Friday, August 17, 2012

Random News Generator- St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis made a headline or two during the Olympics, but that was mainly because they sent their top sprinter, Kim Collins, home for a violation of team rules before his event came up in the program. He wasn't the first person they'd sent home. Another sprinter, Tameka Williams, was sent home as well after disclosing that she had taken a banned substance.

St. Kitts and Nevis didn't have a very enjoyable Olympics, basically. And it is four long years for another chance at it.

What they go back to is an environment where the national amateur basketball association has just installed, or at least is in the process of installing, glass backboards and a shot clock for the first time.

Sri Lanka is including them as part of an overall diplomatic expansion in Central America and the Caribbean, for example- but the main issue of the moment is that there's a fairly outsized police blotter going. The population of the country was estimated in 2005 at 51,300, and there have been 14-going-on-15 murders so far this year; last year there were 34, and there were 20 in 2010. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the country ranks as having the 9th-highest murder rate in the world in the most recent year, at 38.2 per 100,000. (The United States has 4.2. Washington DC had 24.0 per 100,000 in 2009.)

In December 2010, the Minister of Tourism found out that NBC's Today Show was on the island to investigate and scrambled to try and pacify them. This past February, police commissioner CG Walwyn announced that crime statistics would no longer be made public, starting with the 2011 numbers. That kind of stat withholding tends not to happen when the statistics are flattering. But ultimately, many know things like that can only paper over the problem. Shawn Richards, a minority member of St. Kitts' unicameral legislature, was quoted above in one of the previous links, saying,

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering today. Enough is enough!! No more excuses for why this government cannot secure its citizens. No more excuses for why we cannot after so many years get a handle on the crime crisis in this country. This government has failed [recent victim] Stephen Connor and the family that grieves for them today. Enough really is enough.

The federation can no longer afford a government that stands idly by while our young people are slaughtered and lay in rivers of blood on our streets. This country deserves a government that makes the security and well-being of all its citizens the #1 priority."

 Of course, Richards is in a minority party. We'll have to see what, if anything, the majority party does.

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