La Roja in Spain
William worked from June to October 2010 as part of the Vessels of Opportunity program that paid the fishermen BP put out of business to use their boats to clean up its oil. William transported giant bags, called bladders, used to collect oil, to the shore. When he came home at night, says Nicole, his clothes “smelled oily.” Not only were his clothes blackened; so was William.
William’s symptoms began with coughing, then headaches and skin rashes, followed by vomiting and diarrhea. About three to six months later, he started bleeding from his ears and nose and suffering from a heavy cough.
“I ain’t got no money for a doctor,” William quietly tells me, staring down at his hands in his lap. Medicaid covers the kids, but Nicole and William do not have health insurance. “We didn’t know we were gonna get sick. Now I get sick, I stay sick. I don’t sleep. I stay stressed out more than anything. I got bags under my eyes I never had before. I just don’t know if I wanna show people who I am.”
William and Nicole Maurer, and their two young daughters, are among the hundreds of thousands of Gulf residents suffering from the hidden health crisis festering in the region as a result of the toxic “gumbo of chemicals” to which the people, places and wildlife of the Gulf continue to be exposed. From respiratory ailments to neurological disorders to what’s being called the “BP rash” and more, coastal residents have experienced devastating health effects while BP still hasn’t been held to account. Antonia Juhasz reports on the little-known crisis at length in a special investigation for The Nation.(via thenationmagazine)
Socialist challenger Francois Hollande has won the first round of the French presidential vote, setting himself up for a May 6 runoff with right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
Estimates of the result broadcast on Sunday as polls closed gave Hollande 28.4 per cent, Sarkozy 25.5 per cent and the far-right’s Marine Le Pen 20 per cent.
Le Pen’s surprisingly strong show could throw open opinion poll projections that give Hollande a 10-point lead in the runoff.
France’s interior ministry announced 70.59 per cent voter turnout by 5pm.
The number is considered relatively high, but slightly less than the exceptional 2007 turnout for the same time.
The result of the May 6 runoff, the run-up to which will include a televised debate, will decide who will be France’s president for the next five years.
France had the first round of its presidential election today. To no one’s surprise, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande leads incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy in the exit polls. However, horrible far-right Marine Le Pen is doing way better than was predicted by polling. What happened here? Was this a random sampling mishap, or are voters lying about their choice?
On Friday, five separate polling agencies released polls based on samples taken over Wednesday and Thursday (available here, here, here, here, and here). These should be reasonably close to how people actually voted, and since they’re all polling all of France at the same time they should be sampling the same distribution of voters. So based on those polls, what’s the likelihood of the exit poll outcome we saw today?
Oh the graph above, the bell curves represent what the last five polls predict, and the horizontal dashed lines indicate the actual exit poll results. For Hollande and Sarkozy, then polling did a good job; the polls are pretty close to the middle of the bell curve. For (despicable bigot) Le Pen, though, the actual vote share was way higher than what the polls predicted. What happened here? There are three possibilities:
- The polling agencies all just randomly picked a sample without very many Le Pen voters. As you can see from this graph, this possibility is so far out at the end of the bell curve that it barely even registers.
- Lots of people changed their votes over the weekend. Millions of French people woke up Sunday morning with their mind totally changed and marched out to vote for Le Pen even though previously they’d been set on another candidate. This is definitely possible, although Le Pen never touched 20% support in any poll in the last two months.
- Voters are lying to pollsters because they don’t want to admit (even to a stranger) that they are the pathetic small-minded racists who would vote for Le Pen.
Almost certain that #3 is what’s going on here. This has scary implications for polling European elections, because it indicates that as voter dissatisfaction with the eurozone and the response of the mainstream parties to the ongoing crisis grows we might see some really unpleasant surprise election results over the next couple years.
Red Cross official kidnapped in Yemen |French national working for agency seized by armed men while military continues campaign against al-Qaeda in the south.
The Supreme Court hearing could challenge Romney, who is looking to moderate his tone on immigration.
The Supreme Court this week will take up Arizona’s controversial immigration crackdown law, a case that will put likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s position on the issue back in the spotlight.
Evidence reportedly destroyed by ex-BP employee: Former BP engineer Kurt Mix was arrested today, charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence requested by federal investigators. The charges are the first to be filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, related to the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, but may not be the last according to Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder told reporters that the Deepwater Horizon Task Force will “[continue] its investigation into the explosion and will hold accountable those who violated the law.” If found guilty on both charges, Mix faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and half a million dollars in fines. (Photo by SkyTruth) source
Can the world’s fastest growing nation restore its prime scavenger before there are untold human consequences?
VQR || Spring 2011
Iron Man 3 looks to be shaping up very nicely indeed. Not only has Ben Kingsley signed on to play one of the film’s villains, but Variety is now reporting that Guy Pearce is set to join the cast as a key character…