Millions granted to eradicate Zika in Florida

first_imgJackeline, 26, holds her son who is 4-months old and born with microcephaly, in front of their house in Olinda, near Recife, Brazil, February 11, 2016. Recent laboratory analyses identified Zika virus infections in three people who died in Brazil last year, the health ministry said on Thursday, although authorities could not confirm that Zika alone was responsible for their deaths. REUTERS/Nacho Doce TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX26KIR Adhering to the state commitment to eradicate Zika virus from Florida, Governor Rick Scott announced $25 million in grants for further research into the mosquito borne virus, and the development of a vaccine to counter the disease.Making the announcement on Wednesday, Scott indicated the funding is being broken down into 34 grants being made to 10 Florida universities and research institutions.The largest grant of $13 million is being awarded to the University of Miami to develop Zika testing methodology, a Zika vaccine development, and research the effect that the virus has on pregnant women and their babies.Last year a rash of locally contracted mosquito-borne Zika virus cases broke out in Miami-Dade County mainly in the Wynwood community, and on Miami Beach. The break out of the disease resulted in the Florida Department of Health (FDH) and the Centers for Disease (CDC) declaring the respective regions Zika contamination zones. The declarations were accompanied by nationwide warnings, especially to pregnant women, cautioning travel to these areas.Months later, Governor Scott and the FDH lifted the restrictions as for weeks there were no new cases. However, the FDH and CDC cautioned South Floridians to remain alert against new local contaminated cases especially when the rainy season arrives. Governor Scott also gave assurances the state would provide the necessary funding to treat and eliminate the virus.Referring to the new grants, Dr. Celeste Philip, Florida Surgeon General said the state cannot afford to relax its efforts to fight the Zika virus during the current dry season when mosquitoes are not prevalent.The grant to the UM goes directly to the infectious diseases division at UM’s Miller School of Medicine.The head of the division, Mario Stevenson regard the grants as a “big deal” and an asset in funding Zika related studies being hindered by funding challenges. He said together with developing cures for the virus, the division will be able to better focus on why the diseases is specifically impactful to pregnant women and their babies.Other recipients of state grant funding include Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Florida State universities, the Moffitt Cancer Center and Scripps Research Institute.The 2017/18 budget proposed by Governor Scott also includes $2.9 billion to be allocated to the FDH to employ more scientists and conduct further research into the Zika virus.last_img read more

Vybz Kartel appeal set for February

first_imgThe Court of Appeal in Jamaica will begin hearing arguments from attorneys representing imprisoned dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused on February 19 next year.Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; Kahira Jones; Andre St John; and entertainer Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell were granted leave to appeal their conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal in March of this year.They were sentenced to life behind bars by Justice Lennox Campbell in the High Court for their involvement in the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. Evidence was tendered in court that Williams was mauled to death in a house owned by Vybz Kartel and his body disposed of.Williams’ remains have never been found.Vybz Kartel will be eligible for parole after serving 35 years, St John must serve 30 years, while Campbell and Jones will have to serve 25 years before being eligible for parole.The lawyers intend to argue that Justice Campbell erred in his instructions to the jury and that their clients were not given a fair trial.Audio-visual evidence and the eyewitness testimony of their former crony helped the prosecution to successfully argue that Williams was murdered after two illegal guns went missing.last_img read more

Tanya Stephens defends Ishawna on Miss Lou rant

first_imgJamaican dancehall singer Tanya Stephens has joined the ongoing controversy surrounding a social media rant by female Deejay Ishawna who posted a rant which is considered disrespectful to Jamaica’s foremost cultural icon, Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley.Stephens supported Ishawna who was last week hauled over the coals for posting on her Instagram page that she did not wear tablecloth like Bennett-Coverley, who is affectionately called ‘Miss Lou’.‘Miss Lou’ has been credited with making the Jamaican dialect of patois fashionable and accepted worldwide as part and parcel of the Jamaican identity.Self-imposed limitationsBut in her defense of Ishawna, Stephens posted a video in which she declared that “Jamaicans really need to stop mandating their self-imposed limitations.”She also challenged those criticizing Ishawna to post a photo of themselves dressing like ‘Miss Lou’ or a video of themselves reciting one of the icon’s poems.Stephens elaborated on her stance in a video posted on her Instagram page. In response to the argument that Miss Lou allowed the Jamaican patois dialect to be generally accepted from people like herself, Stephens said: “She didn’t liberate me… as soon as I was born, I was talking patois.”Her position has brought her squarely under attack by Miss Lou’s supporters. Some took to social media to air their disagreement with Stephens’ position.“Tanya Stephens has done a fine job of regulating herself to the fool’s corner, wearing the dunce cap and all. You are wrong on this one. You are doing an excellent job of diminishing your already minute fan base. Stop now. We hear your voice crying out in the wilderness,” one social media user posted.Dissed Simpson MillerTanya Stephens was recently under fire for her criticism of former Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. She lambasted Simpson Miller on social media the same day she was being honored by politicians on both sides of the aisle in Jamaica’s House of Parliament.last_img read more

Seaborne Airlines to be sold to US carrier Silver Airways

first_imgPuerto Rico-based Seaborne Airlines is being sold to US carrier Silver Airways.Seaborne, which operates flights across the eastern Caribbean, is being sold because of financial strain caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.The airline says most of the countries serviced by the carrier such as Puerto Rico, the British and United States Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Maarten were significantly impacted by the category five hurricanes.“While the company’s business has enjoyed a remarkable recovery since the 2017 hurricanes, the financial stress caused during the recovery period coupled with legacy liabilities have made it necessary to seek reorganization protection,” said Acting CEO of Seaborne Airlines, Ben Munson.Seaborne said the airline’s day-to-day operations will ‘continue as normal’ and will not be disrupted by the sale.The company said it will also maintain its ‘codeshare’ partnerships that facilitate easy connections with other partner airlines.Though financial stress from the hurricanes encouraged the airline to sell, Seaborne had entered into negotiations with Silver Airways months ago. It is said that the sale will result in the two airlines will combining fleets.last_img read more

Jamaica welcomes more than 1 million visitors through May 2018

first_imgJamaica is reporting an increase in visitor arrivals to the island with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartley on Tuesday saying stopover arrivals for the first five months of this year had surpassed the one million mark.Increase in stopover visitors and cruise arrivals  Bartlett said the island also welcomed an estimated 1,025,997 stopover visitors, representing a 5.5 per cent increase over the same period last year and that cruise arrivals also increased by 5.5 per cent for a total of 933,892.“Having a million stopover tourist arrivals for the first five months of the year is truly unprecedented. These provisional estimates mean that over 52,000 more tourists arrived on our shores over the same period for 2017. It also means that we are on track to welcoming at least 4.6 million visitors for 2018, which is yet another record,” Bartlett said.“Jamaica’s tourism continues to prove itself to be resilient and robust. I am pleased that through the hard work of our team and sector workers, and continued diversification of our product to focus on experiential tourism, Jamaica remains a world-class destination that is highly sought after.”Helps foreign exchange earningBartlett said that the increased visitor arrivals has also resulted in a “significant increase in foreign exchange earnings for the period.”He said that the foreign exchange earnings stood at US$1.36 billion, up from US$1.9billion, a nine per cent increase.“As the main driver of economic growth, tourism is consistently showing its impact on economies locally, regionally and globally,” Bartlett added.last_img read more

Florida gas prices, the lowest since April 2018

first_imgFloridians are finding the lowest prices at the pump since April. The state average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.64; 28 cents less than this year’s high, and 25 cents more than this time last year. Gas prices continued their downward trek last week, declining another 6 cents.  The state average declined for the 26th consecutive day on Sunday, for a total discount of 18 cents.Most expensive gas price averages: Panama City ($2.87), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.79), and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.78)Least expensive gas price averages: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.52), Orlando ($2.54), and Punta Gorda ($2.56)“Floridians are saving 25 cents per gallon, compared to when gas prices peaked during Memorial Day weekend,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Gasoline is becoming less expensive to produce-and-sell thanks to lower crude prices and cheaper-to-produce winter blend fuel. Retail prices have not quite caught up with declines on the wholesale side, so motorists should see another round of discounts this week. However, fuel prices definitely have the potential to reverse course based on any fluctuations in the stock market due to Election Day and the activation of U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude. Regardless, AAA believes the highest prices of the year are behind us.”Why are crude prices falling? Crude oil prices are hovering near 7-month lows. On Friday, WTI settled at $63.14 per barrel – nearly $4.50/b less than the week before, and the lowest daily settlement since April 6, 2018. The weekly average price for U.S. crude has declined the past four consecutive weeks. Before then, crude prices faced upward pressure amid growing concerns that U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude would cause a global supply shortage. However, those concerns are being quelled by increased production by countries like the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Crude production in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia all remain strong. U.S. oil inventories rose for the sixth consecutive week, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration. Domestic supplies rose 3.2 million barrels from the week before. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories dropped by 3.2 million barrels. Meanwhile, OPEC production levels for October reportedly reached the highest output levels since 2016 as some members boosted production in preparation of the Iran sanctions. More on U.S. sanctions against IranFriday, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. would re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2015 under the Obama Administration. The sanctions, which will go into effect on November 5, 2018, target the Iranian energy sector and impede Iran’s ability to sell oil.According to the Energy Information Administration, Iran ranks as the world’s fourth-largest reserve holder of oil. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers, producing almost 4.7 million b/d of petroleum and other liquids in 2017. While Iran is an oil powerhouse, Saudi Arabia (9 percent) and Iraq (6 percent) are the top two OPEC countries exporting to the U.S. and 2 of the top 5 countries overall that sell oil to the U.S.In May, when the decision to re-impose oil-related sanctions was announced, the market reacted quickly with crude oil prices (WTI) peaking at $77 per barrel this summer. As the crude market saw big upward price swings due to concerns about restricted global supply, Iran started to feel the impact on oil exports. According to the Trump Administration, Iran went from exporting 2.5 million b/d in May to 1.5 million b/d in October and over twenty countries have reduced their imports of Iranian oil to zero. Exports are expected to drop further, but not immediately. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. has granted temporary waivers to eight countries – including Japan, India and South Korea – allowing them to continue to import Iranian oil. Those receiving the waiver are expected to continue cutting imports.last_img read more

Jamaica Passport Office (PICA) stages Community Outreach – Lauderhill

first_imgThe Passport, Immigration, Citizenship Agency (PICA), Jamaica will stage a Community Outreach, this weekend (March 16-17) in Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale.The two day event will be held at the Lauderhill Mall at 1267 State Road 7, Lauderhill, Florida 33313; Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Persons will benefit from the processing of Jamaican passports and citizenship applications.Jamaican nationals across the South Florida communities are encouraged to attend the Outreach and utilize the services. To ensure the efficient and timely processing of applications, persons are reminded to have on hand, the necessary supporting documents and fees.  For further information regarding this event, persons may contact the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami, (305-374-8431) or email ([email protected]; and on-line The two-day event is in conjunction with the Voters’ Registration Drive being hosted by Broward County Commissioner, Dale Holness.  Other partnering agencies will be on hand to offer client services and provide relevant information.last_img read more

Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 10

first_imgHere are this weekend’s picks as Drew Forrester and Luke Jones will pick every NFL game as well as local college football contests.Drew Forrester is 87-44 after finishing 9-5 last week while Luke Jones is 87-44 after a 9-5 record in Week 9. Both are 0-1 this week after incorrectly picking San Diego to defeat Oakland on Thursday night (the loss is already included in the aforementioned records). Official standings are only kept based on the NFL picks.Ravens at Seahawks: Baltimore 34-10 (Drew), Baltimore 23-13 (Luke)Steelers at Bengals: Cincinnati 20-17 (Drew), Pittsburgh 20-14 (Luke)Broncos at Chiefs: Kansas City 28-19 (Drew), Kansas City 24-20 (Luke)Jaguars at Colts: Indianapolis 13-9 (Drew), Indianapolis 13-10 (Luke)Bills at Cowboys: Buffalo 27-20 (Drew), Dallas 23-20 (Luke)Texans at Buccaneers: Tampa Bay 24-20 (Drew), Houston 24-23 (Luke)Titans at Panthers: Carolina 24-17 (Drew), Carolina 21-16 (Luke)Redskins at Dolphins: Miami 17-16 (Drew), Miami 17-13 (Luke)Saints at Falcons: New Orleans 27-24 (Drew), New Orleans 27-21 (Luke)Lions at Bears: Chicago 27-20 (Drew), Chicago 20-17 (Luke)Rams at Browns: Cleveland 17-10 (Drew), Cleveland 16-10 (Luke)Cardinals at Eagles: Philadelphia 37-7 (Drew), Philadelphia 27-13 (Luke)Giants at 49ers: New York 24-21 OT (Drew), San Francisco 24-17 (Luke)Patriots at Jets: New England 28-24 (Drew), New England 25-20 (Luke)Vikings at Packers: Green Bay 36-24 (Drew), Green Bay 31-17 (Luke)Maryland at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 34-20 (Drew), Fighting Irish 27-14 (Luke)New Hampshire at Towson: Tigers 26-23 (Drew), Tigers 24-17 (Luke)Navy at SMU: Mustangs 30-20 (Drew), Mustangs 21-14 (Luke)Norfolk State at Morgan State: Spartans 35-10 (Drew), Spartans 24-20 (Luke)last_img read more

ATP Finals Wrap (Pete Sampras Group): Dimitrov Into Semis With Victory Over Goffin As…

first_imgRelatedBiggest Career Win! Dimitrov Beats Goffin To Win ATP FinalsNovember 19, 2017In “Sports”ATP Finals (Pete Sampras Group): Goffin To Face Federer In Semis After Thiem VictoryNovember 18, 2017In “Sports”ATP Finals Review (Boris Becker Group): Federer Into Semis After Win Over ZverevNovember 15, 2017In “Sports” Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov is through to the last four at the ATP Finals in London following his thrashing of Belgian seventh seed David Goffin.The Bulgarian made it two wins from two in the Pete Sampras Group with a 6-0 6-2 victory over Goffin at the O2 Arena.Speaking after the match, the tournament debutant, who has proved to be a success so far, said: “You get a few days out of the year that whatever you touch turns to gold, and that was the first set.”In the other group match on Wednesday, Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated Spanish star Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 3-6 6-4 in over two hours.Busta replaced compatriot and world number one Rafael Nadal after the first set of group matches. Nadal pulled out of the tournament following his struggles with a knee injury.Austrian fourth seed Thiem will next play Goffin for the other semi-final place on Friday.After his match, Thiem was very pleased to secure his first victory at the tournament. He said: “It was a really, really tight match.”“I think he took the place of Rafa very well, a very tough three-setter. I’m pleased to be through, got very very tight at the end.” he further stated.It would be the turn of the Boris Becker Group on Thursday with tennis legend Roger Federer taking on Marin Cilic of Croatia while Alexander Zverev and Jack Sock will face each other to determine who joins Federer in the semifinal.last_img read more

Pinnacle relaunches ‘feature-packed’ eSports betting Hub

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Submit Related Articles Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 Share TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Seeking to become the leading destination for eSports betting, Curacao/ Malta-licensed online sportsbook Pinnacle ( has announced the relaunch of its dedicated ‘eSports Hub’.First launched in 2015, Pinnacle’s ‘eSports Hub’ was developed as a specific portal for eSports betting consumers. Having revamped its product, Pinnacle development states that it wants to ‘raise the bar for gaming’s most dynamic sector’Commenting on the relaunch of Pinnacle’s ‘eSports Hub’ Marco Blume, Trading Director stated; “Pinnacle passed the 5 million eSport bet milestone earlier this year, and I was projecting to reach 10 million by January 2018. With the relaunch of our eSports Hub I may have to revise that prediction.” Marco Blume, Trading DirectorThe bookmaker details that its new hub has been developed with eSports players and ‘diversity of interest’ in-mind. The product will allow players to focus on preferred games, whilst allowing users to ‘drill down’ live odds panels.Furthermore, Pinnacle will support ‘eSports Hub’ user engagement and interaction with dedicated in-depth content and optimal game/match scheduling for esports punters.Pinnacle leadership states that the bookmaker is committed to servicing esports punters, viewing the sport as a core dynamic for its long-term growth. Harry Lang Pinnacle Marketing Director stated:“Pinnacle has been at the forefront of esports betting since 2010 and we are totally committed to maintaining our position as the global leader in the future. Our new eSports Hub is designed to support this ambition. We have combined our exceptional odds in a user-friendly format and published a huge portal of educational content so new and established eSports bettors can develop and improve alongside us.”last_img read more