AJ+ is a unique digital news and storytelling project promoting human rights and equality, holding power to account, and amplifying the voices of the powerless.
Jun 25 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
Over 26,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean since 2014.
That is likely an undercount. Many of their deaths are not reported.
Here are some of their names, faces and stories:
Ghalib and Alan Kurdi (aged 5 and 2), drowned off Turkey with their mother, Rehanna, after fleeing Syria.
A photo of Alan’s body on the beach sparked public outcry, but Europe has been increasingly hostile to refugees since.
Feb 21 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
The U.S. launched a racist eugenics program in Puerto Rico in the 1930s — sterilizing about one third of Puerto Rican women by 1976, many forced or coerced.
It was just one chapter of U.S. colonial eugenics programs and medical experiments targeting women of color. 🧵(1/8)
The U.S. approved forced sterilization in Puerto Rico in 1937 for what it called "overpopulation."
U.S. land theft and exploitation plunged the island into poverty. Health workers coerced people seeking contraception — mostly targeting Black and brown women — into sterilization.
Feb 20 • 7 tweets • 3 min read
BREAKING: A 6.3 earthquake hit the Turkey-Syria border, two weeks after the devastating earthquake.
No new casualties were immediately reported but witnesses report damage. Turkey has reported over 6,000 aftershocks since the February 6 earthquake killed over 46,000 people.
The Feb. 6 earthquake made over 1 million homeless in Turkey alone:
▪️ over 20,000 buildings collapsed
▪️ over 105,000 buildings need demolition
The government has been criticized for lax regulations. An ex-minister says that as of 2018, half of all buildings broke regulation.
Feb 15 • 9 tweets • 5 min read
The UK and the U.S. forcibly displaced an entire Indigenous population from the Chagos Islands to build a military base.
Chagossians were never paid reparations or significant compensation. A new @hrw report accuses both countries of crimes against humanity. 🧵
The Chagos Islands are the UK's last African colony.
Most inhabitants were descendants of African and South Asian people enslaved or indentured to work on coconut plantations.
The UK evicted them in the 1960s to build a U.S. base in exchange for discounts on nuclear weapons.
Feb 13 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
Deaths from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria have surpassed 36,000.
Rescuers are "digging with our nails" to reach survivors — some still being found after 7 days under rubble.
But the UN warns deaths may eventually double, and survivors in northwest Syria "feel abandoned."
Turkey issued 100+ arrest warrants to developers and engineers over earthquake building collapses.
The government has been blamed for slow response, with hundreds of thousands homeless — some say they have not eaten in days.
An est. 200,000 people are still under the rubble.
Feb 9 • 12 tweets • 9 min read
Deaths from the Turkey-Syria earthquake have now surpassed 17,500.
Rescuers say the window to find more survivors under the rubble has likely passed, but families are still digging.
Many are sleeping in the street in freezing cold, waiting for state help: "No one has come."
The first aid trucks entered rebel-held Syria, 3 days after the earthquake.
The area houses millions displaced by government airstrikes, who were already suffering from poverty, food shortages and cholera.
Survivors are sleeping in streets or fields: "Where else can we go?"
Feb 8 • 10 tweets • 7 min read
The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has now passed 11,200.
The quake hit areas home to millions of refugees. In rebel-held Syria, rescuers say hundreds are trapped under each building — with just a few people to pull them out.
"People are dying every second."
Earthquake survivors are sleeping outside in freezing cold — over 150,000 were made homeless in Turkey alone.
Thousands are Syrian refugees. One family lost a home they spent 7 years building after fleeing to Turkey:
"There was a war, we escaped, and now ... we have nothing."
Feb 7 • 9 tweets • 6 min read
Deaths from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria passed 5,000.
Up to 23 million people could be impacted, including millions of displaced Syrians and refugees already reliant on humanitarian aid.
The WHO says deaths may pass 20,000 amid freezing conditions and building collapses.
Turkey has reported nearly 6,000 building collapses and dozens of aftershocks since the earthquake.
At least 3,549 people there have died.
Thousands are in tents in freezing conditions, waiting for news of trapped family or fearing more collapses: "We're too scared to return."
Feb 6 • 10 tweets • 8 min read
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed over 1,500 people in Turkey and Syria, with hundreds still believed to be trapped under rubble.
The quake and a second 7.5 earthquake hit areas where hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees live.
Rain and cold are hampering rescue efforts.
In Syria, at least 582 people were killed after a 7.8 earthquake.
The quake hit an area where millions of displaced people live in tents or war-damaged buildings.
A survivor of a collapsed building in Aleppo said: "There were 12 families under there. Not a single one came out."
Jan 27 • 12 tweets • 5 min read
Police have killed at least 3,530 people in the U.S. since 2020.
They kill Black people at disproportionate rates — nearly 300% more than white people — despite Black people being just around 14% of the U.S. population.
These are some of the unarmed people killed by police. 🧵
Clando Anitok, 25
William Howard Green, 43
Jaquyn Oneill Light, 20
Lindy Bowie, 30
Stephen O’Brien, 20
James Salazar, age unknown
Manuel Ellis, 33
Christopher Palmer, 37
Barry Gedeus, 27
Kenneth Mullins, 32
Brian Marksberry, 31
Aaron Tolen, 37
Pablo Elias, 44
Donnie Sanders, 47
Jan 26 • 6 tweets • 3 min read
India used emergency powers to ban a #BBCDocumentary critical of PM Narendra Modi's role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which about 1,000 Muslims were killed.
A UK govt report said the riots had all the "hallmarks of an ethnic cleansing" and held Modi "directly responsible." 🧵
The 2002 Gujarat riots broke out after 59 Hindu pilgrims died in a train that caught fire.
Violent Hindu mobs blamed Muslims and:
▪️killed ~1,000 Muslims
▪️destroyed 20K Muslim homes + businesses
One Indian govt investigation said the fire was an accident.
Jan 26 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
Israeli forces killed at least 9 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including an elderly woman. The raid at the Jenin refugee camp is one of Israel's deadliest in years.
At least 29 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this month, including at least 5 children.
Israeli forces blocked ambulances and fired tear gas at a hospital, choking children, health officials say.
At least 9 Palestinians were killed and 20 others wounded.
Jenin is the target of near-daily Israeli raids. 15 of 29 Palestinians killed this year were from there.
Jan 22 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
SCOTUS recognized a woman’s right to bodily autonomy 50 years ago today with Roe v. Wade.
Last year, it overturned its landmark ruling, pushing the fight for those rights back half a century.
It’s been 7 months since the #Dobbs decision. This is how women have fared.🧵
At least 13 states have banned or severely restricted abortions since the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022.
Legal abortions dropped 95% in states with strict laws, especially affecting women of color who:
▪️have high abortion rates
▪️face many pregnancy-related deaths & health risks
Dec 28, 2022 • 9 tweets • 5 min read
Brazil's leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva returns to power on Jan. 1.
Who is #Lula? And what might his return to the presidency mean for low-income people in Brazil, Amazon deforestation and even Palestinian statehood? 🧵
Lula first came to power in 2003, after decades as a union organizer.
The son of farmers, he was a metal worker by 14.
His first presidency's social welfare programs lifted millions from poverty, targeting high-poverty groups, farmers and Indigenous/Afro-Brazilian communities.
Palestinians live under Israeli military occupation:
▪️ West Bank: surrounded by 200+ illegal settlements, 700+ barriers/checkpoints
▪️ Gaza: blockaded for 15 years, 50% live in poverty
▪️ East Jerusalem: face forced displacement
In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians face huge restrictions on movement, surrounded by illegal settlements, checkpoints and Jewish-only roads.
▪️ conduct near-daily raids
▪️ killed 140+ Palestinians in 2022
▪️ destroyed homes of 3,100+ Palestinians since 2020
Nov 15, 2022 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
There are now roughly 8 billion people in the world, per the UN, with 1 billion added in just the past 12 years.
The climate crisis and global conflicts are:
▪️ forcing up to 828M into hunger
▪️ displacing 100M+
A 🧵on how #population explosion affects the most vulnerable:
About 47% of the world’s population lives in water-scarce areas.
In the Horn of Africa alone, 37M face starvation. The climate crisis has caused the region’s worst drought in 40 years.
Nearly 60% of the world is set to live in water-scarce areas by 2050, says the UN.
Nov 15, 2022 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
Israel says it won't cooperate in a reported U.S. investigation on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist #ShireenAbuAkleh. The U.S. has not yet confirmed the probe.
Israeli soldiers shot Shireen in May as she wore a press vest. Israel refused a criminal investigation.
Israeli forces have killed at least 45 journalists since 2000, say Palestinians.
0 Israeli soldiers were charged for killing them.
140+ journalists have been badly wounded by Israeli live fire and other weapons since 2018, some injuries resulting in amputation and blindness.
Oct 24, 2022 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
In the United Kingdom, the last few prime ministers were initially chosen by just 0.3% of voters (or less).
Here's why: 🧵
The UK PM is not chosen by all voters — usually only by members of the ruling political party or its MPs.
Currently, that is 150,000+ Conservative Party members (0.3% of all voters), who are overwhelmingly older, richer and more often male and white than the average voter.
Oct 21, 2022 • 8 tweets • 4 min read
The British royals have an est. $34.3B in assets, with #KingCharles set to receive ~$500M without paying inheritance tax.
At its peak, the British empire colonized parts of every continent but Antarctica and subjugated 1 out of 5 people on Earth.
A 🧵on its destructive impact:
One major source of Britain’s wealth was the slave trade — it enslaved 6M West Africans in a little over 100 years.
It compensated slave owners with around $21B after it outlawed slavery in 1834.
Descendants of enslaved people were not paid reparations.
Oct 19, 2022 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Texas schools are sending children home with DNA kits so parents can identify them "in case of an emergency."
After the Uvalde shooting, parents had to provide such samples to identify victims. Texas' GOP rejected calls for reform and expanded the right to carry guns in public.
The Uvalde gunman used an AR-15 he legally bought at age 18 to kill 19 children and 2 adults.
Victims' families called on Texas to raise the min. age to buy guns, but Gov. Abbott instead pushed to relax gun laws and claimed banning sales to people under 21 is "unconstitutional."
Oct 19, 2022 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
The U.S. called for international forces to be deployed in Haiti as the country faces protests over inflation, a cholera outbreak and a political crisis.
The U.S. has invaded Haiti before. 100+ years ago, it massacred thousands and stole its wealth to secure U.S. interests. 🧵
Haiti took its independence in 1804 by rebelling against slave owners, becoming the world's first Black republic.
▪️ France forced it to pay slave owners compensation, plunging it into debt
▪️ The U.S. isolated it, fearing similar revolts by enslaved people