Three times during his seven-hour swim, Omar Jabr thought that he was not going to make it. The only thing he could hear was his pounding heart, a sound he tried to drown out with silent prayers. He was helped by the sounds of his exhausted body as it fought its way through the water.
When the boat capsized, he had volunteered to do the swim. After all, he was the best swimmer on board, and he judged the visible stretches of the Greek shore to be just about one hour away. While the remaining 20 people from the boat treaded water somewhere in the Aegean Sea that separates Turkey and Greece, he swam. For their lives and his own.
For the 30-year-old father of five, the water marked the difference between the hopeless situation in his native Syria and a future in the safety of Europe. He knew he couldn’t return to Syria, but he had no idea where he should seek refuge. He did not care either. For the time being he was more than preoccupied with staying alive.
How the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had an unexpected side effect.
By John Ainger
"Where are you from?" I asked.
"Iraq. Kurdistan!" he said, animatedly jabbing with his index finger at the Kurdish flag tattooed upon his gaunt neck. He then engaged in a bit of light-hearted banter, "This guy, this guy is the proper junkie," Hajji laughed, gesticulating to Morten, the man I was talking to. "He calls me the junkie, the garbage man," Morten explains to me, "But he’s not bad for a black guy," he quips whilst wrapping Hajji in a loose and stumbling headlock.
This brief moment of lively animation took me by surprise. I had been talking to Morten, though trying unsuccessfully to get more than monosyllables from him. I would ask a question, Morten would then pause, as if he was about to answer, before placing all of his very limited concentration into how he was going to tie his 'new', yet chipped, skateboard onto his rucksack so he wouldn’t have to hold it. Morten explained that he’d managed to get the skateboard… from a girl… but where she worked? He tailed off…
“You are not allowed to be a victim, and if you are no one will believe you”
"In the beginning there were feelings and then fear and then shame. It is hard for a man to admit he is being beaten by a woman." Maxime Gaget breaks down during a court hearing in Paris, France on May 25th, where his ex-wife is accused of torturing him for six consecutive years.
Zakia Medkour kept forcing her husband to eat sponges, beat him brutally to the degree that he had to undergo eight surgeries to fix parts of his face, denied him access to the toilet and forced him to sleep on the floor.
To put it bluntly, 34-year-old Maxime Gaget is a victim of domestic violence. Yes, he is a man abused by his wife. And if that comes as a surprise, imagine how shocking it would be if you discovered that this is neither a new phenomenon nor a rare one, even if men don’t usually report their abuse. And that’s because behind people’s closed doors, stereotypes disappear, regardless of region or culture.
The story was originally published on Pandeia.
The internet and its technologies have opened up endless possibilities and changed profoundly the way we structure our lives. The recent and ever growing phenomenon of the sharing economy has generated new online platforms like Airbnb, BlaBlaCar and Jobbatical, just to name a few. However, sharing has always been part of our social life.
Think about all those cookies you shared with friends at school or the many lighters you have used from strangers not to give up smoking that one last cigarette. According to Sharing Economy expert April Rinne "own less, embrace more" represents the slogan of the future.
The potential of the 'sharing economy' might be enormous with benefits for all classes, if it is integrated within the legal market. Policy makers are warned: play it smart and take it to the next level.
A story about Korean adoptee's identity.
By Soyoun Park
The story was originally published in the Huffington Post.
In a dimly lit chamber at the Holt Daegu Community Service Center in South Korea, one man in his twenties and one woman in her fifties are looking at each other in silence. In between the two, there is a man with a name tag indicating that she is from the Holt International Children’s Services, one of the biggest international adoption agencies in the world. The man begins to talk in English, mixing with his mother tongue Danish, and the woman is desperately waiting for the Holt officer to translate what he says to her into Korean, though seen from a distance, it could be assumed that three Koreans are having a conversation. She shows him a photo of a girl who takes after him, then begins to sob. A look of confusion in his eyes is overlapped on her tears.
With the popularity and reach of the web, users have never been as concerned and conscious about privacy protection matters as they are today.
Julia Angwin decided to pull the plug. That was it. She needed her privacy. It was time to be in charge of her own information, other than sitting on the back seat. No more just handing in her information to companies and to the government so they can use it freely. No more receiving undesirable marketing mails. No more surveillance. Not anymore. This time, she was taking control of her personal information.
The shining Sugarloaf Mountain, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, still tries to smile with joy to locals and tourists that wander without a curfew around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. It is one of the highest-class neighborhoods in town, which will no longer wave back to the Sugarloaf in the same way they did before.
Brazil remains shocked. On Tuesday, May 19th, 2015, 57-year-old Jaime Gold, doctor, left home around 7 pm for a ride around the lagoon. Three criminals stabbed Gold four times, leaving a trail of blood and all for his bicycle.
First Pan Am, then ValuJet. Malaysia Airlines was the latest example of an airline that went bankrupt because of a deadly accident – among others. And now even Lufthansa, or more precisely it’s 'budget' subsidiary, Germanwings, has to face and master the challenge that the three mentioned airlines could not: To stay in the black after the most fatal tragedy the airline has ever experienced.
On March 24 this year the Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz allegedly committed suicide by crashing a A320 airplane into a mountainside of the French Alps. 149 people, including five crew members, died with him. The event caused widespread media coverage and international outcries ranging from postulating stricter psychological evaluations for pilots to demanding a change in the safety measures for cockpit doors. Investigators assume that the 27-year old man had locked the door while in the cockpit alone – recordings found on the black box opened up assumptions that the pilot of flight 4U 9525 had tried to open the cockpit door from the outside just before the crash to no avail.
People around the world seem to be hit hard by the tragedy, but Germans appear to be a special case. This plane crash seemed to evoke unusually dramatic reactions – possibly because it is connected to Lufthansa. The award-winning airline had enjoyed a nearly impeccable reputation for more than sixty years, "safety" being their brand recognition feature and always played a large role in how they branded themselves. It had also been unaffected by any accidents for more than two decades. Now the question, if one person's actions are sufficient to blacken Lufthansa's spotless sun-yellow image and which are the contributing factors, may be posed.
Not a brand new story of Chinese immigrants.
By Shulun Huang
It is an usual Sunday, December 1st, 2013. Many people are enjoying the weekend with their family. But the fire accident in a Chinese-owned factory snatched seven Chinese immigrant workers’ lives. The factory is located in Prato, Tuscany. Those Chinese workers both lived and worked at the factory, some have no identity authority to live in Italy. This accident has been widely reported, attracting worldwide attention.
The Italian authority, local procurator in Prato, started to investigate the accident immediately. After one year, reported by The Local, Lin You Lan, the manager of the factory was sentenced 8 years and 8 months in prison. Her sister Lin You Li was also found guilty. But this accident has been described as foretold as Roberto Pistonina from Italian Confederation of Worker’s Trade Unions, posted on his Facebook page to describe that hundreds of Chinese immigrant workers were "living and working in conditions of near-slavery." Many hard-working Chinese work day in and day out in Prato with a lack of enough concern about production safety.
"Made in Italy" is actually mostly made by Chinese, the clothing produced by Chinese cheap labor is "at a lightning pace for sale at rock-bottom prices" to occupy large quantity of the European garment market. Alongside with the terrible accident, competition, conflicts between Chinese immigrant group and native Italian group have been surfaced distinctly.
Chinese government’s detention of five feminists may have deeper political concern.
By Muyu Xu
On March 7th, a hazy Saturday in Beijing, Wei Tingting was doing laundry at home when the police came in and took her away. "She did not turn off the machine when she left. Apparently she thought she would come back home in some hours." Fan Popo, a roommate of Wei, recalled. But Wei was not released until April 13th, 37 days later. According to Chinese law, 37 days is the maximum restrain for detainment.
Wei was not the only one who was arrested on that day. Tens of feminists around the country were taken by the police, but they were set free within 24 hours. Only Wei Tingting, Wu Rongrong, Li Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan were arrested and then detained, on the charge of "creating disturbance". The detained five people are all young, well-educated females on the average 27 years old. They are the core members of Chinese new feminism movements and were dubbed as 'Feminist Five'. The Feminist Five were planing to conduct some activities, aiming at raising public awareness of sexual harassment on public transportation, on March 8th - the International Woman’s Day.