Katie Laura McQue

Dubai Based Print and Multimedia Journalist. I cover human rights, development, energy and natural resources, the pharmaceutical industry, and M&A deals

United Arab Emirates
the Guardian
'I am starving': the migrant workers abandoned by Dubai employers

assan doesn't know if he will eat today. The 30-year-old Pakistani has lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for over a decade, employed as a construction worker. But when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, he lost his job. Without his salary he cannot afford to live in the UAE.

the Guardian
'I'm trapped': the UAE migrant workers left stranded by Covid-19 job losses

Each night, Bipul* is kept awake by the fear of loan sharks hounding his parents for the money he owes. Five months ago, the 25-year-old Sri Lankan borrowed $1,400 (£1,120) to pay recruiters to take him to the United Arab Emirates, where he got a job as cleaner at a five-star hotel.

4 overseas domestic workers die in Qatar house fire

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - During the early hours of Monday, March 30, 4 migrant domestic workers died in a house fire in Al Khor City, Qatar. Three of the women were Filipinas and the other Sri Lankan. The victims shared a bedroom on the third floor of a large house along with two other domestic workers.

the Guardian
How Nepal's migration ban traps female 'modern day slaves' in the Gulf

Amita* knew she had to escape. After five months of being assaulted, starved and being forced to work for 20 hours a day as a domestic maid in a suburban house in Kuwait, the 45-year old from Nepal seized her chance. While the household slept, she climbed out of a downstairs bathroom window and fled.

the Guardian
Chagos children 'stuck for years in unsafe lodgings'

Families descended from islanders evicted from the Chagos Islands are being housed in council-allocated accommodation deemed by social services to be inappropriate for young children, the Observer has learned. The latest revelations prompted fresh calls for an independent investigation into the treatment of British Chagossians, forcibly removed by the UK in the 1960s and early 70s to allow the US military to establish a base on the largest island, Diego Garcia.

the Guardian
How Hong Kong maids became caught in a 'humanitarian tsunami'

The sun had not yet risen in Hong Kong when Sally*, a domestic worker, was woken and told she needed to leave immediately. As she lay on the sofa, confused, Sally saw her employer standing over her with a piece of paper he wanted her to sign.

the Guardian
Windrush scandal continues as Chagos Islanders are pressed to 'go back'

British passport holders from the Chagos Islands are being systematically targeted in a "shameful" attempt to have them removed from the UK, the Observer can reveal. The revelations expose a fresh dimension of the UK's hostile environment, showing that the strategy also persecutes passport-holding British citizens of colour.

The guardian
Conflict of interest concerns over EDF's Hinkley nuclear project approval

Nuclear experts receiving EDF pensions were involved in the official safety review of the company's planned Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, sparking concerns about a conflict of interest over the approval of the project. The involvement senior executive grade officers at the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) made it "very difficult" for the regulator to take a critical eye, warned another independent industry consultant.

The nuclear industry still has its secrets

One of the nuclear industry's promises for the future is that it will turn its back on its cold war past and be more open and transparent about its dealings. So news last week that at least two of the officials assessing the safety case for new reactors at Hinkley Point C were on the pension roll of the scheme's developers, EDF, was not encouraging.

The Independent
The rootless and penniless Chagossians - and why we are to blame

For Bernard Nourrice and his wife, Willie, their life is contained in a bedsit above a garage in West Norwood, in south London. It feels a long way from an Indian Ocean island paradise. "We have no sitting facilities; nowhere to relax, apart from the bed," says Bernard.

New Internationalist
Inside Diego Garcia: America's highly secretive military base

When Danilo* tore open his first pay slip at his new job, the amount staring back at him was just six dollars. This was his pay for a whole month working as a warehouse caretaker. It was 2007, and Danilo had begun his two-year contract on the secretive US military base known as Diego Garcia, located on a small island in the Indian Ocean.

New Internationalist
'Catastrophic' explosion risk on Diego Garcia

'Catastrophic' explosion risk on Diego Garcia FOI documents reveal the US navy is keeping ships at the controversial naval base so close together they risk catastrophe. Katie McQue reports ' The risks of anchoring ships closely together are moderate, the consequences of an explosion are catastrophic, but maintaining the warfighting capability at Diego Garcia is paramount since no other alternative is available.'

New Internationalist
New US embassy in Jerusalem provokes Nakba tensions

New US embassy in Jerusalem provokes Nakba tensions 'They are choosing this time to remind Palestinians that we control you,' Palestinians tell Katie McQue Hebron is a town that is welcoming to outsiders. Locals greet tourists walking along the streets by softly saying 'welcome', almost on reflex when encountering a curious stranger.

New Internationalist
The British government made them exiles. Now it is deporting them.

Next generation of Chagos exiles resists deportation First they were evicted by the British from their island home. Now the descendants of the Chagossians are facing deportation from the same country that made them exiles, writes Katie McQue Since he took his first breath, Dominique Elysee has lived in exile.

New Internationalist
Zanzibar shows how tourism spreads HIV globally

Zanzibar shows how tourism spreads HIV globally The tourism sector increases workers' vulnerability to AIDS. Katie McQue reports. Soud was born with a burden that he will carry forever. He has HIV. Passed from mother to child, the virus coursed through his veins before he even took his first breath.

New Internationalist
The British government made them exiles. Now it is deporting them.

Next generation of Chagos exiles resists deportation Since he took his first breath, Dominique Elysee has lived in exile. It is all he has known. His mother gave birth to him in Mauritius, having travelled while pregnant to the tropical island from the nearby UK-owned Chagos islands.

New Internationalist
South Africa: dying for justice

An item from the Agenda section of the magazine, where we look beyond the news curve with reports and comment on breaking stories. South Africa's High Court recently ruled that 27,000 goldminers with silicosis, an incurable lung disease, could collectively sue their former employers. The miners' relief, however, was short lived.

New Internationalist
Illegitimate children denied British citizenship by 'archaic' law

Illegitimate children denied British citizenship by 'archaic' law Britain's hostile immigration laws were recently laid bare by the Windrush scandal, which revealed how often elderly Commonwealth citizens were being wrongly deported, detained and denied rights. The same set of laws are still having profound consequences on the children of fathers from Britain's Overseas Territories.

New Internationalist
Women starve for their basic humanity in IRCs

Women starve for their basic humanity in IRCs Immigration Removal Centres are the shame of Britain, Katie McQue reports Being gay in Uganda can cost you your life. It can also mean torture and life in prison, because of the African nation's extreme anti-homosexual laws.

New Internationalist
Did deforestation cause the Ebola outbreak?

Did deforestation cause the Ebola outbreak? From 2014-16, an unprecedented Ebola epidemic killed more than 11,000 people across West Africa. Now scientists have linked the outbreak to rapid deforestation. Was this wave of death triggered by environmental destruction? Katie McQue investigates It all started with one mysterious death.

New Internationalist
UK Supreme Court highlights right of Chagos refugees to return home

Bernard Nourrice has been desperate to go home for 50 years. He is from Diego Garcia, a small -owned island in the Indian Ocean. The UK government expelled him, his family and all other inhabitants from there in the 1960's. Bernard and his fellow refugees have fought the British government for decades for the right to return to their motherland.

New Internationalist Magazine Digital Edition
Secret Agent Orange

A war that ended 40 years ago continues to claim new victims. When the US military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange herbicide over Vietnam – defoliating rural areas to deprive the Viet Cong of shelter – it wasn't known that its major component, dioxin, is a cancer-causing toxin. More recently it has become clear that the herbicide also mutates DNA sequences, causing devastating birth defects as well as cancers. But thousands of children of Vietnam veterans are being denied...

South African miners could lose HIV treatment in job cuts

Sorry, you appear to have JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use this tool. Find out how to enable it for your browser: Internet Explorer 7 or 8 Click the Tools menu. Select Internet Options. Click the Security tab. Click the Custom Level button. Scroll down until you see the 'Scripting' section.

Are We Failing Syria's Refugees?

Unlike a military intervention in Syria, providing sufficient support to the country's refugees is something that should require no debate. The UN has appealed to the world to plug the $2billion shortfall of funds needed now to keep the seven million people displaced by the conflict safe and healthy.

Departure Of Supermajors From Nigeria's Oil Sector Prompts Local Financing Shift

By Davide Barbuscia & Katie McQue For major international oil companies, like Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, the Nigerian black market for crude oil has become unbearable. They've had enough. And for the US firms, bigger fortunes with less risk lie at home with the shale boom. So their Nigerian onshore licenses, [...]

Iran's Oil And Gas: Who Dares Will Win

By Katie McQue For banks throughout much of the world, doing business with Iran is a daunting prospect. "A situation happened where our CEO was quoted in the press, and it seemed like he said the bank was looking at opportunities in Iran," says one banker based in the United Arab [...]

A Conversation With a Bangkok Sex Customer

Many of us have ventured to Bangkok with a mental tick-list; hedonistic nights on Khao San Road, shots of snake blood, temples, maybe see some Muay Thai boxing. And, if you wish, hire a local prostitute. After all, what happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok.

South Africa: Gold miners class action heads to high court

Sorry, you appear to have JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use this tool. Find out how to enable it for your browser: Internet Explorer 7 or 8 Click the Tools menu. Select Internet Options. Click the Security tab. Click the Custom Level button. Scroll down until you see the 'Scripting' section.

The UK's Abuse of the Chagossian People

In the 1960s our country stole a nation and destroyed the lives of its people. Now is the time to put things right. The British government expelled the people of the UK-owned Chagos Archipelago almost 50 years ago with the purpose of allowing the US to build an airbase on the largest island, Diego Garcia.

Buyer's Remorse -- How Nigeria's Oil Sector Is Fighting To Survive

By Davide Barbuscia and Katie McQue Staring down the barrel of long-term weak oil prices, 2016 will be painful for Nigeria's oil sector. The nation's indigenous firms that rose to prominence to purchase oil fields from supermajors such as Chevron, Shell and Total are now in deep distress. The billions of [...]

Sisi's Government Clings To Debt To Pull Egypt's Oil & Gas From The Brink

By Katie McQue & Davide Barbuscia The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), the country's state-owned oil company, is in the market for a $1.5bn loan. It will use the funds to reduce its vast debts to international energy companies operating in Egypt for unpaid-for petroleum during the three years of civil [...]

Has the UK Signed Up to Build a Faulty Nuclear Power Plant?

On Monday, the UK woke-up to the news that the government had struck a deal to build our first new nuclear plant in over 18 years. The 3.2GW plant, named Hinkley Point C, has been touted as a job-maker and a boost to our energy security.

How a School Bus Service Is Keeping Girls Safe in Rural India

Afsana is 16 and has just heard she has passed grade nine of her secondary school. This is cause for celebration because she is the first female from the Indian village of Mehluka to achieve this level of education. "My favourite subjects are science and math," she says.

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