Reuters blog archive
from Photographers Blog:
By Romeo Ranoco
Traditionally, Filipinos are gun lovers, particularly in the southern Philippines, where almost every household keeps a rifle or a pistol at home. I know someone who said "I can let go of my wife, but I can't live without my Armalite". Thus, I got excited when I was asked to do a gun culture picture story, focusing on a pistol-packing judge who helps train fellow magistrates and lawyers at a target range.
When one talks about a pistol-packing judge, one person immediately comes to my mind, a legendary former police officer who traded his blue uniform for a black robe. Jaime “Jimmy” Santiago is a celebrity in his own right. The presiding judge of branch 3 of Manila’s Regional Trial Court, Jimmy was a police officer a quarter of a century ago. He rose to celebrity status when as a commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit in the Philippine capital city Manila, he rescued several victims and “neutralized” a total of six gunmen in several separate hostage-taking incidents. His exploits were eventually made into a full-length movie, entitled “SPO4 Santiago, Sharpshooter”.
When I came to see him at his office, I knew I was in the right place. It was quite a normal office, but one wall was decorated with an M-16 Armalite rifle and shotgun. His office is just next to the courtroom where he hears criminal and civil cases. I had the chance to see him in action, sitting on the bench and listening to lawyers from both sides arguing and issuing his orders after hearing the cases. He agreed to talk to me for a few minutes before clearing his desk of cases and our chat touched on a subject close to his heart. At one point, he mentioned an incident at a court house on central Cebu island, where a Canadian national went on a shooting spree, killing two and wounding a prosecutor. At this point, he emphasized the need to arm judges and lawyers in the country so they can protect themselves from threats coming from some disgruntled litigants who couldn't accept losing a case.
With just minutes to spare, he gathered his robe and prepared to conduct a court hearing. I also equipped myself and went around shooting pictures of him inside the courtroom. I was struck by what I saw in his half-opened drawer as he sat on the bench, there was a loaded .45 caliber pistol in it and the judge appeared ready to shoot back if attacked.
from India Insight:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)
During the anti-rape protests across India in December, two slogans stood out among all the placards and banners -- “Hang the rapists” and “We want justice”.
It was a case that stirred national debate and forced the state government in New Delhi to set up five fast-track courts to try sexual offences against women.
It’s nothing new. The Indian government set up 1,734 fast-track courts in the country a decade ago. The purpose was to quickly clear pending cases. But some legal experts say that the courts are not always a good thing, and many of these courts disbanded after the government stopped funding them.
from The Human Impact:
Over the past decade, a stepped-up government military offensive against Colombia’s two main rebel groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) – has prompted growing numbers of guerrilla fighters to desert and lay down their arms.
On average, 10 fighters demobilise every day in Colombia.
Since 2003, nearly 55,000 combatants from illegal armed groups have given up their weapons, including some 30,000 fighters from right-wing paramilitary groups, who disarmed during a peace process with the previous government.
from Funds Hub:
News and views on the asset management industry from Reuters and elsewhere:
from Global News Journal:
Mexican pop star Kalimba, accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in December, walked free on Thursday after a judge ordered his release for lack of evidence. For fans of the dreadlocked singer and dj, it was a justice of sorts, given that 73 percent of Mexicans believe he was innocent, according to a poll in leading newspaper Reforma.
Guilty or not, the case gave Mexico a bit of homegrown celebrity gossip over the past few weeks in a country where relentless news of horrific drug killings is daily fare. Seeing the singer arrested in El Paso, Texas, where he was recording a new album, then dressed in a orange jump suit and imprisoned in a Mexican jail and then crying on his release, made top news and created plenty of chat both in Mexican homes and on the Internet.
from India Insight:
An alleged rape and a violent stabbing left an Indian politician dead and a 40-year-old woman in police custody on Tuesday night, as Rupam Pathak reportedly took the law into her own hands to avenge 18-month-old sexual assault charges.
Bihar state legislator Raj Kishore Kesri was killed in his own home before an audience of dozens by a mother of two after charges first lodged in May 2010 against the four-time representative were reportedly dropped “under duress” from Kesri and his associates.
Pathak will almost certainly be sent to jail for her premeditated crime, after appearing to take what she considered the only option available to punish the man she says raped her.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Wednesday he will not sign an execution order for Tareq Aziz, the former deputy of dictator Saddam Hussein sentenced to death last month for crimes against humanity.
"No, I will not sign the execution order for Tareq Aziz, because I am a socialist," Talabani told French television France 24 in an interview. "I sympathize with Tareq Aziz because he is an Iraqi Christian. Moreover he is an old man who is over 70."
from Global News Journal:
Mexican drug baron Tony Tormenta died in a hail of grenades and gunfire on Nov.5 on the U.S. border, a victory for U.S.-Mexico efforts to clamp down on the illegal narcotics trade. Or did he?
Five days after the Gulf cartel leader's death at the hands of Mexican marines in Matamoros, no photographs of his body have surfaced. At the navy's only news conference, there was never any clarification about the whereabouts of his body. Mexico's attorney general's office did say on Wednesday that his body was handed over to his wife and daughter on Tuesday. The navy has declined to comment.
Dutch public prosecutors wrongly dropped two clear cases of sexual abuse of minors by two Roman Catholic priests in the 1980s but it was not a cover-up, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors office said on Wednesday.
A new book published earlier in the day reported that both priests had confessed and numerous witnesses had testified for the defence, but prosecutors closed their inquiries after contacts with the Catholic hierarchy.
(Photo: Rally against proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque near World Trade Center site in New York ,August 22, 2010./Jessica Rinaldi)
The U.S. Justice Department has said it is monitoring 11 cases of potential land-use discrimination against Muslims, a sharp increase in cases under a federal law designed to protect religious minorities in zoning disputes.
In a report on discrimination against mosques, synagogues, churches and other religious sites, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said on Tuesday it has monitored 18 cases of possible bias against Muslims over the past 10 years.