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Caribbean News

No closer to knowing; We remember Jovenel Moïse One Year since July 7 2021 Assassination

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, July 15, 2022 – As we marked a year since the death of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on Wednesday July 7 the Caribbean republic’s story remains practically invisible to the world.

On June 7, 2021, Haiti was thrust into turmoil when news broke that the President had been killed and It has been a difficult year for the Caribbean nation.  While the government prepares to honor Moïse in a two day ceremony, that ceremony will take place without the addition of his family as his wife, Martine Moïse, who was also injured in the assassination, still at odds with new Prime Minister Ariel Henry, has rejected their invitations.

The rejection is only one symptom of deeper fissures in the country.

Several persons have been arrested but none have admitted to the murder and the question of why still echoes throughout Haiti unanswered.

Martine told the New York Times someone powerful financed the attack.  Someone with enough money to pay off the 30 to 50 guards that normally protected her husband.

“Only the oligarchs and the system could kill him,” she said.

The world is no closer to a concrete answer but what is clear is that since the assassination gangs have become much more powerful than before, outgunning the police according to officials.  School dropout and unemployment rates are at a new high, kidnappings abound and three times more of Haitians than usual are putting their lives at risk to leave the country on overcrowded fast boats.

Despite all this the situation has taken a backseat to humanitarian crises in other areas of the world. The stories carried internationally are harrowing ones, of kidnapping and murder.  The lopsided coverage leaves the international audience largely unaware of the very real humanitarian crises spreading across the country in waves.

Stories centering Haitians and their experiences are few and far between.  In order for Haiti to get the help it needs this must be corrected.

CARICOM had indicated that more aid would be provided to Haiti in its most recent Intersessional Meeting and Canada and the US have led aid efforts to the Caribbean country donating almost $70 million this year for rebuilding efforts after the earthquake in 2021.

Still despite the monetary assistance the problems persist.

The power vacuum created by the Moïse assassination remains unchecked and suspect.

The UN which pulled its Peacekeeping operatives out of Haiti in 2019 amidst scandals about disease and sexual abuse, now says healthcare and education are suffering.

It is clear, while Haitian people are not running from bombs and air raids, they are trying to eke out some semblance of a decent life and at worst, escape death and torture.

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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