Exploitative Seafood Labor
The U.S. seafood supply chain relies heavily on migrant labor workers that often work in exploitative conditions, according to a report released on Wednesday. The Guardian reports on the National Guestworker Alliance report, which was based on previous findings and interviews with 126 seafood processing workers in New Bedford Massachutsetts, and a diversity of in-depth case studies. Temporary labor workers, including those without legal immigration status, are especially vulnerable to exploitation. The report found these workers are unlikely to report job abuse due to their immigration status.
For-Profit Education Bust
In recent years, the Obama administration has led a crackdown on for-profit universities and colleges that leave students saddled with debt without viable career options. Bloomberg reports on the Department of Education’s recent demand that ITT Educational Services Inc. pay up additional funds to cover a potential collapse. Ironically, the additional money could “unwittingly” complicate ITT’s financial problems, reports Bloomberg. On Monday, government officials sent a letter to ITT’s chief executive, Kevin M. Modany, giving the company 45 days to increase its existing guaranty with the Education Department from $79.7 million to $123.6 million.
Drug Price Gouging
Americans often complain they pay more for pharmaceutical drugs, especially oncology treatments, than other countries. Many Americans believe that these high prices subsidize the international drug market —and that the situation must be remedied by altering international trade agreements to level the playing field. The Economist reports on a study unveiled at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago this week. The study found that out of 15 generic drugs and eight brand name drugs in six countries (America, Australia, Great Britain, China, India and South Africa), Americans did pay the highest prices. But when the study examined affordability in terms of buying power in each country, Americans did better than Indians or Chinese citizens. Yet Australia, Britain and South Africa did at least as well or better. Thus, just because drugs are cheaper elsewhere doesn’t mean people who live there can afford the drugs.
Time on Thursday reported that the passwords of more than 32 million Twitter users reportedly have been hacked and leaked — but that Twitter was not the source of the data breach. LinkedIn, MySpace and other online service providers recently also have been hacked, but in those cases, the data came directly from the service providers’ systems. In this case, it’s likely that a shadowy site called LeakedSource, which lets people see whether their credentials have been included in large data leaks, was the culprit of the Twitter passwords. Twitter officials said they were confident that the hackers did not obtain the usernames and passwords by a breach of their operating system.