How missionaries staged daring escape from their Haitian kidnappers – National & International News – TUE 21Dec2021

Above are 15 of the 17 missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti in October. Twelve of the group managed to escape their captors and have returned home.

 

 

How missionaries escaped from their Haitian kidnappers. 1400 Kellogg’s workers end 11-week strike with new contract. UK court denies Maduro claim to Venezuelan gold.

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Missionaries tell of daring escape from Haiti kidnappers

Back in October, Haitian gang members seized a convoy carrying 17 missionaries, including 16 Americans and one Canadian. In the group were also four children, a 10-month old baby, and children aged three, 14 and 15. The group was preparing to leave the country after visiting an orphage.

The 400 Mawozo gang initially demanded $1 million in ransom for each of the captives. The group was part of Christian Aid Ministries, an Amish and conservative Mennonite organization. Five members of the group were eventually freed, but CAM has not disclosed whether or not they paid their ransom.

But it was a surprise to everyone when the 12 remaining members staged their own rescue. The still captive group said they had been moved several times during their captivity and were often kept separated. At some point, they managed to hatch a plan to escape, choosing December 15 as the night to make the attempt.

During the night, the group quietly left the building were they were being held, eluding their armed guards. With them were the baby and the 3 year old. The group trudged for miles in the pitch dark, navigating the difficult terrain using the stars. Eventually, they reached safety and were able to get help. On the 17th, they were able to finally return home. The captives were all in good condition and say the gang-members did not physically abuse them.

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Kellogg’s workers end 11-week strike with new contract

Two weeks ago, Kellogg’s announced that it would hire “permanent replacements” for 1400 workers who had been on strike since October. Workers at four plants in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Tennessee were demanding better pay and working conditions and raised concerns about the company’s outsourcing plans. The workers were often expected to work for weeks or months on end with no days off. That despite a 9.1% rise in profits at the already profitable company during the pandemic.

At the time, Kellogg’s decision to replace the workers met widespread condemnation, including from the White House. President Biden called it “an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods”. Online activists even waged campaigns to flood Kellogg’s hiring page with fake applications.

Now the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union says its members are ending the strike after reaching a tentative but more favorable deal with the company.

The new contract includes immediate wage and benefit increases for all workers. Workers subject to a controversial two-tier system now also have a pathway to full wages and benefits. The contract further includes a moratorium on closing plants through at least October 2026.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UK Supreme Court denies Maduro claim to Venezuelan gold

Britain’s Supreme Court is refusing to release nearly $2 billion in gold to Venezuela’s elected leader Nicolas Maduro. The gold belongs to Venezuela but is currently in the Bank of England’s vaults. The Supreme Court ruling overturned a previous Appeals court decision calling for the release of the gold. Maduro wants to release the gold to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to purchase necessary medical supplies for his country.

However, the Supreme Court instead decided to rule on the diplomatic fiction created by the U.S. State Department under the Trump administration that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who holds no elected office, is the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Although the British government deals with Maduro in the real world, the UK and 50 other countries have followed the U.S. lead in recognizing Guaido. Guaido has appointed his own “government” in Venezuela, including directors of the national bank. Guaido wants the gold to remain in the Bank of England vault.

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