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Gov’t has Zika plan for athletes

Gov’t has Zika plan for athletes

first_imgWhen it comes to the Zika virus, pregnant women are not the only persons the government is concerned about.    This summer Jamaica will send a strong contingent to the Olympic Games in Brazil where in 2015 there were just under 3000 cases of the virus that manifests in symptoms similar to yellow fever and dengue.  The virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The outbreak hit mostly the Brazilian northeast region, but cases have been reported as far south as Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic Games will be held this coming August. Working on the assumption that Jamaica’s athletes do not contract the virus while training here in Jamaica, they would run the risk of contracting it while preparing to compete while in Brazil. This has become a concern for the government that is expecting another outstanding performance from its elite athletes in what will be Usain Bolt’s final Olympic campaign. As such they are taking steps to minimise the possibilities of the virus affecting the nation’s athletes. “We have been looking at it. It has occurred to us, we have been having discussions with the Ministry of Health,” said Minister Natalie Neita-Headley, who has responsibility for sport. “They (officials at the ministry of health) have been having planning sessions looking at sensitising our athletes.” “As much as can be done, we will seek to do it,” the sports minister said. About one in five people infected with the Zika virus become ill. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. If an athlete contracts the virus and it develops into full blown Zika just prior to competition, it will affect the athlete’s performance. In the meantime, track clubs here are doing what they can to protect the athletes but there are limitations. President of MVP Bruce James revealed that several athletes from his club contracted the Chikungunya virus last year as they prepared for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. Like then, James said, the club had put protocols in place to minimise the impact of the virus but as was the case then, there is only so much they can do.last_img read more

23 year old male charged with Sexual Offences Robbery and Kidnapping

23 year old male charged with Sexual Offences Robbery and Kidnapping

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, August 17, 2017 – Providenciales – A 23 year old male of Blue Hills was arrested and formally charged with Taking Motor Vehicle without Authority, two counts of Robbery, three counts of Rape, three counts of Kidnapping and three counts of Imitation firearm with intent to cause fear in connection with report made on Tuesday 18th July 2017.Around 1:02am that date, the three victims were approached by three masked men with firearms who demanded cash and forced them into sexual activity against their will.He will be taken to court later this week.Press Release: RTCIPF Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Modis BJP wins Gujarat and Himachal polls

Modis BJP wins Gujarat and Himachal polls

first_imgIndian Prime Minister and head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Narendra Modi gestures at the start of a speech at the party headquarters in New Delhi on December 18, 2017. AFPIndia’s ruling party Monday celebrated victory in two state elections, but saw its majority dip in prime minister Narendra Modi’s stronghold of Gujarat, where the charismatic leader campaigned aggressively in a closely-fought race.The wins in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh further cemented Modi’s dominance, with his Hindu nationalist party now ruling in roughly two-thirds of India’s states ahead of a general election slated for 2019.Modi, draped in a garland of flowers, thanked voters in Gujarat-his home state of 60 million people-for backing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a sixth consecutive term.“The Gujarat election results are historic. In this day and age, for a party to keep winning for so long is unprecedented,” he told cheering supporters at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.India’s election commission said the party won 99 seats in the 182-seat Gujarat parliament, more than the majority mark of 92 needed to form a government.But it lost 16 seats compared to the 2012 polls.The party also wrested control of the northern Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh from the main opposition Congress party, winning 44 out of 68 seats.The twin victories extended BJP’s command to 19 of India’s 29 states.Congress, which has ruled India for much of its history but was thumped by Modi’s BJP in the 2014 national poll, now holds just four states in the world’s largest democracy of 1.25 billion.Modi’s chief rival Rahul Gandhi, who recently replaced his mother Sonia at the helm of Congress, said he “accepts the verdict of the people”.“I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me,” tweeted Rahul, the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to head Congress.‘Lost ground’The BJP has ruled Gujarat for 22 years-more than half under Modi as state leader.Some experts had forecast a backlash against Modi over unpopular economic reforms that hit Gujarati businesses hard, including a controversial cash ban and roll out of a national goods and services tax.“They have certainly lost a lot of ground, but Congress should have actually won this election, given the anger in the state against the BJP,” political commentator Manisha Priyam told AFP.Rahul made frequent stops at temples while campaigning in the BJP heartland, inviting ridicule from detractors who accused him of trying to lure Hindu voters.Congress, a secular party, gained 17 seats this election, taking its total to 77.Campaigning in Gujarat took ugly turns as the battle intensified.Modi, who thundered from the pulpit at BJP rallies across Gujarat, accused senior Congress figures, including a former prime minister, of colluding with India’s arch rival Pakistan to meddle in the state vote.A Congress party veteran was suspended after using a Hindi slur to describe Modi as low class, remarks the BJP seized to cast Congress as elitist.In declaring victory, BJP chief Amit Shah credited Modi for prevailing over “family politics”-a thinly-veiled sleight against Rahul and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has led Congress for generations.As the results trickled in, BJP supporters danced, threw rose petals and chanted “Long live Modi” in Delhi.“This (victory) was expected… It is a tremendous victory and Modi has come out as the single most popular leader,” BJP supporter Sandeep Kapoor told AFP.India’s Sensex plunged in opening trade Monday but recovered throughout the day as results turned in favour of the BJP.last_img read more

Discovery at Slaves Gravesite Brings Peace to Family

Discovery at Slaves Gravesite Brings Peace to Family

first_imgCROWNSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two years ago archaeologists uncovered and examined unique stone slave quarters on what was the Belvoir Plantation in Crownsville. Now they think they have found the resting place for some of those who died in bondage there.It might not have come were it not for a tip from a local resident who used to live and work on the property nearly 50 years ago.1936 survey photo of the Belvoir estate (Library of Congress)“I got this call from Rodney Daff who said, ‘We think we know where the slave burial ground is,’” said Julie Schablitsky, chief archaeologist for the Maryland State Highway Administration.“People call all the time saying they have found all these great things. But Rodney took me straight to it.”Rodney recalled seeing the spot when his family served as caretakers on the property and worked a huge strawberry farm in the 1970s.After a little work with a leaf blower on a small promontory in the woods on what remains of the once grand plantation, now owned by a Rockbridge Academy housed in the old plantation house, the evidence emerged.Small stones peeping through the forest floor, two slabs of marble that were likely a gravestone before being broken, and a significant indentation in the ground facing west to east – the common burial practice.Studying the site closer to the stones, some mere nubs of well worn rock, another an obvious slab cracked off just above the ground, lined up in a row. Another smaller line emerged.Another sign the area was of significance are 10 or more cedar trees circling the promontory, now nothing but gnarled and shredded stumps, the tallest about 3 feet.“With all these multiples of evidence… we are scientists, we want proof.”Along with Anne Arundel County’s archaeologist, Jane Cox, a group including descendants of slaves who lived at Belvoir returned to the site two weeks ago.Three cadaver scenting dogs from Bay Area Recovery Canines in Annapolis, who usually work at disaster sites to find people buried in rubble, were brought to the site.One at a time, the dogs circled the perimeter then worked their way toward the middle. All three stopped and laid down at the same spot – the indentation – their signal they have sniffed human decomposition. They signaled at other spots too.“You had to have been there,” said Wanda Watts, a descendant of Belvoir slaves. “To me it was the most exciting thing other than the birth of my son.”“This does not happen for African Americans. Our names were changed, we were scattered,” she said. “African Americans know little of their history, we can only go back one, two, or three generations.”Another descendant, Nancy Daniels, was emotional. “When the dogs did that I said, ‘I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry.’ I was overwhelmed with happiness that they were able to find them.”She knows her people lived there through her genealogical research, which she teaches. “I have the manumission papers that Thomas Burley, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, signed to free his wife and daughter and her five children.”On March 4, 1854, Burley, a free man who worked at a glass factory in Frederick, filed the papers setting them free. He had saved money and bought the freedom for his wife Anne, and daughter, Ellen, a few years earlier from plantation owner George Worthington. That made Burley their owner until he filed the manumission.No one knows whether any of her or Watts’ descendants are buried there. And they may never know unless agreements are made and funding is secured to return for further exploration.Cox and Schablitsky both noted different ways to learn more about who is buried at the site.“There is some testing that can be done without removing any bones. We can learn from coffin hardware when they were buried. We can look at the bones to see their age, sex, any signs of disease.” They could also take seeds found in the grave to determine what kind of flowers were put in the grave.Schablitsky said it is also possible to make connections through DNA science.“If we can take a small piece of bone or a tooth, we can send it to a lab and possibly connect it to a living descendant,” she said.But that’s getting ahead of things.There are no plans to do any further excavation, Schablitsky said. “We are happy with this discovery right now.”But for those whose forbearers toiled in bondage on this land the discovery brings more hope.Daniels was moved to fill a plastic vial of earth from the site during a visit Friday. “I hope to get more. I will put it in my garden,” she said.Watts, who through a lot of work and luck, knows her family was at Belvoir in the 18th Century, was quiet.“There is a feeling of peace now, knowing they were not just tossed away. There was some reverence – they were people.”___Information from: The Capital, http://www.capitalgazette.com/last_img read more

Black Owned Banks In Danger

Black Owned Banks In Danger

first_imgBy AFRO StaffAfrican-American owned banks were established at the end of the 19th century with the opening of the Capital Saving Bank in 1888 in Washington.They were mainly meeting the needs of the freed slaves who were excluded from the mainstream financial system.The economic empowerment of a community necessarily involves the management of their financial resources within their own banking establishments.(Stock Photo)Thus, from 1888 to 1934, more than 134 banks were founded by African-Americans.Often located in the heart of black districts such as Harlem in New York, they aim, first and foremost, at helping and supporting families and entrepreneurs.In 2014, 47 % of black entrepreneurs benefited from funds borrowed from banking institutions compared with 76 % of their Caucasian counterparts.Today, more than 53 % of the community members are either unbanked or underbanked.These financial bodies are therefore a solution for these people who often have a restricted access to credit.However, these organizations are becoming scarce. Indeed, there were 44 in 1986, then 41 in 2007 and the number has fallen to 23 today.But, how can those closures be explained?These banks were severely impacted by the mortgage crisis of 2008 as their customers were the first ones affected by job losses and foreclosures.Furthermore, a handful of them benefited from the federal funds provided to save big Wall Street institutions.This decline is also due to the anti-segregation laws of the 1970s which urged traditional financial bodies to open their doors to the African-American community. Consequently, many members of the middle class closed their bank accounts in black owned organizations.This current situation may prevent the poorest members of the community from having access to banking services. Some experts even predict the disappearance of these institutions by 2030.United we stand, divided we fallTo cope with this tragedy, some artists have joined forces. Among them, rapper Killer Mike who posted a video on social networks in which he recommended opening savings accounts in black owned financial bodies.The results were immediate. Over the past few months, some of these banks have acquired many new customers.Since July 2016, the #BankBlack movement has resulted in more than 60 million dollars being transferred to these establishments.Teri Williams, president of the One United Bank, one of the largest black owned financial institutions in the United States, revealed in an interview that African-Americans spend on average 1.2 trillion dollars a year and that 98 % of that funding happens outside the community.At the end of 2016, six black-owned banks chairmen met in New Orleans to try to find solutions to save the last financial institutions. According to Michael Grant, president of the National Bankers Association (NBA), the African-American community, itself, has to do more to support their businesses, including banks because, according to him, they helped facilitate their integration. Consequently, he believes that it is time now for the community to return the favor.last_img read more

Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company

Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company

first_img(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Columbia University has conducted a series of experiments regarding how much effort people are willing to exert in fact-checking news stories. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Youjung Jun, Rachel Meng and Gita Venkataramani Johar describe the experiments they carried out and what they found as a result. Explore further More information: Youjung Jun et al. Perceived social presence reduces fact-checking, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1700175114AbstractToday’s media landscape affords people access to richer information than ever before, with many individuals opting to consume content through social channels rather than traditional news sources. Although people frequent social platforms for a variety of reasons, we understand little about the consequences of encountering new information in these contexts, particularly with respect to how content is scrutinized. This research tests how perceiving the presence of others (as on social media platforms) affects the way that individuals evaluate information—in particular, the extent to which they verify ambiguous claims. Eight experiments using incentivized real effort tasks found that people are less likely to fact-check statements when they feel that they are evaluating them in the presence of others compared with when they are evaluating them alone. Inducing vigilance immediately before evaluation increased fact-checking under social settings. The topic of fake news has been in the news a lot of late partially due to its possible impact on the last U.S. presidential election—since that time, public figures such as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, have vowed to cut down or eliminate fake news from social media. Fake news persists because it is used as click bait; unfortunately, it can have unintended consequences, such as people believing the information they find in such articles—this may be more likely to occur, the authors of this new research have found, if the reader is with other people.In practice, it should be easy to avoid falling prey to fake news—upon reading something that may not sound right, all a person has to do is type a few words and run a Google search. But people do not always behave in logical ways. In this new effort, the research trio sought to better understand fact checking by conducting eight experiments designed to determine under which circumstances people are more or less likely to fact check a news article they have just read. The researchers enlisted the assistance of 200 people, all near 36 years old. In the experiments, the volunteers were asked to read a news article and then to perform some tasks related to their feelings regarding the accuracy of the article.The researchers report that across all eight experiments, they found the volunteers were less likely to do fact checking when they were in the presence of other people—even if it was indirect, such as on social media. The experiments did not reveal why the people acted as they did, but the researchers suggest it was likely due to one of three things: something they call social loafing, which means the exertion of less effort on a task in the presence of other people; people unwilling to go against social norms; or because of muted responses due to crowd vigilance. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company of other people (2017, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-people-fact-news-company.htmlcenter_img Google adds ‘fact check’ to global search results © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more