SHADMIA'S WORLD

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Archive for the ‘Our World’ Category

Christopher “Dudus” Coke Pleads Guilty

Posted by shadmia on September 4, 2011

Jamaica, the country that brought the world such sportsmen like Usain Bolt and entertainers like Bob Marley also has a dark side. That dark side is represented by Christopher “Dudus” Coke.

In August 2009 the U.S. issued an international warrant seeking the extradition of Christopher Coke from Jamaica to face gun and drugs charges in the U.S. He was accused of being the leader and mastermind behind the notorious “Shower Posse” gang which was involved in the international trafficking of drugs and firearms.

For a long time the government of Jamaica resisted the request but finally, bowing to domestic and international political pressure, moved to arrest Mr. Coke in his neighborhood known as Tivoli Gardens.

The residents of Tivoli Gardens were fiercely loyal to Mr. Coke and when the police and army moved in to execute the warrant they met stiff resistance. The residents erected barricades and engaged in gun battles. The confrontation resulted in the deaths of more than 70 people and substantial property damage as the armed forces went door to door in search of Mr. Coke. In the end Christopher Dudus Coke was captured.

In June 2010 he was extradited to the U.S. to face the charges.

On Sept. 2, 2011 Dudus pleaded guilty in a New York court to assault and racketeering charges bringing to an end a two-year international drama between Jamaica and the United States.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8, 2011 and Christopher “Dudus” Coke faces a possible 23 years in prison.

As noted in the Jamaican Gleaner, the capture and eventual incarceration of Coke was hampered by political considerations. He was not only generous to the people of his neighborhood, Tivoli Gardens, but could be depended on by the political party, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to deliver the votes at election time. In fact Tivoli Gardens is the seat in Parliament of the current Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, who was reluctant to issue the arrest warrant in the first place.

Christopher Coke personifies the kind of threat to the security and democracy of small and vulnerable countries like Jamaica. Control of large amounts of resources, illicitly derived notwithstanding, endow gangsters with the capacity to corrupt the political process and to control many levers of the State by proxy. Indeed, Coke’s activities – and the criminal machinations of others – were an open secret in Jamaica.

The newspaper also noted that perhaps Jamaica owes a debt of gratitude to the U.S. for pursuing Christopher Coke, since murders and serious crime have plummeted since his capture and it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the Jamaican authorities to have him tried and convicted locally.

However, given Coke’s political and community connections, underpinned by his ability to distribute largesse and corral votes, it is likely that he would not have been arrested and prosecuted in Jamaica. Such an eventuality would have been made more difficult by the political fault lines in Jamaica.

Christopher Dudus Coke had previously been charged with offenses that carried a sentence of life in prison. When prosecutors approached him and said that they also had evidence that he had ordered the deaths of at least five persons and a judge ruled that tapes of bugged phone calls in which he discusses smuggling marijuana, cocaine and weapons could be played in court, Coke decided to plead guilty to the lesser charges of Conspiracy to racketeer and Conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering. 

Coke stood up in court and said:

“I ordered the purchase of firearms and the importation of those firearms into Jamaica in furtherance of this conspiracy”

When asked about his plea Coke said:

“I’m pleading guilty because I am guilty”

US Attorney Preet Bharara said:

“For nearly two decades, Christopher Coke led a ruthless criminal enterprise that used fear, force and intimidation to support its drug and arms trafficking ‘businesses’.

“Today’s plea is a welcome conclusion to this ugly chapter.”

Posted in Crime, Drugs, Jamaica, news, Our World, world | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I Thought That Lady Was Dead

Posted by shadmia on July 2, 2011

Melvin L Jackson, 49, of Kansas City, certainly raises depravity to new heights. There are two quotes from this story that stand out and give a horrifying insight into the mind of Melvin L Jackson. Read more here

Melvin L. Jackson was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in broad daylight — then telling police, “I thought that lady was dead.”

and

When police tried to interview Jackson, 49, he allegedly blurted, “Did that lady say I did something to her?”

If Jackson was just trying to make himself bad, he did an excellent job. How can anyone try to morph a sexual assault charge into a case of necrophilia. His defense/excuse was that he thought it was okay to have a forced sexual encounter with this woman because he thought she was dead. This happened in broad daylight in a public place. I hope his lawyer tried to bring an insanity defense before the court. 

Posted in news, odd, Our World, sex, Sexual Assault, Weird | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Amazon Gold Rush Destroying Peruvian Rain Forest

Posted by shadmia on June 12, 2011

A gold rush that accelerated with the onset of the 2008 global recession is compounding the woes of the Amazon basin, laying waste to Peruvian rain forest and spilling tons of toxic mercury into the air and water. An army of small-scale miners in the state of Madre de Dios has swelled to some 40,000.

“Extracting an ounce of gold costs from $400 to $500 and the profit is $1,000 per ounce,” notes Peru’s environment minister, Antonio Brack. In just a decade, gold has more than tripled in value.

Government controls are mostly futile.

“We found that nearly all the public officials in Puerto Maldonado were involved,” the minister said. “In 2010, the regional mining director had a mining company. His No. 2 had one. His wife had one. His sister had one (as did) the sister of the No. 2. They were all in it. And you think anyone is going to regulate anything?”

The entire article on the situation can be found here. It is worthwhile reading.

This is a tragedy just waiting to unfold. I can understand the need to make a living and support a family (most of us go through this every day) and want a better future, but at what cost to your own personal health and the environmen­t.

These workers are suffering a slow death. The environmen­t is being destroyed and the authoritie­s are at least turning a blind eye to the situation and at worst profiting from it. There was also a brief mention of possibly indigenous and uncontacte­d tribes living nearby. Are their habitats and life style also being adversely affected?

I know it is easy to sit in an comfortable chair with a computer in hand and judge people and their actions thousands of miles away but maybe if the demand (and price) for gold wasn’t so high then there would be less incentive to engage in practices detrimenta­l to human health and the environmen­t.

Just something to think about the next time we are in a jewelry store marveling at how nice that necklace, chain or ring would compliment our evening attire. We are as much to blame as anyone else.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Culture, news, Our World, Peru, world | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drug Bust Nets $1 Million In Pot

Posted by shadmia on June 6, 2011


Should never piss off your relatives. They know where the pot is.

When Los Angeles deputies responded to a burglary-in-progress call in El Monte, they had no idea they’d be stumbling across one of the biggest marijuana grow houses in the city’s history. On Saturday morning, four men and a teen boy were caught trying to break in to what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse on Continental Avenue. Instead of guns or other weapons, the thieves were armed with gloves and clippers.

One of the robbery suspects told the police that the abandoned warehouse was actually a grow house belonging to his family, who was cutting him out of the profits. He had wrangled four friends to help him claim his share.

After obtaining a search warrant, El Monte police entered the warehouse to carry out what is being touted as “the biggest drug bust in El Monte history.” What they found inside was over 3,000 marijuana plants valued at around $1 million.

Benjamin Kwok, 37, of San Gabriel, Xing Xi He, 24, of Baldwin Park, Louie Frank Fraijo, 28, also of Baldwin Park, Raymond Guan, 29, of Rosemead and a 17-year-old boy from San Gabriel were all arrested and booked for commercial burglary.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Drugs, Marijuana, news, Our World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Arizona Little Leaguer Killed When Pitch Hits Chest

Posted by shadmia on June 6, 2011


This is a really sad story. Condolence­s to the family.

A 13-year-old Arizona boy was killed in a freak accident after a baseball hit him over the heart as he tried to bunt, officials in his Little League said Friday.

Hayden Walton went for the bunt during a game Tuesday night in the close-knit northern Arizona city of Winslow, said Jamey Jones, a Winslow Little League official.

“He took an inside pitch right in the chest,” Jones said. “After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.”

He died the next morning at a local hospital.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Baseball, news, odd, Our World, Uncategorized, Weird | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

German wins Best Beard title

Posted by shadmia on May 15, 2011

Elmar Weisser, Trondheim, Norway (15 May 2011)

BBC News – German wins world best beard title at Norway contest

Elmar Weisser, 47, beat 160 contestants to the prize with his elaborate facial hair sculpture of a moose. It is the third time Mr Weisser has emerged as champion.

Mr. Weisser also won the title in 2005 with a design of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin and in 2007 with the London Bridge.

“When my beard isn’t styled, it goes down to my waist. It is sort of folded up,” he told the AFP news agency.

The contest was held at the World Beard and Moustache Championship in Trondheim, Norway. The biennial event was started in 1995 and includes 14 categories.

For more on this unusual contest which has attracted contestants from all over the world see the website at: http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/

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Posted in news, odd, Our World, Weird, world | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

A Cure for AIDS?

Posted by shadmia on May 14, 2011

Unusual AIDS Vaccine Shows Promising Results in Monkeys – ScienceNOW.

“It’s the best result I’ve seen against the worst SIV known,” says the University of Wisconsin’s David Watkins, an immunologist who tests AIDS vaccines in monkeys and was not involved with the work. “I’m very excited by this approach.”

The next step is of course to test this vaccine on humans. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a cure for AIDS in humans soon. The experiment was led by immunologist and pathologist Louis Picker of the Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton. A human vaccine is in the works but Picker says:

“We’re fairly far along on it, but we’re going to have to prove that it’s safe and still protective.”

If successful this would be the greatest breakthrough in medical history with implications for all kinds of illnesses, including cancer.

Posted in AIDS, Cancer, Health, HIV, Medicine, news, Our World, world | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dharun Ravi Indicted in Suicide Case

Posted by shadmia on April 21, 2011

Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi, both 18, were freshmen roommates at Rutgers University. On Sept. 22, 2010 Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after learning that his roommate, Dharun Ravi, had secretly recorded and broadcast a video of him, Tyler Clementi, and another man engaging in homosexual behavior. At the time Dharun Ravi and an accomplice, Molly Wei, were both charged with invasion of privacy. They faced a 5-year sentence if convicted. The have both left Rutger’s University.

Prosecutors have now decided to upgrade the charges against Dharun Ravi. A grand jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey, handed down a 15-count indictment on April, 20, 2011, charging former Rutgers University freshman with a host of charges connected to his roommate Tyler Clementi’s suicide.

Included in the indictment are:

  • Invasion of Privacy
  • Bias Intimidation
  • Attempted Invasion of Privacy
  • Tampering with Physical Evidence
  • Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution
  • Witness Tampering

Prosecutors alleged Ravi not only invaded his roommate’s privacy, but tried to cover it up. In addition to bias intimidation, Ravi was also charged with witness and evidence tampering for allegedly destroying evidence and sending false tweets in an effort to throw off investigators.

The parents of Tyler Clementi reacted to the indictment by issuing the following statement:

“The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate. If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under law. We are eager to have the process move forward for justice in this case and to reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society.”


Posted in Bullies, Bullying, Crime, Cyber Bullying, Homosexuality, news, Our World, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Police Officer Pepper Sprays Baby Squirrel

Posted by shadmia on April 13, 2011


I wonder what kind of lesson the kids learned from this experience­: How to handle a baby squirrel? How police handle defenseles­s lifeforms? The power of pepper spray? There has just got to be a lesson somewhere, right?

Officer Davis of the Mesquite Police Department, Texas was “protecting” of group of children at Kimbrough Middle School from a baby squirrel. The video was taken by one of the students at the school. Students are heard pleading for the officer to stop, shouting things like “Don’t spray him!

Mesquite Police Department has defended the officer’s actions:

Sgt. Wes Talley said the officer stood between a group of students and the animal because he thought it may have been rabid. Talley said after several unsuccessful attempts to scare the squirrel away, the officer used his pepper spray on it to protect the welfare of the students.

There is a happy ending to this story:

After determining that the squirrel had done nothing wrong, animal control officers reportedly cared for the squirrel at a shelter before releasing it back into the wild. No charges are expected to be filed.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Animal Cruelty, Child Psychology, Children, Kids, news, Our World, Police, Police Brutality, Schools, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Valynne Bowers Sentenced for Child Abuse

Posted by shadmia on April 5, 2011

Valynne Bowers, 41, had her day in court on April 4, 2011. She stood in front of Judge John Morris. She had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible sex abuse, second degree felonies, for having sex with a 14-year-old student who attended the school where she taught, Bountiful Jr. High School. She faced a possible 1 to 15 year sentence on each count.

Valynne Bowers was the second of two teachers who had been charged with having sex with the same under-aged boy. Linda Nef, 47, the other teacher involved, was sentenced to 3 years to life in jail.

Before being sentenced Bowers stood before the judge and said:

“I just wanted to let my victim know how truly sorry I am and how remorseful I am. … I’m sorry for the pain him and his family have suffered,”

Her defense lawyer, Rich Gallegos, had asked the judge to be lenient with her and consider giving her probation with one year in jail. He claimed that it was the boy who initiated contact with her and that she was not a sexual predator.

“She’s a people-pleaser. She doesn’t know how to say no to people. … She was lonely and she was getting attention. Even though it was illegal, it was still attention.” However, the attorney said, “She acknowledges it’s her fault and not his.”

Prosecutor Rick Westmoreland on the other hand, argued for the maximum sentence, 15 years on each of the two counts, saying she was in a special position of trust as a teacher and fully deserved being given the maximum. He said a stiff sentence would send a message that people must be able to send their kids to school without fear.

“She knew what she was doing, and she continued doing it,” Westmoreland said. “Society needs to feel safe and feel like they can trust teachers.”

Judge John Morris held up a stack of letters that supporters had written on Bowers’ behalf but said it was his responsibility to punish her on behalf of society. “This is not an easy thing to do,” Morris said. “It is not disputed that you accomplished a good deal of good in your 10 years as a teacher.”

“The thing that stands out the most is the conduct with the victim was repeated over a period of months… You did not choose to say no and address the situation in a different fashion.” said Judge John Morris. “But this really isn’t a popularity contest. The thing that stands out the most is the conduct with the victim was repeated over a period of months. … You did not choose to say no and address the situation in a different fashion.”

In the end the judge agreed with the prosecution and sentenced Bowers to the maximum, 15 years on each count for a total of 30 years.

Posted in Abuse, Child Abuse, courts, news, Our World, Pedophiles, Rape, Scandals, Schools, sex, Sexual Abuse, Weird | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »