Homelessness is becoming more visible in in Rome as increasing numbers are forced to camp outside. Reuters visits a small group camped out on the banks of Rome’s historic Tiber River, using wood, cardboard and plastic tarpaulins to create temporary shelter. Rome is home to 15% of Italy’s homeless population. Many of those staying in the camps travelled to Italy in search of work. With no residency papers, and few employment prospects, they have little choice but to brave the elements.
Over four years, two Syrian technicians have made and fitted about 5,000 prosthetic limbs for 2,500 victims injured during the bloody conflict in their country. A new mobile clinic promises to help more people, young and old. Reuters speaks to two young amputees whose new prosthetics have helped help them walk, play, and even herd sheep again. "I was depressed, but when my dad told me I was going to walk again, I was very happy," says nine-year-old Salma, who stepped on a landmine when walking through a field to visit her grandfather.
The Netherlands is the largest exporter of cut flowers in the world. But for one suspected mafia member, the famous Royal FloraHolland flower market near Amsterdam was a front for allegedly concealing drugs worth millions of dollars alongside the fragrant bouquets he trucked to Italy. Police and prosecutors say the case sheds new light on the ’Ndrangheta – the Calabrian mafia – and the way it has spread its tentacles from southern Italy into dozens of countries across five continents. But is lead suspect Vincenzo Crupi an infamous mafia mobster or innocent flower trader?
Homer, Euripides and Virgil are doing weekly stints in American prisons in an attempt to cut recidivism rates. Their classic works are being read by inmates enrolled in Ivy League university courses designed to boost employment for convicts upon release. “Knowing I was going to get a Columbia education was actually more exciting than hearing I was going home after doing 25 years,” says an inmate at Taconic Correctional Facility in New York. Reuters discovers how the programme is helping to reduce reoffending amid cuts to prison education funding.
When it comes to wrestling, Japan is best known for its heavyweight Sumo fighters. But American Kris Hernandez fell in love with the tough and dramatic world of Japanese women's pro wrestling. She tells Reuters how she became the first foreigner to train from scratch and compete in the colourful sport, which is also proving to be an outlet for many wrestlers in a country where women are usually expected to be demure and cute.
Homeless individuals are at risk of developing age-related health conditions far earlier than those in housing, according to a recent American study. It found that homeless people in their 50s reported health complaints more commonly associated with people over 75, including cognitive problems, urinary incontinence and falls. Reuters asks health care experts about the reasons behind this report’s alarming findings.
Shortages of essential drugs, mostly generic medicines whose patents have long expired, are increasing globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests minimum prices may be needed to keep some products on the market. Reuters investigates how a rise in drug shortages, and decrease in cost of generic drugs, has affected manufactures and suppliers, and in turn created a worryingly fragile supply chain. The problems are particularly hitting medicines such as chemotherapy treatments and some antibiotics.
Fitness is big business in South Africa, but it’s out of reach for many in the country’s poorest townships. South African bodybuilding champion Tumi Masite is determined to give poor South Africans a chance to lead healthier – and more prosperous – lives. His affordable gyms in Johannesburg's townships are open to everyone, and offer more than just bodybuilding, he says. But can important social enterprises and businesses like Masite’s survive when essential government aid remains limited?
Single parents are common in Brazil but doctors on the frontline of the Zika outbreak are concerned about how many mothers of babies with microcephaly are being abandoned. Some blame Brazil's macho culture while others say there is not a strong enough support network for fathers of children born with the condition. Reuters meets the single parents struggling to cope.
Patrols on the Mekong River by the Laotian army and Myanmar police may have subdued pirates targeting cargo ships but drug production and trafficking in the region, known as the Golden Triangle, is booming. Reuters took a trip down the Mekong with The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discover the steps being made to combat the Golden Triangle's raging drug industry. Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC's Asia-Pacific chief said drug revenues are so great that: "It's like having an undeclared sovereign state in your midst with no borders and lots of money."
More than 1.2 million refugees have poured into Europe in the past year, though few have entered Spain, due in part to its economic crisis. Reuters meets one of those who ended up in Seville. Howard Jackson is a well-known colourful character who fled to Spain from a civil war in Liberia 20 years ago. He spent years hawking tissues at traffic lights dressed in a series of colourful costumes to make money, but is now pursuing a career in law. This is his story.
On March 17, SeaWorld announced it would end its captive breeding of killer whales, or orcas. The theme park’s treatment of the animals was thrown in the spotlight three years ago by Blackfish, a documentary examining the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by an orca. The film sparked a campaign on social media demanding SeaWorld end its orca breeding program. Reuters spoke to the documentary’s director about the impact of Blackfish.
Undeterred by dwindling numbers of living suspects, Germany's top Nazi hunter is determined to keep tracking down criminals involved in Hitler's murder machine for another decade. A handful of new Auschwitz-related trials are underway in Germany, but one has already stalled due to the frail health of its defendant, who is over 90. Jens Rommel tells Reuters his work is getting more difficult every year and yields only modest results. But it still matters, say victims’ relatives.
Faced with power blackouts lasting anything from eight to 12 hours a day, residents and businesses in Gaza are increasingly turning to the sun to supply their energy needs. As solar panels prices decrease, schools, hospitals, shops, banks and even mosques across the Gaza Strip have started to install them on their roofs. Not only are solar panels more reliable and cheaper in the long run, but in some cases, they have become essential to staying alive, reports Reuters.
The average woman in the U.S. spends $70 a year on tampons and pads, if they can afford it. Rising costs, along with a stubborn stigma attached to menstruation, mean many women and girls often miss work or school because they cannot afford sanitary products. Women's advocates say budgets for homeless shelters, schools, prisons and public restrooms should start providing free tampons and sanitary napkins. Reuters speaks to two young teenagers who are part of a growing national movement of non-profit organisations acting to address the inequities and stigma that still surrounds menstruation.
In 2011, a magnitude nine earthquake and towering tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people along Japan's northeastern coast and left more than 2,500 missing. Today, people still comb the area in a desperate search for lost family members. But the accident still hampers their efforts. High levels of radiation mean some areas can only be entered 30 times each year, for just five hours per visit. Undeterred, relatives of the missing share their heart-breaking stories as photographer Toru Hanai follows their hunt for closure.
Republican presidential front-runner, property tycoon Donald Trump continues to dominate his rivals on the campaign trial, winning support with his incendiary rhetoric. After turning a blind eye to Trump’s rise in popularity, his own party seem to have woken up to the potential reality of President Trump, and are now scrambling to apply the brakes. But will it be a case of too little too late? Reuters investigates why the Republican Party left it so long to act.
Modern cancer drugs supercharge immune systems, target specific gene mutations and pack modified viruses into vaccines. But a prospective new treatment, discovered by accident, stands out for its simplicity. Rose Bengal, a cheap industrial chemical that turns yarn and food bright red, has the ability to dissolve tumours, rendering the need for lasers obsolete. Now, some scientists are looking at its potential to fight various forms of cancer.
Reuters investigates the inner workings of the multi-billion-euro smuggling networks that are fuelling Europe’s migrant crisis. Most of the billions of dollars people-smuggling generates every year is raised and transferred by migrants’ and refugees’ relatives around the world. So far, the global networks has mostly eluded law enforcement. The harrowing story of one family from Eritrea, now spread across continents, shows the price people are willing to pay for family and freedom.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is demanding the global break up of big banks. While no senior bankers want to be split up or downsized, many acknowledge that their institutions might be better off smaller and simpler. Yet there could be major barriers to restructuring, they say. Senior bankers tell Reuters they are struggling with the costs and restrictions they face as a result of new post-financial crisis regulations, as well as a weak global economy and troubled financial markets.