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3 challenges to watch in global health in 2020

first_imgHealth3 challenges to watch in global health in 2020 By Helen Branswell Dec. 26, 2019 Reprints Privacy Policy Please enter a valid email address. The cause of the paralysis hasn’t yet been proven conclusively, though the current thinking is that viral infections — probably infection with enteroviruses — are responsible. Adding to the mystery surrounding the condition is the fact that since it was first spotted, cases have spiked every two years.Most of the cases occur in the late summer and early autumn. 2018 was the biggest year so far, with 237 confirmed cases. But 2019 was a low year, with only 32 cases to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expecting 2020 will be another big year and are gearing up to be ready.Disease detectives there hope to make more headway with emergency room physicians and neurologists, to get them to think about notifying public health authorities when they see one of these cases. Infectious diseases doctors are accustomed to contributing to disease surveillance efforts but that’s not typically on the to-do list for neurologists — the specialists who typically assess these patients. As a result, cases may have been undercounted and testing samples definitely have been taken too late in some cases to help solve the mystery.Whither dengue vaccines?The world needs effective and safe vaccines to protect against dengue fever, a mosquito-transmitted virus that sickens about 100 million people a year, mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Its nickname, breakbone fever, gives you a sense of how lousy dengue makes people feel. Most recover, but some go on to have severe and fatal forms of the disease. Related: New Year’s Day may usher in a new decade, but our crystal ball suggests some old problems will remain key global health issues in 2020.We’re sticking out our neck a bit and leaving the long-long-long-running Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo off our list of top public health stories to watch in the coming year. Call us crazy optimists — no one ever has before! — but we’re hopeful that despite recent violence in the outbreak zone, the downward trend that has accelerated in recent months means this nightmare epidemic will finally end sometime in early-ish 2020. Warning: The final few miles of the road will likely be bumpy.So Ebola aside, what do the tea leaves tell us about the public health stories we’ll be paying attention to in 2020? Read on, Dear Reader, read on.advertisement @HelenBranswell Helen Branswell Newsletters Sign up for STAT China Your guide to the biggest biopharma and life sciences news in China Houston, we’ve got a polio problemPolio eradication has made STAT’s watch list every year we’ve done these predictions. Earlier predictions have been at least moderately more upbeat. But after 2019, prospects look unsettling. Related: Hyacinth Empinado/STAT But the really alarming news on the polio eradication front relates to vaccine-derived polioviruses — the weakened but live viruses used in oral polio vaccine that on occasion regain the power to paralyze.In 2016, type 2 viruses were taken out of the oral vaccine — used mainly in developing countries. It was done in a synchronized withdrawal designed to minimize the risks that type 2 vaccine viruses would continue to circulate and infect the growing cohort of children who weren’t immunized against type 2.Tragically, the maneuver, called “the switch,” did not go according to plan.The expectation was that 3 1/2 years after the withdrawal, outbreaks caused by the type 2 vaccine viruses would be dwindling. Instead, they are picking up steam. Leave this field empty if you’re human: At least 17 countries reported finding type 2 vaccine-derived viruses and more than 200 children have been paralyzed by them. Much of the trouble is happening in sub-Saharan Africa, where vaccination campaigns to stop the spread of the vaccine viruses aren’t as aggressive as they need to be and aren’t reaching enough children. A recent report from an independent board that monitors polio eradication termed the situation a crisis.Much hope is being placed on a new vaccine being developed at warp speed. Also administered orally — a feature that is key to mass vaccination efforts — it contains vaccine viruses that were modified so that they won’t be able to regain their paralytic powers as easily, if at all. So far the data look good, but how well the new vaccine actually works and how likely it is to revert to paralytic form won’t be known until it’s used widely.If all goes well, it could truly be a silver bullet. But as the Independent Monitoring Board’s report warned, a lot can go wrong with vaccine development and there doesn’t appear to be a plan B. There are lots of white knuckles here. Consider 2020 a pivotal year for polio eradication.Will cases of the mysterious polio-like ailment spike again?Public health officials started noticing unusual cases of paralysis, mostly in children, in 2014. The onset was pretty rapid and looked a lot like polio. But polio has been eliminated in the United States. This is something else. Related: Could the world see a resurgence of polio? Experts fear a cautionary tale in measles True, the second of the three poliovirus species — type 3 — was declared eradicated, joining type 2 viruses in the history books. But type 1 stubbornly hangs on in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the number of children paralyzed in 2019 was more than three times higher than in 2018. In other words, things are going in the wrong direction.advertisement Designing a safe dengue vaccine has been scientifically challenging, however. There are four species of the virus — numbered dengue 1 through 4. Infection with one doesn’t protect against infection with the others. In fact, the risk of developing severe dengue is highest during a person’s second dengue infection.Some scientists have worried a dengue vaccine, if given to children who had never had a bout of dengue, would act like a first infection — leaving them more vulnerable to develop severe disease if they contracted dengue after being vaccinated. (No vaccine is 100% effective.)There was excitement — and some trepidation — when Sanofi Pasteur was bringing the first dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, to market. In late 2018, the company disclosed the theorized problem was indeed a concern. When the FDA approved Dengvaxia in 2019, it licensed the vaccine for a tiny sliver of the U.S. market — children aged 9 to 16 living in dengue-endemic parts of the country (there aren’t many) who had already had at least one dengue infection.2020 should show whether a second vaccine, made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, can dodge this problem. But data the company presented at a conference in November, which looked at children 18 months after they had been vaccinated, raised red flags.The company has promised to present data in the first half of the year that will reveal how well the vaccine was working two years after subjects were vaccinated. A lot is at stake here. Another vaccine that can only be used narrowly would be a crushing disappointment. Related: New data on Takeda’s dengue vaccine look promising, but with troubling exception A third candidate dengue vaccine that was designed at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and licensed to Brazil’s Butantan Institute is also in testing in Brazil, where a Phase 3 trial began in early 2016.Might there be preliminary data from this trial in 2020? Alexander Precioso, director of Butantan’s division of clinical trials and pharmacovigilance, won’t say. “We have not yet publicly disclosed timelines,” he told STAT.We peeked at the trial’s listing on ClinicalTrials.gov, the registry run by the National Library of Medicine. It projects that the final data collection date for the primary outcome measure is June 2020 — though whether that is up to date, we cannot say.So perhaps 2020 will reveal critical data from testing of two dengue vaccines. Cross your fingers and toes, Dear Reader. Effective dengue vaccines that can be safely used across a range of ages and in people who have never had dengue before would make 2020 a banner year indeed. About the Author Reprints With a surge in cases of mysterious polio-like condition, CDC appeals to doctors to help crack case Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. Across several continents, infecting mosquitoes with bacteria results in dramatic drops in dengue illness, trials show Tags 3 to watchdrug developmentinfectious diseasepublic healthVaccineslast_img read more

Laois minor hurlers name team for Leinster clash with Offaly

first_img Facebook Twitter Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Electric Picnic News Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date WhatsApp Padraig Brennan and Noah Quinlan have been named as captain and vce-captain of the Laois minor hurlers for 2020 Laois minor hurling boss Liam Dunne has named his starting 15 for the opening round of the Leinster hurling championship this weekend.Dunne’s side are off to Birr at 2pm on Saturday to take on Offaly in Round 1.The winner of the game will face either Kildare or Antrim in the quarter finals. Laois minor hurlers name team for Leinster clash with Offaly Home Sport GAA Laois minor hurlers name team for Leinster clash with Offaly SportGAAHurlingLaois Minor Hurling Team WhatsApp The Laois side contains three of the team that lost in the Leinster quarter final to Wexford last year.Lawson Obular, David Dooley and Noah Quinlan are still eligible this year. Obular is county champions Abbeyleix’s only representative on the starting 15.Defeated finalists The Harps have two players on the starting 15 – Cathal Murphy and Cody Comerford – who is the brother of Laois seniors Ciaran and Daniel.Man of the match from the 2018 Laois minor final, Cillian Dunne, starts at full forward and he is one of three Clough-Ballacolla players on the teams.While Rosenallis have the highest representation with four – including Dooley brothers David and Diarmuid.In all, Trumera, Camross, Rosenallis, Borris-Kilcotton, Castletown, Abbeyleix, Clough-Ballacolla, The Harps and Rosenallis have players on the starting 15.Laois: Finnian Cuddy (Trumera), Jack Phelan (Camross), Aodh Bowes (Rosenallis), Lochlainn Conway (Clough-Ballacolla); Philip Tynan (Borris-Kilcotton), Aaron Phelan (Castletown), Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix); Padraig Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla), Cathal Murphy (The Harps); Diarmuid Dooley (Rosenallis), David Dooley (Rosenallis), Tom Fennelly (Rosenallis); Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton), Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla), Cody Comerford (The Harps)The game is being played behind closed doors tomorrow – but you can follow all the action from Birr on the LaoisToday Live Blog.SEE ALSO – Laois senior football team named for Westmeath Division 2 clashcenter_img Pinterest Electric Picnic Previous articleLaois senior football team named for Westmeath Division 2 clashNext articleFormer GAA president O’Neill calls for games to be cancelled Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Alan Hartnett – 16th October 2020 Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Twitter TAGSLaois minor hurlers Facebooklast_img read more

OSC calls on industry to respect the spirit of its rules

“We expect market participants to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the principles of securities regulation. This requires market participants to respect not just the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law,” he says in the report, stressing that “confident investors make for a confident and effective securities industry.” Absent that confidence, investors will reject even minimal risk-taking, he suggests. In the same report, OSC executive director and chief administrative officer (CAO), Maureen Jensen, stresses that, “Protecting retail investors in today’s globalized markets is critical for market confidence.” And, she notes that it has stepped its efforts in that area. “Our increasing engagement with investors has improved our understanding of their needs and has informed how we undertake our outreach and education, regulatory policy, compliance oversight and enforcement work,” she says, noting that the OSC’s new Office of the Investor has increased the commission’s engagement with investors; and, as a result, “key issues are being discussed and acted upon,” she says. Additionally, she says the OSC is trying to improve its communication with the securities industry. “While working to better address investor concerns, we are also improving how we articulate our expectations about investor protection to market participants,” she notes. And, she says, the commission is seeing new ways to bolster investor confidence through enforcement. “The OSC is intensifying its enforcement presence and exploring new opportunities to safeguard both investor and market participant trust in our markets,” she says, adding that it has strengthened its co-operation with police and prosecutors. “We will capitalize on the increased opportunities these relationships offer to target fraudulent schemes that harm investors and to increase deterrence through enforcement actions.” At the same time, Jensen addresses the subject of increasing regulatory costs, noting that improving efficiency “is a top priority” for the commission; which, she suggests, is reflected in its approaches to policy development, understanding risk, and its focus on effective resource allocation. “We also know that regulatory change often translates into costs to market participants as they need to make process and system changes. We commit to carefully assessing the impacts of our proposed policy and operational changes,” she says. However, notwithstanding ongoing concerns about the impact of ever-rising regulatory costs, the report indicates that the industry continues to grow. According to the report, the number of registered firms in Ontario is up to over 1,300 from 1,250 in 2010-2011; there were almost 66,000 registered individuals, up from 64,628, over the same period, and the number of public companies and investment fund issuers has risen too (from 3,300 to over 3,700 in the latter case). Amid this continued growth, the report indicates that “the OSC must continue to improve its capacity to keep up with market developments, innovation and investor concerns.” To do this, it says it needs to build up its derivatives capacity; expand the Office of the Investor; enhance its expertise in complex products and overseeing financial infrastructure; and, continue to boost its research and data analysis capabilities. James Langton Keywords Investor protectionCompanies Ontario Securities Commission Share this article and your comments with peers on social media OSC finalizes DSC ban Retail trading surge on regulators’ radar, Vingoe says Howard Wetston, Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) chairman, says the regulator expects market players to abide by the spirit of its rules, not just the letter of the rules, as the industry and regulators must work together to bolster investor confidence. In a letter published Wednesday as part of the OSC’s 2013 annual report, Wetston indicates that the regulator views investor protection “as a shared responsibility”. And, to that end, he suggests that the commission expects more than technical compliance from firms and individuals that participate in the market. Related news NASAA approves model act for establishing restitution funds Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Major Hospitals to get New CAT Scan Machines

first_imgRelatedMajor Hospitals to get New CAT Scan Machines Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Cabinet has approved a contract for the procurement, supply and commissioning of three new CAT Scan machines for three of the island’s hospitals within the next six weeks.Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday(December 18), at Jamaica House, Information and Development Minister, Donald Buchanan said the machines are slated for installation at the University Hospital of the West Indies, the Kingston Public Hospital and the Cornwall Regional Hospital.According to Minister Buchanan, the contract has been awarded to Consumables Direct Limited, a UK-based entity in the amount of $243.466 million (US$3.633 million).“This is to improve and upgrade these facilities in our public health delivery system. This will also enable us to be fully ready in terms of providing and having all of the most modern technical facilities when Cricket World Cup 2007 is held in the Caribbean,” he said.Outlining the features of the equipment, Minister Buchanan said one was a multi-slice 64 or multi-detector scanner, while the other two were multi-slice 32 and 40 scanners.Single CAT scans are specialized x-ray machines that are widely used in medical imaging in the island’s hospitals, but are less useful for imaging the heart, since a beating heart does not stand still for a picture.Now with the acquisition of a machine with multiple detectors, imaging of the heart and the cardiovascular system, which moves as it beats, can be done with a level of detail not previously available. The machines will also be able to carry out other regular procedures.This contract follows four signed last month by Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, to expand the services and also overhaul the general infrastructure of the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.The Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay is set to receive a major face-lift, as the entire facility will be painted this month.Apart from the face-lift, the Minister said that the intensive care unit at the hospital would be expanded from two to seven beds. All these rooms will be fully equipped for the purposes of intensive care provision. RelatedMajor Hospitals to get New CAT Scan Machinescenter_img Major Hospitals to get New CAT Scan Machines UncategorizedDecember 19, 2006 RelatedMajor Hospitals to get New CAT Scan Machineslast_img read more

Text of a Notice on Continuation of National Emergency With Respect to Southern Border of United States 17 January

first_imgText of a Notice on Continuation of National Emergency With Respect to Southern Border of United States 17 January The White HouseOn February 15, 2019, by Proclamation 9844, I declared a national emergency concerning the southern border of the United States to deal with the border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests.The ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States continues to threaten our national security, including by exacerbating the effect of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The executive branch has taken steps to address the crisis, but further action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and to control unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and criminals across the southern border of the United States.For these reasons, the national emergency declared on February 15, 2019, and the measures adopted on that date to respond to that emergency, must continue in effect beyond February 15, 2021. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Proclamation 9844 concerning the southern border of the United States.This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.DONALD J. TRUMPTHE WHITE HOUSE,January 15, 2021. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Border, Congress, coronavirus, covid-19, crisis, deal, Effect, Emergency, Federal, Government, house, Humanitarian, migration, pandemic, security, southern, United States, White Houselast_img read more

Cowes Upgrade A Further Boost For Phillip Island Boaters

first_imgCowes Upgrade A Further Boost For Phillip Island Boaters VIC PremierAnother upgraded boat ramp is on the way for Phillip Island with design and planning commissioned to improve boating facilities at the Cowes boat ramp.Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the upgrades would make launching and retrieving easier and safer at the popular ramp.The Cowes boat ramp upgrade is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make boating better and improve the experience of all recreational boaters in Victorian waterways.The Cowes boat ramp upgrade, delivered by Better Boating Victoria (BBV), will be undertaken alongside ongoing works at Rhyll, to ensure boaters right across one of the Victoria’s most popular holiday destinations have better and safer facilities.The current facility includes a single-lane ramp, jetty, about 30 car and trailer parking spaces and is managed by Bass Coast Shire Council. The existing Cowes ramp is impacted by sand accumulation, making launching and retrieving vessels difficult.BBV has commissioned AW Maritime Pty Ltd to provide a report and functional design options for an upgrade of the boat ramp to improve its safety and functionality.Concept designs will be progressed in consultation with key stakeholders and will then be made public for further feedback. Once a concept has been agreed upon, BBV will work with the Council to progress the next stage of planning.Concept designs for the ramp upgrade are expected to be finalised by May 2021.“We are delivering on our promise to upgrade key boating facilities across the state, improving the boating experiences for Victorian families.”“These upgrades to Cowes boat ramp will not only make boating easier and safer for both locals and visitors, it will also support the community as we continue our economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.” As stated by Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale“It’s great to see continued investment into our community, with the upgrade at Rhyll and now this much-needed upgrade at the Cowes ramp.”“The process to consult and develop designs at Rhyll with the community showed that early engagement is key to successful outcomes. We look forward to similar consultation as planning commences for improvements to the ramp at Cowes.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Andrews, AusPol, Australia, Bass, Bass Coast, community, coronavirus, Cowes, Government, Holiday, Investment, Jordan, maritime, Minister, outcomes, pandemic, Rhyll, Victorialast_img read more

Imperial feeds into proposals on Covid recovery

first_imgImperial feeds into proposals on Covid recovery Imperial has contributed to a new report on how the UK can recover from the impacts of Covid-19.The report, Ambition 2030: A Partnership for Growth, sets out how a new National Prosperity Plan, bringing together government, business and civil society, can stimulate growth and lead to better economic, social and environmental outcomes for people right across the UK.This follows the work of the Covid Recovery Commission, an independent group of experts from various fields, to look at how the government can meet its objective to ‘level up’ all regions and nations of the UK. This group was chaired by John Allan CBE, Chair of the Council at Imperial and Chair of Tesco, and included executives from firms such as AstraZeneca and Vodafone.The report echoes many of the recommendations put forward in Imperial’s submission to the Commission. These include ensuring universities and science are central to the economic recovery, establishing a clear roadmap for how the government plans to reach goals around increasing public R&D investment, and the importance of funding green technology and infrastructure in achieving net zero carbon emissions.It also references the report commissioned by Imperial last year and produced by WPI Economics, White City and Imperial College London: a vision for growth, innovation and community. This set out what can be learned from Imperial’s White City campus and surrounding innovation district about some key ingredients for creating a successful innovation ecosystem, bringing together university, industry, civic and community partners.As well as those mentioned above, the report makes recommendations around improving financial incentives and access to capital to support regional growth, addressing skills gaps through lifelong learning, and increasing investment in digital and transport infrastructure. It underscores how Covid has made the need for action more pressing due to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.In order to ensure accountability, the report also calls for the progress of the National Prosperity Plan to be tracked both nationally and locally. This would consider a range of metrics to hold government to account, while recognising that the nature of opportunities and challenges differs across the UK.Universities with strong links to industry like Imperial have a vital role to play in recovery in the coming years. Through our networks of collaboration, we are helping to support innovation and economic growth in all regions and nations of the UK, including through pioneering science in fields such as artificial technology, data, health and green technologies.View embedded Twitter content /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:carbon emissions, Commission, ecosystem, Government, Imperial College London, infrastructure, innovation, Investment, London, social impact, technology, Transport, Twitter, UK, university, Vodafonelast_img read more

Charles confident overseas jobs will normalize in 2011

first_imgRelatedCharles confident overseas jobs will normalize in 2011 Charles confident overseas jobs will normalize in 2011 LabourJanuary 21, 2011 RelatedCharles confident overseas jobs will normalize in 2011 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Despite indications that economic growth in the United States this year will remain weak, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon Pearnel Charles, believes it will be enough for a recovery in the overseas employment programme. “Any growth in the U.S. economy would be good news for us,” Mr. Charles told JIS News. The programme has been hard hit by the downturn in the US economy over the past two years, resulting in a decline in farm work and hospitality employment. But, the Minister believes that the prospects for 2011 are “extremely encouraging”. “Already we are witnessing an increase in employment opportunities in the hospitality programme (which employs hotel workers),” he said, explaining that many of the traditional employers are experiencing an upturn in economic activities, and are recalling workers left out over the past two seasons. He explained that, in the US, new employers are showing interest in participating in the programme. Last year, for example, a new employer in California engaged 300 workers in the citrus industry, an area Jamaica had been trying to exploit for years. In Canada, there are strong indications of a rebirth in the tobacco industry, with more than 160 workers recalled and processed for dispatch.  Mr. Charles says he welcomes new employers and that, once the situation normalizes, his ministry’s focus will have to be on finding new areas and new employers, as the traditional employers are not willing to take on new workers, but insist on recalling former employees. “People hear that we are targeting thousands of jobs and they believe that these are thousands of new jobs but, in over ninety percent of the cases, the employers want to recall their old workers when they resume operations. So, we will have to seek to expand, to get new employers who are willing to employ new people,” he explained.   The Ministry says that its target for this year is so send no less that 12,000 plus workers to both the United States and Canada, basically balanced with 6,000 plus persons going to each country. This would return the numbers to the pre-recession level, which was about the same 12,000. Mr. Charles said that he could not overemphasize the importance to the Jamaican economy of remittances from these workers, which in 2009 was approximately US$2.1 billion, dropping from US$2.3 billion the previous year. The first batch of 177 farm workers left Jamaica on January 5, for 23 farms in Toronto, Canada. They will be employed for eights months in areas of greenhouse farming, tree planting and fruit picking. The next batch will be leaving in February, and that will be a group of over a 100 persons for farms and hotels in Canada. Over 50 persons will be leaving for the US later this month on the hotel/hospitality program. Advertisements By: Balford Henry RelatedCharles confident overseas jobs will normalize in 2011last_img read more

Parents Urged to Send Children to School

first_imgStory HighlightsConsistent school attendance will ensure better academic resultsIn February, the Ministries of Education and Labour and Social Security signed a MoU aimed at increasing attendance The aim is to boost attendance in the targeted schools by 10 per cent over a one year period RelatedGuardian Life Awards Outstanding GSAT Students RelatedEducation Ministry Ready for New School Year FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Parents Urged to Send Children to School EducationAugust 28, 2013Written by: Garfield L. Anguscenter_img RelatedEducation Ministry in Discussions with Training Agencies on Logistics Hub Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is appealing to parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly.The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at an awards ceremony held recently in St. Ann, argued that consistent school attendance will ensure better academic results and that the country benefits from the large investment it makes in education.“Education is the second largest part of the Jamaican budget and we have to make sure that, that money so large, so vital, is well spent. Make sure that you attend…we only have over 80 per cent school attendance; we need to get that up another ten per cent very soon,” he said.In February, the Ministries of Education and Labour and Social Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at increasing attendance among students in four high schools in Clarendon.The aim is to boost attendance in the targeted schools by 10 per cent over a one year period, through a Compliance Intervention Strategy.“Parents, do everything you can to send your child to school every day, at all levels. Students, if you miss one day a week, what you are doing is cutting 20 per cent of the education, and that happens in so many instances. We need to go to school every single day. We need to up attendance overall in Jamaica, for better results,” Minister Thwaites said.The awards ceremony, held at the Holiday Haven in Runaway Bay, was to honour top students in the 2013 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) from North West St. Ann and also outstanding teachers.Minister Thwaites lauded the Member of Parliament for the area, Dr. Dayton Campbell, who organised the function, for making education a priority in the constituency. He pledged to have another high school built in the constituency and to remove the Brown’s Town High School from the shift system.Minister Thwaites also reiterated his call for parents to pay the auxiliary fees at high schools. He noted that while students on the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) are exempt, “for other students, the fees are not optional”.“They are mandatory, they must be paid; they do not have to be paid all at one time if you cannot afford it,” he stated.The Minister advised those parents having difficulty to work out a payment arrangement with the school principal.“It is important that you make some payment at the outset of the school year, and it is perfectly permissible for you to make an arrangement with the principal for the payment of the remainder over a period of time,” he said. Advertisementslast_img read more

Great Minds, Great Spirits: Wallace and Medved on the Link Between Storytelling and Faith

first_img Recommended TagsBraveheartbreathculturedirectingDiscovery InstituteEasterentertainmentfaithGreat MindsHollywoodmaterialismMichael MedvedmusicPassoverpodcastproducingRandall WallacescreenwritingSecretariatspiritstorytellingWe Were Soldierswind,Trending Share Culture & Ethics Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Wow, the latest episode of Great Minds with Michael Medved is not just thought-provoking or informative. In a beautiful and highly moving conversation, screenwriter Randall Wallace talks with host Michael Medved about storytelling, opening unexpected windows onto the depths and the source of faith. I find in this, not incidentally, a significant challenge to materialism.You can find the podcast, as video and audio, at the Great Minds website. The audio is published first, followed by the video. Watch or listen now.Wallace is known for his screenwriting, directing, and producing credits including Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Secretariat. More than just a Hollywood success story, however, you get a strong sense of him, too, as a great and profound spirit.The meaning of “spirit” — with its Biblical associations with breath and wind, Michael points out — is the subject of their opening discussion. Wallace observes that in great music, or great stories, there’s an experience for the audience of an “intake of breath.” Something much more profound than entertainment or aesthetic stimulation is going on. He talks about his own childhood experiences associating storytelling with God, and, we might add, the human propensity for creating fictional narratives is a gift that the materialist view of reality has a hard time explaining.It’s not merely that, from the usual viewpoint of natural selection and the propagation of our species, it’s difficult to see any survival value to it. Much more than that: great storytelling like great music seems to peel back our material selves and reveal the moving, breathing spirit within. We’re particularly pleased with this episode’s timing because it comes as Easter and Passover are upon us this weekend, both centered on stories that evoke the grandest, transcendent visions.The Great Minds with Michael Medved series, produced by Discovery Institute, looks beyond the headlines, whether in science, culture, politics, to the permanent issues that explain why we care about science, culture, or politics in the first place. For added convenience, be sure to subscribe. It’s free.Oh, and if you value important programming like this, please visit the site and donate now. Every gift matters. Thank you! Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Faith & Science Great Minds, Great Spirits: Wallace and Medved on the Link Between Storytelling and FaithDavid [email protected]_klinghofferMarch 29, 2018, 1:36 AM last_img read more