The Human Impact

One Hour Eighteen Minutes – a review

One hour, eighteen minutes is the amount of time that remains unaccounted for between a doctor being called to treat Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison and the time Magnitsky, a lawyer, was pronounced dead. It is also the name of a new play by Elena Gremina – a play that portrays accounts, from his supporters and from his own diary entries, of events in the year leading up to his death. The play uses as background official reports that were either public or dug up by supporters.

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old father of two, died just under a year after being held on tax evasion and fraud charges.  Former colleagues say the charges were fabricated by police investigators he had accused of stealing $230 million from the Russian state through fraudulent tax refunds.

While Magnitsky’s death was officially attributed to an undetected illness, the Kremlin’s own human rights council has said he was probably beaten to death.

His story has gained international prominence due to the campaigning efforts of his friends, family and former colleagues.

And U.S. lawmakers, urged on by Magnitsky’s supporters, have drafted legislation named after the lawyer that would impose sanctions on Russian officials involved in human rights violations.

iPhone app helps UK strip-club dancers know their rights

A new iPhone app offers workplace tips for strippers to help them protect themselves against financial exploitation, abuse and a lack of safety.

The “Dancers Information” application and a related website were conceived by researchers after findings from a study of the erotic-dance industry in England and Wales showed that current regulations of nightclubs in the sexual entertainment sector do not automatically address issues of employment status, welfare and security.

Researchers at the University of Leeds surveyed more than 300 women dancers about their working conditions in two separate sets of interviews beginning in 2010-2011, after a new law regulating the sex entertainment industry was introduced in England and Wales in 2009. It was not clear how the law would be implemented, and how it would affect up to 10,000 dancers who researchers said perform in clubs on peak weekend nights.

Architects seek funding for Namibia sandbag igloos

Are sandbag igloos the key to solving housing problems in dry regions?

Architects Nicola Du Pisanie of Stonewood Design and Ross McDonald of Alison Brooks Architects discuss a proposed project to build sandbag, or super adobe, igloo homes in the Namibian desert during a London Festival of Architecture talk at the Building Centre in London.

The geometrical domes are made with sandbags and barbed wire and then plastered for protection. They are not difficult to construct and they are wind and earthquake resistant, according to Du Pisanie and McDonald.

Du Pisanie and McDonald formerly worked with FCBStudios where the “Igloos for the Namib” project was initiated.

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