Category Archives: Images

View To Grenfell Tower, West London [VIDEO] 

LONDON, England – On June 14th a 24-story public housing apartment building caught fire killing at least 80. A faulty freezer-fridge in an apartment sparked the blaze, but police say flammable insulation and exposed gas pipes along the building’s only staircase fueled it. The death toll is expected to rise, so it’s no wonder police say they are considering filing manslaughter charges against one or several dozens of companies, firms and council officials involved in a 2014 renovation in which design trumped safety. The 70s built tower dominates a neighborhood that’s since gentrified.#grenfelltower #london #westlondon #portobello #gentrification #uk #kensington 

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Adventures in Eldercare 

I spent the last several weeks in Tucson helping my mother transition to “independent living” after she’d suffered a mild heart attack and stroke. 

The first takeway – in Tucson (and probably in most retirement communities) elder care is not a service, it’s an industry. 

Before her discharge from the hospital a case manager told me my mother needed after care. Without hesitation she recommended a company. Let’s call it Total Geriatric Solutions. (Looking back I realize the case worker didn’t offer me a choice). I’d viewed Total Geriatric Solutions (TGS) as a temporary solution until I found a more professional one. These caregivers spent most of the time at my mother’s playing with their smart phones. As time went on one in particular began triangulating my mother and me. When I announced we’d found another company, she said,” You ain’t gotta speak to your daughter. You’re not incapacitated, and you have your rights.” The owners threatened to sue. As to my role as Power of Attorney they said they’d first need to scrutinize the “verbiage” of the legal document before deciding. 

I looked up the owners of TGS on LinkedIn — they appeared all of 30 years-old. Their last jobs were listed as store managers of Best Buy and T-Mobile. They were strictly business. #moms #eldercare #tucson #arizona 

Photo: with my step-brother, mother, and sales lady at the senior living community

2016 in Images 

Sailing dhows made of garbage, crusaders, flying low over a baobab-packed forest, guerrilla warfare, Maulidi festival, tattooed and “bearded badasses”.

This year I seemed to be at a loss for words.  For most of last year I stayed in Lamu. I wanted to keep a close eye on a military operation.

Pate island

Lamu town

KDF soldiers on beach President Uhuru’s security detail for his visit to Lamu, January, 2016

Wahabi mosque



Dubai
London

U.S. President Barak Obama’s trip to Kenya, July 2015

  

  
  
 

President's Cadillac called The Beast
President’s Cadillac, ‘The Beast’
Kenyan Security Personnal , left, and U.S. security peraonnal, right secure the area at Kenytta International Airport before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, arrives in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday, May 3, 2015.  Kerry is visiting Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Djibouti on his trip. (AP Photo/SAyyid Azim)
Kenyan Security Personnal , left, and U.S. security peraonnal, right secure the area at Kenytta International Airport before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, arrives in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday, May 3, 2015. Kerry is visiting Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Djibouti on his trip. (AP Photo/SAyyid Azim)
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Trip to South Sudan 2015

March, 2015

I’d been on the hunt for former U.S. security firm Blackwater owner, Erik Prince, for Newsweek. At the time Prince’s Malta-based logistics company, Frontier Services Group, was sending supplies and repairing oil production facilities. Contrary to some reports, sources said he’d also been training police and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army – SPLA – to fight rebel leader Riek Machar and to protect Chinese-owned oil fields. The U.N. spokesman at the time was not keen to host me  apparently because a Newsweek had published an article three months previously that reflected poorly on the U.N.. They seemed to try just about everything to dissuade me from heading to the Upper Nile state, the only region producing oil at the time. I stubbornly persisted and they eventually relented. UNMISS turned out to be particularly accommodating.

Erik Prince has since pulled out of South Sudan.

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Armed civilian

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DEFENSE MINISTRY P1170887-2
South Sudan’s Ministry of Defense

 

Op enduring towel
“Enduring towel” that a gentleman stationed at a South Sudan military base loaned me for two nights.

 

Juba
View from an expensive Juba hotel – a microcosm of the divide between Africa’s elite and impoverished accelerated by international intergovernmental organizations.  Beyond the corrugated tin squalor is the leafy compound of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

 

Juba's Hummers

 

Paloich
Chinese State-owned oil production facility.

 

POISON WATERS P1170673-4
Acres of oil tailing ponds containing toxic waters spill into the Nile River each rainy season, killing wildlife. Though workers with Chinese state-owned companies claim to deliver potable water to residents frequently, illnesses from drinking contaminated river water are still reported.

 

Dink IDP camp
Dinka IDP camp, where there are schools. UNHCR provides health care, women whose husbands were killed during the 2013 civil workshops are taught quilt and bead making  by Kenyans.
A Nuer IDP camp I visited was cramped and lacking in proper health care as compared with a Dinka camp. Dozens live in a small compound in open spaces. Intimacy is more or less impossible.
A Nuer IDP camp I visited near an oil production facility was cramped and lacking in proper health care. Dozens live in a small compound in open spaces, lacking privacy. Intimacy is nearly impossible and child birth is made public.

A Nuer IDP camp I visited was cramped and lacking in proper health care as compared with a Dinka camp. Dozens live in a small compound in open spaces. Intimacy is more or less impossible.

WILDLIFE SOUTH SUDAN
Flying over Bandingilo National Park with directors of Wildlife Conservation Society. Check out my feature for The Daily Beast about wildlife and charcoal poaching by South Sudan’s military.
Sad about Cecil? These Animals are being Slaughtered by the Thousands