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Published:Saturday | June 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM

May Pen robbery suspects released

Three held in connection with a daring armed robbery in May Pen, Clarendon, last month have been released after being questioned by detectives.

The men, including an alleged gang leader, were released due to insufficient evidence linking them to the robbery in which two policemen were shot.

Detectives are still investigating the criminal gang suspected to be involved in multimillion-dollar robberies in St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon.

On May 26, heavily armed gunmen invaded a supermarket in the Clarendon capital and held several Chinese business operators hostage.

Police personnel who responded to the robbery, were fired on by the masked gunmen.

The gunmen escaped with more than $3 million and two high-end smartphones.

The police later recovered almost $500,000 after one of the getaway vehicles crashed.



Hospitals seeing patients with heat-related illnesses

At least three public hospitals are reporting that since last week their emergency departments have been receiving several patients, children and adults, with heat-related illnesses as Jamaica experiences above-normal temperatures.

“I have checked with emergency rooms and I have gotten reports from the Kingston Public Hospital, the Bustamante Hospital [For Children], and the St Ann’s Bay Hospital. The children had nosebleeds this could have result from dryness of the nostrils that can occur in exposure to heat. The adults suffered from heat exhaustion,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie told RJR on Thursday.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica has predicted that there will be more intense heat across the island in coming weeks.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is appealing to persons to take precautions as excessive heat stress is harmful to health and is potentially fatal.

Heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion, heat rash, heat cramps, and the most severe illness, heat stroke.



CARICOM leaders to further discuss CSME at summit


Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will meet in St Lucia early next week with the implementation of measures to enhance the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) high on the agenda.

The CSME, which allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region, was the main topic of a special CARICOM summit held in Trinidad and Tobago in December last year.

At the end of the special summit, the regional leaders issued the St Ann’s Declaration that indicated the CSME is still regarded as being the most viable platform to support the region’s growth and development agenda.

Among the recommendations contained in the Declaration is for a more formalised, structured mechanism for engagement with the region’s private sector and labour, the expansion of the categories of skilled nationals entitled to move freely and work within the Community to include agricultural workers, beauty service practitioners, barbers and security guards.

The July 3-5 summit will be chaired by St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.



IMF says natural disasters can seriously affect Caribbean economies


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says natural disasters can have “significant and long-lasting effects” on economic well-being in many developing countries, including those in the Caribbean.

The IMF said that this is particularly for “small, fragile and low-income states,” adding that the frequency and intensity of weather-related shocks are expected to further increase as climate change evolves.

In 2017, a number of Caribbean countries were impacted by two hurricanes resulting in millions of dollars in damage. Since then, as in the case of Dominica, the Caribbean has been seeking to become climate resilient.

In welcoming the opportunity to take stock of ongoing staff work on building resilience to natural disasters in vulnerable countries, including efforts being made to incorporate disaster risks into macroeconomic frameworks and into the IMF Fund surveillance more generally.

The IMF said the social and economic impact of natural disasters can be mitigated through policies to build resilience, including targeted investments in infrastructure and the effective use of available financial instruments.