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FOLHA DE S.PAULO, O ESTADO DE S. PAULO (Brazil)

Worldcrunch

SÃO PAULO - Brazilian Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo has sparked controversy by describing the nation's prison system as “medieval” and declaring that he would prefer to die rather than pass a long period in Brazilian jails.

Brazil's Fohla de S. Paulo daily reported the statement, which was made at an event this week in São Paulo, one day after the Supreme Court sentenced a former senior presidential official José Dirceu to 10 years in prison on corruption charges.

Cardozo's comments came in response to a question about re-introducing the death penalty in Brazil. “If I was to stay many years in some of our prisons, I’d rather die”, he said.

The minister added that the Brazilian penal system does not succeed in rehabilitating criminals. “Those who get there as first-time petty criminals often leave as members of large criminal organizations,” he said.

Data from the Ministry of Justice shows that last year there were 471,000 people in Brazilian prisons for just 295,000 places. According to specialists, one of the main reasons is the high number of temporary prisoners waiting for trial. About 37% of the total amount face such conditions.

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Fading Flavor: Production Of Saffron Declines Sharply

Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

Photo of women harvesting saffron in Kashmir

Harvesting of Saffron in Kashmir

Mubashir Naik

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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