UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill
Revolution against an unfair, unjust and deceptive system that
keeps the world poor and without hope. Find out how you can join,
quit the rat race, and achieve a happier more meaningful life for
yourself and others through goodwill to all .
by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
---------------For the Life of Laetitia by Trinidad -born Merle Hodge Price: $10.54
a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
US Senate passes Immigration Bill
The US Senate has finally passed an immigration bill. Now it is up to the Congress do likewise to make it into law. The bill has pros and cons. The most notable con is that US citizens will no longer be able to petition for their siblings. Thanks to Presente.org for this graphic of a summary of the pros and cons.:
Free healthcare failing in Jamaica
A review of the system by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) found that the quality of service in Jamaica's public hospitals has got worse since the no-user-fee policywas introduced five years ago. It is now ineffective and inefficient, with nurses and doctors displaying an apathetic attitude towards patients and their general duties.
The study was conducted between April 15 and May 20 across all 14 parishes, CaPRI said it was also evident that the service has not only got progressively worse but also exceedingly slow. Compounding that is the increased patient-to-health-care worker ratio and insufficient medication and medical supplies to meet the demand.
"The quality of service would be better and faster if people were paying. Doctors and nurses would have a better attitude and the hospitals would operate more efficiently," noted some of the respondents who were interviewed.
"The hospitals just cannot afford the luxury of freehealth care and the Government can't afford to foot the bill alone. It only results in an abuse of the system and overwork the health-care workers. When it is free, doctors and nurses display a poor attitude."
The Government is hosting a series of public consultations during which members of the public are allowed to propose ideas to remedy the woes in the country's health-care system.
The CaPRI study was carried out with the aid of grants from the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada, The Gleaner Company Limited and the National Health Fund.
CELAC join outrage over treatment of Bolivian president
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has expressed serious concern over the events that occurred on July 2, when some European governments refused or withdrew suddenly and without explanation whatsoever, the over-flight and landing permits for the official aircraft of the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, forcing him to make an emergency landing at the international airport in Vienna, Austria. They claimed US whistleblower of the massive spying of Americans by their own spy agency (NSA) was on the plane. He was not.
"We express our rejection of these
unjustifiable acts that jeopardized the security of the president of
Bolivia and were contrary to freedom of movement and immunity jurisdiction
enjoyed by any head of state," a statement issued by CELAC read.
No jobs for thousands of graduating teachers in Jamaica
First forced retirement for teachers now
However, Thwaites contended that there is an imbalance in how teachers are deployed across schools. He said the underutilized teachers will be able to fill the shortfall where needed. Also, that the plan to freeze the number of teachers entering the education system is a stipulation of the current International Monetary Fund agreement.
The minister has indicated that his ministry will be turning its attention overseas with the hope of finding opportunities for the thousands of locally trained teachers who are unable to find employment in the local school system.
Editor’s Note: Close the teaching colleges then. It is a bitter betrayal for them to spend years studying only to join the ranks of the unemployed. This is a blackeye to Jamaican education! IMF messed us up with 'structural adjustment' now it's our education system!
Curacao politician assassinated
The popular leader of Curacao's largest political party has been shot dead on a beach near the Dutch Caribbean island's capital in an assassination apparently linked to his fight against corruption. Gunmen fired at least six shots at Helmin Wiels, 54, as he was having a drink with friends at a beach about three kilometres (1.6 miles) southeast of Willemstad. "They fired six shots at him and he died instantly," Curacao's Prime Minister Daniel Hodge told the NOS national broadcaster. Wiels was the leader of Curacao's largest political party, Pueblo Soberano and was an outspoken supporter of full independence for Curacao, an autonomous island which still partly falls under control of the Netherlands. The NOS and other Dutch papers on Monday linked Wiel's murder to his tough stance on corruption on the island, adding that an intensive police investigation was under way to trace the suspect.
UNICEF works to end flogging kids in Jamaica
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is partnering with the Church in an effort to end the long-standing practice of the beating of children by Jamaican parents.
Traditionally in the Church, many believers see flogging as a divine writ they hold dearly to based on the Biblical injunction that parents should not "spare the rod and spoil the child".
Janet Cupidon Quallo, child protection specialist at UNICEF in Jamaica, reported that her team has been in talks with a major umbrella church organisation and other religious groups.
"We've been in dialogue with the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) and other religious group - non-Christian and Christian - to look at how, through their training programs, they can influence (their) members and the communities they serve to consider alternative methods of discipline and to move away from corporal punishment," said Cupidon Quallo.
She also revealed that a series of islandwide workshops designed to outline and highlight alternative forms of discipline will kick start the spare-the-rod program. The workshops will be hosted in tandem with the JCC.
Grenada to punish offensive online comments
Legislators in Grenada have approved a bill that makes it a crime to offend people through websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The measure was approved as part of an electronic crimes bill passed recently in the tiny eastern Caribbean island. The same bill also imposes penalties on other online activities, including electronic stalking and identity theft.
According to the bill, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, complaints about offensive comments would be filed with the police. A judge would then decide if the message was offensive. Those found guilty could be fined up to $37,000 or face three years in prison. The bill also makes it a crime to distribute child pornography, imposing fines of up to $111,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years
Jamaica Gov't to ban smoking in public spaces
Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has announced that as of July 15, no smoking will be permitted in public spaces across Jamaica.
In making the announcement in the House of Representatives, Ferguson said smoking would be banned in all enclosed places, public transportation, workplaces, government buildings, health facilities, sports, athletics and recreational facilities, educational facilities, areas specifically for use by children, and places of collective use such as bus stops.
Ferguson told Parliament that the Government had developed a new regulatory framework - the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 - and that he used his power as minister to impose the ban.
Persons found guilty of violating the law are liable for a fine of $50,000 and/or three months' imprisonment for the first offence. In the case of a second conviction, persons face up to $500,000 in fines and/or jail time of six months, or up to 12 months' imprisonment for subsequent offences.
Promoting cassava in Africa and Jamaica
Former Nigeria’s President ,Olusegun Obasanjo, took the 40 percent cassava flour inclusion in bread to Tanzania recently as he urged the Tanzania President to promote the use of cassava in confectioneries in his country to transform agriculture.
He noted that the use of cassava flour in bread would stimulate the demand for the root crop, create jobs and, more importantly, make farmers proud.
In Nigeria, IITA Ambassador Obasanjo, in 2002 initiated a policy on 10 percent inclusion in bread under a program tagged "the Presidential Initiative on Cassava." The program which was implemented by IITA and national partners, drove the demand for cassava, increased productivity by about 10million tons in 6 years, and made Nigeria the top world producer of cassava.
The IITA Ambassador urged African governments seeking genuine agricultural transformation to adopt the use of cassava in confectioneries, and institute policies that would make the continent food secure and cut import bills on food.
Consumed by more than 600 million people in the developing world, cassava has transformed from a food security crop to a cash crop with industrial uses in sectors such as brewery, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries. The crop is one of Africa’s major staples, with the continent cultivating about 50 percent of global production.
In Jamaica too – not for bammie
Emmy for Ziggy
Jamaican-born reggae star, Ziggy Marley, has added an Emmy Award to his list of distinguished honors. Ziggy, the eldest son of late reggae legend, Robert Nesta Marley, won the Emmy for outstanding original song, writing the music and lyrics for "I Love You Too" for the Disney Channel show "3rd & Bird!"
The singer already has four Grammys. The song
for the show came following his children’s album Family Time in 2009.
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