Caribbean Briefs for November 24-11

Health threat

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Some 75 per cent of Jamaica’s workforce is diabetic, suffers from hypertension or from poor nutrition, says Errol Morrison, Chairman of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica.

Morrison, who serves as President of the University of Technology (UTech), said the dangers posed by such diseases must be reduced or eliminated because of the potential impact.

He said that two-thirds of the population is overweight, with half of that number being obese and he warned that chronic communicable diseases are threatening national productivity.

“With that kind of excess weight, it leads to problems, which prevent them from delivering maximally at the workplace and, as a result, (there are) poor outcomes at the workplace,” he added.

Zero tolerance

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda: Minister of Education, Sports, Youth and Gender Affairs, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, has announced a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence in schools.

The minister was responding to a major violent incident that took place at a local secondary school, during which several students were injured by other students brandishing a machete, knives and scissors.

The minister revealed plans to collaborate with the Ministry of National Security to re-introduce a National Cadet Corps into all secondary schools to bring about some measure of discipline, regimentation, civic responsibility and team-spiritedness.


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: The government has reaffirmed its commitment with the United States to collaborate on cases involving counter-terrorism and the financing of terrorists.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar discussed their country’s goals and commitments towards peace and security in the region during a recent meeting.

The government has been an active partner in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a regional initiative announced by President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain in 2009.

Conversations with PMs

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad & Tobago: The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, has begun celebrating the country’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain  – which takes place next August 31 – with a series of lectures with the theme, “Conversations with Prime Ministers.”

The first session took place this week and featured former Prime Minister and President, A.N.R. Robinson, who shared his views on independence, his years as the country’s leader and his vision for the future.

“Conversations with Prime Ministers,” is a four-part series that will feature talks by former Prime Ministers Basdeo Panday and Patrick Manning, as well as current Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

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