Tue | Oct 23, 2018

News In Brief

Published:Saturday | July 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
  • OUR seeks additional info

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says it has requested additional information from telecommunications providers LIME and Digicel on their decision to block certain providers of Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services on their network.

VoIP is a technology used for the delivery of voice communications over the internet.

The decision to block the services has not gone down well with customers of LIME and Digicel, which prompted the intervention of the OUR.

The OUR says among the information requested from the two companies are data showing the nature of the alleged bypass of their networks by VoIP providers and its impact.

It says it expects to receive the information before the end of the month.

The utilities regulator says it will use this information to ascertain whether VoIP providers are engaging in bypass operations.

  • CDA Poster Competition casting call children

THE CHILD Development Agency (CDA) calls children from across the island to participate in its 10th anniversary poster competition, under the theme, Protecting Children, Transforming Lives, Securing the Future.

CDA public relations and communications manager, Prudence Barnes said: "The competition is geared towards engaging children in depicting, through art, their views on key issues surrounding child protection and the role of the Agency."

The competition will run from July to September 2014. The topics for the competition are: 'Parents and communities play an important role in protecting the rights of children'; 'My Vision of a Jamaica fit for Children is...', and CDA's tagline and 10th Anniversary theme, 'Protecting Children, Transforming Lives, Securing the Future'.

Children entering the competition must be within the three age-group categories; six to eight years, nine to 13 years and 14 to17 years, who are enrolled in primary or preparatory, and secondary schools; as well as children within child-care institutions in Jamaica.

Candidates are required to use materials such as paints, crayons, pencils, coloured pencils, charcoal, pastels, magic markers, watercolours, ink or any combination of these media. Importantly, all art work must be original, and accompanied by a completed entry form, and can be submitted to any CDA office, islandwide, before the deadline on September 30. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second-place winners in all three categories.

  • UWI Guild tells students to clear arrears

The Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, is encouraging students to make every effort to clear outstanding balances to the University, to avoid being barred from registration.

The UWI issued an advisory this week indicating that students must pay up all fees by the start of the academic year on September 1, before they will be allowed to register.

The University further said those who fail to settle their fees will be barred from selecting courses and from accessing all facilities on the campus.

Guild President Lerone Laing said the student government understands the University's position in light of the high level of arrears in fees.

According to him, students owe the UWI close to $1 billion in fees.

He said over the years, the arrears along with the cut in government subvention to the University have created a challenge for the institution.

It is against that background that the guild president is urging students to play their part in ensuring the financial health of the UWI.

Meanwhile, in its advisory, the UWI said students who have a difficulty paying their fees can apply for consideration for a payment plan by September 30.

However, the University noted that these plans will not be available for servicing outstanding balances.

  • Health expert says HIV stigma should end

Dr Blossom Anglin Brown, clinical director of the University Health Services, was among three persons who were awarded on Thursday with the University of the West Indies Alumni Association Pelican Award, at the Mona Visitor's Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

Brown who has done extensive research on health issues affecting youth within the UWI community has reiterated the need for persons living with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to be treated with respect and care.

"When I started to work in HIV/AIDS nobody wanted to talk about it. We were actually the first persons to have a policy and the truth is, we have come a long way but the stigma still exists," she told The Gleaner.

"It is important that we take each person for what they are worth. There is no need to discriminate against persons living with the illness. There are things we can do also to protect ourselves and nothing is wrong with that but we must desist from discrimination," she declared.

The director who has worked in the health sector for 30 years also encouraged tertiary students to be determined to excel despite the challenges.

Other persons who were recognised included, Public Health Specialist Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer and Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Mona campus Professor Archibald McDonald.