Was there a rush to judgment?

first_imgEVERY once in a while, something comes along that forces all of us to re-boot our concept of what is real. John Mark Karr’s confession of guilt in the JonBen?t Ramsey murder is just such an event. For nearly 10 years, all major media outlets told us that someone in the Ramsey family killed JonBen?t. We were told that Patsy Ramsey had similar handwriting to that found on the infamous ransom note. We were told that the amount requested in the ransom note, $118,000, was the exact amount of John Ramsey’s Christmas bonus that year. Esteemed journalists wrote brilliant, compelling articles telling us why they believed that John or Patsy or even their 10-year-old son Burke had killed the little beauty queen. Patsy killed JonBen?t in a rage because the child had wet her bed. John killed his daughter because he was a sick pedophile. Burke killed his sister out of jealousy because she got all the attention. And we bought it. All of it. We wanted to believe they were guilty. After all, the Ramseys were rich. How many of us can relate to a man who gets a $118,000 Christmas bonus? Words used to describe the couple were “arrogant,” “elitist,” “smug.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesBetter yet, Patsy Ramsey, herself a former beauty contestant, dressed her little girl up in provocative outfits, with wigs and makeup; she exploited and sexualized her child. In most of our minds, this was all we needed to know. They did things we did not like to their child; therefore, they must be guilty. Much like Congressman Gary Condit was accepted as the killer of Washington intern Chandra Levy, because he admitted having an affair with her. It simply had to be. The only problem, Condit did not do it. Levy’s body was eventually found in a park near her home where she had gone jogging. As it turned out, Levy was the second female jogger killed in that park by a suspected serial killer. Levy’s killing was utterly random and senseless; it was not coherent, it did not add up.Meanwhile, all along, the Ramseys say they suspected an intruder had entered their home on Christmas Eve 1996 and killed their daughter. The very idea sounded absurd, even pathetic. What about the note? What about the broken paint brush which came from inside the house that was used as a garrote to strangle the little girl? Intruder? Please! Then there was another case in which the family was suspected, until a handyman was considered as good as guilty. But in the end, it was an intruder who had abducted the child. Elizabeth Smart turned up alive and reasonably well over a year after her disappearance. It was the happiest news anyone could remember. Now John Mark Karr is jarring our foundation making us rethink all we “know” to be true. Even making us wonder about whether O.J. Simpson killed Nicole and Ron Goldman.Karr is also bursting another myth. Usually, the monsters among us look ordinary, but Karr is nothing short of creepy. If it’s possible to look like a pedophile, this guy does. He is a pasty, effeminate little man with haunting eyes. My mother said he looks “unfinished.” I think I know what she means. But before we all hop on the Karr did it bandwagon, let’s remind ourselves of John Ramsey’s own words: “Do not jump to conclusions, do not rush to judgment, do not speculate. Let the justice system take its course.”Phil Perrier is a comedian and writer in Los Angeles. Write to him by e-mail at pphilperrier@aol.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Hunters Point Bears Fruit after Decades of Battle over Contamination

first_imgAs new homeowners move into the first 88 units of new housing at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard this spring and summer, officials from the Navy, the city of San Francisco and master developer Lennar Urban could be excused if they breathe a sigh of relief while looking back at the hurdles that were overcome to reach this point.“It really is the culmination of many, many years of thinking about what to do and many fights over what to do, so it’s huge that we have new residents in those units,” Olson Lee, director of the mayor’s office of Housing and Community Development, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Yes, it’s a former Superfund site. Yes, there were toxics on the site, but the city has followed all federal and state protocols that are part of the base conversion process to make sure all the new housing is safe.”The site’s reuse plan calls for 10,500 residential units to be built over the next two decades at the former shipyard and adjacent Candlestick Point. Almost one-third of the housing will be designated for low- or middle-income buyers and renters.To be sure, cleanup efforts to remove contaminated piping, groundwater, bay sediment and soil is expected to continue until 2021, but the new homes going up at Hunters Point mark the end of decades of bickering over the extent of pollutants left over from the decontamination of ships used as targets in atom bomb tests, research on the effects of radiation and industrial activities.“We are righting several wrongs — we are building affordable housing, cleaning up a Superfund site, bringing in retail, hiring local contractors and subcontractors, and building all this inclusionary and affordable housing,” said city Supervisor Malia Cohen.To date, three parcels have been cleaned up completely and two more are expected to be clean by 2016. The Navy hopes to hand over the last parcels to the city in 2021.“It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of money to continue to move down the right path, but what we are seeing now is a renaissance,” Cohen told the Chronicle. “We are turning it around, like a phoenix rising up from the toxins.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Dhaka has about half a million motor bikes

first_imgAs the number of motorcycles has doubled in the capital city over the past eight years, experts recommend controlling the two-wheeler as it is a ‘very risky mode of vehicle’.The number of registered motorcycles increased to 4,69,888 in April 2018 from 2,10,081 in 2010, according to statistics provided by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).Around 75,251 motorcycles were registered with the BRTA in 2017, a year when different ride-sharing companies, including Uber and Pathao introduced their bike services in the mega city.Urban and transport experts said if the number of the motorcycles continues to grow in the city, it will create an anarchy in the traffic system and thus worsen the traffic management.Saying that the rate of motorbike accident is very high, they suggested the government should streamline the public transport system to control motorbikes in the city right now.Professor Nazrul Islam, himself an urban expert and former chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), shared his own bitter experience of falling victim to motorcycle accident in the city in May.”When I was crossing a road through the zebra crossing in front of Oxford School in Dhanmondi-27 on 31 May, a speedy bike hit me. Since I jumped to escape any serious injury, I sustained wounds in my legs and hands falling on the ground,” he said.”The motorbike rider didn’t stop the bike and fled the scene. And even no one came forward to help me during the accident,” he added.He suspected that the motorbike was of any ridesharing service provider as both the riders were seen having helmets.The urban expert said the motorbike riders are desperate and hardly follow the traffic rules. “If the number of motorbikes goes up and the number of its alternative mode of transport doesn’t decrease, it’ll create anarchy in traffic system.”He said there should be separate lanes for motorbikes in the city as in cities of the developed nations.Prof Islam, however, said car services of different ridesharing companies is traffic-friendly ones and particularly good for middle-class people.Transport expert professor Shamsul Haque of Civil Engineering department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), said motorbike is a commuter-friendly transport but not healthy for the city’s traffic system as it is ‘very risky’ both for the biker and passenger.”If the number of motorbikes goes up commercially, it’ll intensify the risk of commuters,” he said.Professor Haque said the motorcycles are not recognised as public transport in the developed countries. “But, the two-wheeler vehicles are used on narrow roads or lanes as a component of integrated public transport system in some countries.”He said the rise of motorcycle use should be stopped soon for the sake of commuters’ safety and traffic disciple.Professor Moazzem Hossain, director of Accident Research Institute (ARI) of BUET, said the number of motorbikes is going up sharply on the city streets due to its substandard public transport system. “The rate of motorcycle accident is greater among all motorised vehicles.”Mentioning that the speed of the city’s buses is very low, the ARI director suggested allowing public buses to be operated by a single company to address traffic congestions in the city.Though the ridesharing companies claim that their motorcycle services are getting good response in the city, service recipients accused them of being too commercial and providing substandard services.Priyanka Kundu, 24, a working woman, said she frequently avail of the ridesharing service on her way to and from the office, but she found the high speed of bikes very risky.She also claimed that bikers refuse to go to her desired destinations in some cases.When contacted through email, the Uber spokesperson refused to reveal the number of bikes registered with the company.But Uber said, “We were incredibly excited with the launch of UberMOTO given how this product can help serve the need to navigate–faster and cheaper. UberMOTO has received encouraging response from our riders and partners since its launch.””The safety of riders and driver-partners is of paramount importance to us. We encourage bikers using the Uber app to act in compliance with all relevant local laws and the rules of the road at all times. Breaking the local laws can lead to bikers losing access to their account,” the Uber spokesperson said.“In case of any incident or unpleasant experience, we urge riders to use the in-app feedback method to inform us of actions that threaten the safety of driver-partners and riders.”last_img read more

Canada lawmakers declare Rohingya killings genocide

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 25 August 2018 Rohingya refugees perform prayers as they attend a ceremony organised to remember the first anniversary of a military crackdown that prompted a massive exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia. Photo: AFPCanadian lawmakers on Thursday unanimously voted to declare Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya people a “genocide.”The House of Commons endorsed the findings of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar that found “crimes against humanity have been committed against the Rohingya” and that these acts were sanctioned by top Myanmar military commanders.In a motion, Canadian lawmakers said they “recognise that these crimes against the Rohingya constitute genocide” and urged the UN Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court, while also calling for Myanmar’s generals to be investigated and prosecuted “for the crime of genocide.”“I want to underscore how tragic, how horrific the crimes against the Rohingya are,” foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said. “We are leading an international effort for justice and accountability for the Rohingya.”“Today’s unanimous motion is a very important step in that effort.”A brutal military campaign drove more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh, where they now live in cramped refugee camps.Many have given accounts of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arson.Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement last year to repatriate the Muslim minority—but it has stalled as the Rohingya fear returning to Rakhine without their safety and rights guaranteed.last_img read more

Raising the drama quotient through art

first_imgThe exhibition curated by Amal and Rahaab Allana has two sections, one deals with film stills and film memorabilia of cinema from the 1940s to 70s, the second section showcases the work of nine contemporary artists who have been inspired by Bollywood films and have created artworks which are stimulating and thought provoking.Filmy Jagat is a cinema archive of the 1940’s-70’s comprising of a personal scrape book, lobby cards, songbooks and other film memorabilia. M.F. Hussain’s involvement with Bollywood has had many dimensions through the decades. A contemporary artwork entitled Culture of the Street showcases a magnificent portfolio of 20 of his photographs replete with enormous hoardings that are an integral part of Chennai’s streets. Arpana Caur’s take on the Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Shree 420 poster, Kanchan Chander’s Bollywood heroines; along with newcomers like Bharti Verma, Rahul Kumar, Shirley Bhatnagar, Aban Raza, Rajiv Gautam and Sharmistha Dutta assert the dynamic presence of Bollywood in our daily lives.The other section features contemporary artwork where Art Heritage has invited young artists to respond to the dynamic presence of Bollywood in our daily lives through a variety of mediums. More often than not, it is the film hoarding, the poster and the film stills, i.e. the iconic images along with the technology used to promote films that has excited the imagination of contemporary artists in this particular show.last_img read more

Get Ready for Buy Buttons in Google Search Results

first_imgMay 18, 2015 1 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img You want it. You search for it. You buy it.Simple, right? Everyone’s default search engine, Google, wants to make the process at least one step faster. In the coming weeks, the tech giant will be launching “buy” buttons on its search-results pages, according to a Wall Street Journal report.When a person searches Google for a particular product, he or she might see a button within the results pages to buy said product directly. Click on the button and the person will be directed to another Google product page to complete the transaction. Related: What Adults Can Learn From Teenage Ecommerce EntrepreneursThe buttons will appear only within sponsored results toward the top of the page and be available first to mobile users, the Journal said. So, Google is transcending search and getting into ecommerce, like Amazon. Perhaps. When contacted by Entrepreneur, a Google spokesperson said the company has “no comment to offer at this time.”For more, check out the Journal’s story. Related: 9 Tips to Make Your Ecommerce Business Wildly Successful Register Now »last_img read more