Wildlife trader awaits sentencing for trafficking Venezuelan men

MAGISTRATE Faith McGusty, on Friday, found a 65-year-old wildlife trader guilty of trafficking two Venezuelan men in 2018.

Feezal Shaw, who operates South American Unlimited at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, was on trial at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

On Friday, he was found guilty of the two charges which read that between February 14 and June 14, 2018, at Soesdyke, he engaged in trafficking in persons and recruited, harboured or transported the two men and did not pay them.

He was remanded to prison until February 24, 2023, when his probation report will be read in court.

According to the facts, on February 14, 2018, the two Venezuelans were invited by Shaw to work in Guyana.

When the men arrived, Shaw told them that they would be building cages for exotic animals.

The victims were paid for the first three days and were not paid again until June 14, 2018. Shaw took away the men’s passports and threatened to report them if they did not comply with his demands.

In 2018, Shaw was slapped with the two human trafficking charges, but they were dismissed in July 2019, by Magistrate Faith McGusty due to insufficient evidence.

Due to new evidence, the case was subsequently reopened and Shaw was charged again.


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Broken ribs and spinal fractures: Brutal case of animal abuse under investigation

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Residents at a St. Clairsville area hotel called the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department when they heard the sounds of a dog being beaten and screaming in pain.

Deputies responded and called in Belmont County Hoof and Paw, who rescued the four-month old Husky pup.

They say a vet exam showed the pup has possible internal injuries consistent with being kicked, as well as numerous fractures.

We confiscated the dog. Based on my assessment that the dog was injured. We took it to the vet and we have found since then that the dog has multiple rib fractures and spine fractures in multiple stages of healing so we know this is not a one-time incident for her.

Julie Larish, Humane Agent, Belmont County Hoof and Paw

Specifically they say the dog, now named Ghost, has ten broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, with possible liver and kidney damage.

The pup, now with Hoof and Paw rescue, faces a long recovery.

Several people have already applied to adopt her.

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Wildlife trader found guilty on human trafficking charges

Wildlife trader, Feezal Shaw, was yesterday found guilty of trafficking in persons following the conclusion of a trial before Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty.

The charges brought against Shaw stated that between February 14th and June 14th, 2018, at Soesdyke, he engaged in trafficking in persons, that is, he recruited, harboured or transported Eduardo Vivas and Jose Rodriguez to work but did not pay them.

Shaw appeared before Magistrate Mc Gusty yesterday in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court and was remanded to prison after she requested that a probation report be done. The matter was adjourned to February 24th.

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Is Canada Finally Putting An End To Cosmetics Animal Testing?

Canada appears to be making progress in its bid to ban animal testing for cosmetics.

The country’s health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, is reportedly developing a formal proposal. It aims to ban the sale of goods that have been tested on animals, or contain ingredients that have.

The proposal will be used to make radical changes to Canada’s Food and Drugs Act. This will then directly impact a vast array of cosmetic products and their manufacture. These will include, but not be limited to hair products, nail varnish, make-up, and body creams. However, no meaningful progress is anticipated before August of this year.

The ramping up of an animal testing ban comes after continued pressure from animal rights groups, including Animal Alliance of Canada. It has repeatedly asked legislators to catch up with a number of other countries. To date, 42 have already outlawed or limited the activity. These include every country in the European Union, Australia, and the UK.

A long campaign

Plans to begin the process of banning cosmetic animal testing have been in the works since at least 2018. Back then, the Canadian Senate showed support for the “Cruelty-free Cosmetics Act.” This was then passed to the House of Commons, where it stalled and was subsequently dropped.

“In his Mandate Letter, the federal Minister of Health committed to introduce legislation to end testing on animals,” Liz White, director of Animal Alliance Canada told Plant Based News.

Animals used for testing being kept in cages
Adobe Stock Animal testing for cosmetics is a controversial practice

“We are hopeful that legislation banning cosmetic animal testing will be tabled in the near future and Canada will join the forty other nations worldwide that have already instituted a ban. This initiative is critically important in fostering a broader discussion about seeking non-animal alternatives to the use of animals in testing specifically and animal research more generally.” 

Canada’s wider stance on animal testing

To this day, it is still legal to test on live animals. Procedures can be carried out for cosmetics, drugs, and other substances with the full support of Canadian law. 

Animals – including mice, rats, rabbits, fish, dogs, and birds – can be subjected to a huge amount of pain, often without pain relief, with many dying as a result.

In 2020, it was reported that more than five million (5,067,778) animals were used in experiments and testing procedures in Canada. This represented an 11.1 percent increase from 2019.

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INTERVIEW/ Former justice minister: Death penalty a tool of the powerful

Hideo Hiraoka has not forgotten the barbs and sneers directed his way over his cautious stance toward ordering death penalties when he was justice minister.

More than a decade after leaving that post, Hiraoka was offended by another comment concerning capital punishment.

Yasuhiro Hanashi was forced to resign as justice minister in November last year after he jokingly said that he served in a “low-profile position that makes headlines only when the minister has stamped an order for executing a death penalty.”

Hiraoka said he was stunned that someone in that Cabinet post could utter such an insensible remark that makes light of human lives.

Born in 1954, Hiraoka joined the Finance Ministry before taking a counselor’s post at the Cabinet Legislation Bureau and serving as a Lower House member with the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan.

He was justice minister under the DPJ-led administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in 2011.

Now a lawyer, Hiraoka is a representative organizer of the Citizens’ Committee to Abolish Capital Punishment.

He shared his thoughts about the death penalty in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun.

Excerpts follow:


Question: What do you think of Hanashi’s remark?

Hiraoka: The death penalty is, needless to say, about taking human lives. The former justice minister quipped about it to provoke laughter from the audience. I was taken aback by the sheer shallowness of it. It was unpardonable.

Q: The Criminal Procedure Law provides that execution of the death penalty shall be ordered by the justice minister. You were in that post for about four months in the DPJ-led Noda administration in 2011. What did you do at the time?

A: When I was taking office as justice minister, I said I wanted to think cautiously about executing the death penalty, although I had yet to decide that capital punishment should be abolished.

For starters, I wanted to stir national debate on whether to maintain the death penalty. That was written in a collection of policies the DPJ had released ahead of the Lower House election of 2009 (that brought the party to power.)

I attempted to set up an expert panel on the matter, but I ended up stepping down as justice minister before a panel was formed.

Q: What was the reaction to your cautious stance on executions?

A: A Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker strongly denounced me in the Diet, saying that executing the death penalty is a “duty” of the justice minister.

But I was convinced that thinking about the death penalty system, including whether to maintain or abolish it, is also an important duty of the justice minister.

Justice Ministry bureaucrats also asked me to think about carrying out death sentences. So I ordered senior ministry officials to present cases where executions were deemed due. I did so partly to ask myself if I was ready to decide on the matter.

They presented two cases where the murderer killed more than one relative. I was told those cases had drawn little social attention, and there were no chances the charges were false.

Q: Where did your consideration of those cases lead?

A: I read thick reams of documents and summoned senior ministry officials for a meeting.

It occurred to me that people who committed similar crimes in countries of the European Union, where there is no death penalty system, did not have their lives taken away. I found it unreasonable that human lives carried different weights in different nations.

I felt a strong need for a broad, national debate on capital punishment, and I could not bring myself to order executions. I am campaigning against the death penalty now because of what I experienced back then.


Q: Let me come back to this question: Why are you against the death penalty?

A: Human lives should be respected more than any other human right. Even the state should not be allowed to take human lives. That should be a basic social norm. And it has yet to be demonstrated scientifically that the death penalty deters crimes.

Postwar Japan has seen four cases where a death-row inmate with a finalized sentence was found not guilty in a retrial. An execution based on a wrong verdict cannot be undone.

Hearings on a retrial request filed by (Iwao) Hakamada, who was given a definitive death sentence on murder and robbery charges, were recently remanded by the Supreme Court to the Tokyo High Court.

The point I have just made would draw attention if the high court were soon to decide that a retrial should be opened.

Q: Is there a global trend for abolishing the death penalty?

A: More than 140 countries have either scrapped the death penalty system or suspended executions.

Of the 38 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japan, the United States and South Korea are the only ones that have capital punishment.

In the United States, the Biden administration has suspended executions on the federal government level, and nearly half of all U.S. states have abolished the death penalty.

Executions have also been suspended for more than two decades in South Korea.

The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling on U.N. members to suspend executions with an eye toward abolishing them.

Q: What punishment do you envisage as an alternative to the death penalty?

A: Some argue there should be life imprisonment with no parole. But such a punishment would leave inmates with nothing to live for. That would be another form of cruel punishment.

I think there should be a form of punishment where parole is considered on a case-by-case basis for inmates who have served a long time.


Q: In four successive government surveys conducted every five years since 2004, more than 80 percent of the respondents said they believed the presence of the death penalty system “cannot be helped.” The government has cited that public opinion as grounds for maintaining capital punishment. What do you think about that?

A: Heinous crimes of the sort committed by the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult tend to boost public support for death penalties. Such events intensify views that split people into either good or evil and deny criminals the chance to be rehabilitated.

I was also personally questioned by a member of the electorate if I was “taking sides with vicious criminals.”

It should be noted, however, that the survey respondents who said the presence of the death penalty “cannot be helped” were asked additional questions. Around 40 percent of them said they believe capital punishment may be abolished in the future if the situation changes.

I believe that careful debate will change public opinion. And for that to happen, the Justice Ministry should disclose more information on the death penalty.


Q: What is your take on the role of politicians toward abolishing the death penalty?

A: It is unrealistic to believe that a decision will be made to scrap the death penalty on the basis of public opinion surveys alone, as we take account of the cases in other countries.

I hope lawmakers and other politicians will engage in active debate among themselves, lead public opinion and set a trend for abolishing the death penalty. And the top leader of the nation should make the final decision on the matter.

Q: In reality, however, politicians appear slow in making such moves. Why is that?

A: The death penalty system is, in fact, a viable tool of government for those in power. Executions are convenient, because they can make it appear as if everything has been settled. But politicians should not be content with that.

Let us ask why heinous crimes have taken place.

There can be various factors, including the criminals’ family environment, education and poverty. Crimes will be repeated unless those genuine causes are addressed and settled.

(This article is based on an interview by Izumi Sakurai.)

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Dolphin skull found in luggage at Detroit airport – WGMD


Customs agents say they discovered a dolphin skull in luggage left at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that agents found the skull last week when they conducted a routine x-ray scan of the luggage, which had been inadvertently separated from owners during transit. The scans revealed the skull of a young dolphin in one of the bags.


According to the CBP, importing or exporting marine mammals is prohibited. The skull was turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators.


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The amazing wildlife of the Mara

There’s always drama in the Mara. It’s the start of another year and the rain falls giving the land respite from the long hot months. A spectacular rainbow arches across the heavy grey sky and a flock of sand grouse drink their fill from the puddles. The male of this amazing chicken-sized bird soaks its feathers in water to carry to the chicks, which then suck on them. Nature is amazing.

A pride of lions dozes by the lugga unfazed by the cars. It’s a handsome black-manned lion with his consorts and cubs. We continue with the game drive through the plains where pops of brilliant red fireball lilies are in bloom. A few spotted hyenas lounge in the puddles of water by the Mara River which is at a low ebb with a fish-shaped sandbar exposed.

Fish-shaped sandbar on Mara River.  Photo | Rupi Mangat

It’s chilly and the hippos seem to feel it too. A huge pod slumbers on the banks of the river and as the eye travels across the earthy waters, what look like logs, turn out to be crocodiles. 

We enter animals seen on Makenya, the mammal app to help scientists map out the distribution of wildlife in real-time to aid in conservation strategies. 

Camouflaged in the upper branches of a lone tree, is an impala. Its neck and legs dangle in the breeze. It can only mean one thing – the leopard is around.

And for sure, she’s sitting in the shrub, holding us spellbound and for a while, it’s only her and us. The following day, she’s still where we left her. This time she strolls halfway to the tree. The excitement builds up as we wait for her to climb the tree. But she changes her mind and walks back to the bush. We wait –maybe she will go up the tree to devour the impala. She stands, walks midway and changes her mind again. 

It’s like she’s having a good time teasing the humans.

After a long wait, we have to concede that she may or may not go up the tree. 

We follow a pair of cheetahs after the leopard. The Mara is a cheetah strong-hold. A long-term study of the Mara cheetahs by Dr Elena Chelysheva the founder of the Mara-Meru Cheetah project shows that at the last survey in 2021, 62 adults were recorded.

Once abundant in Kenya with a population of 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, the global population today of the spotted cat in the wild is down to 7,100.

Lioness moves away from the elephant as she was preparing for a hunt in the Mara. Photo | Rupi Mangat

“The highest number of adults observed in the Mara ecosystem since 2012 was in 2020,” she tells. “There were 72 adults.”

Unfortunately, cheetah numbers continue to decline in the Mara for a number of reasons, the chief amongst them – the space for them to live. 

Our next heart-beating moment is the lioness who walks away from the male, across the dry granite lugga, and further into the horizon. We keep a respectable distance from her. She looks intent on a hunt and we see a family of warthogs. That’s her quarry.

She crouches. Waits. Takes a few more strides. Crouches again, completely camouflaged. The giraffes watch alert but the warthogs seem oblivious. It’s a kill in the making.

But it’s Murphy’s law. A herd of elephants appear, and the young male walks up to her. She has to move out of the way. Alone, she’s no match for him. It’s another day saved for the warthogs.

We stayed at Mara Tipilikwani Camp on the banks of the Talek where every tented abode is named after a visionary figure from Kofi Annan to Jomo Kenyatta.

It’s a small camp with huge luxury canvas tents, which is a spacious en suite with private decks. It’s a 5-minute drive to the Talek gate into the Mara National Reserve.

The Mara has accommodation for all – from campers to budget; from comfortable to ultra-luxury. 

Fly (45 minutes) from Wilson airport with Safarilink or Airkenya or enjoy a six-hour drive through the Great Rift Valley. Ensure you have a sturdy 4-wheel drive.

Please carry binoculars so that you do not get too close to the animals, especially the cats. It disturbs them, sometimes even interrupting their hunt.

Maasai giraffe in the Mara – an endangered species today. Photo | Rupi Mangat

Picnic under the tree – please ensure it’s not with a vulture or eagle’s nest on it. Too much disturbance keeps the parents from feeding the chicks – which may cause them to starve.

The Mara is huge – 1,500 square kilometres. Two nights should be your minimum stay.

Be adventurous if you’re driving – to drive across the Mara, up the escarpment and further to Kisumu on Lake Victoria.


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Four new vegetarian recipes for quick and slow cooking from the Green Kitchen

Over the past 13 years, David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl have gathered something of a cult following with their Green Kitchen Stories blog and a string of successful cookbooks. 

In their latest book, Green Kitchen: Quick & Slow, the pair distil their experiences as food writers and parents into a collection of vegetarian recipes that capture the two very different cooking situations they find themselves in during a typical week.

Some of the recipes come together in a flash, using shortcut ingredients and clever planning, while others take the long road, allowing the cook to relax and unwind. As Frenkiel reminds readers, cooking isn’t always a means to an end. Sometimes, the most joyful experience is the process itself.

Here are some of their favourite recipes, many with suggested swaps to make them vegan-friendly.

Crumbled miso tempeh pasta

If you are in the mood for a light and fresh salad, move along. But if you feel like eating a buttery, salty, crunchy and umami-rich pasta for dinner, keep reading. Tempeh is our go-to protein when we want chewy texture, but it definitely needs good flavouring in order to shine, so we crumble it into bits and let it swim in miso butter and garlic, along with some crunchy hazelnuts. To add a fresh note, we stir in spinach. The result is quick, delicious and comforting.


  • 300g bucatini pasta or spaghetti
  • 80g butter
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 200g natural tempeh, finely chopped or crumbled
  • 50g (⅓ cup) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • roughly chopped parsley
  • grated vegetarian parmesan (optional)
  • lemon zest


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter and miso paste in a saucepan over a low-medium heat, then add the tempeh and hazelnuts, along with the crushed garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the tempeh and hazelnuts are golden all over.
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain it, but reserve 100ml (scant ½ cup) of the cooking water. Add a little of this pasta water to the tempeh mixture if it starts to look dry.
  4. Add the spinach to the tempeh mixture, along with some of the finely chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Take the pan off the heat and add the pasta, then give it a good toss to combine. Divide between 4 plates and top with freshly grated parmesan (if using), along with some lemon zest and more fresh parsley.

Serves 4


Vegetarian parmesan: Some cheeses, such as parmesan and pecorino, use rennet, an enzyme from the stomachs of cows/goats, meaning they are not technically vegetarian. However, there are lots of vegetarian (and vegan) options available using plant-based enzymes.

Make it vegan: Replace the butter with olive oil and skip the cheese.

Slice, chop, drizzle and toss salad (aka tomato, chickpea and feta salad).

This salad only takes seven minutes to make. Photo: David Frenkiel

Slice, chop, drizzle and toss salad (aka tomato, chickpea and feta salad)

During late summer when tomatoes are in season, this seven-minute salad is often both lunch and dinner in our house. It’s packed with flavour, colour and crunch, and doesn’t involve any cooking – just a little slicing, chopping, drizzling and tossing. If you want this to be even more satiating, you can swap the chickpeas for pearl couscous, quinoa or rice.


  • 1 large eschalot (French shallot), thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 300g mixed tomatoes, smaller ones halved and larger ones sliced
  • ½ cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 150g feta, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp zaatar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the shallot in a salad bowl with the garlic and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, feta and chickpeas, then drizzle over the olive oil.
  3. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Add mint, toss again.
  4. Serve topped with the zaatar and a little more mint.



Make it vegan: Swap the feta for a vegan version.

Harissa eggplant and chickpea traybake from Green Kitchen: Quick & Slow by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.
For Good Food, January 2023
Photo rotated for online use.
Photo credit: David Frenkiel

This traybake is great for work lunch the next day. Photo: David Frenkiel

Harissa eggplant and chickpea traybake

Here, big eggplant chunks are tossed in spices and roasted until charred, then covered in a flavourful tomato and harissa sauce and baked. The result is both crunchy and melty, and so, so tasty. To take it to the next level, we top it with crunchy almonds, mint, yoghurt and tahini. It’s delicious. Make it for yourself. Make it for your friends. And if you are lucky enough to have some leftovers, you are going to have the best work lunch the next day.


  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggplants (about 900g), chopped into rough 4cm chunks
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped

For the sauce

  • 300g tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tbsp rose harissa (halve the amount if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 600ml (2½ cups) water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the topping

  • 1 lemon
  • 250ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp light tahini
  • 50g (⅓ cup) roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan-forced (220C conventional).
  2. Mix the spices with the salt and oil in a small bowl. Place the eggplants and onions in a large, high-sided roasting pan (about 25cm x 35cm). Drizzle over the spiced oil and use your hands to mix everything together. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, place all the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  4. When the eggplants have been roasting for about 30 minutes, add the chickpeas and apricots to the tray, then pour over the sauce. Mix well and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the yoghurt, then season with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges.
  6. Remove the traybake from the oven and dollop the yoghurt over the top, then drizzle with tahini. Scatter over the almonds and mint and serve with the lemon wedges. This is delicious with pita breads, quinoa, rice or cous cous to mop up the sauce.

Serves 8

Yoghurt and oat flatbread from Green Kitchen: Quick & Slow by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.
For Good Food, January 2023
Photo rotated for online use.
Photo credit: David Frenkiel

Flatbread is arguably the easiest bread you can make. Photo: David Frenkiel

Yoghurt and oat flatbread

Flatbread is arguably the easiest bread you can make, since you only need two main ingredients (flour and liquid), no oven and no proofing time. You can use regular flour here, but oat flour gives it a slightly heartier flavour. 


  • 100g (1 cup) oat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125ml (½ cup) Turkish yoghurt (or any other plain yoghurt)
  • olive oil, for brushing

For the toppings

  • 250ml (1 cup) Turkish yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp zaatar
  • 4-8 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 120ml (½ cup) The Green Sauce (see recipe below)


  1. In a bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking powder and salt. Add the yoghurt and stir until it comes together into a sticky ball. Cover with a plastic bag or cling film and leave for 15 minutes (this will make it easier to roll).
  2. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and on to a clean work surface dusted with oat flour. Shape into a ball. If it feels too sticky, you can dust it with a little extra oat flour.
  3. Divide the dough equally into 4 and shape each piece into a ball. One by one, roll them out into oval discs about 5mm thick. Place them in the plastic bag or cling film you used earlier so they don’t dry out.
  4. Place a cast-iron pan over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, brush the pan with a little bit of olive oil, then add the first flatbread. Fry for about 2 minutes on the first side, or until it looks golden with dark spots, then turn and fry on the other side for a further minute. Wrap in a cloth or clean tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest.
  5. To assemble, spread a thick layer of yoghurt on each flatbread and sprinkle generously with the zaatar. Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the top, then drizzle with The Green Sauce. Cut into slices and dig in.

Serves 2-4


Plain flour works too: You can make the flatbreads with regular plain flour using exactly the same measurements and method.

The Green Sauce

For fun we originally called this Green Sauce #357, because we have made and shared so many similar yet slightly different green sauces over the years. In plant-based cooking, it is just so helpful to have a good green sauce recipe on hand. This takes inspiration from the Argentinian sauce chimichurri. Feel free to play around with different herbs and see which combo you like best.


  • 2 large handfuls of mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander and dill
  • 3-4 slices of jarred jalapeno in brine (or fresh)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 125ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey


  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely mixed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the herbs, jalapeno and garlic and mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, or simply pound everything together using a pestle and mortar. Taste and add more salt, acidity, herbs or oil if needed.
  2. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight jar.

Makes 1 x 250ml jar

This is an edited extract from Green Kitchen: Quick & Slow by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $45, available in stores nationally. Photography: David Frenkiel. Buy now

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Lawsuit accusing private prisons in Arizona of slavery now before top appeals court

A lawsuit from civil rights organizations accusing private prisons in Arizona of practicing slavery is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals amid a broad left-wing pushback against the use of private prisons and immigrant detention centers.

The lawsuit, led by the NAACP, was initially filed in 2020 against the Arizona Department of Corrections, arguing the state is violating the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of slavery.

The suit argues the use by the state of private prisons involves “substituting a prisoner-corporation relationship for a state-prisoner relationship by relegating prisoners to the status of human inventory and making prisoners slaves to the private prison corporations; attenuating government protection, oversight, safety, and wellbeing of prisoners within the private prisons; and creating financial incentives to design and operate facilities that incarcerate more people for longer periods of time.”

The state argued that the lawsuit is mounting a “general attack on the use of private prisons and relies on speculation that private operators may engage in unconstitutional conduct or have engaged in such conduct in non-ADCRR-contracted facilities in the past and that they may be harmed if the operators behave as they have alleged.”


The lawsuit is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Arizona Central reported at that time that about 8,000 inmates of an overall population of around 40,000 were incarcerated in private jails. A federal court dismissed the lawsuit, and an appeal is now before the traditionally liberal Ninth Circuit. The plaintiffs hope the case reaches the Supreme Court.

A number of briefs have been filed in favor and against the lawsuit. On the plaintiff’s side, briefs filed by left-wing and civil rights groups argue that the reintroduction of private prisons is a callback to racist practices from the 19th century and that such prisons have greater racial disparities and worse conditions. 


“Today, attempts to evade the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery are being tested again using private, for-profit corporations who bid for, buy and sell, and extort prison labor from U.S. citizen prisoners, many of whom are African American,” a brief by the professors and graduates of the University of Arkansas Little Rock states.

An amicus brief filed by Latino Justice noted some private facilities are used to house immigrants and claimed the centers include “glaring racial disparities.”

“These centers overwhelmingly detain Black and Latino people who have not been accused of any crime, but are instead held for alleged violations of civil immigration law,” it says.

President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues in Los Angeles. 

President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues in Los Angeles. 
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The brief also notes that the Biden administration has pledged to shut down a number of private immigration detention centers. The administration has been aiming to rely on Alternatives to Detention, and the number of immigrants in custody across the U.S. remains low. 

California banned for-profit prisons in 2019, including for-profit immigration detention centers.

A separate brief by the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Center argues the system is exacerbated by detention quotas that undermine due process for those in custody.


“The same companies profiting from the mass incarceration system have capitalized on the mass detention of immigrants, leading some scholars to compare incarceration of Black men in the ‘new Jim Crow’ with the increased use of for-profit detention to hold immigrants, many of whom are Latinx,” the brief says.

Other groups have pushed back in support of Arizona. The Day 1 Alliance, which emphasizes the importance of the private sector in American life, argues that the private sector operation of prisons is beneficial for the inmates and society in general.

A lawsuit alleges prisons in Arizona are practicing slavery.

A lawsuit alleges prisons in Arizona are practicing slavery.

They argue the use of private sector prisons is subject to multiple levels of oversight, often embedded in their government contracts, and reject the idea that contractors will cut corners to pursue greater profits. It also notes the use of substance counseling and educational and vocational programs to help reduce recidivism rates.

“Private sector contractors are able to maintain lower costs because their size and experience enable them to take advantage of economies of scale in their purchasing power for such essentials as clothing, food, health care services, hygiene items and various other services and supplies,” they say.

They also argue that the language of Arizona’s statutes, which say a proposal for a contract cannot be accepted until it offers cost savings, results in a “detailed statutory scheme (that) mandates cost savings while maintaining service quality, which benefits the taxpayer while causing no detriment to incarcerated individuals.”

“The required cost savings that are realized through utilizing private sector contractors are designed to combat the enormous strain placed on government budgets by increases in the number of incarcerated individuals,” the alliance argues.

It cited data that contractor-operation facilities cost $64.65 per inmate per day compared to $80.20 per day for their public counterparts. 

Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs holds a campaign event at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 headquarters Nov. 5, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz.

Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs holds a campaign event at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 headquarters Nov. 5, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz.
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The brief accuses the plaintiffs of “hurling baseless insults at these private sector contractors, filled with hyperbole and fictitious assertions that are devoid of factual validity.” 

“The reality is that the efforts of these private sector contractors should be lauded and replicated, including their goal of improving the lives of the inmates who cross the thresholds of the facilities that they operate,” they say.


The case comes as Gov. Katie Hobbs on Wednesday announced the creation of a commission to study problems in Arizona’s prisons, including staffing levels and the health care offered to those behind bars.

The creation of the commission by Hobbs, Arizona’s first Democratic governor since 2009, came several days after she ordered a separate review of the state’s death penalty protocols. 

“We cannot deny there is an urgent need to provide transparency and accountability in Arizona corrections system,” Hobbs said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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