Russian Top Human-Rights Journalists Face Threats, Murder
Oct 4, 2012, - 0 Comments

Oct. 4, 2012 Daily Beast

The country’s top human-rights journalists are being threatened and killed in broad daylight in a brutal campaign of intimidation to stop them from reporting on torture and killings in the Caucasus—and some think the government is to blame.

Tatayana (Tanya) Lokshina reported on egregious human-rights abuses in Russia for years. Only her close friends knew of the risks she faced working on long trips in conflict regions in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Her priority was to tell the stories of people in trouble, and she never talked about the personal danger she often found herself in. But this week, Lokshina—who is now the deputy director for Human Rights Watch in Moscow and a recipient of the Andrei Sakharov journalism award (Russia’s equivalent of a Pulitzer)—couldn’t keep silent any longer. She invited journalists to a press conference and declared that she was being followed around the city, and that somebody had been sending her text messages threatening to murder her unborn baby.

$2 million in gems, gold stolen from Calif. museum
Oct 2, 2012, - 0 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California investigators searched Monday for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a mining museum in the Sierra Nevada foothills during a brazen daytime robbery.

But they didn't get away with the biggest prize of all — the nearly 14-pound Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the Gold Rush era.

During their attempt to grab the massive nugget, the robbers triggered an alarm that alerted authorities who swarmed the museum but were unable to nab the thieves.

At least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa, the California Highway Patrol said.

Well-dressed armed robbers sought in brazen NYC jewelry heist
Sep 29, 2012, - 0 Comments


Rights group: isolation units in California prisons cruel
Sep 28, 2012, - 0 Comments

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - The use of solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time in California's Pelican Bay State Prison constitutes cruel and degrading treatment in violation of international law, according to Amnesty International report released on Thursday.

The human rights group found that roughly 3,000 prisoners in the super maximum security Pelican Bay facility in Northern California and the Corcoran State Prison in the state's rural heartland were being held in "extreme" isolation, with no direct human contact, access to rehabilitation programs, sunlight or fresh air.

California's state prisons have been plagued by hunger strikes, occasional violence and overcrowding and remain at more than 50 percent above capacity, despite a massive shift of low-level offenders to county jails that began last year.