An Update On Yemen’s Escalating Crisis

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 29 2015



ARUN RATH, HOST:

Airstrikes continued for the third day today in Yemen. A coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia is bombing Houthi rebels who are said to be backed by Iran.

IONA CRAIG: It does appear now that this has already turned into a proxy battle. With the Saudi’s launching these airstrikes, it’s played into the regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

RATH: That’s Iona Craig, an independent journalist who has spent the last four years reporting from Yemen. She spoke with me earlier from London. The U.S. had been working with the Yemeni government to fight al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, but President Hadi has been driven about by Houthi rebels. I asked Craig how this is going to affect the overall U.S. strategy in the region.

CRAIG: Well, I think the U.S. strategy now is in pieces really. It very much relied upon, you know, cooperation with Yemen’s intelligence agency, particularly the National Security Bureau or the NSB as it’s known. That fell into the control of the Houthis once they had control – complete control of Sanaa.

So they had access then to all the intelligence information that had previously been under Hadi’s – President Hadi’s control, if you like. On top of that, then the other corporation was the counterterrorism troops who were being trained by U.S. Special Forces, and the last of those U.S. Special Forces left Yemen just over a week ago.

And now, all that’s really left is the drone program. But without the human intelligence on the ground, obviously that’s going to be difficult – and now there’s airstrikes going on anyway. I think that’s going to have to be on the back burner for the foreseeable future at least.

RATH: Now, the Yemeni government, which you mentioned the former president – this is not an old government. Have they ever had broad popular support among Yemenis?

CRAIG: There was a kind of moment after 2011 when President Hadi was voted in in a one-man election – so his was the only name on the ballot paper. And I think there was a lot of hope at that point for – there was a window of time when everybody felt very optimistic because Ali Abdullah Saleh was finally leaving. But you have to remember that President Hadi was his deputy for 17 years prior to that. So it’s not as if really what – after 2011 there was real change. It was just a reshuffle of the old regime. And I think as time went on, people realized that this new government was certainly no better and possibly even worse.

RATH: And what about the Houthi rebels? Do they have popular support?

CRAIG: Well, the Houthis – they did garner some support. You know, they’ve existed since 2004, and they were very much marginalized and persecuted by Ali Abdullah Saleh previously. They were enemies, and he’d fought them in six wars. And after the Arab Spring, they did gain more support.

And then, as Hadi’s government started to fail, they were sort of pushing for change, calling for an end to corruption, brought up the issues of fuel prices – that did broaden their support outside of their original sort of sheer bounds if you like. But I think that’s changed a lot in the last sort of six to nine months as they’ve become an increasingly violent force within Yemen.

RATH: Finally, there was a report from the International Crisis Group which predicted prolonged violence unless a peace deal is negotiated in Yemen. Who would negotiate such a peace deal, and from your reporting, how likely do you think a cease-fire is?

CRAIG: The likelihood of a cease-fire is not looking good at the moment. Even today, President Hadi made a speech to the Arab League saying, you know, that he wanted airstrikes – these airstrikes to continue. And certainly, if they start using ground troops, then we’re looking at a very prolonged conflict probably. But we seem to be a long way off the option of really going into so many serious talks at the moment.

RATH: Iona Craig is an independent journalist. She spoke with us from London. Iona, thanks very much.

CRAIG: Thanks very much – thank you.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/28/396040876/the-latest-on-yemen-s-escalating-crisis?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Nigerians Go To The Polls

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 29 2015



ARUN RATH, HOST:

While Nigerian troops continued an offensive against the Islamist militants Boko Haram, Nigerian voters headed to the polls today. Violence in the country had already postponed the presidential elections once, but the war is only one of a number of issues driving Nigerians to the polls. NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton joins us from one polling station in the capital, Abuja, where they’ve just finished counting the votes. Ofeibea, there were a lot of worries about violence heading into the polls today. Can you tell us what actually materialized and how it affected the voting?

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Well, most places it was peaceful voting. I’m told that some areas people were so fed up of the new card-reading machines not working, that they got a little frustrated and a little angry. Even the president, Goodluck Jonathan, had to wait half an hour because the card reader could not read his fingerprints.

It was a two-step process. Your card had to be accredited they called it, verified first, and then later in the afternoon, you voted. But yes, there were incidents of violence, especially in the Northeast where the Boko Haram from insurgency has been terrorizing people for the past six years. We’re told by the police that there were two deadly attacks on voters in the Northeast – at least six people dead there. Witnesses report that apparently gunmen forced villagers to abandon three polling stations in the Northeast. And in another part of Nigeria, in the oil capital in the South, Port Harcourt, the military say that gunmen shot dead a soldier. And then there were two more incidents in the East, very far away from the Boko Haram uprising. So yes, there were isolated incidents of violence, but generally a peaceful vote.

RATH: And what we’re hearing in the background there, is that vote-counting activity going on?

QUIST-ARCTON: (Laughter) The vote counting has just ended. There was a huge hoorah as the presidential vote ballots were counted. And the winner here at this little polling station in Maitama, in the capital Abuja, the winner was Muhammadu Buhari. He is the main opposition presidential contender against the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan. There are 14 candidates altogether, but these two are the front-runners.

RATH: And Ofeibea, remind us what really distinguishes these two candidates aside from Goodluck Jonathan being the incumbent, obviously.

QUIST-ARCTON: President Goodluck Jonathan says he represents continuity, he represents reliability. Muhammadu Buhari says he is the man who is tough on security and insecurity and on corruption.

RATH: So beyond what the candidates are saying, what about the voters? What is driving them to the polls?

QUIST-ARCTON: Peace. Everybody you speak to say what they want in Nigeria is peace – peace from Boko Haram in the Northeast and peace because this is a country that has suffered post-election violence over the years. There have been messages of support from President Obama in the U.S. and from world leaders and regional leaders, saying Nigeria is our number one country on the continent. It is the political and economic heavyweight. It is the most populous country in Africa. If there is peace in Nigeria, there is peace in the region.

RATH: NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton on the line from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Good talking with you, Ofeibea. Thank you.

QUIST-ARCTON: Always a pleasure. Thank you, Arun.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/28/396040897/nigerians-go-to-the-polls?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Heat Tolerant, Tough Teeth, Lots Of Milk — They’re Supergoats!

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 29 2015

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The Gallo goat is a secret weapon in efforts to cope with climate change.

Courtesy V. Atakos/CCAFS


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Courtesy V. Atakos/CCAFS

The Gallo goat is a secret weapon in efforts to cope with climate change.

The Gallo goat is a secret weapon in efforts to cope with climate change.

Courtesy V. Atakos/CCAFS

Villagers in a rural district of Kenya are getting a helping hoof to adapt to climate change. A newly introduced breed of supergoat is cutting the number of months per year that villagers in the district of Nyando go hungry.

Galla goats are tough but loving. They tolerate heat and drought and have great teeth (which means they rarely need to be culled due to worn-down chompers). The goats also produce lots of nutritious milk and mature more quickly than the old straggly looking breeds that the Nyando farmers are used to keeping. And the females are really good moms, breeding and rearing kids for up to 10 years.

The goats were brought to Nyando by scientists at the CGIAR, a global agricultural research partnership to improve food security. The goats are part of the partnership’s “climate smart villages” project, which helps farmers in the developing world adapt to climate change.

Agriculture needs a “radical transformation” to produce more food in increasingly difficult environmental conditions, says Dr. James Kinyangi, who leads the project in east Africa. “Farmers must become more climate smart,” he says.

The supergoats have become so popular in Nyando that they will replace all the other goats in the area in another 5 years.

Farmers Edward Ouko and Stephen Matinde praised the goats at an agricultural fair in Kenya. They told an audience that they like the Gallos because they mature into adults at around six months — half-a-year sooner than the local breeds. “That means faster reproductive cycles,” say the farmers. More sex means more goats, and more goats means more money. That’s why the supergoats “fetch three times the price” of local breeds at the market, the farmers say gleefully.

“I now comfortably pay [school] fees for my children from the sale of the goats,” Daniel Langat, another Nyando farmer, told the researchers.

And more money means families aren’t going hungry. The goats along with other climate-smart farming activities have brought more food to the table in Nyando households. In 2010–11, a survey of 139 households found that 81 percent suffered up to two “hunger months” a year, with families eating just one or even no meals a day. That number has now dropped to 23 percent.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/03/29/395613089/heat-tolerant-tough-teeth-lots-of-milk-theyre-supergoats?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Thai Ruler Says He’s Prepared To End Martial Law

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 28 2015

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Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha attending the East Asia summit plenary session at Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, in November.

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Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha attending the East Asia summit plenary session at Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, in November.

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha attending the East Asia summit plenary session at Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, in November.

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

Thai leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army general who seized power in a coup last year, says that after 10 months of martial law, he’s prepared to end it in favor of an equally draconian constitutional provision.

Prayuth says he’s “thought it through” and will replace martial law by invoking a part of the the interim constitution that grants his government the same broad powers to suppress free speech and try civilians in military courts.

“[I] am prepared to use [the clause] to replace martial law. When it will be enforced depends on the situation,” he says.

The decision would need to be approved by the country’s ailing monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who endorsed the May 22 coup.

As The Bangkok Post points out, the distinction without a difference might be simply an effort to placate the West and international organizations, including the United Nations and European Union, which have pressured Thailand to end martial law.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has described the situation in Thailand under Gen. Prayuth an “apparently bottomless pit” where “criticism is systematically prosecuted, political activity is banned, media is censored, and dissidents are tried in military courts.”

Shortly after last year’s putsch, Prayuth promised new elections by October 2015, but he has since indicated that they would come no sooner than 2016.

More recently, Prayuth threatened at a news conference to execute Thai journalists who “do not tell the truth.” Reuters says that “he made the menacing remarks on Wednesday without ‘a trace of a smile.’”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/27/395826867/thai-ruler-says-hes-prepared-to-end-martial-law?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Nostalgic Cars: Sour Automotive Fruit Of Cuban Embargo Gets New Life

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 28 2015

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Daily traffic in Havana resembles a vintage car rally, even if it does share the city streets these days Hyundais and Peugeots and rattletrap Russian Ladas.

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Daily traffic in Havana resembles a vintage car rally, even if it does share the city streets these days Hyundais and Peugeots and rattletrap Russian Ladas.

Daily traffic in Havana resembles a vintage car rally, even if it does share the city streets these days Hyundais and Peugeots and rattletrap Russian Ladas.

Eyder Peralta/NPR

In Havana, Cuba, the old cars that crowd the streets used to symbolize a stagnant nation. Now enterprising Cubans have begun renting cars out to tourists who are hungry for the cars of their youth.

During my reporting trip to Havana, I spoke with Julio Alvarez, the owner of Nostalgicar in Havana.

Julio Alvarez standing in front of Lola, a 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

Eyder Peralta/NPR


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Eyder Peralta/NPR

He joked that one thing Cubans should thank Fidel Castro for is all the old, majestic American cars that are now making him money.

You can listen to the story using the player above.

The hood of Nadine, a 1955 Chevy Bel Air.

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The hood ornament of a 1955 Chevy Belair. Under new more liberal policies instituted in Cuba the past few years, the owner, Julio Alvarez, started a restoration shop and named the car Nadine. Its baby-pink counterpart is named Lola.

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The hood ornament of a 1955 Chevy Belair. Under new more liberal policies instituted in Cuba the past few years, the owner, Julio Alvarez, started a restoration shop and named the car Nadine. Its baby-pink counterpart is named Lola.

The hood ornament of a 1955 Chevy Belair. Under new more liberal policies instituted in Cuba the past few years, the owner, Julio Alvarez, started a restoration shop and named the car Nadine. Its baby-pink counterpart is named Lola.

Eyder Peralta/NPR

Everything but the motor on Nadine, a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, is original.

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Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/27/395817280/nostalgic-cars-sour-automotive-fruit-of-cuban-embargo-gets-new-life?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Amanda Knox Conviction

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 28 2015

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Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview on Jan. 31, 2014.

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Mark Lennihan/AP

Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview on Jan. 31, 2014.

Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview on Jan. 31, 2014.

Mark Lennihan/AP

Italy’s highest court has overturned a murder conviction in the case of Amanda Knox.

The court’s decision puts an end to a story that began in 2009 when Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kirchner two years earlier. The verdict was overturned in 2011. But a year later, the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence. Last year, that court reinstated the original guilty verdict against Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

As NPR’s Scott Neuman reported at the time of the verdict in Florence: “The latest ruling reinstates the initial verdict and sentences Knox, who currently lives in Seattle, to 28 1/2 years in prison and is likely to set up a long battle over her extradition.”

Knox, who left Italy after the verdict in 2011, now lives in Seattle. She told NPR in an interview in 2013 that the Italian Supreme Court’s decision was looming over her.

It’s this “horrendous thing that just never ends,” she said. “I do not think that I will be convicted because there just simply is not that evidence. I just simply did not do it. I feel like I’m having to prove my innocence as opposed to have the prosecution prove my guilt.”

Reuters reports the court also acquitted Knox’s then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/27/395728638/italys-highest-court-overturns-amanda-knox-conviction?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

National Guardsman, Cousin Arrested For Trying To Join Islamic State

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 27 2015



ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There’s been another arrest in the U.S. linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. The case involves a member of the Illinois National Guard and his cousin. According to a criminal complaint, one of the men wanted to go to Syria to become a martyr for ISIS. The other allegedly planned to carry out attacks here in the U.S. NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston joins me now. And Dina, what can you tell us about these two men?

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Well, the FBI arrested National Guard Army specialist Hasan Edmonds at Midway Airport in Chicago yesterday. Officials say he was trying to fly to Egypt to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq and his cousin, Jonas Edmonds, was arrested at his home in Aurora, Ill., which is just outside of Chicago. What makes this case troubling is that this was a member of the National Guard caught trying to fly overseas to join ISIS. And his cousin allegedly was going to stay behind and conduct attacks against military installations near Chicago.

SIEGEL: And how did these two men come to the attention of U.S. law enforcement?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, Hasan Edmonds, the 22-year-old National Guardsman, first came onto the FBI’s radar screen late last year. Allegedly, he’d been watching ISIS videos online and according to the criminal complaint, the FBI had an undercover agent send Edmonds a friend request over Facebook. He responded to it and they struck up a correspondence. In one message, Edmonds allegedly wrote that now that the state – meaning the ISIS caliphate – had been established, that it was the duty of Muslims to heed that call. He said he had spent three years in the Army. He called it a non-believer’s army and he said he had no intention of finishing the three more years he was supposed to serve.

SIEGEL: This is Hasan Edmonds, the one who’s a member of the Illinois National Guard. How did his cousin get involved and what does the government say he did?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, Hasan Edmonds allegedly said in these emails to the undercover agent that his cousin had first brought ISIS to his attention and that they both wanted to go to Syria, and in fact, his cousin wanted to bring his wife and five children with them but he said he couldn’t really afford it. And that cousin, Jonas Edmonds, also had a felony conviction in Georgia, which made it a little bit more difficult for him to get a passport. So he allegedly wrote to the FBI informant that if he could not go to Syria he wanted to attack here.

SIEGEL: Is there a sense that he actually could’ve done that?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Yes, exactly because of the National Guard connection that he had. I mean, they allegedly decided that the cousin would use Hasan Edmonds’s military uniform to get on a local military base and attack. And they said they’d use AK-47s and grenades, and according to the charging documents, they talked about a body count as high as 150. So if that’s true, that raises the level of this case from someone who just wanted to go to Syria to someone who, with a gun, could realistically attack here. I mean, the worst terrorist case we’ve had in the U.S. since 9/11 was the Fort Hood, Texas shootings in 2009 and that was when a U.S. Army major named Nidal Hasan opened fire in a readiness center at Fort Hood and killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. So, that’s why this was of concern.

SIEGEL: Dina, this of course is what the government alleges. Has there been any comment from any lawyer for either of these men, either acknowledging or denying these charges?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Not yet. They were scheduled to be in court but there has not been any sort of plea entered.

SIEGEL: OK. Thank you very much.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You’re welcome.

SIEGEL: That’s NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/26/395604536/national-guardsman-cousin-arrested-for-trying-to-join-islamic-state?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 27 2015

When the Tax Return comes and hooyo stunts on you like “Yes bish, may we help you?”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/03/27/393823519/her-instagram-feed-finds-the-fun-in-long-suffering-somalia?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 27 2015

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Workers in Benjina, Indonesia, load fish into a cargo ship bound for Thailand last November. Seafood caught by slaves mixes in with other fish at a number of sites in Thailand, including processing plants. U.S. customs records show that several of those Thai factories ship to the United States.

Dita Alangkara/AP


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Workers in Benjina, Indonesia, load fish into a cargo ship bound for Thailand last November. Seafood caught by slaves mixes in with other fish at a number of sites in Thailand, including processing plants. U.S. customs records show that several of those Thai factories ship to the United States.

Workers in Benjina, Indonesia, load fish into a cargo ship bound for Thailand last November. Seafood caught by slaves mixes in with other fish at a number of sites in Thailand, including processing plants. U.S. customs records show that several of those Thai factories ship to the United States.

Dita Alangkara/AP

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food, may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That’s the conclusion of a year-long investigation by the Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

AP correspondent Martha Mendoza was one of the lead reporters for the investigation. The men AP found unloading seafood in Benjina were mostly from Myanmar, also known as Burma. When they realized one of the AP reporters spoke Burmese, “they began calling out, asking for help, and explaining that they were trapped and that they were being beaten and that they were enslaved,” Mendoza tells NPR’s Renee Montagne.

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Thai and Burmese fishing boat workers sit behind bars inside a cell at the compound of a fishing company in Benjina, Indonesia. The imprisoned men were considered slaves who might run away. They said they lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea.

Dita Alangkara/AP


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Thai and Burmese fishing boat workers sit behind bars inside a cell at the compound of a fishing company in Benjina, Indonesia. The imprisoned men were considered slaves who might run away. They said they lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea.

Thai and Burmese fishing boat workers sit behind bars inside a cell at the compound of a fishing company in Benjina, Indonesia. The imprisoned men were considered slaves who might run away. They said they lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea.

Dita Alangkara/AP

When the reporter went onto the island, she found men held in a cage so that they wouldn’t run away. “They were trapped. They had no way to go home, they had not heard from their family in 5, 10 years. They were in a desperate situation,” Mendoza says.

How did the men wind up in this modern-day form of slavery? In some cases, they were lured by promises of a job by brokers in Burma, Mendoza says. The men had pledged to pay the brokers a fee for finding them the job, but when they arrived, they found out the work was in fishing, which they hadn’t signed up for, she says. “And they were obliged to not only pay back the broker fee, but now they’re being told they must pay for food and shelter as they work 22-hour days. The debt becomes bottomless.”

Others were kidnapped and forced to work. Still others signed up for the fishing work but decided it was not for them “because they weren’t getting paid and it was a terrible situation,” she says.

After the AP reporters made this discovery, they began tracking where the seafood went. They watched the seafood get loaded into a cargo ship called the Silver Sea Lion, then used GPS to track it to a port in Thailand.

“We followed as many as we could to the processing plants,” Mendoza says. Literally. The seafood was offloaded into some 150 trucks. The reporters — in cars — followed as many of those trucks as they could, taking notes, shooting video and jotting down the names of the plants where the seafood was delivered.

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A 3,000-ton cargo ship, at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. “We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients,” said owner Panya Luangsomboon. “We’re separated from the fishing boats.”

Wong Maye-E/AP


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A 3,000-ton cargo ship, at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients, said owner Panya Luangsomboon. We're separated from the fishing boats.

A 3,000-ton cargo ship, at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. “We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients,” said owner Panya Luangsomboon. “We’re separated from the fishing boats.”

Wong Maye-E/AP

Then AP dug into customs records “to see which of those companies was shipping seafood into the United States, on what date, under what label,” Mendoza says.

Those labels included Iams, Meow Mix, Fancy Feast, and other types of cat food shipped to the U.S. “And the distributors in the United States who are receiving some of the seafood from these factories also sell to Wal-Mart, Kroger, Albertson’s, Safeway and others,” Mendoza says.

The response from cat-food makers, grocers, fish sellers and others in the U.S. has “really been remarkable,” she says, from “the National Fisheries Institute on down.”

They’ve “all said that they appreciate the information that we brought to them and that they want to do something about this,” Mendoza says. “Nobody denied what we found. Everybody wanted more information.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/03/27/395589154/was-your-seafood-caught-by-slaves-ap-uncovers-unsavory-trade?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

German Town Grieves For Residents Lost In French Alps Crash

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Mar 26 2015



AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The remains of the 150 passengers and crew who were on that Germanwings flight could take weeks to cover. That’s only compounding the grief for many family members and friends. NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson spent the day in the German town struggling to cope with the loss of sixteen 10th-graders and two teachers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: One of the places the 38,000 residents of Haltern am See go to make sense of the tragedy is this Catholic church in the main market square. Every minute or so, someone arrives to pray and light a candle, scores of which already illuminate the main altar like a campfire. They, like others in this pretty lakeside town, are in some way linked to the teens and their teachers who were returning from a weeklong exchange visit to a partner school outside Barcelona.

(Speaking German).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking German).

NELSON: I ask this taxi driver about his town’s close-knit atmosphere. He confirms my observation. His niece was in the same class as the teens who were on the plane. She chose not to go on the field trip at the last minute because her horse was sick, but he says she lost her two best friends in the crash. Not far from the high school, Sarah Mende is walking her dog. The 18-year-old says one of her close friends died in the crash and her younger sister lost her teacher.

SARAH MENDE: Well, it’s really hard for us right now ’cause we don’t know how to feel, and you see those empty faces and all sad faces, and you don’t even know what to say.

NELSON: She says it helps somewhat that area schools are providing grief counselors. Each school also memorialized those lost with a minute of silence earlier today.

MENDE: I would say it’s kind of bittersweet though because all the supporters really – well, they try to help, but they don’t really know how to. And we don’t even know how to feel, so it’s really hard for us to even say things.

NELSON: But as confused as residents are about how best to deal with their loss, they’ve made it clear they don’t want the media interfering. Before yesterday, the only thing widely known about this 800-year-old town on the edge of western Germany’s rust belt was that it was the birthplace of a couple of famous soccer players.

Only a few residents and officials here agreed to be interviewed by the hundreds of journalists who have descended on Haltern am See since the crash. Those who do talk, refuse to identify any of those who died. But the high school’s visibly shaken principal, Ulrich Wessel, shares a few details about the two teachers who are lost. He spoke at a press conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

ULRICH WESSEL: (Speaking German).

NELSON: “It’s difficult for me, in this situation, to tell you about these two young female colleagues,” he says. “One just got married last October. The other was engaged. This shows how major life plans evaporate in an instant.”

Hundreds of students placed flowers, candles and notes outside the high school to remember their lost classmates and teachers. A large cardboard sign describes their feelings. It says, yesterday we were many – today we are alone. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, in Haltern am See, Germany.

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Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/25/395355103/german-town-grieves-for-residents-lost-in-french-alps-crash?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world