Jamaica still malaria free despite cases in infected visitors

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Health authorities last week said that the island remains malaria-free even though two imported cases had been identified in November.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said Jamaica has not recorded any local transmission of the potentially fatal disease caused by the plasmodium falciparum parasite.

The disease produces chills, headache, a high fever, and other flu-like symptoms and the malaria parasite is transmitted to humans by the infected bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes.

It said that none of the infected persons reside in Jamaica and one of them has since left the country.

Bahamas signs deal to equip police with body cams

NASSAU, Bahamas – National Security Minister Marvin Dames says the government is serious in its commitment to reduce crime in the Bahamas as it signed an agreement with the Trinidad-based AE Tactical for body and dash cams for police officers.

Dames told the signing ceremony that policing in the 21st century must employ innovation in its best form, in order to achieve the kind of results of safety, security and orderliness demanded of civil societies.

He said effective crime-fighting techniques and procedures were heavily based on accuracy, relevance and timeliness of information received. “Presently, there is no better way, based on human interventions to meet this criterion than through technology,” he added.

Global index finds alarming level of hunger in Haiti

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — The Global Hunger Index has ranked Haiti 111th out of 117 countries — an indication of an alarming level of hunger across the French-speaking Caribbean Community country.

In its latest report, GHI revealed that Haiti suffers from an alarming level of hunger with a score of 34.7, down eight points, compared to 2000 when the score was 42.7.

The index says the score is due to its rate of undernourishment at 49.3 percent when compared to 57.1 percent in 2000 – a revelation that about half of the Haitian population is not able to regularly meet basic calorie needs.

According to GHI, Haiti’s score in 2019 is in the upper part of the “serious category” and is the worst performance in the entire American continent. GHI has attributed Haiti’s high poverty rate, low agricultural productivity, high level of environmental degradation, among other things — which contribute to food insecurity in the country.

In making recommendations, GHI says that Haiti and the international community “must increase resources and interventions to focus on the persistent gaps linked to children’s food and nutrition, while tackling the problems of wider societies that currently limit the food and nutrition security of the population as a whole.”

The index listed countries that worse off than Haiti as being on the African continent and suffer from alarming hunger levels — they are the Central African Republic —that tops the list, followed by Yemen, Chad, Madagascar, and Zambia. Countries in the Americas that have been classified in the “low hunger level” category include Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

31 Haitians detained after hiding out in Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Royal Bahamas Defence Force said recently that it had detained 31 Haitians on an uninhabited cay north of Ragged Island.

Acting on information, the HMBS LL Smith, under the command of Senior Lt. Shawn Adderley, searched the cay and “uncovered just over 30 migrants who all appeared to be in fair health.”

“A further search of the cay and surrounding area is currently being conducted by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, assisted by members of the Ragged Island fishing community,” the RBDF added.

The RBDF said that this latest apprehension of migrants is it’s first for the year, but that on Jan. 7, in cooperation with the police, immigration and the United States Coast Guard apprehended seven foreign nationals suspected of being engaged in human smuggling in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama.

Former Barbados official convicted in U.S. court

NEW YORK – A former Barbados government official, Donville Inniss, was found guilty of three criminal counts in a federal district court recently.

The unanimous verdict was handed down by a 12-member jury after just under two hours of deliberation.

Innis, a former member of Barbados Parliament, was convicted on two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The court found that the former legislator took bribes from insurance giant ICBL in 2015 and 2016 while he was the minister of industry.

ICBL then paid him $36,000 to use his authority to ensure that the firm’s million-dollar contract with the state-owned Barbados Industrial Development Corporation was renewed.

The court was told that he then conspired to hide the payment by having the money sent to a New York dental company, then deposited into his bank account through a series of transfers. He is to remain on bail pending sentencing next month.

Ex-Jamaican policeman charged with Calif. killing

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Three men, including a former Jamaican police officer, were charged with murder for the death of a Southern California man during a home invasion robbery, authorities said Thursday.

The former officer, Omar Miller, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Andre Andrews, 34, of Hollywood, Florida, appeared in an Orange County courtroom on Thursday but didn’t enter pleas.

They were arrested last month in Florida with help from the FBI and were extradited to California on Wednesday, the Orange County district attorney’s office said.

Devon Quinland, 33, of Westminster, California also was arrested in December. He made a court appearance last month but also didn’t enter a plea.

The three are charged with killing 20-year-old Raymond Alcala at his Irvine home on Oct. 26. Another man in the home was shot but survived.

Last month, the three men were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, assault with a firearm and murder with special circumstances that make them eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

-- Compiled from Tribune Wire Services

COMPILED FROM TRIBUNE WIRE SERVICES

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