Hershey’s ‘No Charlie’s Chocolate Factory’ August 23, 2011Posted by rogerhollander in Human Rights, Immigration, Labor.
Tags: boycott, chocolate factory, cultural exchange, exel, foreign workers, guestworker, guestworker alliance, hershey chocolate, immigrants, jon swaine, labor, roger hollander, slave labor, unfari labor, working conditions
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NEW YORK – It sounded like the perfect summer job.
Anger … a student protests against the working conditions at a Hershey’s factory. (Photo: AP)
Students from China, Africa and eastern Europe would work in a Hershey’s chocolate plant before using their earnings to travel the US and learn English.
“We have all seen Charlie’s chocolate factory,” said one student, 19-year-old Harika Duygu Ozer. Another said: “I thought we would see America like in movies.”
The factory, in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, did not live up to Roald Dahl’s thrilling world of chocolate waterfalls and infinite treats, however.
The 400 students, who each paid up to $US5940 ($5700) to join the State department’s cultural exchange scheme, claimed they were forced to become “captive workers”.
Shifts, often at night, consisted of lifting dozens of heavy boxes, trying to control fast-moving production lines, they said.
“They don’t care if you are small, you don’t have the power, you didn’t eat – they just care about their production,” one of the students said.
A spokesman for the National Guestworker Alliance, which is backing the group, said: “They were warned to stop complaining or they would be kicked out.”
The students walked out last week in protest at their conditions and pay, which after deductions and rent charges allegedly amounted to between $US40 and $US140 for 40 hours of work per week. They marched with dozens of supporters through Hershey itself.
Hershey said the plant was run by Exel, a logistics company. Exel said temporary workers were overseen by a third company, and that it had been told to stop hiring students from the scheme. It said students were informed of likely working conditions.
Bin Laden Raid ‘Was Strictly to Kill Him August 2, 2011Posted by rogerhollander in 9/11, Criminal Justice, War on Terror.
Tags: al-Qaeda, bin laden raid, jon swaine, navy seals, Osama bin laden, roger hollander, war on terror
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NEW YORK – The raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan was a mission to kill him, and there was ”never any question” he would be captured alive, one of those directly involved has claimed.
The raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan was a mission to kill him, and there was ”never any question” he would be captured alive, one of those directly involved has claimed. (Photoillustration by John Ritter | The New Yorker)
The most detailed account so far of the assassination of the world’s most wanted man describes the May 1 operation in Abbottabad as a ”covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden”.
Published in The New Yorker magazine, it presents the strongest challenge yet to the Obama administration’s insistence that the al-Qaeda chief could have been captured had he ”conspicuously surrendered”.
An unnamed US special operations officer, said to be ”deeply familiar with the bin Laden raid”, told the magazine that the 23 Navy Seals were clear that this was not the case.
”There was never any question of detaining or capturing him,” the officer said.
”It wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees.”
The plan, according to the article’s author, Nicholas Schmidle, was for the Seals to ”overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan”.
In May, John Brennan, Mr Obama’s counter-terrorism chief, said the commandos would not have killed their target if they were confident he was not carrying an ”improvised explosive device on his body” or ”some type of hidden weapon”.
Schmidle reports the first Seal to find bin Laden believed one or both of the wives guarding him were wearing suicide vests. He shot one in the calf before rugby tackling them to save two colleagues. Neither turned out to have explosives.
A second Seal then shot bin Laden in the chest and again in the head with his M4 rifle, and said over his radio: ”For God and country – Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo” – the code word for a hit on bin Laden.
US commanders also considered a more down-to-earth way of entering bin Laden’s compound than swooping in by helicopter – tunnelling, The New Yorker report says.
The short-lived idea would have avoided ground troops having to sneak through Abbottabad.
In the end, though, they determined from satellite photos that the water table was probably just below the surface of the surrounding flat land and that tunnelling was highly unlikely to be successful.
A less exotic option was to bomb from the sky.
However, to be sure of destroying the house and any fortified bunker underneath would require such a massive bombardment that it would result in Abbottabad feeling ”the equivalent of an earthquake”, James Cartwright, the then vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told The New Yorker.
President Barack Obama disliked that idea and said the helicopter raid should go ahead.