Another Trafficking Camp Found in Thailand—Less than three miles away from a site where six Rohingya migrants from Myanmar were dug up, 26 corpses were found in Thailand’s Songkhla province. According to Thai authorities, the bodies were severely decayed. Causes of death have not officially been announced, though forensic officers say that the cause is likely malnutrition or disease. The immigrants who suffered from this malnutrition and disease were escaping religious and ethnic prosecution and were victims of human trafficking. Every year, the traffickers transport thousands of Rohingya to Buddhist Thailand. Traffickers then take them into the jungle, demanding ransoms to smuggle them to Muslim Malaysia.
Last Tuesday authorities found a second, abandoned trafficking camp. Nearby, three people were rescued. Three Thai men and one Burmese man were arrested as suspects of this human trafficking. Police say there may be up to three more camps in the area.
Human rights activists accuse Thai authorities of often ignoring the human trafficking happening in their country.
Fifth Major Bomb Train Incident this Year—On May 6, the small town of Heimdal, N.D. had a fire-related emergency. At about 7:30 a.m. a crude oil-carrying train burst into flames, taking 10 cars along with it. The BNSF Railway Co. operated train had 107 oil cars, including two buffer cars of sand between the crude oil and the locomotives. Gas and oil production has risen increasingly in America over the past few years, a major form of shipment being via train. In 2008, there were 9,500 carloads of oil on trains, a number that rose to 500,000 in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads. Since this increase, there have been a number of major incidents involving the railroad and crude oil.
Critics have named these infamous disasters as “bomb trains.” The fiery accident that occurred in North Dakota is the fifth oil train incident so far this year—and that is just including the more major ones. The Freedom of Information Act allowed cities to know how much crude oil is passing through or near their area in order to prepare for catastrophes such as this. However, new Transportation Department rules state that this information will no longer be released.
Religiously-fueled shooting at Art Exhibit–Two men armed with guns walked into an art exhibit on May 3 and shot a security guard in the leg. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Islamic organization that is labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized the Mohammed Art Exhibit & Contest. This exhibit, which was held at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas featured caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
All was peaceful until the gunfire occurred and police immediately responded to the situation. The security guard was sent to the hospital, and is now in stable condition. The two men who shot the security guard, one of whom was sentenced to three years of probation for making a false statement involving international and domestic terrorism in 2011, were shot dead by Texan police. The exhibit was organized earlier this year at the same venue, the idea behind it to combat Islamophobia.
Disagreements about Zoo Elephant placement continues—The two elephants that the Woodland Park Zoo sent to a small sanctuary in San Diego are being denied the transfer to Oklahoma by outraged activists. The Elephant Justice Project (EJP) is taking legal action by requesting a U.S. District Court judge cease further transport of Chai and Bamboo. Because the elephants are already in California, EJP is arguing that the trip to a sanctuary near Sacramento would be much safer for the old elephants than the trip to Oklahoma.
Even though U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenor wrote that the court was “deeply troubled” by the fact the Oklahoma City Zoo would not be able to provide the elephants with their required climate, he still refused to block the transportation to the new zoo. However, plans changed and the elephants’ route detoured when they reached Las Vegas and they have been held in San Diego since April 17. A request to have them held at San Diego Zoo—one of the best zoos in the world, ahead of Woodland Park Zoo—was denied because they are operated by a nonprofit and not a public agency.
Carly Fiorina Announces Presidential Bid—Hillary Clinton is no longer the only woman vying for the presidency. On May 5 Carly Fiorina announced her bid to run for president. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO is the first female presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Despite never holding any political positions—Fiorina ran for Senate of California and lost to Democratic candidate Barbara Boxer in 2010—she told Good Morning America that she is the best person for the job. Fiorina not only faces the challenge of Clinton also being in the running for her opposing party, but also the challenge of running up against better-known candidates for president within the Republican Party. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are also seeking the Republican nomination.
However, Fiorina’s chances may be promising. She recruited long-time political communicators for her campaign. In February, Fiorina’s supporters launched Carly For America, a super Political Action Committee to support her potential presidential candidacy.