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An English Milkman And A Russian Journalist

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An English Milkman And A Russian Journalist

An English Milkman And A Russian Journalist

An English Milkman And A Russian Journalist

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Robert Holding is a milkman in Burnely, England. Some people are willing to pay a premium for home delivery, because they can get utterly fresh milk with their morning cereal, cottage cheese — and a little marijuana.

At least, Holding has been convicted of adding marijuana to the milk orders of 17 customers on his route. All of them are elderly. Holding is 72 himself, and his lawyer said his customers asked him for marijuana to relieve aches and pains ranging from arthritis to loss of appetite.

Holding says that he made no profit from stocking cannabis as well as cream for his customers.

But Judge Beverly Lunt scolded Holding as a lawbreaker, not a philanthropist. He received a 36-week sentence, which Judge Lunt suspended, because Holding's wife has Alzheimer's and depends on her husband's care.

By the way, Holding reportedly charged £4, or about $6 U.S., per stash. That's about twice the street price of a gallon of milk in London.

Finally, Russia is a deadly place to be a journalist. Over the past eight years, four reporters for Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent newspapers, have been killed.

In the United States, professional associations have award ceremonies at which journalists often laud each other for courage. But when I consider the life of a Russian journalist, I am humbled — even a little ashamed.

In the U.S., crusading, dauntless journalists win awards. They wind up on the best-seller list, All Things Considered and The Larry King Show.

In Russia, anyone who tries to report the news honestly knows that they risk their lives.

Even in such treacherous terrain, the recent killing of Anastasia Baburova, who worked for Novaya Gazeta, is especially outrageous. She was 25 years old. She was standing on a Moscow street on January 19 of this year with Stanislav Markelov, a human rights lawyer who had been a source on some of her investigative stories when they were both shot dead — in the back of the head.

Britain's Economist has printed a poem Anastasia wrote when she was just fifteen.

You are not surprised to learn that the girl who wrote it grew up to be a journalist — and all the more aghast and sad that her life was cut short.

Wake up in the morning
Stretch your arms toward the sun
Say something in Chinese
And go to Paris
Every minute, somewhere in the world there is morning
Somewhere, people stretch their arms toward the sun
They speak new languages, fly from Cairo to Warsaw
They smile and drink coffee together

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