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Haitian nationals arrested for illegal entry in Dominica
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
donderdag 13 augustus 2020 04:43

A series of police operation has led to the arrest of close to fifty Haitian Nationals for illegal entry in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Thirty-one of those arrested appeared before the court and were charged for overstaying according to the Chief of Police, Daniel Carbon.

Carbon emphasised that while the Haitians are welcome into Dominica, they must follow and adhere to the laws of the land

“Some of them are using Dominica as a transhipment point to travel to other countries through illegal means. I have warned against entering and leaving Dominica through illegal means. I informed the Haitian community that they were welcomed to visit and remain in Dominica, however, they must follow the laws of Dominica.”

Legal entry to Dominica

Carbon urged citizens of Dominica to legally come to the country through the designated port of entry since the borders are now open.

“I am taking this opportunity to once again appeal to those who are bent on entering and leaving Dominica through unauthorized ports of entry/exit to desist from doing so.”

The police is also looking into rewarding those who will assist them to prevent and or catch people leaving and entering Dominica illegally.

Carbon added that the strict enforcement of the law is needed in order to keep the country COVID-19.

PM Skerrit to meet with Haitian community

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he intends to meet with members of the Haitian community

“I intend to meet sometime this week with some of the respectable Haitian nationals in the country to speak to them and to solicit their continued support in containing and eliminating this practice so that we do not have the unfortunate circumstance in this country.”

Skerrit is concerned with the rampant illegal entry of Haitians in the island especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is not intended to target any groups or individuals, the main objective is to stop the illegal practice in order to prevent COVID-19 from coming into the country through illegal means.”

The prime minister added that the government will coordinate with French authorities for more assistance in patrolling the waters between the islands.

The post Haitian nationals arrested for illegal entry in Dominica appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

UN praises resilience and vision of the younger generation marking International Youth Day
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
woensdag 12 augustus 2020 21:07

Commemorating International Youth Day, top UN officials have called on leaders around the world to “do everything possible� to enable young people to reach their fullest potential.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended young peoples’ lives and aspirations and heightened their vulnerabilities, UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised the younger generation’s resilience, resourcefulness and engagement.

“They are the young people who have risen up to demand climate action. They are mobilizing for racial justice and gender equality and are the champions of a more sustainable worldâ€�, he said in a message marking International Youth Day.

“Many are young women who have been on the frontlines in mobilizing for justice and climate action — while also serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.â€�

The Secretary-General also underscored that realizing the promise of the young generation requires investing far more in their inclusion, participation, organizations and initiatives.

“I call on leaders and adults everywhere to do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential,� he added.

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day, “Youth Engagement for Global Actionâ€�, highlights the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is strengthening national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be enhanced.

Also this year, through the #31DaysOfYOUth social media campaign, UN celebrates young people throughout the month of August, leading up and following International Day, to help spread the word and strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action. 

‘Young people are the trail-blazers of progress’ – UN General Assembly President 

Echoing the Secretary-General’s call, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the UN General Assembly, also underlined a “global responsibility� to ensure that young people everywhere have access to just and equitable opportunities to fulfil their rights and aspirations.

“The potential for humanity to create a peaceful, prosperous future will not be reached as long as inequities and discrimination against youth remain commonplace, and young people lack opportunities to have their voices heard,� he said in a separate message on the International Day.

The Assembly President applauded young people for their “amazing contributions� towards a better future. Their movements in their communities and countries, he said, are already improving societies and raising global ambitions, every day.

“In the era of COVID-19 and the long-lasting social and economic negative effects it has on youth – and with only 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – [their] vision and commitment are paramount to creating a more sustainable and inclusive world,� he added.

“With your innovation and ambition, and guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, I am sure that your generation will effectively transform the world into a more sustainable, inclusive and just place for all,� Mr. Muhammad-Bande urged all young people, inviting them to take part in the virtual UN75 Youth Plenary, to be held in September to add their voice to shaping the United Nations for decades ahead.

The post UN praises resilience and vision of the younger generation marking International Youth Day appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Jamaica’s election day announced
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
woensdag 12 augustus 2020 05:00

Jamaicans will head to the polls on Thursday, September 3, 2020 to elect their next government in the country’s 18th general elections.

Since 1944 when Universal Adult Suffrage was attained in Jamaica, 17 elections have been called.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement in Parliament after first moving five resolutions that led to the revocation of the states of emergency (SOEs) effective Monday, August 17. 

Nomination Day will be Tuesday August 18.

There are four registered political parties in Jamaica: the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) the People’s National Party (PNP), the United Independents’ Congress (UIC) and the newly registered Jamaica Progressive Party

PNP and JLP are expected to field a full slate of 63 candidates while the newly formed JPP could have candidates in two-thirds of the seats.

General election will be held on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Nomination Day will be Tuesday, August 18, 2020. #BuildBackStronger

Posted by Andrew Holness on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

COVID-19 election protocols

The upcoming September 3rd general elections will be one of the most consequential elections in Jamaica because the government that will be elected will lead the country’s continuous battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent opinion polls, Jamaicans have given the Government the thumbs up for the management of the pandemic despite COVID-19 cases breaching the 1,000-mark, with 14 deaths and two communities currently under quarantine.

The campaign will be one of the shortest ever and will pit the JLP against the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) led by former finance minister Dr Peter Phillips.

And with COVID-19, election campaign protocols were rolled out.

Any group doing a walkabout or door-to-door campaigning should be made up of not more than five persons and there should be no mixing between groups.

No more than two persons (campaigning party) within any group is allowed to enter homes within communities. On entering each home, the hands of the individuals must be sanitized and the persons must wear a face mask.

If the persons are invited to enter the living quarters i.e., within the house or bedroom, the campaigning party must ensure that they either remove their shoes or have them sanitized at the doorway of the dwelling.

The campaigning party should ensure that each visit lasts for no more than 15 minutes and that all infection prevention and control measures are maintained.

Additionally, there can be no more than 20 persons at any election meetings, including rallies and gatherings during the campaign or on counting night at any assembly centres or venue. And as for the use of perambulating vehicles for campaigning, persons within the vehicle must adhere to the requirements as per the rules for public passenger vehicles.

The post Jamaica’s election day announced appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Tropical Depression Eleven forms in the Atlantic
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
woensdag 12 augustus 2020 01:55

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory as Tropical Depression Eleven (formerly Invest 95L) forms in the Atlantic Ocean.

Eleven and could strengthen into Tropical Storm Josephine as it tracks towards the Caribbean.

The center of Tropical Depression Eleven was located near latitude 12.0 North, longitude 41.5 West, about 1350 miles East of the Lesser Antilles. Eleven is moving toward the west near 16 mph until through Wednesday. Followed by a west-northwestward motion at a similar forward speed by Wednesday night through the rest of the week.

If Tropical Depression Eleven or another future system gains this name before Aug. 22, then the Atlantic would have its earliest-forming “J” storm on record, as noted below by Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University. Another first in this “extremely active” hurricane season.

The other remaining storm names for 2020 are Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

However, strong vertical wind shear and dry air are eventually set to impact the system, which may result in weakening.

The National Hurricane Center notes the possibility of Eleven will weaken to a tropical wave by then.

“Wind shear and dry air is going to stymie this system as it works its way toward the Bahamas,� said Fox 35 meteorologist Glenn Richards, who added the system will likely be gone by early next week.

The post Tropical Depression Eleven forms in the Atlantic appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Russia registers “1st” coronavirus vaccine
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
dinsdag 11 augustus 2020 09:55

Moscow – Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine after less than two months of testing on humans.

Officials dubbed the vaccine “Sputnik V”, named after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, is offering a lasting immunity from the deadly coronavirus.

“As far as I know, a vaccine against a new coronavirus infection has been registered this morning, for the first time in the world.�

Putin emphasised that the vaccine underwent the necessary checks, adding that one of his daughter has received the shot and is feeling well.

The phase three of the clinical trials for the vaccine are set to begin on Wednesday. Countries including the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are taking part in those trials.

No data has yet been published by the researchers and the long-term effects and safety of this possible vaccine currently remain unclear.

Skepticism about the Russia’s coronavirus vaccine

Russian officials said that 100% of volunteers developed immunity on the 21st day after receiving the first dose and that their immunity doubled after the second injection.

However, there has been international skepticism that Russia has developed an effective and safe vaccine. One of whom is top infectious disease expert and White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone. Because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing is, I think, problematic at best.”

Other experts said they were concerned that not enough was known about Russia’s research.

“There seems to be rather little detail thus far on Russian (vaccine) candidates. The collateral damage from release of any vaccine that was less than safe and effective could exacerbate our current problems insurmountably.” said Danny Altmann, a professor of Immunology at Imperial College London.

Britain and Canada last month has accused Russia of using hackers to steal vaccine research from Western laboratories.

Meanwhile, a World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman told Reuters that the WHO is in “close contactâ€� with Russian health authorities about the “possible pre-qualification process for a Covid-19 candidate vaccine which requires rigorous review.”

Last July, the World Health Organization said that there were 26 candidate vaccines in the clinical evaluation stage, including the one registered in Russia that was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

Pre-orders of 1 Billion doses

Russia has already received pre-orders for 1 billion doses of the from over 20 countries.

“We’ve seen considerable interest in the Russian vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute from abroad,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Gamaleya’s vaccine is based on the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China’s CanSino. It employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.

Dmitriev added that along with foreign partners Russia is ready to manufacture 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries.

Industrial production is expected to start from September.

The RDIF launched a dedicated site for the vaccine:

In other news:

Scientists tested 14 different types of face-covering

The post Russia registers “1st” coronavirus vaccine appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

COVID-19: Scientists test 14 face-coverings
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
dinsdag 11 augustus 2020 04:14

Scientists at Duke University tested 14 different types of face-covering and found that one of them actually increases the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The coverings ranged from the kind worn by healthcare professionals to neck fleeces and DIY face coverings.

“The fundamental question is, how well does a specific mask type prevent droplets from spreading,” said lead researcher and molecular imaging specialist Martin Fischer.

Researchers of Duke’s physics department demonstrated the use of a simple method that uses a laser beam and cell phone to evaluate the efficiency of masks by studying the transmission of respiratory droplets during a regular speech.

The result of their experiment shows that the least effective face-covering was a neck fleece. It was found to actually increase the risk of infection by having a droplet transmission fraction of 110%.

“We were extremely surprised to find that the number of particles measured with the fleece actually exceeded the number of particles measured without wearing any mask,” Fischer added.

Bandannas, gaiters and knitted masks are also performed poorly in preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Fischer emphasized the need to really encourage everyone to wear masks that actually work. Hence, they did the study.

N95 masks, often used by health care professionals, worked best to stop the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech.

Other good performers at stopping leakage were three-layer surgical masks, and polypropylene mask.

Handmade cotton face coverings were also shown to perform well and eliminated a substantial amount of the spray from normal speech.

The study was published in Science Advances.


The league table of the 14 masks tested (picture number):

1st (most effective) N95 mask, no exhalation valve, fitted (14)
2nd Surgical mask (1)
Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask (5)
Two-layer polypropylene apron mask (4)
Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask (13)
Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask (7)
N95 mask with exhalation valve (2)
Two-layer cotton, Olston style mask (8)
One-layer Maxima AT mask (6)
One-layer cotton, pleated style mask (10)
Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask (9)
Knitted mask (3)
Bandana (12)
14th (least effective) 
Gaiter type neck fleece (11)

The post COVID-19: Scientists test 14 face-coverings appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Police body camera video of George Floyd arrest released
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
dinsdag 11 augustus 2020 02:22

By ASSOCIATED PRESS – Police camera video of Minneapolis officers arresting George Floyd was released to the public Monday and is available for publication.

The footage became available Monday after a Hennepin County judge ordered it released. News organizations including The Associated Press had already viewed and written about the footage, and also pressed for the right to publish it.

The video comes from the body cameras of former Officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng. The footage shows Floyd pleading with the officers as they struggle to place him in a squad car in the minutes before his death on May 25.

Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died after Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Floyd’s death sparked protests worldwide.

Police were called to a south Minneapolis convenience store, where Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Lane’s video shows Lane pulling his gun when Floyd does not immediately show his hands.

“Please don’t shoot me, man,� a crying Floyd says. “I just lost my mom, man. I’m so sorry.�

Floyd tells the officers he is not resisting but that he is claustrophobic and has just had COVID-19. Floyd pleads that he cannot breathe, and says “Momma� as he is held on the ground.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and another officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting. All four were fired.

In other news:

Indonesia’s Sinabung Volcano Erupts

The post Police body camera video of George Floyd arrest released appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Indonesia’s Sinabung volcano erupts
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
maandag 10 augustus 2020 08:16

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung spewed a gigantic ash column three miles into the air and plunged local villages into darkness. Thick layers of ash covered areas up to 12 miles from the crater.

“Currently Mount Sinabung is at Level III (Alert) Status,” said Dr Devy Kamil Syahbana of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre

Authorities have advised residents and tourists to stay 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) away from the crater’s mouth and be aware of lava flows. No fatalities or injuries from the eruption has been reported as yet.

“We urge residents affected by the volcanic ash to protect themselves by wearing masks. We also urge everyone to reduce activities outside the home,” said Armen Putra, head of the Sinabung Volcano Observation Post, Geological Agency, and PVMBG.

But local disaster agency said that COVID-19 has complicated matters as panicking residents violated physical distancing rules.

The volcano, one of two currently erupting in Indonesia, was dormant for four centuries before exploding in 2010, killing two people. Another eruption in 2014 killed 16 people, while seven died in a 2016 eruption.

Mount Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,� an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

The post Indonesia’s Sinabung volcano erupts appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

TikTok twins charged over bank robbery prank
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
zondag 09 augustus 2020 12:32

Alan and Alex Stokes, popular TikTok stars and YouTubers were charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office after allegedly staging a bank robbery prank.

The twins from Irvine, California has been each charged with one felony count of false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud or deceit, and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency. The charges stem from a pair of fake bank robberies in Irvine on Oct. 15.

In a YouTube video, they are seen running away from a building while wearing ski masks and carrying duffel bags which are filled with dollar bills.

Then twins ordered an Uber but then the driver refused to drive the brothers. A bystander witnessing the incident believed the men were attempting to carjack the Uber after robbing a bank and called police.

When police arrived, they held the Uber driver at gunpoint but later released him after determining that he was not involved. At the time, the police issued a warning to the brothers about their behaviour and allowed them to leave.

A videographer was filming the whole incident for the purpose of being shared on social media.

According to the D.A.’s office, the Stokes brothers performed the same kind of prank four hours later at the UC Irvine campus, again prompting a police response.

Todd Spitzer, Orange Country district attorney did not laugh at the attempted joke.

“These were not pranks. These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed.�

Alan and Alex will face up to four years in prison if they are convicted.

In other news:

Two UWI Scientists Appointed To International Science Council

The post TikTok twins charged over bank robbery prank appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

Two UWI Scientists appointed to International Science Council
Source:  Caribbean News Now! Daily Headlines
zondag 09 augustus 2020 11:08

Press Release – Two scientists from The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Terrence Forrester and Professor Michelle Mycoo have recently been appointed to the International Science Council (ISC). In an announcement made by the ISC earlier this month, the two were named among eight distinguished scientists selected from around the world, who will comprise a Small Island Development States (SIDS) Liaison Committee.

According to the ISC, the Committee will advise on strategic matters, such as mobilizing input from the SIDS scientific community for the UN Decade of Ocean Science in Sustainable Development.

The members are also expected to bring other matters to the attention of the ISC so that representation of the SIDS scientific community is strengthened across the Council’s activities.

Professor Terrence Forrester is currently Chief Scientist for UWI SODECO (Solutions for Developing Countries) and a Professor of Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The UWI, Mona Campus. As a clinical scientist with a longstanding interest in cardiovascular disease—primarily hypertension—he is renowned for his work with, and dedication to tropical medical research.

Professor Michelle Mycoo is a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The UWI, St. Augustine Campus. As an urban planning expert, her work, recognised regionally and internationally is dedicated to pivotal inter-related issues such as land use planning, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, water management and integrated coastal zone planning.

Their appointments are until December 31, 2021 in the first instance, and will then be reviewed for renewal. They will meet with other members virtually during the period and updates on the Committee’s activities will be shared with other ISC members and via the ISC’s website.

As a regional university, The UWI continues to intensify its efforts at leveraging its inter-disciplinary research and scientific expertise on the unique issues faced by SIDS to address the multi-dimensional development challenges facing the Caribbean. The appointment and commitment of Professor Forrester and Dr Mycoo are a testament to this effort.

Earlier this year, the world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education recognised The UWI in its ‘Impact Rankings 2020’ which maps how universities are responding to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is the only global performance table that assesses universities on their research, outreach and stewardship of the SDGs. Of the 768 universities on the table, The UWI ranked among the top 200 for its work on SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing; SDG5: Gender Equality and SDG13: Climate Action.

In other news:

Rest of the hurricane season to be “extremely active�

The post Two UWI Scientists appointed to International Science Council appeared first on Caribbean News Now!.

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