EU, health ministry pump $2.6m into improving maternal health
The Ministry of Health has signed a $2.6-billion agreement with the European Union (EU) to fund maternal and paediatric health care across the island.
Jolita Butkeviciene, the EU's director for development and cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean, said the money will be used in the fight to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.
She said the funding is necessary to bolster the Government's efforts towards reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goal in this critical area.
The grant is expected to be used to create six units for critically ill newborn, with each of the four referral regional hospitals and the Victoria Jubilee and Bustamante hospitals benefiting.
Students fall into trance during Kumina session at St Thomas school
Strange events have been reported at the St Thomas Technical High School, where several students fell into a trance yesterday.
Reports reaching The Gleaner are that a few students in a religious education class were re-enacting a Kumina session, when several boys started drumming.
A female student is reported to have fallen under the influence of the drums, falling into a trance.
Other students across the school quickly became possessed, with several of them falling on the ground and dancing wildly.
Kumina is an Afro-Jamaican religion, influenced mainly by the Bantu peoples from the Congo-Angola area of Africa. It involves the practice of bringing down spirits of the dead to briefly inhabit the bodies of the faithful.
Smith jumps off fence to campaign for Holness
Derrick Smith demonstrated just how high the stakes were climbing in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leadership contest between Andrew Holness and Audley Shaw when he bade farewell to the party's electoral committee in order to campaign for Holness.
Three weeks ago, Smith was placed on the party's electoral committee, alongside George Soutar and Tom Tavares-Finson, to ensure a smooth election campaign.
This week, the former JLP deputy leader told The Gleaner that he decided to jump ship and campaign for Holness, the incumbent.
"I like his style, his commitment and vision, as well as the efforts he is making for a transformational type of politics in Jamaica, having recognised that the old form of politics failed the country and that is exactly why we are where are at this time," Smith said.
"I think a victory for Andrew is a victory for the party and, by extension, a victory for Jamaica," he said.
Prosecution denies risk of prejudice in corruption case
Prosecutors in the corruption trial of Senior Superintendent James Forbes and businessman Bruce Bicknell have asserted that the case against both men has not been prejudiced.
The assertion came yesterday as lead prosecutor Tracy-Ann Johnson responded to an application by defence attorneys for information about a meeting prosecutors had with a witness days before she testified in the trial.
The witness, Corporal Sarah Davis, testified in July that she met with two prosecuting attorneys for nearly 30 minutes and was asked about aspects of the case that had not been mentioned in her witness statement.
Presiding Magistrate Stephanie Jackson-Haisley, in denying the application for disclosure, said there was nothing to indicate that there were inconsistencies in Davis' statement.
Forbes and Bicknell are on trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice, arising from allegations that the Tank-Weld boss tried to bribe police Sergeant Jubert Llewellyn with $2,000 after he was pulled over for speeding along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway in Kingston April last year.