A building housing several factories making clothing for European and American consumers collapsed into a deadly heap on Wednesday, killing at least 108 workers and injuring at least 1,000 people. The catastrophe comes only five months after a horrific fire at a similar facility prompted leading multinational brands to pledge to work to improve safety in the country’s booming but poorly regulated garment industry. (Photo: AM Ahad / AP via The New York Times; caption via The Times)
I don’t think any good can be accomplished by me taking a strident outraged tone here, so I’m trying to keep it even-keeled, but here’s what’s up: 108 people are dead because people were cutting corners to save money. Terrorism is awful, lots of things are awful. One thing that’s awful and which costs lives, real lives, innocent lives, all the time, is when profit motive is placed ahead of the safety of the workers who have made the companies profitable. “Four Building Codes Violated To Save Money, Scores Dead; Need For Cheap Labor Cited” doesn’t have the headline glamor that bombs and guns bring to the table, and I’m not saying that stories of sudden nightmare violence shouldn’t be covered; the news only responds to the demands of its viewers. It’s on us as viewers and readers to say that when something like the collapse of Rana Plaza occurs, this, too, is an act of cruel and unimaginable violence, and its causes and culprits should be as vigorously pursued and investigated as the lone-wolf supervillains who command our attention from time to time.
PRAGUE, (SANA)- Ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon revealed that during her work for the channel she received orders to send false news and exclude some others which the U.S. administration did not favor with the aim to create a public opinion in favor of launching an aggression on Iran and Syria.
A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.
Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course. The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago. Gamzu’s letter instructed “all gynecologists in the HMOs not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.” Gamzu also instructed physicians to avail themselves of translators if need be.
Gamzu’s letter came in response to a letter from Sharona Eliahu-Chai of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, representing several women’s rights and Ethiopian immigrants’ groups. The letter demanded the injections cease immediately and that an investigation be launched into the practice.
About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community. According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”