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Newsflash: More Migrants Die In Europe and Off Libya, Labor Ruling in US, Tropical Storm Erika

Uprising’s guest expert Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies, Missouri School of Journalism, analyzes today’s news headlines:

An abandoned truck found on a European highway filled with the bodies of migrants, has once more brought the crisis of migration to the fore. Seventy one bodies were found, likely of Syrian origin, in a truck on a highway between Hungary and Austria. Among the dead were 60 men, 8 women, and 3 very young children. They likely suffocated in the locked truck. A Bulgarian man connected with the truck has been arrested. The horrific news came on the same day that as many as 200 people died in the Mediterranean Sea when a boat sank off of the coast of Libya. About 400 people had boarded that boat. Some 3,000 migrants were rescued by a Swedish ship and Italian Coast Guardsmen separately. Click here for a CNN article, and here for a Washington Post article about the story.

Here in the United States, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just struck a major blow to the corporate fast food industry. Companies like McDonalds had long protected themselves against being held accountable for labor violations, saying they were the responsibility of the franchise owners. But in a 3-2 decision, the NLRB ruled that workers could hold parent companies liable for violations. The ruling is extremely significant in that unions could now negotiate directly with a handful of major companies instead of having to contend with thousands of smaller franchise owners. It also means that franchise owners may not necessarily be responsible when carrying out directives from parent companies that impact its workers. Unions like SEIU and the Teamsters celebrated the ruling. Millions of American workers are employed by franchises. Click here for a Christian Science Monitor article about the story.

A major tropical storm has hit the Caribbean island of Dominica and is headed toward Florida. In Dominica, four people were killed when the storm caused major mudslides. Erika is now unfolding in Puerto Rico where major rains are hitting the island hard. It could hit Florida over the weekend or by Monday as a hurricane. The National Weather Service and other forecasters are confused about the storm’s direction when its center started “wobbling” yesterday, which made it hard to forecast. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the storm posed a “severe threat to the entire state” and has declared a state of emergency. This week marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. Click here for a CNN article, and here for an NBC News article about the story.