Political will and maturity required for a consensus on crime in Jamaica

Petchary's Blog

The number of murders in Jamaica passed the 1,000 mark for the year recently (can you imagine). It is always a grim milestone. We measure our “crime problem” by the number of lives lost – men, women and children – every year. They are not numbers. They are grandmothers. They are schoolchildren. They are abused women. They are lost young men. They are farmers and bartenders and teachers and students and unemployed and homeless and seniors and retirees and the mentally ill and yes – gang members.

Let me remind you that Jamaica currently has the second highest murder rate in the Americas (or rather, in the world) this year to date – it is 43.85 per 100,000 people, after El Salvador.

Residents of Gayle, St. Mary, gather at yet another murder scene, this time of a well known retired teacher. (Scene grab from the “Frankly Speaking” podcast).

In his…

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Russian journalist facing 24-year jail term for treason refuses to sign ‘confession’ | Russia | The Guardian

Moments before the journalist Ivan Safronov was told he would be facing 24 years in prison, a Russian prosecutor offered him a deal.

Sign a confession, she said during a final courtroom break, and she would recommend a 12-year sentence instead. Safronov answered immediately.

“He told her to get lost,”said Evgeny Smirnov, his lawyer, in an interview. “He told her that fairly harshly.”

A Russian judge is expected to deliver a verdict on Monday in one of the most significant prosecutions against a Russian journalist in decades.

Safronov, a former military correspondent for Kommersant and Vedomosti, is facing a “record” sentence on treason charges that have been prosecuted with secret evidence behind closed doors.

Source: Russian journalist facing 24-year jail term for treason refuses to sign ‘confession’ | Russia | The Guardian

Fishing at Sea Created at Least 75% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Slashdot

Plastic emissions from rivers remain the main source of plastic pollution from a global ocean perspective. Plastic lost at sea has a higher chance of accumulating offshore than plastic emitted from rivers, leading to high concentrations of fishing-related debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch [or GPGP]. New findings confirm the oceanic garbage patches cannot be cleaned solely through river interception and highlight the potentially vital role of fishing and aquaculture in ridding the world’s oceans of plastic…. Source: Fishing at Sea Created at Least 75% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Slashdot

Russia releases convicted mass murderer to fight in Ukraine, then awards him ‘for bravery’

Ivan Neparatov, leader of a Russian criminal gang, was serving 25 years for five murders and multiple other crimes when he was offered his freedom and money in exchange for fighting Russia’s war against Ukraine.  He was one of at very least one thousand convicted criminals who have agreed to fight in the Wagner unit, and one of an unknown number who have already been killed.  It is likely that all such ‘fighters’ are intentionally used as cannon fodder, to avoid questions upon their return to Russia, but Neparatov did, nonetheless, posthumously receive a state award ‘for bravery’ from Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  One assumes that certain details about this ‘defender of Russia’ will be omitted from any official documentation.

The issue is not only Neparatov’s criminal past.  It is illegal in Russia to be a mercenary, yet the so-called ‘Wagner private military company’ [the Wagner unit] are openly recruiting convicted criminals, offering substantial amounts of money, as well as the promise of freedom in exchange for agreeing to fight against Ukraine.  The prisoners are visited in prison, with the Wagner unit recruiters accompanied by Penal Service officials and members of the FSB [Security Service].  At least some of the recruiting visits are reported to be with the head of the Wagner unit, Dmitry Utkin and its financer, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or ‘Putin’s chef’, the millionaire under western sanctions who is himself a convicted criminal, imprisoned twice for violent crimes.

Source: Russia releases convicted mass murderer to fight in Ukraine, then awards him ‘for bravery’

I’ve been on the battlefield

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Thanh Dang

Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


I’ve been on the battlefield

Through our eyes, a lifetime is not enough to forget

Ukraine, who’s pushed you into such sadness

How could one human to another make an ocean of tears

.

I want to hold you child, together we’ll cry

No longer could I volunteer to be by your lover fight

The young people of Vietnam did once lay down their lives

The bitterness resided in our heart may it be North or South

.

You will die child, out on the battlefield you will die

What’s left of your wins will be a nation of decimated cities

Shredded villages

The graves long with more graves

The entire nation’s a graveyard

.

I feel sorry for your loss and mine to have been…

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The Book of Life

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Thanh Dang

Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


For some

Waiting are the mountains and rivers

Otherwise it will be a long road

/

The Book of Life

Fire and ice

The awakening of human fate

/

But to him it’s simple

Flowers means life

Across the land is sunlight…

May 2022

—–

Ở đó sông chờ và núi đợi

Ai khác

Con đường thành thăm thẳm xa

/

Quyển sách ngàn đời mở

Băng tan lửa đỏ

Thao thức phận người

/

Chỉ tội chàng đơn giản

Hoa của đời và nắng của trăm phương…


Thanh Dang, the poet from Vietnam currently resides in Houston, Texas, U. S. A.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney…

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