Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 9:09 am
Cost overruns are threatening to shut down a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal aimed at allowing the world's largest ships to pass through the short cut between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.
A European consortium funding the project says it won't continue the work until Panama coughs up the extra cash — which amounts to $1.6 billion over and above an original $3.2 billion bid to build a third set of locks.
When Ajayibe was 22, she tried to kill herself after being shunned by her family. Surgery could not repair the hole in her birth canal, but her story helped inspire an American photographer to start a project to benefit women with fistula. Proceeds from the project have enabled Ajayibe to have livestock of her own.
Credit Kristie McLean
Obstetric fistula is a terrible childbirth injury in which a hole is formed between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum during prolonged or obstructed labor. It leads to incontinence and, often, rejection by society. But advocates are helping these Ethiopian women with fistula get medical care and giving them the means to make their own livelihood.
Credit Kristie McLean
Tsega (left) is an engineer volunteering to help women with fistula in Ethiopia. A chance encounter photographer Kristie McLean (right) had with him led her to raise money for a grain mill that benefits the women.
Credit Courtesy Kristie McLean
With proceeds from the grain mill, women have been able to buy their own livestock for income.
In 2010, well-traveled freelance photographer Kristie McLean arrived in Ethiopia, her first trip to the country. She was there to photograph women with an injury that can happen when a baby gets stuck during childbirth: obstetric fistula. It's a condition common in rural Africa and Asia, where women give birth far from hospitals and C-sections aren't readily available.
Chinese 100 yuan bank notes being counted at a bank in Huaibei, in eastern China's Anhui province, in 2013. Undeclared income — sometimes the proceeds of corruption, often just of unclear provenance — is estimated to make up a staggering 12 percent of China's GDP.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
A man pushes his relative through a hallway crowded with patients waiting to receive medical treatment at a Beijing hospital in July 2013. Journalist Wu Si says gray income is just a fact of daily life in China — everyone ranging from teachers and doctors to officials accepts off-the-books payments.
The income gap is growing dramatically in China and the rich are getting exponentially richer — the richest 10 percent of China's population are more than three times wealthier than the official figures.
Much of that undeclared wealth is what Chinese people call "gray income," including proceeds from corruption and other ethically "gray" areas of the economy.
Living on the margins of the "gray economy" are people like migrant laborer Wang Haichuan. He rents a room far below street level in a dark, former air-raid shelter inhabited by other migrants.
Egypt's government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that backed recently deposed president Mohammed Morsi. Last week, the government designated the brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
The Desert Flower Center, created by Somali model Waris Dirie, opened in Berlin in September. The medical center provides victims of female genital cutting with reconstructive surgery, counseling and other treatment.
At a recent sewing class held in Berlin at Mama Afrika, which helps immigrants adjust to life in Germany, most of the African and Middle Eastern students feign ignorance when founder Hadja Kaba asks them about female genital mutilation.
Turning to one young woman wearing a veil she asks, "Have you been cut?"
"Yes," the woman answers, holding up the cloth she is sewing.
Kaba tries again. "No, not the cloth — down there!"
The veiled woman shakes her head and turns back to her fabric.
Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 12:44 pm
California's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an undocumented immigrant from Mexico should receive a license to practice law in accordance with a new state law.
The ruling in favor of Sergio Garcia, 36, comes after California lawmakers passed a bill in October authorizing qualified applicants into the state bar, regardless of their immigration status. Garcia's case was widely seen as a test of the viability of the new law.
The Associated Press says:
"The decision means Garcia can begin practicing law despite his immigration status.
Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with Andrew Wilder, Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs at the United States Institute of Peace.
In April, voters in Afghanistan head to the polls to elect a successor to the term-limited President Hamid Karzai. The controversial-at-times leader is the only democratically-elected head of state the troubled country has known since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Andrew Wilder, the Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs at the United States Institute of Peace and a close observer of Afghanistan for nearly 30 years, says it’s very important April’s elections are credible, and produce a legitimate outcome.
Keith Vaz, a British member of Parliament and chairman of the home affairs select committee (left), greets arrivals at Luton Airport, including Victor Spirescu (right) on Wednesday. The first Romanians and Bulgarians with unrestricted access to the U.K. labor market have begun to arrive despite last-ditch efforts to prevent a feared wave of fresh immigration.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:53 pm
Over the New Year's holiday, Bulgarians and Romanians became free to move across the European Union in search of jobs as the bloc's last labor restrictions were lifted. As we've previously told you, the prospect of a flood of workers from two of the EU's newest and poorest members has prompted fears of "poverty migrants" — especially in Britain and Germany.