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Collapsing Houses in Bangladesh
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
16 Apr 2015

ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

A two story house made of bamboo and tin collapsed at Hjipara Jheel, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 15, 2015 at 3:30 PM (local time). There were 14 rooms on each floor, and each room was inhabited by an entire family. The rooms were rented for BDT.3, 500 ($44) per month.

The location of the building on a polluted, swampy wetland meant that it was very difficult for people inside the building to survive, as the rubble from the building pushed into the water.

Casualty rates are currently 12 dead and 100 missing.

Locals claim that the main reason of the collapse was lack of a proper foundation. Add to this the fact that the building owner built an additional floor on the building 5 months ago with the aim of increasing profits. Survivors of the collapse said the building began vibrating and shaking in bizarre ways after the second floor was added.

The collapse highlights the problem of shoddy housing in Bangladesh’s heavily impoverished areas. There was no government oversight or intervention to monitor and prevent the construction and habitation of such a poorly constructed building.  The collapse spurred protests from the Bangladesh Communist Party calling on the government to step up regulations on building safety and exploitation of the poor. 

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Building Collapse 01
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

The Bangladesh Communist Party holds a protest after the housing collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 April 2015.

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Building Collapse 02
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Relatives of people missing in the house collapse wait at Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 April 2015.

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Building Collapse 03
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Samia and her mom shortly after being rescued safely from the wreckage of the housing complex April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 04
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A survivor of the housing collapse in his new house. April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 05
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A man still waiting for his missing family members at a temporary house near the collapsed building in Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 06
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A picture floats in the swampy wreckage of the collapsed housing complex April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 07
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A man waits for his missing family members at a temporary house near the collapse housing complex in Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 08
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Firefighters try to rescue the missing people from the collapsed, two story house inHajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The collapse of the house, which was built on swampy ground killed 12 people and more than 100 people are still missing.

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Building Collapse 09
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Firefighters try to rescue the missing people from the collapsed, two story house inHajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The collapse of the house, which was built on swampy ground killed 12 people and more than 100 people are still missing.

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Building Collapse 10
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A remaining tin shed over the Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the collapse of a two storied tin and bamboo housing structure.

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Building Collapse 11
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Firefighters try to rescue the missing people from the collapsed, two story house inHajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The collapse of the house, which was built on swampy ground killed 12 people and more than 100 people are still missing.

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Building Collapse 12
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Najrul Islam waits at a temporary shelter for missing family members still trapped inside the collapsed housing structure.

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Building Collapse 13
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

4 year Samia girl was rescued from the rubble of the collapsed housing complex.

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Building Collapse 14
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A man waits for his missing family members after the collapse of two storied tin-shed house in Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 15
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Families gather goods salvaged from the wreckage of the building complex at a temporary shelter.

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Building Collapse 16
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Two women wait at a temporary shelter for their family members still trapped in the wreckage of the collapsed house.

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Building Collapse 17
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Survivors living in a temporary shelter after the house collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 16, 2015.

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Building Collapse 18
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Shefali Begum wails as she mourns the loss of her young son Saiful, who was killed in the housing collapse.

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Building Collapse 19
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A man is showing his stitched hand after he was injured in the housing collapse.

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Building Collapse 20
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Sisters Rubina & Asha lost everything in the bulding collapse. Now they wonder how they will start all over again.

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Building Collapse 21
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Remaining tin sheds over the Hajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16 April 2015 after the collapse of two storied tin and bamboo housing structure.

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Building Collapse 22
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Survivors of the building collapse take refuge in makeshift shelters as the rescue and salvage mission continues.

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Building Collapse 23
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Khalil (L) and Arif (R) in disbelief after the death of Saiful, a young boy in their family.

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Building Collapse 24
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

A rescued goat stands on some bricks after being salvaged from the wreckage of the collapsed housing project.

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Building Collapse 25
Dhaka
By Anik Rahman
15 Apr 2015

Firefighters try to rescue the missing people from the collapsed, two story house inHajipara Jheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The collapse of the house, which was built on swampy ground killed 12 people and more than 100 people are still missing.

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Nigeria Votes: Jos Residents Await El...
Jos
By jfaden
31 Mar 2015

March 31, 2015
Jos, Nigeria

The streets of the north-central Nigerian city of Jos stand empty as local residents await the results of what many are considering the most followed and participated in election in Nigeria's history.

As the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC collate results from various parts of the country, Nigerians are following with keen interest and hoping the man of their choice will win the election.

The election resulted in a surprise upset for incumbent candidate Goodluck Jonathan, who has faced heavy scrutiny for his handling of the Boko Haram crisis. Former military ruler Muhammadu Bahari went home the luckier and will be taking over the presidency.

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Tunisians and Foreigners Rally Agains...
Tunis
By Adeline Bailleul
19 Mar 2015

Protests erupted outside the National Bardo Museum in Tunis where an attack left 23 people dead the day before. Citizens and visitors speak out against the attacks.

Tunisian authorities have taken nine suspects into custody amid an ongoing search for the perpetrators of the attack.

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Ukraine: Lviv Residents Revive Soviet...
Lviv, Ukraine
By Yura_Melko
19 Feb 2015

A group of Lviv locals have volunteered to clean up bomb-shelters that they hope could save lives in case the conflict reaches the west of Ukraine. Everyone stresses that they would never have believed that they'd be involved in such activities a year ago. None of them thought a war would come to Ukraine. This isn't the first shelter the volunteers have cleaned and restored, and restoring the rest of the region's bomb shelters is a daunting task. The Lviv region alone has over 160 shelters, most of them abandoned by the state since the break-up of the USSR. Although they are fully functional, most of the shelters have become cesspits full of rubbish and dirt. Besides cleaning up the underground concrete rooms, the volunteers have set up electricity and illumination to make the shelters more livable in case they should need to be used.

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Pakistan's Fight Against the Taliban
Peshawar, Pakistan
By Transterra Editor
30 Dec 2014

The recent Taliban attack in Peshawar that took the lives of over 100 children is the latest in a years-long conflict between the Pakistani government and Taliban militants. The group has actively staged attacks on civilians and government targets since 2004, especially in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. With no clear end in sight to the conflict, and now mourning the loss of 132 of their children, Pakistani citizens and politicians face an uncertain security situation.

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Raqqa Citizens Criticize IS
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 23
07 Oct 2014

October 7, 2014
Raqqa, Syria

Citizens of Raqqa speak out against ISIS who have taken total control over the Syrian city. Since May 2013 ISIS have been increasing their control, enforcing sharia law and publicly executing those they deem to be Alawites or supporters of the Syrian regime. Beginning in September 2014, the United States and partner nations conducted air strikes against IS in areas of their control, including Raqqa.

Sound Bite 1:

(00:00) Interviewer: As a child, what has changed in your life now that ISIS are here? (00:03). (00:03) Child: “I feel more afraid now because of the way they look and the way they dress, and their actions in the city have become terrifying.” (00:07) (00:07) Interviewer: Do they prevent you from going to school? (00:10) (00:11) Child: “Since they day ISIS took over Raqqa, they took our childhood from us. They don't allow us to go to school anymore.” (00:16) (00:16) Interviewer: Do you think they're right, and that they truly are The Islamic State who represent Islam? (00:19) Child: “ISIS is not Islam. They execute the citizens in the roads [in front of our eyes], and our parents tell us they behead and whip the people for no reason, and whoever says no to them is executed.” (00:34)

Sound Bite 2:

00:00) Interviewer: What has changes since ISIS has taken over Raqqa?(00:03)
(00:03) Man: “Everything has changed in the city of Raqqa since ISIS has taken over and we have been living in a state of fear.” (00:09) (00:10) Interviewer: Is there more security in the streets? (00:12) (00:12) Man: “In the past when the area was under the protection of the Free Syrian Army there was safety but now there is absolutely no safety because of the increased danger from ISIS.” (00:18) (00:19) Interviewer: Did the fighting intensify or decrease? (00:20) Man: “The fighting has decreased because there is no official army.” (00:27) Interviewer: Is there a curfew? (00:28) (00:29) Man: Yes, when ISIS feels threatened they announce the curfews through the mosques.” (00:35) (00:36) Interviewer: Did the security investigations increase? Did inspection increase? (00:40) (00:40) Man: “At the Internet cafes they search the mobiles and they smell fingers looking for smokers.” (00:48) (00:48) Interviewer: In regards to women what has changed, in regards to the change in their freedom to move around, dress code and conduct? (00:52) (00:53) Man: “They are allowed to move around but they have to be wearing the correct dress that the organization has imposed and any violation leads to the arrest of our women by the Al Khansa Battalion.” (01:05) (01:06) Interviewer: In regards to men what has changed, in regards to the change in their freedom to move around, dress code and conduct? (01:09) (01:10) Man: “What has changed is that the organization has imposed that men must have long hair, and abstain from using gel.” (01:20) (01:19) Interviewer: Do you believe in an Islamic state? (01:21) (01:21) Man: “I do not believe in an Islamic state but yes I do I do believe in an Islamic state but not in the gangs, not in the ISIS gangs.” (01:31) (01:31) Interviewer: Do you think ISIS can succeed in creating and Islamic state? (01:34) (01:35) Man: “They cannot succeed in an Islamic state.” (01:39) (01:40) Interviewer: We hear that there are executions and punishments that take place in the streets. Is that correct? (01:43) (01:44) Man: “Yes they do field executions in front of our eyes and ISIS says that these people are apostates or Alawites. In reality these people are either our sons, Free Syrian Army soldiers, or journalists. (01:57) (01:58) Interviewer: are you afraid or do you feel safe? (02:02) (02:03) Man: “No I am afraid of the Islamic state.” (02:06) (02:07) Interviewer: Do you want the United States or any other country to help in fighting and removing ISIS? (02:11) (02:12) Man: “We want America to strike ISIS but we want the strikes to stay away from civilians.” (02:18)

Sound Bite 3:

(00:00) Interviewer: What has changed in Raqqa since ISIS took over the city? (00:04) (00:04) Woman: “Life has changed in general ever since ISIS took over the city. Mainly when it comes to the way we dress and the ban on tobacco.” (00:13) (00:14) Interviewer: Is there more security in the streets now? Are there less fights now with the patrols in the city? Are they censoring entertainment? (00:23). (00:24) Woman: “Yes, ISIS is patrolling all over the city to ensure the application of laws they imposed on us. We see lots of violations including the searching of men, while the Al-Khansa' brigade searches us. And when we ask them why they are searching us, they reply that it is their policy.” (00:47) (00:48) Interviewer: For women, what have changed in their lives? The freedom to wander around and the freedom to choose their own outfits? (00:52) (00:53) Woman: “As you can see, we can't leave the house without wearing the outfit that ISIS has imposed. Also, when we leave the house, we should have a Mahram with us, either our brother, father, son or husband. If we don't obey, we will be lashed.” (01:11) 01:12) Interviewer: What about the men? What has changed in their lives? The freedom to wandering around and the freedom to choose their outfits? (01:18).
(01:19) Woman: “They have more freedom than us, but it doesn't mean they are not in danger; they might be searched by ISIS for security reasons.” (01:28) 01:29) Interviewer: Do you believe in the Islamic State? (01:30).
(01:31) Woman: “I believe in an Islamic State, because in an Islamic State, we all live with pride. But I don't believe in IS (The Islamic State of ISIS) because they are far from being an Islamic State.” (01:40) (01:41) Interviewer: Do you think that ISIS can achieve an Islamic State? (01:45) (01:45) Woman: “In my opinion, ISIS is far from achieving an Islamic State, because we are sure that they are criminals not Muslims.” (01:52) (01:53) Interviewer: We hear that they are punishing and executing people in the streets, is this true? (01:57). (01:58) Woman: “There are too many similar cases.” (02:00) (02:01) Interviewer: Are you afraid? Or you feel safe here? (02:04). (02:04) Woman: “Of course I am afraid, because ISIS has already terrified us.” (02:14). (02:14) Interviewer: Do you want the US to help in eliminating ISIS? (02:17). (02:17) Woman: “We want the end of ISIS, but at the same time, we don't want to get hurt.” (end)

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Kiev Residents Prepare to Face the Cold
Kiev
By Andrey Samerkhanov
23 Sep 2014

Date: September 20, 2014
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Length: 6:06

Residents of Ukraine risk to face a very cold winter. The threat of gas supplies being cut due to the current conflict sparked panic among Kievans who have already seen the prices for electric boilers jump ten-fold due to increased demand.
Heating homes depends on the supply of natural gas (including gas from Russia), used for heating and hot water. After the devaluation of the national currency, delays in pension payment and lack of jobs, many families cannot afford another big expense.

This video was filmed in the Solomenka district of Kiev, a neighborhood with a low quality of life inhabited mostly by working class, state workers and many retired citizens. The district is dominated with the blocks of Khrushchev and Brezhnev from the 60s and 70s and has an outdated infrastructure - despite multi-billion dollar loans by the World Bank and IMF to Ukraine, at the EU taxpayers’ expense, supposedly for updating the city’s worn out infrastructure.

Shot List:
A woman in her kitchen pours water into a pan while holding her child and puts it on a gas hob to boil
A woman plays with a child near the electrical heater
A school building
A young man with a child standing on the steps of the entrance
A street
Public transport in the street
A Ukrainian balcony
Façade of old multi-story building with gas pipes (yellow pipes installed externally)
Façade of old multi-story building with a number of balconies
Big picture of the gas pipeline
Stickers on the wall of the building advertising house and flat insulation
Stickers advertising electrical boilers installation
A yellow gas pipe on the façade of the building, grates on the ground floor windows
An entrance of the residential apartment block painted in the colors of the national flag of Ukraine
Gas pipes on the façade of the residential buildings
Balconies with drying laundry and Ukrainian flags
A general plan of a residential apartment block

SCRIPT:
NATSOT: Kyiv woman with a child in her apartment

VO: The woman has a decent apartment, however, the heating, electricity and gas supply system is shared with all the other people residing in the apartment block. The current situation requires changes to enable electrical heating, however, current power allowances will not sustain the simultaneous use of electric heating by all the residents.

SOUNDBITE 1
“At present, our family uses an electrical kettle or we heat the water on the gas hob. However, if we install the electric boiler we will have to pay significantly more for the electricity. It would be a big hit to the family budget. We cannot pay more than we pay now. Furthermore, when all the residents rely exclusively on electricity the system can get overloaded and not only will they be unable to use an electrical kettle, but electrical heaters either.”

NATSOT: A woman with a stroller in the street

VO: This woman is seriously considering spending winter out of town, where wood/coal heating is available and the electricity prices are one and a half times lower compared to those in the capital. She mentions the price of the boiler being over 5,000 UAH, plus the cost of installation. This amount equals to her salary for two months or a retiree pension for half a year.

SOUNDBITE 2
“Naturally, I am against gas and the hot water cut off. The maximum that we can do is to insulate our windows, exactly what we’ve done. I am not letting us get cold in the winter. We will fight the cold. We will either use the electric heaters or, maybe we will have to leave the city and stay with relatives in the country. This would be possible if the winter break were longer than usual. We certainly will get a boiler installed at home because we are a family of four.”

Journalist: “did you research already the availability and the price of boilers?”

“Last time we inquired about the price in the summer, when we were carrying out a refurbishment. It was expensive even then: around 5,000 to 6,000 UAH. Scary to think how much they may cost now.”

NATSOT: A woman in the street

VO: One woman spoke of a form of about cooperation between the residents where the group makes a joint decision to install gas and water meters. They are trying to come up with the best financial solution. Many insulate windows and walls, but esidents do not believe that gas tanks can be filled in quantities sufficient for the winter. People do not trust the authorities or the new mayor of Kiev, world boxing champion, Vitaly Klichko.

SOUNDBITE 3
“The fact that there is no hot water in the whole city is incredibly inconvenient. So, what do maintenance companies do to improve the situation? They blame the water supply authorities. The water supply authorities blame electricity suppliers. As for us, we have no idea who is really responsible. As a result there is no hot water. At the same time, the gas prices went up and we have to pay for both the gas we use to heat the water and for the hot water we do not receive. We are paying twice. The residents are very unhappy with that. We had to buy plenty of synthetic foam to insulate the walls. What else can we say? When it comes to the electrical heater, energy consumption is not their main downside. It is rather the dry air and the danger of burning oxygen. This is especially noticeable with my little granddaughter, whose skin is getting very dry when the electric heaters are on. I borrowed such a heater a few days ago and returned it. I do not want to use those.”

NATSOT: Two elderly women, sitting on the bench.

VO: Nevertheless, not all Ukrainians complain. Many are prepared to face the hardship, as they understand that the country is at war; and living in the cold is better than being bombed by the Russian Army. That’s what two elderly residents said, sitting on the bench near the apartment block they live in.

SOUNDBITE 4
“Cold winter is better than the war. Peace is the most important thing. One can survive the winter, but hot water and radiators will be of little use against shelling. That is it. If there is electricity one can turn the heater on, if not – we will have to rely on warm duvets, coats and hats. I want to stress once again: I am not afraid of the cold. But I am very much afraid of the war. I am afraid that they will shoot and we don’t know where to hide. We have nowhere to run. That’s why all we can do is sit here and wait.”

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Kyiv Citizens and Barricades
Kyiv, Ukraine
By Max Kozmenko
03 Mar 2014

Nowadays barricades and the camp city at the Independent square in Kyiv attract many tourists. But Kyiv citizens as well like to come there and walk around. They give a big support to protesters.

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In Memory of Heaven's Hundred
Kyiv, Ukraine
By Max Kozmenko
02 Mar 2014

People who were killed in the center of Kyiv during winter riots are called Heaven's Hundred. On this days many people from different ukrainian and foreign cities come to places where protesters were murdered. They bring a lot of flowers and candles.

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Kiev Citizens and Barricades 24
Kyiv
By Max Kozmenko
27 Feb 2014

Man holding the national flag near the Parliament building

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Kiev Citizens and Barricades 23
Kyiv
By Max Kozmenko
27 Feb 2014

The entrance to the Parliament building guarded by Self Guard

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Kiev Citizens and Barricades 22
Kyiv
By Max Kozmenko
27 Feb 2014

Broken street lamp on the Independent square