Round Up Friday – Week of August 15th – 19th

Photo of a wounded Syrian boy captures the horrors of Aleppo

A little Syrian boy was one of five children injured by a Russian or Assad regime strike in the Qaterji neighborhood of Aleppo. His photograph, which was shared thousands of times on social media, captures the horrors of Aleppo as it undergoes harsh airstrikes. The boy was injured in a blast on Wednesday evening along with four other children, one woman and two young men, according to an Aleppo doctor who asked not to be identified.

US Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons

The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

Judge blocks Florida abortion law

A federal judge on Thursday blocked a Florida abortion law to prevent state funds from going to organizations that provide abortions — after the administration of Gov. Rick Scott made the decision to drop further legal action. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle had placed a temporary hold on the challenged portions of the law hours before the law took effect last June. The far-reaching law also was designed to greatly increase inspection requirements for abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood challenged three parts of the law.

Louisiana flooding is the country’s ‘worst natural disaster’ since Hurricane Sandy, Red Cross says

After two feet of rain began falling Thursday night, water rose quickly in Baton Rouge and then traveled east and south, leaving a large amount of destruction in its wake. At least 40,000 homes have been damaged, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). The death toll has risen to 13. Roads remain flooded and closed, while schools, businesses and government offices have been shut down for days. The country has not seen a natural disaster this bad since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, according to the American Red Cross.

Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen may still face charges as Rio robbery investigation continues

Brazilian police said the four American swimmers were not robbed at gunpoint at a gas station as they claimed. Late Thursday, the United States Olympic Committee apologized for the “distracting ordeal” involving the four swimmers and said it will review the matter, and possible punishments, when the Games are over and the delegation returns home. “The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members,” USOC officials said.