Border law leads to 53 dead in Texas tragedy

53 people have now died from hyperthermia trapped in a sealed truck found in Texas, 160 miles from the U.S. Mexico border where outside temperatures reached 109F (39C) last week. Of the dozen who survived the horrific conditions when the truck, near San Antonio, was finally opened on Monday morning after a worker heard cries for help, several have died in hospital. It is suspected that the victims crossed into the U.S. using irregular migration routes. We now know that the victims were from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This is the worst case of migrant deaths due to…

There are good reasons for a double shampoo – if you can avoid waste

An Italian town has banned the practice during a heatwave, but if done right it benefits hair and scalpGlobal consumption of water is growing twice as fast as the world’s population and droughts are affecting swathes of the planet. So it was no surprise that this week the mayor of an Italian town in Emilia-Romagna, which is experiencing a severe heatwave, banned hairdressers from shampooing their customers’ hair twice, saying it would save thousands of litres of water a day.As we all attempt to reduce waste, that additional shampoo at home or in the salon can seem like overkill. So…

Shop around, switch things off and seal the gaps: a renter’s guide to energy efficiency

For renters, who can’t make big changes such as solar installations, there are still lots of ways to reduce your energy bill and stay warmGet our free news app, morning email briefing and daily news podcastHome energy assessor Adam Corrigan is knelt down by my rental property’s pool pump, and he’s not impressed.Beside him, the pool and attached “spa” – a huge drawcard for Sydney’s trendy inner west – sits in all its share house glory, icy cold, with grime slowly multiplying. Continue reading...

How the new law against forced labor in Xinjiang will impact fashion

On June 21, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) finally came into force. This law prevents any product partially or totally manufactured in Xinjiang, northwest China, from entering U.S. territory since it is assumed that these products are linked to forced labor. The Guardian reports on the scope of this law and its impact on the fashion industry, given that 20% of the world’s cotton comes from China, and 84% of which comes from Xinjiang. Cotton as a high enforcement priority The UFLPA has designated cotton as a “high priority for enforcement” along with tomatoes and polysilicon. As The…

People incarcerated in the US produce $11 billion worth of goods a year but can’t afford a bar of soap

Passed by the U.S. Congress on January 31, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolished slavery. But, due to an exception clause, the amendment allowed slavery to remain legal as punishment for a crime, thus allowing states to extract free labor from prisoners. Today, in the U.S., more than 65% of those incarcerated say they are forced to work in prison for little or no pay, while their labor generates billions of dollars each year for governments and private companies. In collaboration with the University of Chicago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) developed “Captive Labor: Exploitation of…

Modern slavery on the rise in U.K. care sector

Amid a significant labor shortage, the U.K.’s care sector is currently facing a surge in cases of labor exploitation and debt bondage, with a national modern slavery helpline hearing from double the number of victims in the sector in 2021 compared to 2020.  An investigation from The Observer reveals cases of how illegal recruitment fees, deception and the Home Office visa sponsorship scheme are creating serious vulnerabilities among the U.K.’s migrant population.   Illegal recruitment fees driving debt bondage  Migrant care workers are being trapped in debt before they even start their jobs due to recruitment fees which are likely illegal.  …

‘Pretty damn cool’: Ellie Goulding on rewilding as a cure for our planet – and our mental health

The singer-songwriter and UN environment ambassador is a self-confessed ‘nature nerd’ and urges her fans to get ‘stuck in’ to ecological activismRead more in our Wild world seriesI just got back from a walk in Hyde park, headphones in, Max Richter playing, after a sweltering 30C day in London. I stopped halfway to take my trainers off and pad my feet on the grass. This is where I often go when I need to breathe, and not to think.I’ve been a nature nerd since the days of making mud pies (and grass on the side), turning up stones to see…

8,000 green bottles … Carlsberg trials fibre beer containers

Brewer says wood- and plant-based design retains same ‘taste and fizziness’ as glass bottlesCarlsberg is to conduct its biggest trial of recyclable fibre beer bottles across Europe.The bottles are made of a wood-based fibre shell and a plant-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymer lining. Continue reading...

Europe knows what happens to us in Libya

My name is Tesfay* and I was born in Eritrea. When I finished high school, I was made to work as a soldier for the National Service and the Eritrean Airforce. After a few years, I decided to flee to escape the indefinite military service forced on men in my country. This is the story of my experiences in Libya. European governments know what happens to us after the Libyan Coast Guard returns us to Libya. They support them to return us anyway. I want you to know too. The journey I fled to Sudan first, but life was hard…

U.K. Rwanda deportation flight stopped by legal action

The first flight sending people seeking asylum in the U.K. to Rwanda was stopped by a last-minute intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday. We welcome this development that has also been celebrated by migrants’ rights groups and supporters, but the Home Secretary Priti Patel insists the plan will go ahead. The ECHR decision The plane, which cost the taxpayer £500,000 (around $600,000), was abandoned just minutes before takeoff after some of the passengers won a legal reprieve. It appears that an out-of-hours ECHR judge granted appeals while the people were being taken from a detention…

Toxic tiles: the floors we walk on could be made with forced labor

The vinyl flooring industry is experiencing a boom in the U.S. and other wealthy countries. At chain stores like Home Depot, being able to purchase vinyl flooring –  what the industry calls “luxury vinyl tile” –   allows consumers to renovate their homes cheaply. In a new report by the Helena Kennedy Center for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University in England and the Maine-based toxic chemicals research team Material Research, researchers detail how this industry is tainted by forced Uyghur labor and how vinyl tiles enter U.S. markets through subsidiaries. The report calls on the industry “to identify its…

Jurassic World Dominion: a palaeontologist on what the film gets wrong about dinosaurs

The biggest crime of the film was exaggerating the size of dinosaurs.

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