The International Committee of the Red Cross says its code of conduct bans paying for sexual services.

International Red Cross says 21 staffers paid for sexual services


An additional two staff members suspected of sexual misconduct didn’t have their contracts renewed, Yves Daccord, the ICRC’s director-general, said in a statement Friday.

“This behavior is a betrayal of the people and the communities we are there to serve. It is against human dignity and we should have been more vigilant in preventing this,” Daccord said.

The revelation comes as other aid organizations have been hit by allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation by aid workers.

Haiti on Thursday suspended Oxfam Great Britain from operating in the Caribbean country after reports of sexual misconduct by some of the aid group’s employees. Save the Children apologized for inappropriate behavior by a former chief executive toward female staff, promising a fresh review into the charity’s “organizational culture.”

Daccord said staffers are “contractually bound by the ICRC’s code of conduct” that bans the purchase of sexual services.

“This ban, in place since 2006, applies worldwide and at all times, including in locations where prostitution is legal, as the ICRC believes that staff paying for sex is incompatible with the values and mission of the organization.”

The ICRC — which has more than 17,000 staff members worldwide — is concerned that some incidents have gone unreported while others have been reported but not dealt with correctly.

Daccord said he has “contacted other humanitarian organizations with the aim of addressing issues that require a collective effort,” including stopping offenders from transferring from one agency to another.

Save the Children promises review after claims against former CEO

“I am committed to fostering an ICRC culture that encourages staff to prevent, detect and report misconduct. All allegations are investigated. People must feel safe and empowered to raise concerns, and we have encouraged staff to make use of a dedicated, confidential email address to do so,” he said.

“It is so important that the silence that has surrounded this issue has been shattered. This is a watershed moment for the humanitarian sector as a whole. We owe it to the people we serve to behave with absolute integrity.”

‘It’s a large-scale problem’

British lawmakers this week heard details about sexual exploitation and abuse across the international aid sector. They met in special session to discuss the Oxfam scandal.
Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children, said the scandal surrounding Oxfam’s operations in Haiti, where senior staff were found to have used prostitutes, isn’t something that has just happened once.

“We have to recognize that this is not the occasional bad apple but a structural sectorwide problem,” Watkins told the House of Commons International Development Committee. “This is a real problem; it is systemic, it’s a large-scale problem, and we have to fix it.”

Other aid groups are grappling with sexual misconduct allegations in their ranks and have fired and disciplined staff.

The United Nations also has been hit with allegations of abuse. In 2016, the global organization said it had received 145 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse — 80 of which were associated with uniformed peacekeepers and 65 with civilian personnel.

A 2017 UN report on the issue said sexual exploitation has been a problem for years, compounded by weakly enforced hiring standards and lack of a screening system of candidates for a prior history of related misconduct.

Register for aid workers urged

Oxfam’s embattled chief executive, Mark Goldring, apologized to British lawmakers for his organization’s conduct in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Sexual exploitation is widespread in the global aid sector, UK lawmakers told

He said Tuesday that about 7,000 people have stopped making regular donations to Oxfam since the Times of London newspaper first reported on the allegations. Goldring also said the charity has received around 26 fresh accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation since the scandal broke.

“It was common knowledge that this was going on across the sector, and no one knew how to deal with it,” said Pauline Latham, a Conservative member of Parliament.

“I’m sure this is happening in Rohingya aid camps, I am sure it is happening round the world,” she said, referring to the Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar.

Latham urged the establishment of an international register for aid workers.

Oxfam whistleblower says charity and regulator failed to act on sex abuse allegations

An internal Oxfam investigation from 2011 published this week confirmed seven of the charity’s staff members were accused of using prostitutes at a residence in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Four were fired for gross misconduct, and three others were allowed to resign.

Haiti, which has criticized the UK charity for not notifying it of the findings, is now conducting its own investigation.

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s executive director, said that women often end up being punished in countries such as Haiti where prostitution is illegal if authorities are notified.

CNN’s Hilary Clarke, Bijan Hosseini and Nada Bashir contributed to this report.



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UNICEF Deputy Director Justin Forsyth in 2016. He resigned this week.

UNICEF Deputy Director Justin Forsyth resigns after inappropriate behavior claims


Forsyth said Thursday he was not resigning from the United Nations children’s agency because of “mistakes” he made at Save the Children, but because of the “danger of damaging” the aid organizations and their cause.

In a statement Tuesday, the international charity said Forsyth was twice subject to investigation after complaints from three women.

On both occasions, the investigation led to “unreserved” apology from the chief executive and “the matters were closed,” the statement said.

According to the BBC, which first reported the claims, Forsyth allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to young female staff about what they were wearing and how he felt about them.

Forsyth left the charity at the end of January 2016 to take up a role as the deputy executive director at UNICEF.

Announcing his departure in a statement on Twitter, Forsyth said: “I want to make clear I am not resigning from UNICEF because of the mistakes I made at Save the Children. They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago. I apologized unreservedly at the time and face to face. I apologize again.”
Sexual exploitation is widespread in the global aid sector, UK lawmakers told
The Save the Children accusations follow outrage over revelations that staff from British-based charity Oxfam abused their position of trust to engage in sexual acts with the people they were supposed to be helping.

“There is no doubt in my mind that some of the coverage around me is not just to (rightly) hold me to account, but also to attempt to do serious damage to our cause and the case for aid,” Forsyth said.

“I am resigning because of the danger of damaging both UNICEF and Save the Children and our wider cause. Two organizations I truly love and cherish.”

UNICEF previously told CNN it was aware of the reports regarding “past complaints” about Forsyth, and it welcomed his decision “to come forward and acknowledge past mistakes.”

CNN’s Alla Eshchenko contributed to this report.



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Travel blogger finds real-life movie and TV locations


(CNN) — Ever ogled the spectacular scenery of “Star Wars” and wished you could be transported to a galaxy far, far away?

Or have the time of your life watching “Dirty Dancing” — and fantasize about your own summer at Kellerman’s resort?

Film fan Andrea David takes these dreams one step further — she travels the world looking for the locations used in her favorite movies and TV series.

When she tracks them down, David aligns printed-out film stills with the real-life destination, merging the silver screen with our reality.
“I thought it would be fun to try to align the image with its real background to mix up fantasy and reality in one picture,” David tells CNN Travel.

Movie magic

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David recreates classic movie moments including scenes from “Dirty Dancing.” Pictured here: Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Virginia.

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

German-born David started the project while she was studying tourism management in Munich. She decided to write her diploma thesis on the influence of cinema on tourist habits.

“I gained a taste of it and started traveling to various filming locations,” she recalls. “After my thesis I continued traveling this way because I really enjoyed it.”

David started taking printed photographs of the film scenes with her — but at first it was simply to help her track down specific locations.

filmtourismus-de-forrest-gump-beaufort

David posts her photographs on her Instagram account and her travel blog. Pictured here: Beaufort, South Carolina — “Forrest Gump.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

“It’s easier to ask local people about filming locations when you can show them the specific scenes,” she explains.

It was while traveling in Cambodia, searching out a location for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” that David had the idea to take a photograph of the photograph.

Since then, her idea has taken off — and David posts photographs of her film stills in their real-life locations on her popular blog Filmtourismus.de and on her Instagram account @filmtourismus — which has over 82,000 followers.

Worldwide attention

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David has started working with tourism boards and travel companies. Pictured here: Icc, Messe, Berlin, Germany — “The Hunger Games.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

David’s photographs are perfectly aligned, striking amalgamations of reality and fiction.

But they don’t just have artistic merit: fans keen to follow in the footsteps of their favorite films now use David’s pictures to devise their own itineraries.

“A lot of people wrote me that they are grateful — because they finally know if and where they can find their places of longing — or just received great new travel ideas,” says David.

filmtourismus-de-spectre-tirol

Fans use David’s photographs to track down their favorite locations. Pictured here: Tyrol, Austria — “Spectre.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

As well as promoting moments from blockbusters, David also highlights lesser-known German films — and she has a knack for tracking down difficult-to-find locations.

Now she’s gained a following, David has started working more with tourism boards and travel companies. This helps her track down some of the trickier locations.

But David still insists that a lot of it is detective work — she says she spends a lot of time “comparing film stills with Google Street View or showing them [to] residents and tour guides while traveling.”

Film fanatic

filmtourismus-de-game-of-thrones-dubrovnik

David has taken several shots of “Game of Thrones” locations. Pictured here: Dubrovnik, Croatia — “Game of Thrones.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

Some of David’s favorite film locations are locales used in slightly older movies.

“Among my favorites ranks the real Kellerman’s Resort of ‘Dirty Dancing’ in Virginia, the town in British Columbia where they filmed ‘Rambo — First Blood’ and the village near Atlanta seen in ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ ” she says.

David is fascinated by how location filming can impact tourism trends.

“These locations benefit even after decades,” she says.

filmtourismus-de-the-walking-dead-atlanta

David is fascinated by how locations can benefit from their involvement in film or TV. Pictured here: Jackson Street Bridge, Atlanta, Georgia — “The Walking Dead.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

It’s not just film fans who embark on pilgrimage to beloved backdrops. Hit TV series can also impact tourism. The success of “Game of Thrones” has upped visitors to Northern Ireland, Iceland and Croatia — where some pivotal moments in the popular show were filmed.

“When it comes to TV shows I mostly like ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Westworld,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Dark’ and many many more,” says David.

She has traveled to spots including Myvatn in Iceland and Audley’s Castle in Northern Ireland — both of which have become popular tourist spots after featuring in “Game of Thrones.”

She has also photographed Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta, Georgia — featured in “The Walking Dead” — and Scottish castles from hit TV series “Outlander.”

Sharing passions

filmtourismus-de-the-beach-thailand

David loves her job, but says it still involves a lot of hard work. Pictured here: Thailand — “The Beach.”

Courtesy Andrea David/Filmtourismus.de

David loves that she can make a living out of her love from film — and she also enjoys connecting with other movie fans across the world.

“It is great to see that so many people share this passion for the combination of travel and film,” she says.

David admits it’s a dream job, but says that “being on vacation all the time” isn’t always easy: “Besides the passion, it’s a great deal of work,” she says.

Nevertheless, the blogger wants to continue to explore the world through the lens of the silver screen:

“I would love to travel to visit “Middle-earth” in New Zealand, the “Star Wars” locations in Tunisia, the valley in Hawaii known from “Jurassic Park,” only to name a few,” she says. “My wish list does not really have an end.”



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pyrolance water gun

The water gun that cuts through concrete


This water gun can pierce concrete

How do firefighters put out a blaze when they can’t reach the flames?

That’s the challenge firefighters confronted in 2008, when a B-2 Stealth Bomber crashed on the runway at an American airbase in Guam.

The crew successfully ejected, but the hugely expensive aircraft was completely destroyed by a fire that burned deep within its wreckage.

“The firefighters had difficulty getting through the composite layers of the aircraft skin to fight the fire,” U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Scott Knupp told CNNMoney.

The loss of the aircraft prompted the Air Force to search for a solution.

“We were looking for some type of technology out there that would help us penetrate through [to] hard-to-reach spaces to get water onto the fire,” said Knupp.

Air Force firefighters now use a system called PyroLance — a firefighting “gun” that can blast through steel, brick or concrete walls, and even bullet-resistant glass.

pyrolance water gun
The PyroLance uses ultra-high pressure technology.

The hand-held device uses a mixture of pressurized water and granite material to pierce a six millimeter-wide hole through obstacles.

Once the ultra-high pressure spray penetrates the surface, the PyroLance nozzle continues to pump a fine mist of micro droplets into the enclosed space, lowering the temperature from around 1,500 F to 200 F in less than a minute.

Using ultra-high pressure (UHP) technology to put out fires isn’t new in itself. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida began researching and testing UHP in the mid 2000s.

It found that water pumped at higher pressures produces millions of micro water droplets. This spray extends across a greater surface area, helping extinguish fires faster while using less water.

But PyroLance president Scott Alexander said his company is the only one that uses the technology to penetrate a barrier and extinguish a fire.

PyroLance began supplying the U.S. Air Force five years ago and the technology has also been adopted by the U.S. Navy, as well as numerous airports and fire services around the world.

The system costs from $15,000 to $80,000, and the company hopes to sell 350 units at home and abroad over the next year.

Alexander said that one of the biggest challenges his company faces is convincing firefighters that it isn’t trying to eliminate their jobs or “take the fun out of firefighting.”

He said the company wants to reduce firefighters’ exposure to intense heat, deadly backdrafts and toxic smoke environments.

“The reality is we’re trying to keep them safe,” he said.

CNNMoney (London) First published February 5, 2018: 10:36 AM ET



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