When you can’t trust the aid workers…

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Foreign aid workers currently in Kosovo are allegedly proving a big help to at least one part of the local population — pimps. The 60,000 foreign aid workers and 40,000 outside military “peacekeepers” stationed in the region make up almost half the customers for Eastern European women and girls sold and forced into prostitution in Kosovo, according to the TORONTO STAR. International peacekeepers even help run at least one brothel, the paper reports.

“Some of the women have begged the humanitarian workers to help them, and they’re just ignored,” says “Barbara,” a women’s shelter worker. Could it be that the aid workers simply don’t realize that the women, mostly lured from their impoverished homes in Eastern Europe, are essentially slaves? Not likely, says the STAR. Women in one bar, Toto’s, were “locked…into a squalid unheated basement without running water, toilets, or beds to sleep in.” While international forces have shut Toto’s down, the future remains bleak for women in other brothels. “The best they can hope for is to get out with their lives … We don’t even know how many have already died,” Barbara says.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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