China Earthquake Kills 189

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Alex Hamasaki, Student InternLast Modified: 21:10 DST, 25 April 2013

Chinese Earth Quake VictimsYA'AN, CHINA - After a powerful earthquake on Saturday, China is continuing a massive rescue operation in the Sichuan province. The earthquake left at least 189 dead and more than 11,500 injured, reports BBC News.

Thousands of survivors have been forced to seek refuge in cars, tents, and makeshift shelters. China mobilized more than 18,000 soldiers and police for rescue efforts, as well as deployed 23 helicopters from the armed forces, says state news agency Xinhua on Sunday.

The Sichuan Red Cross estimates that within three days, the water in Ya’an will run out despite their efforts to deliver supplies to the quake-hit areas, reports CNN. In more remote areas, people anxiously wait for evacuation along the shifting earth muddied river waters.

Due to the landslides that were triggered as a result of the earthquake, roads were cut off, and power and phone connections were disrupted. The landslides blocked access to aid trucks and prevented some of the casualties from being brought out.

Though emergency teams were quick to carry away bodies and search for survivors, CBS reports that they have done little so far to distribute aid. Even in the more accessible areas of Lushan, BBC correspondents respond that aid has been hampered by road congestion.

The survivors of the earthquake additionally face massive displacement. Despite best efforts, thousands of survivors are now homeless and are forced to seek shelter wherever possible. The collapse of several buildings, including schools and nurseries, lead to widespread criticism of local government’s planning policies, report BBC. In Longmen village, Chinese authorities said nearly all of the buildings had been destroyed.

Some of the hardest hit areas were the villages further up the valleys in Lushan, where farmers grow rice, vegetables, and corn.

It is the poor who feel the brunt of this disaster, with the biggest killer not the earthquake itself but poorly constructed houses, BBC reports.

Follow Alex Hamasaki on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Student Intern: @aghamasaki

Sub-Saharan Immigrants Suffer in Libya

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 21:25 PM EDT, 28 March 2012

Libyan Rebel SoldierTRIPOLI, Libya - Illegal immigration is a problem in emerging economies where many migrants seek to make the dangerous journey to Europe in hope of a better life. Libya, as a gateway to Europe, finds itself in a politically sensitive position with regard to immigrants.

Specifically, native-born Libyans now seem to have a serious problem with 'black' Africans. Sub-Saharan Africans are now viewed with suspicion and are often discriminated against through racial profiling. Because of their skin color they are easily identifiable and singled out.

Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan leader recruited thousands of mercenaries – nearly 30,000 according to the nonprofit group Human Rights Solidarity – largely from Sub-Saharan countries. The men were reportedly hired to take care of the dirty work of repression, and many were ruthless in their violence.

Shortly after the overthrow and death of Gaddafi, rebels hunted down mercenaries from Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, and Mauritania, including some black Libyans who were subsequently detained, beaten and extra-judicially killed. Even immigrants who have legally entered the country suffer immense discrimination.

Because most Libyans view Sub-Saharan Africans with suspicion, illegal immigrants fare much worse, especially those caught at the borders. Just outside of Tripoli there is a camp that houses about 600 detainees who have been caught trying to cross the border illegally.

Most have used all their money and resources to get to Libya which is a gateway to Europe. They don't want to stay in the North African country, but are simply seeking passage to countries where they can work in anonymity.

Once detained men and women are housed separately and subjected to harsh conditions. They are housed in corrugated steel buildings with concrete floors and no heating.  Many of the men complain that they haven't had access to telephones and are therefore unable to contact their families to let them know what has happened. According to a BBC report, they also state that many are sick and lack access to healthcare, and are hungry.

There are just a few wardens to guard over 600 prisoners and they recognize that this is a potential human rights violation, but are powerless to do anything about it.  They are doing their jobs though some sympathize with these immigrants who are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

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