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.
Antigua PM Slams US At The UN
Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, used his address to the UN General Assembly to slam the United States for its refusal to adhere to the rulings of the World Trade Organization.
Spencer in his address to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations on September 24th told the body that while his government won their Internet Gambling Case at both the original and appellate levels of the WTO, a decade later, the end is not in sight. He said the United States has neither removed the offending laws nor agreed on a fair settlement with Antigua and Barbuda that would compensate for the wanton destruction of an entire economic sector.
He disclosed that his government now intends, through the only mechanism that the WTO has provided, to seek compensation for the thousands of jobs lost, the companies collapsed, and the general devastation of the second largest sector of our economy after tourism.
Spencer also made the case for small island states, who he said
contribute the least to the causes of climate change, yet suffer the most
from its effects.
Other Latin American leaders too
Brazil - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff blasted the U.S. government for its spying on her administration and on Brazil’s oil operations, labeling it a "case of grave violations of human rights and civil liberties" and "unacceptable." She recently postponed a planned state visit to Washington, in protest of the espionage.
Venezuela – Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elías Jaua roundly denounced the U.S. government’s rule over the UN for its military and economic objectives. He asked why the UN doesn’t sanction the United States for its blockade of Cuba and bombing threats against Syria.
Bolivia - Bolivian President Evo Morales called for the United Nations to be moved out of New York to another international capital, saying, "We have to change the site of the United Nations because we do not feel safe there". Morales declared U.S. President Barack Obama deserving of the "Nobel Prize of War."
Shaw challenges Holness for JLP leadership in Ja
In Jamaica, the race is on for leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Audley Shaw, the opposition JLP’s spokesman on Finance has officially launched his campaign to challenge current JLP leader – Andrew Holness.
In the campaign dubbed "Road to Victory", Shaw argued, that the JLP needs a decisive leader and suggested, that there should be term limits for leaders of political parties. He also called for radical reforms to the structure of the JLP.
Andrew Holness who has also launched his campaign said he is not daunted by the challenge. He was ushered into the top post in the JLP by members of the party's parliamentary council when former Prime Minister Bruce Golding demitted office in 2011.
New trial for Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison for unloading a warning shot to stop her abusive ex-partner in the midst of an assault in the same state that let George Zimmerman walk free after he stalked, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old.
The same prosecutor, Angela Corey, oversaw both cases. The same court sent an African American woman who dared to fight back against abuse to prison while freeing a racist murderer of an African American teenager.
Marissa Alexander will receive a new trial on the basis of prejudicial jury instructions.
In reality, the retrial is being granted because of the popular outcry that thundered across the US and the world – in the streets and on the internet – declaring the Florida courts guilty of racist hypocrisy.
The racist court system was forced to make a concession in agreeing to a new trial. But Marissa is still in prison, and is set to again be tried under the same racist, sexist criminal "justice" system. Under a just system, she never would have been imprisoned, and would be immediately released with no stipulations.
Compare the State of Florida’s treatment of Zimmerman against its treatment of Alexander. State Attorney Corey was the prosecutor in both Zimmerman’s and Alexander’s trials. Florida’s preference was to not prosecute Zimmerman at all despite evidence that Zimmerman was trigger-happy, racially motivated to target young Black males and had a history of violence. In contrast, Alexander had no criminal history, suffered multiple violent attacks at Gray’s hands, and was being threatened with death at the moment she fired a warning shot to keep Gray away from her so that she could retreat.
Had it not been for grassroots organizing and unrelenting protests and demonstrations, Zimmerman would not have even been charged in the death of Martin, and Alexander would not have been granted a new trial. It is obvious that Florida’s Stand Your Ground apply does not apply equally across nationalities and genders?
Under a just system, she never would have been imprisoned, and would be immediately released with no stipulations. We must continue the pressure until she is free.
Ban infant formula ads in Jamaica says UNICEF
Dr Kenneth Russell, quality education specialist at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is calling for a ban on advertising breastfeeding formula and other substitutes, which, according to him, have contributed to poor breastfeeding habits among mothers in Jamaica.
Russell said Jamaica has been in breach of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which prohibits the advertising of infant formula, for many years. The international code was endorsed by Jamaica from as early as 1991.
"The code is clear. It says no marketing. Full stop," he declared.
"It is in violation of the code, and if you look in the newspapers, you see ways in which these manufacturers, over the years, have tried to get around it."
The code is an international health-policy framework for breastfeeding promotion adopted by the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in 1981, which was developed as a global public-health strategy and recommends restrictions on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
Antiguan now new UN General Assembly President
Antigua and Barbuda ambassador, John W. Ashe, is now the new President of the United Nations’ 68th General Assembly. He was also the ambassador to the United Nations for Antigua and Barbuda and is also his country’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has ministerial responsibility for WTO and sustainable development matters.
In April 2009, he was elected chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and was responsible for overseeing negotiations leading up to and including the final phase at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Ashe was educated at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada, and the Technical University of Nova Scotia at Halifax. He holds a Ph.D in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Grenada to sign agreement with IMF
Another Caribbean country is about to fall in the clutches of the IMF. The Grenada government said it intends to sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on measures aimed at dealing with the island’s high debt level.
An IMF delegation has ended a 10-day visit to Grenada, but there has been no official announcement regarding the outcome of the visit. Grenada is discussing a formal arrangement with the IMF and while here the delegation, focused on the fiscal performance of the country for 2013, as well as the proposed debt-restructuring program.
The island has a national debt of almost EC$2 billion and Prime Minister Mitchell said "this has aggravated the severe debt overhang that continues to weigh down our economy".
"It is now time for Grenada to confront the fact that it cannot continue to pay its debts on current terms, and that the restoration of growth requires the debt overhang to be resolved. We need a fresh start, and it is therefore imperative that we approach our creditors promptly to discuss an orderly restructuring of our liabilities,' Mitchell said.
Meanwhile, the Conference of Church Grenada, which last month urged the government to resist any attempt by the IMF to increase taxes and cut social services, said it would be holding a second debt-relief workshop next month.
Shanique Myrie wins court battle against Bajan govt.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that the Barbados government did breach Shanique Myrie's right of entry. The court also ordered the Barbados Government to pay Ms Myrie, a Jamaican, BDs$75,000 or US$37,500 plus pay her legal costs.
Miss Myrie filed a claim against the Barbados Government, for damages stemming from an incident at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados after she arrived from Jamaica in 2011. She claimed that when she travelled to Barbados on March 14, 2011 she was discriminated against because of her nationality, subjected to a body cavity search, detained overnight in a cell and deported to Jamaica the following day. She also claimed that she was subjected to derogatory remarks by a Barbadian Immigration officer and asked the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM citizens moving around the region.
In the claim, Myrie sought certain declarations, and approximately one million Barbados dollars in damages.
Haitian-American wins prestigious UN design competition
Rodney Leon Architects announced its winning design of the International Competition for the Permanent Memorial at the United Nations as a significant symbol to remember and honor the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The United Nations' theme for the competition, "Acknowledge the Tragedy, Consider the Legacy, Lest We Forget," formed the inspiration for Rodney Leon's winning design entitled The Ark of Return. Leon's winning design expresses the cross-cultural and global impact of the slave trade, while honoring those who have died and those who have shared their struggle.
The international competition garnered 310 entrants from 83 countries. A panel of internationally acclaimed design professionals, artists, and other relevant stakeholders served as jurors. Haitian-American Leon was unanimously chosen from among seven finalists representing countries including China, Columbia, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and the United States. The competition was launched two years ago by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with support from the UN Department of Public Information's Remember Slavery Programme, and Member States from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union. Jamaica serves as Chairman of the Permanent Memorial Committee.
Legalization of Ganja in Uruguay
Uruguay’s lower congress in July voted to create a legal marijuana market. The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected to make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.
Guatemala’s President Otto Fernando Pérez Molina was full of praise for Uruguay’s moves to legalize marijuana, using his address to the United Nation’s 68th General Assembly Thursday to insist that "each country must experiment with new models to address the drug problem."
The Guatemala President said Uruguay has provided leadership by example of this issue and called for more effective policies that emphasized health, reduced social violence, respected human rights and curbed the flow of illegal arms and funds that financed criminal networks. But he said new models to address the drug problem must be done without abandoning international cooperation against transnational crime.
Jamaican high school achieves 100% pass in IT 5 consecutive years
Jamaica College high school in Kingston, Jamaica, has achieved a 100 per cent success rate for Information Technology (IT)in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations for five consecutive years.
According to Wilbert Edwards, head of the Information Technology (IT) Department at Jamaica College, it has taken consistency, careful analysis of one's performance, and determined attention to weak areas, in addition to a good teaching team and putting critical resources in place.
In 2013, a total of 84 Jamaica College fifth-form students sat information technology exams at the CSEC level, and every one of them passed, with 67 per cent of them achieving distinctions or grade ones. There were 56 grade ones, 25 grade twos and three grade threes. Even more impressive, Jamaica College began scoring 100 per cent passes in this technical area in 2009. This success rate has continued to date.
Trinis are the happiest people in the Caribbean
According to the results of the latest World Happiness Report from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Trinis are the happiest people in the Caribbean.
The second edition of the report echoes the findings of the 2012 Gallup World Survey which ranked Trinidad as the fifth-happiest country on earth. In the 2013 UN study, the twin-island state placed 31st overall in the world, ahead of countries including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as Spain, Thailand and South Korea.
Six key variables factored into the study’s conclusions: "Real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity."
Employing data covering the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, the report was edited by a number of academics including Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Only five Caribbean countries were included in the list, with the UN saying that it only covered countries for which all of the data was available. The other Caribbean countries ranked on the list were Suriname (40), Jamaica (75), the Dominican Republic (95) and Haiti (126). Denmark, Norway and Switzerland lead all other countries. Among North American countries, Canada took sixth place, while Mexico (16) slightly outranked the U.S. (17).
The report found that Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Sub-Saharan Africa, had shown the greatest increases in "life evaluations," with more than 75 percent of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean showing "significant increases" in average happiness.
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