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Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar brought to court

Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar brought to court | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were in handcuffs as they were brought to the Insein district court in Yangon, where dozens of reporters and diplomats were present to witness the proceedings.

The two journalists had worked on Reuters coverage of a crisis in Rakhine state, where an army crackdown on insurgents since the end of August has triggered the flight of 688,000 Rohingya Muslims, according to the United Nations.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained on Dec. 12 after they had been invited to meet police officers over dinner in Yangon. They have told relatives they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some documents at a restaurant by two officers they had not met before.
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Amanda Watkins's comment, February 12, 2018 2:17 AM
This article is very sad to read and assuming the two reporters are telling the truth; it is sad that they were taken advantage of by police officers to frame them. I am curious to know why the police officers would frame them unless they know something they shouldn’t know. It is sad this kind of situation could hold-up in court and their bond be denied. The contradiction and missing information seem like it would be a no brainer to dismiss the case.
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Tanzania court sentences Chinese 'Ivory Queen' to 15 years prison | News | Al Jazeera

Tanzania court sentences Chinese 'Ivory Queen' to 15 years prison | News | Al Jazeera | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Yang Fenglan was found guilty of smuggling about 860 pieces of ivory over several years to Asia.
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‘The cage made me strong’: Manus Island detainee Abdul Aziz Muhamat wins human rights award – video | Global | The Guardian

‘The cage made me strong’: Manus Island detainee Abdul Aziz Muhamat wins human rights award – video | Global | The Guardian | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
This award shows us the 'international community acknowledges our existence, our resilience, our struggle’: Sudanese refugee detained on Manus Island wins major human rights award
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'Free pass for mobs': India urged to stem vigilante violence against minorities | World news | The Guardian

'Free pass for mobs': India urged to stem vigilante violence against minorities | World news | The Guardian | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Human Rights Watch blames police inertia and government failures for lack of justice for those affected
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Was Late Judas Priest Drummer Dave Holland Victim Of 'Very Sad Injustice'? - Blabbermouth.net

Was Late Judas Priest Drummer Dave Holland Victim Of 'Very Sad Injustice'? - Blabbermouth.net | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
* There was another 22-year-old male allegedly involved but the police apparently offered him a deal of both freedom and not to be on record as a criminal — if he pleaded guilty. This is what he did. This, it could be argued, was detrimental to Dave's plea of innocence.

"From what the lady also said, the judge presiding over the case was at the very least biased to put it mildly — and he threw out valuable evidence that would have been in Dave's favour.

"For example, the prosecution said that the lady's son was also present on the day that the offense was supposed to have taken place. This, as stated by the lady, wasn't the case as he was at a wedding with her — evidential proof of which was submitted in court. Yet, for some reason, the judge did not allow this evidence to be admissible.

"Also, the accuser's brother, who seemingly had helped to concoct the story, was on the run from the police at the time of the trial. So, his statement, according to the judge, couldn't be read out in court either. Dave seemingly showed the lady the brother's statement when he received a copy upon his release from prison. She said that the brother admits in the statement that the story about Dave was made up.

"On top of everything else, Dave's appointed defence council that was familiar with the defence details didn't turn up on the day, having cried off with a cold. So, Dave had to be represented by a last minute stand-in defence lawyer who was apparently hopeless.
Rob Duke's insight:

Not a great justice source, but still some insight on England's system...perhaps some of the reason why they now frown on plea bargains (though still do quite a lot of them--despite a supposed ban).

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Should Alaska privatize prisons? Dems upset over budget director’s ties to industry

Should Alaska privatize prisons? Dems upset over budget director’s ties to industry | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Lawmakers are sending a letter to the governor.
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The arrest of Michael Calvey, an American investor, shocks Russia’s business community - Russian surprises

The arrest of Michael Calvey, an American investor, shocks Russia’s business community - Russian surprises | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

THE RUSSIAN Investment Forum, a yearly pow-wow for business bigwigs, bills itself as a platform for “presenting Russia’s investment and economic potential”. As the forum concluded in Sochi on February 15th, the country’s security services back in Moscow highlighted the risks of doing business in Russia by arresting Michael Calvey, the American founder of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, a Russia-focused private-equity firm, on fraud charges carrying a sentence of up to ten years. The image of Mr Calvey in the defendant’s cage sent shudders through the business community. The court’s decision on February 16th to hold him in pre-trial detention for two months will surely give other foreign investors pause.

The arrest of Mr Calvey and three other partners stems from a battle for control over Vostochny Bank, in which Baring Vostok holds a 52.5% stake. Prosecutors allege that Mr Calvey and his associates embezzled $37.7m from the bank. Mr Calvey has called the charges baseless, and says they are the outgrowth of a conflict with two minority shareholders, Artem Avetisyan and Sherzod Yusupov, whom Baring Vostok accuses of fraudulently withdrawing assets from a smaller bank of theirs ahead of a merger with Vostochny in 2017. The dispute has gone to arbitration in London. The case against Mr Calvey was opened after Mr Yusupov complained to the Federal Security Service (FSB). The Bell, an independent Russian news site, reported that Mr Avetisyan has close ties with the country's security services, including with the son of Nikolai Patrushev, the hawkish head of Russia’s Security Council.

In the decades since Mr Calvey, a veteran of Salomon Brothers and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), set up Baring Vostok in 1994, he has been unwaveringly bullish about the Russian market, through crises, recessions and geopolitical tensions. Even as other foreign investors wound down their businesses after Russia annexed Crimea and launched a war in eastern Ukraine, spurring sanctions from the West, Baring Vostok stayed. “Our instinct is to continue investing when all the investors around us are scared,” Mr Calvey told The Moscow Times in 2014. In total, Baring Vostok’s funds have invested $2.8bn in 80 projects in Russia and the former Soviet Union, across a range of sectors including technology, media, banking, natural resources, retail and telecommunications. The fund was an early investor in Yandex, Russia’s leading internet firm.

Throughout his career, Mr Calvey developed a reputation as a straight-shooter who understood how to operate in Russia. “Of all the people I knew in Moscow, Mike played by their rules, kept his head down and never criticized the government,” tweeted Bill Browder, a financier who found himself in the Kremlin’s crosshairs more than a decade ago as the head of another private-equity firm. Many Russian business leaders immediately spoke out in Mr Calvey’s defence. German Gref, head of state-run Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, called Mr Calvey “a decent and honest person” and said that he hoped the charges would turn out to be “a misunderstanding”. Kirill Dmitriev, the well-connected director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a state-backed sovereign-wealth fund, promised to “provide a personal guarantee” for Mr Calvey, praising his efforts to attract foreign investment in Russia. But if the security services’ interests are involved, even this support may not be enough to protect Baring Vostok.

Regardless of how the case plays out, the damage—both to Russia’s investment climate and to US-Russia relations—will have been done. “If they can arrest Calvey, they are not afraid to arrest anyone,” tweeted Michael McFaul, a former American ambassador to Russia. “To my American friends still doing business in Russia, it’s time to come home.” Russia has already been struggling to attract foreign investment: FDI flows collapsed from $69bn in 2013 to just $6.9bn in 2015. They had begun to tick back up, reaching $28.6bn in 2017. Yet with investors landing behind bars and further sanctions against Russia advancing in the US Congress, fewer and fewer foreigners will be willing to risk exposure. As Mr Calvey once told interviewers: “International firms aren’t equipped for Russia, and they usually have a low tolerance threshold for uncertainty and no sense of humour for Russian surprises.”

Rob Duke's insight:

Lacking a rule of law and accountability, some countries are more likely than others to prosecute business as if a war.

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Suspected drug traffickers killed by police in Rio shootout | Euronews

Suspected drug traffickers killed by police in Rio shootout | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Brazilian police killed at least 13 suspected drug traffickers on Friday in a shootout in Rio de Janeiro.
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Kateryna Handzyuk acid attack murder: political chief charged with organising killing | Euronews

Kateryna Handzyuk acid attack murder: political chief charged with organising killing | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

A regional political chief has been charged in relation to a deadly acid attack on an anti-corruption activist in Ukraine.

Vladyslav Manger, president of the Kherson regional parliament, is accused of organising the murder of Kateryna Handzyuk.

Handzyuk, 33, died in November, three months after being attacked with sulfuric acid in Kherson last July.

She posted a video in September urging Ukrainians to fight corruption saying “I know I look bad now… but I look better than justice in Ukraine.”

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Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur to be sentenced Friday - The

The murders of eight marginalized men raised tough questions for Canada.
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Taylor Bergan's curator insight, February 9, 4:30 PM
The questions at the end of this article are interesting. Was there a bias when conducting this investigation? McArthur was interviewed a few times before they arrested him, even when he had allegedly choked another man. Maybe there were quite a few homophobic police that didn’t care as much for finding the individual responsible for the murders.
 
Camden Pommenville's comment, February 12, 1:52 AM
It is interesting that hte police had talked with McArther on multiple occasions and was accused of attacking someone and they didn't find anything that would be incriminating. As with all stories, there might be circumstances that might have obscured the investigation. One part that I find interesting is that the police made a statement previously that there was no serial killer targeting gay men in Toronto when in reality there was and they rationalized it by saying they did it to make people feel safe. They may think they are safe but they are still in danger and are not aware of potential dangers.
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Archaeologists discover a gruesome tower of skulls in Mexico City - Head count

Archaeologists discover a gruesome tower of skulls in Mexico City - Head count | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

THE Aztecs were not gracious victors. Their prisoners of war were frequently used for human sacrifice, as part of spectacles in which their hearts would be ripped from their bodies by priests, to be offered, still beating, to the gods. Their heads fared no better, usually ending up in a kind of skull wall, called a tzompantli in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. In its typical form it consisted of a platform, with posts connected by crossbeams onto which skulls would be threaded. Tzompantlis were generally placed in front of temples, so that friend and foe alike would be awed by the state’s power.

In 2015 archaeologists identified the Huey (Great) Tzompantli, a particularly impressive version. It stood near the main temple of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital on whose remains Hernán Cortés founded Mexico City after the Spanish conquest in 1521. As the digging season wrapped up last month, researchers announced their newest discovery: a gruesome, circular tower of skulls, which stood at one end of the 34-metre (100-foot) platform. It is thought to be one of two such towers cited in an account of the Huey Tzompantli by Andrés de Tapia, who fought alongside Cortés.

Today, the tower is around six metres wide. Researchers have uncovered less than two metres in height, but in its heyday, it was probably far taller. The skulls, stuck together with lime and clay, are mostly male, as would be expected of enemy warriors. But others belonged to women and children—groups whose skulls had not been found before on a tzompantli, according to Raúl Barrera, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation.

Even so, their use in the tower ties in with current understanding of certain Aztec ceremonies. Women were sacrificed at feasts and festivals where they were chosen to represent goddesses—on occasion by decapitation followed by flaying. And children were offered to the rain god, Tlaloc, as the tears they shed on the way to their deaths were considered an omen of plentiful rainfall. The adult skulls have holes in the sides, says Mr Barrera, indicating that they were previously displayed on the crossbeams before being moved to the circular tower.

 So far, 450 skulls have been identified in the tower. The total in the Huey Tzompantli is likely to be in the thousands. However, the Spanish colonisers probably exaggerated how many they had seen. The squeamish would certainly hope so: de Tapia estimated the number of heads on the crossbeams alone at 136,000.

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Jason Terzi's comment, February 10, 6:20 PM
It's interesting to see what people could get away with when no criminal justice system existed and this was seen as common practice. It was also surprising to me to read that women and children made up some of the skulls and that women were sacrificed at feast.
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Fairbanks man pleads guilty to murder, trying to murder an accomplice

Fairbanks man pleads guilty to murder, trying to murder an accomplice | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A local man pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder Monday morning.
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Camden Pommenville's comment, February 12, 1:58 AM
What a crazy story. I wonder why the drop in charges when his associate is testifying against him with pretty damning evidence. Perhaps there is a lack of direct evidence?
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Cassidy Edwards's comment, February 18, 11:29 PM
It amazes me at what criminals will go through now days just to try and cover something up or keep someone quiet. Here you have a murderer who already is being tried in a murder case and while he was awaiting trial, he tried to have his accomplice killed because his accomplice was going to rat him out over a plea deal. It just amazes me to think about what is going through the minds of killers like this. It is also scary to see this mans charges were lowered to second degree murder and other charges were dropped even though one man is dead another was plotted against.
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Pope Francis wraps up historic visit to UAE after peninsula's first-ever papal Mass | Euronews

Pope Francis wraps up historic visit to UAE after peninsula's first-ever papal Mass | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Pope Francis has wrapped up his historic visit to the Arabian Peninsula today.

He is now on board of ‘Shepherd One’ - the papal plane - and expected to return to Rome this evening.


Earlier this morning, the Head of the Catholic Church led the first-ever papal Mass in the Arabian Peninsula, which was attended by around 135,000 people at Zayed Sports City Stadium.
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Nigeria’s president sacks the chief justice weeks before an election - Above the law

Nigeria’s president sacks the chief justice weeks before an election - Above the law | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

The wheels of justice turn slowly in Nigeria. On the rare occasions when corruption cases are brought against prominent people, petitions can take years to resolve. It was therefore unusual that on January 25th President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, a mere 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. This was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.


Mr Buhari’s move was not merely unusual. It was also unlawful. Nigeria’s constitution seeks to balance the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government; a power play by one part against a second needs the consent of the third. Mr Buhari did not seek support from the Senate, where he lacks the two-thirds majority needed to oust the chief justice, so his act is widely viewed as being against the law.

It has also injected a dose of fury into a previously placid election campaign. Earlier this week Nigerian lawyers took to the streets of Abuja, the capital, in protest (see picture). Some stopped work for two days. Atiku Abubakar, Mr Buhari’s main rival in the presidential race that takes place on February 16th, has called the move “a brazen act of dictatorship”. On January 26th America, Britain and the eu issued statements expressing concern.

Few observers doubt that Mr Onnoghen has a case to answer. Under Nigerian law, officials have to disclose their assets every four years and upon taking a new job. He has not done so since his promotion in March 2017. Nigeria’s judiciary, like many of the country’s institutions, is widely seen as corrupt. Yet due process has not been followed, notes Aminu Gamawa, a member of Nigeria’s bar association.

There are probably two reasons why Mr Buhari sacked him, critics say. Both are political. First, the Supreme Court is due to hear appeals lodged by the All Progressives Congress (apc), Mr Buhari’s party, against decisions by the Independent National Electoral Commission, which barred it from running candidates in two of Nigeria’s 36 states. Mr Onnoghen is viewed by the apc as being close to Mr Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party. Second, the chief justice would have to preside over any litigation arising from a disputed election result. This matters in a country with a history of electoral shenanigans, preceded and followed by deadly violence.

On January 29th the Senate asked Mr Buhari to reinstate Mr Onnoghen. But the president shows no sign of backing down. He has already sworn in a new chief justice, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad. (Technically Mr Tanko is the “acting” chief justice, but temporary appointments have a way of becoming permanent.)

It is not obvious that Mr Buhari would need to cheat to win re-election. His anti-corruption tirades appeal to voters. His opponent, Mr Abubakar, though he likens himself to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Lee Kuan Yew, is seen as less tough on graft. Yet Mr Buhari seems to think that the benefits of removing the top judge are worth the costs. Thus he has reminded Nigerians that since his election in 2015 he has done little to strengthen institutions, which is what Nigeria needs most of all.

Rob Duke's insight:

This is what happens when you have an impartial, but not independent judiciary.

Later, you may see a question about which is more important: Impartial or Independent.

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Hoda Muthana wants to help US deradicalise others, says lawyer | World news | The Guardian

Hoda Muthana wants to help US deradicalise others, says lawyer | World news | The Guardian | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The lawyer for Hoda Muthana, the US woman who fled Islamic State and now wants to return home, has called for her to be a voice of a deradicalisation programme that dissuades others from joining the terror group and counters online manipulation.


Hoda Muthana 'deeply regrets' joining Isis and wants to return home
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Hassan Shibly, an attorney who has represented Muthana’s family in the four years since she left her home in Alabama for Syria, says Muthana, 24, is prepared to face the US justice system.

“She wants to come back to the United States to be accountable for her mistakes and then be a powerful voice to make sure others don’t repeat those same mistakes,” Shibly said in response to an interview Muthana gave to the Guardian on Monday from a detention camp in Syria.

“Hoda Muthana was a vulnerable young woman who was taken advantage of by these terrorist criminal masterminds who ultimately brainwashed her and led her to make some horrible choices that she deeply regrets.”
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Chinese surveillance company tracking 2.5m Xinjiang residents | World news | The Guardian

Chinese surveillance company tracking 2.5m Xinjiang residents | World news | The Guardian | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Internet expert exposes unsecured database believed to be targeting Muslim minorities
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The ‘war on drugs’ is causing great damage | Letters | World news | The Guardian

The ‘war on drugs’ is causing great damage | Letters | World news | The Guardian | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Letters: Readers discuss whether the ‘war’ is the right way to combat the violence fuelled by the drugs trade
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Should assimilation be a requirement for citizenship? - Open Society

Should assimilation be a requirement for citizenship? - Open Society | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

In April, when France’s highest administrative court upheld a decision to deny citizenship to an Algerian woman because she refused to shake the hand of the presiding official, the ruling barely caused a stir in France. Abroad, though, it raised eyebrows, and the charge from some quarters that the country was infringing on civil and religious liberties. The incident serves as an example of the sort of policy decision taken in a liberal democracy that to some observers amounts to intolerance but to others to a form of vigilance against intolerant values.

The woman, named in the ruling only as Madame B.A., had married a French citizen in the Algerian town of Nédrona in 2010. Five years later she applied for French citizenship through marriage, as she is legally entitled to do. During the naturalisation ceremony, in the town of Grenoble in the foothills of the Alps, she refused to shake the hands of the two officials present, and later explained that this was for religious reasons. The French government ruled that her refusal amounted to a “failure to assimilate”, which it is entitled to do under a provision in French law, and therefore denied her French citizenship. When the applicant appealed, on the grounds of her right to religious freedom, the Conseil d’Etat upheld the government’s decision.

To outsiders, such a decision may appear absurd, if not deeply illiberal. No mention in the ruling was made of Islam, but this was widely assumed to be the religion she was referring to. Surely a woman’s decision to follow her faith in declining to shake a man’s hand is her right? The French may argue that religion should be kept out of public life. But when mayors of some French beach resorts in 2016 tried to ban the “burkini”, a head-and-body-covering swimsuit, they were overruled in the courts.

In this instance, though, France was applying its secular laws in the context not of beachwear but the right to citizenship. In its ruling, the Conseil d’Etat explicitly referred to a 1905 law which was designed to keep religion out of public affairs after a long anti-clerical battle with the Catholic church. It was on this basis that the French banned the Islamic headscarf and other “conspicuous” religious symbols in state schools in 2004, and the face-covering niqab in all public places in 2010. Such a creed, known as laïcité, enjoys cross-party political consensus.

Exactly how to interpret such rules is a matter of ongoing debate in France. President Emmanuel Macron has argued for the need to be less rigid, and likes to remind the French that the 1905 law was passed also to enshrine the right to religious practice. He has said that he is “not personally happy” about French women who wear the veil. But nor does he want to restrict the wearing of it any further, as some politicians would like.

In general, the French regard laïcité as a bulwark against the dissemination of hardline religious practices, in particular those that impose conservative social codes on women, which the French consider a greater threat to tolerance and openness than their secular rules.

There may be no simple solution to the contradiction this presents for those who uphold liberal values. France’s quest to find a better balance between defending religious freedom on one hand, and individual rights when they are threatened by the consequence of those freedoms on the other, puts a central part of its very identity to the test.

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A suspected killer eluded capture for 25 years. Then investigators got his aunt’s DNA.

A suspected killer eluded capture for 25 years. Then investigators got his aunt’s DNA. | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Elena Sergie sat for the news that her family had waited a quarter-century to hear, shifting in the chair as the details of her daughter Sophie’s brutal slaying were again put into words.

“The impact of her murder was felt statewide,” a public safety official said from the lectern.

Elena Sergie pulled a tissue from her jacket pocket and wiped tears from underneath her dark glasses. She winced as authorities repeated how much time had passed since the bloody discovery in a Fairbanks dormitory bathtub — nearly 26 years, or six years more than Sophie’s age.

The April 1993 slaying of Sophie Sergie, an Alaska Native, was one of the state’s most notorious cold cases until Friday, when authorities announced that DNA genealogical mapping helped triangulate a genetic match with Steven Downs, 44, a nurse in Auburn, Maine.

Downs was charged with sexual assault and murder, the Alaska State Troopers said. He is also charged in Maine with being a fugitive of justice, said Sgt. Tim Lajoie of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department in Maine. Downs did not yet have an attorney, Lajoie said Saturday, and extradition to Alaska will be addressed when the charge in Maine has been resolved.

“Justice is finally within reach,” said Col. Barry Wilson, Alaska State Troopers’ director.

An Alaska district court filing recounts the long arc of the investigation.

Sophie Sergie, who aspired to be a marine biologist, was a student at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks but left school to save money for orthodontic work. She took three flights to Fairbanks from Pitkas Point — a tiny, verdant town on the Yukon River in western Alaska — to have the work performed.

Shirley Wasuli was happy to have her friend in town. Sergie was happy, too: A photo taken that night shows her with a wide smile, her arms stretched out wide against a ground cover of snow.

Wasuli prepared a bed in her room on the female-only second floor of Bartlett Hall and, with her boyfriend in tow, hosted Sergie for a night of pizza and catching up. Sergie stepped out for a smoke. It was cold, Wasuli told her, and she suggested huddling by the bathroom exhaust vent to avoid going outside.

Witnesses later said she smoked with a group outside, wearing a brightly colored striped sweater poking out from the fringes of her jacket in the photo.

By 1:30 a.m., Sergie had not returned. Wasuli left a note on her door, explaining that she and her boyfriend were sleeping in another dorm. When Wasuli arrived the next morning, she found the note still on the door. The bed was undisturbed. She called the orthodontist; Sergie had missed her appointment.

University janitors found her body that afternoon in a bathtub on the second floor, her sweater and pants half-removed. She had been sexually assaulted, stabbed in the face and shot in the back of a head with a .22-caliber firearm. Investigators found her cigarette lighter when they moved her body. She still wore her socks and shoes.

Investigators canvassed the area and interviewed students who had been at Bartlett Hall, including Downs, then an 18-year-old student, and his roommate Nicholas Dazer, who also worked as a security guard on campus and helped secure the scene. They denied having any knowledge of the crime.

Police recovered the suspect’s DNA from Sergie’s body. At the time, the district court filing said, DNA processing technology had not been introduced in Alaska. A DNA profile confirming the suspect as male was uploaded in 2000, but it did not match anyone in the FBI’s database.

The case went dormant for years. In 2010, a cold case investigator sought to re-interview everyone who lived at Bartlett Hall.

They asked Dazer about weapons. He denied having a gun that fired .22-caliber rounds, but he did recall his roommate had an H & R .22-caliber revolver. But the markings, a forensic scientist concluded, were consistent with many other firearms of the same caliber. It is not clear whether investigators spoke with Downs about the weapon.

The case spiraled back into an unsolved mystery.

Then the alleged “Golden State Killer” was captured.

In the years since Sergie’s slaying, DNA public databases emerged as potent investigative tools. Until recently, DNA samples were passively checked against other records and produced matches only when two sets from the same person were linked.

Today, public databases like GEDmatch are filled with genetic codes volunteered by people with hopes of building out their family trees.

That helped authorities find “Golden State Killer” suspect Joseph James DeAngelo, accused of killing 12 people and raping 45 in California in the 1970s and ′80s.

The publicity of the feat, state troopers said, sparked the idea for investigators in the Sergie case. Why not try the same?

A forensic genealogist prepared a report on Dec. 18, comparing the suspect’s genetic material from the crime scene to likely relatives. A woman’s DNA profile emerged in the search.

Investigators found their link: She was an aunt of Downs’s.

Maine State Police visited Downs on Wednesday at his home. Downs denied any knowledge but said he remembered posters of Sergie’s face on campus, according to the police. “I remember the pictures. It’s terrible, poor girl,” he told officers, suggesting that soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Wainwright at the time should be investigated.

A cheek swab was taken the next day for DNA testing. It was a match with the original DNA sample, police said. Downs was arrested without incident.

Friday’s news conference ended after a brief summary with no questions taken from reporters. Elena Sergie, appearing unable to stand, remained sitting in an office chair.

Stephen Sergie held the back of the chair, and with the help of Col. Wilson, wheeled his weeping mother out of the room.

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Cassidy Edwards's comment, February 18, 11:10 PM
When this first came to light this that a killer had finally been identified 25 years later in a case that is so important to this town and UAF I think a lot of people were stunned. Our ability to identify DNA has grown so much over the year and that is obviously what led to the conclusion of this case and it is just so amazing that after all these years investigators were able to use that technology to identify a relative of DNA that was found at the crime scene, and they were able to trace it down to the right person in the end. I cannot imagine how the family feels having to relive the horrors of their sweet girls’ death, but at the same time I can’t imagine the amount of closure they must be feeling as well. It is scary to know that a killer walked free for 25 years because our DNA technology back then wasn’t able to be used how it is today, but this case just like the golden state killer case gives the world hope that more unsolved cold cases could potentially be reopened back up to try and use the resources that we have around today.
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Drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán likely headed to Supermax prison, experts say

Drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán likely headed to Supermax prison, experts say | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán is most likely facing a life sentence in a harsh federal "supermax" facility known for its bleak and isolating conditions, Bob Hood, a former "Supermax" penitentiary warden said.
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Chinese worshippers pray to God of Wealth | Euronews

Chinese worshippers pray to God of Wealth | Euronews | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
People in China paid homage to the God of Wealth on Saturday, praying for good fortune.
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Fontana, California, police say they've found an underground gang hideout and shooting range

Fontana, California, police say they've found an underground gang hideout and shooting range | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A police department in California is sending a strong message to suspected bad guys: It'll hunt you down inside manholes and underground caves.
Rob Duke's insight:

Fontana was known for its biker gangs...not sure, but that'd be a good bet.

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Can inequality only be fixed by war, revolution or plague? - Open Future

Can inequality only be fixed by war, revolution or plague? - Open Future | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

IN AN age of widening inequality, Walter Scheidel believes he has cracked the code on how to overcome it. In “The Great Leveler”, the Stanford professor posits that throughout history, economic inequality has only been rectified by one of the “Four Horsemen of Leveling”: warfare, revolution, state collapse and plague.

So are liberal democracies doomed to a repeat of the pattern that saw the gilded age give way to a breakdown of society? Or can they legislate a way out of the ominous cycle of brutal inequality and potential violence? 

“For more substantial levelling to occur, the established order needs to be shaken up,” he says. “The greater the shock to the system, the easier it becomes to reduce privilege at the top.” Yet nothing is inevitable, and Mr Scheidel urges that society become “more creative” in devising policies that can be implemented. The Economist’s Open Future initiative asked Mr Scheidel to reply to five questions. An excerpt from the book appears thereafter.

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Renault to alert prosecutors over ex-CEO Ghosn's wedding costs | Reuters

Renault to alert prosecutors over ex-CEO Ghosn's wedding costs | Reuters | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Renault is conducting an internal probe into its own payments to Ghosn in the wake of his arrest. Until now, it had yet to flag any financial irregularities.

The investigation has “identified that Mr Ghosn was accorded a personal benefit valued at 50,000 euros under the terms of a sponsorship contract with the Chateau de Versailles”, Renault said on Thursday.


Trade war dents Daimler, but Toyota motors on
“Renault has decided to bring these findings to the attention of the judicial authorities,” it said.

Ghosn remains in detention in Japan with limited opportunity to respond publicly to allegations against him.

The Oct. 8, 2016 wedding reception hosted by Ghosn and his second wife Carole attracted public attention for its opulence and Marie Antoinette-themed costumes.

The Renault board’s ethics committee was informed about the discovery on Wednesday, as reported by the newspaper, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
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What does Naomi Osaka reveal about Japan’s racial attitudes? - Hafuway there

What does Naomi Osaka reveal about Japan’s racial attitudes? - Hafuway there | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

When naomi osaka won the Australian Open on January 26th and became the world’s top-ranked female tennis player, the inhabitants of her mother’s home town of Nemuro, on Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, celebrated. Congratulatory banners adorned the city hall. Townsfolk flocked to see the display of autographed rackets, clothing and other tennis paraphernalia inside. In interviews her grandfather praised her performance.

That may not seem strange, but in Japan people are typically considered Japanese only if they have two Japanese parents, speak fluent Japanese, look the part and “act Japanese”. Ms Osaka grew up in America and is only hafu (half) Japanese; her father is Haitian. She is more comfortable speaking English than Japanese (or Creole). Her grandfather at first disowned her mother when she told him she was seeing a foreign man.

For some, Japan’s embrace of Ms Osaka is hypocritical: everyone loves a winner. That view seemed to be vindicated when Nissin, a noodle-maker, ran an advert featuring Ms Osaka in which her skin and hair were lightened. (After complaints, the firm withdrew it.) Although Japanese television has long featured mixed-race celebrities, they serve as novelties. Life for non-famous hafu remains tough, with bullying in schools commonplace.

Japan may be becoming more tolerant of those who are different, however. Ms Osaka has been more warmly embraced than past half-Japanese winners of beauty pageants, for instance. “Having someone like Naomi Osaka represent Japan on the international stage would not have been possible a few decades ago,” says Megumi Nishikura, a hafu herself and a co-director of the film “Hafu”.

To some degree it is a question of numbers: 3.4% of married Japanese have a foreign spouse and three times more foreigners live and work in the country today than a decade ago. Yet the fact that the Nissin advert made it into production is “a clear indicator of the challenges that remain”, says Ms Nishikura. Since Japan does not technically allow dual citizenship for those over 22, Ms Osaka will in theory have to choose in October whether she feels Japanese enough to renounce her American citizenship and continue to play as Japanese.

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Lindsey Sanders's comment, February 6, 10:55 PM
Japan is a country that puts a lot into a traditional lifestyle. The fact that it is 2019 and Japan does not allow people to have dual citizenships after the age of 22 seems close minded. They have a tennis champion but when her birthday comes around, she will have to make a choice to renounce America and stay in Japan or decide to stay in America and possibly cut ties with Japan. If this is a way for them to ensure that their bloodlines stay the most pure, or for them to keep traditions alive is unknown. It was said that her grandfather disowned her mother when he found out she was seeing a foreign man. Are their views changing, slowly, or are they trying to keep tradition as pure as they can.
Madi Janes's curator insight, February 10, 5:24 PM
This reminds me a lot of some experiences I've had growing up. Some people can't help but relate skin tone to identity. I was told quite often growing up I wasn't really native because I am only a quarter and  I am lighter skinned. Despite the fact I grew up emerged in my culture and traditions and identify greatly with my native blood. That to some wasn't enough. 
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Hawaii lawmaker introduces bill to eventually ban cigarette sales in state

Hawaii lawmaker introduces bill to eventually ban cigarette sales in state | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Hawaii state lawmaker has introduced a bill intended to effectively ban cigarette sales statewide. State House member Rep. Richard Creagan's (D) bill would raise the minimum smoking age incrementally each year to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023 and 100 in 2024.
Rob Duke's insight:

They will just create a new profit stream for their criminal underworld.  Ug! doesn't anyone read Gary Becker's work on black and gray markets anymore?  His Nobel prize winning work is a bit dry with all the economic formulas, but it's clear that if you make something illegal, all you do is bar it from those who are generally mild mannered and non-risk-takers.  This opens that market up to the most violent risk-takers.

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Camden Pommenville's comment, February 12, 2:07 AM
I think phasing out smoking is a step in the right direction. While it is not really "phasing" as it dramatically rises each year. We as a society are already phasing it out of public eye by banning smoking in restaurants, in front of many buildings, and even in the car with certain peoples present. The result has been cleaner public areas without butts everywhere, and cleaner air in public places. This will significantly reduce access for juveniles and will eliminate it from the public eye. If someone can afford to buy black market cigarettes while on an island in the middle of the pacific, then they can do in secret.
Soni Sharma's comment, February 12, 5:20 AM
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Cassidy Edwards's comment, February 18, 11:19 PM
This idea is controversial to me because although it might be a step in the right direction to eliminate something that causes so many health problems to everyone around it, it is also opening a new avenue like you said for their criminal underworld. When you make something as age old as smoking banned or try to progress to banning it, you are only making the risks greater because of the potential of people rebelling over the decision and also making it something that will be harder to access will create a much greater danger risk because it will become just like the other drugs that are illegal that people go to all risks just to get access to them. Today we already see that you can no longer smoke in restaurants and a lot of other public places and personally I think that is enough restrictions alone. The more we try to phase out smoking I think the more avenues for new types of crime will open up. So although this idea is a step in the right direction I think that it will cause many more problems that people are not aware of.