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U.S. TOBACCO GROWERS USE CHILD LABOUR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS. CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15.

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current events may 15

U.S. TOBACCO GROWERS USE CHILD LABOUR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS

CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15
  • You may have to be at least 18 to buy cigarettes in the U.S., but children as young as seven are working long hours in fields harvesting nicotine- and pesticide-laced tobacco leaves under sometimes hazardous and sweltering conditions, according to a report released Wednesday by an international rights group.
  • The Human Rights Watch report details findings from interviews with more than 140 children working on farms in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, where a majority of the country's tobacco is grown.
  • Children interviewed by the group in 2012 and 2013 reported vomiting, nausea and headaches while working on tobacco farms. The symptoms they reported are consistent with nicotine poisoning often called Green Tobacco Sickness, which occurs when workers absorb nicotine through their skin while handling tobacco plants.
current events may 151
CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15
  • U.S. agriculture labour laws allow children to work longer hours at younger ages and in more hazardous conditions than children in any other industry. With their parent's permission, children as young as 12 can be hired for unlimited hours outside of school hours on a farm of any size.
  • The children also said they worked long hours — often in extreme heat — without overtime pay or sufficient breaks and wore no, or inadequate, protective gear.
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-tobacco-growers-use-child-labour-human-rights-watch-says-1.1078630

In 2011, the U.S. Labour Department proposed changes that would have prohibited children under 16 from working on tobacco farms, but they were withdrawn in 2012.

current events may 152
CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15

TURKEY COAL-MINE EXPLOSION KILLS AT LEAST 245

  • Anger and grief boiled over into a violent protest Wednesday in the western Turkish town of Soma, where officials said at least 245 miners died in a coal mine explosion and fire.
  • Nearly 450 other miners were rescued, the mining company said, but the fate of an unknown number of others remained unclear in one of the world's deadliest mining disasters in decades.
  • Authorities say the disaster followed an explosion and fire caused by a power distribution unit and the deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The prime minister promised the tragedy would be investigated to its "smallest detail" and that "no negligence will be ignored."
current events may 153
CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15
  • Turkey's Labor and Social Security Ministry said the mine had been inspected five times since 2012, including in March of 2014, and that no issues violating work safety and security were detected.
  • Mining accidents are common in Turkey, which is plagued by poor safety conditions. Tuesday's explosion tore through the mine as workers were preparing for a shift change, which likely raised the casualty toll because there were more miners inside than usual.

Turkey's worst mining disaster was a 1992 gas explosion that killed 263 workers near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/turkey-coal-mine-explosion-kills-at-least-245-1.2642301

current events may 154
CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15

RCMP BUST PASSPORT FRAUD SCHEME TIED TO CANADA'S 'MOST WANTED'

  • The RCMP have arrested a man accused of duping Passport Canada into issuing passports under fake names to some of Canada’s most notorious criminal suspects, CBC has learned.  
  • The RCMP alleges the passport fixer was aiding high-level cocaine traffickers including the infamous Alkhalil brothers, one of whom is wanted for two deadly shootings in Toronto and Vancouver.
  • “He was facilitating the obtaining of Canadian passports in exchange for money,” said RCMP National Division Insp. Costa Dimopoulos, who told CBC News that criminals are willing to spend $5,000 to $20,000 for a genuine document issued under an assumed name
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/rcmp-bust-passport-fraud-scheme-tied-to-canada-s-most-wanted-1.2642559
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CURRENT EVENTS MAY 15
  • Passport Canada has spent tens of millions of dollars enhancing security of Canada’s “ePassport” to make the document difficult to counterfeit by criminals and potential terrorists.
  • To combat fraudulent applications among the five million requests they receive each year, they have used facial recognition technology since 2009 to scan for duplicate images within a database of 34 million photos.

Police say Nabil Alkhalil, left, and Robby Alkhalil, right, have both used fraudulently obtained genuine Canadian passports. All three have faced cocaine trafficking charges.