As the U.S. Justice Department pursues corruption charges against several top FIFA officials, The Washington Post has put together an infograph that shows the scope of an even more shocking scandal: The huge death toll of workers in Qatar, the location of the upcoming World Cup. As investigations have shown, the migrant workers tasked with building the giant stadiums and infrastructure associated with the games have faced horrific working conditions, and many may be trapped in the country after having their passports taken. At this point, 1,200 migrant workers have been killed, and according to some estimates, as many as 4,000 could die by the time the tournament kicks off in 2022. FIFA officials have been accused of accepting massive bribes in exchange for rewarding the World Cup to Qatar ... Discuss
The UN has released the findings of a new report that has found that since 1990, world hunger is down significantly. Twenty-five years ago, there were one billion people suffering from hunger around the world; today, that number is down to 795 million. Many developing countries have also come close to meeting their Millennium Development Goals established by the UN in 2000. The Food and Agriculture Organization Director General, José Graziano da Silva, said, “The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime.” Though many parts of the world have seen dramatic improvements, two dozen African countries still face food crises, as several regions have dealt with poor weather, natural disasters and political turmoil ... Discuss
Authorities in Switzerland arrived at the upscale hotel that was hosting a meeting of FIFA leadership this morning, arresting several top officials. The higher ups from the international soccer governing body are all facing federal corruption charges, including receiving more than $150 million in bribes, and will be extradited to the United States. In a statement, FIFA said, “FIFA welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.”
The global soccer group has long been accused of corrupt business practices. Even though it’s taken in billions in revenues in recent years, the inner workings of FIFA operate largely in secret. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch told The New York Times, “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States" ... Discuss
Malaysian officials have reportedly made some grisly discoveries in abandoned camps used by human traffickers near the border with Thailand: 139 graves, bodies with signs of torture, barbed wire cages used to imprison hundreds. The national police chief told the AP, “I am shocked. We never expected this kind of cruelty.” Similar camps have been found on the Thai side of the border by investigators in Thailand. The victims are believed to be persecuted Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and migrants from Bangladesh. From the AP:
The discoveries have exposed hidden networks of jungle camps run by human smugglers, who have for years held countless desperate people captive while extorting ransoms from their families.
The discoveries of the camps is the latest in a large migrant crisis in the region, where thousands are believed to be stranded at sea in overpacked vessels. Recently, the governments of both Indonesia and Malaysia said they would provide rescued migrants with temporary housing, and the U.S. has offered to take some of them in permanently ... Discuss
The Malaysian Ministry of Information has released some truly frightening images that show how dire the situation facing many migrants really is. Officials from in Myanmar recently rescued more than 200 people packed in an 80-foot boat in the Andaman Sea. Many of the group—which included some children—are Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing religious persecution in the country. A UNHCR spokesperson said in a statement,
We hope that this recent positive development will be followed by other disembarkations in Myanmar and across the region. This needs to happen before the coming monsoon rains. As we have previously emphasized, the priority is to save lives by getting people safely off these boats as soon as possible.
They estimate that as many as 3,500 are currently stranded in boats in the waters near the country. Both Indonesia and Malaysia are currently providing humanitarian assistance migrants rescued at sea ... Discuss