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So far this year four porters have been trampled to death in crushes, and activists in both Morocco and Spain have repeatedly complained the work is กระเป๋าสตางค์ราคาถูก “humiliating and degrading”. In the small hours of a recent night, the women gathered in an orderly queue by a border crossing for pedestrians on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean between the Moroccan town of Fnideq and the Spanish port of Ceuta, where goods are duty free. After checks at the frontier they enter the tiny 18-square-kilometre strip of Spain, which along with Madrid’s other enclave of Melilla are the only land borders between the European Union and Africa. “This is the first time that I am doing this work!” exhaled 30-year-old Fatima, wearing a red robe and grey headscarf. The next stop is a commercial zone, built in 2004 near the customs to avoid the thousands of Moroccan traders who arrive daily to replenish their stocks from heading into the city centre. There, immense hangars are piled high with all sorts of goods: clothes made in China, household items, food. While the prices are marked in euros, everyone pays in Moroccan dirhams. At the entrance to each warehouse, dozens of female porters await instructions. They are not there to barter or to buy, but only to transport the goods.
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Luciano's son Angel serves in the US Navy. He's currently deployed in east Asia and the two have been trying desperately to get over the massive logistical hurdles to talk to each other since the hurricane, so far without success. Puerto Rico: Trump paper towel-throwing 'abominable' Many of the US troops who are now working in Puerto Rico to help after the disaster are themselves Puerto Rican. At the emergency US command centre, it appeared there was as much Spanish spoken as English by those in uniform. Those troops serve America in whatever way their commanders see fit. But in spite of their sacrifices, many Puerto Ricans feel this disaster has been a reminder that they are not viewed as American as those on the mainland. Money and troops were committed to the relief effort but it took time and there was not the same preparation by federal agencies in Puerto Rico ahead of Hurricane Maria as there was, for example, in Florida before Irma, a few weeks earlier. Nine days passed before Lesley and her children received a mattress to sleep on in the school in Loiza. And Luciano says he has still not laid eyes on a single American emergency worker since the hurricane. In the normally bustling old part of the capital San Juan, is the Paseo de los Presidentes or Walkway of Presidents. There, looking out onto the empty street, are nine life-sized statues of the US presidents who visited Puerto Rico while in office.