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27 Aug

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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Footage shows five boys holding pistols behind row of men who are apparently Kurdish fighters

An Islamic State flag

Islamic State has used children before in propaganda videos. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Islamic State has released a propaganda video that appears to show five children, one of whom it identifies as British, murdering Kurdish prisoners.

The footage, released overnight on Friday, features five boys wearing military-type clothing and holding pistols, while standing in a row behind five men who are kneeling in orange jumpsuits.

Each of the children is captioned in the video with names that have been used by Isis before to denote a fighter’s country of origin. A white boy with blue eyes is labelled “Abu Abdullah al-Britani” (the Briton) but the identity of the child has not been verified.

A child captioned “Abu al-Bara al-Tunisi” (the Tunisian) addresses the men – apparently Kurdish fighters – promising more violence, according to the BBC.

The other children are said to be Abu Ishaq al-Masri (the Egyptian), Abu Fu’ad al-Kurdi (the Kurd) and Yusuf al-Uzbaki (the Uzbek). It is not known where the video was filmed.

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Government declares national day of mourning, as aftershocks continue to damage access roads to devastated areas

On a bench in a camp outside what was left of Amatrice, Elsa sat and cried. Her home had collapsed in the earthquake that had reduced the hilltop town to rubble, she said. She had spent the last two nights here, in a tent.

A blessed relief: her children had survived. But her aunt and many of her friends were among the nearly 300 people who died in Amatrice and neighbouring towns in the early hours of Wednesday when the 6.2-magnitude quake struck.

“Everything is destroyed, everything is broken,” said Elsa, 66, who asked that her surname not be used. “We have nothing. Amatrice is finished. I wish I had died too. I’m an old woman. What do I have to live for?”

As powerful aftershocks damaged key access roads on Friday and hopes faded that more survivors would be found, the government declared Saturday a national day of mourning.

A state funeral will be held for some of the victims, attended by the president, Sergio Mattarella. The prime minister, Matteo Renzi, declared a state of emergency, authorised an initial €50m (£43m) in aid and cancelled residents’ taxes.

The head of the civil protection agency, Immacolata Postiglione, said the search for survivors would continue. “I confirm once again, as we have from the start, that the units doing the searches and rescues, including with dogs, are absolutely fully active,” she said.

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Trial transcripts reveal that the assailant and his attorneys attempted to discredit the victim and argued that attack on an unconscious woman was consensual sex

Brock Turner changed his story throughout the process and came to trial with a version of the events that contradicted his earlier statements and the testimony of witnesses and police, the records show.

Brock Turner changed his story throughout the process and came to trial with a version of the events that contradicted his earlier statements and the testimony of witnesses and police, the records show. Photograph: Karl Mondon/AP

New records from the Stanford sexual assault trial show how former swimmer Brock Turner and his attorneys attempted to discredit the victim and argued that the attack on the unconscious woman constituted consensual sex.

More than 1,000 pages of trial transcripts, obtained by the Guardian on Friday, offer a window into how the criminal justice system treats sexual assault survivors.

The testimony of Turner and his supporters sheds new light on the “traumatizing” process described by the victim in her emotional impact statement, which launched a national debate about sexual violence.

The documents also reveal that Turner allegedly laughed at bystanders who intervened during the assault on the Stanford campus. Turner changed his story throughout the process and came to trial with a version of the events that contradicted his earlier statements and the testimony of witnesses and police.

The 20-year-old was convicted of sexual assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object. Two bystanders caught him “thrusting” on top of the motionless woman outside a fraternity house by a dumpster on 18 January 2015.

  • Up to 10 people in Puerto Rico develop Guillain-Barré as a result of virus
  • FDA recommends universal testing of donated blood for Zika
A Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, sprays pesticide to kill mosquitoes in Miami Beach, Florida.

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, sprays pesticide in Miami Beach, Florida. The Zika virus is carried by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New Zika research released on Friday has found that the virus may spread sexually from a man to a woman even if the man had no symptoms of Zika infection.

The finding came from a report in Maryland where a man who was infected with Zika in the Dominican Republic but had no symptoms infected his female partner who had not traveled to a place where Zika is being transmitted.

Also on Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated blood for Zika virus in the US and its territories.

The Maryland study, published in the weekly report on death of disease by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggested sexual transmission of Zika is no less likely in asymptomatic individuals than in others with symptoms.

Recommendations for preventing sexual transmission of Zika in returning travelers now differ depending on whether the returning traveler is symptomatic and on whether the couple is planning to become pregnant. That may need to be changed.

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