Tuesday, October 20, 2020

August 27, 2020  Philipsburg – The Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, along with her support staff, held a meeting with Point Blanche prison guards in the presence of unions WICSU/PSU and ABVO to discuss a number of urgent matters related to the Prison and House of Detention. The prison officers expressed specific concerns related to an outdated locking system being used on inmate cell gates and doors.

The current locking system presented some challenges for the prison guards, as expressed in their meeting with the Minister. Having been aware of this matter since earlier this year, the Ministry, while awaiting the order of the permanent system from Europe, placed a local order for temporary locks as a way of urgently solving the concern expressed by prison staff. The temporary locks were delivered to the Prison on Wednesday, August 19th, 2020.

Point Blanche Prison Management Team member Mr.Concincion, stated“The locks received are durable with warranty and will temporarily replace all current locks while we await the permanent system. This effort is part of the many improvements the prison is currently working on.”

Due to production delays caused by the global pandemic at the manufacturer of the permanent locking system, it is expected that the locks will arrive in St. Maarten before the end of the year and thereafter, will be installed by LICCOM. Though an immediate temporary solution has now arrived at the prison, LICCOM was reminded of the urgency and high importance for the permanent system to be installed as soon as possible.

On behalf of the Interim Prison Director Mr. Bell and the Management Team at the Prison, Minister Richardson expressed her gratitude to the Management and staff of Kooyman Hardware that recognized the urgent request for a temporary solution for the cell locks and remained committed to having the locks delivered in a timely fashion. 

Minister Richardson is committed to addressing the grievances expressed by prison staff and all other departments within the Ministry of Justice. She looks forward to attaining more positive results for the Ministry with this determined approach.

PARIS (AP) — A Congolese activist was fined 2,000 euros ($2,320) on Wednesday for trying to take a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum in a protest against colonial-era injustice that he streamed online. A Paris court convicted Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and two other activists of attempted theft, but the sentence stopped far short of what they potentially faced for their actions at the Quai Branly Museum: 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros in fines. Activists and defense lawyers viewed the case as a trial about how former empires should atone for past crimes. Diyabanza’s museum action took place in June, amid global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

LONDON (AP) — Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. He was 95. His family confirmed Wednesday that Kretzmer died after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease at the London home he shared with his second wife, Sybil Sever. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change. The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conchata Ferrell, who became known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on TV’s “Two and a Half Men” after a long career as a character actor on stage and in movies, including “Mystic Pizza” and ”Network,” has died. She was 77. Ferrell died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles following cardiac arrest, according to publicist Cynthia Snyder. Ferrell soldiered through more than a decade on “Two and a Half Men,” playing opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer until Sheen was fired from the sitcom for erratic behavior that included publicly insulting producer Chuck Lorre.