Bindoon Boys Town: The sad truth behind Britain’s lost children

The first shock was the desolate landscape; the second was the place itself, an abandoned farm property. It was the boys who were to build Bindoon, and children as young as 10 were set to work, constructing schools, dormitories and kitchens. They hacked at the ground with picks and shovels, and mixed concrete by hand in the blazing heat. Those unable to cope with the back-breaking labour were flogged, sometimes until their bones were fractured.

N Ireland children sent to Australia were sexually abused, inquiry told

Children as young as five were sent from Northern Ireland to Australian orphanages and other institutions where they were sexually and physically abused, the chairman of an inquiry into institutional child abuse has revealed.

Sir Anthony Hart, who is chairing the historical abuse inquiry, said witness evidence will show “in shocking terms” how children were subjected to “severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical evidence” when they arrived in the country.

1,400 children exploited by Asian gangs while authorities turned a blind eye

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

Democrats, Republicans go after data-driven TV ads

DirecTV and Dish Network customers may notice something a little different this election season: Your television ads know who you are.

The satellite television providers have partnered with Democratic and Republican data shops to harness information about their 20 million customers and deliver television ads tailored to the viewer.

Hedge funds gave Mugabe $100M for genocide, got platinum mines in return

Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe unleashed a storm of brutal, genocidal violence after losing the 2008 elections — and now we know that it was funded by western hedge-funds and banks, led by Och-Ziff Capital Management, the largest publicly traded fund, with assistance from Blackrock, GLG Partners, and Credit Suisse, who raised $100M for Mugabe’s weapons and torture-chambers in exchange for a sweetheart deal on the country’s platinum mines.

Systems that can secretly track cellphone users

Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.

The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their customers to deliver calls and other services to them. Surveillance systems are secretly collecting these records to map people’s travels over days, weeks or longer, according to company marketing documents and experts in surveillance technology.

Hundreds of bioterror lab mishaps cloaked in secrecy

More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, government reports obtained by USA TODAY show.

More than half these incidents were serious enough that lab workers received medical evaluations or treatment, according to the reports. In five incidents, investigations confirmed that laboratory workers had been infected or sickened; all recovered.

Sea plankton ‘found living outside International Space Station’

Sea plankton has been discovered living on the outside of the International Space Station, Russian cosmonauts have claimed.

Scientists on board the ISS are reported to have discovered living organisms when taking samples from windows.

Head of the Russian ISS orbital mission Vladimir Solovyev said the results of the experiment “are absolutely unique”.