Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sweatshops, Slaves, and Chicago Murder Rates (Link Round-Up 10/2/12)


Chicago murder rate this year passes 400 mark
"In Chicago, the epidemic of violence is spreading all over the place," said Ceasefire Illinois director, Tio Hardiman.

Under a grant from the city, the group recently started working with police in two neighborhoods, North Lawndale and Woodlawn. Results remain to be seen. Hardiman says slowing the city's homicide rate will take changes in policing and community strategies. No one is off the hook, he says.

"This is giving us a black eye across the nation. We've reached the 400 homicide mark and we're on pace to hit 500 homicides for the first time in several years. The mayor can only do so much. Police can only do so much. We all have to play a role," said Hardiman.
Did Romney invest in a Chinese sweatshop?
According to the report published by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, the factory Romney cited was called Global-Tech Appliances Inc., which employed about 5,000 young women. The plant in Dongguan City, Guangdong,report that cites Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney as having “knowingly invested in a brutal Chinese Dongguan sweatshop China, made small appliances in sweatshop conditions for Hamilton Beach, Sunbeam, Proctor Silex and Revlon behind barbed wire fences in the town of Qing-Xi.
Chinese firm sues Obama administration over blocking wind farm construction
The Obama administration said that Ralls has four wind farm projects that are within or in the vicinity of restricted air space at a naval weapons systems training facility. "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe" that Ralls Corp, Sany Group and the two Sany Group executives who own Ralls "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," Obama said in issuing his decision.
The Mafia is destroying the rainforest, controlling the timber trade
It's not as glamorous as cocaine or diamonds, but the illegal logging industry has become very attractive to criminal organisations over the past decade. A new report finds that up to 90 per cent of tropical deforestation can be attributed to organised crime, which controls up to 30 per cent of the global timber trade.
Mexicans confused and angry over new monument for Azerbaijan leader 
The Stalin-esque, bronze statue of Geidar Aliyev, the late authoritarian leader of the Caucasus republic, carries a plaque calling him "a brilliant example of infinite devotion to the motherland, loyal to the universal ideals of world peace." The monument erected in late August shows Aliyev sitting in a bronze chair in front of what appears to be an enormous, white marble map of Azerbaijan. 
"It is really out of place," said Miguel Angel Mendoza, an 18-year-old high school student who was walking past the monument to the longtime ruler, who led Azerbaijan first as Communist Party boss during Soviet times and then as president from 1993 to 2003. "Why couldn't they put up a monument to somebody who did something good?"  
It turns out that Azerbaijan contributed much of the 65 million pesos ($5 million) it cost to renovate not one, but two Mexico City parks, allowing it to put monuments in both. Critics say that Aliyev, who stifled dissent, shouldn't be on a boulevard decorated with statues to Mexican and foreign heroes.
The dark side of Dubai: harsh laws and slave labor
All over the city, there are maxed-out expats sleeping secretly in the sand-dunes or the airport or in their cars.

"The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems," Karen says at last. "Nothing. This isn't a city, it's a con-job. They lure you in telling you it's one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it's a medieval dictatorship."
63,000-Year-Old modern human skull found in Laos
“No other artifacts have yet been found with the skull, suggesting that the cave was not a dwelling or burial site, Shackelford said. It is more likely that the person died outside and the body washed into the cave sometime later,” Dr Shackelford explained. “The find reveals that early modern human migrants did not simply follow the coast and go south to the islands of Southeast Asia and Australia, as some researchers have suggested, but that they also traveled north into very different types of terrain.”
“This find supports an ‘Out-of-Africa’ theory of modern human origins rather than a multi-regionalism model,” she said. “Given its age, fossils in this vicinity could be direct ancestors of the first migrants to Australia. But it is also likely that mainland Southeast Asia was a crossroads leading to multiple migratory paths.”

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