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a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
Senator Ted Kennedy dies
Many Caribbean residents of the US owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Senator Ted Kennedy because of his tireless fight for civil rights for blacks. Hot Calaloo pays special tribute and mourns his loss deeply. We can express our tribute no better than President Obama’s when he said:
"Today across our state and around the nation, millions of Americans are mourning the passing of US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, one of the most celebrated standard bearers of the Democratic Party's history and a man President Barrack Obama called "The Greatest US Senator Of Our Day."
Over 47 years in the US Senate, Edward Kennedy changed the face of our country by helping lead the fight for civil & voting rights, pay equity & equal access to opportunity for women, and the expansion of Medicare and health care to cover millions of Americans. He proved himself a steadfast ally to the cause of ensuring every American child has the right to high quality education and that all American workers earn fair wages. Across the globe Senator Kennedy was revered for his commitment to advancing Human Rights and Democracy.
His diligence and fidelity to the highest ideals and principles of public service was matched only by his compassion for people. His love for, and desire to defend; the "everyday, ordinary, hardworking, individual" fueled his diligence in advancing the causes most important to us all. Our lives as Marylanders and the lives of our neighbors are better because Senator Kennedy served his country. "
The battles ahead for justice and equality are much tougher now, without Senator Kennedy. But, we are inspired by his words. "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."
Nurses face subtle racism in Canada
NURSES IN Ontario experience racism on -the job from patients, doctors, nurse managers, and most often from other nurses, research by a York University professor has found. Tania Das Gupta, chair of the Department of Equity Studies in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies conducted 18 in-depth interviews and closely studied arbitration cases.
In the survey, 41 ‘per cent responded that they had been made to feel uncomfortable because of their race, colour or ethnicity. Most black/African Canadian nurses (82 per cent) and Asian Canadian nurses (8o per cent) said they had experienced this, as well as 50 per cent of South Asian Canadian nurses and 57 per cent of Central 5outh American Canadian nurses. Even 25 per cent of the white/European Canadian nurses said they had been made to feel uncomfortable because of their ethnicity or r~eligion, said Das Gupta.
The results of the survey, which was conducted a few years ago, are analyzed in Das Gupta’s recent book, Real Nurses & Others: Racism in Nursing (Fernwood, 2009). The title for the book came from the experience of one black nurse who was asked often if she was a "real" nurse.
Surprisingly, most nurses who experience racism don't take the issue to their union, but try to handle it on their own. This is significant because 58.1% of black African nurses and 48.3% of Asian nurses perceive that their race, ethnicity or color affected their relationship with their colleagues, while 54.8% of black African nurses, 46.7% of Asian and 44.4% of South Asian nurses said it affected their relationship with their manager.
"I would call it a new racism, a subtle but systemic form," describes the professor.
Editor’s Note: I, myself have experienced this subtle racism here as an engineer in Maryland, USA. I am sure it is widespread all over the US and in many other professions.
Jamaican consulate attacked
Canadian police are investigating the circumstances surrounding an attack on the Jamaican Consulate in Toronto that led to a fire at the premises. According to officials, three persons threw Molotov cocktail devices through a window of the basement garage, causing a fire. The fire caused minor damage, burning sections of an office van. Police found remnants of the devices used to start the fire but have not yet determined a motive for the attack.
T&T GDP falls
Trinidad and Tobago's economy this year could record its first annual decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in 16 years as the energy-driven system continues to show a marked slowdown in major areas. The banks' latest economic bulletin showed that the energy-driven economy, declined by 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. There are no signs that the Trinidad economy is beginning to turn around evidenced by:
Mobay hotel closes idling 320 workers
The hotel business became so bad because of the world economic crisis that the Iberostar's Rose Hall Beach Hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica, had to close idling 320 workers. Rose Hall Beach hotel is one of three hotels in Montego Bay owned by Spanish company Iberostar.
"We are currently running at 16 per cent occupancy level, and we see no improvements in forward bookings to minimise the losses," Hofer said, adding that operational cost at the 366-room property was 40 per cent of the amount to run the two adjoining resorts.
He noted that it had reached a stage where they could not pay their bills.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett contended that, "While tourism arrivals are increasing, we need more than the 3.3 per cent growth which we are now experiencing to fill our hotel rooms at this time," Despite the minister's optimism however, checks reported by The Gleaner newspaper have revealed that the majority of the island's hotels are doing below average and, even though September and October are traditional slow months, the global crisis seems to have now reached the country full force.
The 1,000-room Grand Palladium Hotel is running an occupancy level of 15 per cent; Sandals Montego Bay is at 32 per cent; Grand Lido Negril - 19 per cent; Bahia Principe - 35 per cent; The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall - 17 per cent; and Riu Palace - 38 per cent.
Clinton appoints Paul Farmer as Haiti deputy
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who is now the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, announced the appointment Tuesday of Harvard professor Paul Farmer, a pioneer in community health treatment for the world's poor, as his deputy. Farmer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University where he is a professor of social medicine, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, is a founding
director of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization
that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and
advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in
poverty. He began working in Haiti in 1983 while still a student to
bring modern health care to the Western hemisphere's most impoverished
Miracle tree rises in Jamaica community
An ackee tree which "miraculously rose from the dead" in the middle of the afternoon recently has left scores of residents of Burnt Ground in St Elizabeth thoroughly mystified. Awestruck community members, who seemed rooted to the spot where the 'resurrection' is alleged to have taken place, said the tree was felled by the wrath of Hurricane Ivan five years ago. The tree, they said, had lain unprovoked on the ground at the same spot where it was blown down by the hurricane.
When a Gleaner news team visited Burnt Ground 48 hours later, the tree stood erect, with an intricate network of knobbly roots. The brown earth around the massive root system had clearly been recently disturbed, an indication that the tree had been uprooted.
Unable to contain their excitement, the villagers came out to tell of the incident that has gripped their little community.
The common theme: Behold a mystery or a miracle! Before their very eyes, the tree rose from its horizontal position of half a decade and stood firm, to the utter amazement of many!
Antigua pays its employees with US$50 mil from ALBA
Antigua has received US$50 million from a regional trade bloc to help pay back wages of public employees as the island battles a financial crisis, officials said Thursday. The money comes from a bloc called ALBA, the brainchild of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Antigua anticipates half the funds would be considered a grant and the other half a loan, Finance Hundreds of state workers who have not been paid since July will receive the money by weekend, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said.
Antigua's Venezuelan ambassador, Javier Lopez, did not provide details about the arrangement, but said the infusion shows how small Caribbean nations can work together in a crisis. It is the first time Antigua taps into the funds of ALBA, which it joined in June.
Antigua is scrambling to repair its financial image after the director of the island's financial regulatory commission was accused of accepting bribes in a US$7 billion Ponzi scheme with Texas businessman R. Allen Stanford.
What is ALBA? It is the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América or ALBA - which also means 'dawn' in Spanish) is an international cooperation organization based upon the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is associated with the left, and unlike free trade agreements, the ALBA represents an attempt at regional economic integration that is not based primarily on trade liberalization but on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. There are 9 member countries consisting of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba , Dominica, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Ecuador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jamaica’s Tia Maria sold
Tia Maria, the famous coffee-liqueur brand that was developed in Jamaica in the 1930s but whose control passed from the island decades ago, has been sold by the French wine producer, Pernod Ricard, raising questions about the future of its manufacture in Jamaica.
It has been reported in Rome that the Italian wine and spirit producer Illva Saronno has paid Pernod €125 million or approximately US$177.7 million for the Tia Maria brand.
In Jamaica, Tia Maria, whose development the late journalist and writer Morris Cargill played a major role, is manufactured by J Wray and Nephew subsidiary, Estate Industries ILimited, and marketed and distributed by J Wray's sister company, Lascelles Wines and Spirits. The companies are part of the Lascelles deMercado family. Lascelles markets the liqueur in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. However, It is not clear where all this change leaves manufacturing in and distribution from Jamaica.
Tia Maria is the second-largest coffee-liqueur brand. Pernod owns the market leader, Kahlua.
Urban agriculture thrives in Cuba
Cuba is the only country in the world that has developed an extensive state-supported infrastructure to support urban food production. Functionally, this system was established in response to acute food shortages in the early 1990s , which occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the island was forced to find an alternative manner of cultivating crops. Havana has established and expanded on this innovative model since this time, and it continues to lead the island nation in its quest for self-sufficiency. The increasing prevalence of urban agriculture benefits the economy, environment, community and health of Cuban citizens.
Once stricken by poverty and inequality, Havana has slowly blossomed as a result of the bustling enterprise of urban agriculture. Between buildings and behind street walls, in every green space available, locals have cultivated crops, utilizing the techniques of sustainable urban farming. After years of isolation from the United States and the former Soviet Union, Cuba has independently fostered development of urban agriculture and now provides an environment of growth and structure for its economic, social and political policies.
Move to US raises Hispanics' cancer risk
Caribbean residents of the US beware! It is not just
obesity you have to worry about. Hispanics who move to the US are at
greater risk for getting cancer than those living in their countries of
origin, whether they’re from Mexico, Puerto Rico or Cuba, according to a
T&T urged not to carry out 1st execution in 10 years
Amnesty International is calling on the authorities in
Trinidad and Tobago not to execute a man who is accused of killing his
sister-in-law. Ronald Tiwarie was sentenced to death on the Caribbean
island in 2004 and it is feared that he could be executed within days.
Recently a Mercy Committee was due to consider his case but the hearing
was adjourned with no new date given. The Committee would decide either to
grant clemency to Mr Tiwarie or to recommend execution.
Embattled Jamaican town wins community award
Flankers, in the suburbs of Montego Bay, Jamaica, has been making the news on account of it battle with crime. However, in spite of this, the Flankers Community Development Centre has won the Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance, a J$200,000 cash prize and a bronze resin trophy sculpted by artist Kay Sullivan at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.
The Flankers project best exemplifies the Jamaican traditions of self-help and community cooperation. The Flankers Citizens' Association was formed in 1976 as a confederation of groups and individuals who had been previously engaged in various community initiatives and projects. The multifaceted centre has a homework club for primary-level students, offers GSAT and remedial classes from kindergarten to grade nine, as well as CXC classes in mathematics, English language and principles of business. It also offers computer studies, HEART/NTA-TVET Level 1 instruction, and hospitality skills training that has resulted in gainful employment for scores of youths.
UWI fee hike for law school in Barbados
The University of the West Indies (UWI) has transformed its law faculty into a self-financing entity, which has responded by rolling back subsidised tuition for its student enrollees. The 40-year-old law faculty was told it had to start paying its own way after the Government cut the subsidy to the UWI by some $700 million, from $7.59 billion in 2008, to $6.9 billion this year.
Starting September, law will be taking in more students at significantly higher tuition fees quoted in US dollars. New students will now pay US$10,000 (J$890,000), just US$400, or J$35,588, less than what the university says is the full economic cost to deliver the program each year.
This system mirrors one introduced six years ago in the equally popular Faculty of Medical Sciences. Under the new scheme for law students, 80 applicants will be accepted at the Government-subsidised fee of J$201,011 per year. The faculty is planning to take in 200 students, of which 120 would be required to pay the full cost. It is those students with the highest grades who tend to qualify for the limited subsidies now available.
Last year, the faculty had about 68 students, who paid a subsidised $183,000 each for the program. The UWI is promoting the change as a necessary expansion to enable the law and medicine programs to pay for themselves, while addressing the problem of limited space.
The UWI is also trumpeting what it says are efficiency gains from its decision to scrap the historical trek of Jamaican students to Barbados for the second and third years of the undergraduate law degree, part of the campus-sharing objective originally designed to give UWI students a truly Caribbean orientation at a regional institution.
The cost of the Barbados leg of the law program has been calculated by the UWI at US$16,800 per annum.
In recent years, the UWI has received increased competition from Jamaica's other universities, Northern Caribbean University and the University of Technology, as well as overseas institutions, like the University of London, which have introduced law programs entirely based in Jamaica and, therefore, seen as more cost competitive. But the UWI is maintaining that the competition has not reduced the demand for the UWI law program. Applications for law places continue to outstrip by far, the number of available places.
Jamaican students can’t afford UWI medical school
In 2004, the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies introduced the option of doing medicine by payment of the full cost. According to professor Archibald McDonald, dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, this was done, as the number of students who qualify for the undergraduate degree in medicine is around 1,000 annually, while the number subsidised by the Government of Jamaica is only 55 - spaces which are awarded to those with the highest grades.
So, the offer was made for those interested in doing medicine, but who have not been accepted under the Government-subsidised program, to pay the full economic cost of US$25,000 ($2.225 million). Under the Government program, the undergraduate cost is J$589,000 per annum. Subsidised fees are quoted in Jamaican dollars; unsubsidised fees in US dollars.
In 2004, Mona accepted 25 students to the program under the full-cost initiative, but subsequently, this number was significantly reduced because Jamaicans were either unwilling or unable to pay their way.
In 2008-2009, only eight such students were accepted, and for the coming year, it appears as if only three will be accepted. Noting that there are more than 1,000 qualified applicants to the faculty of medicine this year, Professor Mc-Donald said that any applicant who wants to enter the program as a full-paying student will have to demonstrate the ability to pay. According to Professor McDonald, some 90 students are admitted each year with subsidies, paying only 20 per cent of the full program cost, but only 55 of them are Government-subsidised.
In the 2009-2010 school year, 45 will be subsidised by Mona.
Most U.S. money laced with cocaine
Traces of cocaine taint up to 90 percent of paper money in the United States, a new study finds. A group of scientists tested banknotes from more than 30 cities in five countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, and Japan, and found "alarming" evidence of cocaine use in many areas.
U.S. and Canadian currency had the highest levels, with an average contamination rate of between 85 and 90 percent, while Chinese and Japanese currency had the lowest, between 12 and 20 percent contamination.
The findings were presented recently at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. Study leader Yuegang Zuo of the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth said that the high percentage of contaminated U.S. currency observed in the current study represents nearly a 20 percent jump in comparison to a similar study he conducted two years ago.
Despite the high percentage of cocaine-contaminated banknotes, Zuo points out that the amount of cocaine found on most notes was so small that consumers should not have any health or legal concerns about handling paper money.
Jamaica silver medallist’s home without electricity
Jamaican athletes wowed the world with their phenomenal performance in the recent IAAF World Championships. But life is not easy for many of them. For example, the home of silver medallist in the women’s 400 meters, Sherica Williams does not have electricity. even after her silver medal performance in the Beijing Olympics last year.
In the words of her cousin, David Cooper ,
"Her grandmother even went on the television last year and begged for the light and she died (in March) and until now we haven't got light nor the roads fixed and these are so badly needed" .
The family is hoping that Sherica will not have to return to a home of darkness as they want her performance to influence the relevant authorities to address their concerns.
Power problem for Novelene too
"I spent most of the morning planting peas with my husband on our little farm. I left him in the field and hurried home to watched the race. I was there with my son, his wife and my grandchildren. The rain was falling heavily and just as the race was about to start, the light went. I was very disappointed," said Larose Williams, Novlene's mother.
Novlene ran a season-best 49.77 seconds to finish fourth behind the United States' Sanya Richards, Jamaica's Shericka Williams and Russia's Antonina Krivoshapka.
Caribbean No. 5 creditor to US
Many know that China holds the most United States (US) Treasury debt, followed by Japan. But who would expect a group of Caribbean countries to collectively come in fifth?
A look at which countries hold large amounts of Treasury securities - investments in US debt - provides an interesting glimpse into the world economy. Some governments - like China - have amassed large holdings in an effort to keep their currencies from becoming too valuable against the dollar, which keeps their exports to the United States cheaper. Others have large holdings because of their financial centres.
The fifth-largest holder of Treasurys is a collection of Caribbean countries, including The Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands, with US$189.7 billion. The Treasury Department collectively calls the group 'Caribbean Banking Centres'.
The Cayman Islands, for example, has become a major financial centre. It is home to 9,000 hedge funds and other investment vehicles, according to a report last year by the Government Accountability Office. Those funds likely hold some Treasury securities. Many investment funds use the Cayman Islands as an offshore tax haven, according to the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) report.
The data on Treasury holdings was released recently as part of a monthly report from the Treasury Department on foreign holdings of US Treasurys and other securities. Here are some other details that can be found in the Treasury International Capital report.
TOP 10 LENDERS TO UNITED STATES
Boys get better grades at all-boys schools
In Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, girls are way outperforming boys academically almost to crisis proportions. This has serious implications for the future. A recent study in New Zealand may shed some light on this subject.
Boys get better grades at single-sex schools than when they're in mixed-gender schools, where girls consistently outperform them, a recent New Zealand study shows. The study, based on the long-term Christchurch Health and Development Study at the University of Otago, compared the educational achievements of over 900 boys and girls who attended single-sex and coeducational secondary schools in New Zealand.
For students attending single-sex secondary schools, there was a slight tendency for males to outperform females.
For students attending co-educational schools, however, there was a clear tendency for girls to outperform boys, a pattern that continued when students were followed up to the age of 25.
"These findings are consistent with the argument that attending single-sex schools reduces or mitigates the current gap between boys and girls in educational achievement," says principal researcher Sheree Gibb.
And the effects of single-sex schooling also influenced getting secondary school qualifications, attending university, and obtaining Bachelors degrees, Gibb said.
The study was published in the Australian Journal of Education.
Argentine court just says no to prison for ganja use
In the ongoing controversy about ganja use, in Jamaica and right here in the US, Argentina has made a big change in its laws. Argentina's Supreme Court has just said no to prison for marijuana possession.
The judges say the government should go after major traffickers and provide treatment to consumers, not jail. The court struck down a law providing for up to two years in prison for possession of small amounts of narcotics. The case involved several young men caught with marijuana cigarettes in their pockets.
The decision doesn't legalize drug possession outright. But Argentina's Cabinet chief favors decriminalizing drug consumption, and was waiting for Tuesday's ruling before forwarding a proposed law to Congress.
Shaggy aids children hospital in Jamaica
Popular Jamaican reggae singer, Shaggy - real name Orville Burrell, head of Shaggy and Friends Make A Difference Foundation, handed over the equipment yesterday on the lawns of the Bustamante Hospital for Children hospital in Jamaica. The equipment included 19 syringe pumps; 22 value metric pumps; four hospital stretchers; three Bair Huggers; one surgical microscope; five signal pulse oximeters; nine vital signs monitors and 10 examination lights.
Dr Lambert Inniss, consultant and head of the Department of Anaes-thesiology at the hospital, noted that the institution had a limited number, and in some cases none, of the equipment donated yesterday. The syringe infusion pump, which is primarily used in the intensive care unit and in the operating theatre, is used to give small doses (medicine) of the most potent medication to small children.
US navy ship donates supplies to Jamaican hospital
The United States navy vessel, USS Hawes docked in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Her crew came bearing gifts composed of two pallets of medical and hygienic supplies that they donated to the St Ann's Bay Hospital. "This is part of Project Hand Clasp, which is a cooperation between the US Navy and several corporations. They donate everything, in this case, medical and hygiene," commanding Officer Kristin Jacobsen told reporters shortly after handing over the supplies. "We have everything, from Maxi pads, baby powder, Band-Aid, antiseptic, dental-care items, Q-tips and other items," he said.
TT&T chances even grimmer in World Cup soccer
"Win one lose one" is not good enough for T&T World Cup hopes. T&T defeated El Salvador 1-0 at home but the traveled to Honduras to lose by 4-1. This has virtually sunk their chances to advance to the finals of the World Cup next year in South Africa. Now they have to tangle at home with the group-leading US on Wednesday September 9th. Of course, they are in good company as both Argentina and Portugal are in danger of not making it.
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