Criticism of Trinidad & Tobago’s State Enterprise System Follows Fraud Allegation Against Oil Supplier

The Petrotrin oil refinery in Trinidad. Photo by Marc Aberdeen, CC BY-ND 2.0. At a recent gathering of her political party, the United National Congress (UNC), Trinidad and Tobago's leader of the opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, made a stunning allegation: that A&V Oil and Gas Limited, which supplies crude oil to the state energy company Petrotrin, had…

The Earthquake that Revealed Mexico’s Strength and Solidarity

Citizen rescuers take a leading role in supporting earthquake victims. Rescue crews photographed in Mexico City, September 19, 2017. Photograph used with permission. Mexico is just beginning to tally the damage caused by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook central Mexico, including the capital as well as the states of Morelos and Puebla, on September…

Are Hazardous Vapors Seeping Into Basements Across the United States?

Photo courtesy of Michelle Le/Mountain View Voice. Reprinted with permission. This post by Lynne Peeples was originally published on Ensia.com, a magazine that highlights international environmental solutions in action, and is republished here as part of a content-sharing agreement When Jane Horton bought her dream 800-square-foot farmhouse in 1975, she thought little of the semiconductor manufacturing plant across the…

In Tanzania, Hepatitis Is a Serious Concern, but HIV/AIDS Remains Deadlier

Local media have dubbed the disease the ‘silent killer’. Credit: PesaCheck.org This article was originally published on PesaCheck.org, East Africa’s first fact-checking initiative. In a story published by The Citizen newspaper in Tanzania, Dr. John Lwegasha, the head of the gastroenterology and hepatology unit at Muhimbili National Hospital, was quoted as saying that hepatitis B…

The Perils of Military Engagement Against North Korea

A detail from the Mansudae Grand Monument in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by Stefan Krakowski via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) The $20 million we spend daily maintaining the US nuclear arsenal could instead be used to provide $1,000 per day for every one of the twenty thousand children who die from hunger. – J.…

Mexico Earthquake: ‘I Thought I Was Going to Die When Pieces of the Ceiling Began to Fall’

Mexico City employees working on debris removal. Image by J. Tadeo. Mexico has been hit by two violent earthquakes in September 2017. The first, which registered 8.2 on the Richter scale, occurred on September 7 and caused close to 100 deaths, mostly in Oaxaca and Chiapas in southwestern Mexico. The second, which occurred on September 19, killed at…

Twitter has a laugh fest over Trump thinking there’s a country called Nambia

When Trump spoke to African leaders at a UN lunch on Wednesday, he referred to the African country of Nambia twice. It was a head-scratcher. Did he mean Zambia? Gambia? Namibia? Narnia? Oh wait... https://youtu.be/tX3bmQKQRLc It made for a busy round of yucks on Twitter. Here is a sample: How Donald Trump sees Africa #nambia…

California Regulators Require Auto Insurers to Adjust Rates

by Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson California regulators said they have required Nationwide and USAA to adjust their auto insurance rates as a result of a report by ProPublica and Consumer Reports that many minority neighborhoods were paying more than white areas with the same risk. The regulators said their review confirmed our finding that…

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan

by Annie Waldman This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as the worst public school in Clay County, and one of the lowest performing…

Police officer ignorantly and aggressively detained autistic boy who was just stimming

At a Buckeye, Arizona park, police officer David Grossman observed 14-year-old Connor Leibel moving his hands rigidly in front of his face, sniffing a piece of yarn, and making other unfamiliar movements. The officer thought the boy was intoxicated, held him on the ground, and handcuffed him. Leibel was simply self-stimulating, "stimming," a very common…

Panera’s CEO to McDonald’s CEO: “Would you really eat your own kids’ meals?”

How healthy are kids' meals from the big fast-food chains? If you're not sure, just ask Panera's founder and CEO Ron Shaich. Hey @Wendys, @BurgerKing & @McDonalds - Would you eat off your kids’ menu for a week? Join me in the #KidsMenuChallenge - Ron pic.twitter.com/v61cRNKM7A — Panera Bread (@panerabread) September 20, 2017 Source: Boing Boing (published…

Alabama Senate leading candidate Roy Moore refers to Native Americans and Asians as “reds and yellows”

Wow. One of Alabama's Senate candidates, Roy Moore, refers to Native Americans as "reds" and Asians as "yellows." He is competing with – and leading – Sen. Luther Strange in the GOP Senate runoff next week. https://youtu.be/qnF6CxmBpS0 In a speech on Sunday, he said, "We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against…

“Mad Pooper” terrorizes Colorado Springs family

A Colorado Springs running enthusiast, known locally as "The Mad Pooper," has been leaving gifts on a private lawn in a most public fashion. https://youtu.be/Tu56ENinU9w Via Competitor.com: A mystery woman in Colorado Springs, Colo. is giving runners a pretty crappy reputation. According to local CBS affiliate KKTV, this runner has been defecating outside the house…

Experts Say the Use of Private Email by Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Isn’t Legal

by Jessica Huseman President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission came under fire earlier this month when a lawsuit and media reports revealed that the commissioners were using private emails to conduct public business. Commission co-chair Kris Kobach confirmed this week that most of them continue to do so. Experts say the commission’s email practices do…

Independent Monitors Found Benzene Levels After Harvey Six Times Higher Than Guidelines

by Lisa Song and Al Shaw, ProPublica, and Kiah Collier, The Texas Tribune After an oil tank in Houston’s Manchester neighborhood caved in, private monitors found levels that far exceeded California’s health guidelines By Lisa Song and Al Shaw, ProPublica, and Kiah Collier, The Texas Tribune, Septmber 14, 2017 As a longtime resident of Manchester, Guadalupe Hernandez is…