Spotlight News 5/11/2016

Protests Against the Impeachment of President Blocking Roads in 17 States and the Federal District of Brazil

Protestors against the impeachment of embattled President Rousseff staged a nationwide strike early this morning that initially blocked roads in 17 states and the Federal District of Brazil. The states affected by strikes include Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, and Sergipe. Protests appear to have largely ended or at least diminished in , with many of the previously blocked highways now cleared of demonstrators

The threat of man-made disruption in Brazil is High. These pro-government protests are the latest in a series of political demonstrations to occur in Brazil as the country’s congress continues with the impeachment process. Brazil’s Senate is schedule to vote tomorrow on whether to continue the proceedings against Rousseff, who has been implicated in the ongoing corruption scandal. Recent pro-government protests have not gained as much support as the anti-government demonstrations that occurred in March, when millions of citizens marched to register their discontent over the political scandal involving many of the country’s major politicians as well as the poor state of the economy. Despite the lower turnout, pro-government protests can still block major highways throughout the country. Brazil is likely to see additional political protests in the near future, regardless of the results of the impeachment process.

Greek Police Arrest 15 Suspects Using Fake Transportation Company to Conceal Trafficking of Cannabis and Cocaine

Greek police arrested 15 suspects, employees, and managers at a transportation company, who smuggled cannabis and cocaine via cargo truck shipments from Albania and Greece to other parts of Europe. Officials stated that the transportation company was a front used to conceal the group’s illicit activities. Police seized nearly 700 kilograms of cannabis and five cargo trucks in Greece, while Belgian authorities arrested two other members of the group and seized a 100-kilogram shipment of cannabis disguised as chocolate. It appears that the cannabis was grown in Albania and smuggled to Greece for distribution. The threat of illegal drug introduction in Albania is High, while Greece suffers from a Guarded threat. 

Fires at Textiles Facilities in India Kill Three Workers, Destroy Goods in Separate Incidents

Three separate fires at two textiles factories and a textiles market in India resulted in the deaths of workers and destruction of large quantities of goods. The first incident was a fire in the early morning hours at a hosiery and dying factory in the Meharban area of Ludhiana, in Punjab State. The fire killed three workers who were believed to be sleeping overnight at the facility. Officials indicated the factory had no emergency exits, and iron grills were installed over the facility’s windows.

The next incident was a fire at a five-story building housing a textiles market in the city of Surat in Gujarat State. While no casualties occurred, local sources indicated the fire destroyed more than $6 million worth of goods. Authorities also indicated there were no fire safety measures in place at the market.

A fire also broke out at another textiles factory in the Madanayakanahalli area of Bangalore, located in Karnataka State. This incident also did not result in any casualties, as most of the 2,000 factory workers had left for the day, although the blaze did destroy several thousand dollars’ worth of textile raw materials at the facility. The recent incidents serve to underscore the Severe threat of working conditions in India. Fires continue to occur with regularity at factories in the country, with many textiles facilities being especially susceptible to large, quickly spreading blazes due to the flammability of many of these types of goods.