Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

On What Grounds?

Let’s see. This guy was convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment, and upon appeal, his verdict was upheld. Then an upper court of appeals judge reverses the conviction. When the Arab Times prints a story like this, they need also to report what the judge said, on what grounds he overturned the conviction, dont’ you think?

Bedoun acquitted in kidnap, sale of maid to Asian pimps

KUWAIT CITY: The Court of Appeals Wednesday overturned the verdict of a lower court and acquitted a Bedoun taxi driver, identified as Mohammed S., who had been charged with kidnapping and selling an Asian housemaid to three Bangladeshi pimps.

On March 4, 2007, the Criminal Court had sentenced the driver to life imprisonment in absentia. He submitted an objection letter to the same court, but the court upheld the verdict.
According to case papers the driver promised the victim a better job and lured her to run away from her sponsor. On June 17, 2006, the maid escaped from her sponsor. The accused waited for her in his taxi with two Bangladeshi men and the ‘four’ drove to an apartment in Riqei. There the maid was introduced to another Bangladeshi.

The man, who gave her shelter in his apartment, informed her that he had bought her from the driver for KD 150. The confused maid discovered she had been tricked and requested to go to the bathroom. In an attempt to escape by climbing down from the drainage pipes, she slipped and fell to the ground.

The building caretaker informed the authorities and police investigations revealed the apartment was rented by the driver, who reportedly went underground after the incident.

The session was presided by Judge Ibrahim Al-Obaid.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Customer Service, Kuwait, News, Social Issues | Leave a comment

Obesity Fuels Cancer in Women

This is not good news – From BBC Health News:

About 6,000 middle-aged or older women in the UK develop cancer each year because they are obese or overweight, a Cancer Research UK-funded study says.
The study, which looked at 45,000 cases of cancer in 1m women over seven years, says this is about 5% of such cases.

It is published online by the British Medical Journal and blames excess fat for 50% of cases of womb cancer and a type of oesophageal cancer.

Last week an international study warned of the link between cancer and weight.

Cancers Linked to Obesity:
Multiple myeloma (bone marrow)
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

You can read the entire article HERE.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | Health Issues, News | , | 10 Comments

Congress Overturns Bush Veto

From BBC News.

The United States Congress has for the first time overturned President George W Bush’s veto, on a bill authorising spending on water projects.


The Senate voted 79-14 to overturn the veto, after the House of Representatives voted 361-54, well over the two-thirds majority required.

The last time a veto was overridden was in 1998, under President Bill Clinton.

The bill authorises billions of dollars-worth of local projects, many of which Mr Bush says are unnecessary.

It includes funding for coastal restoration in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, improving the Florida Everglades and fisheries in the Great Lakes.

Many local projects, such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration, are considered important to local communities and therefore to politicians’ electors.

My comment: It’s about time. I only wish it had happened before, when Congress approved a child healthcare plan, Bush vetoed it, and Congress didn’t have the votes to override the veto.

In the US system, there are two houses in the legislature; the Senate, with two representatives from each state, and the House of Representatives, with representations allocated according to population. When a bill is passed, it has to be passed by both houses, by a simple majority, more voting for than against. Then the bill goes to the President for his signature. If he vetos the bill (says no) then the bill can still become a law if 2/3 of the members of the Senate and 2/3 members of the House vote for it.

Several members of Bush’s party, the Republicans, had to vote with the Democrats in order to overcome the veto.

You can read the rest of the story HERE.

In addition to national laws, there are state laws. In my state, Washington state, there is a really cool way a bill may be introduced by the people, called an initiative. If you can gather enough genuine signatures – and they will be sampled and verified, so you really have to have more than enough real signatures – you can put an issue on the ballot. It usually takes a lot of signatures, and most of the time the initiatives can be a little bit crack-pot, but it puts a lot of power in the hands of the people to have this instrument for making laws.

On the other hand, there are also referendums, in which the elected legislators will send a bill to the people to vote on.

These are both forms of direct democracy, where the people vote for themselves, instead of trusting elected representatives make the decisions for them.

You would think it would be an ideal form of democracy, but to work, it requires that people educate themselves on the issues, and people often aren’t willing to do that.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Education, Locard Exchange Principal, Political Issues, Social Issues | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment