New film to help students take action on global water crisis

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

We take it for granted when we turn on the faucet and clean drinking water  appears and is plentiful.  Yet, throughout the world more than 1 billion people do not have clean drinking water.  The Thirst Project, an proactive student organization hitting the clean water problem head on, says  80 percent of global diseases are water-borne and result from drinking contaminated water.  These diseases kill more than 2.2 million people per year.

In a new movie, “Earth to Echo,” the stars of the film receive “distress signals” on their phones from someone who needs their help.

Students can join The Thirst Project and “Earth to Echo” to take action against the global water crisis without having to give, donate, or raise any of their own money. All you have to do is TEXT the keyword ECHO (in all caps) followed by your message for hope and encouragement to someone in a developing community without safe, clean drinking water to 51555. For every message we receive, the movie “Earth to Echo” will donate to The Thirst Project to build wells to give clean water to those who need it most. Not only that, but we will capture the actual messages we receive and install them on murals on the wells funded by this campaign. Then, go see the movie “Earth to Echo” in theaters everywhere July 2014. Visit www.ThirstProject.org/EarthToEcho to learn how you can get involved today!

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Faster conveyor belt poultry processing might put consumers at risk

When purchasing chicken for yourself or your families’ table, do you wonder if the chicken was processed properly?  With the popular trend toward buying free-range chickens, or chickens not raised from incubators to cages to death, does it really matter if those preferred free-range chickens end up facing questionable unsanitary processing and packaging?

The chicken industries’ bottom line might be playing a role in the disputed safety regulations of processed American chicken.  As more chicken factories speed up their conveyor belts to quicken the poultry industries’ delivery to demanding consumers, could food safety rules be waived and the humans processing the chicken be harmed?

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School-to-prison pipeline might start as early as preschool

By high school many minority students or students with disabilities could be on the school-to-prison pipeline. palantelatino.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Are we giving up on a large population of our young people in this country?  With minority students and students with disabilities, including teens with emotional and behavioral problems, carrying the majority of school suspensions and high school dropout rates, could the path toward school-to-prison pipeline be condemning a new generation to failure?

When I worked as a reporter in Mississippi several years ago, the self-fulfilling prophecy for many minority students went as far back as preschool. One southern Mississippi school official told to me the state counted the amount of children not attending preschool programs as an indication of how many prison cells would be required for state correctional facilities 20 to 25 years later. Their justification to watch these numbers was due to the inaccessibility or cuts of preschool programs such as a Head Start, and the broad number of illiterate parents unable to teach the fundamentals early childhood skills to prepare their children to enter kindergarten.  As a result, many preschoolers might start out behind in school as early as five years-old.

By the time many of the minority or students with disabilities enter high school, there is an even bigger chance a student could be railed onto the school-to-prison pipeline.

In a comprehensive report by America Aljazeera, the saga of the school-to-prison pipeline is examined with alarming statistics.  Link here.

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Shriver Report website brings issues of women to forefront

The Shriver Report is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society.  To view this new website, link here.

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42 miners died in U.S. mines in 2013

The most common cause of mining accidents last year involved machinery and powered haulage equipment. Thinkprogress.org photo

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

WASHINGTON, D.C. - According to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines in 2013, an increase from the 36 miners who died in 2012.

While mining fatalities occurred at a record low rate for the first three quarters of 2013, during the fourth quarter of 2013, six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents, a significant increase from the same period in 2012, when four coal miners and two metal/nonmetal miners died.

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Today’s workforce schedule concepts are outdated for 21st Century

In rigid shift situations with “no-fault” attendance policies—through which workers accrue points for every unforeseen absence from work, regardless of the reason—being a few minutes late can cost someone his or her job.
elev8.com photo

By Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress

In the 1950s close to 20 percent of the workforce were made up of women.  Today, women make up 55 percent of the workforce.  For both male and female workers, life has changed since the days where mom stayed home with the kids and dad went to work to give allegiance to the corporate god.  In 2014, it might take two incomes or a single parent might face the load alone to  live above the poverty line or even reach the middle-class status.  But even though more than 50 years have passed, the workforce concept of strict schedules has not changed with the times. Families now face more daily childcare and older-adult care circumstances, mandatory overtime work hours and an unchanged living wage.  To read more about these workforce issues and possible solutions, link here.

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Blue-collar temp jobs could be dangerous

A groundbreaking 2010 study of Washington state’s workers’ comp claims found that temp workers in construction and manufacturing had twice the claims rate of regular workers doing the same type of work. theconversation.com photo

By Michael Grabell, Olga Pierce and Jeff Lawson, ProPublica

Working as a “blue-collar temp” in the manufacturing and construction industries might be one solution to earning money while waiting for another job to come through or maybe with the hope of the temp job turning into a full-time position.  Although both concepts could be true, there is an underlying danger in taking manufacturing or construction blue-collar temp jobs.  In a report by ProPublica,  it is revealed that some industries are placing profit over safety for the temp workers.  To read the article, link here.

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What’s the deal with genetically modified foods?

This controversial concept of raising food through genetic manipulation is under scrutiny by many Americans.  On the other hand, how are farmers going to feed the world as population growth increases every decade?

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Many U.S. families losing ground against the poverty line

If you have an emergency fund or savings for unexpected car repairs, medical bills or want to help a person in need, it might be as easy as making a digital payment or sending a cashier check to pay want needs to be paid.  But if you are living on a fixed income in combination with government assistance, these expected debts might throw a family’s budget and security into a tailspin. Do you pay for the car repairs because it is necessary to get to work? Or do you pass on going to the doctor’s because the bill would interfere with putting food on the table?  The whole idea of living paycheck to paycheck cannot alter from its assigned rhythm, otherwise, the accumulation of indebtedness could become all-consuming in your life. The balance is shot. You are swimming against the strong current leading to the poverty line.

Northwest Herald:  Living on the Poverty Line

By Emily K. Coleman, Shaw Media

” … But the other problem has been a series of minor disasters that chip away at any earnings she might have saved: the washer and dryer breaking down or a broken brake line on a car. There was the pipe that burst two Octobers ago and flooded the basement with 10 inches of water, ruining baby pictures and family mementos …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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