Fuel was getting dangerously low and the hornets’ nest of defence they had stirred up below was an unacceptable risk for a plane carrying so destructive a weapon. Sweeney conferred by intercom with Beahan and the weaponeer, Lieutenant-Commander Frederick Ashworth. They decided to leave Kokura and head for Nagasaki, 160km to the south. The weather there didn’t look any more promising than Kokura, but the only other approved target, Niigata in northern Honshu, was too far away for their remaining fuel. Sweeney gathered his composure and asked the navigator, ‘Jim, give me the heading for Nagasaki.’
The UN forbids the transfer of money to designated terrorist groups. Private persons and entities cannot legally make concessions to proscribed groups, and if they do, their insurers cannot legally reimburse them, though ransom-payers are rarely if ever prosecuted. But it’s not always clear which category kidnappers fit into. Some terrorists pretend to be part of criminal organizations so that they can legally collect ransoms. Shortland reports that when a Somali told British negotiators that he represented the ‘commercial arm’ of al-Shabaab, the jihadist fundamentalist group, ’they had to explain that this was not sufficiently removed from the parent organization to have a payment authorized.’
San Pedro Sula may not be well known, but from 2011 to 2014 it was the most violent city in the world. The only thing to do there is escape. The crime syndicates, which have complete control over the region and the power of life and death over its people, have in recent years plunged Honduras into an unofficial state of war…. President Trump talks about the migrant caravan as if it were an attempted invasion. In reality, Honduras and Central America have paid an enormous price precisely because of US policies.
They fire us, we have to abandon them, and then you have to learn to love a new set of children, and you’re always afraid you’re going to be fired all over again and lose them. One woman cried as she explained this. ‘They never think about the fact that we love the children.’ she said. That the women I interviewed could love the children they cared for—and love them, in fact, to the point of heartbreak—was to me nothing short of miraculous.
‘I didn’t know someone from Princeton could do digging like this,’ he said. ‘From now on, you do investigative work.’
The Mekong Review aims to be for Southeast Asia what he said The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books had been since 9/11: ‘brave, trenchant critics of their respective governments.’ It’s a long shot on many levels, not least because it covers a region where English literacy is patchy, postal systems are unreliable and newspapers that are not controlled by governments tend to struggle against censorship and chronic financial constraints. Editor in chief Minh Bui Jones moonlights as a deliveryman when he visits the region.