Jul 16 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan about Philippines Typhoon, NYT Report on GM Culpability, and Vargas Detained At Border

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Philippines has been battered by yet another major storm, leaving at least 6 people dead. Typhoon Rammasun, named after the God of Thunder prompted the evacuations of hundreds of thousands of residents. Winds of about 90 mph were recorded, and about 4.5 million people have been left without electricity. Rammasun is the 20th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year alone. Last year’s devastating storm, called Typhoon Haiyan, broke all records and left about 6000 people dead. Many of the survivors of Haiyan who are struggling, were displaced by this new storm. Still, apparently haunted by Haiyan’s might, residents were a lot quicker to respond to evacuation orders than last year, likely preventing more deaths. Click here for a National Post article about the story.

An investigative report by the New York Times has revealed that General Motors knew about faulty ignition switches in its cars even as people were dying in unexplained crashes. A crash in 2004 where the car’s driver, Gene Erickson was killed, led to a guilty plea by his accompanying passenger Candice Anderson who survived. She thought she was to blame because she had a trace amount of the drug Xanax in her blood. It is now known that GM was to blame. At least 13 deaths and hundreds of injuries have been linked to faulty engineering in GM cars. Senate hearings which began earlier this year are on-going. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

The nation’s most famous living undocumented immigrant, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, was just released by border patrol agents. Vargas had been visiting facilities holding migrant children in McAllen, Texas, when he was detained. Earlier this year he released a film about his own life experience as an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines called simply Documented. The news of his temporary detention has renewed attention to the crisis of migrant Central American children being held near the border. The first wave of deportation of mothers and children back to Honduras took place yesterday. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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