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Smuggled arms in St. Thomas: On Wednesday, August 17, St. Thomas native Naeem Akil Smith plead guilty to arms trafficking. Smith had attempted to bring 17 pistols/rifles and and 60+ magazines/rounds into the Cyril E. King Airport in Charlotte Amalie West, U.S. Virgin Islands. Smith’s suitcases were detected by firearms-sniffing K-9s and investigated by U.S. Homeleand Security in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Smith will face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Aruba bans scandal bags: Aruban officials have collectively governed that single-use plastic bags will no longer be produced and used in Aruba. Support for this initiative comes from retailers and consumers alike; enthusiastic about environmental concerns and saving money. To replace single-use plastic bags, reusable bags with a commemorative logo and phrase will be used throughout the island.

Belizean sodomy laws overturned: Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin reviewed Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code that formerly criminalized sodomy as an unnatural act even in consenting intercourse between same-sex adults. In an unprecedented ruling, the Supreme Court decided that the previous statute violated citizens’ rights to dignity and privacy. This ruling was met with support from Belize’s increasingly-vocal LGBTQ community.

Puerto Rico faces possible hurricane: Three potential storms are travelling across the Atlantic from the coast of Africa toward the Caribbean. In the storm-packed  heart of Hurricane Season called the Cape Verde Period (mid-August to October), tropical depressions, storms, and would-be monsoons form and are pulled toward the Caribbean and the lower U.S. by various air and sea currents. Meteorologists assert that this group of developing storms may play off of one another and make landfall near Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Curaçao falls to South Korea: On Friday, August 19, South Korea’s undefeated baseball streak continued. This 3-0 victory took place in Willamsport, Penn. as part of the 10-day 2016 Little League Baseball World Series. The Curacao team, Pariba LL, had been undefeated in the Caribbean Regional Tournament, and had hoped to continue their streak in the U.S. South Korea has taken the World Series title three times before.

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