Andre Oliveira answered the call to leave his Word of Faith Fellowship congregation in Brazil to move to the mother church in North Carolina at the age of 18, his passport and money were confiscated by church leaders — for safekeeping, he said he was told.Trapped in a foreign land, he said he was forced to work 15 hours a day, usually for no pay, first cleaning warehouses for the secretive evangelical church and later toiling at businesses owned by senior ministers. Any deviation from the rules risked the wrath of church leaders, he said, ranging from beatings to shaming from the pulpit.“They trafficked us up here. They knew what they were doing. They needed labor and we were cheap labor — hell, free labor,” Oliveira said.An Associated Press investigation has found that Word of Faith Fellowship used its two church branches in Latin America’s largest nation to siphon a steady flow of young laborers who came on tourist and student visas to its 35-acre … [Read more...] about Brazilians Funneled as “Slaves” by US Church, Ex-Members Say
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Despite Hurdles, U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Poised for Growth From time to time the Energy and Environment Update will focus on the legislative and regulatory developments facing a particular energy sector.During the past several years, Europe has installed about 2,000 offshore turbines (6,500 MW of offshore wind generation capacity), with capacity doubling since 2010. Offshore wind provides almost 1% of total power in Western Europe, about five times what solar generates in the U.S. Growth isn’t limited to Europe: China has installed 428 MW since 2007 and Japan has deployed floating turbines near Fukushima. And yet the only operating offshore wind project in the United States is a small 1/8 scale demonstration turbine in Maine. Is the rest of the world leaving the U.S.’s offshore wind industry behind for good?Over the past several months, a series of developments suggests the U.S. offshore wind market is poised for expansion. The fully-permitted Cape Wind project, which … [Read more...] about Energy & Environmental Law Update – July 14, 2014
Industrial Chemicals2016 has been a watershed year in Mexico, Central America, and South America, with a variety of chemical substance, pesticide, product stewardship, and worker and workplace safety regulations developing and being implemented at an unprecedented rate. 2017 appears very likely to see these trends continuing, with the “major players” such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico implementing key pieces of legislation, while countries such as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador are expected to take considerable steps toward a variety of management programs.Following are key areas of legislative efforts throughout the region.With respect to chemical substance legislation, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente (MMA)) has put forth draft legislation titled Industrial Chemicals Regulation (Regulação de Substâncias Químicas Industriais, or Regulação). The Regulação is expected to be … [Read more...] about Chemical Substance Management in Mexico, Central America, and South America
Then Bill Black took the stand for the defense and he made the jury laugh.It was August 2014, and by then many if not most potential jurors likely knew that major financial institutions had been implicated in residential mortgage-backed securities fraud that played a big role in the global collapse of financial markets in 2008. But now the bankers themselves were in effect put on trial. Defense lawyers projected a flier on the screen in the courtroom that indicated the mortgage company the conspirators were accused of bilking was itself involved in the overall scheme.The flier had been circulated by the alleged fraud victim, GreenPoint Mortgage Funding. A subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corp., GreenPoint specialized in making loans without verifying a borrower’s ability to pay—”stated income loans” in the language of regulators; “liar’s loans” in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.Under a drawing of the proverbial three wise monkeys, … [Read more...] about Will those who led the financial system into crisis ever face charges?
By Chris Haire | [email protected] | Long Beach Press-TelegramPUBLISHED: June 5, 2018 at 5:46 pm | UPDATED: June 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm Juan Benitez Cesar Armendariz Show Caption of Expand The battle to replace the retiring John McGinnis as the District 3 representative on the Long Beach Unified school board is underway, with the eventual winner becoming the first Latino member of the board in 25 years. Cal State Long Beach professor Juan Benitez and Downey High history teacher Cesar Armendariz have both spent Tuesday encouraging their supporters to get out and vote. The Long Beach Unified School District hasn’t had a Latino member on its Board of Education since Jenny Orpopeza left office in 1994. The district is 55.4 percent Latino and this year has 14,500 students classified as English learners, according to the California Department of Education. Armendariz was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was 10 years old. Benitez’s parents … [Read more...] about Battle for Long Beach Unified school board to result in first Latino member in 25 years