'Family breakdown causing social ills'
Chief Medical Officer of Jamaica, Michael Coombs, is blaming the breakdown in family structure for many of the social ills.
Coombs, who was addressing a World Suicide Prevention Day seminar yesterday pointed specifically to the absence of fathers in the home, saying that the issue needs to be addressed urgently.
"The gravity of the breakdown of the family demands a national, sustained, coordinated, and visible response," Coombs said.
"We need clear national policies that will facilitate good parenting, empower and require of our men to be the fathers they need to be." said Coombs.
'5-y-o may be paralysed'
The doctors treating a five-year-old boy whose home was shot up and firebombed by gunmen in York Town, Clarendon, on Friday, say they are unable to remove a bullet lodged in his spine.
The physicians say this is likely to leave him paralysed from the waist down.
Three others, including the boy's mother, remain hospitalised.
The police are still searching for the attackers.
It is reported that on Friday, a group of gunmen entered the house and robbed occupants of their valuables.
It is further reported that one of the occupants attempted to escape and was shot several times.
The gunmen then reportedly opened fire on the other persons, including the five-year-old boy.
The men firebombed the house before escaping on foot.
16-y-o on murder rap
A 16-year-old boy was charged yesterday for the murder of an 11-year-old girl.
Detectives from the Major Investigation Task Force charged the teenage boy with the shooting death of the girl on Bread Lane in Kingston on Thursday, August 1.
The boy went through a question-and-answer session with his attorney yesterday morning, after which he was charged with murder.
He is booked to appear in court at a later date.
The police say that about 6:30 p.m., Tashanique James of a North Street, Kingston, CSO address, and three other persons were standing in a yard when unknown assailants entered the area and opened fire, hitting them.
They were taken to hospital where Tashanique was pronounced dead and the other persons admitted in stable condition.
More delays in 360-megawatt project
The Government says it is frustrated by further delays in the 360-megawatt project.
Yesterday, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) announced it had pushed back its deadline to announce a winner for the project because of unforeseen legal and other issues.
The nature of the legal issues has not been disclosed.
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says Cabinet was forced to allow the delay after a presentation from the regulators yesterday.
He says the OUR was summoned to yesterday's meeting of the Cabinet after he received some information on the bidding process last week Friday.
Paulwell says the OUR is to meet with the Office of the Contractor General and the National Contracts Commission in relation to the issues.
He says the Cabinet expects a report from the utilities regulator next week Monday.
Make education our first priority - Thwaites
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites has urged Jamaicans to make education their first priority.
Thwaites told the Manchester Chamber of Commerce last Thursday that unless education is prioritised, the country will continue to struggle.
Noting that education is the largest business in Jamaica, the minister said the country will have to examine ways to become more efficient with the resources available.
He said despite the financial challenges and the guidelines set out in the International Monetary Fund agreement, his ministry will not "abandon or dash the aspirations" of the many young people who have met the requirements to move on to a higher level of learning.
Thwaites said the Ministry of Education is working feverishly to accommodate more sixth form students because the country cannot be doing "non-priority work", while ignoring their needs. This, he said, calls for the country to "put political divide aside" and do all it can to give children the best education possible.