Four Queens men sue NYPD after being held for 30 hours, busted for laughing at cops

Four Queens men claim they were locked up for more than 30 hours by cops seeking revenge on a crowd of men who laughed at an officer who couldn’t catch a fleeing drug suspect.

The men insist they didn’t even laugh, says their lawyer Gabriel P. Harvis, who filed suit against the NYPD and 10 unidentified officers in Brooklyn Federal Court. They believe they were arrested because cops wanted to take their frustration out on them, he said.

“The cops knew my clients had done nothing wrong, but they didn’t care,” said Harvis, who represents Abdul Kabba, Isaiah Barnes, Hasan Allen and Ishmial Deas. Police “were embarrassed, so they abused their power by locking them up anyway.”

The four were held for 27 hours in the 103rd Precinct stationhouse before the Queens district attorney’s office dropped the charges.

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Venezuela writes off Haiti’s debt

President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías on Monday said that Petrocaribe, Venezuela‘s regional energy alliance, will forgive quake-stricken Haiti‘s debt, AFP reported.

Haiti’s debt with Venezuela is USD 295 million, about one-third of its global foreign debt of USD 1 billion, according to International Monetary Fund figures.

“Haiti has no debt with Venezuela — on the contrary, it is Venezuela that has a historic debt with Haiti,” Chavez said as he made the announcement.

Chavez was referring to the support that Haiti — which obtained its independence from France in 1804 — gave Venezuelan independence leader Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios y Blanco, commonly known as Simón Bolívar, in 1815 and 1816 in his quest to free his country from Spanish colonial rule.

Chavez made the announcement at the closing ceremony of a meeting of foreign ministers from leftist countries with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBAAlianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) trade alliance, a Cuba and Venezuela-supported regional common market founded in 2004.

Petrocaribe provides preferential oil pricing for its Caribbean members, with Venezuela picking up 40% of the cost if oil is selling over USD 50 a barrel.

When oil prices are above USD 50, member states will have up to 25 years to pay the bulk of the debt at a one percent interest rate, with two years grace.

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Jamaica lawmaker calls for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for private use

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A ruling party lawmaker is urging Jamaica’s Parliament to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use.

Sen. Dennis Meadows, a deputy general secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party, issued a statement on Saturday saying that relaxing laws against marijuana cigarettes – commonly referred to as “spliffs” – would free up the island’s courts and police to focus on violent street crime and harder drugs.

“What I am advocating is that ganja, at the level of spliffs for private use, be treated similarly to a traffic ticket,” Meadows said.

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