6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Corporal punishment in schools to be outlawed
  2. Beware goat meat
  3. NHT goodies coming
  4. First Global discontinues fees for dormant accounts
  5. Spencer, Hylton breach anti-doping rules
  6. Bolt to speak at major Malaysian forum

1. Corporal punishment in schools to be outlawed

The government is to amend the law to ban corporal punishment in public schools. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement in Parliament this afternoon in his contribution to the Budget Debate as he discussed how violence has cost Jamaica some of its productive citizens. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Beware goat meat

The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit in the Jamaica Constabulory Force is warning the  public to be careful when buying goat meat. This is because of the theft of medicated animals which are believed to have been slaughtered and are being sold for meat in Westmoreland. The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit says the Westmoreland Agro Enforcement Team went in search of animals in the Hatfield district of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland yesterday morning where 14 stolen goats were recovered and the carcasses of four seized. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. NHT goodies coming

Although saying they are not just ‘goodies’, Prime Minister Andrew Holness kept to tradition yesterday and, like other heads of government before him during Budget Debates, reeled out a list of new benefits for contributors of the cash-rich National Housing Trust (NHT). See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. First Global discontinues fees for dormant accounts

First Global Bank has now discontinued the charging of fees for dormant accounts. Dormant charges are triggered when an account has not been accessed for a period of two years.First Global says the fee was charged to cover fraud protection and administrative costs, but advances in technology have now minimised the cost of administering these accounts. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Spencer, Hylton breach anti-doping rules

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has confirmed that it has been advised by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) that World Championships medallists Kaliese Spencer and Riker Hylton have been referred to the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for an anti-doping violation. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Bolt to speak at major Malaysian forum

The world’s fastest man is among a list of 31 high-profile speakers down to address the Global Transformation Forum, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the KL Convention Centre, over the next two days. Bolt will be speaking at a forum created to charge discussion and stimulate global change in key areas. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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30 Days of Inspiration (#18: Sleep)

March is celebrated as Spiritual Wellness Month. It is a time to reflect on the values, ethics and morals that add value and give meaning to your life. Here at diGJamaica, we’re going on a quest for 30 days of inspiration: extracting the common principles from different religions and systems of belief that help their followers to find inner peace, purpose and direction. Each day for the month of March, we will be sharing another principle with you. Join us as we embark on this journey to spiritual wellness.


What we’ve covered so far:


Sleep

Why? Because the only remedy for sleep is sleep. Not power drinks or coffee or tablets. When your body needs rest, the best and wisest thing to do is … wait for it … to rest. It may not seem like a very spiritual practice, but it is so essential to your overall physical, mental and emotional well-being that it is an important part of your spirituality.

Did you know that blood vessels are healed and repaired while you sleep? And that if you do not get enough sleep, it negatively affects your liver, kidneys, heart and blood pressure? Sleep deprivation can also give rise to problems with your immune system, central nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system – that’s pretty much your entire body. Chronic sleep deprivation also leads to increased levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – in your body.

An interesting Wikipedia fact: “Randy Gardner holds the scientifically documented record for the longest period of time a human being has intentionally gone without sleep not using stimulants of any kind. Gardner stayed awake for 264 hours (11 days).” While no-one on record in recent history has died of sleep deprivation, scientist warn that if a human being goes enough time without sleep, he/she can die. So don’t take it lightly. Get rest as often as you need it, and don’t fall into the chronic sleep deprivation trap.

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Tracking Derek Walcott’s Trek Through The Gleaner

On Friday, March 17, 2017, the Caribbean lost one of its most decorated and gifted literary gems. Derek Walcott, poet, playwright, son of St Lucia and Nobel Laureate, passed away. The accolades have been pouring out from around the world as international literary circles acknowledge the profound impact Walcott’s work has had on their individual and collective lives. According to one Gleaner article, Walcott wanted to “create literature true to West Indian life”. After more than six decades of sterling contributions to the Caribbean literary landscape, he surpassed this humble goal, adding so much to the richness of Caribbean poetic expression that in 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In honour of the amazing life Sir Derek has lived, we’re tracking his appearances in The Gleaner from the very early days when he came to Jamaica to attend the then University College of the West Indies, picking out some of the choicest stories depicting his avid involvement in Caribbean literature and arts.


1950 – 1960

Saturday, December 8, 1951:

An article titled ‘Verse Play by Derek Walcott’ reads: “In the BBC’s Caribbean Voices tomorrow, listeners will hear the most ambitious production in the history of the programme. It is a verse play by Derek Walcott entitled ‘Henry Dernier’, which sees its first appearance in the broadcast.” At the time, Walcott was a student at the University College of the West Indies studying in the Arts, and a mere 21 years old.

 

Friday, April 5, 1957:

In a letter to the editor about her viewing of Derek Walcott’s play, ‘Ione’ (he would have been 27 years old at the time), Margery Foster-Davis wrote: “Derek Walcott is a young writer who has read much and, apparently, experienced much. His play might have been called ‘The Wages of Sin is Death’, for this idea is carried to its completely tragic limit, with no seeds left for a possible redemption. The curtain falls on the devil, through Theresine, declaring that man will never change. This is a depressing philosophy, but one not unusual in a young and serious poet.” And further down: “Derek Walcott’s is a voice we must attend to: The poet is the prophet. We cannot afford to ignore what he sees. … Derek Walcott and the Federation Players can do a great deal to bring us face to face with ourselves. They deserve respect and support.”

 

Thursday, June 20, 1957

Derek Walcott’s name featured prominently in a piece

 

Friday, August 29, 1958

In ‘Personal Mention’ by ‘Kitty Kingston’, it is said that members of the Catholic University Players, who opened their Jamaica tour at the Ward Theatre, were hosted by a Mr and Mrs Noonen. The evening’s attendees/performers included Louise Bennett-Coverley, the Ivy Baxter dancers, and Lois Kelly-Barrow. They played charades and ended the evening’s party with dancing to music by Eddie Thomas on the piano, and “Derek Walcott on the bongos”, among others.

 

Monday, February 2, 1959

A Gleaner St Lucia correspondent reported that Walcott, as well as his twin brother Roderick, both members of the St Lucia Arts Guild, would be part of a team presenting plays in Trinidad’s concert hall in July of the same year. The plays by Walcott () and his brother () were making debut presentations.


1961-1970

 

 


1971-1980

 

 


1981-1990

 

 

 


1991-2000

 

 


2001-2010

Friday, May 16, 2003

He had a spat with Colin Channer, the organiser of one of Jamaica’s most beloved literary festival, Calabash. He withdrew from the event, allegedly over pricing differences.

 

March 20, 2004

He decided to cancel his appearance at the Stanza Poetry Festival after his bag was stolen in an unfortunate mugging incident, further complicated by back issues.

April 28, 2004

He brought the house down at a reading at The Hilton Kingston Hotel. What he said:

“Sometimes I think the real reaction is to poetry reading is stunned boredom.”

When asked what his biggest concern that was creeping into his writing.

“I think my biggest concern is how irritating I find myself to be.”

 


2010-2017

 

 


Here are links to stories and obituaries from around the world:

Posted in #diGBooks, Arts, Authors, Books, Literature, Men, Personalities, Photos, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

30 Days to Inspiration (#17: Smile & Laugh)

March is celebrated as Spiritual Wellness Month. It is a time to reflect on the values, ethics and morals that add value and give meaning to your life. Here at diGJamaica, we’re going on a quest for 30 days of inspiration: extracting the common principles from different religions and systems of belief that help their followers to find inner peace, purpose and direction. Each day for the month of March, we will be sharing another principle with you. Join us as we embark on this journey to spiritual wellness.


What we’ve covered so far:


Smile & Laugh

It sounds silly, but there must be a reason every major religion on planet Earth includes smiling and laughing as practices that promote spiritual wellness. Science tells us that body language and mood are closely associated. It is possible for your body language to dictate your mood, instead of just reflecting it. So, for example, the person who smiles even when they don’t feel like it is more prone to experiencing a lift in spirits from the internal biological processes triggered from that one smile.

What can one smile do? Well, the act of smiling and laughing literally relaxes the muscles in your face and calms down your nervous system. It also releases more oxygen to the brain, which then releases endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel happy and less stressed.

When you add laughter to this mix, you have a power-packed duo against disease and pain. Laughing boosts the immune system and increases the antibodies that fight infection. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which reduce stress and can even lessen pain. There is even a branch of therapy, called humour therapy, which uses laughter to help patients achieve health and wellness.

So, when was the last time you had yourself a good laugh? And when was the last time you gave a nice, big smile? Don’t you think it’s time to make laughing and smile a daily spiritual practice?

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Pickpocket Budget
  2. Brazil corned beef ban
  3. NWA plans $100m road patching exercise
  4. Five correctional officers arrested
  5. Ja to benefit from US$40m poverty reduction programme
  6. Parliament barred from tabling OCG report on Hayles issue

1. Pickpocket Budget

Today, Prime Minister Andrew Holness will make his contribution to the 2017-2018 Budget Debate amid urging from the Opposition’s incoming leader, Dr Peter Phillips, for Jamaicans to decide what action they will take to show that they will not tolerate the $716-billion Budget, and especially the $17.5-billion tax package. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Corned beef ban

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has imposed an immediate ban on imports of corned beef originating from Brazil. In the meantime, consumers are being cautioned not to eat corned beef until further notice. The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. NWA plans $100m road patching exercise

The National Works Agency (NWA) has announced a near $100 million road patching exercise for several corridors in St Catherine, Kingston, St Andrew and St Thomas. Manager of Communication and Customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw, says 16 corridors in St Catherine will benefit under this round of patching expected to cost over $18 million. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Five correctional officers arrested

The national security ministry is reporting that five correctional officers have been arrested and 40 mobile phones seized since it implemented increased security measures at the island’s penal institutions. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Ja to benefit from US$40m poverty reduction programme

Jamaica is to benefit from a US$40 million poverty reduction project to be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Funding is being taken from the CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund and will be shared among eight countries in the region. The other beneficiary countries are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Parliament barred from tabling OCG report on Hayles issue

The Supreme Court has ordered Parliament not to table the controversial report by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) containing allegations of impropriety against West Hanover Member of Parliament Ian Hayles until the matter is fully ventilated in May. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

30 Days of Inspiration (#16: Be Still)

March is celebrated as Spiritual Wellness Month. It is a time to reflect on the values, ethics and morals that add value and give meaning to your life. Here at diGJamaica, we’re going on a quest for 30 days of inspiration: extracting the common principles from different religions and systems of belief that help their followers to find inner peace, purpose and direction. Each day for the month of March, we will be sharing another principle with you. Join us as we embark on this journey to spiritual wellness.


What we’ve covered so far:


Be Still

You’ve heard this before: Be still. Let the noise inside you dissolve into a deep quiet and calm. Stillness evokes imagery of a quiet day by the beach, with the waters making barely a ripple. When you hear the word stillness, you think of absolutely no movement. Your mind conjures up images of complete silence.

One of the chief aims of any religious practice is for persons to attain this kind of serenity internally. You want to get to a state where, no matter what happens in your life, you remain calm and undisturbed. Fact is, life presents us with many situations that tempt us into incessant noise and business. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that go through many of our days in a frenzied hurry. We rush to get to places on time, hurry to meet deadlines, worry about impressing other people, worry about whether we’re meeting our goals and making progress. We get distressed about our children and loved ones … it can sometimes seem like an emotional roller coaster, with nary a minute to catch our breaths and sit alone with the quietness of our own thoughts.

Today, let us strive for stillness. Let’s take the words of the Desiderata, which encourages us to: “remember what peace there may be in silence”. Especially in the moments when you feel like falling into anxiety and fear, remember to stay calm, not worry, and just be still. As the Desiderata says: “Whether or not it is clear to you / No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” So be still. Trust and be still.

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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Bloodbath in Westmoreland
  2. PPVs must be examined before March 31
  3. Some victims make wrong choice – Llewelyn
  4. Work on Marcus Garvey Drive continues
  5. Perception of crime greater than reality
  6. HAJ to give update on finances

1. Bloodbath in Westmoreland

Residents of Bath in Westmoreland are struggling to come to grips with Saturday night’s quadruple murder when members of their community were slaughtered at a popular cookshop and bar by men travelling on two motorcycles. When the shooting, which started approximately 9 p.m., ended, 23-year-old Timothy Bernard, otherwise called ‘Tim’; 19-year-old Demario McIntosh; 68-year-old Glendon Nannan; and 54-year-old Carl Banhan, otherwise called ‘Calla’, were killed on the spot. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. PPVs must be examined before March 31

The Transport Authority is reminding public passenger vehicle (PPV) owners and operators of that all vehicles must be examined ahead of the road licence expiration date of March 31. Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Acting General Manager of Human Resources and Administration at the Transport Authority, Petra-Kene Williams, said the authority has put measures in place to facilitate the process. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Some victims make wrong choice – Llewelyn

Women guilty of neglect and abusing their children should be held accountable and brought to book, instead of being let off the hook, Llewellyn argued, accusing the media and some civic groups of aiding and abetting this delinquency. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Work on Marcus Garvey Drive continues

Ninety-seven per cent of the rehabilitation and expansion work on Marcus Garvey Drive has been completed, with the project looking set for completion by the April 30 deadline, according to National Works Agency (NWA) Communications Manager Stephen Shaw. See full on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Perception of crime greater than reality

Addressing a media briefing at the Social Development Commission office in Albion, St James, last Wednesday, to outline plans to celebrate the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) 150th anniversary, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ainsley McCarthy said while many persons remain fearful and concerned about crime in the division, the streets in western Jamaica are no less safe than anywhere else in the country. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. HAJ to give update on finances

Almost two weeks before the 2016-2017 financial year ends, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), which racked up almost $900 million in losses for one financial year, is today expected to reveal how the agency’s financial position has turned around and whether a $60-million profit target will be met. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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Remembering Delroy Gordon: Jamaica’s Quiet Cultural Advocate

Delroy Gordon

On March 16, 2017, many awoke to the sad news that executive director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, had passed. He was 55 years old. Gordon served as executive director of the JCDC for only four years, but he had worked with the organisation since 1987. In fact, for more than 30 of his 55 years, he was actively and directly involved in the preservation and development of Jamaican culture.

Culture and Entertainment Minister Babsy Grange described him as “an affable and capable man who was dedicated to cultural development and committed to the JCDC”.

Opposition spokesperson on culture, Lisa Hanna, called him a “true patriot who was dedicated to high quality service”.

“He was passionate about unearthing and developing Jamaica’s culture and was effective in spreading that passion,” said Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Donna-Marie Rowe.

Here are some facts about his work life that you may not be aware of:

  1. In 1977, he won his first medal in the JCDC National Drama Competition while a student at Mount Angus All Age School in St Mary, and, in later years, was a member of the St Mary Cultural Development Commission, entering as a participant and also coaching others in drama, dance and speech.
  2. His first post with the JCDC was as cultural organiser for the parish of St Mary in 1987. He was promoted to parish manager in 1989; then to regional manager for the Northern Region with responsibility for St Mary, St Ann, St Thomas and Portland in 1991.
  3. In 1998, he was appointed director of field services with oversight for Jamaica’s 14 parishes, as well as the Programmes management Department. Between 1998 and 1999, he was also asked to serve as acting executive director. He was again asked to serve in this capacity between April and December in 2009.
  4. He rose to the rank of deputy executive director in 2010, and acting executive director in January 2011. He was appointed executive director of the JCDC in 2013.
  5. He was a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St Mary.
  6. Under his leadership in 2009, the JCDC received the Gleaner Honour Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture.
  7. According to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, “He served on numerous parish and national committees, boards, organizations and institutions for which he is the recipient of numerous awards and citations for outstanding contribution and dedicated service.”
  8. He is credited with unearthing the talent in, as well as influencing the lives and work of many Jamaican artists and artistes through the work he did with the JCDC for three decades.

Here are links to the news articles about this quiet Jamaican cultural advocate:

Posted in Arts, Culture, Jamaica, Men, Personalities, Photos Tagged with: , , , ,

30 Days Of Inspiration (#15: Fine-tune Your Intuition)

March is celebrated as Spiritual Wellness Month. It is a time to reflect on the values, ethics and morals that add value and give meaning to your life. Here at diGJamaica, we’re going on a quest for 30 days of inspiration: extracting the common principles from different religions and systems of belief that help their followers to find inner peace, purpose and direction. Each day for the month of March, we will be sharing another principle with you. Join us as we embark on this journey to spiritual wellness.


What we’ve covered so far:


Fine-tune Your Intuition

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, is popular for saying, “They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Intuition is defined by The Oxford Dictionary as “The ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” It is what people call ‘gut feeling’ or ‘ a knowing’. For many years, scientists have tried to study human intuition to better explain where it comes from and why it seems to work in their favour so often. There have been many different conclusions, but the overwhelming consensus is that intuition, once accepted and exercised with some degree of caution, is a great source of power and direction.

Here are five things that you can do to build your intuition:

  1. Make time for down-time: times when you are not working, and by yourself.
  2. Practise mindfulness: be more alert and aware of your surroundings.
  3. Reduce distractions in your daily life.
  4. Listen to your body.
  5. Quickly release negative emotions: Do not harbour them.

Your life will be full of people who want to tell you what to do and how to live. Fine-tuning your intuition is one way to avoid the trap of being easily swayed by the opinions and decisions of others. Learn to trust yourself and make your own choices. Learn to tap into that inner voice and instinct that already knows what you truly want out of life. After all, if you’re not enjoying your life, who will?

Sources: 10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently and

Posted in General Information, Health, Lifestyle, Lists, Observances, Personal Development, Series, Uncategorized, Wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

  1. Portia’s bittersweet speech
  2. Derek Walcott has died
  3. Tax-perity!
  4. MAJ not happy with health tax
  5. $100m lost to cybercrime
  6. Hancarts used to rescue cruise ship passengers from floods

Portia Simpson Miller

1. Portia’s bittersweet speech

In what Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller described as a “bittersweet” contribution in her final Budget Debate presentation in Gordon House yesterday, the longest current serving political representative in Parliament said that despite moments of tears and regret, her relationship with the Jamaican people has been “a lifelong love affair”. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Derek Walcott has died

Renowned writer and poet, St Lucian Sir Derek Walcott has died. Sir Derek, 87, died at home this morning after a prolonged illness, the St Lucia News Online reports. Walcott, a titan of Caribbean literature was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013. In 1992, he was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Tax-perity!

Seizing on the popular local term ‘tax-perity’, Portia Simpson Miller used her final address to Parliament as opposition leader to attack the ‘prosperity’ mantra of the Andrew Holness administration, arguing that the new Budget is an exploitation of the Jamaican people. Tax-perity emerged as a term critical of proposed tax measures while playing on the Holness prosperity message. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. MAJ not happy with health tax

The Government’s recent announcement to apply tax on group health insurance has not gone down well with the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), which said that it feared that such a move would negatively impact the already overburdened public health-care system. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. $100m lost to cybercrime

The Cybercrimes Unit says it is expecting Jamaica to lose more than the US$100 million it lost last year due to criminal activities on the Internet. Inspector Warren Williams, head of the unit at Jamaica Constabulary Force, reported that for 2016, the country lost US$100 million and more than 200 cases of cybercrimes were reported. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Handcarts used to rescue cruise ship passengers from floods

Some cruise ship passengers who got caught in the heavy rains that lashed Falmouth, Trelawny, yesterday, flooding several roads, got a novel taste of what it is like to be transported Jamaican handcart-style. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

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