon chief estimates

US Defense Secretary James Mattis is having a hard time convincing Congress to cut “excess infrastructure” from the military, estimated to be nearly one-fifth of all military property. Jobs may be at risk, and the savings may not be there, lawmakers fear.

“I must be able to eliminate excess infrastructure in order to shift resources to readiness and modernization,” Mattis wrote to Congress on October 6. The letter was released Tuesday by House Armed Services Committee vice chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), according to the Washington Examiner.

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A long-rage ground-based missile silo, at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. © Kacper Pempel

Mattis estimates that 19 percent of US military properties worldwide may be dispensable, a figure cited in a Pentagon report urging a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) review. The estimate is based on the military’s needs in 2012. A BRAC review would assess how what Pentagon has matches its current needs, and could potentially bring about base closures by the 2020s, the Examiner reported.

However, the recommendation has repeatedly faced obstacles in the legislature. While getting rid of excess assets could save up billions over the long run, its opponents argue that the immediate costs the closures will incur could outweigh the long-term savings. Even if the benefits are greater, some lawmakers are worried they might take quite a while to come about: for example, the last round of BRAC took place in 2005, and it is only expected to start generating savings next year.

Another concern is that of local communities, which benefit from the money the Defense Department pours into developing the local military bases and surrounding infrastructure.

Not all branches in the US military are equally excessive, Smith said. Factored in the average 19 percent figure are the Army with 29 percent “unneeded” assets and the Air Force with 28 percent.

Across all its services and agencies, the Defense Department possesses almost 5,000 military sites around the world, according to its Base Structure Report for fiscal year 2015.

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Canada passes US-style sanctions bill targeting ‘corrupt’ Russian officials

The Canadian Senate has passed Bill S-226, known as the Sergei Magnitsky Law, mirroring similar US legislation. Moscow has repeatedly slammed the bill as a violation of international law and vowed to respond.

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Konstantin Kosachyov © Grigoriy Sisoev

Although the bill, titled “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law),” envisions imposing sanctions on any foreign national, not only on Russians, it mentions exclusively the high-profile cases linked to Russia in its preamble.

Among them is the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a pre-trial detention facility in 2009. Magnitsky was a tax accountant employed by the US-British investor Bill Browder, who was accused by the Russian authorities of orchestrating large-scale tax evasion and embezzling hundreds of millions of rubles from the Russian budget. The lawyer was a prime suspect in the investigation. Browder, however, insisted that Magnitsky fell victim to persecution and torture by the Russian penitentiary system after he allegedly uncovered corruption crimes by Russian tax officials. As result of a three-year lobbying campaign, spearheaded by Browder, in 2012 the US Senate approved the so-called Magnitsky Act, allowing the US to freeze the assets of, and bar entry to, Russians accused of human rights violations. The bill has soured relations between Washington and Moscow.

The other cases listed in the Canadian bill’s preamble refer to the death of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 In London, which was blamed by British investigators on Russian secret services, the assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow in 2015 and the detention of former Ukrainian pilot turned MP, Nadezhda Savchenko, who was tried in a Russian court and found guilty of murdering Russian journalists in Eastern Ukraine. She was subsequently freed in a prisoner swap for two Russian nationals jailed by Kiev.

A foreign national is subject to the restrictions under the Canadian version of the Magnitsky Law if he or she is found to be complicit in torture or other human right violations against “individuals in any foreign country” who wants to shed light on the illegal activity by the government or to “obtain, exercise, defend or promote” human rights. The bill also targets foreign nationals involved in corruption.

Speaking on the bill after it was unanimously approved by the Canadian House of Commons in early October, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the legislation was designed to enable Canadian authorities to impose sanctions and travel bans on foreigners found to be complicit in these offenses. 

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. © Chris Wattie

The bill’s final reading was passed by the Senate on Tuesday. To become law, it now requires royal assent to be given by Canada’s Governor General, which is usually a mere formality.

The legislation’s apparent focus on the alleged misdeeds by Russian officials was slammed by Moscow as aggression that would not be left unanswered.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova described the bill as a copy of the “odious American Magnitsky Act,” saying that it will deal a blow to already strained Russia-Canada relations.

“We warn again that in case the pressure of the sanctions put on us increases … we will widen likewise the list of Canadian officials banned from entering Russia,” Zakharova said in early October.

Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Upper House Committee for International Relations, dubbed the bill “yet another confirmation of the existence of the dangerous tendency when national legislation is applied to international relations.” The lawmaker argued that neither Canada, nor any other single country, has the right to play the role of a “global ombudsman.”

“Who has empowered Canada with the right to do such things in the international arena, to decide who is corrupt in other nations and who is not, to apply repressive measures to foreign citizens?” he said.

The spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, Kirill Kalinin, said that while the bill is  “disguised as a pro-human rights and anti-corruption measure” it goes against Canada’s national interests, as it will alienate “one of the key world powers,” in times when diplomacy is of crucial importance.

“Unfortunately, we are witnessing the continuation of failed policies, pressed by Russophobic elements,” he said in a statement, noting that Russia would respond “with resolve and reciprocal countermeasures.”

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Lawsuit accuses big pharma firms of funding terrorist organizations in Iraq

More than 100 US veterans and relatives of American soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq have sued five major pharmaceutical corporations for knowingly financing Iran-backed terrorist organizations in Iraq.

A lawsuit filed in US District Court in Washington, DC on Tuesday claims that AstraZeneca, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche Holding financed terrorist organizations that have killed hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.

The companies have been accused of paying kickbacks to officials in Iraq’s Health Ministry at a time when the office was controlled by the Jaysh al-Mahdi, or Mahdi Army, an Iraqi militia backed by Iran.

Although Jaysh al-Mahdi is not considered a terrorist organization by the US State Department, the Shia militia was backed by Hezbollah, which is designated as a terrorist organization. The lawsuit also includes 27 pages of itemized deaths and injuries American troops sustained from Jaysh al-Mahdi from 2005 to 2009.

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Iraqi army members advance in military vehicles in Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017 © Reuters

The lawsuit argues the companies financed the terrorist organization by paying bribes to Health Ministry officials worth as much as 20 percent of a total contract’s value.

The plaintiffs argue the companies paid Health Ministry officials these “commissions” by providing extra drugs and equipment. The lawsuit argues that these “free goods” were deliberately packaged in “a manner conducive to street resale,” which ensured Health Ministry officials could then sell them on the black market or give them to fighters directly.

The plaintiffs also argue that the companies created a “slush fund” from 2004 to 2013 designed to pay for after-sales support and other services, but the money was really for the Health Ministry officials.

The plaintiffs argue that by making these payments, the companies “aided and abetted Jaysh al-Mahdi’s terrorist operations against Americans in Iraq.”

Beginning in 2004, the Health Ministry began requiring foreign companies to pay these “commissions” in order to win contracts. After the US invasion of Iraq threw the country into sectarian violence, Jaysh al-Mahdi, whose members swore fealty to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, took over the ministry.

Under their control, the lawsuit says the ministry “functioned more as a terrorist apparatus than a health organization.”

“Public hospitals were converted into terrorist bases where Sunnis were abducted, tortured, and
murdered. [Health Ministry] ambulances transported Jaysh al-Mahdi death squads around Baghdad. Armed terrorists openly patrolled the halls of [Health Ministry] headquarters in downtown Baghdad, which became too dangerous for Americans to enter and which one percipient witness described as a ‘Mahdi Army camp,’” the lawsuit reads.

The Health Ministry became a cover for Jaysh al-Mahdi, which some US officials began calling “the pill army,” because the fighters were paid in pills rather than money, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit cites a Pentagon press release, which stated that a senior official with alleged ties to the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia “orchestrated several kickback schemes by using inflated contracts for ministry equipment and services.”

“These kickbacks, which officials believe have funneled millions of US dollars to militia elements, support sectarian attacks and violence targeting Iraqi civilians,” the Pentagon said.

The lawsuit argues that the companies knew the Health Ministry was being run by a terrorist organization and cited how they have previously paid large sums of money to settle similar charges in the past.

In 2011, Johnson & Johnson paid $ 70 million to settle charges that its subsidiaries paid kickbacks to win contracts in Iraq and other countries. GE also paid more than $ 23 million in 2010 to settle charges that it had paid kickbacks for Health Ministry contracts under the Oil-for-Food program.

“Most of the defendants have a documented history of paying bribes that supported terrorism under Saddam,” Ryan Sparacino, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, told the Financial Times.

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