Month: August 2020

  • Zika warning still in effect for Caribbean

    first_imgMosquito warning Despite a dip in the reported cases of the Zika virus in the Caribbean the US Centers For Disease Control (CDC) is still warning travelers to several Caribbean nations about the virus especially in the warmer months.Thirty-seven Caribbean countries, including the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, remain on the CDC’s travel advisory list as a “Level 2” alert, which advises travelers to “Practice Enhanced Precautions.”The advisory could put a dent in Caribbean tourism numbers from the US this summer.The countries still on the CBC travel advisory list are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, French Guiana, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Saba, Saint Bathelemy, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands.The CDC says mosquitoes in the 31 countries are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people. They are urging pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant to avoid travel to the countries of the list and warning travelers who do travel to the region to use condoms or not have sex during their trip since sexual transmission of the Zika virus is possible. Person planning to travel to the Caribbean are warned to:Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants; Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE, also called para-menthane-diol [PMD]), IR3535, or 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone) as directed. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label. Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than 2 months. (OLE should not be used on children younger than 3 years.); Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside; Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors. Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.last_img read more

  • Rudolph Austin inks deal with Danish club Esbjerg FC

    first_imgFormer Reggae Boyz captain, Rodolph Austin, has inked a football contract with Danish first division club Esbjerg FC.The 32-year-old who was out of contract with Brøndby IF has come to a two-year agreement worth in the region of £340,000.  Esbjerg is keen to add experience to a youthful squad following the team’s relegation from the Danish top league last season.  The club had previously attempted to seal a move for the midfielder in the January transfer window.Austin, who has 84 caps for the Jamaica national team, moved to Brøndby from the English Championship club Leeds after failing to secure a work permit.  The midfielder made 40 appearances for the club, netting only two goals, but was not offered a new contract by the team at the end of the summer.  The player made his first appearance for Esbjerg in a practice match last Friday and was given the number 8 jersey.Austin last appeared for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and was also the skipper of a Gold Cup team that lost 3-1 to Mexico in the 2015 final.last_img read more

  • Veterans honored with free flu shots

    first_imgAmerican Family Care (AFC), the nation’s leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine, is to offer military veterans free flu shots on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11. The announcement is an extension of AFC’s ongoing effort to promote flu prevention in the United States and comes on the heels of the company’s annual ‘National Flu Prevention Week’ campaign.The U.S. military was the first institution to establish a universal influenza vaccination policy, which dates back to the early 1940s – many decades before widespread immunization of healthy young people was recommended by the CDC and other international health officials. Today, the goal is to exceed 90-percent immunization of all military personnel by mid-December each year. Despite this effort to mitigate the outbreak of flu among active duty and reserve personnel, veterans still remain at risk.Fast Facts: Veterans, Health, and InfluenzaThere are 19.4 million veterans in the U.S., among which approximately 750,000 have no insurance coverage.Veterans of the U.S. armed forces tend to be older and have more chronic health problems than the general adult population, which may place them at greater risk of complications from influenza.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a vaccination rate of 80% as the national goal for seasonal influenza vaccination. However, according to data from the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, only 49% of veterans received a flu vaccination in their recent survey.The prevalence of influenza vaccination among VA system users is approximately 75%, although approximately three quarters of the U.S. Veteran population does not use VA services.A study recently published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology found that only 1.3% of U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals mandate flu shots for their employees.High cost of influenza outbreak in the USMore broadly, influenza outbreaks occur nearly every year, and cost the U.S. economy an estimated $71-167 billion per year in health services use and lost productivity.Influenza-related diseases also cause an estimated 225,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths annually in the U.S., mostly among chronically ill or elderly people. “With more than 180 medical centers in 26 states seeing 3 million patients a year, AFC deals with the flu as much or more than any other health care provider outside of the federal government, so we understand the impact it can have on our society,” said Dr. Jeremy Allen, of American Family Care. “With dozens of clinics near military bases across the U.S., we also understand the effect the flu has on veterans and their families. So, we want to do everything we can to serve those who have served our country,” concluded Allen.Veterans interested in obtaining a free flu shot on Saturday, November 11, 2017 are encouraged to visit to find their nearest AFC clinic.About American Family Care:Starting with a single location in 1982, American Family Care has pioneered the concept of non-emergency room urgent care. With its 2013 acquisition of the Doctors Express franchise, AFC has become the nation’s leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine, with more than 180 clinics and 600 in-network physicians caring for 3 million patients a year. Ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., AFC’s stated mission is to provide the best health care possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient. For more information, visit previous article regarding flu shots, visit the link: Flu vaccine nearly 60 percent effective according to preliminary CDC datalast_img read more

  • Jamaica’s PM Holness urges Diaspora to get involved

    first_imgLOCAL ISSUESThe PM also brought nationals up to date on the progress he said his government has made on many fronts to date including the creation of 60,000 jobs recently; being number one in the Caribbean on the ease of Doing Business Rankings and boosting consumer confidence.He touched only briefly on the hot button issue of crime and violence, saying that violence in the country is “almost cultural” and seems to be used over diplomacy to settle conflicts. He also insisted that more can be done to curb the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Jamaica but admitted that with the JLP administration setting aside 7 percent of GDP to repay the country’s debt, there is less money to spend on education and fighting crime and corruption.The PM also touted the National Identification System, (NIDS), legislation, saying the measure will also allow nationals in the Diaspora to apply for a national ID card to do business in Jamaica.JABA AWARDS Prime Minister Holness was presented the keys to the city of Broward County by Commissioner Dale Holness and was also awarded the ‘Distinguished Leadership Award’  by JABA.Other top JABA awardees included City of Miramar Commissioner, Maxwell Chambers, who was presented with the Public Service Award;Judge Norman Hemmings, who was presented with the Distinguished Judiciary Officer Award; Desmond and Catherine Malcolm, who were presented with the Distinguished Community Service Award and attorney Latoya Martells, who was presented with the JABA Attorney Award.Several local law students also received scholarships from JABA members and sponsors.Correction: An earlier version of this article quoted Prime Minister Holness as saying “We need to have our people in all spheres of influence in the world…that is how we are going to ensure we move Jamaica from prosperity to poverty.”” The quote has since been corrected. Prime Minister Holness with Marcia Griffiths Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses South Florida Jamaica at Jamaican-American Bar Association gala. Jamaica’s ninth Prime Minister, Andrew M. Holness, came to South Florida over the weekend with a strong message for nationals here – get involved in the political process of your adopted land.The PM, who was the guest speaker at the10th annual awards gala of the Jamaican-American Bar Association in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Nov. 18, 2017, urged Jamaicans in the South Florida Diaspora and across the USA to ensure they “regularize themselves in the country in which you choose to live,” and ensure they vote and get involved in the political process in their adopted homelands.He said having the Jamaican Diaspora as a power base, especially in the U.S., would allow for many issues of concern to Jamaica to be addressed, including derisking. “ We need to have our people in all spheres of influence in the world…that is how we are going to ensure we move Jamaica from poverty to prosperity.”RECONFIGURING THE CONSTITUTION Holness, answering a challenge thrown out by Don James, President of the south-east chapter of JABA, said his Jamaica Labour Party, (JLP), administration “intends to pursue”  the reconfiguration of the country’s constitution to allow nationals in its Diaspora to vote or run for office.The PM said the move would be a “progressive step” and  reiterated, as he has since 2015, that he likes the French election model which allows nationals overseas to vote but their ballots are registered for only one constituency in France, and not across all constituencies, which would then have an impact on the outcome of the election.As he did before he took office, PM Holness explained that the Diaspora vote, under a reconfigured constitution, would mean that Jamaicans abroad would have a representative in Jamaica’s Parliament who they can vote for.Jamaicans currently living in the US and who are naturalized US citizens cannot run for office in Jamaica but can vote if they are resident there at least six months, under the current constitution.last_img read more

  • Third South Florida pedestrian killed by train

    first_imgA pedestrian in Broward County became the third train fatality this week after he was struck and killed by Tuesday morning, authorities said. Tuesday’s incident happened shortly after 10:30 a.m. on the CSX tracks at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, near North Andrews Avenue and Hammondville Road, about 5 miles south of Boca Raton. The victim was a man believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King said.Witnesses told investigators the man tried to dodge the train. The train did not stop, and it is believed that its conductor was not aware that someone had been hit. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, which came three days after a man was struck and killed in Lake Worth near the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. On June 20, a 29-year-old pedestrian from Boca Raton was killed by a Brightline train in what police said was a suicide. Six people in Palm Beach County have been struck and killed by Brightline trains since the beginning of the year, when service began between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The line, which uses the FEC tracks, now offers service to Miami.last_img read more

  • Caribbean Airlines moves towards profitability

    first_imgTrinidad and Tobago’s state-owned airline, Caribbean Airlines on Monday reported ongoing strength in passenger revenues, cost management and network efficiency. There are continued robust performance for 2018 to date, with an increase in revenue over the period.Reporting on its unaudited half-year results for 2018, Caribbean Airlines said revenues and earnings significantly improved over the same period in 2017, despite the impact of fuel costs increasing by 32 per cent.Revenue has increased year on year by US$31.3 million or 19 per cent, while Earnings Before Interest and Taxation (EBIT – Operating Profit/Loss) improved over the same period in 2017 by US$17.8 million, or 77 per cent.Clear and sustained progress “I am delighted the team at Caribbean Airlines has seen the results of its hard work with another improved quarter, demonstrating we are making clear and sustained progress on our path to profitability,” said the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Garvin Medera.“This is being driven by our focus on a better experience for customers, combined with ever more efficient use of our resources and our route network.”Increased passenger numbers Other highlights for the six-month period from January to June 2018 include: increased passenger numbers and load factors, regionally and internationally; and increased air bridge capacity and efficiencies to service peak travel.“At the same time as improving our financial performance, we are also rapidly innovating in technology and services to improve the customer experience,” Medera added. “Our latest addition, ‘Caribbean View’, provides enhanced inflight entertainment direct to passengers’ personal devices at no extra charge to them.”‘Caribbean View’ will be officially launched on August 1 and will give passengers greater content, including movies, games and music via a dedicated app.last_img read more

  • Policy updates for US naturalization through marriage

    first_imgUnder US immigration regulations, spouses of US Citizens are eligible to apply for Naturalization early, as long as they meet certain requirements. For background, generally, Residents are eligible to apply for Naturalization after holding that status for four years and nine months, whereas eligible spouses of U.S. Citizens can apply in only two years and nine months.The 3/3/3 ruleEarly Naturalization is governed by the so called 3/3/3 rule, to qualify: 1) The U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a citizen for at least three years,  2) The foreign spouse must have been married to (and living together with) the U.S. Citizen spouse for at least three years and 3)  the foreign spouse must have been a Resident (conditional or otherwise) for at least three years. In such cases, the foreign spouse is eligible to apply for Naturalization in three years (really 90 days before, so that mean in two years and nine months).There has often been a lot of confusion among immigrants about the marriage requirement, specifically about whether a Resident remaining married with a U.S. Citizen is enough to qualify, even though the couple no longer lives together.Must live with spouseEarly Naturalization applicants often believe that simply remaining married (as opposed to being divorced) allows them to qualify, even though they do not live with their U.S. Citizen spouse. Thousands of dollars in USCIS filing fees are lost each year as Residents separated from their U.S. spouses apply for Early Naturalization, only to find out later at their Naturalization interview that in addition to meeting the regular citizenship requirements and passing the test, they must also prove through documentary evidence that they were living with their U.S. spouse at the time they filed their case. Those unable to prove that they were living with their U.S. spouse are not only denied Naturalization but may also put themselves at risk for further inquiry into the validity of their claim to Residency through marriage to a U.S. Citizen.To clear the issue up, the USCIS recently updated it Policy Manuel to provide guidance to clarify the “married” and “living in marital union” requirements for applicants filing for spousal naturalization. Updated guidanceThe updated guidance makes it clear that an Early Naturalization applicant must have been “living in marital union” (living together) with their U.S. Citizen spouse for at least three years before filing. The recent Policy Alert: Marriage and Living in Marital Union Requirements for Naturalization Purpose, relating to the “married and living in marital union” requirements, clarifies that Early Naturalization  applicants 1) must have been living in marital union with their U.S. Citizen spouse for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing for naturalization and 2) that termination of the marriage at any time before the applicant takes the Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization makes the applicant ineligible for such Naturalization.last_img read more

  • Tips for international students – Choose your degree program wisely based…

    first_imgEvery year hundreds of thousands of young students from countries around the world achieve their dream of studying in the U.S. in programs ranging from two-year associate degrees to  Phds. While most receive a great U.S. education, many are short sighted, choosing degree programs which earn them little more than a degree and one year work permit after graduation, with no hope of obtaining extended work authorization or an H-1B work visa in the U.S.Foreign students shouldn’t cheat themselves American students can afford the luxury of taking liberal arts programs, history, archeology and similar degrees because they can work anywhere after graduation without restriction. However, international students who do the same, and want to stay in the US after graduation, often cheat themselves from available post-graduation immigration options, which would  allow them to work up to 3 years, then allowing them to apply for an H-1B work visa or employment based U.S. Residency. The problem is that young students everywhere often choose degree programs based upon what they want to study, not on what they should study, in order to get the best opportunities upon graduation. This is the point at which parents of international students should become heavily involved in the process and educate themselves about an investment in their child’s U.S. education and the potential payoffs, versus the high cost of international fees. Invest wisely in a US college educationInternational students often pay three times or more in tuition rates than U.S. students. Parents whose children choose dead-end degree programs end up paying thousands for tuition and living expenses for their children to attend a U.S. college, only to find that their children graduate, work one year in the U.S., then must return home without any advanced career opportunities available to them in America. Students are equally shocked to learn that the liberal arts degree they hold was enjoyable, but literally useless for any U.S. work visa options following graduation. Attain more than a bachelor’s degree The reason is that there are very limited options for international students who have at least a Bachelor’s degree to obtain a work visa in the U.S.. The H-1B work visa allows U.S. employers to sponsor foreign workers with the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, but only in certain professions, which the USCIS believes are considered “specialty occupations”. In addition, under new Trump policies, it is getting much more difficult to prove that a job offered by a U.S. company qualifies as a “specialty occupation”, even for typically professional jobs like those for engineers and accountants. The most difficult degrees for H-1B work visas, other than general degrees for liberal arts, graphic design, fine art, communications, music, airline pilot, etc and now even including general degrees in business and computers. Aim for STEM courses and degreesThis is where college degree programs in “Stem” fields, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math have so much importance to international students. Stem field professions are in high demand in the U.S. technology sector and are fields which there are a shortage of U.S. workers to fill the available jobs. As such, under immigration regulations, international students who graduate with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field are entitled to three years of work authorization called “Optional Practical Training” or OPT, which allows them to work for U.S. companies following graduation. They are also eligible to be sponsored by a U.S. company for an H-1B work visa in the yearly H-1B lottery, and if they do not make it into the first year, they have several more years to try. Most importantly, it is much easier for graduates of STEM fields to be sponsored by a U.S. company for a Green Card.last_img read more

  • Place More Emphasis on Curbing Domestic Abuse

    first_imgMIAMI, Florida – It is unfortunate that in the modern, fast-paced news cycle with bombastic breaking and headline news every day, some of the news that affects the daily lives of the men and women in the street seem to be glossed over, and hardly paid attention to. One of these things is the scourge of domestic abuse and violence.Recently, here in South Florida, there has been news of prominent athletes who have been sacked by their teams for abusing their female partners. Also, locally and in the Caribbean, there is news of lives being lost to domestic abuse. It’s heart-rending that one of the factors contributing to the stubborn high incidence of violent crime in the Caribbean is domestic violence and abuse.The lives of far too many women and children have been lost as a result of domestic violence, and far too many families and homes destroyed and scarred.Domestic violence is a scourge that has inflicted societies globally for centuries. In some countries as despicable as domestic violence against women is this is not seen as a scourge, as women are completely subversive to men. However, this is not accepted in the Western Hemisphere, definitely not in the Caribbean or North America.However, domestic violence occurs daily taking a serious toll on households—regardless of race, class and economic status—across the United States and the Caribbean. Millions of children have been seriously emotionally scarred by the occurrence. Domestic violence also makes a serious impact on the economy from loss of man-hours and the cost of finding secure refuge for abused women and children, and for funding related law enforcement and incarcerating the abusers.Despite action, including a national law against domestic violence, and aggressive action by law enforcement, incidents of domestic abuse continue unabated. Most of this abuse even within families and close neighbors may not be known for only a relative few cases are reported or make the news cycle.Recent studies indicate that modern stresses, especially financial and work-related stresses, and the impact of social media in exposing infidelity and other behaviors adverse to domestic relationships. are contributing to the persistence of domestic abuse.Although men are normally seen as the perpetrators of domestic violence on their female partners it isn’t unusual for men from the Caribbean to say it’s the “system” in America that brands them as perpetrators of domestic violence. Some men claim in the Caribbean certain abusive behavior meted out to their female partners and children is more tolerated and acceptable, but on coming to America they feel “disrespected” by their women. This is so because it’s not unusual if they attempt to abuse their women, the women will call in law enforcement, and the risk of arrest looms. Some men even complain they are “set up” by their women;  “provoked” into acting violently, leading to their arrest.The fact is whether living in the Caribbean or America, men of whatsoever social standing, regardless of the circumstances of their romantic relationship or marriage must strive restraint and refrain from using violence on a woman.But men are not the sole perpetrators of domestic abuse. Although some women may not resort to physical violence, some use words as weapons or portray actions that demean and humiliate their men.  There definitely is such a thing as verbal domestic abuse.There are incidences where men from the Caribbean on relocating to America, because of the inability to find employment or being underemployed, are unable to make similar economic contributions they made to their households in the Caribbean. They find themselves depending on their women who are usually more fortunate in finding employment. Several of these men complain their women constantly throw this dependency in their faces making them feel “less than a man” and hopeless.  Women who act this way are guilty of domestic mental and verbal abuse.Neither domestic physical nor mental abuse is acceptable, but these acts of abuse are happening daily, undisclosed in thousands of households across America and the Caribbean.Sadly, laws, adverse publicity, counseling, and other measures have not curtailed domestic abuse. These incidents can only stop if men and women who are inclined to be abusive learn to really respect each other, or realize when a relationship has reached the point where physical blows or humiliating words become more prevalent than love, respect and reconciliation it may be better to use their legs to walk away, rather than their arms and lips to abuse their partners and destroy themselves and their families.They should always remember that one of the negative results of domestic abuse is the lasting scars it leaves on the life of their children, a scar that has the potential of ruining them from establishing strong families in the future,last_img read more

  • US Open: Defending Champion, Angelique Kerber Crashes Out In Round One

    first_img“When it was 4-1 today I was thinking, ‘I really hope I don’t do what I did last year’ and that let me focus a lot.”Kerber’s loss means she will drop out of the women’s ranking top 10 after the tournament.RelatedIndian Wells Masters: Keber, Venus, Osaka Survive 5th RoundMarch 12, 2019In “Tennis”Australian Open Recap (Women): Top Seed Halep, Sharapova Into Second RoundJanuary 16, 2018In “Sports”Indian Wells Masters: Osaka, Halep Crash Out Retaining RankingsMarch 13, 2019In “Tennis” Defending champion, Angelique Kerber has crashed out of the US Open after losing to Japanese youngster Naomi Osaka.Sixth seed Kerber, who was also beaten in the first round of the French Open earlier this year, lost to 19-year-old Osaka 6-3 6-1 to become the first big name casualty of this year’s US Open.Speaking about her victory, a very delighted Osaka said: “It means a lot, especially since last time I was here.”“This court has not given me fond memories but hopefully this overtakes that.”last_img read more