pulitzercenter:

The city of Kanpur lies on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India. It has become one of the most important cities in India as its leather industry has grown.

First established in the mid-19th century, Kanpur is now the country’s biggest producer of leather products. Its leather is exported across the world, with 95 percent of its output destined for Western markets including those in the US, UK and Germany.

The success comes at great environmental and social cost. Pollution from the tanneries is destroying the ecology of the local Ganges River and scarring residents in the form of life-threatening illnesses.

The city is now notorious for having some of the country’s worst water pollution problems yet the tannery industry continues to discharge waste water laced with toxic chemicals, such as chromium, freely into local waterways.

This water is channeled onto local farmland, poisoning the soil, entering the food chain and accumulating in local ecosystems. At greatest risk are the people who work in the tanneries and farmers who work daily with the toxic and highly acidic water.

Local residents suffer an array of health troubles, a result of the bioaccumulation of dangerous toxins over decades. Health problems include cancers, mental illness, child development issues and skin diseases.

View Pulitzer Center grantee Sean Gallagher’s full project: Toxic Development: The Cost of Pollution in India

(via globalpost)

What Kind of Town Bans Books?

newyorker:

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Annie Julia Wyman grew up in one of the most educated communities in Texas. Last week, her home town’s public school district suspended seven books:

"The Highland Park Independent School District, and all the other American institutions that still censor books, grapple with a set…

afp-photo:

CHINA, HONG KONG : Pro-democracy protesters, including one carrying a shield from the “Captain America” comic book series stand their ground as they look out for the presence of rival protest groups next to a barricade on a road in Hong Kong on October 4, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China’s refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez

afp-photo:

CHINA, HONG KONG : Pro-democracy protesters, including one carrying a shield from the “Captain America” comic book series stand their ground as they look out for the presence of rival protest groups next to a barricade on a road in Hong Kong on October 4, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China’s refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez

Before the Law

newyorker:

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In 2010, Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack. He then spent three years in Rikers Island’s Robert N. Davoren Center—more than half of that time in solitary confinement—without ever standing trial. Jennifer Gonnerman investigates the case and offers a rare account of life inside the notorious jail for adolescents, in this week’s issue.

Photograph by Zach Gross

npr:

A few years ago, award-winning animal photographer Seth Casteel became an overnight sensation when his photos of dogs underwater went viral. What followed was a book deal that resulted in the New York Times best-seller Underwater Dogs.

Casteel’s new book, out Sept. 16, is possibly the only thing cuter thanUnderwater Dogs: Underwater Puppies.

Casteel on the logistics of photographing puppies underwater

I’m wearing a dog costume so that the dogs can feel like I’m one of the pack. … Just kidding. … I usually just wear a wet suit just in case. You know, if you spend 12 hours in a pool with a bunch of dogs, inevitably you’re going to get scratched up a little bit. So I do wear a wet suit. But I just hold my breath — that’s about it. I’m underwater sometimes just a few seconds, sometimes 30 seconds, 60 seconds. But I have my wet suit on. I bring the toys. I bring the fun. And we just have a blast.

Ridiculously Cute Underwater Puppies (You’re Welcome)

Photo credit: Seth Casteel/Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

reportagebygettyimages:

More than a year of unprecedented violence has plunged Central African Republic (CAR) into perhaps the most unstable and bloodiest era of its history. Armed groups called anti-balaka, comprised of Christians and animists who were initially organized to fight local crime, are seeking revenge mostly against the Muslim minority for a cycle of looting, torture and killing that began after the mainly Muslim rebel coalition Séléka seized power in March 2013. Anti-balaka refuses to lay down their arms. Instead, they hunt and kill Muslims who remain in areas under their control or those who attempt to flee.

Photographer William Daniels has been awarded a 2014 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for his project ‘CAR in Chaos.’ Read more about William and the project here.

(via globalpost)