Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 A wheelchair for Kymani http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/A-wheelchair-for-Kymani_89812 Kymani Nichols, the sickler whose plight was highlighted in the Jamaica Observer last Sunday, has seen the genesis of his recovery. <br /> <br /> With assistance from eMedia Interactive Group Limited and the Rotary Club of St Andrew, the 10-year-old has received a wheelchair and a long-term commitment to see to his medical improvement. <br /> <br /> His mother Kayon Bowen beamed with joy last Thursday as she saw her son sit in his new chair. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m speechless,&rdquo; a smiling Bowen told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m just very thankful. This has been a very tremendous help and I&rsquo;m glad there are still great people out there. Thank you everybody,&rdquo; she continued. <br /> <br /> Kymani was born with sickle cell disease &mdash; a blood disorder that affects the haemoglobin molecule that transports oxygen throughout the body.<br /> <br /> At age five he suffered two strokes and he regressed terribly after the latter. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The only thing different with the first one (stroke) is he used to use the right hand to write and then him start use the left. But when him get the second one everything just gone &mdash; speech, him cannot walk, him cyaan do nothing for himself, him affi go back to pampers, baby bottles &mdash; nothing at all him can do for himself,&rdquo; Bowen told the Sunday Observer in an interview two weeks ago.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nothing at all, not even fi sit up by himself. And even if him sit up and you try kotch him up, him kick kick till him just slide right back down,&rdquo; she said at the time.<br /> <br /> Moved by Nichol&rsquo;s story, President and Chief Executive Officer of eMedia Interactive Group Limited, Tyrone Wilson, &ldquo;a fellow sickler&rdquo;, was intent on getting a wheelchair to the lad. Wasting no time, he sought the chair. <br /> <br /> Having learnt of the service club&rsquo;s wheelchair project, he contacted Dr Lloyd Eubank-Green, past president of the club and chairman of its wheelchair project that supplies reasonably priced wheelchairs to the physically challenged. When he learnt of Kymani, the chairman instead donated the implement to the young sickler.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As a fellow sickler I just see it (sickle cell) as my way of helping,&rdquo; Wilson stated. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s too young to be restrained with it, so we want to really provide more support [for him].<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We appreciate the support from the Rotary Club and we want to take it a step further in getting some speech therapy and some physio [-therapy] to really help and supplies. So we want, we&rsquo;re gonna take it further. The wheelchair is a big help for him and I think we just want to help him recover and live his dream,&rdquo; Wilson added. <br /> <br /> The digital media professional is optimistic that Nichols will recover.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I met a youngster probably two years older than him (Kymani) at the Sickle Cell Clinic who...suffered from strokes to, but now he is walking by himself. So I think there is a lot of time for him (Kymani) to be rehabilitated,&rdquo; he noted. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;He&rsquo;s still young; he has a lot of years ahead of him to recover,&rdquo; Wilson stated.<br /> <br /> The wheelchair project, according to Eubank-Green, started 14 years ago when he headed the Rotary Club of St Andrew division. <br /> <br /> Since then the club has distributed &ldquo;over 113 million dollars worth of wheelchairs&rdquo; to disabled Jamaicans.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Normally, we do a project for a year then we give it up, but because of the constant demand throughout Jamaica I&rsquo;ve kept it going,&rdquo; Eubank-Green noted. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Can&rsquo;t give it up, can&rsquo;t give it up,&rdquo; the chairman stressed. &ldquo;Ten per cent of the Jamaican population is disabled, and out of that 280,000 there are 30,000 who need wheelchairs, but only 5,000 are registered.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654157/259036_85940_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 No sure ride for my loyalists, says Phillips http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/No-sure-ride-for-my-loyalists--says-Phillips_89909 If some of those who supported Dr Peter Phillips in the bruising People&rsquo;s National Party presidential elections of 2006 and 2008 figure that they will have a smooth passage to hierarchic growth in the organisation, they had better think again.<br /> <br /> Loyalty and support during those times, the president-designate of the PNP argued, count for little now, as the focus is on getting the &ldquo;right&rdquo; people in the available places to keep the Government on its toes and set the PNP up to regain State power.<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips will succeed the woman who finished ahead of him in both contests &mdash; Portia Simpson Miller &mdash; on March 26 when delegates ratify his candidacy, which was unopposed during a period set aside recently for a nomination exercise.<br /> <br /> A week later, Dr Phillips, 67, will be officially installed as leader of the Opposition and given the seal of approval to operate as such by the Governor General.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I will not pay greater attention to people who have been loyal to me going forward,&rdquo; Dr Phillips responded to a question posed by the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview at the close of the nomination procedure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important to say that it is one party. People who were supporters of the &lsquo;Solid as a Rock&rsquo; campaign in 2006 will have no more right as a member of the party than anybody who was a member of &lsquo;Team Portia&rsquo;. What we want to do is ensure that anyone who, for whatever reason, became less active in the past, will take the opportunity now to reengage in the party, because there is much to be done. What we want to do is to say to all the young people and those not so young who have over the years given up hope in the possibilities of the political process delivering on their hopes and aspirations, &lsquo;come and let&rsquo;s re-engage, let&rsquo;s dialogue together&rsquo;, because the future of the country today, as much as was the case in 1938, demands an involved, committed, patriotic commitment from the people of the country,&rdquo; Dr Phillips told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> Regarding leadership and succession planning for the party, Dr Phillips, the veteran Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Central and former minister of finance and planning in the last political Administration, suggested that it would not be in the best interest of the party for him to hand-pick individuals who he felt would be competent to, and capable of replacing him when the time comes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am certain that the party will have many people eminently qualified to foot that bill &mdash; and it is not in my place to pick and choose any individual, but to ensure that the party&rsquo;s structures and operations provide ample space for all the Comrades who so aspire to grow, to be projected, to show their own capacities &mdash; and when that time comes the party should have a choice to exercise the choice. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In my observations of political processes over the years, those that work best is where there is wide choiceand I have seen too many instances of people foisted on a process and it never works,&rdquo; Dr Phillips stated. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654282/259138_85947_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Abrahams chairs JIS Board http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Abrahams-chairs-JIS-Board_90028 Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Jamaica) Gail Abrahams has been appointed the new Chairman of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Advisory Board. <br /> <br /> Other Board members are: Robert Morgan, Novelette Howell, Warren Newby, Vicki Hanson, Garfield Higgins, and Sharon Hay Webster.<br /> <br /> Abrahams is an accomplished communications executive with almost two decades of experience in corporate Jamaica, spanning the media, tourism, insurance, banking and telecommunication industries.<br /> <br /> A graduate of the Manchester Business School, Abrahams has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Banking and Finance. She also has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English from the University of the West Indies (UWI).<br /> <br /> Abrahams also holds a Diploma in Public Relations and certificates in Voice Training and Radio News and Current Affairs Production for Caribbean Broadcasters from the UWI and the United States Information Service, respectively.<br /> <br /> Before her stint with AMCHAM Jamaica, Abrahams held the position of Director, Corporate Communications, Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited (FLOW) from 2013 to 2015. From 2011 to 2013, she was Assistant Vice President &mdash; Corporate Communication of GraceKennedy Financial Group. <br /> <br /> Prior to that, Abrahams was Senior Marketing Corporate Communications Manager, First Global Bank, from 2008 to 2011, Group Public Relations Manager at the UGI Group of Companies and Corporate Communications Manager at the former RBTT Bank.<br /> <br /> Abrahams began her career in media by working at Television Jamaica, the Jamaica Herald newspaper and the former<br /> <br /> Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).<br /> <br /> She is also President of the Manchester Business School Alumni Association for the Caribbean and a Board Director of the JPS Foundation. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654285/259356_85998_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Uniting the PNP, firming up structures high on Phillips&rsquo;s agenda http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Uniting-the-PNP--firming-up-structures-high-on-Phillips-s-agenda_89910 Injecting<br /> <br /> unity into the party, and strengthening the organisational foundations are two of the urgent items on the agenda of People&rsquo;s National Party President-designate Dr Peter Phillips.<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips, who dismissed the suggestion that the party was in disarray, admitted in a recent interview with the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer that there was no time to waste in the process of varnishing the party&rsquo;s political woodwork.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would argue that the party is in shambles, but there is a definite need to recharge the party, provide a more solid basis for its unity, and to inspire a wave of activism in the immediate future going forward,&rdquo; Dr Phillips stated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The first challenge is with the unity of the party, and unity is not a passive condition. Unity is an active, self-reinforcing set of activities, or an active self-reinforcing process that needs to be propelled throughout the party. First of all, being leader of the party would recognise that every Comrade, no matter who they supported in the past, whether they were among the original supporters of me or Comrade Portia Simpson Miller, every Comrade has a place in the party as a right, providing they adhere to the constitution and the principles and objectives of the party. The PNP is a big tent with a place in it for every patriotic Jamaican who has an interest in the upliftment of the country and who supports our basic principles of ensuring a more equitable society and a country and political process which adheres to the highest standard of integrity,&rdquo; Dr Phillips noted.<br /> <br /> The reference to Simpson Miller, who Dr Phillips will succeed as party president on March 26, and as Opposition Leader by April 2, stems from the bitter, four-way party leadership contest to succeed PJ Patterson as party president in 2006. At the time, she won over Dr Phillips, Dr Karl Blythe and Dr Omar Davies.<br /> <br /> That bitterness spilled over into 2008 when Dr Phillips again challenged Simpson Miller, unsuccessfully.<br /> <br /> That aside, Dr Phillips said that going back to the base to shore up the party&rsquo;s mechanism was also critical in the short term.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is important to move swiftly to strengthen the organisational foundations of the party in every division, every constituency, and all the regions into which the party is divided. And that certainly is going to involve a lot of painstaking work by myself and by the other officers of the party, along with the secretariat, to be out in the highways and byways of the country, reasoning with the Comrades, hearing their concerns and their views be done in ensuring that the People&rsquo;s National Party is the party of choice in their communities and their parishes, which will make it ultimately the choice of Jamaica as a whole.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips said that the party would also focus heavily on recruiting young people in particular.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The young people are the future of the country. We need to let them all know that no country can progress without effective political organisation and that they, in order to secure the kind of country that they want, need to be involved, and we need to make ourselves attractive as a party to those young people. We need to hear their concerns, hear their view of the kind of country that they would want, and foster the patriotic spirit among them,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> But in all of that anticipated excitement, PNP officials have said that the organisation needs money to move its machinery forward. That follows claims from within its ranks that money given by donors to assist with the organisation&rsquo;s campaign during the general election a year ago did not end up at the intended address &mdash; into the party&rsquo;s account. <br /> <br /> How then will the party be able to convince donors to get money for the running of its affairs henceforth?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Organisational work demands money, but it&rsquo;s not something that I would overstate,&rdquo; Dr Phillips argued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What it demands is a way, and a commitment. The politics of the country needs to be based, today, as it was in the past, on the spirit of volunteerism. But certainly, if your concern is that donors and others will not be forthcoming, we will certainly be reaching out to them, too, and on the basis that we have a party whose integrity will be unquestionable. And certainly, I can accept that there is a perception that exists in many sections of the population that the party&rsquo;s integrity has been blemished. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a perception that we intend to correct and I certainly give my commitment, pledge to the country and to the party, that any instance which arises will be dealt with,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> And as for volunteerism, Dr Phillips is hoping that that will be a major plank in the party&rsquo;s push to return Jamaica to the glory days when payment for every activity did not carry the emphasis that it does now. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;For as much as we receive, we have to give back. There are thousands of people who are unrecognised too often in Jamaica and in the dialogue about the country. I have people in my constituency who can&rsquo;t put two $1,000 bills together, but on a Sunday, from the little that they have, they would seek out somebody more needy than them and carry a little Sunday dinner. You have, too, many people gathering down at the park at Parade (downtown Kingston) carrying dinner for people. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The thousands out there in neighbourhood watches, citizens&rsquo; associations, parent -teachers associations doing their little bit &hellip; the sense of civic responsibility is much more alive than we give credit to. What has happened is that we are allowing the negative influences to capture more attention, and many, including the media, not celebrating enough these ordinary Jamaicans, the people in the basic schools, neighbourhood watch, doing things. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was invited to a citizens association function in my constituency (East Central St Andrew) the other night and I was so moved because they put on this special dinner and meeting to reward the workers of NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) who collect the garbage in their community. That&rsquo;s the kind of Jamaica we need to foster. They didn&rsquo;t have to do it. They just felt that they benefited from the fact that these people did their work conscientiously and they wanted to show their appreciation in that way,&rdquo; said the Member of Parliament for the area. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654306/259139_85928_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 KingAlarm foils robbery at Island Grill http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/KingAlarm-foils-robbery-at-Island-Grill_90020 Security personnel from KingAlarm Systems thwarted a robbery at a popular food chain on Red Hills Road in St Andrew yesterday.<br /> <br /> Workers who arrived at the Island Grill restaurant located in the Red Hills Mall were pounced upon by gunmen while they opened the establishment. <br /> <br /> The police reported that around 7:30 yesterday morning, two armed men entered the premises and &ldquo;held up&rdquo; the workers. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t a hostage situation. They were robbed of two cellphones. They did not get anything else, no money or anything because KingAlarm intervened and the men fled,&rdquo; a constable from the Constabulary Communications Unit told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> But a highly ranked source from the electronic security provider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that there were roughly four armed men. The source explained that while there were two men on the inside, one criminal awaited his cronies on the outside in a vehicle while another was the lookout. <br /> <br /> The security personnel said the men entered the premises through a back door, while the workers were entering through the front, and disarmed the alarm. <br /> <br /> The men, according to the source, were in the process of forcing workers to open the safe when the KingAlarm officers arrived. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our response guys, on approaching the place, looked and saw a staff member kind of on the ground and a staff member pointing to the back door. So one of them (responders) went around [and] was moving around to the back, at which point the gunmen apparently ran, jumped over a fence and escaped in a waiting motor vehicle,&rdquo; the security officer explained. <br /> <br /> The police told the<br /> <br /> Sunday Observer that nobody was harmed and said the robbers only made off with two of the workers&rsquo; cellular phones. <br /> <br /> The KingAlarm personnel expressed pride in the response officers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The response officers acted in a professional manner in accordance with their training and our use of force policy and we&rsquo;re happy that the robbery was thwarted and no losses were incurred on behalf of our client.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> A response from Island Grill was not forthcoming up to press time. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655141/ka_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Holness wants step up for MoBay&rsquo;s Hip Strip http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Holness-wants-step-up-for-MoBay-s-Hip-Strip_90023 MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes that Montego Bay&rsquo;s Hip Strip has the potential to be the best in the world, but bemoans that it is now &ldquo;crying out for intervention&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our Hip Strip could be like hip strips across the world,&rdquo; Holness argued.<br /> <br /> The prime minister was delivering the keynote address at recently opened Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach Resort along Montego Bay&rsquo;s hip strip, yesterday.<br /> <br /> He bemoaned that some tourism infrastructure, some of which were put in more than half a century ago, have outlived their usefulness and &ldquo;cannot sustain the next growth spurt of 50 years to come&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And so there will have to be fundamental reorganisation, redevelopment and new infrastructure put in place to support the next 50 years in tourism in Jamaica, but specifically in Montego Bay,&rdquo; the prime minister remarked.<br /> <br /> Holness argued that the improvement of the Montego Bay Hip Strip will require the intervention of stakeholders, including the minister of tourism.<br /> <br /> Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced the allocation of some $46 million to improve the aesthetics of the Montego Bay Hip Strip.<br /> <br /> Of that amount, he said that $11 million will go towards initiating a project to run overlaying utility wires underground, while $35 million has been allotted for a streetscape project along the Gloucester Avenue (hip strip) corridor.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are looking at how we can reconfigure the Hip Strip. And among the first low-hanging fruits that we are dealing with is to create a cable arrangement that will remove all the overhanging utility wires and to put them underground so that we begin by a physical look that is different. And we have already allocated $11 million for the preliminary work to be done on that and we hope that before this budget year is completed, that exercise will be done,&rdquo; Bartlett revealed, adding that another $35 million has been set aside for the roadscape programme.<br /> <br /> He also pointed out that talks have started with &ldquo;friends about building out the experiences along the Hip Strip.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My dream is for this strip to be extended from Dump Up Beach all the way to Dead End with a series of experiences &mdash; of entertainment, and food, and shopping that will remind us of City Walk in Orlando. So we will be making our City Walk here in Montego Bay an exciting moment to create an experience that is not just acceptable, an experience that is not just delightful, an experience that will be aspirational, but more so, an experience that will be exceptional,&rdquo; Bartlett argued.<br /> <br /> He added that Decameron with its 146 sea view rooms, because of its location, will be the centrepiece of the Hip Strip.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Member of Parliament Dr Horace Chang said that he is looking &ldquo;forward to the development of the entire area and the restoration of the hotel rooms that will ensure that the Hip Strip returns to it&rsquo;s premier place of the resort of Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because this was what the Hip Strip was &mdash; it was the centre of activity. So we want to welcome Decameron here,&rdquo; Dr Chang said.<br /> <br /> President of Decameron Fabio Villegas emphasised that his group is committed to the development of the island. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654258/259351_85996_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Hunting the true killer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hunting-the-true-killer_90011 Although the police have stated, with confidence, that they have nabbed the man who killed veteran author, journalist and broadcaster Peter Abrahams, some residents of the Red Hills community are suggesting that others were involved.<br /> <br /> Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer yesterday that the police were certain that they had the villain of the brutal murder of South Africa-born Abrahams, whose body was found at his home on Wednesday, January 18. He was 97.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a suspect in custody since yesterday (Friday),&rdquo; Powell told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We believe that he is the main suspect in the matter and we don&rsquo;t believe that anyone else was involved in the murder,&rdquo; Powell went on.<br /> <br /> But that statement was questioned yesterday by two residents of the St Andrew West Rural community, who suggested that while the man in custody was a part of a plot to kill the man with the distinct voice, there were at least two others who ought to be investigated.<br /> <br /> They were the same two sources who told the Jamaica Observer on the day that Abrahams died, that they were sure that he was murdered, based upon &ldquo;certain things&rdquo; that had happened in the area in recent days.<br /> <br /> The police initially suggested that nothing was amiss, but following the autopsy, there was confirmation that Abrahams was in fact murdered. The autopsy revealed that Abrahams died of blunt force, and trauma to the head, neck and chest.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You have a group a youth inna the area a gwaan wid a whole heap a things an we know from long time say a murder dem did murder Mr Abrahams,&rdquo; one told the<br /> <br /> Sunday Observer. &ldquo;A no just one man involve&hellip; other people know bout that murder.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Powell said that the police were so confident that the man whom they had in custody was the sole perpetrator, that they were now just tying up some loose ends and would charge him with murder &ldquo;in very short order&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are certain that he will be the only one charged,&rdquo; Powell emphasised.<br /> <br /> But another resident of the Red Hills community, who spoke to the<br /> <br /> Sunday Observer on condition that his name is not mentioned in the article, said that greed had claimed the life of the man who was best known for his piercing opinions, simply called<br /> <br /> News<br /> <br /> Commentary, on<br /> <br /> Radio Jamaica for several years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dem tek set pon di man, and things get worse after him wife dead last year,&rdquo; the resident said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dem bruk inna di man house a few times, an dem no satisfy wid that, so dem come back fi tief him things, and then dat never good enough fi dem, so dem kill him,&rdquo; the resident said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mi hear bout when this man come a Red Hills and little by little build him house. Him deal wid people wid respect and mi no know wa woulda push di man dem fi kill a man like dat who really live inna wheelchair,&rdquo; the individual continued.<br /> <br /> Abrahams, who was born on the outskirts of the populous city of Johannesburg to an Ethiopian father and South African mother on March 3, 1919 , left apartheid South Africa hastily for the United Kingdom in 1939, rather than face a trumped up charge of treason by those who ruled the mineral-rich country with iron fists.<br /> <br /> After flirting with projects in the UK and other parts of Europe, he came to Jamaica in 1955, and, based upon archival information, returned here a year later to begin more than 60 years of residence, during which time he became a naturalised Jamaican.<br /> <br /> A service of thanksgiving for his life was held recently in the Corporate Area. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655079/killer_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Can the full moon affect us? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Can-the-full-moon-affect-us-_90000 Thank God for the traffic, I thought. At least I will get a chance to enjoy one of my favourite sights &ndash; the slow dance of the full moon as it ascends the evening skies.<br /> <br /> I was so caught up in the moment that I almost did not notice a motor vehicle driver trying to edge my car into a nearby gully. After that, at least two other vehicles overtook the long line of traffic, almost daring the oncoming motorists to hit them. What&rsquo;s wrong with these people I thought? Then I began to reflect on my day at the practice. It was one of those days in which I examined a number of anxious and psychotic individuals. This group included someone who only had epileptic seizures around the time of the full moon. <br /> <br /> So I called a friend and colleague and asked her opinion. She informed me that when she worked in a nursing home in the United States of America, around the time of the full moon, the staff would carefully monitor the windows and doors of the high-rise building because, inevitably, someone would try to commit suicide. A few she added &ldquo;actually succeeded&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder thought the full moon gave birth to especially heavy nocturnal dew and caused the brain to become &ldquo;unnaturally moist&rdquo;, leading to both madness and epileptic attacks. In the 16th century, Paracelsus wrote that &ldquo;mania has the following symptoms &mdash; frantic behaviour, unreasonableness, constant restlessness, and mischievousness. Some patients suffer from it depending on the phases of the moon.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Lord Blackstone, an 18th century English jurist, was the first to define a condition of madness exacerbated by the lunar cycle.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lunatic, or non compos mentis, is properly one who hath lucid intervals, sometimes enjoying his senses and sometimes not and that frequently depending upon the changes of the moon.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> At the Bethlehem (or Bedlam) Hospital in London, inmates were chained and flogged at certain phases of the moon &ldquo;to prevent violence&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Modern thought on the correlation between the lunar cycle and human behaviour is divided between those who give credence to a &ldquo;lunar effect&rdquo; (more &ldquo;lunacy&rdquo; occurs during certain phases of the moon) and those who debunk this idea as fanciful thinking &mdash; a &ldquo;Transylvania effect&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> It is well known that it is the regular and predictable cycles of the moon and sun that regulate the ocean&rsquo;s tides. Research has established numerous links between human behaviour and external natural cycles ranging from weather and solar radiation to phases of the moon and planetary cycles.<br /> <br /> The energy practitioner with whom I share offices, says that &ldquo;our energy bodies respond to the rise and fall of the tides (barometric pressure)&rdquo;. It is thought that at the time of the full moon our energy bodies are prone to separation of the two major meridians that protect our bodies. These meridians are the central, in the front, and the governing in the back.<br /> <br /> The central meridian interacts with the environment and other people, while the governing meridian replenishes the energy from the chakras which run along the spine to the top of the head. When those two meridians separate we are vulnerable, that is, prone to unusual behaviours.<br /> <br /> EPILEPSY<br /> <br /> Since ancient times there has been a suggested connection between the phases of the moon and epilepsy. It continues to be reported in modern times.<br /> <br /> In a study reported in the 2013 issue of the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, researchers investigated the potential association between the moon phases and epilepsy by looking at Internet epilepsy search trends. <br /> <br /> Although they highlighted that the relationship between the lunar cycle and recurrent seizures is unclear, the researchers noted that seizure-related emergency admissions significantly clustered in days with a full moon. Additionally, they reported that based on a small series of 10 children, the incidence of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy &ldquo;was suggested as being the highest at a full moon, followed by waxing moon and new moon&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> However, no association with the lunar cycle was found using a large death certificate dataset with 409 probable cases of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.<br /> <br /> MURDER<br /> <br /> In 18th century England, a person who committed a murder during a full moon could plead &ldquo;lunacy&rdquo; and get a lighter sentence.<br /> <br /> In the 1970s, psychologist Arnold Lieber and his colleagues decided to test the old belief of full moon &ldquo;lunacy&rdquo;. The researchers collected data on 1,887 homicides committed over a 15-year period in Dade County, Miami. The study showed that the homicides appeared to rise and fall with the phases of the moon. In other words, the murder rate rose with the full or new moon.<br /> <br /> Dr Lieber theorised that since humans are composed mostly of water (like the earth), our bodies might have &ldquo;biological tides&rdquo; that influence our emotions. When a person is already on psychologically shaky ground, such a biological tide can push him or her over the edge. However, when other scientists re-evaluated the research, the alleged pattern disappeared.<br /> <br /> HOSPITAL WORKERS AND THE FULL MOON <br /> <br /> Hospital workers have noticed increases in strange behaviours with the full moon. A study published in the<br /> <br /> Journal of Emergency Medicine in 1987 found that 80 per cent of emergency room nurses and 64 per cent of physicians agree that the moon affects their patients&rsquo; behaviour. <br /> <br /> BIRTHS<br /> <br /> In an analysis of 33,000 births, Dr W Buehler, a German researcher, found that there was a significant number of male births during the waxing moon. Astronomer Daniel Caton compared 70 million human births in the United States with lunar phase, and he found no associations.<br /> <br /> Similar work by Frederic Chambat turned up no pattern among 14.5 million European births. In a study published in 2005 in the<br /> <br /> American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers analysed 564,039 births across 62 lunar cycles that were identified from North Carolina birth certificate data from 1997 to 2001. They noted no predictable influence of the lunar cycle on deliveries or complications.<br /> <br /> What do you think? Can the full moon affect us or does this notion only exist in our imaginations?<br /> <br /> Dr Jacqueline E Campbell is a family physician, university lecturer and pharmacologist. She is the author of the book &ldquo;A patient&rsquo;s guide to the treatment of diabetes mellitus.&rdquo; Email:<br /> <br /> drjcampbell14@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654227/259329_85972_repro_w300.jpg Health & Fitness Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 Age not a factor in leadership &mdash; Phillips http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Age-not-a-factor-in-leadership---Phillips_89907 Dr Peter Phillips has scoffed at the suggestion that the Opposition People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) should have focused on a much younger person to become its next president.<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips, 67, will succeed outgoing party leader Portia Simpson Miller on March 26, when a Special Delegates Conference will confirm him by acclaim as the fifth president of the 78-year-old party.<br /> <br /> That follows the decision by Simpson Miller, 71, to quit as party president on March 26, and also demit office as Leader of the Opposition effective April 2.<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips was the only nominee for the post of president when the PNP&rsquo;s nomination exercise closed on Friday, February 10, at the end of a five-day period. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Those who become fixated on this idea are really missing the point,&rdquo; Dr Phillips told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer during a wide-ranging interview last week at his New Kingston offices when the nomination procedure closed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For one thing, electorates in our country, for example, have elected young, and elected those not so young at various points in the history. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;They elected Michael Manley (former PNP president) as prime minister at 40-something; they elected him at 60-something also. Norman Manley (first PNP president and former chief minister) was first elected in his 60s and is still arguably the most distinguished of our political leaders. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;One thing that age does contribute is experience &hellip; the ability to know stability where it arises. The United States elected Barack Obama in his 40s, and in the next electoral cycle every candidate was over 70 and they elected one. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;What is significant is not this question of age, but what the person stands for &hellip; the policies, the programmes, the personal qualities of integrity and representativeness of the aspirations of the people and that&rsquo;s how I am proceeding.&ldquo; Dr Phillips said.<br /> <br /> Dr Phillips underlined that assuming the office as president of the PNP when the process is completed is not a prize to stand in of itself. Rather, he described it as &ldquo;a call to work, to give service&rdquo;, adding that it was out of a desire to give service, and not to seek reward, that he offered himself.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When the time comes and one contests national elections and the issue of prime ministership comes up, it is all about service, not reward to the candidate leading the party. Indeed, it is a notion of vision that needs to be revived in the country, because democracy at its highest ideal is really about a population mobilised to exercise our civic responsibilities to govern ourselves. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Most of us, or all of us here in the party and those outside, there is not one of us who has not been the beneficiary of Jamaica&rsquo;s sacrifice &mdash; not our own sacrifice, Jamaica&rsquo;s sacrifice for us.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The taxpayers of the country financed my education. I got the opportunity to go to UWI (The University of the West Indies) because the taxpayers provided that. If it is even the pleasures of watching Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce run in the Olympics and feel the pulsing of the heart when you see the black, gold and green go up the flagpole and you feel the pride, and it is possible because of the fact of the Jamaican nation. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you hear Bob Marley music voted the music of the Millennium or you go on a street in Brazil and hear Jimmy Cliff pulsating, you know and you feel proud to say I am a Jamaican. And that very act of pride at least instils in me a sense that I have an obligation not only to the current generation but to the generations coming after, to create the conditions where they can experience that too,&rdquo; said Phillips.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Andrew Holness, now 44, became Jamaica&rsquo;s youngest political leader at age 38 when he succeeded then Prime Minister Bruce Golding as Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in October 2011. By December of that year he had led the JLP to defeat by the PNP in the general election, but regained power in the February 25, 2016 General Election when he led his party to a one-seat victory in the hotly contested national poll. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13654131/259141_85942_repro_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 57-y-o ex-con held with loaded submachine gun http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/57-y-o-ex-con-held-with-loaded-submachine-gun ST ANDREW, Jamaica &mdash; An ex-convict was yesterday held with a loaded submachine gun along Molynes Road in St Andrew. Police subsequently searched his home in Red Hills and found another firearm and several round of ammunition.<br /> <br /> According to the constabulary&rsquo;s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), lawmen were conducting vehicular checkpoint operations on Molynes Road when the driver of a Nissan motorcar was signalled to stop. He complied and was searched along with the vehicle.<br /> <br /> The search of the vehicle revealed an Intratec submachine gun loaded with two 9mm rounds.  <br /> <br /> Further reports are that the lawmen swiftly obtained a warrant and escorted the man to his home in the Red Hills, where one Ruger 9mm pistol and two-hundred assorted rounds of ammunition were seized.<br /> <br /> CCU said the 57-year-old lawbreaker was then taken into custody where it was discovered that he had served a 21-year prison sentence and was only released 3 years ago. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This was a display of excellent police work where we leave no stone unturned. As many times as you transgress against the law expect to be caught&rdquo; warned Superintendent Jacqueline Green, head of the St Andrew North Division.<br /> <br /> The police did not name the man.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13656006/arrest_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 5:58 PM Chronixx to make second appearance on 'Tonight Show' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Chronixx-to-make-second-appearance-on--Tonight-Show- KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Reggae sensation Chronixx is set to perform on the popular American late night show, &ldquo;Tonight Show&rdquo; on Friday.<br /> <br /> The artiste, whose given name is Jamar McNaughton, is no stranger to the Jimmy Fallon hosted show, as he made his first appearance almost two years ago. <br /> <br /> His appearance went viral and according to the Billboard charts in 2014, Chronixx, after performing his hit song &ldquo;Here Comes Trouble&rdquo;, had a registered 12,000 downloads moving from 1,000 in mere days. <br /> <br /> This, along with a subsequent performance at Central Park, had earned him the number two position on the Digital Reggae Singles chart.<br /> <br /> Moya Hinds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655954/Chronixx---Fallon_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 5:00 PM SpaceX blasts off cargo from historic NASA launch pad http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/SpaceX-blasts-off-cargo-from-historic-NASA-launch-pad FLORIDA, United States (AFP) &mdash; SpaceX on Sunday blasted off its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the unmanned Dragon cargo ship, packed with food and supplies for the six astronauts living at the International Space Station.<br /> <br /> The white rocket soared into the cloudy, gray skies over Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9:38 am.<br /> <br /> The mission was the first to take off from NASA's historic launchpad 39A, the origin of the pioneering US spaceflights that took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the space shuttle missions that ran from 1981 to 2011.<br /> <br /> The launch was initially planned for Saturday, but was canceled just 13 seconds before liftoff due to a glitch with the rocket engine.<br /> <br /> "They resolved all the technical issues last night," said NASA's Bob Cabana, director of Kennedy Space Center.<br /> <br /> The origin of the problem &mdash; a piece of equipment known as the thrust vector control actuator in the second stage &mdash; was replaced. Subsequent tests showed it was working fine, a SpaceX spokesman explained. <br /> <br /> The unmanned spaceship is packed with more than 5,000 pounds (2,267 kilograms) of food, gear and science experiments for the astronauts in orbit.<br /> <br /> It is the 10th such resupply mission for SpaceX, which along with Orbital ATK has a multi-year contract with NASA to send supplies to the International Space Station.<br /> <br /> The cargo is expected to arrive at the space station on February 22, a SpaceX spokesman said.<br /> <br /> About 10 minutes after the launch, SpaceX refired the engines on the booster portion of the Falcon 9, guiding it down to a controlled, upright landing at a different part of Cape Canaveral.<br /> <br /> "The Falcon has landed once again," a SpaceX spokeswoman said on a live webcast, as loud cheers and applause erupted at the company's mission control center in Hawthorne, California.<br /> <br /> The touchdown marked the third time SpaceX has managed to stick a landing on solid ground. <br /> <br /> Other such landings have taken place on floating ocean platforms, as the company perfects its techniques of powering costly rocket parts back to land instead of jettisoning them in the ocean after a single use.<br /> <br /> SpaceX is also developing a version of its Dragon capsule that can one day carry astronauts to space.<br /> <br /> SpaceX says the first crew flights will take place in 2018, though a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report out last week predicted that schedule delays and budget cuts would push it back to 2019.<br /> <br /> SpaceX's chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell insisted Friday that the company is on target for 2018, saying she was "very confident" in that deadline.<br /> <br /> The retirement of the US space shuttle program in 2011 left the United States without any spacecraft for sending people into orbit. <br /> <br /> Since then, the world's astronauts have hitched rides aboard Russia's Soyuz spaceships, which fit three people at a time. <br /> <br /> The cost for a single astronaut's transport is currently $82 million, the GAO report said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655938/000_LU74YHDF_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 4:53 PM Former Swedish PM asks 'what has he been smoking?' after Trump refers to non-existent terror attack http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Former-Swedish-PM-asks--what-has-he-been-smoking---after-Trump-refers-to-non-existent-terror-attack WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) &mdash; Bowling Green, Atlanta and now... Sweden? <br /> <br /> US President Donald Trump was speaking to supporters on Saturday when he apparently referred to the Scandinavian country as the site of a terror incident &mdash; the latest example of his administration naming a non-existent attack.<br /> <br /> He was addressing a campaign-style rally in Florida when he launched into a list of places that have been targeted by terrorists.<br /> <br /> "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible," he said, provoking mockery on social media.<br /> <br /> His speech was aimed at defending his order last month that blocked refugees and travellers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.<br /> <br /> The order has been suspended by a federal appeals court, and Trump vowed to introduce a new order this week as a means of protecting Americans at home.<br /> <br /> He went on to name Brussels, Nice and Paris &mdash; European cities that have been struck by deadly terror attacks.<br /> <br /> Sweden's embassy in Washington has asked for an explanation, the foreign ministry in Stockholm said Sunday.<br /> <br /> "We have now contacted the American (State Department) to understand and receive clarity," ministry press officer Catarina Axelsson told AFP. <br /> <br /> Users on Twitter, Trump's favourite communication platform, cracked jokes about the apparent miscue using the hashtags #lastnightinSweden and #SwedenIncident.<br /> <br /> Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt asked: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."<br /> <br /> Gunnar Hokmark, a Swedish member of the European Parliament, retweeted a post that said "#lastnightinSweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!" <br /> <br /> Hokmark added his own comment: "How could he know?"<br /> <br /> Numerous internet wags responded with Ikea-themed tweets. Some posted photos of the impossible-to-understand instructions for assembling Ikea furniture, calling it "Secret Plans for the #SwedenIncident."<br /> <br /> Posts flooded into @sweden, the country's official Twitter account which is run by a different Swede each week. <br /> <br /> This week's curator, Emma, who describes herself as a school librarian and mother, said the account had received 800 mentions in four hours.<br /> <br /> "No. Nothing has happened here in Sweden. There has not (been) any terrorist attacks here. At all. The main news right now is about Melfest," she said, referring to the competition to pick the performer who will represent Sweden at the Eurovision singing contest.<br /> <br /> Top Trump aides in his month-old administration have faced criticism and ridicule after speaking publicly about massacres that never took place.<br /> <br /> White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway &mdash; who famously coined the term "alternative facts" &mdash; referred to a "Bowling Green massacre" during an interview.<br /> <br /> She later tweeted that she meant to say "Bowling Green terrorists" -- referring to two Iraqi men who were indicted in 2011 for trying to send money and weapons to Al-Qaeda, and using improvised explosive devices against US soldiers in Iraq. <br /> <br /> And White House spokesman Sean Spicer made three separate references in one week to an attack in Atlanta.<br /> <br /> He later said he meant to say Orlando, the Florida city where an American of Afghan origin gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub last year. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655932/Trump--AFP--2_w504_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 4:23 PM MoBay must be prepared for tourism growth over next 50 years &mdash; PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/MoBay-must-be-prepared-for-tourism-growth-over-next-50-years---PM ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) &ndash; Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says a comprehensive development and upgrading of Montego Bay&rsquo;s infrastructure must take place in order for the city to take advantage of the tourism opportunities that will come on stream over the next 50 years.<br /> <br /> Addressing the official opening of the Royal DeCameron Cornwall Beach resort in Montego Bay, St James yesterday,  the Prime Minister said while the tourism product continues to grow at a rapid rate, the almost 50-year old supporting infrastructure is under pressure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The product is growing. It is expanding. The challenge with that is that the supporting infrastructure, much of which was laid 50 years ago&hellip;cannot sustain the next growth spurt of 50 years to come. There will have to be fundamental re-organisation, redevelopment and new infrastructure put in place,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Holness noted that major attention must be paid to the development and improvement of the popular Hip Strip  on Gloucester Avenue.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our Hip Strip could be like similar locations in Miami or Coco Cabana in Brazil and we have the potential to be better than all of them,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> The Prime Minister said all hands are required on deck in order to plan and implement Jamaica&rsquo;s tourism infrastructural development with the next five decades in mind.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will require the stakeholders including the Minister (of Tourism), the Members of Parliament, Local Government, the developers, the owners&hellip; to come together as Team Jamaica to build a tourism product that will last for the next 50 years and place Jamaica as the lead island for tourism in the Caribbean region,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Minister said the Government has been examining the various opportunities tourism presents for linkages with other sectors in an effort to boost  growth. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655930/Luis-Moreno-and-MHPM_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 4:12 PM IDT branch to be established in western Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/IDT-branch-to-be-established-in-Western-Jamaica ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; A branch of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) is to be established in Montego Bay, St James in order to better address industrial relations matters in western Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson, said three possible locations have been looked at for the office and a decision will be made shortly.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Establishment of the IDT in western Jamaica is important. We are always looking out for the welfare of the workers and so we understand the urgency and we are addressing it,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> She expressed satisfaction with operations at the three departments. She noted that the Trelawny parish office is &ldquo;in very good condition and the staff are in very high spirits&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> She informed that the St James office is in need of upgrading to address cramped conditions, and commended the staff for continuing to give of their best under the circumstances.<br /> <br /> As it relates to the Hanover parish office,  Robinson said it is to be relocated and during the visit &ldquo;we listened to the concerns of the staff to get the direction in which they want to see their office go in.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Robinson also said that her visit to the offices was to meet with staff and &ldquo;gather information on the operations to ensure that the mandate of the Ministry is being met and that members of the public are receiving top quality, professional service.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655911/robinson_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:31 PM Hampton School Board apologises to education minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hampton-School-Board-apologises-to-education-minister KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; The Board of the Hampton School for Girls has apologised to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid over the way they handled his request for a full report regarding principal Heather Murray&rsquo;s appearance on January 5, at the hearing of the alleged rape case against a minister of religion.<br /> <br /> The ministry in a release today said board members, at a meeting held yesterday, endorsed an earlier apology to Reid from board chairman, Trevor Blake. <br /> <br /> According to the ministry, Blake, in his apology dated February 3,  withdrew an earlier statement to Murray&rsquo;s lawyer, which was shared with the media, indicating that no agreement had been reached at a January 11 meeting for her to go on two week&rsquo;s leave to prepare a full report for the board and the minister.<br /> <br /> Blake&rsquo;s letter stated inter alia: &ldquo;I unreservedly withdraw my letter of January 16, 2017, and apologize sincerely for releasing same to the press. I am aware of your commitment to education and to good outcomes for all of those within the system, and regret the impression my letter caused.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The board members also apologised to the minister acknowledging that they had not handled the matter properly.  It was noted that no independent investigation had been conducted to ascertain what happened except to rely on the account submitted by Murray, the ministry said. <br /> <br /> Reid also noted that releases were sent to the media from both Murray and the chairman without any reference to him. <br /> <br /> The minister also referred to the Education Act and the Education Regulation 1980 and reminded Board members of their responsibility to the Minister. He stated that under the Act, the board was accountable to the minister whether it was a Trust school, a church school or otherwise. <br /> <br /> He added that he has a responsibility as the person in charge of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to address any matter regarding education that was of interest to the public.<br /> <br /> The minister also reiterated that the matter was not handled with transparency by the board, adding that it was made to appear in the public domain that there was contention between the members and himself.<br /> <br /> He also pointed out that a legal advisor to the board was not a member and so for them to have inserted a lawyer into a board meeting was a breach under the Education Regulation.<br /> <br /> Reid accepted the chairman&rsquo;s and the board&rsquo;s apologies and indicated that further discussions would be held with the chairman of the Munro and Dickinson Trust, Dr Brian Morgan on the constitution of the board going forward. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655891/Ruel-Reid-2016--3-_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:00 PM Youth urged to develop innovations to help solve society's problems http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Youth-urged-to-develop-innovations-to-help-solve-society-s-problems KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) &mdash; Executive Director, Junior Achievement Jamaica, Alphie Mullings-Aiken, is urging young people to pursue career paths that will enable them to create wealth while offering solutions to some of society&rsquo;s problems.<br /> <br /> She noted that many innovative ideas have been developed in the areas of information communication technology and robotics.<br /> <br /> She cited the example of Whatsapp, a free messaging and calling application, which has provided a solution to high telecommunications costs.<br /> <br /> Mullings-Aiken, who was addressing a youth forum at the Planning Institute of Jamaica&rsquo;s (PIOJ) Oxford Road offices on February 17, urged the participants to begin to think about how they can make an impact. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want you to think about what is the problem I have personally, how can I solve that and how can I make money from that? That&rsquo;s what our entrepreneurs are doing around the world,&rdquo; she pointed out.<br /> <br /> The forum was staged by Junior Achievement Jamaica in partnership with the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat at the PIOJ and formed part of activities to mark National Careers Week from February 13 to 17 under the theme: &lsquo;Expanding Horizons for Vision 2030&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> It included interactive sessions highlighting new and emerging jobs in order to assist students in making wise career choices. It also provided them with an all day experience in a work environment. <br /> <br /> Programme Director, Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, Elizabeth Emanuel, told JIS News that the objective was to engage students in a &ldquo;visioning exercise&rdquo; about the Jamaica they want by 2030.<br /> <br /> It also served to help them better understand their role in the fulfilment of the National Development Plan. <br /> <br />  &ldquo;So they are not only beneficiaries of whatever development gains that we (achieve), but they also contribute to making Jamaica that place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,&rdquo; she said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655861/MHS_p5_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:37 PM Prides' Super50 title success well deserved, says skipper Holder http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Prides--Super50-title-success-well-deserved--says-skipper-Holder ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua (CMC) &mdash; Captain Jason Holder has praised the Barbados Pride bowling unit, after they played a key role in helping the side lift the Regional Super50 title in Antigua Saturday night.<br /> <br /> Defending 272 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Pride held Jamaica Scorpions to 212 all out in the 45th over, to come away with a strong 59-run victory.<br /> <br /> Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn spearheaded the attack with three for 33 from his 10 overs while seamers Holder (2-28), Carlos Brathwaite (2-43) and Kemar Roach (2-54) all claimed two wickets each.<br /> <br /> Off-spinner Ashley Nurse, who finished as the tournament&rsquo;s leading wicket-taker with 26 scalps, managed just one wicket but was instrumental throughout.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our bowlers were outstanding all tournament long, led by Ashley, I thought he was outstanding,&rdquo; Holder said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He wasn&rsquo;t at his best today but that&rsquo;s what a good team does &ndash; they pick up the slack when one of the other teammates are down. I thought Sulieman had an outstanding game and bowled extremely well. He got three crucial wickets for us and that&rsquo;s what he was in the team to do &ndash; take wickets.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Credit must be given to the entire bowling department and also our fielders. I thought we held our catches and out in a clinical effort.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Holder produced a superb attacking innings in helping to set up Pride&rsquo;s win, hammering an explosive 47-ball 69 to propel his side to 271 for nine off their 50 overs.<br /> <br /> He put on a 127-run, sixth wicket stand with Shai Hope who carved out 101 from 98 deliveries, to post his second straight hundred following his 125 in the semi-final against Leeward Islands Hurricanes last Thursday.<br /> <br /> Pride were languishing at 138 for five in the 35th over when Holder and Hope joined forces, and the West Indies Test and one-day skipper said the partnership had been a crucial one in reviving the innings.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I went in to bat with Shai, I thought it was important for us to get a partnership and I just needed to be positive as well,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was no point me going out there and trying to soak up balls and put pressure back on us. It was a period where I had to consolidate a bit but still had to remain positive and it was important that I kept instilling confidence in Shai and made it easier for him by rotating the strike.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was able to do that and I was also able to launch. But again, Shai Hope was absolutely outstanding and must be given credit for the way he&rsquo;s played in this tournament. He didn&rsquo;t have the best of starts but he finished the back end &ndash; the most important part of the tournament &ndash; really well.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Hope finished with 482 runs, Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite scored 484 while Holder gathered 213 runs and also picked up 18 wickets.<br /> <br /> Holder said Pride had been the best side throughout the tournament and deserved the success.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I thought the guys were very, very consistent all tournament long, we put in the performance needed to win this final and I don&rsquo;t think a better team could have come up and won this final so congrats to the Barbados Pride team and everyone who would have contributed to this.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655841/PRIDE-TITLE-CELEBRATIONS_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:20 PM Explosion near bullring in Colombia kills a policeman, injures 31 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Explosion-near-bullring-in-Colombia-kills-a-policeman--injures-31 BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) &mdash; An explosion near a bullring in Bogota Sunday killed a policeman and injured about 30 other people, city officials said.<br /> <br /> Mayor Enrique Penalosa said on Twitter that the police officer was killed by an "explosive" while his office said separately that 31 people were injured, two of them seriously, in the incident.<br /> <br /> It occurred near the Plaza Santamaria bullring, which was beset by protesters on January 22, when bullfights resumed there after a four-year hiatus.<br /> <br /> The injured were mainly police protecting the venue, as they have every bullfight Sunday since the protests, local media reported.<br /> <br /> Penalosa, who overflew the scene in a helicopter, said the area had been secured.<br /> <br /> "Anyone who wants to go to the bullfight can do so in safety," he tweeted.<br /> <br /> "The terrorists are not going to intimidate us and we are going to do what is necessary to capture them," he added.<br /> <br /> The authorities have not said who was behind the explosion or whether anti-bullfight activists were suspected.<br /> <br /> Closed in 2012 by the city's former leftist mayor Gustavo Petro, the bullring was ordered to reopen by Colombia's Constitutional Court. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655830/explo_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:02 PM Sagicor's Sigma Run raises $50.5m for charity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Sagicor-s-Sigma-Run-raises--50-5m-for-charity KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Despite missing the $60 million mark -- twice the amount raised last year -- the 19th staging of the Sagicor Sigma 5K run, garnered a whopping $50 million in funds for charity.<br /> <br /> The annual event saw almost 25,000 participants in the road race, which was a record turnout for the fund-raising event.<br /> <br /> Oshane Archibald crossed the finishing line first with a time of 16.50 s  with Garfield Gordon on his heels in a time of 16:51 s,<br /> <br /> This year, the charity event&rsquo;s aim is to assist abandoned children and babies in the Bethlehem Home, operated by Missionaries of the Poor, the Spanish Town Hospital Paediatric Unit and the Mandeville Hospital Paediatric Unit.<br /> <br /> Since its inception in 1999, the 5.5 kilometre walk, run and wheelchair road race has raised approximately $200 million for various child care institutions across the island. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655788/sigma3_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:42 PM Windies teams head to Antigua to prepare for international assignments http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Windies-teams-head-to-Antigua-to-prepare-for-international-assignments ST JOHN&rsquo;S, Antigua &ndash; West Indies male and female players will be involved in several camps in Antigua in the coming weeks as they prepare for various international assignments.<br /> <br /> Starting Thursday, the West Indies Men&rsquo;s team will be in camp under the guidance of new Head Coach Stuart Law as they prepare for the three-match One-Day International Series against England, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said in a release.<br /> <br /> These matches will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua on March 3 and 5 and Kensington Oval, Barbados on March 9.<br /> <br /> The West Indies Women&rsquo;s squad of 20 players will have a camp from March 7 to 20, under the guidance of Head Coach Vasbert Drakes. This is part of their preparation for the ICC Women&rsquo;s World Cup in England later this year.<br /> <br /> West Indies Women will also have a two-week camp in England later this year to get them ready for the tournament.<br /> <br /> The Windies are the most improved team in women&rsquo;s cricket and will look to add the 50-over title to the ICC World T20 title they won in India last year, said WICB. <br /> <br /> They were runners-up to Australia when the 50-over World Cup was played in India four years ago.<br /> <br /> Following the Women&rsquo;s camp, the West Indies Under-19 players will arrive on the island for an assessment camp from April 1 to 10, under Head Coach Graeme West.<br /> <br /> The Under-19s, WICB noted, are preparing for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January, 2018.<br /> <br /> West Indies are the defending champion. Later in the year the young team will travel to South Africa for a five-match 50-over series. The matches will be played in Durban from June 30 to July 27. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655781/windies_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:25 PM Ex-Haitian rebel leader argues case from US jail cell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ex-Haitian-rebel-leader-argues-case-from-US-jail-cell FLORIDA, United States (CMC) &mdash; Former Haiti rebel leader and elected senator, Guy Philippe has been arguing his case from a United States jail cell.<br /> <br /> Philippe, 48, who is in a US federal jail in Miami, was arrested last month by the anti-drug trafficking unit of the Haiti National Police in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, and transferred to Miami within hours, where he&rsquo;ll face trial on drug-trafficking and money laundering charges.<br /> <br /> In a highly unusual move, Philippe pleaded his innocence, called on supporters to continue demonstrating for his immediate return to Haiti and accused former classmate and Haitian Senate President Youri Latortue of heading the conspiracy leading to his unexpected arrest.<br /> <br /> The Miami Herald reports that Philippe did it all in a three-minute recording that went viral on the WhatsApp messaging service.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have absolutely no proof that I am involved in drugs,&rdquo; Philippe proclaimed in French Creole from his jail cell at the Miami Federal Detention Center.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are calling people in prison, offering to reduce their time, calling people in Haiti, offering them visas so that they could come testify against me to condemn me, because they don&rsquo;t really have any evidence against me,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Philippe was charged under an indictment that was returned by a US federal grand jury 12 years ago and unsealed last month.<br /> <br /> According to the indictment, Philippe is accused of cocaine trafficking and money laundering from 1997 to 2003. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.<br /> <br /> The US Attorney&rsquo;s Office also is seeking to recover US$1.5 million in drug profits from him.<br /> <br /> An ex-member of Haiti&rsquo;s disbanded armed forces and a former police commissioner, Philippe rose to international prominence 13 years ago this month after leading a caravan of heavily armed militiamen into Port-au-Prince amid a bloody coup that removed then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power on February 29, 2004.<br /> <br /> Last November, Philippe was elected to the Haitian Senate to represent the Grand Anse region, in southwestern Haiti.<br /> <br /> He was arrested as part of an undercover operation just days before his swearing in. If Philippe was sworn in as a senator, he would have had immunity from prosecution during his six-year term.<br /> <br /> Since his arrest, it&rsquo;s reported that along with supporters he tried unsuccessfully to obtain documents from the Senate to support an immunity claim.<br /> <br /> It said Philippe&rsquo;s wife, Natalie, who resides in the US, confirmed it was her husband on the recording.<br /> <br /> Philippe&rsquo;s defense lawyer, Zeljka Bozanic, also told the Miami Herald that &ldquo;it was Guy. The statement that he made, it was obviously his voice.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Philippe&rsquo;s trial is scheduled for the week of April 3. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655717/philippe_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 11:13 As Mugabe turns 93, an anxious Zimbabwe wonders who's next http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/As-Mugabe-turns-93--an-anxious-Zimbabwe-wonders-who-s-next HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) &mdash; As the world's oldest head of state approaches his 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Zimbabwe has been planning a party for thousands of people in honor of President Robert Mugabe. For weeks, state television has led its broadcasts with tributes.<br /> <br /> But those closest to Mugabe, who has led this southern African nation for nearly four decades, appear to be finally looking ahead to a future without him, amid uncertainty.<br /> <br /> The ruling ZANU-PF party has already endorsed Mugabe as its candidate in next year's election, and the president has declared that he would like to live until he's 100 and rule for life.<br /> <br /> In an interview published Sunday ahead of his birthday, Mugabe said he wasn't ready to step down, adding that he would not groom a successor either.<br /> <br /> "A successor is groomed by the people. The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement; a successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am," he was quoted as saying by the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper.<br /> <br /> Analysts say recent statements by his wife, however, might be more telling as Mugabe shows signs of slowing down.<br /> <br /> Headlining her first political rally in months on Friday, First Lady Grace Mugabe spoke to a crowd of thousands not about the birthday celebrations but about the possibility of her husband's death.<br /> <br /> "If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse" in the upcoming election, she said. "We will put his name on the ballot paper just to show that people love their president."<br /> <br /> The first lady has previously said she would get her husband a wheelchair if necessary and push it for him so that he can continue to rule.<br /> <br /> Attention, however, is on a post-Mugabe scenario, said political analyst Alexander Rusero.<br /> <br /> In the event of the president's death, resignation or incapacity, the first vice-president takes over for the remainder of the term, according to the constitution.<br /> <br /> The catch is that Zimbabwe has two vice presidents. Both belong to bitterly opposing factions and neither is designated as the official first vice president.<br /> <br /> This could mean a messy succession, say legal experts.<br /> <br /> "But then, that is how Mugabe has played it all along, ensuring that his succession remains a mystery by playing one faction against the other," said Gabriel Shumba, a human rights lawyer and chairman of the South Africa-based Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. "It may have served him well, but the downside is that Zimbabwe will be plunged into horrible uncertainty once he is gone."<br /> <br /> Mugabe has led the ZANU-PF party since 1975 and has been the country's leader since 1980, when Zimbabwe attained independence from white minority rule.<br /> <br /> Admired as a statesman during the early years of independence for reconciling with the country's former colonizers, Mugabe later became an international pariah following alleged human rights abuses and electoral irregularities.<br /> <br /> The country's once-prosperous economy is imploding, bringing more pressure from the opposition and frustration from a restless population.<br /> <br /> The government has failed to pay salaries on time since June, public hospital doctors are on strike and cash shortages are driving the economy to the edge. Nationwide protests broke out last year, rallied via social media.<br /> <br /> Amid these troubles, it is the political uncertainty that has caused the most concern. Even the president has grumbled. "Some are busy plotting succession in the party, they say: 'When will this old man die? He is refusing to die," he said in November.<br /> <br /> A key figure in the succession talk is Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also justice minister and an associate of Mugabe dating to the guerrilla war against minority rule in what was then Rhodesia.<br /> <br /> Then there is "G40," short for Generation 40, a group of younger ruling party members that is associated with Mugabe's 51-year-old wife.<br /> <br /> Grace Mugabe has said she has no plans to be president. But recent statements by the party's youth leader, who is closely associated to her, that Mugabe should only be replaced by a Mugabe has fueled speculation that she could be positioning herself to take power.<br /> <br /> Grace Mugabe has been raising her political profile, headlining rallies where she donates tons of clothing, rice and cooking oil.<br /> <br /> "When you are cooking, always remember this delicious food came from mother," she said on Friday. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655680/Mugabe_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 10:23 Too early to predict Trumps impact on tourism in the C'bean http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Too-early-to-predict-Trumps-impact-on-tourism CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) &mdash; St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, has asserted that it is way too early to predict the likely impact of the Donald Trump presidency in the United States on Caribbean tourism in general and St Lucia&rsquo;s tourism industry in particular.<br /> <br /> Chastanet, a former tourism minister, however asserted that there was good news in that the stock market in the United States is up and people believe that the economy is going to grow.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That is very important to us because it means that there are wealthier people &ndash; wealthier people means that there&rsquo;s more travel.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Chastanet A&ldquo;How restrictive immigration becomes could then potentially create an opportunity for us &ndash; offshore universities and offshore medical facilities. People who could have potentially gone to America for vacation might consider coming to the Caribbean,&rdquo; Chastanet stated.<br /> <br /> He said he would like to think that generally things will be positive for the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;While we tend to support the Democrats, we tend to do much better economically when a Republican is in the house,&rdquo; Chastanet asserted.<br /> <br /> He expressed regret that he was not present at the recent 28th Intercessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Guyana but expressed hope that at the CARICOM Heads of Government conference in July, the leaders can work together to approach the United States.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would like to see us bring back the three borders policy &ndash; a doctrine that used to exist before, so meetings with Canada and Mexico will be necessary so we can approach the US,&rdquo; Chastanet explained http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655644/Chastanet_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 10:11 JUTC expenses increase but passenger security improving http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JUTC-expenses-increase-but-passenger-security-improving KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; Despite increased revenue inflows and recent signs of improvements in its service to commuters, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is expected to end 2017/18 with a loss of just over $4.5 billion.<br /> <br /> This was reported in the Jamaica Public Bodies book tabled in the House of Representatives on February 9, by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw.<br /> <br /> The estimated $4.7 billion loss compares with a loss of $2.9 billion projected for 2016/17, which ends March 31, and a loss of $1.5 billion in 2015/16.<br /> <br /> The forecast highlighted total revenue flows of $6.3 billion next financial year, which begins on April 1, compared with this year&rsquo;s projected $5.1 billion intake. However, the company&rsquo;s expenses are expected to increase by 21 per cent, from $11.2 billion in 2016/17 to $13.6 billion in 2017/18, mainly due to incremental costs associated with the projected increase in bus run-out and the expected impact of inflation.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, JUTC marketing and communications manager, Reginald Allen, told OBSERVER ONLINE last week that the company is already introducing a tracking system and video surveillance inside the buses and within a radius of each bus, to boost the security of its passengers and encourage more Jamaicans to use the service.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all part of our efforts, as a state-owned entity, to bring greater safety and reassurance to our valued commuters, who have become quite wary of the perils they face with elements among the competition, who have been plaguing especially the ladies and children for some time now,&rdquo; Allen said.<br /> <br /> He said that the company has also been in discussions with the Ministry of National Security for members of the security forces to travel on the buses regularly at no cost to them, providing another layer of security for customers.<br /> <br /> Balford Henry http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655631/Jutc-buses_w300.jpg Local News Sunday, February 19, 2017 9:47