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Man accused in child rape must be freed — Kansas high court

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Man accused in child rape must be freed — Kansas high court

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KANSAS, United States (AP) — A divided Kansas Supreme Court says a man accused of rape and aggravated sodomy against a three-year-old relative cannot be tried a second time and must be released from prison.

A Saline County judge declared a mistrial in March 2018 trial of Rictor Bowman because the then four-year-old girl wouldn’t take the oath to be sworn in as a witness. The judge ruled the state couldn’t prove its case without the girl’s testimony.

The Kansas City Star reports that in a 4-3 split decision announced Friday, the Supreme Court ruled the trial judge should not have declared a mistrial. The justices said putting Bowman on trial a second time would violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy.


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Father/daughter border drowning highlights US migrants’ perils

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) — The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.

The searing photograph of the sad discovery on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils of the latest migration crisis involving mostly Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States.

From the scorching Sonora desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the US-Mexico border has long been an at times deadly journey for those who cross it illegally between ports of entry.

In recent weeks alone, two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday, overcome by the sweltering heat. Elsewhere three children and an adult from Honduras died in April after their raft capsized on the Rio Grande, and a 6-year-old from India was found dead earlier this month in Arizona, where temperatures routinely soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Very regrettable that this would happen,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in response to a question about the photograph. “We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing” the river.

According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, scar Alberto Martnez Ramrez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador were unable to present themselves to US authorities and request asylum, swam across the river with his daughter, Valeria.

He set her on the US bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa valos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martnez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away. The account was based on remarks by valos to police at the scene.

Their bodies were discovered Monday morning on the bank of the river near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, and several hundred yards (meters) from where they had tried to cross, just a half-mile (1 kilometre) from an international bridge.

The photo recalls the 2015 image of a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean near Turkey, though it remains to be seen whether it may have the same impact in focusing international attention on migration to the US.

US policy has drastically reduced the number of migrants who are allowed to request asylum, down from dozens per day previously to sometimes just a handful at some ports of entry.

The United States has also been expanding its programme under which asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their claims are processed in US courts, a wait that could last many months or even years.

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Weather radar to vastly improve capabilities of Met Service — Vaz

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says the monitoring capabilities of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica will be “vastly improved” with the installation of a new S-Band Doppler Weather Radar.

Cabinet recently approved a US$2.4 million contract for the design, supply and installation of the S-band Doppler radar in a deal described as the single largest contract under the Improving Climate Data & Information Management Project funded by the Climate Investment Funds through the World Bank Group.

The minister said it was critically important to replace the 20-year-old almost obsolete radar, citing the increasing failure of the aged system.  The new system, he said, signals a resolve to meet the global challenges of weather and climate. 

Vaz was speaking today at the contract signing for the radar to be situated at Cooper’s Hill in St Andrew. The signing of the contract took place at the Terra Nova Hotel and Suites.

According to Vaz the installation of the weather radar will greatly enhance the country’s ability to achieve its Vision 2030 milestones, based on its capacity to pinpoint the location and movement of rainfall cells anywhere over the country and as far away as the Cayman Islands, south-eastern Cuba and Western Haiti.

“Jamaica will also be able to better serve the Caribbean Community as we integrate our observations into the mosaic of stations under operation in the region, and also contribute to the surveillance of the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, under their Tropical Cyclone Programme,” he noted.

“We have a very clear vision moving into the next decade,” the minister said, adding that Jamaica is focused on achieving Outcome 14 under the fourth National Development Goal of “Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change”.   “We firmly believe that adequate monitoring of natural hazards is pivotal to implementing that strategy,” he added.

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J$131.04 to one US dollar

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Forex: J$131.04 to one US dollar

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The US dollar on Tuesday, June 25 ended trading at J$131.04 up by 61 cents according to the Bank of Jamaica’s daily foreign exchange trading summary.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar ended trading at J$100.27 down from J$100.20 while the British pound sterling ended trading at J$164.55 down from J$165.60.


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