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
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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.
Editorial: It's not just a game
To be sure, the German coach Winfried Schafer has impressive credentials. But he too has had his ups and downs. It is not certain that he is any better than Whitmore. He is not cheap. So, what is certain is that he probably gets at least twice the salary of Whitmore. Schaferís salary is kept secret. It has been announced that he will stay on to prepare Jamaica for World Cup 2018, some five years away. Five years of paying such a much larger sum just cannot be justified with the severe economic crisis Jamaica faces. Besides, Whitmore is payable in Jamaican currency, while Schafer has to be paid in foreign currency. Whitmore is far better value for the money.
The fact is Jamaicans must share blame for the lack of success of the team in the World Cup matches. They gave lousy moral support. They donít know the meaning of the phrase, "my team, win or lose". Jamaica loses two games and the National Stadium is almost empty for subsequent games. Whitmore and players were submitted to harsh, destructive, almost demeaning and often completely unwarranted criticism by these Jamaican fair weather friends. Whitmore is a victim of "a prophet is without honour in his own country". Under that unrelenting pressure, I am surprised that he did as well as he did. The pattern of disrespecting our own and looking to saviors overseas has got to stop. Jamaicaís import food bill is gigantic because too many Jamaicans shun the more nutritious fresher local products to rot unsold, thus depriving the struggling local farmers of income. And, then they blame politicians.
Theodore Whitmore deserves to remain our National coach. Besides, a Jamaican coach is good for our national pride. We, Jamaicans, have let Whitmore and our Reggae Boyz down with our lack of support. Letís start to correct that, first by reinstating Whitmore and pledging our solid support to the team in the future, win or lose.
Andrew Holness holds onto JLP leadership
Following months of spirited campaigning and heated differences, delegates of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have returned Andrew Holness as leader of the party. In what has been described as a convincing win, Holness received 2,704 votes to 2,012 votes cast for challenger Audley Shaw, following the election at the National Arena.
Antigua reclassified as high income
In its publication on remittances released recently, the World Bank said Antigua & Barbuda has regained its status as a high income economy, leaving the majority of regional developing states behind.
The reversal comes after the island of 89,070 residents finalised an International Monetary Fund program.
Alessandro Legrottaglie, the World Bank's senior country officer for Antigua, who also has responsibility for the OECS, said Wednesday that Antigua moved into the 'high income' category on July 1, 2013.
Notably, however, this is a renewal of its status, as the Caribbean nation was already classified once as high income in 2010, before falling back to the 'upper middle income' category.
Antigua & Barbuda joined other new entrants Chile, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Uruguay to the group of countries with gross national income per capita of US$12,616 or more, and are now classified as high income.
Based on its GNI per capita, every economy is classified as low income, middle income (subdivided into lower middle and upper middle), or high income.
Antigua's GDP was recorded at US$$1.176 billion in 2012; primary school enrolment was recorded at 99 per cent in 2011; and its GNI per capita reached US$12,640 in 2012.
At mid-year, the IMF completed its 10th and final review under a standby arrangement for Antigua.
The Fund declared in June that Antigua's fiscal deficit dropped from 18 per cent of GDP in 2009 to just over one per cent in 2012; its debt ratio fell from 102.5 per cent of GDP to 89 per cent in the same period.
The IMF said Antigua's economic recovery was gaining speed, with improvements in the tourism and construction sectors. But it also warned of significant challenges, saying that much of the adjustment under the rescue program came from cuts in public spending and investment, while tax revenue targets for 2013 have been met largely through one-off payments of back taxes.
Citizenship for sale in Antigua
Despite its new status as a high income country, of Antigua & Barbuda has joined other tiny Eastern Caribbean islands in selling citizenship to wealthy international investors to drum up revenue. The twin-island nation of some 90,000 inhabitants started accepting applications last week for its citizenship-by-investment program, which is closely modeled on the one offered by nearby St Kitts-Nevis.
Antigua hopes to generate roughly US$550 million, over the next three years, by attracting some 1,800 new citizens, who have to spend at least 35 days on the islands during the five-year span an initial passport is valid for.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said the revenue will help put the country "on the road to sustainable growth and development".
The nation was slammed by the 2008 global economic crisis and the subsequent collapse of the financial empire of convicted fraudster R. Allen Stanford, who based his Stanford International Bank on Antigua and was once the country's largest private employer.
The strategy is part of a trend in the Caribbean. For years, St Kitts-Nevis and Dominica have given investors citizenship in return for a real estate investment or significant donation. Grenada is planning to revive a program of its own.
'Investor visas' are offered by many nations across the globe, including the United States and Britain. But the Caribbean countries offer a very fast path to full citizenship at a relatively low cost. The whole process, including background checks, can take as little as 90 days in St Kitts, where there's no need to ever live on the islands, or even visit.
Some Caribbean leaders are opposed to the sale of citizenship, arguing that it undermines the integrity of their country's passport and could dilute national identity.
"When you start to sell your citizenship, you will sell anything," St Vincent & Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told reporters last year.
Jamaicaís security companies dispute million $ debt to NHT
Jamaicaís National Housing Trust (NHT) is contending that the more than 20,000 security guards are employees, the salaries from which statutory payments must be made. But not so, argues the Jamaica Society for Industrial Security (JSIS), the umbrella group for 80 per cent of security firms across the island.
Asserting that the multibillion-dollar industry faces collapse from a move to change the status of private security guards from contracted workers to employees, the leadership of the JSIS has summoned its members to an emergency meeting on Wednesday at the Guardsman Group's Old Hope Road offices.
The operators of the vast majority of companies are insisting that their guards are responsible for their own statutory payments as they have been engaged as contractors and not as employees.
One in four black men in UK will get prostate cancer
One in every four black men in the United Kingdom (UK) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime, which is double the overall one-in-eight cradle-to-grave risk faced by all men in the UK.
This, according to new figures released by health charity Prostate Cancer UK, based on calculations using the current probability method from Public Health England and Office for National Statistics data for England and Wales.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in black men worldwide.
Calculation of the specific lifetime risk to black men was undertaken by Prostate Cancer UK as part of its continuing drive to support the men of Britain's two million-strong African and African Caribbean population in recognising both the threat to their prostate health and their responsibility to be proactive in seeking out advice and support.
According to data, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and on average, one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK. As well as having black ancestry, risk factors for prostate cancer are being over 50, or having a family history of the disease in close male relatives.
Argentina loses to vulture capitalists
Judgees in New York refused to hear Argentinaís appeal of a ruling that would force Argentines to pay about US$1.4 billion incash to a group of hedge funds, or go into default on most of the other bonds issued to make good on debts stemming from the country's 2001 crisis.
The government already asked the full US 2nd Court of Appeals in New York to reconsider the finding by one of its three-judge panels, and could appeal that decision in Washington as well.
The case stems from Argentina's financial crisis a dozen years ago, when the government defaulted on a record US$100 billion in debts, and some investors scooped up nearly worthless Argentine bonds.
More than 90 per cent of bondholders have been receiving payments for years since agreeing to swap their non-performing paper for new bonds that initially paid less than 30 cents for each dollar of bad debt.
This is a typical operation by vulture capitalists who prey on emerging countries by buying a countries bad debts for pennies on the dollar, refusing to go along with previously agreed payback lower rates already being paid to original creditors, and then demanding the full amount. If they donít get it, they threaten to seize a countryís overseas assets.
In this case the vulture capitalists are led by NML Capital Limited, a hedge fund managed by New York billionaire Paul Singer, who sued and won their case before US District Judge Thomas Griesa.
Fernandez has repeatedly refused to pay these vultures"a single dollar" and is prepared to defy the US courts by preparing another debt swap that would be guaranteed instead under Argentine law.
Editor: These vultures are on the hunt for poor countries. Lets hope we do not fall into their hands.
Decriminalisation of ganja in Jamaica
Jamaicaís lawmakers have given the nod to a private member's motion calling for the decriminalisation of ganja following two weeks of rigorous debate which saw members on the government side split on the issue. Despite sharp divisions among members of parliament (MP) on the controversial issue, at the end of yesterday's debate, the motion was passed without a voice of dissent.
UN General Assembly votes against US Cuba embargo
The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly
again this year to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial
embargo against Cuba. This makes the 22nd year in a row.
Jamaica's Ardenne High tops Caribbean in regional exam
Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica is brimming with pride as the institution has been named the top-performing secondary school in this year's Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE) across the region.In addition to this, Ardenne High graduate Dea Thomas copped the prize for being the top CAPE student in the regional exams.
Record number of U.S. students homeless
Public schools across the US enrolled 1.1 million homeless students during the 2011-2012 school year, the highest number on record, according to new data from the US Department of Education.
The number of homeless students in public schools has increased by 72 percent since the beginning of the recession. North Dakota faced a 212 percent increase just since the 2010-2011 school year. Michigan, Maine, North Carolina, Wyoming, Vermont and South Dakota all faced increases above 20%. California, New York, Texas, and Florida have the highest number of homeless students.
Bahamian-born teen is youngest person to pass British bar exam
Gabrielle Turnquest passed Britain's bar exam last week, making the 18-year-old the youngest person to do so in the 600-year history of the exam. The teen, who credits her Bahamian parents for encouraging her to focus on school while she was growing up.
While the average Briton passes the bar exam at age 27, Turnquest got a big head start by graduating from college - Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia - at age 16 with a degree in psychology (setting a record there, too). Since it only takes about a year to complete law school in the U.K., Turnquest was able to enroll at The University of Law in York at age 17 and take the test this year. Now that she has passed the exam in the U.K., she can also take it in the U.S. without having to spend three years in law school stateside. Turnquest's family is from the Bahamas, where she also has citizenship.
Jamaica swimmer tops world competition
JAMAICA'S Alia Atkinson continued her magnificent displays on the globalswimming tour, as she went close to the world record and won a gold medal and a bronze on the final day of competition at the FINA World Cup in Singapore recently.
The successes, added to her 100m breaststroke win on first day of action, made Atkinson the top performer in Singapore after finishing with two gold medals and a bronze at this the sixth of eight legs in the 2013 FINA World Cup.
She had recorded 1:03.48 for her victory in the 100m breaststroke still short of her world-best 1:02.91 recorded in Dubai. The world record is 1:02.36.
Atkinson first won gold in the 50-metre breaststroke, topping the event in a personal best 28.94 seconds, which is 0.14 outside the world best held by American Jessica Hardy. She finished ahead of reigning world championIuliia Efimova of Russia, who got the silver in 29.25. Germany's Dorothea Brandt was third in 30.39.
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