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India Heat Wave Persists, Claiming Over 1,400 Lives... temperatures have soared up to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit)

 AP |  By OMER FAROOQ and KATY DAIGLE Posted: 05/28/2015 5:56 am EDT
HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Eating onions, lying in the shade and splashing into rivers, Indians were doing whatever they could Thursday to stay cool during a brutal heat wave that has killed more than 1,400 in the past month.
ASSOCIATED PRESSBut some had no choice but to venture into the heat.
"Either we have to work, putting our lives under threat, or we go without food," farmer Narasimha said in the badly hit Nalgonda district of southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Meteorological officials have said the heat would likely last several more days — scorching crops, killing wildlife and endangering anyone laboring outdoors. Officials warned people to stay out of the sun, cover their heads and drink plenty of water. Still, poverty forced many to work despite the risks.
"If I don't work due to the heat, how will my family survive?" said construction worker Mahalakshmi, who earns a daily wage of about $3.10 in Nizamabad, a city about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the state capital of Hyderabad.
Most of the 1,412 heat-related deaths so far have occurred in Andhra Pradesh and neighboring Telangana, where temperatures have soared up to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit), according to government figures. more

51 y-o Dominica man jailed for having sex with 9-y-o sentenced to 35 years imprisonment

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | 1:06 PM    
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – A High Court judge has sentenced a 51-year-old man to 35 years in jail after he was found guilty of three counts of sexual offences on a nine-year old girl.
Justice Errol Thomas in sentencing Fagan Jno Hope said he had considered that the child was a minor under the age of 14 and similar offences were committed.
“The child was treated as one without feeling. Even in the early morning both vaginal and anal sex was conducted on the child,” Justice Thomas said.
Jno Hope is alleged to have committed the acts between July and October 2012. A nine-member jury found him guilty on April 29.
The court sentenced the accused to 25 years for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, 25 years for the charge of buggery and 10 years for indecent assault.
The sentences for the unlawful sexual intercourse and buggery will run concurrently.
The court was told that the accused gave the nine year old money and when she refused he pulled a knife out and forced her to take it, warning her also to keep quiet.
The child then went on a shopping spree at school which raised concern and led to an investigation and the charges.
A report by the Social Welfare Division noted that Jno Hope had taken advantage of the child’s innocence and vulnerability and that his actions affected her socially and emotionally and subjected her to ridicule from her peers.
It noted that although she lives in a new environment she feels embarrassed, unprotected and fearful.
Jno Hope, who was convicted of murder in 1989, incest in 2011 and battery in 2012, did not expressed remorse. The report described him as a threat to society, especially children.
“I was just trying to set up myself doing farming. I am a hardworking man and I was just checking my scene,” Jno Hope said when asked to make a plea in mitigation.
“I don’t care about what people say about me. I have no fear, only God know what happen to me. Only God can help me,” Jno Hope added.
Justice Thomas said the aims of sentencing were retribution, deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation, while the aggravating factors were her age and the manner of execution.
You used a knife and told her not to tell,” he said, telling the accused “you have a name that sounds noble but that is as far as it goes. You lack a conscience and humanity. Dominica needs to be protected from people like you”. more

Racist trolling casts pall over US spelling bee...For seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage....Only once has the National Spelling Bee actually been won by a non-American: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her a celebrity in her native Jamaica.

By Robert MacPherson
Racist trolling on social media is casting an ugly pall over, of all things, the world's foremost spelling bee.



 

Jody-Ann Maxwell of Jamaica, 1998 Champ
For seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by American youngsters of Indian heritage. Chances are as good as ever that another one will follow suit at this year's finals Thursday at the Gaylord National convention resort by the Potomac River outside Washington.
They make up one in five of the 285 spellers, aged nine through 15, from all 50 states and seven foreign countries, who ran a gauntlet of local and regional contests to qualify for the big event.
One of them, Vanya Shivashankar, 13, who lives in Kansas, is back for a fifth time -- inspired no doubt by her sister Kavya, the 2009 champion.Last year ended in a tie between Sriran Hathwar of upstate New York and Ansun Sujoe from Texas after they failed to knock each other out after five rounds.
Their winning words, respectively, were "stichomythia" and "feuilleton."
But on social media, the reaction from some of the nearly one million people viewing the finals live on cable television veered towards the xenophobic.
"One year I wish an American kid could win," read one of several dubious Twitter posts curated on Storify.com by tech journalist Jeff Chu.
"Not to be offensive...but how do kids from India dominate the American spelling bee?!?" read another tweet.
"The kids in the spelling bee should only be AMERICAN," declared a third.
- Organizers unimpressed -
Such sentiments clearly rankle the organizers of the National Spelling Bee, whose longtime core sponsor is the Scripps media group.
"I look forward to the day, as do I think many of our South Asian participants, when they are called what they want to be called -- Americans," bee director Paige Kimble, the 1981 champion, said Wednesday.
"The bee is one of the truest forms of meritocracy, and we support every kid no matter where they come from," Kimble added.
"It's unfortunate that people have some not very nice things to say on social media."
Americans of South Asian heritage make up just one percent of the US population, but only a few are really into competitive spelling, said Northwestern University anthropology professor Shalini Shankar.
More often than not, those families hail from southern India and emigrated to America as highly educated professionals, notably in the tech sector.
"The kids that do make it are extremely talented by any standard, but even among Indian Americans they are really gifted," she said.
They also keep in practice, thanks to a network of regular competitive spelling events on the margins of the usual scholastic fixtures, Shankar told AFP.
And it's not just in spelling, either.
Seven of the 10 finalists in the National Geographic Bee earlier this month were Indian American, including the winner, Karan Menon, from New Jersey.
Last year Swapnil Garg, from California, clinched the national Mathcounts challenge, which is more often won by high school students of Chinese ethnicity.
Only once has the National Spelling Bee actually been won by a non-American: Jody-Anne Maxwell, whose 1998 victory made her a celebrity in her native Jamaica.
- Pole position -
Whatever their background, bee winners find themselves in pole position when it comes to going forward with their young lives.
Take the last white American champion: After his 2007 win, Evan O'Dorney collected gold and silver medals at the International Math Olympiad. He's now in his final year at Harvard.

ST. CATHERINE, JAMAICA (CONGRATULATIONS) : Waterford High's innovators quickly becoming recognised for is its interesting array of natural products, made from scratch, by the eager hands of the enthusiastic students of the Science and Environmental Club...."We are right up there with the Ardenne and the Campion; we are in that top group.

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Observer senior reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com  Monday, May 25, 2015   
WATERFORD High School may not be known for too many major non-academic achievements, but what the St Catherine institution is quickly becoming recognised for is its interesting array of natural products, made from scratch, by the eager hands of the enthusiastic students of the Science and Environmental Club.
(L) A display of some of the natural soap bars that have put
the spotlight on the Waterford High School Science and
Environmental Club. (R) Proud teacher Tera Rankine
(standing right) and principal Cecile Bernard (standing centre)
with members of the school’s Science and Environmental
Club (seated from left): Tiana Prendergast, Sasha Daley,
Shanique Gyles, Mackayla Lawrence, and Kemo
Anderson (standing left). (PHOTOS: BRYAN CUMMINGS)
The club's flagship products are facial cleansing soap bars, which it makes in a variety of essences, including garlic and lemongrass, orange, and aloe. The students and their teacher Tera Rankine all visibly light up as they speak of the success and the attention that the initiative has so far attracted.
Rankine explained that the club entered the soaps in the Katalyxt's Youth Innovation Competition held earlier this month, where they placed seventh, beating out even traditional high schools.
"We are right up there with the Ardenne and the Campion; we are in that top group. It shows the students that they can do it, it doesn't matter which school they are from. That's the impact I wanted to make, that's why I came back to this school to teach," the past student said.
The competition, which was created by Mint Management and Finance Services Limited, engages young innovators from third to sixth form to participate and develop an appetite for innovation. It instils in the students the business acumen to be future business leaders.
The Science and Environmental Club also makes shampoo,
conditioner and body wash from natural ingredients.
Science club member Kemo Anderson explained that the soaps, which go under the company name Nature's Drop, are different because of the emphasis on natural ingredients in their production and the absence of harsh preservatives and other chemicals.
"The thing with our soaps is that we don't remove the glycerin like what they would normally do with other soaps, because the glycerin is good for the skin for moisture. So that helps to make our soaps more special than the others," he stated.
Principal Cecile Bernard also gushed about the soaps, noting the hard work and dedication which went into pulling it all together for the competition.more

MIAMI, United States (CMC) : 50-year-old Jeff Webb, a Caymanian, Trinidadian Jack Warner among 14 indicted as football scandal rocks FIFA...The embattled Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) says it plans to co-operate with authorities to "its fullest capacity"


 Thursday, May 28, 2015    
MIAMI, United States (CMC) — The embattled Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) says it plans to co-operate with authorities to "its fullest capacity", after its president Jeff Webb was among several FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) officials arrested in Zurich and indicted on corruption offences by the United States Department of Justice yesterday.
The 50-year-old Webb, a Caymanian, was among high-level officials gathered in Zurich for tomorrow's FIFA presidential elections, where the long-serving incumbent Sepp Blatter is expected to be re-elected.
In a 47-count indictment implicating nine present and former FIFA officials, along with five corporate executives, the US Department of Justice alleged an elaborate 24-year scheme involving US$150 million in bribes and kickbacks relating to media and broadcast deals for a plethora of football tournaments.
The 14 have been charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offences.
Jack Warner waves as he leaves the Magistrate’s Court in
Trinidad yesterday after being granted bail.
Trinidadian Jack Warner, a former CONCACAF president and powerful FIFA vice-president, has been named among the 14, though he resigned from all football-related activities four years ago.
Warner, having turned himself in to police following a US request for his extradition, appeared in a magistrate's court in Trinidad and Tobago and was released on TT$2.5 million (US$394,457) bail.
Warner, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, was ordered to surrender all his travel documents and will reappear in court on July 9. He faces 12 charges of racketeering, wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering offences in the United States.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, speaking in Parliament yesterday, confirmed that the extradition request for Warner had been made and said "it gives me no pleasure; the member is a member of this honourable House and the matter is now in the hands of law enforcement officials and judicial officials for due process according to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago".
Sepp Blatter, FIFA President
In a brief statement yesterday, CONCACAF said it was "deeply concerned" by the arrests of the officials, including those linked to CONCACAF, but would continue to carry out its operations as usual.
"At present, CONCACAF is not in a position to comment further on the specific allegations, which have been referred to the appropriate legal counsel through the pertinent channels," the statement said. more

IN JAMAICA : Dancehall DJ Admiral Bailey pleads guilty to several fraud-related charges was fined $160,000 before saying sorry. "I apologise to the Jamaican public and the court, and you will never see me here again," Bailey said.

Thursday, May 28, 2015    
ADMIRAL Bailey yesterday pleaded guilty to several fraud-related charges and apologised for his actions after being fined in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.
Admiral Bailey
The entertainer and respected football coach, whose real name is Glendon Bailey, was fined $160,000 before saying sorry.
"I apologise to the Jamaican public and the court, and you will never see me here again," Bailey said.
Bailey pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of obtaining a passport by false pretence, and attempting to obtain a passport by false pretence.
He pleaded not guilty to three counts of possession of forged documents, and not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud. No evidence was offered for these charges, setting him free of them.
Allegations are that in February Bailey attended the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) offices and attempted to renew a passport in the name Michael George Sullivan. During the renewal process, his true identity was revealed. He was subsequently detained by investigators from PICA.
Bailey's attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, explained to the court that in 1970, Bailey was travelling to the United States when he encountered difficulty filling out the form and was not permitted to enter the country.
He added that Bailey applied for another passport fraudulently, went to the United States Embassy and was given a visa in the passport.
Tavares-Finson told the court that the act was not done with felonious intention. more

IN JAMAICA: This country has done the citizens of Tivoli a disservice, says Deputy Commissioner of Police Glemore Hinds...

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator -- Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com  Thursday, May 28, 2015    
DEPUTY Commissioner of Police Glemore Hinds said yesterday that the wider society is to be blamed for the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens becoming an enclave controlled by criminal elements who operated it as a country unto itself.
01
Glenmore Hinds
"As a country, most of us in this room — I think the only person who can claim exception is Sir David Simmons -- are a part of the problem, including the security forces," said Hinds during his second day of evidence at the Tivoli Enquiry being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
Simmons is the chairman of the commission looking into the circumstances of the May 2010 operation to apprehend Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, who was then the don of Tivoli Gardens. More than 70 people, including a Jamaica Defence Force soldier, died in the operation.
Hinds made the commentary while being questioned by Queen's Counsel Garth McBean (attorney for the commission) as to his assessment of the police's conduct in Tivoli during the attempt to nab Coke, who slipped the dragnet.
"We allowed the gang propaganda to hold sway over these citizens. ...[No] police operation was [ever] called an operation; they were called an incursion or an attack or an invasion. What we would have done is cemented in the subconscious of these citizens that they were not part of Jamaica, they must be left to their own vices because this society sees them as off-limit," Hinds said in explaining how Jamaica had failed Tivoli Gardens.
"What we have allowed is for them to establish their own system of governance, and anything done to change that is never embraced. That is why, for example, Mr Coke was embraced in civil society... the message you send to citizens is: If higher-up accepts this man, why shouldn't we 'lower-down' embrace him? We have sent mixed signals, complicated signals which have allowed these persons to remain," DCP Hinds reasoned. more