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 The migrants are managed by a Mafia-run employment
system, the caporalato, that operates like a 21st century
chain gang. Saviano says that those who object to low
wages or poor working conditions are simply eliminated
— and not just by a pink slip. “It’s a military system. The
farm and factory owners employ the Mafia caporali to
bring the workers. The immigrants wait on the roads,
the caporali pick them up and take them to the work. If
they complain, they get killed.”

Despite more than a dozen international conventions
banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more
slaves today than at any point in human history:

Civil freedoms around the world lost ground for the
fourth straight year in 2009 with Iraq improving,
Afghanistan falling back and China acting as if it were
under siege by its own citizens, Freedom House said
on Tuesday. Bahrain, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Yemen moved into “not free” category, raising the
total to 47 from 42 in 2008. The number of electoral
democracies fell from 119 to 116, the lowest since 1995:

Workers at a Sussex-based electronics firm were today
left “devastated” after being told in a video message that
manufacturing at their factories is to end and 220 jobs
moved to Korea and the Czech Republic:

Zuma famously likes to spend as much time as
possible among his cattle in his native homestead at
Nkandla, in northern KwaZulu-Natal province, where
he is building a huge palace. In South Africa, R3m
(£250,000) buys a pretty decent house, but Zuma’s
new house there is costing R65m (£5.4m). ..It is a
strange sight. Zuma, brought to power with the support
of the ANC left, the trade unions and communist party,
is ever more imitative of the Zulu monarchy – even
down to the leopard-skin attire. It may have nothing to
do with socialism, but then nor do, or did, the quasiroyal
dynasties of many communist states such as the
Kims of North Korea, Romania’s Ceausescus and the
Zhivkovs of Bulgaria. And it should not be thought that
these contradictions are embarrassing to Zuma. On the
contrary, he is having the time of his life:

One of the most callous reactions to the Haiti disaster
thus far has come from televangelist Pat Robertson,
who told viewers of his Christian Broadcasting Network
on Wednesday morning that he knew the real reason for
the quake: The country’s long-standing pact with Satan:

It has emerged that Kim Kardashian, the American
reality television star, commands at least $10,000 per
post. Many of Kardashian’s tweets are mundane - “I
must have pinched a nerve in my neck... I need a
massage” - but when she mentions advertisers such
as Nestle or the fast-food chain Carl’s Jr, she receives
four-figure sums: