#Metoo, Phase 2: Documentary Explores Heavy Burden on Women of Color

It may have been plagued with controversy after Oprah Winfrey pulled out as executive producer, but “On the Record” has moved on. The the new #MeToo documentary about rape accusations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is a powerful look at one woman’s agonizing decision to go public, and an exploration of misogyny and sexual harassment in the music industry. Most importantly, though, it shines a light on the unique burden faced by women of color, who are often not believed or accused of being traitors to their own community if they come forward with accusations. The film premieres Wednesday on the new streaming service HBO Max.  There’s an elegant, almost poetic silence to one of the most compelling scenes of “On the Record,” a powerful new documentary about sexual violence that knows just when to dial down to a hushed quiet.In the early morning darkness of Dec. 13, 2017, former music executive Drew Dixon walks to a coffee shop and buys the New York Times. On the front page is the story in which she and two others accuse the powerful hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, her former boss, of rape. Dixon examines the article, carefully folds the paper back up, puts on a wool cap as if for protection — and crumples into silent tears.They are tears of fear, surely, about the ramifications of going public — but also, clearly, relief. It feels as if the poison of a decades-old toxic secret is literally seeping out of her.  “It saved my life,” she now says of that decision.”On the Record,” by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, provides a searingly intimate portrayal of the agonizing process of calculating whether to go public. Beyond that, it shines an overdue light on the music industry, where sexual harassment is “just baked into the culture,” in the words of Sil Lai Abrams, another Simmons accuser featured in the film.Most importantly, it puts a spotlight on women of color, and the unique and painful burden they often face in coming forward.The project also has been associated with controversy, of course, due to Oprah Winfrey’s well-documented withdrawal as executive producer just before the Sundance Film Festival, scuttling a distribution deal with Apple. Winfrey later acknowledged Simmons had called her and waged a pressure campaign, but said that wasn’t why she bailed.But the film has moved on. It opened at Sundance anyway to cheers and two emotional standing ovations, and was soon picked up by HBO Max, where it premieres Wednesday.For Dixon, vindication at Sundance was sweet.”Just standing there, on our own, and realizing that we were enough,” she said in an interview last week along with Abrams and accuser Sherri Hines, of the premiere. “That our courage was enough. That none of us waffled. None of us buckled. That we were strong enough to defend ourselves and each other.”Less than two years earlier, Dixon had been plagued by doubt. She’d expected that the film, which began shooting before she decided to go public, would be a general look at #MeToo and the music industry. But then the directors wanted to focus more on her journey.”The idea of being blackballed by the black community was really scary,” she says. “But I also felt this pressure, this responsibility to be brave, to highlight the experience of black women as survivors. The opportunity might never come again.”Dixon was in her 20s when she got her dream job at Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings. The daughter of two Washington, D.C. politicians — her mother, Sharon Pratt, was mayor — she attended Stanford University, then moved to New York to join the exciting world of hip-hop.As her star rose at Def Jam, she assumed that would immunize her from what she describes as Simmons’ constant harassment. He would come into her office, lock the door and expose himself.  But he wasn’t violent. Until the night in 1995 when, she says, he lured her to his apartment with the excuse of a demo CD she needed to hear. He told her to get it from the bedroom, she says, and then came in wearing only a condom, and raped her.Simmons has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.The film weaves together Dixon’s and multiple other accusations against Simmons with key voices of women of color like Tarana Burke, who founded the #MeToo movement, and law professor Kimberle Williams Crenshaw.”A lot of black women felt disconnected from #MeToo initially,” Burke says. “They felt, ‘that’s great that this sister is out there and we support her, but this movement is not for US.'”When black women do seek to come forward, they risk not only not being believed, but being called traitors to their community, both Burke and Dixon explain.”There’s this added layer in the black community that we have to contend with, like, ‘Oh you’re gonna put THIS before race?'” says Burke. “You let this thing happen to you, now we have to pay for it as a race? And we’re silenced even more.’Dick and Ziering, who’ve made several films about sexual assault, say they saw it as essential to go beyond the current #MeToo discussion and focus on the experience of black women.”Now you can come forward — but what about women of color? What do they face?” asks Ziering. “There are so many impediments.”For Dixon, coming forward was clearly worth it. It’s more complicated for Abrams. Even as the audience was applauding at Sundance, Abrams, who attempted suicide after her alleged rape by Simmons, was weeping next to her young adult son, worrying about him as he learned the full details for the first time, she says.  Abrams also says that “as a result of coming forward, my career has stalled. Everything just dried up.”Dixon says it remains to be seen whether she will be punished within the music industry. She says she recently was up for a job, things were going well, and suddenly all went quiet. “They must have Googled me,” she says.But she feels, most importantly, like she rescued a part of herself: her creativity, her drive, her very sense of who she is.For more than 20 years, she says, “I had banished the young woman who came to New York City prepared to work really hard in a man’s game, to prove she could do it, but not expecting that she would be raped.””In order to banish the pain I banished part of her light,” she says. “When I said it out loud, those parts of me lit up again.”Her message to any other survivors out there — and she hopes they will come forward: “Facing it frees parts of yourself that you don’t even know you’ve missed.”  

місце для вашої реклами

Trump Loyalist Sworn in as US Director of National Intelligence

More than nine months after U.S. President Donald Trump first floated his name, John Ratcliffe is taking charge of the country’s intelligence operations, promising to live up to the U.S. intelligence community mantra of speaking truth to power, despite his reputation as a Trump loyalist.The 54-year-old Ratcliffe was sworn in as director of national intelligence on Tuesday, less than a week after FILE – U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, poses for the media prior to his accreditation at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, May 8, 2018.During a White House briefing Tuesday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany expressed hope Ratcliffe would follow in the path of Richard Grenell, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Germany, who had been serving as acting director for the past three months.“Rick Grenell has done an excellent job in that position,” McEnany said. “He’s done extraordinary work at ODNI. I expect John Ratcliffe will as he takes over,” she added.In his short time as the acting DNI, Grenell irritated some lawmakers by refusing to consult with them while pushing ahead with a series of reforms, including changes to how the intelligence community will brief on election interference and moves to streamline operations at the National Counterterrorism Center.JUST IN: Senate Intelligence Committee official tells Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. questions CIA Director John Brennan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 9, 2016.“Ratcliffe has proven that his loyalty is to Donald Trump, not the truth,” Democratic senator and Intelligence Committee member Ron Wyden tweeted last week, following Ratcliffe’s Senate confirmation.“This is yet another unqualified Trump nominee rubber-stamped by (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell, and a sad day for our democracy,” Wyden added.Concerns first surfaced last August when the president tweeted his intent to nominate Ratcliffe and caused the Texas lawmaker to withdraw his name from consideration.Concerns about inexperience, partisanshipSpecifically, lawmakers questioned whether Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, had overstated his counterterrorism achievements, and noted that at the time, he had only served on the House Intelligence Committee for six months.Since then, Republican members of Congress warmed to Ratcliffe’s nomination, satisfied with his assurances that he would not use the U.S. intelligence community to further the president’s political goals..James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, testifies on Capitol Hill, March 10 2011.James Clapper, who served as DNI under former President Barack Obama and who has been a frequent critic of the Trump administration, said one option would be for Ratcliffe to hold a series of town halls “so he can get to know the agencies, and they him.“The rank and file are going to watch closely to see what the new DNI does and says,” Clapper said. “I think they’ll want to give him a chance to live up to what he promised during his confirmation hearing.”

місце для вашої реклами

Пентагон заявив, що Росія перекинула бойові літаки до Лівії

Африканське командування Збройних сил США виступило 26 травня із заявою, в якій стверджується, що Росія нещодавно перекинула до Лівії бойові літаки для підтримки найманців, які воюють в Лівії на стороні збройних формувань генерала Халіфи Хафтара.

На сайті американського командування також наведено кілька фотографій літаків, які, як стверджується, могли прибути до Лівії.

 

У заяві йдеться, що літаки прибули з авіабази в Росії транзитом через Сирію, де вони були перефарбовані, щоб приховати знаки їхньої належності до російської авіації.

За словами глави Африканського командування генерала Стівена Таунсенда, Росія довгий час заперечувала свою участь у конфлікт в Лівії, проте тепер «перестала її приховувати». Він наголосив, що ані Лівійська національна армія на чолі з Хафтаром, загони найманців так званої «приватної військової компанії Вагнера», які воюють на її боці, самі не мають бойових літаків четвертого покоління, які прибули до Лівії. «Російські пілоти-найманці літатимуть на доправлених із Росії літаках і бомбити лівійців», – сказав американський генерал.

Пентагон наголошує, що дії Росії тягнуть за собою продовження лівійського конфлікту і зростання числа його жертв. На думку американського командування, Росія прагне утвердитися на узбережжі Лівії та розгорнути там системи обмеження і заборони доступу і маневру, що поставить під загрозу південну Європу. Дії Росії в Лівії також сприяють збільшенню потоку мігрантів до Європи.

Міністерство оборони Росії поки не коментувало твердження американського командування.

Про перекидання до Лівії не менш як восьми військових літаків, імовірно російських, раніше повідомляло агентство Bloomberg. Воно стверджувало, що літаки прибули до Лівії з військової бази Хмеймім у Сирії. Москва цю інформацію не прокоментувала.

 

Експерти ООН заявили у звіті, який став публічним на початку травня, що найманці з російської воєнізованої організації, відомої як «група Вагнера», підтримують лівійського командувача Халіфу Хафтара в його намаганнях захопити столицю країни, місто Тріполі.

Структура ООН, що відстежує дотримання санкцій, зазначає у доповіді, отриманій 6 травня The Association Press, AFP та Reuters, що в Лівії перебуває від 800 до 1200 росіян, включно зі снайперами та спеціалізованими підрозділами.

У численних публікаціях про «приватну військову компанію Вагнера» йшлося про її наближеність до президента Росії Володимира Путіна і участь у конфліктах, де Москва прагне впливати неофіційно, без залучення армійських підрозділів. Ідеться про бойові дії в кількох країнах – від України та Сирії до країн Африки.

Лівія перебуває у стані громадянської війни після того, як підтримане НАТО народне повстання скинуло диктаторський режим полковника Муаммара Каддафі в 2011 році.

Схід і більшу частину території країни контролює «Лівійська національна армія» на чолі з Хафтаром, у столиці Тріполі владу має міжнародно визнаний уряд національної згоди.

місце для вашої реклами

Judge Strikes Down US Energy Leasing Rules in Bird Habitat

A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. Judge Brian Morris said the Interior Department did not do enough to encourage development outside of areas with greater sage grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have dropped dramatically in recent decades. The judge canceled energy leases on more than 470 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) of public land in the western states of Montana and Wyoming. That means officials will have to return millions of dollars in sales proceeds to companies that purchased the leases. The leases at issue already had been invalidated in previous cases that went through other federal courts. But the latest ruling, handed down Friday, appears to go further and strike at a key component of the administration’s broader energy policy. “The errors here occurred at the beginning of the oil and gas lease sale process, infecting everything that followed,” Morris wrote.  Megan Crandall, a spokesperson for Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, said Tuesday that the agency stands behind the leasing guidelines it issued in 2018.  “We assert that all of our lease sales are on sound legal footing and in full compliance” with federal environmental law, she said. FILE – Workers drill an oil well within sight of houses against a Rocky Mountain backdrop near Longmont, Colorado, October 14, 2014.Sage grouse range across about 270,000 square miles (700,000 square kilometers) in parts of 11 Western U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Their numbers have plummeted due to energy development, disease and other factors. The birds are known for an elaborate mating ritual in which males fan their tails and puff out yellow air sacs in their chests as they strut around breeding grounds known as leks. Under former President Barack Obama, the Interior Department delayed lease sales on millions of acres of public land largely because of worries that intensive development could harm sage grouse. In 2015, it adopted a set of wide-ranging plans meant to protect the best grouse habitat and keep the bird off the threatened and endangered species list. After President Donald Trump took office in 2017, the agency modified those plans to ease restrictions on development, which meant officials no longer had to prioritize development outside grouse habitat. The changes prompted a 2018 lawsuit from Montana Audubon, the National Wildlife Federation and other environmental groups. Mike Freeman, an attorney for the environmental groups, said the case has exposed a flaw in the Trump administration’s policies that could affect more than a million acres of leases in addition to those covered by the ruling, including in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana. “We’re challenging the entire national policy,” Freeman said. “There were many other lease sales where it’s been applied, and those lease sales have the exact same legal flaws.” The states of Wyoming and Montana and the Western Energy Alliance, an energy industry group, had intervened in the case on the side of the Trump administration.  Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma noted that some of the cancelled leases had been sold before the Trump administration’s policies went into full effect. She predicted the judge’s ruling would be overturned on appeal. “I like our chances of success,” Sgamma said. “The bottom line is a new administration has the ability to change policies as long as they do it properly, and the Trump administration has done it properly.”  

місце для вашої реклами

Georgia Gov Offers State as Alternative GOP Convention Host

Georgia’s governor is offering his state and its “world-class facilities” as host of the Republican National Convention — a day after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if that state’s Democratic governor doesn’t assure him that the August gathering can go forward despite coronavirus fears.  
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site for the quadrennial convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials. Plans have been underway for more than a year to hold the convention in Charlotte, but Trump and national Republican officials have expressed concerns that local officials may not allow gatherings of that size during the pandemic.
“With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,” Kemp tweeted Tuesday. “We hope you will consider the Peach State, ⁦‪@realDonaldTrump⁩!”
Over the weekend, Trump complained  that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was “unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the arena.”
He added that Republicans “must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”
GOP officials say a determination is needed in the coming weeks in order to begin final preparations for the convention.  
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said the president “is right to ask for assurances from North Carolina” about the convention.  
“We want to have it in North Carolina, the president wants to have it in North Carolina,” she told Fox News on Tuesday morning. “It’s just the governor. He has to work with us. Every state we talk to says we want to nominate the president here, but this governor is up for reelection and hasn’t given us the reassurances we need. We need to be able to move forward in a concrete way. We are going to have those discussions.”
The Democratic mayor of Atlanta, Georgia’s capital and by far its largest city, said in a statement Tuesday that its reopening plan doesn’t mesh with Kemp’s offer to hold the convention in Georgia.
“Like North Carolina, the City of Atlanta is following a phased, data-driven approach to reopening. That plan does not contemplate hosting a large gathering event in August,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “In fact, several long-standing City-supported and sponsored events have already been canceled in order to comply with CDC guidelines.”
David Shafer, chairman of Georgia’s state Republican Party, said in a text message that he spoke to Kemp on Tuesday morning. “We have reached out to Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna Romney to let her know that, if North Carolina falls through, Georgia is ready to help,” Shafer told The Associated Press.
“Under Governor Kemp, Georgia has led the nation in safely reopening its economy,” Shafer said. “We have first class facilities, a skilled workforce and a reputation for hospitality second to none. We would be proud to host the Republican National Convention.”
Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce declined to answer questions about the hasty bid and instead referred questions to Shafer.
Georgia became a lightning rod for both criticism and praise when it was one of the first states in the nation to allow businesses including tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to reopen in late April. Trump criticized Kemp’s decision at the time, saying “It’s just too soon,” but later said he was only expressing concern about certain places, like tattoo parlors, being reopened, adding: “I think it’s wonderful.”  
As it tried to nail down convention plans, the Trump campaign announced it was promoting two veteran political aides to senior leadership roles. Bill Stepien, the former White House political director, will serve as deputy campaign manager, the campaign said. Stephanie Alexander, a regional political director, will become the campaign’s chief of staff.  
The pair bring additional political experience to the campaign’s upper echelon, which is led by campaign manager Brad Parscale, a relative newcomer to national politics who ran Trump’s digital effort in 2016.

місце для вашої реклами

Traders Return to New York Stock Exchange after Two-Month Absence

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange reopened to in-person activity for the first time in two months Tuesday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ringing the iconic bell, but the usual controlled chaos was more subdued as traders had to observe special pandemic requirements. The usual trading floor atmosphere — known world-wide for traders shouting orders over one another — was quieter Tuesday as the NYSE allowed fewer traders on the floor at a given time to support six-feet social distancing requirements. Masks are also required. NYSE President Stacey Cunningham told the Associated Press that anyone going to the exchange’s Wall Street offices are being asked to avoid public transportation and will have their temperature taken before being allowed to enter. 
 

місце для вашої реклами

Cuomo Looks to ‘Turn The Page’ on Virus as Suburbs Reopen

The suburbs north of New York City eased outbreak restrictions and the trading floor of the New York Stock exchange reopened for the first time in two months as the state focused more intently on restarting its economy.
Here are the latest coronavirus developments in New York:Focus on Reopening
After weeks of declining deaths and hospitalizations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was time to focus on relaunching New York City’s moribund economy.  
The Democratic governor laid out a plan that included accelerating major infrastructure projects and tackling transmission of the virus in the hardest-hit neighborhoods after ringing open the Stock Exchange.
“We’re going to turn the page on COVID-19, and we’re going to start focusing on reopening,” he said during a briefing at the exchange.
The mid-Hudson Valley, including the city’s northern suburbs, on Tuesday became the latest region of New York state to begin slowly phasing in economic activity. Long Island was expected to follow Wednesday, which would leave New York City as the only region awaiting the start of reopening.
Cuomo said the state will direct outbreak-fighting resources to 10 city zip codes that account for many of the new hospitalizations. Those cases are coming from mostly lower-income and predominantly-minority neighborhoods, he said.  
Citing the need for infrastructure spending to boost the economy, Cuomo announced accelerated timelines for improvement projects at the city’s Penn Station and LaGuardia Airport. He said the state would need help from the federal government for other projects and that he planned to travel Wednesday to Washington and meet with President Donald Trump.
Statewide hospitalization rates continue to decline with about 200 new cases a day. The number of deaths reported Monday dropped to 73, the lowest number since late March.
“In this absurd new reality, that is good news,” Cuomo said.
The largely suburban counties north of New York City entered the first phase of the state’s four-part reopening process Tuesday after meeting criteria for reopening including declining deaths and hospitalizations linked to the coronavirus.
The region now easing restrictions includes Westchester County, the area where New York’s first major outbreak of the virus happened in early March.
There have been more than 1,300 deaths so far in Westchester County and nearly 500 in the nearby Rockland County. Both of those suburban counties have had more fatalities per capita than Manhattan, where restrictions are expected to stay in place at least into June.Stock Exchange Opens
Traders cheered as Cuomo rang the opening bell of the Stock Exchange, which had been closed since March when the state shut down in the face of the virus. Under rules put in place to prevent a resurgence, traders will be required to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. Anyone entering the exchange will be asked to avoid public transportation.
“We will respect the sacrifices of frontline workers and the city at large by proceeding cautiously, limiting the strain on the health-care system and the risk to those who work beneath our roof,” NYSE President Stacey Cunningham wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.New York City Hires 1,700 Contact Tracers
New York City has hired 1,700 contact tracers who will monitor people infected with the virus and reach out to their close contacts, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
“This is a huge new piece of the puzzle,” de Blasio said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “This is when we go on the offensive and we put in place something that really changes our whole fight against the coronavirus.”
Under Cuomo’s guidelines, the city would need 2,500 contact tracers to enter the first phase of reopening its economy. De Blasio said he expects to meet that target in the first two weeks of June.Legislature Heads Back to Work
The state Legislature will be in session Tuesday for the first time since the coronavirus forced lawmakers home after they passed the state budget in April. A few members of the state Senate and Assembly were expected to travel to Albany to debate and vote on bills from their offices or the chambers while most lawmakers will participate from home through video and teleconference.

місце для вашої реклами

US Imports Record Amount of Gold From Switzerland as Virus Upends Trade

Swiss exports of gold to the United States leapt to 111.7 tons in April — by far the biggest monthly total on record — while shipments to other destinations dwindled, customs data showed on Tuesday.     The global gold market has been turned on its head by the novel coronavirus, with demand in China and India collapsing due to lockdowns while in the West investors rushed to buy bullion as a safe asset to weather a period of financial turmoil.      High prices on CME Group’s Comex exchange spurred shipments to New York.      Switzerland, a major trading, vaulting and refining center for precious metals, exported a total of 131.8 tons of gold in April, up from 96.2 tons in March but slightly lower than in April 2019.     The United States, which typically imports less than a ton of gold a month from Switzerland, accounted for 85% of that total.      Switzerland meanwhile shipped 500 kgs (0.5 tons) of gold to India, 1 kg to Hong Kong and no gold at all to China in April. Each of these destinations usually receive tens of tons of metal from Switzerland each month. 
 

місце для вашої реклами

Worker Shortage Concerns Loom in Immigrant-Heavy US Meatpacking Plants

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA — When Martha Kebede’s adult sons immigrated from Ethiopia and reunited with her in South Dakota this year, they had few work opportunities.  Lacking English skills, the brothers took jobs at Smithfield Foods’ Sioux Falls pork plant, grueling and increasingly risky work as the coronavirus sickened thousands of meatpacking workers nationwide. One day half the workers on a slicing line vanished; later the brothers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.”It was very, very sad,” Kebede said. “The boys teared up seeing everyone.”The brothers — who declined to be identified for fear of workplace retaliation — are among roughly 175,000 immigrants in U.S. meatpacking jobs.  The industry has historically relied on foreign-born workers — from people in the country illegally to refugees — for some of America’s most dangerous jobs.  Now that reliance and uncertainty about a virus that’s killed at least 20 workers and temporarily shuttered several plants fuels concerns about possible labor shortages to meet demand for beef, pork and chicken.  Companies struggling to hire before the pandemic are spending millions on fresh incentives. Their hiring capability hinges on unemployment, industry changes, employees’ feelings about safety, and President Donald Trump’s aggressive and erratic immigration policies.Trump has restricted nearly all immigration, but his administration recently granted seasonal workers 60-day extensions, affecting a smattering in meat and poultry.Roughly 350 foreign workers were certified for meat and poultry gigs in 2019, according to Daniel Costa at the Economic Policy Institute. Such H-2B visa holders, capped at 66,000 annually, are commonly used in landscaping and resorts.  But there’s been willingness to expand. A plan to add 35,000 seasonal workers — which Trump supports in tight labor markets — was suspended in April for “present economic circumstances.”  Immigrants make up nearly 40% of the industry’s roughly 470,000 workers, with higher concentrations in states like South Dakota, where they are 58% of workers, and Nebraska, where they’re 66%, according to the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute. Estimates on illegal immigrants vary from 14% to the majority at some plants.The industry argues it offers ample jobs with benefits and opportunities to advance for all workers. Paulina Francisco said her 21 years at Smithfield in Sioux City, Iowa, helped her buy a home, something she didn’t think possible when she immigrated from Guatemala. She’s now a citizen.  Still, most jobs are rural, limiting workers’ access to lawyers, favorable union laws and other jobs. Hourly pay averages as low as $12.50 for backbreaking work, often conducted side-by-side. Workers in the country illegally fear deportation for speaking up.  “Vulnerable populations work well for them,” Joshua Specht, a University of Notre Dame professor, said of the industry.  Chicken plants extensively recruited immigrants in the 1990s as union organizing among majority African American workers increased. One Morton, Mississippi, plant advertised in Miami’s Cuban stores and newspapers, busing workers willing to accept lower wages, a tactic replicated across the South, according to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill anthropologist Angela Stuesse.  Initially, it was immigrants with work authorization, but they were replaced by Mexicans and Guatemalans here illegally. Argentinians, Uruguayans and Peruvians followed. By the 2000s, the labor pool was self-sustaining with word-of-mouth.”This is part of the way this industry works, is by having these different communities they can lean into to keep costs down and keep the lines running,” said Stuesse.  One window into the industry’s response to sudden labor shortages is immigration raids.  In 2006, agents swept Swift & Co. plants, netting 1,300 arrests, the largest single-worksite raid in U.S. history.Full production resumed within months. One Greeley, Colorado, plant offered more pay, hiring about 75 workers, mainly U.S. citizens and Somali refugees, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports restricting immigration.  Today, meatpacking has the fifth-highest concentration of refugee workers, according to the nonprofit Fiscal Policy Institute.  Sudanese refugee Salaheldin Ahmed, 44, heard about Smithfield’s jobs while in New Hampshire and moved to South Dakota six years ago. After escaping war, little fazes the forklift driver, not even a positive COVID-19 test.  “They were killing in front of you,” Ahmed, who experienced mild symptoms, said of atrocities he once witnessed. “The coronavirus is nothing.”Some data suggests raids may temporarily decrease immigrant hiring.  Noncitizens comprised 52% of meatpacking in 2006, dropping to 42% by 2008, according to Michael Clemens at the Center for Global Development. He cited an annual March employment survey.  But that trend reversed during the Great Recession’s high unemployment. By 2011, noncitizens were roughly 56%.After raids last year on Mississippi poultry plants, some citizens were hired but many immigrants returned to work, according to activists and local leaders.”There is a need of workers and they don’t have any other possibilities,” said Rev. Roberto Mena, whose Forest congregation includes poultry workers.  Koch Foods and Peco Foods, the largest companies targeted, didn’t return messages. Both have touted use of the federal E-Verify system to confirm worker eligibility.  Some blame the business model. With rapid turnover, it’s not uncommon for plants to rehire an entire workforce annually, says worker advocate National Employment Law Project.  “This is the industry’s own short-sightedness,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a director. “They want to look for workers they can exploit, rather than workers that would feel comfortable raising concerns.”After the outbreak closed several plants, they got Trump’s help; he  issued an order classifying meat processing as critical.The North American Meat Institute estimates most plants are at 70% production. Many added plexiglass barriers and other protections.  Little, the institute spokeswoman, noted that many meatpacking companies continued to pay employees even when plants shuttered and suggested more people might be drawn to meatpacking amid high unemployment.”There’s so many unknowns,” she said. “I don’t know what’s in store for us.”The pandemic has accelerated some workers’ decisions.  Guadalupe Paez, 62, likely won’t return to his job cleaning cattle at JBS Packerland in Green Bay, Wisconsin, after being hospitalized for COVID-19. Weaker, he fears more illness, says his daughter Dora Flores. Paez immigrated from Mexico through a 1980s guest worker program and obtained a green card.  “He only goes out for the doctor appointments,” she said. “He’s traumatized.” 

місце для вашої реклами

Baby Beluga Born in Georgia Aquarium  

 The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta announced Tuesday the birth of a baby beluga whale earlier this month and released video of the mother delivering her calf. 
 
Staff at the aquarium say the calf was born Sunday, May 17 to a 20-year-old whale named Whisper. 
 
Video released by the aquarium showed Whisper swimming as the baby whale was being born tale-first. 
 
At birth, the calf weighed 174 pounds and measured 5 feet and 4 inches long. 
 
In a statement, the aquarium staff say after the birth, the mother and calf were moved away from other whales where they could rest and bond, and staff are keeping close watch over the pair. 
 
The aquarium says the typical gestation period for beluga whales is 15 to 16 months. Births most frequently occur in late spring or early summer. 
 
The Georgia Aquarium remains closed to the public to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. 
 
    

місце для вашої реклами