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Good

The world’s best paralympic athletes are in Sochi, Russia to compete in the 2014 Paralympic Games. The event begins on March 7 and runs through March 16. The games include sports such as sled hockey. Congratulations to all the competitors, especially those from Ukraine, who will compete with incredible civil strife and possible Russian military intervention just a few miles away. They may make various protests–only one competitor attended the opening ceremony–but they will compete.

Paralympic cross-country skiers, one of the groups competing in Sochi, Russia

Paralympic cross-country skiers, one of the groups competing in Sochi, Russia

International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8. I read many pieces that focused on what needs to be done in Jamaica to make for a more equal land for women and girls. I don’t doubt the nation’s awareness of the injustices–we are not totally dense or heartless, but we are not good at action to correct wrongs instead of talking long about them. Interestingly, many of the world’s recent social upheavals have been on the back of strong protests by women. Jamaica’s female PM issued her annual statement and echoed this year’s theme of ‘inspiring change’, with a call that ‘we build on the lessons learned and directly tackle the remaining vestiges of unequal power relations and gender stereotypes

Iranian women's soccer

Iranian women’s soccer

that impede sustainable development and discriminate against our women‘. Fine words, now let’s see the action.

Bad

Jamaica’s national waste dump, at Riverton, is operating illegally–no environmental permit. The situation wont change. Why? This is happening with the full knowledge and consent of the agency established to enforce the rules, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).

Riverton dump, St. Andrew. The speed limit is really zero MPH, as no movement is happening. (Picture courtesy of The Jamaica Gleaner.)

Riverton dump, St. Andrew. The speed limit is really zero MPH, as no movement is happening. (Picture courtesy of The Jamaica Gleaner.)

It says it will not issue the National Solid Waste Management Authority an environmental permit with conditions we know that they can’t meet. The nation’s finances are a mess and the country is forced to live with an environmental mess because an agency cannot pay its dues? Concerns about the effectiveness of the Ministry of Environment, etc. were high already, due to its silence on issues related to development of the Goat Islands. Now, the Ministry is missing in this dance? We are seeing a country play fast and loose with its environmental responsibilities and told that expediency makes it alright? Let NEPA issue the permits and have the arrears arise, but do the jobs they are supposed to be done. This principle of lax application of regulations can be applied across the board in a country that is struggling financially, and I’m sure many citizens can’t wait for a government agency to tell them to not comply with regulations or pay because times are tough. This is the logic of the madhouse.

Ugly

What has happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, which disappeared south of Vietnam with 239 people on board? Searches have begun, but nothing has been found, so far. The disappearance is developing awkward mysteries. Five passengers booked on the flight did not board; their luggage was consequently removed. Possible terrorism is raising its head. Two suspect names are on the manifest. BBC confirmed that ‘A man falsely using an Italian passport and a man falsely using an Austrian passport purchased tickets at the same time, and were both booked on the same onward flight from Beijing to Europe on Saturday. Both had purchased their tickets from China Southern Airlines, which shared the flight with Malaysia Airlines, and they had consecutive ticket numbers. The real owners reportedly had their passports stolen in Thailand in recent years.’

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