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Diving in Hawaii: In the ocean with Manta-Woman

Manta Watching in Hawaii: The savior of the giant rays

Photo: James Wing

Manta Watching in Hawaii: The savior of the giant rays

Further information

Hawaii : Mark Zuckerberg Vs Kauai

In the battle that opposes Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook, and the inhabitants ofkauai island, the billionaire does not look good. Zuckerberg has indeed acquired a plot of the island, Kuleana Land, where he plans to build a private residence listed at $ 100 million. At the announcement of this project, the inhabitants of the island launched research in order to find the members holding their share of land on Kuleana Lands. These shares are legitimate to them by their farming descendants, heirs of the said lands between 1850 and 1855.

Eight lawsuits have been filed for “title regulation” against more than 100 Hawaiians claiming to own property on Zuckerberg land. Even if these plots are small, the locals refuse to sell their land to the billionaire: “For us Hawaiians by birth, the land is an ancestor. Like a grandparent. And you don’t sell your grandmother.” report Kapua Sproat, Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii, the newspaper The Guardian. “It’s neo-colonisianism” she adds.

Same story for Valerie Ornellas, a colleague of the law professor: “The law of property is not” I own so many square meters “, it is” we are, together, owners “. Reactions Zuckerberg was quick to respond to on Facebook: “In an effort to find the owners, and buy them their share, we have established title regulations. So most owners are going to get money for something they never heard of. No one will be thrown off the island “. Zuckerberg’s neighbor, Kallai, reported to The Guardian that the owners refused to sell: “He’s talking about building bridges and not walls between us. But he just put up a two-meter wall.” she specifies.

The founder of Facebook says he wants to respect the local culture and Hawaiian values, but the state representative Kaniela reports: “You don’t start a conversation with a lawsuit using the same legal loophole that the sugar barons used when Hawaii was still operating.”

A protectionism very present in Hawaii, which defends the lands, the folk culture but also, the coasts (and the spots) of all intrusions like that of Zuckerberg: a denaturation of the beauty of the Hawaiian lands, a project which does not stick with the ethics of the Hawaiian people. Similar, very influential communities like Keep the country, country or Keep the North Shore country also protect theOahu Island, and more particularly, the North Shore.

All over the world, surfing communities, and more broadly, people near the coast defend the maritime environment from real estate and speculative invasions. US President Donald Trump has paid the price elsewhere in Ireland. In France, the coastal law has protected most of the coasts since 1986.

More info on

Aerial view of the bay in which Mark Zuckerbeg wishes to build his property.



Donald Trump, in the footsteps of Andrew Jackson

Trump presents us with an enigma. In foreign policy, all we know is that he is isolationist. So we are looking for precedents in American history. Thus, it is often said of the new president that he is ” jacksonien “. What do we mean by that?

It was the famous essayist and columnist Fareed Zakaria, one of the most famous foreign policy commentators in the United States, who first compared Donald Trump to Andrew Jackson. In an interview with CNN on May 1 of last year, Zakaria said: ” Donald Trump is a Jacksonian. Jackson represents a distinctly populist style of American thought, different from other political traditions in the country. This political current is therefore distinguished by the populism inside and through’isolationnisme in foreign policy. ” Jacksonians, Zakaria pointed out finely, are not so exasperated by the enemies as by our allies. Since then, many Trump supporters have seized on this symbol and compared their hero to the seventh president of the United States.

How does Donald Trump evoke Andrew Jackson, elected President of the United States in 1828, and re-elected in 1832? First, because Jackson introduced himself as ” the friend of the common man », The friend of the common man. A “man of the people”. Although a wealthy Floridian, he was not one of the elite that had ruled the United States since independence. He was a tough man, who had fought against the British and also against the Indians. Like Trump against Hillary Clinton, he led his first successful presidential campaign against an outgoing Secretary of State – as it happens John Quincy Adams, himself the son of a former President of the United States. The Adams, who had already provided two presidents to the United States, the second and the sixth, then constituted a veritable dynasty. By the way, I point out this extraordinarily intelligent book, written by one of their offspring, The Education of Henry Adams, published in 1907 and recently re-edited. Americans don’t like aristocracies or dynasties.

But back to Donald Trump. Or rather Andrew Jackson. What is Jacksonism in foreign policy? Walter Russel Mead gives a very precise definition in a very recent article in the revue Foreign Affairs. Two traditions have dominated American diplomacy during the twentieth century, he writes, Hamiltonians and Wilsonians. Jacksonians are neither.

Explication : Hamiltonians are nationalists, especially interested in economic issues. They consider that the interest of the United States is to promote a liberal and stable world order, within which their country would play the role of a “gyroscope”.

Wilsonism, we know better. This is the ideology which presided over the settlement of the First World War. He is more interested in values ​​than in the economy. It intends to promote, because it is in the interest of America, democracy, human rights, the right of peoples to have a State. In the soft version, this gives “liberal institutionalists”, open to multilateral institutions, such as the League of Nations and the UN or the WTO. In the hard version, the booted Wilsonism of the neo-conservatives ; people who intend to spread democracy by force. But the recent failures of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq have inspired the return of an older current, that embodied by the Jeffersonians, or “realists”.

Jeffersonians believe that the United States, protected by two oceans, must involve itself as little as possible in the world, because it is a dangerous place and interventions are expensive. A whole current of the Republican Party is today dominated by this vision – in particular the senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. And Trump will have to reckon with the supporters of this Jeffersonian current.

But he himself would therefore belong to Jacksonian school. Unlike Wilsonians, Andrew Jackson’s heirs do not believe in any particular United States mission to the world, but in the need to refocus on the security and prosperity of the American people. They want to preserve the American way of life that our contemporary Jacksonians believe threatened by immigration and globalized elites. The ” Jacksonian people Is that of local communities, animated by an uncompromising patriotism and attached to the right to possess weapons, a symbol of self-defense. It is a populist, or grassroots, current that views the “government classes” with suspicion.

These are people who felt threatened by identity politics and multiculturalism. They reacted very badly to the notion of “emerging democratic majority”, based on the observation of a regular demographic decline of the descendants of Europeans in favor of new immigration.

In foreign policy, they are hostile to outside intervention. And the promotion of a liberal order, by the administrations, seems to them to have been unfavorable to American products and workers. They feel like ‘Trump is on their side’. This is the very essence of Jacksonism: to stand on the side of the plebs and promise them “to clean up the Augean stables in Washington”. Trump prefers to speak ofdrain the swamp »Politicard. But it is the same populist vein that is at work. Donald Trump is Andrew Jackson’s heir. A man who was described as tough and ruthless …

Update on the HIV / AIDS epidemic in 2016

36.7 million people are living with AIDS worldwide today. 40% are not aware of their HIV status. To date, only half of those affected have access to antiretrovirals. These figures are published while trials are being carried out on volunteers in South Africa for an experimental vaccine.

“Today, 40% of people with HIV (more than 14 million) do not know their status,” said the World Health Organization in a statement, citing figures from 2015.

This is an extrapolation based on the number of people who tested positive for HIV and who did not know it at the time of the test.

However, the trend has improved significantly over the past ten years thanks to screening. The WHO indicates that between 2005 and 2015, the proportion of people who know their HIV status increased from 12% to 60% worldwide.

According to a study published by the European Union, one in seven HIV carriers in the EU is unaware of their condition.

The insufficient number of HIV diagnoses is a major obstacle to the implementation of the WHO recommendation to offer antiretroviral treatment (ART) to all people with HIV.

Today, 80% of people diagnosed with HIV are on ART.

+ 10% each year in Russia

The number of people living with HIV in Russia has already exceeded one million infected people, warned the director of the Federal Center for the fight against AIDS Vadim Pokrovski.

“The number of people living with HIV increases by 10% each year and officially reached 1,087,339 people on September 30,” said Pokrovski at a press conference in Moscow.

With 146.5 million inhabitants, the official rate of HIV positive in Russia thus amounts to 0.58% of the population, he specifies.

“According to our calculations, the number of HIV positive people is actually between 1.3 million and 1.4 million people”, or between 0.89 and 0.96% of the population, he adds.

In 2015, 110,000 new cases were officially registered in Russia, or 270 new HIV-positive people per day.

Duplication of patients placed on antiretrovirals in five years worldwide

The number of AIDS patients on anti-retroviral treatment (ARV) has reached 18.2 million people, that is to say half of the people who live today in the world with HIV / AIDS, announced on Monday the UNAIDS in a report.

In June 2016, “18.2 million people” had access to treatment, 1 million more than at the start of the year and twice as much as five years ago, according to UNAIDS.

“If these efforts are continued, we will be able to reach the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020,” hopes UNAIDS, which unveiled its report in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, one of the most most affected on the planet.

About half of AIDS patients currently have access to treatment worldwide, where 36.7 million people are living with AIDS.

According to the director of Onusida, Michel Sidibé, “the progress made is remarkable, particularly with regard to treatments which remain incredibly fragile.

Despite this progress, the report recalls that young girls and women aged 15-24 are particularly vulnerable to the virus, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Young women face a triple threat: a high risk of infections, few tests and little follow-up of treatment. There is an urgent need to do more,” said Mr. Sidibé.

According to the UNAIDS report, 7,500 girls were infected every week in 2015 worldwide.

In South Africa, the very high rate of contamination among young women and adolescent girls is explained in particular by the phenomenon of “sugar daddies”, where older men barter gifts and money for unprotected sex.

Most countries are still far from reaching the UNAIDS target of treating 90% of infected patients by 2020.

There is currently no vaccine or drug to cure AIDS, ARV treatment only to control the evolution of the virus and increase the life expectancy of people with HIV.

Glimmer of hope for a vaccine

South Africa is kicking off a clinical trial on an unprecedented scale to test an experimental AIDS vaccine which, if confirmed to be effective, could finally help reverse the disease.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the story of the quest for a vaccine against the HIV virus remains that of the pursuit of an inaccessible Grail. Over thirty years of effort, until then in vain.

But, for the first time perhaps since the virus was identified in 1983, scientists believe they have found a promising candidate.

Called HVTN 702, the study which begins Wednesday will involve for four years more than 5,400 sexually active volunteers, men and women aged 18 to 35, in fifteen sites spread across South Africa.

This clinical trial, one of the largest ever undertaken, has rekindled the hopes of the scientific community.

“If used in conjunction with the proven prevention tools we already use, a safe and effective vaccine could be the death blow against HIV,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the American National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“Even a moderately effective vaccine would significantly reduce the burden of the disease in highly infected countries and populations,” added the boss of NIAID, which is participating in the study.

The choice of South Africa to test this vaccine on a large scale is not trivial. This southern African country has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world (19.2% according to UNAIDS). More than 7 million people are living there with HIV.

Around the world, two and a half million people are infected each year by the virus, which has killed more than 30 million since the 1980s, according to a study published at the international conference in Durban (eastern Africa South) in July.

The “South African” vaccine, specially adapted for local populations, is a “muscular” version of a strain tested in 2009 in Thailand on more than 16,000 volunteers.

It had reduced the risk of contamination by 31.2% three and a half years after the first vaccination.

‘Change the deal’

The safety of the “South African” vaccine has already been successfully tested for eighteen months on 252 volunteers. The new study now aims to test its effectiveness.

“The results obtained in Thailand are not sufficient for a launch (…). We have set the minimum efficiency threshold at 50%”, explained to AFP Dr Lynn Morris, of the National Institute south – African Communicable Disease (NICD).

“We hope that the efficiency will be even stronger,” enthused recently deputies South African vice president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Despite the hopes raised by this vaccine, specialists insist on the need not to lower your guard against the disease.

“An effective vaccine would be a game-changer, but these trials will take years,” said Dr. Morris. “We must continue to use other means of prevention to reduce new infections.”

Antiretroviral (ARV) treatments remain by far the most effective against the disease today.

According to UNAIDS, half of the approximately 36 million people infected with the virus living in the world have access to it. A figure that has doubled in five years.

Thanks to these treatments, which make it possible to control the evolution of the virus and increase the life expectancy of HIV-positive people, the life expectancy of South Africans has jumped from 57.1 to 62.9 years on average since 2009 , according to local authorities.

Trials for the new vaccine are being conducted by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), the South African Council for Medical Research (SAMRC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sanofi Pasteur Labs, GlaxoSmithKline and the HIV vaccine trials (HVTN).


research focused on a cure for HIV

The Place de la Révolution was empty in Havana, Cuba for this May 1, 2020. As in many countries, the traditional Labor Day was celebrated this year at windows or balconies, with “virtual demonstrations”, with great reinforcements of banners or with pan concerts.

The facades of Havana were paved, the giant faces of the guerrillas Ernesto Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos still in place on the buildings of the emblematic Revolution Square but not a worker with a raised fist Friday, where they are usually near one million on the same date each year.

French Head of State Emmanuel Macron summed it up: “This May 1, 2020 is unlike any other”.

For the first time since the banning of demonstrations during the Indochina and Algeria wars in the 1950s and 1960s, there were no rallies in France, in the name of the fight against Covid-19, which has killed more than 230,000 people worldwide.

No more than in most other countries at a time when half of humanity is confined.

The unions have therefore called for other forms of mobilization: conferences and concerts without audiences, online, protest messages on social networks …

For them, this international day which has its origins in the struggles of the workers’ movement at the end of the 19th century is more relevant than ever: the epidemic highlights the essential role of certain trades until now little valued – in health, shopping, hygiene – and exacerbates social tensions.

Because by plunging the economies, by stopping industries, trade and services, the pandemic already reduced to unemployment cohorts of workers.

Here and there, some did not want to resolve to stay at home.

In Portugal, several hundred people gathered on Friday in several cities, respecting a distance of more than 3 meters, notably in Lisbon, where several hundred people found themselves on the lawn of the Esplanade de Alameda, waving flags to cries of “union union” and “the struggle continues”.

– Brave prohibitions –

Turkish police arrested several union officials who marched in Istanbul on Friday despite the ban.

In the Philippines, small groups have braved the veto to demand public aid and safe working conditions. The police arrested at least three people.

In Greece, where the government had called to postpone any demonstration until May 9, the PAME union, affiliated with the Communists, nevertheless organized a rally in front of the parliament, very disciplined: hundreds of demonstrators respected the distances of one meter materialized at ground, often sporting scarves on the face or masks.

A few hundred demonstrators also kept their distance in Vienna to demand the total end of the confinement, at the call of a group “Initiative for an information-based corona information” skeptical about social distancing and wearing a mask.

In Germany, the police have been deployed in large numbers – 5,000 police in Berlin – to enforce the ban on demonstrations against more than 20 people who were intended to defy movements of the ultra-left and far right , as well as conspirators, fiercely opposed to containment measures.

The “addicts” of the demonstrators in Spain innovated: in Saragossa (north), on the initiative of the Intersindical union of Aragon, they paraded each in their car, equipped with masks and gloves. The gathering had been authorized under conditions: maximum sixty cars, one person per vehicle, neither convertible nor two-wheeled vehicle.

Some members of the Russian Communist Party opted for the demonstration “alone”, taking turns parading with signs in front of the Kremlin, the seat of the presidential administration and the town hall of Moscow.

In Lebanon, hit by an acute economic crisis and where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line, several hundred demonstrators wearing Lebanese masks and flags gathered in central Beirut, Place des Martyrs.

“I came down because I’m hungry, I’m tired of this life,” said a participant, 25-year-old Mohamed Ali, a former unemployed restaurant worker.

In Honduras, the main unions have called for “an end to the monstrous corruption” of the government, denouncing the misuse of funds dedicated to the fight against Covid-19.

– Use caution –

Elsewhere, caution and alternative celebrations were generally in order, as in Finland where Labor Day coincides with the popular “Vappu” holiday for the arrival of spring – April 30 and May 1.

The Finns have fallen back on online events, such as in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, North Africa …

In Italy, one of the most battered European countries, with 27,680 dead, a virtual concert will be broadcast on the public channel Rai 3 in the evening. Among the artists, live from various concert halls, heavyweights of the Italian scene, like Gianna Nannini or Zucchero, but also international stars like Sting and Patti Smith.


Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook boss wants to expel locals in Hawaii

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wants to be able to expel locals from their property in Hawaii by court. The 32-year-old filed several lawsuits in a court in Hawaii on December 30, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Zuckerberg bought a huge piece of beachfront property on the island of Kauai a good two years ago – for around 100 million dollars, according to Forbes. Due to the peculiarities of local property law, however, numerous isolated parcels remained in the possession of local families. Private ownership of real estate has only existed in Hawaii since 1848. Anyone who can prove a long and permanent use can then claim ownership, whereby the ownership rights, roughly simplified, are transferred to all descendants of the next generation.

When he bought his property, Zuckerberg had not been able to buy around a dozen of these land islands totaling several hectares. Now, according to local law, the owners have the right to cross Zuckerberg’s property at any time to get to their land islands.

Zuckerberg now wants to end this situation and avails himself of an appeal known in Hawaii as ‘quiet title and partition’, which has to be initiated by a judge. If he agrees, there is a forced sale of the land in which the highest bidder wins.

“To join the community”

Reason for the establishment of this legal remedy: Due to the frequent transfer of the land from one generation to the next, the respective individual shares are now so small that individual owners often lose interest in their share and no longer cultivate the land. Nevertheless, due to the fragmented ownership structure, it is often impossible to reach an agreement on a sale. Accordingly, the complaint of the Facebook boss, which he runs through several companies, is directed against hundreds of locals.

Two days before his lawsuit, Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook: He and his wife were so enthusiastic about the area around their property that they wanted to become part of this community (“to join the community”). He showed his daughter Max the nature “in which local farmers grow fruits and spices”.

Icon: The mirror

Trump-Wähler in West Virginia: Im Kohleland

The dependents live in McDowell County. The mines are closed. “I love coal,” said Trump, putting on his helmet – and was promptly elected.

What was a booming city in the middle of the 20th century. Now it is deserted Photo: imago / ZUMA Press

WELCH taz | When a truck drives by with black dust blowing from the back of the truck, people rejoice in the narrow valleys of McDowell County in the southernmost tip of West Virginia. The thunder of the locomotives, which pull more than 100 open coal wagons behind them, sounds like music to their ears.

“There will be more,” they want to believe. Then they talk about the 14 mines in the region that have been closed for years and are now preparing to open again. And from the job exchange at the beginning of January in the town of Welch, where 75 miners were looking for underground and surface mining.

“The coal is coming back,” says Lacy Workman. He is convinced that his county, which once produced more coal than any other in the USA and is now one of the most unemployed in the country, can recover thanks to the old raw material. He believes Donald Trump makes it possible. Lacy Workman calls him “smart” and is convinced that he has the business acumen that McDowell County needs.

In an election campaign, Trump said at a gig here: “I love coal”, put on a miner’s helmet and gestured next to his lectern as if he wanted to go away. Above all, however, he offered himself as an antithesis to Hillary Clinton. The company announced that it would give it more green energy and that many miners would lose their jobs. Then she declared it a carver.

But by then it was too late and the voters had sworn in on Trump. They relieve him of the fact that he will loosen the requirements for pollutant taxes in water and air and that he will lower taxes. Even though fracking has made the gas price so low in recent years that many power plants have switched their turbines to gas.

Trumps Traumland

The contrast between the people of McDowell County, where more than a third live below the poverty line, and the New York multimillionaire could hardly be greater. But in the November elections, Trump in McDowell County got more than three times as many votes as Clinton. 75 percent against 23. It was one of the best results for Trump in the country.

He wasn’t the only multi-billionaire to win in the county. The second was the wealthiest man in West Virginia, Jim Justice, who was elected state governor that day.

Politically, Justice has taken the opposite path. While Trump gradually changed from Democrat to Republican in the years leading up to his election, Justice changed from the republican camp to the democratic one. But the two are similar in style. Justice had reopened several mines in McDowell County and the surrounding area shortly before the elections and created 200 new jobs.

What was a booming city called “Little New York” in the mid-20th century?

Lacy Workman worked in the mining industry, drove trucks and was a Democrat most of his life. Now he’s focused on his new party, the Republican, where he got to the local boss within a few years. It was the Barack Obama years when the Republican Party convinced people in the county that the Democratic President was the source of all the problems.

Celebrities gave themselves the handle

In McDowell County, most of the settlements have emerged as “camps” on the edge of mines, the workers of which should move on as soon as the coal has been mined. What, the largest of them, was a booming city in the mid-20th century called “Little New York”. It had three theaters, and there was heavy traffic in the city center.

Celebrities from show business and politics gave themselves the jack. Several presidents ate breakfast at Raymond’s restaurant on McDowell Street, including Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Afterwards both speeches made from the steps of the parking garage on the opposite side of the street, from which the facades flake off today.

It is one of more than 5,000 buildings that either need to be renovated or demolished. After his visit, Kennedy came up with the idea of ​​introducing food brands in order to compensate for the poverty, which at that time also repeatedly hit miners in McDowell County at the same time as the world coal markets.

It should be a temporary solution. But more than half a century later, 45 million people in the country still rely on the brands. In McDowell County, more than a third of the people purchase the brands, the survival of which is controversial among the Republicans in Washington.

New coal boom?

Restaurant owner Raymond Bean, now 90, continues to work in his restaurant, where customers rarely get lost. His neon sign has long crashed off the facade, and the shops on the right, left and opposite him are empty. A few houses away, a landlord has pinned a handwritten note on the shop window, on which he offers to remodel the restaurant according to a tenant’s wishes.

Raymond Bean also voted for Trump after decades as a democratic voter. He hopes that he will bring the new coal boom that will save the city and help him find someone who wants to take over his restaurant. The cook listens from the other side of the counter. When Raymond Bean leaves the room, Helen Althazer brushes aside her boss’s reverie.

“Trump won’t do anything for us,” says the 84-year-old categorically, “because he’s surrounded by people who have no interest in it.” She has spent her entire life in Welch, with a father, with uncles, and with brothers, who worked in coal mining. But she no longer believes in a future: “This will soon be a ghost town.”

The city and county have never considered anything other than coal. The only diversification is the expansion of off-road vehicle paths in the surrounding mountainous terrain and in the three prisons – one owned by the county, the second by the state of West Virginia, the third by the federal government.

The latter stands on a mountain peak on the edge of Welch, which was previously blown up and cleared for the purpose of coal extraction. When the federal prison opened in 2010, it was considered a potential new employer. But today most employees come from other counties.

„Coalfield Expressway“

The commissioner responsible for the development of the county has another plan for the region in mind. Cecil Patterson, also a Democrat who voted for Trump in the election and wants to give him a chance, hopes that the county highway that has been planned for more than 15 years will finally go ahead.

This “Coalfield Expressway” also has to do with coal. It is planned as a public-private partnership in which the mine owners blow up the mountain peaks, mine a few meters of coal and then hand over the site, which has been straightened in this way, to the public builders.

At the moment you can choose your neighbors in Welch, because at least every second house is empty. The county has shrunk from more than 100,000 to less than 20,000 in recent decades. After every new catastrophe – after the floods of 2001 and 2002 and the closings of the mines and most recently after Walmart also closed its large supermarket last year – people have migrated.

Depression and substance abuse increased among those who remained. In the stronghold of coal, the number of drug-related deaths is more than eight times the national average.

Jim Sly, who owns one of the county’s two funeral homes, is often involved with grieving families who speak of “heart failure” when there is evidence of overdoses of fentanyl, oxycotin or heroin in death certificates. The undertaker was a Democrat throughout his life, but this time he chose Trump because he hopes for a better deal from a businessman.

You don’t take drugs

Jackie Ratliff, superintendent in a coal washing facility on the southern edge of Welch, voted for Trump in November. In his everyday professional life, in the black dust on the mountain slope, he now experiences how the mood is slowly changing. Nothing works properly, but now he’s “cautiously optimistic”.

If the environmental agency EPA holds back more in the future and only makes “reasonable conditions” and if conditions such as the establishment of “underground shelters for $ 80,000 a piece”, he could imagine that coal in the county is going up again.

Lashawn Winfree doesn’t have that trust. She doesn’t believe in the president. She voted for Hillary Clinton in November – like almost every other African American and a few white women in the county. Her grandfather was a miner. Many of her classmates died of overdoses. When the 35-year-old meets peers who are affected by the drug epidemic, they sometimes wonder, “How? You don’t take anything? “

McDowell County has not let Lashawn Winfree escape so far. After high school, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia. But then her grandmother fell ill and she came back. Today she works in a video game salon, diagonally opposite the county prison, which is housed in the buildings of a former hospital.

Soft drinks are available free of charge in the game room. In the back room, two women and a man who do not talk to each other are sitting in front of brightly colored screens and hope for profits that they have not made in real life for a long time.

As a trained nurse, Lashawn Winfree could find work outside of the county. Instead, she stays on, watching others hope for improvements she doesn’t believe in, and reproaches herself for remaining in the narrow valley with no future.


Mark Zuckerberg is in trouble again in Hawaii

It’s a piece of paradise that Mark Zuckerberg bought in Hawaii. For around $ 100 million, the Facebook boss bought a huge property on the north coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai two years ago. 2.8 square kilometers, 800 meters of private beach, which is just what you need to relax from the stressful Silicon Valley. But the vacation home has been making Zuckerberg more trouble than he thought it would be. Because the billionaire is not welcomed by all Hawaiians with open arms.

So the Facebook boss, whose mantra is “Making the World more open and connected”, upset the new neighborhood right away by building a 1.80 meter high wall around his property. Zuckerberg’s privacy barrier disgraces the landscape and blocks the view, residents complained.

Now Zuckerberg’s Hawaii activities are again under criticism. The local Honolulu Star Adviser was outraged in an article that the 32-year-old filed an application to a Hawaii court on 30 December to force locals to sell land they had owned for generations from this week that has been picked up by many major media. Zuckerberg has strongly disagreed with the allegation, but the situation is at least complicated.

Hawaiian peculiarities of property law

The background to this is the special real estate law in Hawaii, which has only known private land ownership since the mid-19th century. At that time, a legal act regulated the property rights of the indigenous people to their land. The ownership rights to a piece of land have since been passed on to all descendants of the family, so that many small plots with complicated ownership relationships have been created over the generations. 14 parcels are also on Zuckerberg’s dream property. Although these are neither inhabited nor managed, the owners could theoretically decide at any time to visit their small country island in the Zuckerberg estate. And then Zuckerberg would have to allow them to walk across his property.

In order to prevent this, according to the “Honolulu Star Advertiser” Zuckerberg has filed an application in court for these patches of earth to be sold to the highest bidder. This legal act called “quiet title and partiton” is not uncommon in Hawaii. Still, it is terrifying that people are forced to sell land that has been in their possession for generations, the newspaper writes. Especially when the sixth richest man in the world is behind it. Land sales are a problem for the Hawaiian Indians because the family’s connection to the land of the ancestors is cut.

Zuckerberg rejects the allegations

Mark Zuckerberg reacted to the accusation that he was doing some kind of land grab with the check book, with no understanding. In a Facebook post on Thursday, he said that he had made a fair deal with every majority owner of the properties. He initiated the most recent legal steps simply so that all minority owners who created the Hawaiian Land Legislation would also get their fair share.

Many of these hundreds of descendants probably don’t even know that they own a small part of a small piece of land. Most of these people would now get money for something they didn’t even know they had, the Facebook boss explains. “Nobody is driven out of their country,” Zuckerberg clarifies. “We love Hawaii and want to be good members of the community and protect the environment.”