Photos: Two years after Beirut explosion, Lebanon awaits justice | In Pictures News

United Nations specialists and prime NGOs have urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch a world investigation into the lethal Beirut port blast, on the eve of its second anniversary.

The August 4, 2020 mega-blast killed greater than 200 individuals and destroyed swaths of the Lebanese capital, after a stockpile of haphazardly saved ammonium nitrate fertiliser caught hearth on the port.

Kin of blast victims have pressed for justice and accountability for 2 years however the native probe has been paused since December attributable to political stress.

“This tragedy marked one of many largest non-nuclear blasts in current reminiscence, but the world has achieved nothing to seek out out why it occurred,” the six UN specialists stated on Wednesday.

“On the second anniversary of the blast, we’re disheartened that folks in Lebanon nonetheless await justice, and we name for a world investigation to be initiated immediately.”

The blast shocked a inhabitants already reeling from an unprecedented financial disaster, and is extensively blamed on the negligence and mismanagement of Lebanese authorities.

The lead investigator, Choose Tarek Bitar, who was investigating a few of Lebanon’s prime officers, has been barred from continuing after politicians he summoned for questioning filed a collection of lawsuits towards him.

The victims’ households have appealed to the worldwide neighborhood to arrange an impartial investigation below the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

They hope such an inquiry would give them the solutions that Lebanese authorities have failed to offer, stated the specialists, who don’t converse for the UN however report their findings to it.

The explosion and its aftermath have introduced into focus systemic issues of negligent governance and widespread corruption, the specialists stated.

The subsequent Human Rights Council session begins on September 13.

The council “ought to move a decision … to create an neutral fact-finding mission into the Beirut port explosion”, stated 11 native and worldwide NGOs, together with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Worldwide.

“It’s now, greater than ever, clear that the home investigation can not ship justice,” the NGOs stated in a joint assertion.

‘America’s Stonehenge’ demolished after explosion | Police News

Georgia Guidestones, engraved with enigmatic message in 12 languages, had drawn controversy and conspiracy theories.

A contentious granite monument in america that some dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” however many conservatives mentioned is satanic has been demolished after it was closely broken in a bombing.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said “unknown people” detonated an explosive system on the Georgia Guidestones, a monument about 177km (110 miles) east of Atlanta, within the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The company later posted video footage from a surveillance digicam exhibiting the explosion and a automotive leaving the scene, and mentioned the whole construction was demolished for security causes. Nobody was injured within the blast.

Earlier than it was vandalised, the 19-foot-tall monument consisted of 1 upright slab on the centre of 4 bigger tablets organized round it, with a big rectangular capstone positioned atop the others.

The gathering of grey monoliths was erected in 1980 in the midst of a big subject close to the city of Elberton, Georgia, and was listed as a vacationer attraction by the state’s journey web site and the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce.

The slabs had been engraved with an enigmatic message in 12 languages, together with Babylonian Cuneiform, Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Classical Greek, in accordance with a submit on the county chamber of commerce’s web site.

The message referred to as for the preservation of humankind by limiting the world’s inhabitants to fewer than a half-billion individuals to reside “in perpetual steadiness with nature”, in accordance with official translations of the textual content.

“The Guidestones additionally function an astronomical calendar, and day by day at midday the solar shines by means of a slender gap within the construction and illuminates the day’s date on an engraving,” the Georgia journey web site reads.

However the monument has been a supply of controversy and in addition drew far-right or non secular conspiracy theories, as nobody knew the exact origins of the construction or who was behind it.

Georgia Guidestones were damaged in a bombing this week
Rubble is forged across the Georgia Guidestones after the explosion on July 6 [ABC Affiliate WSB-TV via Reuters]

It was constructed by an area granite ending firm on the behest of a mysterious benefactor who commissioned the work.

The Elberton Granite Affiliation says (PDF) all of it started when “a well-dressed and articulate man” – figuring out himself as “R C Christian” – got here into its workplace in Elberton “and wished to know the price of constructing a big monument to conservation”.

The person mentioned “the sponsors had deliberate the monument for years” and that the ten guides “had been fastidiously worded as a moralistic enchantment to all peoples no matter nationality, faith or politics”, the affiliation recounted.

However some right-wing US politicians mentioned the monument was “satanic” and welcomed the choice to tear it down after the bombing this week.

“The Georgia Guidestones are evil and Satanic. I’m glad to see authorities tearing it down. We solely assist and worship the one true God, not an imposter and the Father of all lies,” Arizona state senator Wendy Rogers wrote on Twitter.

Following information of the bombing, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor, a third-place finisher within the Could 24 Republican major who made elimination of the monument a part of her marketing campaign platform, prompt its demise was an act of divine intervention.

“God is God all by Himself. He can do ANYTHING He needs to do. That features placing down Satanic Guidestones,” she tweeted.

Taylor later launched a video insisting she would by no means assist vandalism and that “anybody who goes on non-public or public property to destroy something illegally needs to be arrested.”

The Elberton Granite Affiliation, which had maintained and preserved the stones, put the price of changing them at tons of of 1000’s of {dollars}, in accordance with native media.